In the latest episode of A Discovery of Witches, Matthew visits his father Philippe, but their dynamic is decidedly tense.
When we last saw Matthew and Diana in the third episode of A Discovery of Witches, they had started on a journey to France after being summoned to the De Clermont estate, Sept-Tours, by Matthew’s vampire stepfather, Philippe. Of course, since they are traveling in 1590, the journey is uniquely difficult, and as the pair draw closer to their destination, Matthew seems to become more nervous about seeing Philippe again.
For Matthew, Philippe died during World War II after being tortured by the Nazis. According to Matthew, Philippe was barely a shell of himself when he passed away, and that image of him haunts Matthew’s memories. Moreover, while Matthew seemed to remember his father in a positive light when they were in their own time, as he and Diana continue their journey, Matthew seems to remember and grow more concerned about Philippe’s controlling ways. Philippe has sent a group of men to escort them to Sept-Tours, and Matthew comments they remind him that as he gets closer to Philippe he has less and less freedom, to the point where if he were to try to avoid the visit, he and Diana would be blocked from pursuing their own agenda to find Ashmole 782.
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When they finally arrive, Sept-Tours is mostly empty outside of Philippe and a bevy of servants. Even Ysebeau is elsewhere. Philippe summons Matthew to his office and instead of a greeting, asks Matthew to explain himself. Philippe is referring to Diana, who he already knows all about, yet he’s upset that Matthew didn’t tell him about her himself. The exchange is fraught with tension, and when Diana informs Philippe that she and Matthew love each other, Philippe scoffs at her declaration. Yet, while Matthew asks Philippe not to doubt his feelings for Diana, Philippe counters that if the relationship really meant something to him, he would have consummated it. Somehow Philippe can smell — yes, smell — that Diana and Matthew haven’t had sex yet. He then puts them in separate rooms as if Matthew’s brought his college girlfriend home to meet the parents.
Given how Matthew has held out on her, it’s not exactly a surprise that Diana is furious at him after Philippe seems to confirm there’s no reason for his reticence. Yet, when she magically forces him out of her room and slams the door, Matthew appears to show signs of blood rage, the affliction it was revealed he suffers from in last week’s episode. Matthew growls and looks towards Philippe’s office threateningly, although when he stalks into the room, he simply yells at his father.
Matthew is angry that Philippe has interfered in his relationship, but Philippe calmly tells him it was necessary as Matthew has committed a sin of omission by refusing to explain to Diana why he won’t consummate their relationship. Then, to Matthew’s astonishment, Philippe changes the subject to ask when Matthew last ate and to insist he go hunting the next morning.
While it seems visiting his father is just as challenging as Matthew believed it would be, it’s still a little amusing to see the dynamic between two vampire characters who are each thousands of years old. Their exchanges reflect the experience of many adult children who are accustomed to living on their own returning to their childhood home only to discover things are much more constrained under their parents’ roof. Of course, Philippe and Matthew also have a ridiculously long history together so perhaps they will start to warm up to one another soon.
A Discovery of Witches Season 2 stars Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Alex Kingston, Valarie Pettiford, Lindsay Duncan, Edward Bluemel, Aiysha Hart, Daniel Ezra, Aisling Loftus, Trevor Eve, Owen Teale, Malin Buska, Gregg Chillin, Tom Hughes, James Purefoy, Steven Cree and Adelle Leonce. New episodes are available to stream every Saturday on Sundance Now, Shudder and AMC+.
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