A Discovery of Witches: 2.10
A warning of spoilers as we discuss the finale of series two...
The second series of A Discovery of Witches ends with the tease of bigger things to come - much like the end of series one. There were a couple of intriguing moments and one [shocking?] character death, but nothing of anything significant impact. I presume all the drama of the war between supernatural beings is being firmly reserved for the third and final series.
It really felt as if all the big stuff in the past had been dealt with effectively last week. Matthew had been pardoned by Queen Elizabeth I, Diana had resumed her training with much progress and the dastardly duo of Kit Marlowe and Louisa Clairmont had been firmly taken down by Diana and Matthew. There really wasn't a huge amount to sustain what felt like an hour of goodbyes. I was waiting for some big revelation surrounding Jack, their ward, who had suddenly risen to prominence last week. But despite a substantial amount of screen time to worrying about his future, the boy's role in the series' events never went anywhere.
There was a bittersweet reunion however, between Diana and her father Stephen - another time walker and weaver. During an anthropological trip into the past, they crossed paths in the streets of London, allowing Diana some of the closure she never got when her parents were murdered while she was a child. Again, it could be argued that this narrative didn't really offer much to the whole series, except perhaps to give Diana the strength to face what is coming. More satisfying was her final scenes with Goody. Sheila Hancock has been a delightful addition to the series; I wished more time had been spent in her tutelage of Diana.
The present day setting offered some snippets of character and plot development, though nothing substantial. In Oxford, Domenico encountered the vicious Clairmont blood rage-fuelled vampire in a brutal attack that almost cost him his life. Frustratingly however, we got to see the identity of his attacked, leaving another mystery dragged out into series three.
In Sept Tours, Phoebe certainly made her mark. The dinner between vampires, demons, witches and a human marked a significant period of change in the supernatural world, with Phoebe the perfect outsider to address the need to move on from old beliefs. She also impressed Ysabeau De Clermont, which is certainly an achievement in itself. Adelle Leonce has been a breath of fresh air on the show and I'm looking forward to seeing her role in series three, both through her relationship with Marcus and her potential new role as a human representative in the affairs of the Congregation.
Peter Knox's 'attack' on Sept Tours didn't really amount to much, even with the death of poor Emily. I've been increasingly frustrated with the lack of development given to Emily and Sarah; as noted before, Valarie Pettiford and Alex Kingston (like Lindsay Duncan), have been wasted this series. Emily died doing exactly what she had been trying to do all series and never got any real answers. I hope Sarah gets the chance to exact her revenge; she's lost her brother and wife to Peter and Kingston certainly has the ability to put some fire into Sarah's performance.
Series two ends with the promise of more and I have to wonder whether it has all been worth it. As with series one, A Discovery of Witches has been absolutely gorgeous to look at, with the recreations of sixteenth century London, France and Bohemia richly brought to life. There has been some great talent involved too; there isn't a dud performance in the show, even when the scripts sometimes lets them down. But it has all been more of the same. Two series in, very little has actually happened. I just hope series three gives the pay off the show deserves.