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A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Open Arms



Watching Shadow of Night come alive is too much fun, wouldn’t you agree?


Of course, we’re not getting the brilliant details from the series that we got with Deborah Harkess’ words, but it’s a sheer delight, nonetheless.


A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 2 introduced a beloved character from the book in Goody Alsop and one that draws the opposite effect in Father Hubbard.


If you’re a fan of the characters in the present, A Discovery of Witches Season 2 might be frustrating at the moment. We’re only getting the barest hints of what’s happening in Matthew and Diana’s future.


The suddenly emotional Satu struggles with her history in much the same way Diana is, wishing to understand more about who she is. Seeing a tear fall from her eye almost makes her sympathetic. Almost.


Even living under the Ysabeau’s protection doesn’t do anything to calm Sarah’s nerves about Peter Knox hunting them down. Emily, though, is still pondering the significance of the Book of Life to Diana’s existence, and she’s unlikely to give up. No doubt, that aids to Sarah’s concerns.


Living under one roof hasn’t brought the four women any closer yet, with Ysabeau not interested in changing that any time soon.


But Marthe reminds her why they’re all together, and if Ysabeau loves Matthew as much as we think, then these women might be cozy the next time we check in with them.

Ysabeau: I’m tolerating them under my roof and affording them my protection. We don’t need to play happy families.
Marthe: Matthew would want you to make them feel at home. If he has evolved, then so can we.


Diana is still settling into Matthew’s world, and Matthew, although he’s concerned about Diana’s safety during a time when witches are feared and hunted, is relishing his time with his old friends.


That they’re not entirely on the same page works in favor of their romance.


Diana wants to find her people and learn all that she can. Matthew wants to protect her at every turn. Those two desires are conflicting to some degree, but it keeps their romance alive. They have to be on their toes constantly to be fully abreast of the other’s actions.


Working independently moves the story along, but it doesn’t take away from their time together, either. We see them at odds with each other over some issues and acting like newlyweds the next, such as when Matthew begged her to allow him to finish his reading.


With each independent experience, their relationship expands.


Matthew is treading as lightly as he can with Lord Burghley, who wants the Matthew he knows so well to carry out the Queen’s business. After all, Matthew was going to great lengths against people he wouldn’t have otherwise at Phillipe’s request.


Maybe that’s not correct. It’s likely only as Matthew lived longer and learned ways around the more primitive methods of the Elizabethan period that he wouldn’t necessarily consider the same methods he once used so well.


Still, that didn’t stop him from killing Father Hubbard’s “family” member, Tom Caldwell, another member of the witches Coven, when he thought allowing him to remain alive much longer would be a danger to Diana.


Diana doesn’t want Matthew to kill to protect her, but she’s not quite capable of protecting herself in those uncertain times, especially. She was right when she told Matthew killing Caldwell was merciful. Caldwell wouldn’t survive either way.


But what Matthew doesn’t know is that the damage has already been done. He killed Caldwell partially to keep Hubbard from bringing Phillipe into the picture, but that’s out of Matthew’s hands now as Father Hubbard sent a message to Phillipe. Whoops.


All of the tensions aside, it’s great seeing Matthew in his element. Matthew Goode is even more captivating in the past because it’s so familiar to him. He knows what he can get away with and what he can’t. He can hardly wipe the smirk off of his face as he portrays Matthew in all kinds of different situations. It’s delicious!


Kit has come around, too, offering Matthew sage advice and aiming to get the Matthew he knew and loved back into the Matthew who just arrived.


They’re laughing and enjoying each other’s company, and by the time their business was sorted, Matthew was sporting an earring, just as Kit remembered him.


Kudos to Kit and all of Matthew’s friends in the know about his timewalking adventure with Diana. Nobody has asked the questions that would be burning inside of me. Finally, Kit asked if his writing were still widely read in the future.


Matthew didn’t bite, but if you’re unaware, Kit Marlowe is widely considered one of the Elizabethan era’s best playwrights, even by modern scholars. He’d be proud.


Matthew called upon another historical figure, poet Mary Sidney, hoping that she could help Diana find a witch for her purposes, but Mary wasn’t up for the task.

Mary: I learned what you are from my brother as a child. I understood it to be a fable. That is how I would like to keep it.
Matthew: You would deny the truth of creatures like Diana and I. We will trouble you no further.


There are some things best left unsaid, and that’s how Mary feels about her friend’s otherworldly nature. She’s more than happy to extend an offer of friendship to Diana, but to keep herself safe and sane, she’d rather not dwell on the particulars.


I can’t say that I blame her. She’s not going to judge, though, and that’s a lot more than you get from many people in 2021. Acceptance is enough.


I don’t believe that Father Hubbard has any historical significance, but he’s definitely a thorn in the side of Matthew and Diana.


A vampire who presides over London with a message of family probably doesn’t have intentions nearly as altruistic as he portends. If he did, then threats wouldn’t be so readily at his fingertips.


The man will play a significant part in this story as it moves forward, so get used to him. When I think of him from my reading, he comes with darkness around him that is difficult to shake.


The opposite is true of Goody Alsop, and she’s so wonderfully cast!! Sheila Hancock brings the character from the books to life vividly, and with all the heart I expected from Goody Alsop.


If Susanna had concerns about Diana’s powers and whether she could be trusted, Goody Alsop had no such qualms.


She’s been waiting for the powerful witch to arrive, and all she had to do was feel the power emanating from Diana to know she was the witch prophesied.


With Goody’s arrival begins the grandest of Diana’s adventures as she finally gets the chance to inherit what has been subdued in her and embrace her power for all the good she can do with it.

Diana: I am a time spinner. I have come from the future in order to seek out a special teacher. I’ve seen the Book of Life with my own eyes.
Goody Alsop: The first grimoire?
Diana: Yes. I don’t understand how my magic is connected to it or my purpose once I come into my power, but I do know this: My relationship to my magic, to Matthew Royden, to the Book of Life are woven together. One cannot exclude the other.
Goody Alsop: The long-awaited weaver is among us!


Diana will learn more about her family and why her power was bound for her protection.


She’ll discover abilities she never dreamed of, and it all begins with the warm welcome from Goody Alsop and the coven, which they literally did with open arms.


Wasn’t that a beautiful scene?


Diana lit up in their presence, and it’s so fun to imagine how she must feel finally being among peers and those who can help her emerge from her magical cocoon.


The previews show that we are very close to meeting Queen Elizabeth and discovering more about Matthew’s dynamic with her. And we also know by way of casting that it won’t be long before we get to meet Phillipe de Clermont in the flesh.


There are so many wonderful things in store with this season of A Discovery of Witches. We’re only just getting started!


What did you think about the second episode of the second season, which I have decided to title “Open Arms”? Does that title suit, do you think?


I’d love to hear your thoughts on the adventure so far, so please drop me a line below.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.





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