A Discovery of Witches season 1, episode 3 recap


Diana and Matthew are faced with mounting pressure to abandon their friendship in A Discovery of Witches.

Three episodes in and A Discovery of Witches becomes more surefooted with every passing minute.  While it would be nice to slow down a bit, especially when developing the core romance, we can’t complain about brisk story-telling. This is a love story and the series knows its best assets are Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer. Why waste any time trying to get the two leads together when their actors can sell the audience on a whirlwind romance?

Unsurprisingly, the Bod is once again full of creatures just waiting for Diana to arrive. Matthew, being the thoughtful vampire he is, arrives at her flat to instead invite her out for the day. They’re almost thwarted by Gillian who is quickly becoming the worst person on the show. She attempts to apologize for telling Knox about Diana. However, can it be considered an apology if it’s also an accusation about Diana using her powers to better her career? When Diana doesn’t accept her half-baked apology, Gillian once again shows her true colors about other species.

Diana shoots Matthew a look of deep love before breezing past Gillian so the two can go on their way. Listen, A Discovery of Witches does a good job of showing how Gillian is an easy target for manipulation. She seems to struggle in her human life and is desperate to become someone of notoriety. Throughout the first two episodes, we’ve seen her jealous of Diana’s life. While we can understand why she’s chosen to side with Knox, that doesn’t make her a person we’re hoping can be redeemed later on.

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Her anger at Gillian made Diana momentarily forget to ask Matthew where they’re traveling to for the day. He reveals they’re going to his house, a beautiful locked up mansion in the countryside. We get to learn a little more about his past and his there. A painting of his sister Louisa hangs on the wall, and Matthew mentions he took his mother’s maiden name when he became a vampire. Originally, it was “de Clermont” but it eventually changed to Clairmont to maintain a level of anonymity. While he reflects fondly on his life, Matthew does admit his step-father, Phillippe, had been killed. His death seems to be a reminder that vampires are not as immortal as people believe.

Matthew’s extensive library offers Diana a day full of research and reading. Basically, it’s the perfect day imaginable for a young historian thirsty for knowledge. She’s still not sure how Ashmole 782 is linked to her but Matthew has a theory. When he goes to spill wine over some books, Diana’s powers immediately kick in to move them out of the way. He thinks her magic is instinctive which is why the book came when she needed it.

Both of them agree this is the most viable theory at the moment. However, Matthew is surprised Diana doesn’t have any memories of consciously using her powers. Ever since her parents died, she’s spent most of her time leading a human life. He points out that she technically uses her powers all the time like she can feel when he’s watching her. In fact, she can’t just turn off her witchy side because it’s literally in her genetics. It’s different for him though, since Matthew was born a human who was turned into a vampire. We finally get Matthew’s age too! He was born in the year 500 and reborn as a vampire in 537. So basically, there’s a bit of an age difference between him and Diana. Nevertheless, she still invites him over for dinner later.

Before their dinner date, Diana has some explaining to do to her family. Em tries scrying Diana after having dreams of her being followed by a vampire. Sarah calls her niece in a frenzy, furious that should be spending time with such a dangerous creature. However, Diana defends Matthew and his intentions, confident he won’t try to mindwipe her or feed from her. While Sarah is upset, Em thinks he could be a part of something much larger. Apparently, Diana’s mother used to tell her stories of a mysterious Shadow Prince.

Sadly, Googling the diet of wolf doesn’t help Diana figure out what to make for dinner. Matthew accidentally throws her a bone by sending Marcus to keep tabs on her while he’s away. Marcus’ childlike enthusiasm is infectious, and Diana can’t help but trust him as well. The two shop for some food for later before she agrees to get her blood tested. Matthew angrily storms in just as Miriam is about to draw some blood and demands he will be the one to do it.

As the episode continues, we learn why Miriam has been acting coldly to Diana. It’s against the Congregation rules for interspecies dating, and Matthew hasn’t informed Diana of this fact. Even if she’s not actually aware of the rule, she does know how frowned upon it would be for them to date. Knox shows up at her door before dinner to shame her about the company she keeps. However, he shuts his mouth quickly when Matthew shows up. It goes to show that he might underestimate Diana but he’s certainly afraid of vampire’s physical enhancements.

Despite this brief hiccup, their dinner date goes well. Matthew dispels a few common misconceptions, which allows A Discovery of Witches to explain what vampires can actually do. They can run and jump fast, have stronger senses, and walk in the sunlight. Their hearts don’t beat and they never turn into bats. Although, drinking blood is the one common factor every story has and Matthew makes it clear he’s a dangerous being for her to hang around with. He could kill her in a heartbeat before she would even have time to defend herself. Despite his warnings, Diana kisses him goodnight but Matthew stoically leaves before things go farther.

A Discovery of Witches introduces the Congregation in this episode as well. It seems to be a supernatural council of sort, situated on an island where all records are kept. Gillian reveals Knox is actually a member for the witches, and he sends Satu to do some investigation about Diana Bishop there. All of the species have their own archives and she’s looking for Diana’s file. She discovers some gruesome photos of Diana’s parents’ murder and the fact that their daughter was not magically gifted. In fact, Knox himself was the one who tested her.

Before she can find anything else, Domenico comes crashing into the archive. She’s furious because vampires are not allowed to be in the witches’ section. This doesn’t stop him, and he learns of Matthew’s growing attachment to Diana. He goes back to the “godfather” of the vampires and relays this new information. With the opportunity to destroy Matthew Clairmont, he frees Juliette from her imprisonment and sends her to track him down.

While Satu didn’t get any information about why the Ashmole manuscript came to Diana, she did get some solid material to mess with her. She slips the photos of Diana’s murdered parents under her door during the morning. Naturally, Diana doesn’t react well to the seeing the horrific images and goes to confront Gillian. Instead of being a comforting friend, Gillian denies Knox would ever do such a thing before asking if Diana would give the book to the vampire. She angrily responds that she’ll handle it on her own before storming out.

Meanwhile, Matthew heads to Diana’s room to presumably apologize for his abrupt exit. However, he finds the door open and the place trashed. With a few of the murder photos left on the coffee table, he can guess Knox sent Diana on a wild goose chase while he searched the place. Unfortunately, what he really does is wait at the Bod with the other witches to try and ambush Diana.

It nearly works because Diana did go to the Bod to ask for Ashmole 782 again. However, this time the book doesn’t come when she asks for it. Knox attacks her friend and the librarian, Sean, when she refuses to ask for it again. Fueled with anger and betrayal, Diana summons witch wind and sends the other witches flying. Matthew, hearing the commotion, sprints to the library and holds a terrified Diana as the other witches flee.

As she rests, Matthew plots his next move. He wants to go destroy Knox for sending her those gruesome photos, but Marcus talks him down. A Discovery of Witches does a good job of making us understand both sides in this situation. Yes, Matthew wants to protect Diana but Marcus doesn’t think he should start a war over her. He encourages Matthew to take her out of Oxford and to stay with Hamish. Instead, Matthew decides he will take her to Sept-Tours, something Marcus immediately protests.

Yet, Matthew won’t be persuaded otherwise. When Diana wakes up, he explains witch wind hasn’t been conjured in centuries which is why she’s so exhausted. While her power is immeasurable, it’s also unstable. She’ll have to leave Oxford to learn to control it before returning to face Knox. At first, she’s hesitant, Diana eventually concedes after a kiss from Matthew. The two leave Oxford, hand-in-hand, ready to face what lies ahead together.

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Now that A Discovery of Witches is taking us out of Oxford, it’ll be interesting to see how the world grows. This episode treated us to a small side plot with a young pregnant demon, Sophie (Aisling Loftus), and her boyfriend, Nathaniel (Daniel Ezra), as they try to connect with other demons born to humans. His mother, Agatha Wilson (Tanya Moodie), is a member of the Congregation, and she doesn’t seem fond of their current ventures.

What did you think of this episode? Are you happy the show is moving to France? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!