In episode 8 of A Discovery of Witches, we head back to the present to catch the birth of Sophie’s baby, and the growth of Marcus’s new relationship. Plus, Em breaks her promise to Sarah, and the bad guys keep scheming.
Note: this review contains spoilers. Jump down to the spoiler-free Bottom Line to avoid them.
A Discovery of Witches S2E08 Review
Marcus is sure having a time
Marcus is having a bit of an identity crisis. He never felt comfortable with Matthew putting him in charge of the Knights of Lazarus. And now on top of that, he’s learned basically everyone in his life knew he was a blood rage carrier before he did. (I mean, seriously? Even Miriam? Damn.)
After previously revealing his vampire secret to his human girlfriend Phoebe, she doesn’t believe him. Which…yeah. Makes sense. So this episode shows Marcus convincing her of the truth so he can win her back. I know the intellectual approach here with the Knights pendant fits Phoebe’s job and personality, but it also feels like the hard way to do things. Maybe you should lead with the demonstration of superspeed, and then let her research your extended family history instead? Just seems like things would move along quicker that way.
Marcus does ultimately win her over, and they’re pretty cute together. But I’m definitely worried about Phoebe jumping into the creature world right as everyone’s teetering on the brink of war…
Meanwhile, Em continues her secret mission to use higher magic to contact Rebecca (Diana’s mother) from beyond the grave. You know, in spite of her promise to Sarah she wouldn’t do exactly that. (Pretty sure we all saw this one going south.)
Of course Sarah finds out. They have a big fight, Ysbeau offers some advice but respectfully stays out of the conflict, and ultimately they make up. Sarah agrees to help Em try to reach into the beyond to contact Rebecca. She’s still afraid something will go wrong, but at least she’ll know about it and they’ll be able to face it together.
I’m always excited to see displays of magic, and I like seeing Sarah and Em team up to do it too. But this is another instance of a place where the series seems to be dragging its feet. How many times has Em conjured up Rebecca, only to exchange a couple words and have her vanish again? Once again, it feels like there’s a ton of plot for Matthew and Diana, and virtually none for everyone else being stretched out to fit the same timeline.
Oh yeah. The baby.
Remember how a huge plot point at the end of the first season was the witch baby about to be born to demons? A revelation that would shake up life for all creatures as they know it, and probably start a bizarre inter-species custody battle that might push us over the precipice of the aforementioned epic war?
Yeah, we’ve finally returned to that.
I really haven’t liked the structure of season 2 of A Discovery of Witches. With whole episodes taking place in the present or the past, it makes you spend a lot longer in between seeing all the characters. And that leaves you feeling like there’s a lot of dangling plot points. Not only do you forget what’s happening, you lose the sense of urgency and importance these things actually have. This baby was supposed to be a big deal! So why haven’t these characters and their story been more influential this season?
Similarly, this episode finally seems to remember Miriam exists again. I just can’t help but feel the way the series sidelines everyone who isn’t Matthew and Diana ultimately makes it less enjoyable.
The Bottom Line
A lot of this season of A Discovery of Witches feels like it’s dragging its feet. But this episode finally returns to the main conflicts set up in the first season, giving the impression things will move forward soon. We’re rehashing a lot of the same plot points, but this time they may actually go somewhere. And while Matthew and Diana drive the intense, dramatic romantic core of the series, Marcus/Phoebe and Sarah/Em have some cute moments here too.