A Discovery of Witches Season 1 Episode 2 Recap: In Which Matthew Visits a Daemon and Diana Is Betrayed

Disc of Witches S1Ep2 Peter & Diana at Library

In episode 2, Matthew and Diana go their separate ways for a bit. Matthew takes a trip to visit his daemon friend Hamish to hunt and gain some perspective. Diana continues her research while the other witches try to convince her to give them the Book of Life. We’re also introduced to the vampires of Venice, where the Congregation is located.

Recap

We begin the episode on location in Venice, Italy, home of the Congregation, with vampire Juliette Durand (Elarica Johnson) sipping an espresso at an outdoor cafe next to one of the canals while Haley Reinhardt’s version of White Rabbit plays. This is peak, atmospheric All Souls Trilogy, my friends. Drink it in. I’m writing this in late January, 2021, after almost a year in COVID lockdown. Shows like this, that give us beautiful views of the wider world without the troubling aspects of reality, are a lifeline right now.

Or maybe lifeline isn’t the right word, since we’re currently on vacation with a mentally unstable vampire. Chances are, as long as your name isn’t Matthew, you’ll be fine. 😘

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A Discovery of Witches Season 1 Episode 1 Recap: In Which Diana Summons a Book and Meets a Vampire

Disc of Witches S1Ep1 Diana Opens Book of Life

This is a recap of season 1 episode 1 of the TV series A Discovery of Witches. My season 1 review/book vs TV series comparison can be found HERE. All of my A Discovery of Witches posts are listed at the tag, HERE.

Let’s take a trip in the wayback machine to season 1, when Matthew and Diana began their journey together. I’m enjoying writing about S2 so much that I’ve decided to give S1 a try, since I’ve also had some requests for it.

Season 1 of A Discovery of Witches is based on the book of the same name by Deborah Harkness, which is the first book in her All Souls Trilogy. The story follows Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer), an American witch and historian currently working at Oxford University in the UK. She’s never been comfortable with her magic, but after she discovers a mysterious, ancient book in one of the university’s libraries and meets Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode), a vampire who studies the biogenetics of creatures (witches, vampires and daemons), a whole new world of possibilities opens up for her.

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

Disc of Witches S2Ep2 Diana Passes Test

In season 2 episode 2 of A Discovery of Witches, Diana finds the powerful witch who’s meant to teach her how to use her unique magic. With Kit’s assistance, Matthew attempts to navigate the treacherous political waters of the day while convincing everyone he’s Matthew Royden, but not becoming lost in his old persona. As old enemies surface, the strain of keeping up with his own difficulties in addition to monitoring Diana’s progress shows.

Recap

We begin with a check in at present day Sept-Tours. Sarah is worrying about whether or not Diana and Matthew arrived safely in the past, whether their coven can be trusted not to betray them to Peter Knox and anything else she can come up with. Em is countering Sarah’s fears with facts and trying to divine some useful information from the Ashmole 782 page Diana’s father sent her by way of the Bishop house in season 1.

Downstairs, Marthe prepares a family dinner for the four of them, but Ysabeau isn’t sure she’s ready for that kind of closeness. Marthe tells her that since Matthew has evolved past his hatred of witches, they need to make an effort to do the same.

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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 1 Recap: In Which Diana and Matthew Timewalk

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Hello, witches, daemons and vampires! The long-awaited second season of A Discovery of Witches is finally here. This is my favorite book in Deborah Harkness’ series, so I’ll be attempting to keep up with weekly recaps this season. Besides having Diana and Matthew’s timewalk to Elizabethan England to enjoy this season, at long last we’ll meet daemon playwright Christopher Marlowe (Tom Hughes), James Purefoy as Matthew’s father Philippe, Steven Cree as Gallowglass, Sheila Hancock as Goody Alsop, Adelle Leonce as Phoebe Taylor and Barbara Marten as Queen Elizabeth I. If you haven’t read the book, I’ll just leave you to wonder about the unfamiliar names for now.

On with the show.

Recap

We open in the room where we left off, minutes after Diana (Teresa Palmer) and Matthew (Matthew Goode) timewalked out of the old Bishop house in upstate NY on Halloween night. At the end of S1, Gerbert (Trevor Eve), Satu (Malin Buska) and Peter Knox (Owen Teale) were breaking into the house, ready to capture and torture Diana the same way witches did with her parents. Now, they’re examining the remnants of Diana’s magic, trying to figure how she and Matthew escaped.

Though Knox always presents himself as the leader and magical expert, it’s Satu and Gerbert who closely examine evidence Diana and Matthew left behind, then quickly solve the case. Meanwhile, Peter stands off to the side, assigning his own motivations to the missing couple. Satu asks if Peter can feel the power in Diana’s spell, but he doesn’t directly answer her. I don’t think he senses it the way she does.

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Book vs Screen Review: A Discovery of Witches Season 1 vs Book 1

discovery-witches

It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Both the book and the TV series A Discovery of Witches begin with this short poem, the key to the mystery that the All Souls Trilogy, by Deborah Harkness, spends solving. A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the urban fantasy series, which has now expanded beyond the original trilogy to include a fourth book. According to Deborah Harkness, several more installments, focusing on other characters and mysteries, are on the way.

A Discovery of Witches tells the story of Diana Bishop, a witch from a family of powerful witches in a world where there are three types of humanoid magical creatures: witches, vampires and demons. The creatures live secretly among humans, blending into normal human society. Under normal circumstances, members of each species spend time only with others of their own species. Intermarriage is strictly forbidden and even interspecies friendships are severely frowned upon.

Diana Bishop has always had difficulty wielding her magic. She turned away from the magical world almost completely after her parents died tragically when she was a child. She was raised in upstate NY by her mother’s sister, Sarah, and Sarah’s partner, Em. As an adult, she’s become a historian who is on the faculty and studies alchemy in the US at Yale and in the UK at Oxford. She sees herself as a non-magical person, but it overflows out of her at times when something unexpected happens, even though she is untrained in its use.

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