A Discovery of Witches Season 3 Episode 5: In Which Diana and Matthew Return to Sept-Tours

In episode 5, the Bishop-Clairmont family and their allies travel to Matthew’s French ancestral home, Sept-Tours, for the twins’ christening. The gathering also serves as a war council as they consider future plans in their fight to modernize the Congregation’s rules and operations. Benjamin takes witches hostage in Poland in the hope of turning them into his own “Diana”. The Congregation discusses the twins and how to deal with the threat they could pose to the established order.

Recap

As Tmrw. by Milk and Bone plays, Ysabeau (Lindsay Duncan) oversees the preparations for the twins’ christening at Sept-Tours and Diana (Teresa Palmer) and Agatha (Tanya Moodie) attend Timothy’s funeral in the Cotswolds, England. Timothy wasn’t exaggerating the extent of his isolation- Diana and Agatha are the only mourners at his funeral. Agatha made the preparations to have him laid to rest in the tiny village cemetery, but she feels bad because she has no idea what he would have wanted for himself.

Diana says she’s sorry for what happened to Timothy. She feels the twins’ christening is another way they can show the Congregation that the Covenant is outdated and unenforceable. They’ll continue to fight so that Rebecca, Phillip and Agatha’s granddaughter, Margaret, don’t have to live as targets for the rest of their lives. Agatha tells her to keep working to make sure the babies are safe.

In Venice, Gerbert (Trevor Eve) has apparently taken control of the vampires since Baldwin (Peter McDonald) was recast. Baldwin stands in front of Gerbert like a child being taken to task and listens to Gerbert rant about infants upsetting the world order while the invitation to the christening lies on the desk between them.

This is the same Gerbert who’s schemed with Peter Knox, a witch, to overthrow the Congregation and the de Clermonts since the series began.

Gerbert wonders what the new arrivals are and Baldwin tells him they’re babies- score one for him. Gerbert complains that they are a manifestation of rule-breaking and could have unprecedented power. Obviously it’s only the latter which concerns him, since he breaks the Congregation’s rules on the regular. But if he isn’t the one in control of creatures with great power then they’re a threat and must be destroyed or restrained.

Since the twins are de Clermonts, Gerbert’s first choice for them is destruction. He tells Baldwin to kill the babies- the first rule of long-term super villainy being “don’t get your own hands dirty,” as Gerbert tried to teach Benjamin last week. Baldwin politely refuses to get his own hands dirty, as the twins are family.

Besides, the de Clermonts have a family assassin to take care of these matters (so that Philippe didn’t have to get his hands dirty either- think about that for a minute). It’s a bit of an issue that the assassin is also the targets’ father, as we saw when Matthew was ordered to kill Jack, but Baldwin doesn’t share that with Gerbert.

When Gerbert threatens to bring the matter of the unorthodox births up with the Congregation, Baldwin replies that he’ll assess the infants himself and have his report ready at the next meeting. And if he finds an issue, he’ll deal with it. It’s not quite as cold as planning to murder Rebecca (Arlo John Croft) and Phillip (Kobie Corsi) at first sight, but it’s not the attitude you’d want anyone to attend a child’s christening with, either.

Ysabeau and Marthe (Sorcha Cusack) greet Diana, Matthew (Matthew Goode), the babies, Sarah (Alex Kingston) and Jack (Toby Regbo) as they arrive at Sept-Tours. They coo over the babies as they meet them for the first time. Ysabeau acknowledges how difficult it must be for Sarah to return to the place where Emily died, then gives Jack an especially warm welcome before showing him to his room.

Sarah brings flowers to the ancient temple where Emily died and places them in the center of the stone circle. Then she speaks to her lost partner, hoping to reach her spirit.

That evening, Ysabeau, Marthe, Matthew and Diana enjoy a little quiet time with the babies. Phillip is sound asleep, but Rebecca fusses. The new parents explain that she’s always hungry. Ysabeau suggests they head up to the bedroom where Diana can have privacy to feed her, while she and Marthe wait up for Marcus (Edward Bluemel) and Phoebe (Adelle Leonce) to arrive.

Diana’s going to be in hiding for most of the visit if they’re going to make her go into seclusion every time she needs to breastfeed one of her twins. Surely these pagan vampires and witches wouldn’t be offended by the sight of a woman feeding her child. (Matthew is the only Catholic, as far as I can recall.)

Ysabeau tells Matthew that the invitations to the christening have all been sent, including one to Baldwin. Matthew didn’t want to invite his older brother, given his lack of support for their marriage and the scion, but courtesy demanded it. Ysabeau warns them that some creatures will see the christening as an act of war since they’ve invited members of all 4 species and aren’t hiding that the twins are the children of a witch and a vampire. Diana says they’ve invited their allies against the Covenant. Ysabeau tells them this will surely reveal who their true friends are.

Benjamin (Jacob Ifan) lurks in a dance club in Berlin, Germany, looking for his next victim. He finds her when a witch surreptitiously uses a candle lighting spell to light a cigarette. He kidnaps her and brings her to his dungeon lair in Lublin Voivodeship, Poland. As he drags her into the grimy, barren prison scape, he tells her they have lots of important work to do together and calls her “My Diana”.

Some time later, the witch, Lena (Edyta Budnik), is handcuffed to a cot, bruised, bloody and naked underneath a thin surgical gown. She’s hooked up to an IV and appears to be drugged. She remembers Benjamin talking about Matthew and Diana.

In the Sept-Tours kitchen, Diana tries to calm Rebecca as she cries with hunger again. Marthe notices her hunger and suggests maybe she needs something other than milk. Diana says Matthew thinks it’s too soon to worry that Rebecca can’t digest milk properly, but Marthe points out that he doesn’t have much experience with babies. Diana considers supplementing her daughter’s diet with food more suitable to a vampire.

Matthew finishes setting up the gorgeous cradles he and Jack made for the twins while they were in New Orleans. Jack, who’s clearly tense, joins him. Matthew notes that his son has paced the hallways all night. Jack says he was exploring, since Ysabeau gave him permission. He tells Matthew that he likes Ysabeau and his father says she must like Jack, too, since most people aren’t given the run of the castle.

Ysabeau also has very few direct descendants of her own who visit Sept-Tours often.

But Matthew isn’t fooled and asks Jack what’s really going on. Jack noticed that Benjamin has gone into hiding again. He says Benjamin is scarier when he’s missing than when he’s in plain sight, because you know he’s planning something terrible for you and yours. He’ll turn up eventually to enact his evil plans. Matthew realizes Jack was patrolling rather than exploring.

Matthew: “Benjamin wouldn’t dare to set foot on de Clermont territory.”

Jack: “You don’t know that.”

Matthew: “Even if he did, he wouldn’t get close enough to hurt you.”

Jack: “It doesn’t matter about me.”

Matthew: “If he came anywhere near the twins…”

Jack: “I’d kill him. I know what you think. Why didn’t I kill him when he was doing what he did to me?”

Matthew: “I don’t think that.”

Jack: “I do. All the time.”

Jack feels guilty that he ever listened to Benjamin, but at the time he didn’t care much about his own life and the rest of his family weren’t around to be vulnerable. Now he’s scared for them, especially the babies, because he knows Benjamin very, very well and has a realistic picture of his capabilities and motivations.

Matthew knew Benjamin for a short time as a human nearly a thousand years ago. He has no idea who Benjamin is now or what he’s capable of. And he’s not listening to what Father Hubbard and Jack are telling him about his oldest son’s malevolence and twisted violence, leaving him overconfident.

Matthew is so sure of his own age and ability to kill that he forgets Benjamin, Hubbard and even Jack are old, experienced de Clermont vampires, too, who aren’t easily defeated or frightened. Though they treat Jack as if he’s still a child, as a vampire he’s more than 400 years old, about twice as old as Marcus. He’s not ancient, but he’s strong enough to hold his own in a fight with Domenico, an ancient vampire.

Like Gerbert, Benjamin is smart enough to keep himself alive while taking his enemies down and even watching his allies die. If he thinks he can get away with entering de Clermont property, he will, the way Peter Knox did when he killed Emily and Satu did when she kidnapped Diana. Otherwise, he’ll set his traps and wait.

Matthew and Jack suddenly hear a loud heartbeat. Matthew follows the sound to the kitchen, where Diana is feeding Rebecca blood from her wrist as Marthe looks on. He dismisses Marthe from the room then demands to know what Diana is doing. Diana calmly explains that Rebecca was hungry, so she’s feeding her what she needed. Rebecca gurgles with happiness now that she’s gotten food she can digest properly.

Matthew hisses that it’s wrong to turn children into vampires. Diana sensibly points out that she’s not turning Rebecca into anything. This is how their daughter was born. Still angry, Matthew challenges Diana to consider what else Rebecca inherited from him. Diana responds that if Rebecca has blood rage, they’ll deal with it.

Matthew: “You can’t reason with a two year old in a killing rage.”

Said every parent of a two year old, ever.

They can read modern parenting books, and most of the advice will still apply to vampire children- just get serious about baby proofing (as in, removing entire pieces of furniture and rearranging rooms) and teething toys. Tiny children with witch’s powers are what they should be worried about- imagine a two year old who could timewalk, fly, create witch fire or witch water.

My son was a climber and was climbing bookcases all the way to the ceiling, as if they were ladders, before he was a year old (sometimes I’m not sure how we all survived until he was an adult, but we did). I keep imagining him with Diana’s powers. Usually I feel like I’ve had a small stroke and have to stop. Blood rage in a toddler is just another small person having a big tantrum- been there, done that, believe me.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Matthew is the one with the previous parenting experience.

Diana tries to reassure him that they have more resources than most parents- true, most of us don’t have unbreakable stone walls and a seemingly unlimited number of immortal and magical grandmothers to call on for help. She offers to spellbind Rebecca if nothing else works, just until they can reason with her.

Matthew absolutely doesn’t want to spellbind his children the way Diana’s parents did to her. Diana insists that her parents had to spellbind her and she appreciates it now more than ever. And just like them, she will do whatever it takes to keep their children safe. Matthew gives in and says he’ll also do whatever is necessary to keep the children safe.

Marcus gets out of the shower and finds Phoebe trying on her outfit for the christening. He very much approves. The upcoming ceremony has her thinking about their future and how and when she’ll become a vampire. Marcus is surprised to hear her say “when”, not “if”. Phoebe says it’s time to have a serious talk about this. He decides they’ll talk after the christening.

When Matthew goes back upstairs, Jack is holding Phillip, trying to get him back to sleep. He says he can hear the baby’s blood sing, indicating Phillip has witch powers and is probably more witch than vampire. Matthew agrees. It was faint at first, but gets stronger each day.

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In the abandoned prison in Poland, Lena pretends to be asleep when Benjamin comes to her doorway. He asks if her heart is beating quickly because she’s dreaming of him, then turns to the room across the hall, where he’s holding a second witch, Gabriella, hostage. He tells Gabriella it’s time to get to work, removes his jacket and watch, places his watch in his jacket pocket, then hangs his jacket up outside the room. As he enters Gabriella’s room to rape her, he says it’s his right as a de Clermont. Gabriella begs him to stop.

Once Lena is certain Benjamin is occupied, she uses a spell to break free from the handcuffs. I suspect Benjamin must have reduced the dose of whatever he’s drugging her with or she would have done this sooner. She retrieves her purse, which is lying discarded on the floor, then takes Benjamin’s jacket and escapes. After she’s gone, Benjamin looks down the hall with satisfaction and says, “That’s it, straight to Matthew.” He returns to Gabriella.

The de Clermont clan gathers at Sept-Tours on the day of the christening. Ransome (Parker Sawyers) and Geraldine (Genesis Lynea) fly in from New Orleans. Miriam (Aiysha Hart) and Chris (Ivanno Jeremiah) come from London. Marcus and Miriam figure there hasn’t been a family gathering this large in 50 years. They expect this one will be memorable.

Fernando greets Sarah warmly and asks how it feels to be back at Sept-Tours, the place where Emily died. She says the babies help, then asks about Gallowglass. Fernando says he declined the invitation.

Still nursing his broken heart. ☔️🐉 💔

Ysabeau goes up to the babies’ room to tell the new parents’ that their allies have arrived and it’s time for the ceremony. They all agree that Gerbert’s spies will be watching and inform the Congregation of this violation of the Covenant.

Then Ysabeau makes a speech that every daughter-in-law longs to hear: “I thought I’d lived far too long for there to be any revelations left for me to see. For years I feared witches and their power, little knowing I would come to think of one as my daughter. And one who’s given me two beautiful grandchildren. My only regret is that Philippe isn’t here to see them. He would be very proud.”

😭 Ysabeau is a classy lady. Matthew kisses his mother’s hand. For some reason, Diana barely reacts, as if she’s not even in the same scene. This should have been a moment between the two women.

Everyone is seated in the chapel as Matthew and Diana carry the twins down the aisle to begin the ceremony. The first thing Diana does is scan the crowd for Gallowglass and then sadly report to Matthew that he’s not there. Since Fernando knew his status, I’m sure someone has already told her husband that Gallowglass RSVP’d no, but they decided she didn’t need to know.

The priest asks who’ll stand as Godparents for the children and half the crowd rises. Each baby has five Godparents, so they’ll have no excuses for misbehavior. They’re already practicing their angelic deportment, not making a peep when the priest draws the crosses on their foreheads. Meanwhile, Baldwin is on his way, but arriving late on purpose.

Sarah reads out the babies’ full names for the first time, explaining that names carry power for witches. Their names are Rebecca Arielle Emily Marthe and Phillip Michael Addison Sorley. Sarah tears up when she reads Emily’s name. Marthe is also visibly moved. Sorley is one of Gallowglass’ names. Addison is Diana’s father’s middle name.

Arielle and Michael are the names of archangels, a de Clermont family tradition, as is having 4 or 5 names. It’s useful for vampires to have several names to choose from as they switch aliases repeatedly over their long lives. Their first and third names are for grandparents. The fourth name is someone who was important to their conception and birth. The twins’ last name is Bishop-Clairmont, though they are also members of the ancient de Clermont family and may use that as well.

Sarah finishes by saying a blessing. The words are barely out of her mouth before Baldwin bursts through the door. He apologizes for being late and congratulates the new parents. Matthew accepts both without rancor.

Then Baldwin asks for the twins to be taken to Venice for assessment by the Congregation. Matthew and Diana hand the twins off to Marthe and Sarah.

Baldwin tells Matthew that the authorities need to know what the twins are. Diana tells Baldwin that they are her and Matthew’s children and that’s all he needs to know. Baldwin replies that he is the head of the de Clermont family and they are part of that family. Matthew points out that he’s asked Baldwin to recognize his scion as a separate branch.

Baldwin: “I refuse to recognize a diseased, corrupt branch of the family. Submit the children to me and bring this rebellion to an end.”

Matthew refuses. Jack’s blood rage threatens to erupt, but Ysabeau cautions him to stay under control. Baldwin and Matthew lunge at each other. As they fight, Diana sends the babies back to the main house. Fernando tells Marcus to stay out of the fight- the brothers need to work this out between themselves.

Baldwin pins Matthew down and tells him to submit. Matthew refuses and breaks free. Diana uses magic to set parts of the church on fire as a threat to Baldwin. Fernando may think this is a patriarchal war between the big, bad vampire men, but as the children’s mother, it’s just as much her fight as it is Matthew’s. Maybe more, considering she was the one who just went through pregnancy and childbirth with twins.

Matthew pins Baldwin up against a pillar and respectfully requests that his brother reconsider approving their scion before Matthew rips his head off and Diana burns his body to a crisp. Baldwin refuses, on the grounds that Matthew is a violent vampire with murder in his blood.

Yes, this is the same Baldwin who just threatened Matthew’s children with infanticide. No hypocrisy there at all. This is what the need to dominate and control creates- genetic purity tests and eugenicism used as justifications for segregation, enslavement, torture, murder and eventually genocide. It was understood by everyone in the Congregation that Gerbert and Satu would see to it that the babies didn’t survive their “assessments” any more than Diana’s parents survived Peter Knox.

Unless, of course, Gerbert decided to enslave them the way he enslaved Meridiana and Juliette, or the way the de Clermonts have used Matthew’s blood rage to coerce him into acting as their assassin for centuries. Baldwin made a show of independence in front of Gerbert, then turned around and gave his own order to submit his niece and nephew to the enemy for backwards, superstitious testing worthy of a medieval witch hunt. Maybe he and Gerbert will fight over who gets to enslave his niece and nephew, should they turn out to be useful monsters.

Matthew stands and turns away. Baldwin, says, “Those children, Matthew, do they have blood rage, too?” Then Matthew attacks Baldwin again. Diana sets her witch wind free in the church, and possibly an elemental earth power as well, shaking pieces of the ceiling loose. She tells Baldwin to end this argument now or she will. Matthew goes to stand with her.

Baldwin: “Alright, alright… Vampires with blood rage are never in control, not absolutely.”

Matthew says if he was out of control Baldwin would know it, because he’d be dead. He continues, saying he’s never brought shame upon the family and he never will. Neither will his children.

It seems like most vampires other than the de Clermonts don’t feel shame, but when it’s brought up, it’s weaponized. But Matthew should be ashamed of making and abandoning Benjamin, leaving him to perpetrate vicious rapes and murders for centuries.

Diana offers to spellbind any member of the scion who acts on their blood rage in exchange for Baldwin approving the scion. If the spellbinding fails then they’ll accept that the scion has also failed and submit to the Congregation. Baldwin agrees to her conditions and recognizes the scion.

Baldwin: “Congratulations, Matthew. You are now responsible for everyone you have sired and all those they have sired. Benjamin included. Their sins are now your sins, brother.”

And Diana just made a promise that will be very difficult to keep. In this episode (and in the corresponding section of the book) she’s throws the possibility of spellbinding around like it’s equivalent to sending a child to their room for 10 minutes, instead of the semipermanent removal of an essential part of their nature.

What her parents did to her was child abuse, nothing less. Maybe it was acceptable in their case because it was the only way to keep Peter from killing her or maybe they didn’t try hard enough to find an alternative solution, such as a disguising spell, sending her into hiding in another time or place or taking Peter down. We don’t have enough information to know. But we do know that spellbinding someone is considered a crime in this universe. Diana shouldn’t have offered more torture as a solution to Baldwin’s prejudices when Matthew and Jack were both right there, controlling their blood rage during a family argument and proving such harsh punishments aren’t necessary.

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Later that night, Sarah recognizes that Diana used elemental magic against Baldwin in the church. She asks why Diana didn’t use her weaver’s knots as well. The household listens to her answer.

Diana: “There was a knot that I would have used, if Baldwin hadn’t seen sense. I felt it’s power. It’s the tenth and final knot, Sarah. It’s a knot of creation and destruction. My magic is like our scion, a union of opposites. And when I get the Book of Life back, replace the missing pages and heal it, something tells me that my magic will be even stronger. Goody Alsop foretold that old worlds would die and new will be born. That’s the battle we began today. And there’s no way of knowing where it finishes.”

Diana seems otherworldly as she speaks of this prophecy.

As they walk the grounds of Sept-Tours, Matthew praises Jack’s self-control in the church. Jack assumes that like Baldwin, the Congregation will see his momentary lapse as an issue, rather than noting that he immediately got himself back under control. Matthew suggests they put aside those attitudes. Feeling shame about their disease has done more harm than the blood rage itself. Jack is glad that Baldwin gave the scion his blessing, but Matthew notes that it wasn’t exactly his blessing.

Given how quickly training and support have allowed Jack to learn to control his blood rage, even though he has a particularly intense case, it would seem that the bigger problem is the backwards attitudes about the disease which don’t allow afflicted vampires to seek treatment. Then again, Matthew is still a violent person who needs a violent outlet periodically. It’s not clear how much of that is Matthew’s own nature, how much is what he’s been taught to believe about himself and how much is vampire nature. By the same token, Jack hasn’t been “sober,” as it were, for very long, so we don’t have a sense of how often and intensely he might crave violence as time goes on.

Baldwin returns to Venice to continue to weave his own web. He calls a meeting of the Congregation and tells them that although he’s approved Matthew and Diana’s scion, they used the christening to break the Covenant. Baldwin clarifies that the new scion now makes Matthew responsible for every transgression of the Covenant by members of his scion, past, present and future.

Gerbert quickly adds that Matthew and Diana will have to come to Venice to be tried before the Congregation for every crime he can dig up or make up as well.

In other words, Baldwin sees his approval of the scion as a weapon he can wield against his brother in the Congregation, rather than a way to make peace with the other side of his family. He’s playing right into Gerbert’s schemes to exploit every de Clermont irregularity he can find in order to cause the fall of their house and the rise of his own.

Domenico asks about the blood raged vampire he spent season 2 investigating. Baldwin says the vampire is no longer a danger to others and if he commits any more crimes Diana will spellbind him.

Satu: “Then she is a disgrace to all witches because no witch would inflict that powerlessness on another creature.”

Agatha tells them that Matthew and Diana have a connection to the vampire and she’s sure they wouldn’t have made the offer without thinking it through. She suggests spellbinding him is better than death. Satu asks how Agatha would know, since she doesn’t have powers. Agatha tartly replies that they could vote on it, except they can’t vote on anything right now because the witches still haven’t replaced Peter Knox.

Gerbert brings the discussion back to the Bishop-Clairmonts and when the children will be brought before the Congregation, since that was why he originally sent Baldwin to Sept-Tours. Agatha is outraged that they’re discussing kidnapping children, as if this is something new for these creatures. What’s new is that Gerbert thinks he’s won and is emboldened to discuss his crimes in public as if they are acceptable. He claims the children need to be quarantined from decent folk until their true nature is determined.

Agatha complains that the twins aren’t weapons, but Gerbert hopes assumes they are. He wants them dead or under his control.

Gerbert: “It is clear they intend to bring down the Covenant. In doing so, they risk exposing every single one of us to the humans. It pains me to say this, but it is evident that the Congregation, as it stands, no longer has the discipline to counter their campaigns. So, in the absence of any effective leadership, the vampires have no choice but to take this matter into their own hands.”

And by vampires, obviously Gerbert means himself. He makes this speech uninterrupted, then the camera cuts away to Sept-Tours before anyone can react.

Diana makes magical sparkles float over the babies to show them that magic can be beautiful. She’s interrupted by Marthe, who tells her that a witch has come to the castle seeking her help. Downstairs, she and Matthew are introduced to Lena, the witch Benjamin kidnapped and held hostage in Poland. She’s come to warn them.

She tells them that Benjamin kidnapped her. He “talked about wanting to open up the truth of witches, see inside them.”

That sounds a lot like the opening spell Peter and Satu used on Stephen, Rebecca and Diana.

He also “talked about a witch with the power of life and death, to control everything.” Lena didn’t understand what that meant.

Maybe he’s heard rumors about the tenth knot. This also reminds me of Rebecca and Emily’s dark higher magic.

He also wants to have vampire-witch children by impregnating a witch and told Lena she would be his Diana. She says he’s obsessed with Diana.

Matthew asks how Lena knew to come to Sept-Tours. She says Benjamin claimed Matthew was making him do things, but she didn’t believe him. She wouldn’t have come to Sept-Tours if she did. Marcus asks what Benjamin’s plan is, but Lena doesn’t know anything else. Ysabeau and Sarah take her upstairs to bed.

Matthew tells Marcus and Diana that he blames himself for everything Benjamin has done. That isn’t surprising since Baldwin gave him a shove in that direction a few hours ago. He plans to find Benjamin and finally kill him.

Marcus decides they need to expand the Knights of Lazarus so they’ll be ready for the fight. Though Matthew immediately says no one will answer the call, Marcus begins listing all of the unconventional members he plans on adding, such as Chris, Jack, Miriam and Sarah. The Knights have always been restricted to male vampires, but Marcus is adding humans, witches, daemons and women, young and old. All of the Bishop-Clairmont allies will soon be members.

He suggests they also swear in Rebecca and Phillip, because the Knights are sworn to protect each other. The new composition of the membership will send a powerful signal to the Congregation they they are determined to stand together and to protect the twins. Matthew and Diana agree to Marcus’ ideas. Matthew suggests they swear everyone in as soon as possible.

Matthew picks up the jacket Lena stole from Benjamin. In one of the pockets he discovers the watch he gave Philippe in 1922. It was lost while Philippe was tortured and held prisoner during World War 2.

They hold the Knights of Lazarus ceremony later that night. A sword is placed in the center of the table with membership rings lined up on the blade. Each new member places a hand on the blade. Matthew and Diana each hold a baby and take the oath for their children. Marcus asks if they swear fealty to the Order and to each other. They do and he welcomes them to the Order. Chris, Jack, Miriam and Sarah each put on a ring.

Fernando tells Matthew that he’s no longer happy keeping his distance from the family the way he has since Hugh died. He wants to join their scion and act as Matthew’s right hand man, a position which is conveniently open now that he’s driven Gallowglass away. Matthew accepts his offer and they hug.

In the book Fernando knelt in front of Matthew to pledge his fealty. I’ve always been slightly suspicious of the way he showed up out of the blue, pressured Gallowglass to leave, then took his place in the family. He might be someone’s spy.

Satu sits and thinks in front of the rose window in her office. Eventually, she makes a decision and leaves the island by speedboat, a look of determination on her face. Gerbert took over the Congregation after Agatha pointed out the witches, who usually keep the vampires in check, are still down a member. Has she decided on a replacement? Is she going to take Benjamin up on his offer?

Diana contemplates the three pages torn from the Book of Life in 1591 that she’s finally brought back together. Matthew kisses her and brings her to bed. She’s troubled and begs him to let her help him fight Benjamin. He tells her she’s his wife, not a weapon and wants her to promise she won’t go near the other vampire, no matter what goes wrong. She refuses to make that promise

He tells her that if he dies, the family can go on, because he’s the head and is replaceable. But she’s the heart of the family and can’t be replaced. For now they resolve to put aside their worries and be together.

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Commentary

Diana has returned to her signature blue and teal, which are very flattering colors on Teresa Palmer.

There are several shots over the course of the episode that seem as though they are from the viewpoint of someone who’s eavesdropping on a conversation from just outside the room. I wonder if they’re meant to symbolize the ghosts of Sept-Tours, who include some familiar faces.

Jack knew what he was talking about when he said Benjamin would spent the time he’s out of sight planning something terrible for them. And Matthew is ready to take the bait.

I’m shocked to see Baldwin siding with Gerbert so thoroughly. Baldwin is a chaotic neutral, so you never know which way he’s going to go. As with all of the ancient vampires, he appreciates rules and hierarchy when they suit him and tosses them aside when they don’t. He also loves to be the one who calmly (or not) creates a scene at a family gathering. The christening scene is straight from the book and very typical of him.

But he usually keeps arguments within the family and is loyal to the de Clermonts overall, as long as he has a way to reasonably dodge the Congregation’s demands, which Diana gave him. The show must be emphasizing his vampire supremacist leanings and distaste toward blood rage. His disdain extends to Matthew’s children, vampire and infant, because in his mind, they are defective, with tainted blood. He’s always looked down on Ysabeau and refused to think of her as his mother because of the blood rage in her line.

I love Ysabeau and Jack’s relationship in the books and am glad they’re giving it a nod in the series. One of the best parts of the books is story time with Ysabeau and Jack, where Ysabeau prepares to while away a long drive by telling Jack about one of her many solo adventures from times long past. The description always ends with “and many men died.” Ysabeau always had a grand time on her adventures, while Matthew and Ferdinand are dubious about her successes. I’d love a book/spin off that’s just Ysabeau telling Jack and the twins her stories.

The cradles were described in detail in the book, from the types of wood they were made from and the meaning of each to the images Jack carved on them and why. Matthew was a master craftsman as a human and continued that work off and on until he became a modern scientist. Making the cradles and teaching Jack how to work with the wood with patience and care was a father-son bonding time that also helped them both with their blood rage and to prepare for the changes the twins would bring to their lives. It showed them both that they had their artistic natures in common, a part of himself Matthew had largely put aside. Jack brings out the best in Matthew, in the book and on the show, though sometimes his blood rage brings out Matthew’s fears as well. Toby Regbo, who looks like both Baldwin and Diana and has brought nuance to the role while keeping him young, was an excellent choice to play Jack.

In the book, the Godparents were split between the twins this way ⬇️, but Ysabeau was standing in for the absent Gallowglass and there were other Godparents as well, such as Sophie. The show must have assigned them differently.

Rebecca- Chris, Miriam, Marcus, Sarah, Fernando, Marthe.

Phillip- Phoebe, Ysabeau, Jack, Hamish (and Gallowglass)

In the books, Marcus did much of the work of reactivating, rededicating and expanding the membership of the Knights of Lazarus while Matthew and Diana were in the past. He just needed to add the finishing touches to his modernization when the crisis with Benjamin came up, such as adding Jack, Rebecca and Phillip as Knights. We saw Marcus begin the process at Sept-Tours last season in S2Ep4, when he went through the organization’s archives at Sept-Tours.

Images Courtesy of AMC and SKY.

One thought on “A Discovery of Witches Season 3 Episode 5: In Which Diana and Matthew Return to Sept-Tours

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