A Discovery of Witches season 1, episode 2 recap


A Discovery of Witches forces Diana to pick a side.

Things are progressing quickly throughout these first two episodes of A Discovery of Witches but with only eight episodes in this season, there’s no time to lose. While certain aspects of the books have been shed in the television show, the second episode also highlights some of the positive changes that have come because of it. Namely, it allows side characters who didn’t get much development in the novels get fleshed out a bit more.

A Discovery of Witches starts episode two with Juliette Durand (Elarica Johnson), a new mysterious vampire. She’s lounging in Venice when the shout of “Matthew” catches her interest. Suddenly, she’s drawn to the man with that name as he spends his afternoon with his girlfriend. Following him around and shooting sultry stares his way eventually lures Matthew into an alley with her. The two begin to passionately make out and begin to have sex but Juliette kills the mood by biting him. While the poor guy thinks he escapes, Juliette tracks him down, rips open his shirt, and bites into his heart. What unfinished business could she have with our Matthew?

It’s an answer we’ll have to wait for because Matthew has fled Oxford. He’s traveled to his friend Hamish’s (Greg McHugh) estate for a bit of hunting. We quickly learn Hamish is actually a demon, and his friendship with Matthew is considered extremely rare. From their initial interactions, it’s clear there’s a lot of trust between these two men. He calls him Matt rather than Matthew and seems to be the vampire’s confidant. Namely, the reason he felt the need to leave the University was because he’s craving Diana.

More from AMC

The hunting scene feels very reminiscent of Twilight but it does make it seem like vampires in this world have enhanced speed but not “super speed” in the traditional sense. At certain times it looks like he’s a blur, and in others, it simply looks like he’s running very quickly. Needless to say, none of the vampires will be turning into The Flash. It’s a little sad watching the scene as well, especially when the buck lays down and bows his head in defeat. Then again, it’s either Matthew drinks the blood of a deer or that of a human. He is a predator, and unfortunately, that means something needs to be the prey.

Diana struggles with some of her own demons throughout the second episode of A Discovery of Witches. She’s still having nightmares, this time covered in a spiderweb with a gigantic spider prepared to eat her. While she seems to consider calling Matthew, she instead decides to focus on her work. After all, he dropped off her jacket in her mailbox so rather than in person so he’s probably not interested in speaking. However, the Bod is just as busy as the premiere, with many creatures loitering around. One of them is the witch Peter Knox, briefly seen in the premiere.

His smarmy attitude doesn’t charm Diana for one second and she doesn’t have much of an interest in speaking with him. Knox pulls out the big guns though and lures her with stories of her parents. As suspected, he turns out to be a pretty terrible guy right away. He’s desperate to learn anything about the book and wants Diana to fetch it. He believes Ashmole 782 holds the secret of the creatures’ origins and a way to “uncreate” vampires. Diana, refusing to take part in genocide, gets up to leave before Knox grabs her arm and leaves her with the promise of another visit.

Rising through the ranks of worst friend imaginable, Gillian tries to convince Diana to give Knox the book as well. Of course, she doesn’t reveal she was the one to tip off the coven leadership and invite Knox to Oxford. She also decides to express some of her prejudiced views about vampires. Especially when Diana brings up her growing fascination with Matthew and his knowledge regarding the manuscript.

It’s interesting because Knox and Matthew are presented as formidable opponents both seeking the book. However, until Diana brings it up, it’s easy to forget Matthew has been searching for it for centuries. His immortality has allowed him to uncover more secrets than Knox could ever dream of. The fact that Knox, someone claiming to search for knowledge, would never acknowledge Matthew would be someone with speaking with, shows his true intentions are simply about power.

At the moment, Matthew is trying to decide what his next move is. Hamish thinks he should Diana at all costs, especially if he’s craving her. However, to do so would mean he might never find the Ashmole manuscript. As Hamish points out after learning of Diana’s importance, they need that book to save all of the species. Demon suicides have gone up and he’s desperate to try to find a way to help his fellow species. Matthew quickly dispels the rumor each of the species created the other and tells Hamish he doesn’t see the demons as second class citizens as others do. They play a game of chess but eventually, Matthew decides it’s best to return to Diana.

In the meantime, Diana is struggling with the growing pressure from Peter Knox. She takes a break from rowing to go for a jog when Knox’s muscle, Satu, surprises her. Satu does a quick spell and announces “someone’s done something to you” to Diana. Shaken, Diana goes to leave before turning back to confidently announcing she won’t get the book for him. Although Satu promises this isn’t just about the book. Diana calls Em and finds out Peter Knox was obsessed with her mother. He even went so far to beg her not to marry Diana’s father. Em cautions Diana in any future dealings with Knox because neither of her parents trusted the man.

Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont and Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky/SKY Productions /Sundance Now

She’s invited to the Dean’s for a celebration where she’s able to rub shoulders with some of her future colleagues. Unfortunately, A Discovery of Witches isn’t going to let her have the free time to unwind. Peter Knox is waiting around to once again try to convince her. His first plan is to use fear mongering to make Diana think she’s in danger with the vampires. She doesn’t fall for this, so he uses his second tactic: telepathy. At first, it does torment her but eventually, Diana is able to use her powers to overwhelm him. Looks like neither of them saw that coming!

Realizing she won’t be so easily swayed, Knox decides to try and manipulate Gillian. This works wonders, with Gillian eating up the possibility of Diana using her powers to further her career. Diana arrives at her house to find Knox and suddenly she realizes who betrayed her. With no one else to turn to, she decides it’s time to pay Matthew a visit and find out why everyone wants this book. He’s the only one who’s seemed to take her request of being left alone into consideration and never once used physical force against her.

He arrives from his hunting trip just as she arrives at his office. From his statements, it’s easy to discern Matthew isn’t a big fan of Knox’s attitude or even his research. It turns out, Knox believes witches created “everyone and everything” which would explain his entitlement. However, Matthew doesn’t think one species is responsible for the creation of the world. In fact, he knew Charles Darwin before he published On the Origin of Species, and began searching for Ashmole 782 in 1859. Turns out, he’s over five hundred years and can smoothly offer a jacket to a girl after listening to her heart rate. Kudos to A Discovery of Witches for creating the newest vampire for us to fall in love with.

At Matthew’s lab, he talks her through the process of researching the different species. She’s met with a warm reception from Marcus but a cold one from Miriam who doesn’t want a witch in the lab. However, this allows Matthew to prove his theory that witches are losing their power, demons are dying, and vampires can’t sire new members. His DNA samples show that, over time, each species has begun to regress compared to their earliest ancestors.

He walks her back to her flat and they share a chat over this newfound knowledge. Matthew Goode is able to inject a bit of humor in these scenes, showing a lighter side of the character without making him any less precise. However, when Matthew points out Diana’s argument that losing their power won’t happen overnight is uncannily similar to those who don’t see climate change as a priority is one of the funniest scenes in A Discovery of Witches. He concedes the change won’t happen overnight but that it has already begun.

At least Diana is finally confident she can fully trust Matthew. She reveals Ashmole 782 is actually a palimpsest since the pages have been scraped clean and reused but there are still traces of the original words. Diana also mentions the missing pages and that the Alchemical Child drawing was actually a bit more complex with a baby riding in “an upside-down vessel”. Matthew thanks her and then gently kisses her wrist. This relationship might be progressing quickly, but Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode have so much chemistry it doesn’t even matter.

Next. The Passage series premiere recap: Pilot. dark

Juliette is also sprinkled throughout the episode and we get to see what the vampire coven acts like. She’s the daughter of the leader of their group, who rules with an iron fist. Domenico (Gregg Chillin) is a desperate foot soldier who seems to crave approval. He rats out Juliette regarding Matthew’s murder to her father quickly. Her dad bites her, which seems to give vampires the ability to live each other’s memories. This gives us confirmation that our Matthew used to be her love, however, it was a bit more complicated. Her father throws her in a dungeon as a punishment and she desperately cries out that he trained her to crave Matthew.

If craving is like an addiction than poor Juliette must suffer from withdrawals based on a decision her father made. It’s easy to feel sympathetic for her and hopefully A Discovery of Witches continues to explore her story. As for Gillian, it’s hard to root for her at all, especially now that she’s thrown her lot in with Knox.

What did you think of this episode of A Discovery of Witches? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!