“A Discovery of Witches”: Season 2 Episode 2 Review

As Matthew and Diane try to get settled with life in 1590, the past quickly proves to be just as dangerous to them as the present.  Episode 2 of the second season adds more tension and complications to an already difficult situation for them.

Keeping the Balance
Much like with the Congregation in the present, there exists a shaky truce between different creatures in the past.

As Diane seeks out a teacher to better learn the ways of magic, they’re presence is noticed by Father Hubbard, a centuries old vampire who oversees London and keeps the peace.

He’s definitely a force to be reckoned with and is far more formidable than the Congregation ever was.

Offended that they tried to fly under his nose, Hubbard reminds them that nothing happens in his city without him knowing.  Diane manages to put him at ease, for now at least.

There’s a real growing sense that perhaps the two of them are no safer in the past than in the present.  There are certainly different challenges, one of which being Diana being appalled with witch hunts and the persecution of people that was quite normalized in that time.

Not the Same Matthew
Matthew merely plays the part of his 1590 self, however it has be a bit unsettling to Diane to not only see him doing it now to blend in, but to know that he was very much a part of all of it back then.  Much of their relationship has been pretty idealized and “in the clouds” up to this point, so it’s interesting to see that conflict.

It seems like the more time they spend there, the more distant Matthew becomes.  They definitely had better chemistry in the first season, but that’s sort of the point here.  They’re both so focused on their own goals that anymore it seems like the only thing that unites them is the excitement of danger (which is sort of start them too).

Diane has become adept at conjuring snakes from her dress.

Expanding the World
This episode does a great job of setting the stage with all the relevant players of 16th Century London, including Father Hubbard and the coven of witches that takes Diane in.  We still get a few quick visits to the present, just to keep in touch with what’s going on there, but the past is where it’s all at, plot-wise at least.

It’s fascinating to see how far back these cultures and alliances go.  And in some ways, given the fantasy nature of the series, it kind of works better in this time setting.  So hopefully we get to spend most, if not, all of the season here.

It will be really interesting to see how her training goes with her new coven.

What did you think of this episode of A Discovery of Witches?  Let us know in the comments!

A Discovery of Witches is streaming exclusively on Sundance Now and Shudder


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