In episode 9, Matthew must answer to Queen Elizabeth for his failure to return Edward Kelley to England. Diana resumes her magical studies with Goody Alsop and makes substantial progress. Louisa and Kit confront Diana about the spell they think she’s cast over Matthew. Matthew and Diana realize their time in the 16th century is running out.
As was shown in the bookends to episode 8, now that the Book of Life is damaged it has become unreadable. Diana studies it anyway, then hides it under a floorboard in her bedroom.
She tells Matthew that part of her wants to stay in the 16th century and make a family with Jack. Matthew says they’ve already stayed in the past too long. Diana wants to come with Matthew to visit the Queen today, but he says no to that as well. She thinks he’s being overprotective, but he angrily tells her that the Queen will already be in a foul mood with him. Diana would just make things worse. He orders her to improve her magic so they can go back to their own time as soon as possible.
When they get to Goody Alsop’s, Susannah answers the door and tells them that the older woman’s health has deteriorated. Goody cheers up when she sees Diana. Susannah tells them that the witch hunts have spread. Diana and Goody are the last living weavers in this time period.
Goody notices that Matthew seems less troubled than he did before their trip abroad.
She’s super perceptive, because that’s a subtle change. Then she senses another change as well and uses her witch’s sight to scan Diana. She and Diana realize at the same time- Diana is pregnant!
Matthew and Diana go home so they can digest the news privately. Diana felt different and wondered, but didn’t think this was possible. Matthew remembers that he’s a scientist and a skeptic in addition to being a curmudgeon, so he wants to go back to the 21st century even more than he did before.
Wonder what would even show up if Diana took a modern pregnancy test?
Diana worries about leaving Jack behind, as if it hadn’t occurred to her before today that leaving him was inevitable. Planning ahead- not going to be their strength as parents. Matthew promises that he’ll make arrangements for a foster family for Jack as soon as he’s done placating the Queen.
Kit accosts Matthew on his way to court and asks if he’s free of Diana yet. Matthew furiously shoves Kit against a wall and insists again that he and Diana will never be parted, so long as they both shall live.
Diana meets with the coven again to continue practicing her knotwork, the foundation of spellwork for a weaver. Diana activates her witch’s sight so she can see the magical threads that permeate and bind the universe, then she chooses the threads she’ll use to tie each knot:
“With knot of one, the spell’s begun.
With knot of two, the spell is true.
With knot of three, the spell is free.
With knot of four, the power is stored.
With knot of five, the spell will thrive.
With knot of six, the spell I fix.
With knot of seven, the spell will waken.”
The seventh knot glows and takes on a life of its own. It vanishes, then fire bursts from Diana’s midsection, reaching the ceiling. It becomes a small burning dragon, called a firedrake. The firedrake tells Diana her name is Corra. She flies back into Diana’s midsection and all traces of her disappear. Goody says Diana’s familiar will reappear when Diana needs her.
Queen Elizabeth’s mood is worsened by a toothache in addition to her anger at Matthew. She berates him for leaving Kelley behind and stealing a book instead, then lying to her about it. She tells him how betrayed she feels by his many recent lies and false demeanor. He continues to lie to her when she orders him to turn over the Book of Life, saying it was stolen from him on the journey back to England. In response, she sends William Cecil to search his home. She commands Matthew to remain in the palace while his home is searched and threatens him and Diana with death if he doesn’t cooperate.
Kit finds Diana on her way home from practicing magic and convinces her to come with him by telling her that Matthew needs her. Supposedly the Queen has thrown Matthew in a dungeon, so they must go to him now, alone. It would take too long to find Gallowglass.
Of course Matthew hasn’t told Diana that he banished Kit from his life months ago.
Cecil orders his men to search the house thoroughly and collect every book. Jack tries to keep a page from Cecil, but is forced to give it to him. Cecil discovers the loose floorboard where the Book of Life is hidden. Gallowglass returns as the Queen’s men are leaving with all of the books packed in a wooden chest. While he distracts them, Jack steals the Book of Life back out of the chest.
After a break and a chat with a friend, Matthew decides to tell the Queen the truth. But first he gives her a drop of his blood to soothe her toothache
and put her back in his thrall. From the look on her face, it’s clear he’s done this before. She worries about what will happen to England when she’s gone and implies that Matthew should turn her into a vampire. He tells her, as he’s previously told her and the monarchs before her, that it would be wrong to make rulers immortal except Philippe and Ysabeau.
Then he breaks the first rule of time travel and talks about time travel. He tells her that Diana is a time spinner and he’s from centuries in the future, where England is still thriving and she’s viewed as the greatest monarch of all time. So she has nothing to worry about- her legacy and her country will be fine. Her concerns about the present are just petty problems that will soon pass. She lets him go, so that she can dream about her name living on in glory forever. She even thanks him for giving her such comfort.
Wonder how long it would take the real life queen to wake up from the blood drugging and realize how condescending and manipulative that conversation was?
When Matthew gets home, he looks for the Book of Life in its usual spot. Jack pulls it out from its new hiding spot and tells Matthew how he stole it back. Matthew thanks him for his bravery.
Matthew puts the book right back where Cecil found it, so Cecil knows where to look, should the Queen send him back for it when they discover it’s missing.
Gallowglass and Pierre rush in- Diana is missing. Gallowglass goes to find Hubbard so they can find out if any of his followers have seen Diana.
Kit brings Diana to a damp dungeon, as promised, but Louisa is waiting for her instead of Matthew. Kit thinks they’re going to put Diana on a ship to exile her to another continent, which will make Matthew forget her and cure Kit’s writer’s block. Louisa gleefully informs him that they’re going to kill Diana, which is an effective cure for just about everything, after all.
Diana tells Louisa that she’s Matthew’s wife and Philippe’s daughter. Louisa will be in big trouble with both if she hurts Diana. We’re all surprised that Louisa didn’t hear the blood vow or smell that Diana is Matthew’s mate.
Louisa has big, black eyes and Kit is more off kilter than usual, so I assume the show is doing the opium story from the book, but they aren’t saying it out loud. In Shadow of Night, Louisa has Kit use opium, then she drinks his blood, so they are both high and delusional throughout this sequence. Louisa is also in a Blood Rage, which of course the show won’t mention. The opium and the Blood Rage are presumably why Louisa doesn’t pay attention to the indicators of Diana’s status.
Also, somewhere in all the cuts between scenes they chained Diana to the walls. She pulls at the chains and verbally threatens them, but doesn’t use her magic to escape. Why would she wait, when her magic used to pop out to protect her even before she could direct it effectively? Because Matthew has to find her, of course. Diana no longer has the agency to act alone in a crisis, silly reader.
Now that Diana has mentioned the blood vow, Louisa touches the spot where Philippe placed his blood and shivers at the power. She assumes Diana bewitched Philippe as well, but Diana’s death will free him, too. Louisa picks up a pistol and offers to let Kit take the first shot at Diana, since she’s a generous soul.
Kit hesitates, since this isn’t what he signed up for and Matthew’s threats seemed serious. Louisa talks him into aiming the gun, but then Diana quotes from “Hero and Leander”, a poem he hasn’t published yet. She offers to tell him his future and he accepts.
Louisa knocks him out and takes the gun. She fires, but misses. Kit wakes up. Louisa prepares to fire again. Diana throws off her chains and frees Corra, the firedrake, who herds Louisa and Kit into a corner. Diana creates a ring of fire around them, then says she’ll tell them their futures. Their futures are short and their “deaths won’t be gentle.”
Matthew, Gallowglass and Hubbard enter the cave. They tell her to stop what she’s doing and let them deal with it. They act as if she’s torturing Louisa and Kit- in fact, both are unharmed. Gallowglass asks about Corra and Hubbard asks her to show compassion. She puts out the fire and Corra returns to her body. Matthew attacks Kit with his sword. Hubbard and Gallowglass pull him away, then take Kit and Louisa to Bedlam, the old psychiatric hospital.
When Cecil returns to the palace, Queen Elizabeth tells him, “Matthew is forgiven. Now, leave me in peace.” Whereas she’s normally surrounded by people and very busy, in this scene she’s alone and still staring beatifically off into space, as a choir of angels sing, just as Diana frequently does these days.
Another capable, intelligent woman lobotomized by Matthew de Clairmont.
Diana begins to worry when it takes Matthew a long time to come home from Bedlam. Pierre and Gallowglass don’t want to take her there, but give in when she threatens to go alone. Matthew is in the midst of another Blood Rage and has been torturing Louisa and Kit for hours. Both are on the floor, limp, bloody and bruised. When Louisa notices Diana is there she taunts Matthew into more violent torture.
She tells Matthew that Diana is the prophesied witch who will destroy them all. Diana begs Matthew not to kill them and asks him to think of their baby. Louisa and Kit are both shocked when she brings up their child. Gallowglass is frightened for Diana, but she’s as unafraid of Matthew as ever and talks him down. Kit calls for him as they walk away, but Matthew doesn’t answer.
Matthew is magically clean of Louisa and Kit’s blood and perfectly groomed by the time they get to the street. They hold hands and look into each other’s eyes. As always, nothing turns Diana on like seeing Matthew prove that he’s not just a vampire, he’s a psychotic, out of control murderer. Now she can’t wait to introduce him to their child. Somebody call Child Protective Services.
They go home and check on Jack, who’s asleep, then Matthew reflects again on what a terrible person he is. For some reason, his Blood Rage makes him a romantic hero, but every other vampire’s Blood Rage, such as Louisa’s, makes them evil.
Since he’s just spoken again about his need to possess her completely, Diana takes him to bed, and offers him her blood. He wants to drink from her heart vein, the way vampire mates do. It will allow him to absorb all of her memories and know her fully. Then she’ll belong to him in every possible and completely mentally healthy way.
He worries, though, that she won’t know him the way he’ll know her. She explains that she can perform the witch’s kiss on him, which would allow her to possess all of his memories. He worries that she won’t be able to accept what she sees
but he shouldn’t, because she’s apparently just as obsessive and possessive as he is. She offers her blood. Before he drinks he tells her she always smells like honey.
It’s apparently orgasmic but messy for both of them.
She kisses his forehead. A glowing point of magic forms that’s connected to the glowing spot he drank from on her chest by a luminous thread, seemingly giving them each the best feeling they’ve ever felt.
He must have some really special memories.
He asks what she found. “You. Only you.”
Images courtesy of AMC and Sky One.