“It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.”
Each episode of this show starts with these lines as the opening. The book also drops the same words in key places of the story. Last night I finished reading the trilogy again and the theme carries through all the books until finally it all ties together. If you have not read the books, I do suggest you read them all at once as the trilogy. For me it was much more enjoyable to read them this way the second go round because all the details were fresh in my mind and the story flowed better. So glad this show came out and made me read them again.
As the episode begins, Matthew is in England and Diana is in France. She is recovering from the excessive use of magic, having created a massive amount of witch-water at the end of the previous episode. Ysabeau decides it is time for Diana to see her hunt, the witch needs to know what it truly means to be with a vampire if she is going to try to insist that Matthew defy the covenant. Watching Ysabeau kill and feed is a visceral thing to experience. Though, it does not achieve what Ysabeau intended. Well, maybe it does.
I think Ysabeau wants to scare off Diana and it does not work. But the fact that Diana can accept this part of his nature is just as good in my opinion because now Ysabeau is beginning to understand that this witch is not like the others.
Meanwhile, Matthew is in investigating a break in at his lab. Someone, some creature, has violated his space and tried to steal information from his lab. This is a big no-no in the vampire world. In this book, the author creates the lore around vampires in a way that means they are like wolves. Creatures that live in packs and fiercely protect their territory and their pack. It will not end well for anyone who violates a vampire’s territory.
This is where the show and the books have a big difference. In the book Matthew unapologetically kills the one who breaks into his lab and also threatens Diana. Diana asks if he killed the person and he says yes and not to ask him to be sorry for it. He will protect her and his family at all cost.
In the show he does attack the person who does these things but says that he did not kill them. I guess the show wants us to see Matthew fight his nature, or maybe seem more human. In the show, he says he wanted to kill but, in the end, just barely stops himself.
Another pivotal part of this episode is Ysabeau telling Diana a bit about Matthews past; specifically, his human life, 1500 years ago. He had a wife and child who died of a sickness that killed many in the village. Matthews sadness at their death was so great that he never really recovered from the loss.
Ysabeau then tells the story of Matthews rebirth. He was dying from a fall and even Ysabeau does not know if he slipped or jumped. She saved his life by turning him into a vampire; one who has mourned the loss of his family all these years.
Flash to the looming threat of the Congregation. They want Diana to face the Congregation, the witches want to question her. Of course, the witches try to make it seem like Diana is being kept captive by the vampires. What the witches really want is to discover the true nature of her magic and see if they can use it to their advantage.
By the end of the episode Matthew realizes he cannot live without Diana, forget the covenant, he will defy them all to be with the woman he loves. He comes back to Sept Tours, triggering the consequences that will play out through the rest of the first season.
As usual, there is more to the show that I have discussed so enjoy the show and share your comments.