“Episode 6” | A Discovery of Witches
It’s been one heck of a fantastic week on television starting with a thrilling episode of Miss Scarlet and The Duke. Black-ish dealt with work place mentoring, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist delivered its strongest episode of the season addressing racism in the workspaces. We got news of Brooklyn Nine-Nine concluding after season eight and Netflix’s final installment of To All the Boys premiered. But since we watched this episode of A Discovery of Witches weeks ago, we knew we had to write about it when it officially aired.
I had a feeling this would be the episode I’d want to write about the moment I read the chapters in Shadow of Night and I’m thrilled to have been right. James Purefoy’s embodiment of Philippe de Clermont is to the t of how I pictured the character would be in the books, and thus every scene of episode six that he was in made for an extraordinary tear-jerker. From start to finish the episode is a whirlwind for character arcs and by the time you get to the end with his letter, you’re drowning in tears. (Or rather, I was.) That’s why it’s impossible to pick a single moment from the final few where every little detail was a gorgeous showcase of humanity and adoration.
Phillipe’s journey is an astounding one, but more than anything it’s his spirit–it’s his openness, it’s the decision to be a man of the time, and yet welcome the changes because it equates to his son’s happiness. It’s the decision to put pride aside and the decision to be vulnerable. It’s calling Diana his daughter, more than once and allowing the audience to see just how fond he’s grown of the woman who loves Matthew with everything in her. It was the moment he handed off the necklace and told her he’d always be with her that left me in tears, and it’s the moment where he told Matthew that whatever happens in the future, he’d forgive him. It was the decision to be the absolute, most excited member of the family at the wedding.
And it was writing Ysabeau that final letter that had us go from subtly wiping away tears to straight up weeping. That final moment with his voiceover and Ysabeau reading the letter was a beautiful display of love’s everlasting power. It was a beautiful display of what makes time travel in shows so special, and it’s the fact that little changes such as this could have colossal impact in the smallest of ways. One person’s word could make another feel like the world is theirs. A lover’s old letter found in the bindings of a book could be both a gripping reminder of love’s strength and the reassuring presence of belief in someone else. Phillippe and Ysabeau were partners–they were and are, even in death, each other’s strength, and through it all, their love remained the beacon of hope in a darkened world where too much happens. It was moving and evocative through and through.
It was Matthew and Diana finally consummating their marriage. It was Diana learning of the blood rage (though I still don’t understand why this was brought in early), and it was reassuring Matthew that all of him is something she will love to the end of time. It was Diana understanding the complexities within this family, embracing them, and standing her ground to her father-in-law. It’s strength and empowerment all wrapped up in one heck of a woman. It was dancing with both Philippe and Matthew at their wedding. The moments of unparalleled joy that rang so loudly amongst them all after the darkness and fighting. Families can be messy, they can be complicated, and people can be stuck in their own ways, but sometimes, people are willing to grow–people are willing to evolve and change. That’s what Philippe’s doing. And his life is better now because of this union.
What’s the most exquisite thing you watched on TV this week?