A Discovery of Witches season 1, episode 4 recap


Diana heads to France and learns more about her family in A Discovery of Witches.

A war is brewing on A Discovery of Witches, and the fourth episode spends a majority of the time shifting factions into place. Narratively, there’s a lot to cover. We only get brief glimpses of Gillian’s coven and Matthew’s Oxford family preparing for the worst. Diana’s and Matthew’s escape to France gives the two a bit of break, however looming trouble from the Congregation means their time together will be fleeting. While this hour does give us more history about Matthew, we also get to learn a bit more about Diana.

Unlike most people, Matthew’s family home isn’t a cute house in the suburbs full of childhood nostalgia. Instead, it’s a magnificent castle in the center of a village full of vampires. The name, Sept-Tours, means “seven towers” in French which presumably means that’s the size of this castle. Waiting at the entrance is Ysabeau de Clermont (Lindsay Duncan) the matriarch of the de Clermont family. Duncan commands every scene she’s in throughout this episode of A Discovery of Witches. The added tension can be felt in her interactions with her son and anytime she so much looks at Diana.

At least their housekeeper, Marthe (Sorcha Cusack) is nothing but kind to the two. Ysabeau makes it clear though that Diana will stay in Matthew’s tower throughout the visit. If the de Claremonts didn’t possess supernatural smell and hearing, Matthew could easily have just camped out in his tower without his mother ever realizing. While she makes herself at home in the bedroom, Matthew tries to enter his step-father’s office. Unfortunately, Ysabeau has locked the door and says she doesn’t want it opened while a witch is in the house.

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He points out Diana is not responsible for what happened to Phillippe and that he has work to do. Ysabeau gives in but proclaims that her kind killed him. Like most of the creatures we’ve seen throughout A Discovery of Witches, she isn’t very trustworthy of other species. Sarah and Em warn Diana that Ysabeau has a reputation for murdering witches across the globe. However, Diana isn’t going to listen to one side of the story. She realizes Ysabeau’s murder spree happened after World War II, which is when Phillippe died. Matthew admits witches had been killed his step-father which is why his mother harbors such resentment for them.

The two go for a horseback ride throughout the grounds which is a fun break from the usual doom and gloom. However, when Diana says she plans to return to her family, Matthew gets a bit protective. She doesn’t want to hide forever, but Matthew knows the witches aren’t safe. He had been researching her parents’ death earlier on and realize their murders had been staged. There’s a chalk circle around the murder site which is enough to prove witches had committed the crime. He comes clean with Diana, who doesn’t take the news all that well.

She finds Ysabeau, who is unhappy to see the witch lurking near the entrance of Phillippe’s study. However, Matthew had admonished his mother about her unwelcoming nature to Diana earlier and she agrees to give her a chance. Especially when Diana admits she wants to understand why Ysabeau would kill so many witches. She understands that no creature is entirely good or evil and she wants to learn more about the eldest de Clermont. They bond over the deaths of their loved ones and she encourages Diana to make the people responsible pay.

With the house finally settled on A Discovery of Witches, everyone gathers around for a family dinner. After the meal, they are able to sit around the fire and even dance. Ysabeau has visibly relaxed, and Diana’s powers manifest to form a beautiful glow as she dances with Matthew. The two even share a passionate kiss in the garden when they go for a walk later that night.

At the Congregation, all of the members of assembled for a meeting. Peter Knox confidently twists the current narrative to make it seem like Matthew has kidnapped a witch. The vampires, actually led by a man named Baldwin (Trystan Gravelle), not by Domenico or Gerbert (Trevor Eve), don’t take the accusation lightly. Especially when it’s revealed Baldwin is Matthew’s older brother and the official head of the de Clermont family.

He’s furious about his brother’s actions and calls Marcus for some answers. The poor guy has enough problems since Juliette has shown up to wreak a bit of havoc for both him and Miriam. Not to mention, his test results came back and they’re not positive. Nevertheless, he does have to give up Matthew’s location and current plan because of Baldwin’s status within the family. Upon discovering Diana has found the Book of Life (Ashmole 782), Baldwin outs Knox as the manipulative snake he is. The Congregation agrees to send Domenico to deliver a message to Matthew regarding the rules he’s breaking.

Meanwhile, Knox finds himself at odds with Satu when she tells the others he tested Diana for any powers. Clearly, it’s an embarrassment for him to be the one who missed the strongest witch of this generation. He tortures her and lets her know to never look into his affairs again. Why is Satu still working for him on A Discovery of Witches? He’s probably not going to win Boss of the Year with this attitude.

When he arrives at Sept-Tours, Domenico is greeted by Matthew, Diana, Marthe, and Ysabeau with disdain. He arrives to let them know Diana is to be turned over and relish at the idea Matthew could be breaking “the covenant”. Furious at the intrusion, Matthew has Marthe take Diana back to the house while he deals with Domenico. Ysabeau warns him of the consequences, but as he points out, this is no longer about book. It’s personal for him and he won’t stop while creatures are coming after Diana. However, Ysabeau points out this deep love he feels is going to be what gets Diana killed.

At the house, Marthe explains the covenant is the rule regarding interspecies relations. Diana is disgusted a law like that would even exist in the first place. She has no problem breaking the rules, but Matthew stomps on the breaks. If they don’t break the covenant than the Congregation won’t have a good enough reason to come after her. She refuses to just roll over and let them win though and wants Matthew to admit he loves her. While he might have caved, they’re interrupted by a phone call.

Turns out, Gillian and her coven broke into the lab to figure out what Matthew had been up to. He’s needed back in Oxford so he quickly leaves Sept-Tours before Diana can change his mind. In her despair, she’s able to make it rain in reverse as Ysabeau and Marthe stare in wonder. When Diana can control her powers, she’ll be an unstoppable force on A Discovery of Witches.

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The demons populate the final subplot, with Agatha guessing immediately that Diana is the person who Sophie needs to find. In the previous episode, we learned Sophie has a small figurine of a goddess who is destined to go to a specific person. Somehow it’s tied to alchemy, which is Diana’s professional field. Agatha warns Sophie not to get involved because who knows what will happen to Diana after breaking so many rules. Based on Sophie’s excitement, it doesn’t seem like she’s going to let this one go.

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