In the season 2 finale of A Discovery of Witches, Diana and Matthew get ready to return to the present, but are surprised by the appearance of a new Weaver. Everyone’s holed up at Sept Tours, and Peter Knox prepares to strike.

Note: this review contains spoilers. Jump down to the spoiler-free Bottom Line to avoid them.

WTF are these time travel rules?

Alright, let’s get this out of the way first, because it’s a pet peeve of mine.

I love a time travel story. But they require a certain kind of suspension of disbelief –  even more so than introducing witches and vampires – because people expect time travel to come with certain kinds of rules. And if you want your time travel story to land, you need to clearly establish your rules and stick to them.

A Discovery of Witches doesn’t manage this.

The finale sees Diana’s father appear in the past, having timewalked there himself to observe and search for the book. It’s exciting at first to see him there. But then he and Diana start talking, and he basically unravels the plot and the previously understood rules of time travel.

After all, why did we just spend the whole season showing Matthew dance around his past in an effort not to expose the future, only for Diana to straight up tell her father Peter Knox is evil? How is this not breaking the rules? They try to get around the issue by emphasizing his timewalking and Rebecca’s premonitions, but it doesn’t really cover the whole scope of foresight here.

And then the big problem comes when he finds out they’re planning on taking the Book of Life back to the present with them. Diana’s father shuts that down immediately, telling the pair it would be against the laws of time to do that. Which…yeah, makes sense. But I was under the impression Diana and Matthew already knew that, and decided to do it anyway for the greater good. Instead they agree to leave the book behind. So I guess this really was news to them. (And that itself casts a new shadow over the plot of the entire season – did they really not think there would be consequences for what they were doing?)

…That’s the end?

When I finished this episode, I actually double-checked to make sure there weren’t more pending for the season. Did I mess up? Was it actually 11 or 12 episodes instead of 10?

Nope. This ended the season.

Put simply, the finale for A Discovery of Witches didn’t feel like a finale. With the exception of Em’s death, everything seemed pretty anticlimactic and, well…not very final.

It doesn’t surprise me that the stories outside of Matthew and Diana’s didn’t build to much, to be fair, given how the rest of the season played out. It’s especially obvious in the antagonist plotlines. (Peter Knox did actually step up and cause problems, but with all the waiting around he was doing this season, I expected to see more of a nefarious plan unfold than just “go to their home and attack them.”)

We didn’t learn the identity or goals of the blood rage killer. (Am I supposed to care that they attacked – but didn’t kill – Dominico, another villain?) And Satu proves the worst case of all. After solidifying herself as an intensely powerful and dangerous adversary in season one, she basically just goes MIA for all of season two.

And though Matthew and Diana’s plot jumped through a lot more hoops this season, it feels like we’ve been left hanging by their story, too. After all, they had exactly two goals when they timewalked into the past: for Diana to learn to harness her powers, and to find the Book of Life.

Since they found the book, but ultimately decide not to take it with them, that half of the journey feels a bit pointless. Diana did find a magic teacher, and mastered the ten knots. But after a season-long buildup of her learning to harness her powers, I expected her to actually use them in this finale. She doesn’t. (We don’t even see her and Matthew timewalk home at the end. Are we supposed to believe Diana is now so in control of her magic, this isn’t even a big deal anymore?)

A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Finale: The Bottom Line

This episode would score higher if it wasn’t the season finale. But since it IS the finale, I expected a lot more. I could disregard the annoyingly inconsistent treatment of time travel if the rest of the plot made major moves… but it didn’t. The vague villain stories led nowhere. And worst of all, we were deprived of seeing Diana do any actual magic. I expected more from this episode. But maybe Matthew would say I’m focusing on the bitter, instead of the sweet.

Rating: 6/10