The moment Phoebe requested Marcus”Would you turn into a bat?” Was the moment A Discovery of Witches’ brand new couple won my heart? Maybe it happened marginally earlier when Phoebe replied to Marcus’ declaration he was the Grand Master of the Knights of Lazarus using the words”And I’m Princess Leia”, however, the bat thing cinched it.
In some so weighted by threatening portent and fraught faces bringing either bloodthirsty dangers or speeches prophesying the end of times, a little bit of levity goes a long way. It’s a dollop of salted caramel ice cream on the face of this brownie of doom. Ultimately, somebody here is having fun!
It has been a long time since those somebodies were Matthew and Diana, who have been through the wringer in year two. When was the last time we saw those two smile? On that long-ago jaunt to St Paul’s possibly? Dancing the tango at Sept-Tours? (A spectacle that, thanks to time-walking, we now know to have been more cleverly complicated than it appeared. See Matthew’s necktie.) Their wedding wasn’t without strain, book-ended as it was by the bride committing rape as well as the groom’s blood rage turning him briefly into the Tasmanian Devil.
Marcus and Phoebe are a welcome foil for Matthew and Diana. Both spouses comprise a vampire and a hot nerd named after an ancient goddess, but tonally, they are worlds apart. There is a modern, youthful, rom-com vibe into the former, which makes them a refreshing breeze next to the latter’s ceaseless hurricane.
Thematically, this incident was all about young idealism versus the status quo. This was an awakening for Marcus, who went from the highly relatable young-person urge of wanting to just sack this whole Lazarus thing away and inform his family to perform one, to realizing he had to take his place into creature society, to change it. If infant Margaret (what do you mean? It’s a nice name for a 58-year-old lawn bowls club secretary) was to have a future, then Marcus and the others would need to assemble it.
The tricky thing about dismantling trenchant power structures in the vampire world is the men in charge do not select retirement. Age can’t wither them, and also to get them to alter their centuries-held perspectives would require an army. Handily, Marcus has among these in the sort of the much-discussed however never-seen Knights of Lazarus. Please let’s meet them before this season is out. Preferably summoned with a red phone or by Marcus projecting the cover of New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies LP to the nighttime sky.
A dab of real-world political subtext made its way to the episode together with Marcus and Phoebe’s discussion of humankind’s technological progress but societal retreat. Their conversation of building walls, strengthening boundaries, and fear of the Other referenced both Trump and Brexit. It opened the door to read more in the story of Margaret (look, she will probably grow into it), a biracial, binational child caught between two warring magical factions.
The centuries-old battle involving vampire, witch, and daemon are reflections of these ways our own societies are riven by mistrust of gap. Knox, Gerbert, and Baldwin signify the previous divisions, while Marcus, Nathaniel, Sophie, Matthew, and Diana signify the prospect of a recently accepting future.
Luckily, not too long was given over to mulling the depressing state of the real world. Escapism should, ideally, be escapist and this incident provided that via Baldwin’s alluring baddy struggle with Marcus, Emily and Sarah’s foray into high magic, and Diana’s portentous vision. The first threw more light about the de Clermont lively and on how thick and gloopy household resentments can become when they’re left to simmer for literally hundreds of years (“I don’t take orders from babies” Woof.). The second was a welcome return for its underused Alex Kingston and Valarie Pettiford, out of who we always want more. And the third was well, what was that?
Since she took possession of this Book of Life, it’s been coy with Diana, refusing to give up its secrets. Her dream showed her a rowan tree a portal between worlds but twisted with anguish and death. Fresh from viewing the tortured Edward Kelley’s anger concerning the book screaming in his mind, it is difficult not to think that Diana’s in danger. Plus ça change, mon coeur.