Relive each delicious moment of the TV adaptation of A Discovery of Witches with our weekly recap. This week? A Discovery of Witches Episode 6

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.

[1:00] Superman led me to believe that arms were needed for steering while flying. Satu suggests otherwise. Maybe she steers with her steely gaze.

[2:00] Do you think Gerbert’s witch in a box will fit in the overhead bin or does he have to check it when he flies?

[3:00] I don’t know about you, but hearing “relax, I’m not your enemy” from the queen of resting witch face who has just kidnapped you, dangled you like a bird in flight, dropped you 30 feet and imprisoned you in the middle of nowhere alongside a man who gruffly says he can smell lust on you is not really what I’d call peace of mind. Maybe I watch too much Law & Order SVU for my own good.   

[4:00] If Satu really wants to be friends, maybe she could walk back that notion of finding the magic inside Diana. That seems more like a request you would make after years of friendship, not a first in.

[5:00] I kind of want to swap out Satu’s hoodie for a red one, light up that finger and wish for E.T. to help Diana phone home to Matthew.

[6:00] If Gerbert wants a different answer from his witch, maybe he should ask a different question. I learned this by being the mother of a child who sometimes, unintentionally, (I think) answers in riddles.

[7:00] Arms around neck, laced around back, spinning in anxious, nonsensical circles — these two just time walked back to my middle school dance.

[8;00] That, dear friends, is the look of one sated man. What the hell did she do to him to put a sleepless vampire into that deep of a sleep, you ask? Hint: read the book. You’ll know. We both had a theory that it might have involved sparkles.

[9:00] I need to briefly pause the snark. I was fascinated by the use of this drum and thus I took a ride in the Google machine. I found this interesting post written by a fellow All Souls fan and art historian. Enjoy!

[10:00] You know that feeling of wanting to close the gaps in time and distance to get to a family member who tells you they’re hurting? Now magnify that exponentially by imagining you’re Aunt Em, who has the foresight to know Diana’s in trouble without her saying as much and sits thousands of miles away feeling helpless.

[11:00] Satu just turned into Lumiere! I have a feeling that her next move won’t include a rousing rendition of “Be Our Guest.”

[12:00] Ysabeau seems unphased by the fact that her two sons are wrestling on the dining room table. She must have endured centuries of this testosterone-fueled nonsense.

[13:00] My brain is like an FM radio dial spitting out static noise as it rotates through “This Little Light of Mine,” “You Light Up My Life” and any other song that presents light more cheerfully as a way for my brain to cope with this horrifying sequence.

[14:00] Am I the only one who finds Baldwin’s sheepish point to the sky adorable? The vampire bloodhounds are so busy trying to trace the scents that they lost sight of the possibility of a flying witch. Such a rookie mistake. I factor the possibility of a flying witch into nearly every plan I make.

[15:00] AND SHE’S NOT DEAD NOW HOW?!?

[16:00] How did Satu get her lined up to fit perfectly through that hole? She kept the impressive form of a Chilean miner!

[17:00] Everybody keeps asking what Diana has done to them and Diana’s all like “GUYS I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! I’ve literally been telling you that since the first episode.”

[18:00] They’re working urgently to problem solve a harrowing ordeal that has the love of his life’s fate hanging delicately in the balance. And yet, the greatest fear always-calm Matthew has in the middle of it is answering scary Aunt Sarah’s call. Classic.

[19:00] La Pierre is quickest by helicopter and I just happen to have one waiting in the backyard. These de Clermont men are handy to have around in times of crisis.

[20:00] “It doesn’t work that way, Diana. I can’t skip the bad parts. You have to face them.” She lost her mother way too soon in life but, as it turns out, still in that short time received the greatest lesson she could ever need.  

[21:00] Diana’s stuck at the bottom of this hole and all I can think is, I wonder if she’s going to be asked to put the lotion in the basket.

[22:00] We’ll have to jump. That is not standard helicopter protocol. Is it?

[23:00] My 1980s childhood fuels the overwhelming need for someone to chant “meka leka hi meka hiney ho” so that Pee Wee’s Genie will finally grant them their damn wish.

[24:00] As it turns out, the Prince could fly (de Clermont family choppers and all), but Diana’s still going to need to help herself.

[25:00] I’m having a Hamilton flashback. “In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet.” In the midst of chaos there is always a moment of clarity. This is Diana’s moment.

[26:00] And again, with perfect precision on the ascent. We give it a 10 right out of the gate! (PS, can someone please tell us how they got back the chopper? They jumped to get down… did she fly them up? So many follow-up questions. So many.)

[27:00] Knowing what we know of Matthew it’s easy to believe that he literally might not let Diana go ever again. It’s a sweet sentiment, but it’s going to make bathroom breaks unnecessarily awkward.

[28:00] “Satu used her magic on me”… oh, and I also survived not one, but two 20-foot drops onto my head and spine. But yes, cut my top off and have a look. This is a commentary on the pain tolerance of women as Diana says casually, “it’s tender.” If you’ve ever watched a man battle a common cold, this takes on extra meaning.

[29:00] “She survived the doing of it, the seeing of it can’t possibly be worse.” I love Matthew’s recognition and validation of Diana’s strength, courage and perseverance to survive all parts of this trauma no matter how deep the ensuing scars.

[30:00] We also love Diana’s realization of her own power. “She said she was going to open me up, but she didn’t” and then she looks in the mirror at her battered face and shows a slight smile.

[31:00] Gerbert is clearly a believer in the five-second rule and so am I, but maybe we should draw the line at licking things that we’ve found on the floor of a torture chamber.

[32:00] Diana can’t be shocked at Matthew’s promise to hunt down and kill anyone who harms or marks her. She offered the very same proclamation of love at her first glimpse of Matthew’s bare, scarred back realizing that he’d lived thousands of years of abuse at the hands of others.

[33:00] Baldwin is always screaming about being the head of the family. Yes, we know, we get it already. And we also don’t care that you drive a Dodge Stratus. Enough. (Shameless plug for a classic SNL moment.)

[34:00] These two diving in angrily into the particulars of the Knights of Lazarus make me wonder if they borrowed their guiding rules from The Fight Club. Don’t talk about, don’t talk about it, only two to a fight… you get the point.

[35:00] If I were Diana, my next move would be to stay under that blanket next to Matthew and that fireplace, mug of hot tea in hand, for at least another week. At least. Then proceed.

[36:00] For being evil, Satu sure does cry a lot. A reminder that even mean girls can feel deeply… and that actress Malin Buska is doing a serious about-face number on how we feel about book-to-screen Satu with her unique portrayal.

[37:00] Despite all the joking that we’ve done about the “witch in a box” Meridiana is an interesting expansion to a character that was briefly mentioned in the book. She’s been held by Gerbert for centuries because she has knowledge that Gerbert wants and she’s refused to give him nothing but a riddle that he can’t decipher no matter how hard he tries. Men, you’ve been warned, never underestimate the depths of a woman’s obstinance when she’s had enough of your shit.

[38:00] “I was born of witches.” Anybody care if I start using that when I introduce myself to new people?

[39:00] Agatha’s response to Nat and Sophie’s news is a beautiful reminder of everything I love about this show. The ones who love us will always be there to support us when times get tough or weird or just unwieldy.

[40:00] And now Alison Krauss lyrics drift comfortably through my head…some bright morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away. Rest in actual peace now, witch in a box.

[41:00] Standing in front of the mirror asking “what am I?” That’s a Monday in my house.

Ashley’s final thoughts:
Diana in the hole! What an episode. The way Matthew pounded his fist on the table at Baldwin in emphatic confirmation that, yes, Diana is
“worth all this” mirrors how I feel about this series in general. Each episode lights me up and cuts deeper than the last (what, too soon?).

In all seriousness, this episode fondly reminded me of a story my dad told me years ago to illustrate a lesson about the strength inherently within us and the power of the company we choose to keep. It’s about a man who falls in a hole and those who pass by offering, and failing in the process, to help him find a way out. In the end, it’s a selfless friend who saves the day by willingly jumping in the hole with him. I’m paraphrasing to spare you, but do read the story here, or better yet watch it played out memorably in this scene from Aaron Sorkin’s masterpiece, The West Wing.

Diana found herself quite literally in a hole — spatially, emotionally and spiritually — and needed to dig deep within herself to find the courage to climb out. And while it was up to her to achieve this solo physical feat, we know that everyone who loves her was in that hole with her even if Diana (or we) couldn’t see them. Her parents, her aunts, Matthew… hell, all of us — we’ve all been in some semblance of a hole at one point or another and wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, let alone those we care for the most. So we jump in willingly — not to spare the afflicted from the pain of the experience, but rather to show them they, too, have the strength and wherewithal to suffer the lowest of lows and still scratch (or fly) their way out of it in triumph. And they, too, will bear the scars of that time proudly and, hopefully, pay it forward one day when and if the time comes. Thank you, A Discovery of Witches, for reminding me of this important lesson and taking me back to a time many years ago when, like Diana’s mother, my dad knew I was ready to hear it and would carry it with me for a time when I would need it the most.

Nikki’s final thoughts:
There was no small amount of torture in this episode but it wasn’t gratuitous. Diana needed this to decide where she stands on the subjects of magic and her powers, to understand that the creature world is investing far more time and energy in figuring out Diana Bishop than she is. We needed this because, until now, we’ve seen the women of this show, many of them powerful in their own right, cower time and again to the men who wield power over them. The lovely Juliette is mentally chained to Gerbert. Satu, with her great powers, is reduced to flunky for Peter Knox. Ysabeau, with her simmering hatred and implied menace, dutifully bows her head with a “yes, Matthew” when her son gives an order.

Diana, on the other hand, emerges from her ordeal with a quiet resolve. She asks Matthew to promise that he will not take revenge on Satu because she wants to be the one to deal with her. She doesn’t even know yet how she will do it; she just knows that she will. And that’s what I love about this episode. In that moment, Diana became every woman, every damn day of our lives. We rarely know how we’re going to do everything, to bust through the roadblocks, the mansplaining, the school pickup and have dinner on the table by 6 but we do it because we’re us.

Here’s to all our witchy friends who do all the things every day. Here’s to Deborah Harkness for reminding us that we’ve all got a little bit of magic inside us but that, sometimes, we only find it when our lives are turned upside down.

What did you think of Episode 6? Did you survive watching Diana tortured and held captive?

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