Turn Your Back
Episode 5 of The Witcher Season 2 begins with Jaskier continuing to sing his “Burn, Witcher Burn” song. The guard was right last episode – it’s not as catchy as Toss A Coin To Your Witcher! However, this singing also means that he’s late in hopping aboard the ship out of port, with Yennefer already there.
The thing is, Jaskier is confronted by a magic-wielding prisoner, Rience, who has struck a deal with Lydia. His ominous finger snapping conjures forth flames in a pretty unnerving sequence.
Meanwhile, Geralt shows up to see Istredd. Geralt believes that the fallen monolith is the cause of the unique mutations springing up across the world. Istredd chuckles, believing him to be talking in jest. That is until Geralt drops the severed head of one of those creatures before him. “Will you help me or not?”
Yes, is the answer to that. Geralt and Istredd head onto the road together. There, they find a large rip, right the way across the ground descending down to unknown depths. Istredd realizes how serious this is and decides to head down there with Geralt to find what lies at the bottom.
Once there, Geralt and Istredd confirm their suspicions. According to the latter’s notes, strange vibrations have begun to emanate from this exact spot since the night Cintra fell. Istredd believes destroying this monolith has set off some form of chain reaction across the other monoliths, which appear to be used as gateways by the monsters to cross into our world.
Elsewhere, Yennefer decides against traveling aboard, intent on finding answers over Jaskier’s disappearance. She pays one of the whores to find information for her. In her absence, Yennefer tries to use magic but to no avail. She also doesn’t find any information about Jaskier from her source either, although she’s given some solid advice to head back to the place he frequents.
Acting drunk, Yennefer shows up at the bar and finds Rience holding Jaskier captive. Cleverly keeping some booze in her mouth, when Rience threatens her with a flame, she spits fire back in his face and escapes.
Back at Kaer Morhen, Ciri continues to impress the other Witchers, training hard. She’s unhappy about not being invited to Cintra though, but she does manage to impress Vesemir. He takes her into the workshop and begins to divulge more about what’s happening here.
An ancient flower known as feainnewedd only grows where Elder blood has been spilled. A beautiful purple flower… that’s been sprouting all over the training course. The place Ciri has been bleeding. Vesemir wants to use a vial of Ciri’s blood to try and protect against the growing threat, although he’s not sure it will actually work. She wants it tested on her first.
With Triss using her powers, the blood is concocted and turns black. It’s worked. With this done, Ciri prepares herself to become the first Witcher using this potion. She wants to find a purpose, and with the people she loves most dead, Ciri believes this could be the answer. Triss though has another idea.
She wants to use a form of magic called Dol Durzza, which allows a magic wielder to descend deep into one’s subconscious and find any clues that could be buried deep there. So Triss descends into Ciri’s mind, reliving the moment her parents died. Only, something is amiss. Triss feels it, as Ciri follows a path of flowers to a blinding white light.
With her mother dying, Triss steps up to help her but things quickly descend. The world turns to darkness, the Wild Hunt appears and Ciri is warned that the end is nigh.
Meanwhile, Geralt and Istredd continue talking, where their conversation turns to that of Yennefer. It’s here Geralt learns that Yen is still alive and didn’t die in the fires from Sodden. Ciri’s echoed screams pierce through, asking Geralt for help. The Stellacite fragments are also gone too, at least when this vision ends, as another creature steps out thee shadows and flies into the air. Geralt immediately asks Istredd to conjure a portal.
Geralt heads back to Kaer Morhen just in time, stopping Vesemir from injecting Ciri with the serum. At the same time, Jaskier tries to save Yennefer, who continues to be taunted by the strange sinister voice bouncing around in her head. Eventually she makes her choice and recites the words… bringing her to the old woman.
Yennefer wants to make a trade. She wants access to Chaos, but it seems that comes in the form of finding and delivering Ciri. The place? A shattered black door outside Cintra. Anyone else guessing that’s the portal where the monolith is situated?
The Episode Review
The Witcher returns with a really solid episode, one that leans closer to the games in regards to the Wild Hunt and what this means for our characters.
There’s a solid amount of character work here and while most of the season has played it straight, the comedic levity that Jaskier brings to this is very much welcome. It’s also sorely lacking for the first 4 episodes that he’s absent.
These later episodes have certainly been a step up from what we’ve seen before, and they certainly lean much closer toward the fate of the world balancing on a precarious knife edge.
The different storylines all work nicely together, allowing more of this world to be fleshed out, although the ending does seem to tease a more action packed series of chapters to come.