An itty bitty analysis on why episode three of A Discovery of Witches is such a gorgeous hour of television.
It’s been a solid four weeks since it’s aired, plenty of stunning footage followed, and yet, I can’t stop thinking about how the untitled episode ends.
Cue, Lissie’s “Go Your Own Way” the most stunning cover of Fleetwood Mac’s original hit I’ve ever heard. Maybe throw a ton of bricks at me, I’d feel less than I did during the scene I’m going to discuss. There’s so much to be said about why this is the episode that sets everything into motion beautifully. (And the episode that had me officially hooked.) Where there’s a formidable hindrance in any relationship, the result of overcoming and giving in to the resistance could go a number of ways, and A Discovery of Witches may have just set the bar too high to meet. Matthew dropping to his knees as an immaculate effort to comfort Diana in a position of overwhelming uniformity showcased his very intentions with her beautifully. Intimacy is more than a physical touch or in this case, a breathtaking first kiss. Intimacy is the choice to share oneself with another — mind, body, and soul. Intimacy is the exhibition of complete and utter vulnerability, gorgeously validating that Diana has, in every way, captivated Matthew to his core — awakening the disposition to love that’s long been dead inside of him. Intimacy is a man with great strength and in this case, a threatening reputation, revealing himself in the form of pure humility in front of a woman he’d risk everything for. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her and the physical showcase of malleability brought his heart to life impeccably.
So much has happened between the two so far, but the quiet intimacy of this moment continues to be the one I can’t stop thinking about. And perhaps, it’s because it’s the first time we’re seeing Matthew in a state of such tangible softness. The vampire’s resilience, now governed by an intense desire to protect Diana is overtaken by sensitivity in the form of a man who’s silently promising her a thousand accords all at once, protection, adoration, benevolence, and whatever virtuous pledge lies between. And Goode authenticates here that he’s the right choice for the role, going from one extreme emotion to another in the blink of an eye with the most jaw-dropping subtly I’ve seen in a long, long time. The tenderness in Goode’s tone of voice and the longing observation in his awe-struck eyes bring Matthew’s emotions to life in a masterful display of profound vulnerability. It’s his way of asking for permission — permission that’s already been granted to him, but one he cannot begin to grasp because his desire to be careful is far more than any of his selfish needs.
And finally, the two of them walking out of her rooms serves as the beautiful manifestation of just how much change is coming. Out of the darkness and into the light together. Diana turning off all the lights as Matthew stood in the darkened hallway transitioned the scene beautifully, and as the two of them walked off while Matthew extended his hand to her towards the end of the lit passageway, we were given one of the most gorgeous moments of cinematography on television. I could write a novel on this scene alone, the colors, (Orange representing warmth, freedom, and balance — everything their relationship’s brought into both their lives.), the music, and so forth, but I’ll spare you all the emotions for now. If the series wasn’t based off of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, this would be the very scene that’d promise viewers of the fact that whatever comes their way, Matthew and Diana will not only face it together, but they’ll conquer it, hand in hand, forever bound in all the ways two people can be. Alice Troughton and Sarah Walker’s direction of the episode is one that’ll be discussed for quite some time — amazed doesn’t even come close to describe how it’s left me feeling. From the moment it began, to the very last scene, episode three was an indescribable, poetic showcase of the wonders that can happen when women tell stories through their perspective.