In episode 3 of A Discovery of Witches, Diana begins magic lessons, Matthew’s past catches up with him, and the Queen herself sends the pair on a new journey.
Note: this review contains mild plot spoilers.
A Discovery of Witches S2E03 Review
After connecting with Alsop and the coven in the last episode, Diana is finally ready to begin her magic lessons! Alsop and three other witches form a circle around Diana, each displaying a different elemental power: air, earth, water, and fire. Their presence is meant to help Diana figure out which element she draws her power from.
Surprise! It’s all four of them.
Admittedly, some of this feels a bit redundant. After all, we already saw Diana wield the four elemental powers in season 1. This led Diana (and the audience) to conclude she was connected to all the elements. So it seems unnecessary to play this as a “reveal.”
Still, I’ve been itching for Diana to explore her powers since the season started. What’s more, I love the imagery A Discovery of Witches created with the witches’ elemental circle. The shimmering magic “threads” looked great. And the moment Diana succeeds in “tying” these threads together definitely felt magical – and powerful.
In between magic lessons, this episode plays up domestic life between Matthew and Diana. If you’ve been loving the pair’s interactions with little Jack, you’re going to enjoy this episode. There’s quite a few cute parenting moments.
But now that everyone in Matthew’s life and household has accepted Diana, and now that Diana is making headway in her witch lessons, it seems like things are going a little too easy.
Enter Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I.
The Queen’s shakeup
Interrupting that domestic bliss? The Queen herself.
Elizabeth I isn’t too happy about Matthew’s marriage – or the fact that he didn’t tell her about it. She seems to think his loyalty to Diana threatens his loyalty to the crown (or at least, to her personally).
Diana and Matthew both do some finagling to get her to believe otherwise. It works – mostly. In order to prove his ongoing loyalty, the Queen orders Matthew on a quest. He’s tasked with retrieving a man rumored to be able to make the philosopher’s stone.
And of course the guy’s not in England, so our domestic duo will have to pull up their newly-formed roots and hit the road. First stop? Sept-Tours.
What’s happening with everyone else?
Once again, the not-Matthew-and-Diana characters are pretty sidelined.
We do get to see Em doing a bit of magic (emphasis on a bit). Sarah’s sleeping, Ysbeau doesn’t show up. And once again Marcus is MIA. (He seems to feature prominently in the preview for the next episode. But isn’t it weird that we’re three episodes into the season and we haven’t seen him at all?)
The developments for the villains are better in this episode. I feel like something resembling an evil plot is finally taking shape. Just the hints of one, but still. There’s enough vague ominous statements from these guys to finally get me interested in what they might be planning.
The Bottom Line
Though A Discovery of Witches still struggles to make all its characters seem useful, the third episode does improve upon the first two in this regard. There’s plenty of sweet domestic scenes between Diana and Matthew to tide over the romantics, and a good dose of magical and historical elements as well.