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A Discovery of Witches - Episodes 103,104 and 105 - Review : Breaking the Covenant

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A Discovery of Witches

Audiences were given the first two episodes over Christmas here's a look at the next three. Streaming now on Sundance Now and Shudder

Episode 103, 105 and 105 (apologies for the delay due to annual holidays)

It begins with absence and desire
It begins with blood and fear
It begins with ….

A Discovery of Witches

‘Once the world was full of wonders, but it belongs to humans now, we creatures have all but disappeared. Daemons, Vampires, and Witches hiding in plain sight, fearful of discovery, ill at ease even with each other. But as my father used to say in every ending there is a new beginning ‘

Matthew Clairmont

We are more than halfway through this 8 episode series that has enchanted fans and introduced new ones to the All Soul’s Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Putting the first book back on the best seller list.
Each week in the series we are pulled into this magical world that is mixed within our own and Matthew Clairmont’s haunting voiceover tells us it’s about to change in their world and in ours. More mysteries are revealed including Diana's powers and who she may be. For every light Witch, there is a dark counterpart that is if we believe the talking head in the cupboard.

The subtle romance kicks up a gear in Episode 3 when Diana Bishop is threated, and Matthew becomes her calm in the storm. The events and the fact Peter Knox and the Congregation are set on Diana getting the book Ashmole 782, causes them to flee Oxford after an unsuccessful attempt by Diana to call the manuscript once more. Matthew uncovers Diana’s magic is instinctive and she clearly has little control over her powers. Powers we learn that are unique. Threatening Diana with photo’s over her dead parents stating she will end up like them is enough to push her to retaliate and she calls up Witch Wind in the library a force that could have got out of control if it wasn’t for Matthew showing up.
In this episode, we also see more Daemons, the Daemon leader of the congregation, her son and his partner who is expecting. Nice touch the song Demons by Imagine Dragons playing in the background. His partner has an interest in Alchemy while the son wants Daemons to come together something that has been denied even his Daemon chat room is against the rules. What is most intriguing is the statute of a woman with a bow and arrow in his partner's possession that she knows she has to give to someone.

Another highlight of this episode was Diana looking up how wolfs eat after she asks Matthew over for Dinner.
Her Aunts are of course concerned she is hanging with a Vampire and Sarah’s partner thinks he may be her shadow prince. The story was told to Diana as a child.

Satu who seems to be there to do Peter Knox bidding sees the insides of the Congregation’s inner sanctum, it’s not only Satu who is searching the archives at the Congregation headquarters for information on Diana but Dominico(Greg Chillin). Though he doesn’t realize who she is until he speaks with Satu. Dominico who we met last episode investigating the Vampire death in Venice seems to be in league with a very sinister Vampire we met last week Gerbert D'Aurillic (Trevor Eve) who has a talking head stored in his cupboard. History buffs will, of course, recognize the name of Pope Sylvester II. So this Vampire was a pope and from the looks of things a very old Vampire as well. The message from the head is simple 'beware the Witch with the blood of the lion and the wolf' .. could she mean Diana? Gerbert sends Juliet who we know has an unhealthy obsession with Matthew to find him.

Matthew decides to take Diana to Sept Tour’s his family home where she will be safe, It’s the home of the de Clermont’s and Marcus feels Ysabeau their mother won’t be pleased. As they leave the song 'Go your own way' the Lissie version plays in the background which is quite apt.

In episode 104, Welcome to Sept Tours and we meet Ysabeau de Clermont (Lindsay Duncan) and Marthe (Sorcha Cusack). As you can imagine the reception is a little frosty given Matthew has brought a warmblood and Witch into the castle. Ysabeau dislikes Witches as she blames them for her husband’s death.
Back in Oxford Marcus has an encounter with Juliet in Matthew's rooms but thankfully Miriam stops her, I love the line ‘Eternity is a long time to be chasing a man who doesn’t want you, Juliet’
Diane is still having haunting dreams but this time she sees her Mother (Sophia Myles) also some more cobwebs, it always has to be spiders doesn’t it. Her Aunts are concerned she is in Sept Tours it seems Ysabeau has killed witches.
Meanwhile, the Congregation meets, we are introduced properly to Agathe Wilson the Daemon leader who we saw last week as Peter Knox introduces her to Satu. They all have part of a key that fits together to open the meeting room. Three Daemons, three Vampires, and three Witches. Peter Knox is keen to get them on his side regarding Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont. Seems its forbidden for two species to be together. We also learn Matthews brother Baldwin is a member of the Congregation and it was founded by Philip de Clermont. It comes to light about the book, someone from the congregation is going to go and retrieve Diana from Matthew.

At Sept Tours Matthew looks more closely at Diana’s parent's murder photos and notices Witches were responsible. He also tells Diana this as well as the truth behind his mother’s hatred of witches. One of my favorite scenes between Diana and Matthew in this episode is the horse riding. Ysabeau is convinced Diana has bewitched Matthew and Marthe senses her power.

Peter Knox shows his dark side when he feels Satu has been snooping and I wonder why she still follows him after this.
Agathe phones her son and speaks to his partner Sophie about the statue of the Huntress, the person she must give it to is in a castle with seven towers and is with her dark king.
Gerbert is unhappy with Baldwin and almost issue's a challenge to the de Clermont’s.
Ysabeau and Diana seem to come to an uneasy understanding as things heat up in Sept Tours between Diana and Matthew. During a dance, she is positively glowing.
The Congregation sends Dominico to issue a warning to turn over Diana to them and makes Diana aware of the covenant stating no two species can be together when we can see she clearly has fallen for Matthew and he has fallen for her.
Matthew leaves when he is called by Marcus that there has been a break in the lab in Oxford. He tells Diana they cannot be together they are not going to break the covenant.
Heartbroken Diana nearly drowns herself in witch water as the tears fall in such a powerful scene as Matthew drives away.

In episode 5 Diana seems a shadow of herself without Matthew and Ysabeau takes her hunting to get her to see what it takes to be with a Vampire. This scene is not for the faint of heart.
At the Lab, the scent of Witches is evident in the lab clearly Peter Knox’s doing. Matthew picks up a familiar scent and goes on his own hunt. Gillian was there and she soon learns not to mess with a Vampire but has Matthew crossed a line.
Diana tells Sarah about the Congregation visit and her feeling for Matthew and Hamish is once again Matthew's confidant.
Ysabeau tells Diana how she made Matthew and his life before he became a vampire and after that his lust for the hunt and the kill. Maybe she hopes to turn her away from him. If Vampire mates it’s for life and this is what concerns them all.
Knox warns Satu to keep away from Dominico and Gerbert. Whereas the Daemons want to unite. Sophie has her own secrets and needs to speak to Nat’s mum Agathe in regards to the statue.

Even speaking on the phone there is a clear link between Matthew and Diana. Nothing seems to be able to keep them apart as and Matthew returns to Sept-Tours with Diana’s blood test results. It's obvious they are meant to be together Matthew mates with Diana and things get even more heated. Their happiness is soon cut short by an unexpected abduction.

Last weeks episode clearly ended on a cliffhanger and we know from trailers ( also spoilers if you have read the book) Diana is in for a rough time. As the pace speeds up going into the last three episodes it certainly looks like a roller coaster for the two lovebirds and this tale of forbidden love.

How are you liking the series so far?

Has it met your expectations and what do you think of the casting choices?

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