There are two significant narrative paths for A Discovery of Witches Season 3 Episode 3.
The first follows Diana and Phoebe as they try to get their hands on the remaining pages of Ashmole 782.
The other follows Matthew, Marcus, and Jack as they try to get more samples for the research into blood rage and form a scion of their own.
Once complete, both paths will converge to bring forth enlightenment and allow creatures to live harmoniously together. So, it’s a pretty big deal.
Only one of the two had emotional resonance worthy of a deep dive discussion, so we’ll start with the more straightforward topic.
Phoebe has become an invaluable member of the family and the team trying to gather the final pages of Ashmole 782.
That, and, well, I really like her. She was written very well in the book, and Adelle Leonce does a wonderful job with the character.
Did you catch the quick morsel she and Marcus noted about her humanity? Phoebe feels like she could be a better asset as a nonhuman.
For now, she’s incredibly helpful and found out enough that Diana managed to use some magic at the British Library, which in no way resembled the stately Bodleian.
It’s always a rush watching Diana manipulate things, and it was no different here as her hands danced above the pages of a manuscript that led her to Father Hubbard.
Hubbard didn’t stray too far from his work during the plague. He doesn’t need to make those kinds of life or death decisions now, but he still offers a place of sanctuary and protection to those who request it.
When I think of Hubbard from the books, I sense darkness. But the Hubbard we have here reminds me how differently material can be perceived.
Peter Knox, who felt all evil in the books, now comes off as kind of pathetic. Without The Congregation behind him, he’s useless. Hubbard overpowered him and his request for a team-up without batting an eye.
That scuffle was still fresh when Diana arrived, asking after the pages.
Diana deftly used the argument that having the page in the hands of one of his flock was far better than it ever getting into the hands of someone like Knox or a member of The Congregation.
Diana: So, Father. Who do you trust with the book? A member of The Congregation or a member of your own flock?
Hubbard: I need to know that my flock will not be collateral damage in this struggle the de Clermonts are engaged with. Can you give me that?
Diana: No. But I can promise you this — if we lose, any chance we creatures had to live in peace will be gone, and there will be reason for Knox or Gebert to keep up the pretense that we are all equal. They’re already using The Covenant to divide us.
The hardest part of finding the second missing page was Phoebe’s legwork and Diana’s spell. The rest was relatively easy.
With Diana and Phoebe so focused, it left Sarah feeling unnecessary. She’s in mourning, and that sense of uneasiness and being unable to help the person she loved most in the world leaves her misunderstanding other interactions, too.
Not-stalkery Gallowglass and Orlando both helped point her in the right direction with Diana, who leans heavily on her aunt whether Sarah realizes it or not.
With so many significant events happening in such a short time and so much left to accomplish before the babies are born, there isn’t much time to give or receive comfort.
But if everything comes together — and you know that it will — it’s just a matter of time before everyone can share in each other’s happiness and sorrow.
Matthew’s trip with Marcus and Jack was well-timed in that regard. It allowed the ladies to focus. And Matthew and Marcus needed to walk back into one of the worst periods of their lives.
That would have been difficult on a good day, but they carried with them so much baggage, including Jack and his blood rage. He may be centuries old, but he’s still just a child, especially when controlling his darkest trait.
Jack! You control the rage; the rage does not control you. Remember what we practiced. Stay in the present. Find your focus.
Matthew is proof that blood rage can be trained. He discovered techniques to control it and manipulate it so that he isn’t a risk, but others haven’t been so successful. Even others never got the chance.
They need a larger population of vampires to examine, and those who carry the trait without symptoms are perfect specimens to track.
In conjunction with getting permission to use their blood to advance a cure for blood rage, they also hope to start their own scion, successfully creating a new family line so Baldwin will no longer be able to control them.
The man who needed persuading was Ransome. He’s the leader of the New Orlean vampires and was personally affected by the damage Matthew did to other blood rage vampires.
Miriam: New Orleans was never going to be easy. What Matthew did there, it was carnage. It ripped Marcus’s family apart.
Chris: But you can’t choose your family, right?
Miriam: Well, that’s not strictly true for vampires. You just have to live with your choices for a long time.
It was never going to be easy to have a conversation with him, but Matthew toting along his blood rage son just rubbed salt in their wounds.
Jack is very sweet, and once Ransome met him, he seemed to consider that Matthew could have changed. But changing wasn’t enough, and it never would be.
Marcus: Matthew is trying to find another way, and that starts with a cure to blood rage. You can help us figure out why you and I aren’t afflicted. You can’t change what’s already happened.
Ransom: But he can own it, Marcus! Just by being here, he’s opening wounds that have barely had a chance to heal. I’m glad Matthew’s found his conscience, but I can’t help thinkin’ it’s a couple centuries too late.
Nobody knew how deeply affected Matthew was by all that he did to eradicate others like him. It was as if Ransome and the others dared him to prove he was heartless.
Instead, Matthew did the opposite.
Ransome dared Matthew to forget even one name of those he killed, but Matthew had them all etched on his brain. He knew their names, what they enjoyed in life, their talents, and who loved them.
And he knew exactly where each one was killed and how he did it.
Matthew: I believe that we should live with truth and hope, not fear.
Ransom: Pretty words, the last thing we need.
Matthew: Tell me what you do need.
Ransom: Remorse, Matthew! If I could just believe for one second that you comprehend what we lost.
Matthew: I am sorry for what happened
Ransom: NO!! It didn’t happen to us! It was done to us! Now, if you can’t understand that.
Matthew: Malachi Smith. Friendly, big smile. He was walking down Bourbon Street. He stopped for a cigarette, and I killed him. Suzette Boudreaux. Beautiful blonde hair. Spoke immaculate French. I pretended to be lost. She gave me directions. And I killed her. Sun Gren LaChalet. She would often visit the San Luis Cemetery. Someone she cared about was laid to rest there. And on a rainy Sunday afternoon, that’s where I killed her.
We only saw the beginning and the very end of Matthew’s atonement, but making amends would be just as cathartic for him as it was for the loved ones of those he killed.
Matthew has allowed those dark days to paint himself as a villain, not deserving of deep love. But meeting Diana and finding that connection and with children on the way, he was finally able to cleanse himself of that darkness so he could begin fresh.
It’s all those left behind ever wanted to hear, but until he accepted what he had done and why, it wasn’t a gift he could afford them.
His redemption opens new possibilities. They’ve got allies and family again that they’ve not had in centuries. With this new lease on life, Matthew will have the strength he needs to define a new future, unlike the compartmentalized and suspicious past they’ve endured.
The babies will be here any day, and this family will need all of its strength to protect them. Satu is eyeing battle with Diana for supremacy, and she’s got Benjamin at the ready.
The Congregation isn’t going to stand for the creation of a scion, and they’ll no doubt cause a ruckus. But the planets are aligning for the side of good and love to win.
What did you think of Matthew’s moving tribute to those he killed?
I can’t wait to hear from you, so please drop below and leave a note. We’ve got four more episodes, and that doesn’t seem like enough 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.