Television

A Discovery of Witches – S02 E04 Review & Recap

"Blood Rage is back."

After a bittersweet goodbye from Matthew and Diana to their new adoptee Jack, the pair make their way to meet Phillippe de Clermont. Back in present-day London, we see an ordinary human attacked in a vicious vampire attack. Extremely violent and uncontrolled. A stark difference to what we see Matthew or Ysabeau when they feed. The police are in communication with Domenico, telling him, “It’s happened again.” We can assume that this is not an ordinary or usual occurrence.

Marcus heads to Sotheby’s Auction House in order to procure the portraits done of Matthew and Diana that they had given to Jack as a reminder of them while they were away. If a little arrogantly, Marcus gallantly offers more than double the asking price if they allow him to buy it ahead of the auction. Sadly, this isn’t an option, but it does just so happen to make a rather adorable meet-cute for Marcus Whitmore and one Miss Phoebe Taylor.

GIF made by Mia for The Game of Nerds

It’s an interesting change as, for the most part, there’s been a surprising amount of civility amongst the creatures in this universe. But this has all changed this week, and a mystery vampire has been going to town feeding on humans, always an incredibly violent and seemingly uncontrollable attack. Domenico and Gerbert’s phone call only strengthens their belief that this is somehow linked to the de Clermont’s. Gerbert even pays Ysabeau a visit and states as much, along with harboring Diana’s aunts, the witches, and wanting to find out what Matthew and Diana were planning while they’re hiding in time. He then brings up the vampire, who’s obviously got blood rage—saying that there had always been suspicions about Blood Rage in the de Clermont bloodline. He even tries to bribe her, a foolish endeavor. When would Ysabeau ever back down from a fight?

What is Blood Rage?

Blood Rage is a genetic illness that affects only vampires. It can cause a complete loss of control and indulgences of violent impulses. It is passed down through bloodlines. If a parent or grandparent had it, there’s a chance it has been passed on down. It can be triggered by strong emotions, such as rage or fear. Over time, vampires suffering from it can develop more control over the symptoms, especially when in a supportive environment. In the past, those affected with blood rage would be killed, and any of their family and offspring would be eliminated. Having uncontrollable vampires viciously slaughtering humans would inevitably reveal their presence among the humans. They simply eradicated anyone who ever showed its symptoms.

The vampires, no matter how civilized they appear externally, are not above torture. Gerbert comments, “One of the Madison Coven finally cracked.” Confirming that there were demons and vampires at the Bishop House (Diana’s aunt’s house). It appears that before Matthew disappeared into a time, he formed his cabal. Three different species working together in secret. A Shadow Congregation, if you will. Part of the need for this is the baby that Agatha is about to become the grandmother of. Sophie and Nat’s baby. In the season one finale episode, Sophie revealed that she is a daemon, born of witches. This is groundbreaking and had experienced scientists like Miriam, Marcus, and even Matthew de Clermont himself in shock. The new parents know that if the baby turns out to be a witch, born to two daemons, there’s nothing stopping the Congregation from ripping the babe away and handing it to the witches to raise, away from its parents. As well as likely subjecting it to unethical and intrusive testing.

An unfortunate robbery turns into a surprising date. When Marcus arrives at the auction house to collect his purchase, we find out that the building has been broken into. The safe door was literally ripped open. Upon a cursory examination, only the miniatures were stolen. Unfortunately, the security guard is missing, and we have to assume that he was the body that was killed and drained, giving unfettered access to the passage leading to the vault. But this chance surprise leads us to a dinner date between the pair, with a rather endearing lilt.

GIF made by Mia for The Game of Nerds

Emily is incredibly foolishly playing around with necromancy. Dark magic, summoning spirits of the dead and trying to communicate with Diana’s late mother, Rebecca. After a successful date that winds up back at Marcus’s house, when getting up for a glass of water in the middle of the night, she finds a blood bag in the fridge, prompting her to start looking elsewhere—finding pictures of Marcus throughout several centuries. He takes her on a walk and attempts to explain, telling her the truth. Not too surprisingly, she doesn’t believe him and leaves. The ever-so-delightful Baldwin pays Marcus a visit, lightly pressuring him into taking the title of the Grand Master of the Knights of Lazarus. Marcus, of course, will not surrender the position. Baldwin then turns to dirty tactics. Trying to make Marcus second-guess his father and his intentions. Last but not least, Domenico gets the police reports of what was stolen out of the vault in the Auction house and sees the miniature portraits of Diana and Matthew. Exactly what Marcus and Ysabeau were trying to keep a secret. But interestingly, when given a chance to hand that information to Gerbert, he chooses to stay silent.

During a visit with Marcus and his grandmother Ysabeau tells him that “Philippe formed the Congregation and the Knights of Lazarus to ensure the survival of our species. But also to protect me.” The disease is in Ysabeau’s bloodline, but she’s always been asymptomatic. However, Matthew is fully afflicted. Duh duh, DUUUUUH!! Matthew sired Marcus, but Marcus is like Ysabeau, a carrier, not afflicted with any of the symptoms. This also explains why Matthew had culled the children that Marcus had sired in the past. Philippe ordered him to remove any traces. Understandably, Marcus is more than a little peeved that everyone knew and kept it from him. So many bombs dropped in this latest episode. It will be very intriguing to see where we pick up next week!

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