The Handmaid’s Tale & A Discovery of Witches Recaps

Links to all of my recaps for The Handmaid’s Tale are available at the tag, including all of Season 4: The Handmaid’s Tale Recaps

Current Episode- Season 4 Episode 10: The Wilderness Recap

Previous Episode- Season 4 Episode 9: Progress Recap

Links to recaps for the complete series A Discovery of Witches are available at the tag: A Discovery of Witches Recaps

Current Episode- Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: In Which Diana Is Given Surprising News

Current Episode- Season 2 Episode 10 Recap: In Which Diana Contemplates Endings and Beginnings

Previous EpisodeSeason 2 Episode 8 Recap: In Which Marcus Tries Again

I recapped both series out of order, so if you’re looking for an episode other than the current one, scroll through the tag until it shows up. For The Handmaid’s Tale, S2 & S4 are complete. I haven’t started S1 yet and have done about half of S3.

Images courtesy of AMC & Hulu.

A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 10 Recap: In Which Diana Contemplates Endings and Beginnings

Disc of Witches S2Ep10 Matthew & Diana Confront a Time Spinner

In episode 10, the season 2 finale, it’s time for Matthew and Diana’s journey to the past to end. But first they need to tie up some loose ends and have another adventure or two. For the first time this season, the episode alternates between the present and the past. Matthew and Diana’s allies gather at Sept-Tours, as enemies close in on them.

Recap

Diana continues to practice her spellwork. She uses a magical thread that’s the color of abundance the first time she successfully completes the 8th knot. “With a knot of eight, a spell will wait.” Goody tells her to sense the ninth knot. She can see how it should be formed, but it falls apart in her hands. Goody notes that, “A knot about completion is never easy.”

This lines up with her choice of the abundance thread and the scenes of her happy 16th century family life that are interspersed with her magical practice. She needs to perfect the 9th knot in order to perform the magic that will take her and Matthew home to the 21st century. For now, her heart is too conflicted to allow her to complete the knot.

While they take a break, Goody tells Diana that she can sense another weaver has come to London. She says they’ll wait for the new weaver to approach them, since the weaver’s arrival at this time can’t be an accident.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: In Which Diana Is Given Surprising News

Disc of Witches S2Ep9 Diana, Susannah & Goodie

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.

Recap

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.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: In Which Marcus Tries Again

Disc of Witches S2Ep8 Phoebe Feels Marcus' Heartbeat

In episode 8, we return to the present day, where Marcus continues to struggle with his new role as Grandmaster of the Knights of Lazarus and his new knowledge about Blood Rage. He’s also still thinking about Phoebe, who left an expensive scarf behind at his house. Sophie goes into labor and gives birth to a baby girl who is a witch, as predicted. The adults around the baby must now focus on protecting her from other creatures who won’t want her raised by daemons. Emily draws Sarah into her attempts to contact Rebecca using higher magic. The usual suspects continue their scheming and infighting. 

Recap

The episode opens on Diana in her bedroom in 1591, where she’s trying to read the now-damaged Book of Life without much success. The words run around the pages as they did when she got the book out at the library back in season 1 episode 1. When Matthew joins her, she tells him the book is resisting her. Her attempts to understand it are making her feel strange. He tells her that the book is making her ill, which I thought was basically what she just said. Daddy orders Diana to stop looking at the book and come eat something.

In Venice, 2021, Peter tells Gerbert what he’s learned from Edward Kelley’s letters: “Kelley claims to have bequeathed a single page to each of the three species.” He wonders if he was unable to summon the book from the Bodleian because it’s damaged, but Gerbert points out that it appeared for Diana. Peter assumes that Diana had one of the missing pages to facilitate her spell. They need to find one, too. Gerbert will try to get the vampire page from Ysabeau, because who else would have it? Peter says that he’s already searching for the witches’ page.

At Sept-Tours, Emily obsesses over the page that the Bishop house gave to Diana.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: In Which Diana and Matthew Meet Emperor Rudolf

Disc of Witches S2Ep7 Gallowglass 1

In episode 7, Diana and Matthew arrive at Emperor Rudolf II’s court in Bohemia to search for the Book of Life and to check on Edward Kelley for Queen Elizabeth. They reunite with Gallowglass, Pierre and a few other members of their London family, who help out with their quest. The Emperor is quite taken with Diana, which sets off Matthew’s Blood Rage again, threatening their mission.

Recap

Diana and Matthew reach Bohemia and ride straight to Emperor Rudolf II’s mountain hunting lodge to request an audience. Rudolf’s guard refuses them entrance, telling them that the Emperor has had enough of Queen Elizabeth’s ambassadors. Matthew arrogantly refuses to accept the refusal, saying that he’s no ordinary ambassador. He won’t leave until the Emperor tells them no to their faces. The guard meekly acquiesces to Matthew’s demand, as if Matthew is royalty himself.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: In Which More Secrets Are Revealed

Disc of Witches S2Ep6 Matt, Philippe & Diana at Temple

Diana and Matthew spend episode 6 at Sept-Tours proving themselves to Philippe. In a visually stunning episode, Philippe makes sure Diana understands what she’s getting into by exposing her to Matthew’s Blood Rage and seeks to understand the rift he senses between himself and Matthew. Once he’s satisfied that Diana is worthy of Matthew and that the two are equally devoted to each other, he approves of their relationship and encourages them to fully mate.

Recap

Matthew and Philippe argue about why Philippe allowed the witch Champiers to threaten Diana so that she had no choice but to kill him in episode 5. Philippe felt it was essential to test Diana’s ability to take care of herself, since she already knows so many of the family secrets. He won’t allow Matthew to bring a weak-willed woman witch into the family who could compromise their safety at the slightest threat.

Once Diana gets involved in the argument, Philippe notices that she’s wearing the cherished ring he gave Ysabeau. Ysabeau wouldn’t part with the ring while he’s still living, which leads him to realize that he must be dead in the time they’ve come from. Matthew confirms his suspicion.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: In Which Diana Meets Philippe

Disc of Witches S2Ep5 Phillippe 1

After leaving Gallowglass at Mont Saint-Michel, Diana and Matthew spend much of season 2 episode 5 traveling through 16th century France to Sept-Tours. Along the way, the stress of the journey and Matthew’s anxiety about seeing Philippe again affect their relationship. Once they reach Matthew’s ancestral home, Philippe is suspicious of Diana, but surprisingly honest with her.

Between this episode and the next, the biggest things that Matthew has been hiding from Diana are about to come out, kids. Grab your popcorn and lets get started.

Recap

We rejoin the gang on the row boat that’s dropping Matthew, Diana and Gallowglass off on the beach at Mont Saint-Michel, in northern France. Philippe has sent a welcoming party of armed men riding black horses to escort them to the de Clermont family stronghold at Sept-Tours. Matthew explains that the guards are meant to both protect them on the dangerous roads and to make sure they don’t change their minds about answering Philippe’s summons.

They say goodbye to Gallowglass, who is continuing on ahead of them to Emperor Rudolph’s court. He tells Diana, “Just follow the trail of vanquished enemies and satisfied women.” Then he warns Diana, again, to be careful not to lose Matthew or herself while with Philippe.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: In Which Marcus Visits an Auction House

Disc of Witches S2Ep4 Phoebe & Marcus 1

Season 2 episode 4 is spent entirely in the present day, where the vicious killer vampire strikes again, causing concern among the de Clermonts as well as Gerbert and Domenico. Domenico continues his investigation into the murderer, which leads him to cross paths with Marcus.

Much of the episode follows Marcus as he attempts to make a purchase from a high end auction house for Ysabeau, then becomes romantically involved with Phoebe Taylor, a human associate at the auction house. He must reconsider his priorities as de Clermont secrets that he’s kept and those that that have been kept from him begin to take center stage in his life.

Recap

We begin back on the Oxford campus in the present day, following a young man (Tom Byrne) riding a bike. He reaches his destination and locks up his bike, then walks down a secluded alley. He’s startled by the noise when a vampire circles the block, trying to escape the threat. Before he’s gone more than a few steps, the vampire attacks him, moving almost faster than the eye can follow, biting and ripping at him savagely.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: In Which Diana Meets the Queen and Plans a Journey

Disc of Witches S2Ep3 Goody Alsop & Diana Say Goodbye

In episode 3 of Matthew and Diana’s big adventure in the 16th century, Diana begins her magic lessons with Goody Alsop and the local Gathering of witches, with surprising results. Matthew continues to deal with the chaos caused by his sudden disappearance from Berwick and reappearance in London with a witchy wife. He turns to his religion to help him cope with the murder he committed in episode 2 and finds a new target for his anger. But he has to appease the Queen, who isn’t okay with his recent activities.

These troubles are offset by a visit to the Queen’s astrologer, Dr John Dee (Struan Rodger), who gives Matthew and Diana a lead on the location of the Book of Life, and a visit from Matthew’s vampire nephew. The long-awaited and much-anticipated Gallowglass (Steven Cree) is finally here!!

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