A Discovery of Witches (Episode 2.3) Review

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. A Discovery of Witches is slow to a fault, and episode 2.03 is not looking to prove me wrong. Once again, this episode sets up pieces that are sure to pay off later in the season, but there’s little of that payoff here. 

Matthew is now asking forgiveness from both the Queen and Father Hubbard after his decision to kill Tom, the prisoner he was interrogating. Unbeknownst to him, Father Hubbard has sent a letter to his father, Philipe Clairmont, in retaliation. Meanwhile, Diana learns more about her powers as a “weaver,” and continues her training with the coven that has taken her in.

That’s the basics of the episode, though there are some detours from these two plot threads. Matthew and Diana visit an alchemist in order to secure the Book of Life, but they discover it was stolen by one of his past assistants. Matthew insists that Diana stay and continue her training while he searches for the book. 

The biggest issue with the episode is its insistence to spend more time on well-drawn conflicts without studying the consequences of them. Three episodes in, nothing big has happened. The daialogue constantly tells us that, if people knew of Diana and Matthew’s relationship, bad things would happen. By the end of episode three, it appears that everyone knows about the two of them. Yet, nothing bad has happened to them, aside from Matthew’s father summoning them. Mind you, this is the third or fourth time someone of importance has summoned the couple. It always ends with a talk and the two of them leaving. Rinse, repeat.

This wouldn’t be nearly as maddening if the showrunners would give a little love to the present day. What’s going on there? Who knows? The showrunners seem to have little interest in giving us anything other than snippets of what’s happening in the present time. There’s no balance between the mundane and the exciting, something that the first season, while slow, managed to do fairly well. As a fan of the show, I hate to say this, but…it’s growing a bit boring. I’m missing the present day Massachussettes. I’m missing the season one supporting cast. But most of all, I’m missing the fun

I hope that next week’s episode remedies my complaints of this one. The teaser for the next episode is exclusively clips from the present. I’m itching to see what’s going on with our season one cast. How are Diana and Matthew’s actions affecting the present? Maybe episode four is where the pace will pick up. Maybe the show will draw me back in. Just maybe.

A Discovery of Witches is streaming now on Shudder and Sundance Now, with new episodes every Saturday.

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