As the season draws to a close, I’m putting it out there — if you’re a fan of the show, read the books.
This finale came and went so quickly, and there is so much unsaid from the second book that it’s a bit disappointing.
OK. Maybe it’s a lot disappointing, but not by way of content. It’s more about timing.
It’s not easy to make a television show based on novels. A lot of information gets cut or changed.
In the case of the All Souls trilogy, the show is doing an incredible job of bringing the story to life, but it’s only part of the story. The journey is so much deeper in the written word, and I hope everyone eager for more takes a detour through the books as we head into the third (and final?) season.
I’m not going to lie; if I had read the books while they were being published instead of after they were being published, even then, it would have been difficult to get on board with the end of Shadow of Night, just as it’s difficult to get on board with A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Episode 10.
The cliffhanger is so enormous that it jolts you out of the story. What? Are they home? Is Emily dead?
Thankfully, you can find out, as I did, by reading and moving on to the next novel. They’re delicious and beautiful and painstakingly detailed. Still, an abrupt ending is an abrupt ending, and this finale delivered that.
Despite that, there were still bits that stood out. There just wasn’t enough of them.
Diana’s lessons have come to an end, and it’s still difficult to understand if she knows what she’s doing or if she can just tie knots. Just before she left Goody for the last time, Goody appeared to toss before them both a spell that she cannot finish with the intention of Diana remembering what she saw so she can recreate it successfully in the future.
If that doesn’t show what kind of power Diana has, then nothing will. It’s like learning the letters of the alphabet and how to craft words, but you’re not sure of the meaning. It seems an impossible task, but it’s not for Diana.
It’s quite fortuitous that Diana’s father, Stephen, was in London looking for Ashmole 782 as she’s nearing the finish line of her training.
Both Matthew and Diana have been without their fathers for a very long time, and with their successful trip to Sept Tours and Philippe’s blessing, it’s only fair that Diana can settle her past, as well.
Their time with Stephen was much shorter, but Diana was thrilled that she could share with him that she’s safe, in love, and unbound from their protection spell, learning magic from the absolute best.
She chose not to share with him the realities they’re facing in the present, which made for an awkward moment for Stephen, who, while looking at his daughter’s powers in awe, made an off-the-cuff comment that hit a little too close to home.
[with admiration] Some witches would kill for that kind of power. [looks around] What did I say?
The best part of their meeting came when Stephen assured Diana that making peace with what happened to them is what he wishes for her. He doesn’t want her to look back, but only forward, especially since she’s carrying his grandchild.
There is so much I want to tell you. I’m terrified of changing anything, and yet I’m desperate to change everything.
Rebecca foretold Matthew and the baby, so wherever they are, they’re always aware of Diana. It’s such a warm feeling, and the various expressions across Diana’s face during their meeting spoke volumes.
You’re everything that we dreamed you’d one day become.
With the most pressing issue from their timewalking journey completed, Matthew and Diana set about settling their affairs to return home. Letting go of their son (I was unaware they had adopted Jack) was the most difficult emotionally and in terms of ensuring his safety in their absence.
Since Diana can timewalk, it’s always possible that they could see him again someday, but it’s not a skill they take for granted. Diana decided upon a rather interesting choice for Jack’s protection — Father Hubbard.
The man was eager to make a deal in that regard if it meant getting a peek into her life with a drop of blood. Diana doesn’t give of herself lightly, and she believes that Father Hubbard’s word is worth the risk.
But Benjamin’s appearance so soon afterward suggests that it’s not going to be as easy for him to protect Jack as he let on to Diana.
And the swift one-two of Benjamin’s presence in the past and the blood rager in the present slicing and dicing Domenico speaks to the possibility he’s not one to give up.
Matthew looks on their journey as a success for many reasons, one of which is that he got to be a father again, both to Jack and the child growing within Diana. I’m not sure he’d have approved of Diana turning to Father Hubbard for Jack’s sake, and I hope it’s not a decision that comes back to haunt her.
With so much before them and their excitement to return home, they’ll arrive to less-than-favorable circumstances.
Before we delve into that, we need to rejoice once again in Phoebe’s addition to the family. As surely as I knew Matthew and Diana were forever, I feel it with Marcus and Phoebe.
Their relationship is relatively new, but she’s already entrusted with millennia of secrets and been accepted by Ysabeau. And why wouldn’t she be? Her intelligence and empathy guide her well.
Marcus: What does the covenant actually stand for today? Segregation, discrimination. We need to evolve if we want to survive.
Phoebe: Hasn’t the change already started? I mean, look at this table. Four species dining together. From what Marcus has told me, that’s not something that happened very often.
Look, I know I’m pretty new to all this, and I don’t mean to be forward, but it seems pretty obvious that the only way forward is together.
Nothing frightens her like the discrimination and hatred humanity is capable of, and she’s hopeful that she can stand by Marcus as he moves creatures in a different direction.
She beautifully told Marcus that she believes sharing time with him is a privilege, and every move afterward conveyed the same to the other creatures she met.
Overall, they have a strong group to help usher in changes that could mean a radically different world than the one they’ve been living in.
Rebecca said as much when Emily reached her again. Unfortunately, Emily wasn’t there of her free will but called by Knox.
Gerbert and Knox are up to their old tricks, and they’re highly annoying. Even if Knox hadn’t called to Emily, she would have continued calling to Rebecca, and nothing good was going to come of it. It’s not dark magic, but it’s dangerous.
Diana will unite all creatures against bigots like you, and she will avenge me!
The last thing that Diana will want to do is avenge her aunt’s death, but she’ll have no choice. What Knox doesn’t know about her powers will be her advantage.
In the book, you get the next chapter, so to speak, as the end reaches farther than this finale. This almost felt like a penultimate episode begging for a finale, but now we’re left with all of this until A Discovery of Witches returns.
Of course, we can watch it over and over, and there are episodes that ache for repeated viewing. This just isn’t one of them.
Are you pleased with the way A Discovery of Witches Season 2 unfolded?
I’m eager to hear your thoughts, so please drop below and share them with me.
Until next time!
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, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.
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