Relive each delicious moment of the TV adaptation of A Discovery of Witches with our weekly recap. This week? A Discovery of Witches Episode 4

Do you ever find yourself yelling at the screen in front of you or mumbling cheeky responses to the characters while watching a show? We do. Sometimes we keep those responses to ourselves and, sometimes, Ashley and I text them to each other as we watch the same show at the same time 700 miles apart. We enjoy these conversations so much that we decided to share them with you. Each week, Ashley and I will publish an episode recap for the first season of A Discovery of Witches. You can read it while you rewatch the episode (because you know you’re going to rewatch it) or just read it. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, just do it. We hope that these recaps will be worth a few giggles for A Discovery of Witches fans and that they might even make you think twice about what you’ve just watched.

[0:00] All this winding through French wine country, is it wrong to wonder if there’s time to stop and do a couple tastings along the way? Are they in that much of a hurry to meet Mama Bear?

[1:00] Matthew’s answer to “is your mother expecting us” was less than reassuring as was the facial expression that accompanied his words.

[2:00] Were there greetings? I heard no greetings. Having her looming at the top of a very tall set of stairs glaring down at you in silence isn’t at all an intimidating way to meet your boyfriend’s scary arse, centuries-old mother, now is it?

Marthe has been with my family for centuries, much like bad knees and asthma have been in mine.

[3:00] Is it too soon to ask about whether he also made time to update the plumbing in this house? It’s a must-ask for any place I stay.

[4:00] If that is how Ysabeau greets every visitor, it’s not surprising that there haven’t been many since World War II.

[5:00] Miriam’s badassery is on full display! I’m a little bit sorry that it came at the expense of Marcus’ pride, but only a little. (PS to Nikki, I love that three vampires wrestling in an old, creaky apartment drew no alarm from any fellow building dwellers).

“Eternity’s a long time to be chasing a man who doesn’t want you.” Miriam may not get in a lot of words throughout this series, but she’s sure trying to get in the last ones when she does speak.

[6:00] I can smell the history and tales coming alive as that door opened. And I’m not even a vampire with a heightened sense of smell, so imagine what Matthew must feel when he steps into his father’s study.

[7:00] Instead of worrying about Ashmole 782, Diana needs to find a book that will help her interpret these dreams. They’re killing me her.

[8:00] These calls home from Diana to Madison are the greatest inadvertent plug for the audio quality of the iPhone’s speaker function we’ve ever seen.

[9:00] If you’re keeping score at home, Ysabeau hates all witches because Phillipe was killed by them. Sarah and Em hate Ysabeau because she’s an indiscriminate witch killer. The witches are highly suspicious of the daemons and, apparently, the vampires are, at the very least, misogynists. The creatures need some time with Dr. Phil.

Every member appointed in the last 900 years has been a white male. Soooo the Congregation is like the United States Congress?

[10:00] These keys are kickass. I want to give a replica to each member of my family so that we can join them together before family meetings. Note to self: schedule family meetings.

[11:00] I understand that rules have been broken but, goddess, the hair game is strong in the congregation. I wonder if they devote the occasional meeting to hair product “finds” and styling tips.

[12:00] Diana is moving all the puzzle pieces into place: World War II, Nazis, Phillipe’s death and Ysabeau’s witch-killing spree. Also, I feel like we’re one gory gag away from an episode of Horrible Histories.

[13:00] Regardless of what Marcus knows or doesn’t know, I think the answer to the question, “Is [fill in the blank] trying to start a war,” is always no, isn’t it?

[14:00] “As head of the family, you can’t refuse me.” I suspect Baldwin’s got a well-worn copy of The Godfather lying around somewhere that he watches often for family domination inspiration.

“I haven’t smelled such power in centuries.” I find that aspirational since I currently smell like breakfast pancakes and three-hour-old coffee.

[15:00] These two beautiful and powerful creatures galloping through the fields in such a regal manner take my breath away. Oh, and the horses are neat, too.

[16:00] All the congregation members are pecking away at their mobile phones. Are they posting passive aggressive status updates on Facebook? You know the ones: “SOME people need to stop worrying about other people’s witches.”

[17:00] I can’t imagine coming off the euphoric high of that gallop through the countryside — grass and dirt kicking up, cold air in your face, new love at your side — to hear that your parents died at the hands of your own “people.” That goes beyond the traditional definition of buzz kill.

[18:00] That is the most powerful Pokéball I have ever seen.

[19:00] Somebody get Peter Knox a dictionary. I think he has confused the word ally with minion.

[20:00] If working together means I’m going to end up splayed out on a coffee table, I’m good working alone, thanks.

[21:00] I love that this conversation isn’t on speakerphone. Nathaniel just keeps casually fixing that old 10-speed like this is completely normal banter his wife is having with his mother.

[22:00] Please never change, Matthew… and I’m not talking about your inner being. Those riding pants and boots, the effortless way the beefy T is clinging to your shoulders, all of it. It’s working. It’s working hard.

[23:00] I can’t help but wonder if Baldwin is concerned about the increase in flooding in Venice over the last 50 years.

[24:00] “We must show a semblance of democracy.” For a moment, I fretted I’d sat on the remote and accidentally flipped over to CSPAN — a state scarier than Diana’s web dreams.

[25:00] “I am a witch who is willing to make up my own mind despite the stories I’ve heard about you.” Isn’t that what the kids are calling a clapback?

Side note: given how ominous, large and looming Sept-Tours looks from the outside, I love how intimate and cozy all the spaces we’re spending time in feel.

[26:00] I’m sure that Ysabeau is only speaking about Rikasa being too willful. It’s just about the horse, not her son’s new girlfriend…not at all.

[27:00] How do we score an invitation to “a de Clermont Family Christmas?” It sounds delightful!

[28:00] I’ve watched enough Dancing with the Stars to know that no matter how much I love this dance, Len Goodman will not be impressed with the lines and turns.

[29:00] If dancing with Matthew does that to Diana, a kiss like that might cause her to short circuit altogether.

[30:00] “What spell have you put on me?” It’s the question I, silently, ask Deborah Harkness whenever I watch an episode of this show for the nth time.

[31:00] Gillian has the look of someone who wanted to get a friend in trouble but maybe not that much trouble and she’s now wondering how to undo it all.

[32:00] I know that the world is a big place but how is it possible that these vampires haven’t met since the time of the Knights Templar? Do you think they at least follow each other on Instagram?

{33:00] Matthew looks equal parts angry and amused that Diana just got sassy with Domenico.

[34:00] There’s a lot at stake here — the covenant, centuries of rule and tradition and all that business — but I’ve tuned out the context in favor of just listening to the sound of two dreamy GQ vampires low talk and growl at each other.

[35:00] “…and then it became about something else.” Yes, none of us ever suspected this was about a book for you, Matthew.

[36:00] Is it me or do you feel like Marthe smells like baked cinnamon apples, or any other warmly familiar smell that makes you feel comfortable and at home? She’s Sept-Tour’s version of Aunt Em.

[37:00] I gave Matthew some grief about his stalker-like behavior in my episode 1 recap but, Diana, “we are bound together” isn’t typical third-date material.

[38:00] I love the looks on Ysabeau and Marthe’s faces when Diana asks Matthew why he’s “being like this.” It’s like they’ve been waiting centuries for an answer to that question.

[39:00] Oh dear, and now she’s demanding a profession of love. Please don’t boil bunnies. Please don’t boil bunnies.

[40:00] Matthew just wiped away her tears and not in the way we’d hoped he would. We’ve all summarized emotional fallouts of our own as crying “buckets of tears.” But this, this puts new meaning to that.

[41:00] Was that really 41 minutes? Already? For a show about vampires who’ve paced life slow and steady over the course of an eternity, these episodes sure as heck fly by!

Ashley’s final thoughts:
They say the best things in life are meant to be shared, and this episode illuminated that for me in a couple of distinct ways. Matthew’s lived the life equivalent of 15 centenarians, and yet only now has he finally come alive now under Diana’s enchanted spell. Sure, she might be the one whose body sparks colorful magic when she least expects it, but I keep imagining Matthew as a man bathed in dull shades of gray, somewhat hazy, who has sharpened into a rainbow of technicolor clarity right before our eyes now that Diana’s in his world. Kudos to you [yes, again], Matthew Goode. I also found such joy in watching vampires and witches experience the mere-mortals tradition of bringing your new beau home to meet the parents and all that comes with that.

But mostly what made this episode more enjoyable than the last is that I got to watch it from afar with a dear pal in order to bring you this recap. So yes, the best things in life are meant to be shared — even if it’s just an episode of television watched on a rainy Sunday.

Nikki’s final thoughts:
In previous episodes, there was a focus on hunting. Every creature felt like both hunter and prey to me. This episode seemed to pivot from the external forces applied to the creatures to the internal, deep-seated hatred and suspicions that have kept them all separated for centuries. We hear Sarah and Em’s justifications for hating Ysabeau (and, by association, all vampires) and Ysabeau’s justifications for hating all witches. It makes perfect sense even to these creatures who have faced the prejudices levied against them by humans.

And then there’s magic. Magic is woven into the lives of our favorite characters and it reaches its colored threads out of the pages of the books, out of our television screens and wraps around us, forcing us to see the magic in our own worlds. This week’s magical moment came in the form of writing this recap with my dear friend. We were separated by hundreds of miles and, yet, we were able to click the play button at the exact same moment and watch an episode of our favorite show “together” — laughing and sighing our way through a 41-minute emotional roller coaster. The magic isn’t just in Deborah Harkness’ words or the world that she created, it’s in the friendships that have formed and these moments of shared laughter that wouldn’t have existed without that ominous discovery of witches that we read about in each episode’s title card. I am, by default, a skeptic, but it turns out that I also believe in magic. We need more of it in the world and on our screens, so bring on episode 5.

What did you think of A Discovery of Witches episode 4? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Favorite moments?

If you’ve missed any of our A Discovery of Witches recaps, do not fret! You can find all of our Season 1 recaps here.

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