A Discovery of Witches: 1.07
After weeks of amazing world building, gothic locations, intriguing characters and mysterious power plays, the latest episode of A Discovery of Witches really started to pay off that set-up with plenty of revelations. After the discovery last week that Diana was spellbound, following her torture at the hands of Satu and Gerbert, she left France for Madison in the US and the sanctuary of her two aunts, with new love Matthew in tow.
It was great to see Alex Kingston (Sarah) and Valarie Pettiford(Emily) finally get their teeth into something after weeks of advising and warning Diana from the end of the phone. Both had prominent roles this week as Sarah tried to Diana the basics of witchcraft while dealing with the discovery that her sister hid the fact that she spellbound Diana as a child to protect her from Peter Knox and that Emily suspected all along. There was also some great tension between Sarah and her vampire 'guests' first Matthew and then a visiting Marcus and Miriam who came to aid everyone in the coming conflict with the Congregation.
The house itself, settled within the gorgeous setting of Madison in the fall (because why would this location be any less beautiful than the others?) was very much a character in its own right. It wasn't just haunted, it had the ability to make whole floors vanish, keep out guests it didn't like and then, rather handily, present visions of the past. It was a wonderful way of giving Diana the information she so desperately needed while delving deeper into her past for the benefit of the audience. We saw the gothic spell needed to spellbound Diana as a child and more of the fairy tale story that prophetically spoke of Matthew's shadow prince; with a clever bit of CGI, we witnessed Peter visit the house to test Diana and Sarah and Emily take Diana as her parents said their final goodbyes. It was a clever use of exposition and moved the plot forward a great deal.
Even in the penultimate episode there were still more hints at world building and mystery; the sudden appearance of the Ashmole 782 dangled more answers in front of the characters and the reveal that Diana's father could also use magic to time travel was an intriguing nugget of information. Peter admitted to a de-spelled Satu this episode that he killed Diana's parents but I wonder if we might see them again; it's exciting what time travel could play in the upcoming story.
Talking of Satu, she was really suffering this episode; her actions interrogating Diana appears to have burned her out and soon found herself hunted by Dominico and the vampire population of Venice. Dominico certainly seem to be playing everyone, feigning allegiance to fellow Congregation cohorts Baldwin and Gerbert and then turning Juliette against her father. He could be just as dangerous as Gerbert in the coming conflict. There was less focus on the demons this week, though Agatha and Hamish talked about using Diana and the Ashmole 782 to put the demon population at the same level as vampire and witches.
Diana and Matthew continued to grow closer this week; there was plenty of passion in the bedroom as their was in the thrill of her training, Diana using Matthew's innate bloodlust to craft her abilities. Which might come in handy with Juliette tracking her down, setting the stage for another violent encounter next week.
I'm hoping the eighth episode of A Discovery of Witches is not the last we've seen on this world. There is still a huge amount of potential in the characters and the rich world created on screen. Otherwise a cancellation might mean all the revelations of this week might have been too little, too late.