A Discovery of Witches – S02 E08 Review & Recap

“Technologically, you’re advancing so fast, but socially? You’re going backwards. Building walls and enforcing borders. Human prejudice is worse than ever.” – Marcus Whitmore.

Feel like you need a reminder of what went down in last week’s episode? Simply click HERE. We dive head-first back into the wonderful witchy world with a weary-looking Diana sitting on the bed, attempting to understand the broken Book of Life. Her husband notes that the time spent doing this is making her ill in more ways than one. Gerbert and Knox find out that Edward Kelley definitely had the complete manual back in 1590 and that he then tore out three pages, claiming to bequeath a page to each of the three species. Knox expresses his disappointment that the book couldn’t be summoned. Without missing a beat, Gerbert goads him, saying, “Diana Bishop managed it.” Knox falsely concludes that this may be because she had one of the three missing pages. His counterpart makes the decision to speak to Ysabeau, planning to coerce her into giving up a page if the DeClermonts have one. Anyone who knows Ysabeau – myself included – immediately develops a little smirk on their faces, the idea of anyone attempting to force one of the most fearsome vampires to do their bidding… Good luck with that!

Marcus seems more and more dejected about the lost connection with one Miss Phoebe Taylor. After telling her, he is actually a vampire – of course, she doesn’t believe him. On top of this, he’s outraged that his family kept the secret of blood rage in their family from him. Finally, he visits Phoebe in Sotheby’s, showing her the coin of the Knights of Lazarus, and confiding in her that he is the Grand Master of them. Phoebe, understandably, is quite skeptical but quickly starts to research. Eventually, Phoebe comes around, believing everything and opening up her mind to this new world that had evaded her knowledge her entire life. She even sends him off on a mission to the nearest shop for some salted caramel ice cream..

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He confides in her that creatures’ numbers are dwindling, vampires are losing the ability to sire, witches are losing their powers, and many daemons are driven to madness. That there used to be a time before the “Covenant” was put into place when they all intermingled with each other. Vampires, witches, and daemons built friendships, kinships, and relationships, both platonic and romantic. Back then, vampires had no problem siring, witches’ powers were extremely strong, and daemons were creative and not prone to mental illness. All was well in the proverbial Garden of Eden. Until the powers that be decided that Segregation was the way to go.

This is categorically one of my favorite parts of this series so far – throughout all the mystery, history, and romance of which the series explores and showcases, one persistent theme remains. Desegregation (aka true equality of all beings). Any species that only breed with the same will lose out genetically. Like the Royal families in days past, who would only marry their cousins or close blood relatives, suffered an extremely high rate of mental and physical deformities, huge hits to their immune system and general health. We see the same pattern in purebred dogs whose inbreeding has shortened their life expectancies from 12-15 years to a mere 5-6 years, along with a whole host of health complications throughout their shorter lifespan. This series and the books from which it was crafted have always advocated for and encouraged equality and tolerance. Complete desegregation of the world’s inhabitants will only benefit everyone. Along with not just condemning but laying out calm and very reasonable, easy to digest explanations of why foolish ideas of “racial purity” – like the KKK & Nazis hold dear – are actually unanimously bad for humanity, bad for the individuals involved as well as the rest of humankind on the planet.

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Anxiety hits in when Sophie comes down the stairs to Marcus and Nate talking, “I think the baby’s coming.” Worry sets in as the baby isn’t due for several weeks. Thankfully the baby came out perfectly healthy, and all there ecstatic that she was born healthy and happy. But their joy is quickly overshadowed when Peter Knox steps into the room, declaring that someday soon, the witches will come for the child. Marcus’ ladylove Phoebe opens his eyes to the possibilities he could enact as Grand Master. “You were born in a revolution. If you disagree with creature politics or infrastructure, change it. Fix it like you fix your patients. Use the Knights to help everyone. For future generations.” Having attempted to beseech Baldwin to join in his mission, he is immediately rebuffed. Baldwin is determined to stay in the past, believing that segregation is the way to go. And that species superiority should be maintained.

But Marcus delivers a powerful wicked final blow before he departs….

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Emily embarks on a highly foolish endeavor – looking into necromancy, attempting to contact the spirit of Diana’s mother, Rebecca. She gets an apparition of her but only for a moment. Sarah furiously reprimands her, “Anything can come through, it’s using you, showing you what you want to see. You know how dangerous that is. You need to stop.” Despite having spent decades instilling in Diana the importance of never straying near the Higher Magics. She now finds herself breaking all of her rules and acting impetuously. There’s simply no way this can result in something good. A picture is beginning to form of how these darker magical attempts could severely impact the Bishops… Later on in the episode – Sarah seems to Acquiesce, saying that if Emily was going to do this that she’d rather she was there to attempt to make it safer.

Again they see an apparition of Rebecca Bishop, but the endeavor is just as fruitless as it was in the last attempt. A moment of the ghost, but nothing is learned. In the very last scene, we jump back to the 1500s and into a dream that Diana is having. We see a tree that could represent the Tree of Life. From afar, it looks green and healthy, but as we approach it, the fruit is falling off it and melting off the branches. We also see the tree’s roots, trunk, and branches change from its natural forming wood to bodies seemingly alive and decomposing, all in dark shades of grey, falling apart and twisting—definitely an omen. The production team sure knows how to leave us on one hell of a cliff-hanger. Until next week!

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