After three episodes of focusing solely on Matthew and Diana in 1590s London, A Discovery of Witches took us back to present to remind us of the present threat (no pun intended), and keep track of everything else going on. For those looking for the next step in Matthew and Diana’s plot, you’ll have to wait until next week. But this fourth episode was intriguing in its own way.
(Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned)
“Drac The Ripper”
In present day England, the vampire killer strikes again, leaving a trail of brutalized corpses. The Congregation remains incredibly concerned as this rogue killer risks exposing their entire species to the humans.
This subplot plays out very similar to a serial killer thriller in the vein of David Fincher. It makes for a compelling vibe and hopefully we’ll dig deeper into it. This series was always set apart primarily by its characters, but secondarily by its sense of mystery and suspense.
Keeping the World Together
Much like the past is proving to have more challenges than anticipated, so too is the present. Upon leaving, Matthew left Marcus in charge of protecting his fellow vampires and Marcus isn’t exactly up to the task.
For starters, it was never anything that Marcus wanted, seeing as how it’s an enormous responsibility. And his budding romance with a mortal and his desire to live his own live causes him to neglect the growing threat, and downright ignore the serial killing vampire on the loose.
He even goes so far as to reveal the truth to the mortal woman he’s falling for. To this, Ysabeau says that he has to kill her, which will go over about as well as you’d imagine. There’s probably even a level of resent in Marcus, that Matthew broke all the rules with Diana, took her to the past, and now he’s here cleaning up the mess in the present. And how all he does is reveal himself and he’s told to murder the poor woman.
Amidst all the chaos, Diana’s aunts resort to drastic measures via dark magic, just to conjure up the book, not wanting to wait for her return. But as things spiral out of control, one thing becomes increasingly clear.
The ultimate symbiotic relationship that once existed among the Congregation cannot resume until Matthew and Diana return. And for their own sakes, hopefully Diana has fully mastered her craft by then.
Overall, this episode was a welcome shift in time setting and the season might even work well if it alternates back and forth between past and present. But we’ll see.
What did you think of this week’s episode? What do you hope to see next week? Let us know in the comments!
A Discovery of Witches is streaming exclusively on Sundance Now and Shudder
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