Sunday, April 24, 2022

Immerse Yourself by Pairing "Woke" on Hulu and Keith Knight's "WOKE" in San Francisco Museum Exhibition

See the original pages in this exhibit through June 26.

On April 4, The Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco welcomed back live events with an evening about the Hulu Original TV show called “Woke”. The museum is currently holding a terrific retrospective titled, “Keith Knight’s WOKE in San Francisco,” consisting of Keith Knight’s comix as well as the props from “Woke.” Located on 781 Beach Street, the museum is a welcome place of refuge in the most concentrated tourist district known as Fisherman's Wharf.

Knight’s Patreon members and friends lined up early to check out the exhibit and watch the San Francisco premiere of “Woke,” episode one of the second season, “A Knight in the Park.” It is described as, “After a year of rising as a prominent activist, Keef draws a strip that sparks a protest headlined by him. But can he live up to his new platform?”

We were all so thrilled to welcome back Keith Knight to San Francisco, especially at the Cartoon Art Museum where he had spent time as a volunteer; to congratulate him in person on his show's success, and to share laughs with each other as we all enjoyed the new episode.

“Woke” is a television series based on the life of cartoonist Keith Knight during the time he was a struggling cartoonist on the verge of transforming his work into messages of activism. In the 1990s, he began holding presentations of his work. Bookstores, libraries, galleries and museums were some of the venues in which he used his comix to highlight the political and social issues occurring among the communities of color. He drew and wrote about voting rights, gentrification, police profiling, police brutality, and more. His presentations were never preachy and the same goes for his TV series “Woke.”

The writing in the series "Woke" comically addresses the painful cost-of-living, plus the gentrification problems, police profiling and police brutality while offering insightful viewpoints. The Bay Area cities, which Keith Knight knows well--San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose--for the last two decades have been losing talented artists, teachers, writers, non-profit organizations, and the list goes on. Working three jobs to raise a family sadly is inhuman. Tens of thousands have moved to the far edges of the Bay Area just to afford rent. In "Woke" we watch Keef, Ayana, Clovis, and Gunther have to grow and adapt to the changes; learn to become resourceful. 

Are We Feeling Safer Yet? (2007) 
Knight's single-panel cartoons consist of political and social issues, often lampooning newsworthy events that concern communities of color. Sharp, topical, edgy, and funny.

(top) Keith Knight and Jeff Kramer's band Marginal Prophets and the Bohemian Rap CD which won the 2004 California Music Award for Outstanding Rap Album.

(below) Too Small to Fail is The Obama collection of Keef's single panel socio-political comic strip, (th)ink.
Look for Knight's award-winning works and more on his online store.

Knight created “The K Chronicles,” “The Knight Life,” and “(Th)ink” which are now collected in several books. Knight's work has been published in The Washington Post, The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Ebony, ESPN the Magazine, and MAD Magazine.

In “Woke,” Lamorne Morris (Winston from "New Girl") brings such a natural performance in portraying Knight's personality. He does so without mimicking or impersonating him. It is a testament to the hard work put in by showrunners Keith Knight as co-creator and the executive producer along with Marshall Todd (Barbershop) and, for season two, Anthony King ("Broad City," "Search Party"). Maurice "Mo" Marable is in the director's chair and is responsible for having the show filmed in Atlanta for its second season (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Season one was filmed in Vancouver. Unfortunately, San Francisco is unaffordable for most shows to film there.

At the Cartoon Art Museum, we were generously treated to hearing Lamorne Morris, Sasheer Zamata (Ayana), Keith Knight, and Cartoon Art Museum's curator Andrew Farago talk about the show. Morris said that he could relate to Knight in many ways from the first read of the script. Knight told us an analogy of comparing working on the TV show as being like when I was in a band, “Except this is like an orchestra.” 

"Woke" co-creator, executive producer, and cartoonist, Keight Knight, was raised in Malden, MA. Read this article about his creation of the site blackmughsots.comSeveral videos are collected on Cartoon Art Museum's YouTube channel that spotlight Knight on various news networks.

Actor and podcaster Lamorne Morris (Keef); comedian, actress, and writer Sasheer Zamata (Ayana).

Sasheer Zamata, who is regularly touring the comedy venues, and is a former SNL writer and performer, talked about Ayana being Keef's "Yoda." She helped him see that he can convey a message with his art to showcase a social commentary on life. Keef in season one was “keeping it light” as his character says in one of the moments in which Ayana confronts the fact that he has a voice, but he’s not using it. 

Knight set up the second season explaining that Keef will experience how businesses are looking at ways to capitalize on the "woke" concept, commodifying the movement of Black Lives Matter. Plus the stories will involve learning more about the other characters of Gunther (Blake Anderson), Clovis (T. Murph) and Ayana (Sasheer Zamata).

Other stars include actor, comedian, and writer J.B. Smoove ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") who voices the animated character, The Marker. Following a traumatic event, the inanimate objects come to life to give him a reality check about the world.

The second season streams on Hulu. You can watch it in one weekend, however, you'll want to re-watch and look for the "easter eggs." I won't give away all of the bits, except I'll say that Keith is the street artist dressed as a mime in S2 E1.

Here are some screenshots that capture life in San Francisco as seen in "Woke." 

S1 E1 "Rhymes with Broke" briefly takes us through the Castro district, and for a moment, Alice (Carl MacDonald) and Keef seem like familiar friends in the neighborhood.
Keef is wearing a Dead Kennedys t-shirt (Winston Smith created the DK logo. Smith is hoping to hold a gallery exhibition in North Beach in 2022.)

The Marker telling Keef to make a change. 

Knight posted these posters around San Francisco. Back when the posters went up in the city, Black people actually thought this poster was announcing a real job opportunity. Even worse when people called the number to inquire how to rent a Black person.

Ayana helps Keef wake up to the difference between reality and fantasy. She's writing in her paper, The Bay Arean, about the reaction generated by the posters -- her delivery is so hilarious.

The bar in the scene looks a lot like the real club where Knight's band Marginal Prophets used to play. White guys are drunkenly singing along to a Hip Hop song while Keef, Gunther, and Clovis prepare for a cringeworthy moment.

Keef is invited to a party, likely a place in either the Dolores Heights or the Pacific Heights neighborhood, and he's the only black guest in attendance.

Ayana has to raise money for her paper's office to deal with an eviction notice by throwing a rent party.

Montage of Keight Knight's art

Keith Knight disguised as a mime and he appears early in S2 E1.

S2 E1 is titled "A Knight in the Park." Keef is feeling the pressure in his role as an activist. It unfolds into a satire of social media in the most hilarious scene when he later goes live to talk to his followers.

Lastly, don't forget to check out the official playlist here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

"A Discovery of Witches" | S3:E7 | An Analysis (contains details of E7)

In the spirit of how the Bishops and de Clermonts united as a family in the story of "A Discovery of Witches," I, too, had to take care of the people who are most important to me. I hope that if you're following this blog for my ADOW posts, you'll forgive me for the delay in posting my analysis of the final episode in the series.

The following analysis is solely my own. Some of it offers an opinion while recapping portions of the episode. I impart a little satire within the recap. For this post, I'm mainly covering episode 7 and looking at the themes the show revisits. It may not recap every moment and may not cover every character of the episode. Anything written for this post is created by the blog's author who is an inspired fan with the intention of promoting the work. If you enjoy reading this, please leave a comment here or on Instagram @thataddamsgirl.

Season 3 Episode 7

Writer: Helen Raynor, Director: Jamie Donoughue

Description: As Benjamin tortures Matthew to near death, Diana makes plans to rescue him. Revelations from the Book of Life illuminate the long-hidden secrets of creatures.

We open to the Sept-Tours scene of the vampires and witches strategizing on where exactly Benjamin has taken Matthew and Baldwin enters. It brings everyone to attention. Diana sent for him. She plays the video and he immediately begins to dissect the contents of the video. He reveals that the watch Benjamin is wearing belongs to Philippe. In the previous episode, the witch brought with her a coat in which the watch was purposely placed in the pocket for Matthew to find. Benjamin was on the medical team that tortured and experimented on Philippe with the nazis. Baldwin keeps everyone up to date that he found out Gerbert was protecting Benjamin.

Quickly the team decides to go rescue Matthew before he is driven mad like Philippe. Baldwin, Gallowglass, Marcus, Miriam, and Diana get into a helicopter and set off to rescue Matthew.

Ysabeau, Marte and Sarah stay behind to guard the twins. Gerbert shows up uninvited. He's wearing his coat like a cape. When he enters the main room, he purports to be there for Ysabeau as a friend. He talks so creepily about hearing the childrens' heartbeats. He goes on for a minute about Diana having The Book of Life and the capability to destroy all vampires. He really hates that she's a witch. He dredges up the history he shares with Ysabeau. His game is to remind Ysabeau of what Philippe tried to push -- loyalty and obedience as the patriarchal figure. "Philippe was the sword that made and unmade kings." He belittles Ysabeau by reducing her to being a widow and having a son who forms a scion to break with the Covenant. She fights back with her own words that Gerbert wasn't expecting--that she knows he tortured Philippe with Benjamin. Gerbert and Benjamin made her a widow. "Whatever crimes my family have committed, are nothing compared to yours." Lindsay Duncan as Ysabeau is so powerful in delivering that line. He keeps going on about what the Congregation will do to her. She orders him to leave, go back to Venice, "You have no dominion here."

Benjamin (right) is played by Jacob Ifan.

Arriving at the abandoned medical facility, Diana has the vampires listen for heartbeats. She is sensing trickery as she sees a bleeding Matthew and his gaping, wounded chest. She determines it is an enchantment. She knows this because she as a witch can sense a witch is behind this enchantment. Satu. Diana prevents the vampires from following her with a barrier that they cannot break through. 

Tastes like blood rage. The make up and lighting washes out Matthew's pale skin, and highlights his brilliant blue-green eye color with the color palette of the scene. Matthew Goode is Matthew de Clermont.

She finds another illusion with Matthew by the two baby cribs. He pretends to taste their blood. 

She tells Satu to reveal herself. Diana is unflinching and has far more power with the fact that she is The Book of Life. 

Diana is played by Teresa Palmer

It infuriates Satu, who recites the old prophecy, "Beware of the witch with the blood of the lion and the wolf." Her conjuring of fire in her hands while Diana has her threads prepared. 

Malin Buska as Satu wearing a dress designed by Susie Cave for the clothing line The Vampire's Wife.

She creates a binding spell to suppress Satu's magic. Diana admonishes Satu for misusing her power and saps her from having any power. "Power without conscience is a savage weapon," she says. Satu is left in a corner weeping.

Diana sets off down the hall as she weaves her 10 knots as flashbacks reveal how far she's come over the past three seasons. The arrow pendant that Philippe gave to her lights up like it is being heated from her energy. She's at the tenth knot just as Benjamin enters the hallway through the double doors. She forms a bow and arrow from her tenth knot like Diana the warrior in mythology.  She aims and it hits Benjamin in the heart. "Justice."

The arrow from Philippe. She draws energy from it to conjure the weapon that saves Matthew's life.

The warrior goddess, Diana.

I have a problem with the footwear, especially the sight of white socks. However, great stunt work by whoever is throwing themselves back into the air.

Vampires don't explode into ash or dust like on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

The only other time we've seen a vampire killed was with Juliette. Benjamin looks like a victim hit by the ash of a volcano. 

Benjamin is dead on the floor. He dies differently like he's being turned into gray ash from the firey impact of Diana's arrow. It's not the same as when she killed Juliette in S1.

She finds Matthew barely conscious, hardly able to utter her name. Her first instinct is to have him drink from her. Marcus decides to get Matthew to Ysabeau, his sire. We don't see Ysabeau slit her wrist, however, for a show about vampires that sadly lacks in displaying realistic gore, we finally get a camera angle of her blood elegantly oozing down her arm into her palm so that she can save her son. 

The sequence of scenes is narrated by Matthew's friend Hamish, reading the poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, sonnet 6. Matthew recovers and finds Diana in a chair. She seems so elated to see him. The next morning, he's at a chessboard with Hamish much like when he played the game in S1. 

We're back to the science when it is revealed that Diana has daemon DNA as does Matthew. They discover that daemon DNA mixed with vampire DNA is what manifests blood rage. There is so much exposition over this topic in such a short time. They talk about weavers descending from witch-daemon unions and that is why Diana could have children with a vampire, which are called Bright Born. The Covenant was creating an extinction effect by making all the creatures live separately because the depletion of daemon DNA had a negative effect on all creatures.

Diana has to take this new information to the Congregation and point out the fact how they've been behind the reason for each of the species dying out. Baldwin tries to discourage her and Matthew has to convince him to let her go speak to them. Baldwin and Matthew have a moment by the window in Philippe's former office. 

Someone upcycled the dress Diana wore in the 1590s into a pantsuit but kept the piping and shoulder accents. 

It stings Gerbert (Trevor Eve) knowing he has to let her into the Congregation.

Bring it on, Gerbert.

Philippe making Diana his daughter allows her to sit on the Congregation as a de Clermont so she goes to Venice with Baldwin and Gallowglass. Baldwin confronts Gerbert and introduces Diana as the de Clermont representative. She holds the key, literally, the key that opens the doors to run the meeting. Gerbert goes on about all of her crimes. She holds her own in defending herself and brings the proof of why the Congregation has to change. She opens The Book of Life and places it in the center of the room. All of the members stand and stare at it. She tells them that she is The Book of Life. She manifests from the book to show everyone the tree representing the branches that make them all related to each other. The tree returns back to the book. She explains that the species decline was because the Covenant segregated the creatures. She proposes that the Congregation overturns the Covenant. Gerbert's argument is still ranting about crimes. She argues for the Covenant to be abolished. The vote is held, the Covenant is abolished, and she nominates Agatha to be the new leader. Everyone, except Gerbert, votes in favor of Agatha as the new leader of the Congregation.

Agatha (Tanya Moodie)

Matthew is chiseling and Jack comes in to hand him the miniature portraits. It's a brief conversation about Jack getting better at controlling the blood rage. We look at the newly formed friendships living in harmony. 

Matthew looks admiringly towards Jack Blackfriars as he exits. He tells him that he loves him.

Finally, Fernando (Olivier Huband) sees a symbol of honor for his partner Hugh de Clermont.

Matthew recites what we heard in the beginning of season one, episode one as we end up in the big room with the old record playing the strings and piano piece we heard in season one when he invites Diana to dance.

Matthew and Diana dance as the ghosts of Emily and Philippe fade in and then out in the background. The camera goes wide as it moves back towards the fireplace, and from the perspective of the viewer, we are all the embers that glow with warmth for these characters whom we cherished for three seasons.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

"A Discovery of Witches" | S3:E5 and E6 | An Analysis (contains details of E5 and E6)

The following analysis is solely my own. Some of it offers an opinion while recapping portions of the episode. I impart a little satire within the recap. For this post, I’ll recap mostly in order of how the episodes unfolded. I begin with the fifth episode followed by the sixth episode. You'll know to stop if you're not caught up before I recap the sixth. In some moments I may condense some of the scenes all in one section to avoid jumping back and forth between the different storylines. It may not recap every moment and may not cover every character of the episode. Anything written for this post is created by the blog's author who is an inspired fan with the intention of promoting the work. If you enjoy reading this, please leave a comment here or on Instagram @thataddamsgirl.

Season 3 Episode 5

Writer: Lisa Holdsworth, Director: Debs Paterson

Description: Benjamin's plan to bring down the de Clermonts is set into motion. Matthew and Diana return to Sept-Tours with the twins. Gerbert demands to examine the babies.

“In every ending is a new beginning” is the constant theme that runs through the TV series "A Discovery of Witches." The ouroboros symbol is plainly ever-present in representing the de Clermonts; it appears on their seal that imprints the wax on letters and important documents. All throughout the chapters of The Book of Life the symbol is mentioned. E5 opens to us bearing witness to the rituals tied to life and death. Agatha Wilson and Diana de Clermont attend T.J. Weston’s funeral in The Cotswolds. Meanwhile, Ysabeau is having Sept-Tours prepared to hold Rebecca and Philip’s christening ceremony. In the world of the All Souls Trilogy, enduring the cycle of life and death for an infinite number of the Earth's rotations is a synonymous experience for creatures and humans. Vampires are always talking of death and life, recalling who it was that they sired from the moment of being brink of death to being reborn a vampire. The dawn has often been a symbolic message bringing a new beginning and the dusk has also been when someone life's comes to an end.

Baldwin and Gerbert are socially distancing.
Trevor Eve is Gerbert (right). Peter McDonald is Baldwin (left).

Has anyone else felt like this constant pissing match between Gerbert and Baldwin should finally come to its end? Essentially, Gerbert thinks the de Clermonts having offspring between a vampire and a witch is an imbalance of power. Gerbert what is it you plan to do with all the power? Control freak, indeed. It's ADOW's greedy, selfish villain whose only desire is to be superior. Baldwin is under pressure from Gerbert to control these new children as the head of the de Clermont family.

Emily Mather appears in the form of a firelight, with similar movements as a butterfly flapping its wings. The mist of the morning clears the way to let in the stream of sunlight over the sacred circle.

Ysabeau and Marthe meet the babies and welcome back Sarah whose emotions are on the surface in still mourning Emily upon her return. Sarah takes flowers Ysabeau had obtained at her request and heads back to the sacred location to lay them in the center. A beautiful beam of sunlight breaks the fog with a flickering light of a butterflylike spirit much to Sarah’s delight.

Hi Jack, I heard so much about your ragers.
Lindsay Duncan plays Ysabeau.

Jack and Ysabeau finally meet. She warmly welcomes him. Doesn’t mention the blood rage situation. It’s in the subtext, though. “I heard so much about you.” He seems self-conscious hearing her say it.

Is the blood ragers anonymous meeting happening before or after the christening?
Toby Regbo plays Jack Blackfriars.

I've got to point out that whoever it was who planned the camera shots in E5 and E6, it never misses an opportunity to have the oil painting of Philippe de Clermont in view. It hangs in the hallway as people come and go at Sept-Tours. In this post, you'll see that I highlight each moment.

What actually happened to this painting after the series wrapped?
James Purefoy should have it hanging in his home next to his sword collection.

Marthe, Ysabeau, the babies with Diana and Matthew are gathered in the sitting area by the main fireplace. They discuss the scion, what they’re trying to accomplish. The babies symbolize a new opportunity to unite the creatures. Diana and Matthew shall determine who are their true friends by who shows up. 

We descend onto the city of Berlin and meet Lena, a witch, who is leaving a dance club. Of course, shadow caster, Benjamin, is onto her. She looks a heckuva lot like Diana. He takes her hostage in a derelict industrial setting of Lublin Voivodeship, Poland, which turns out to be located in the central operation area of the holocaust; the Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek. She’s tortured off-camera and while restrained and dazed, she hears the names of Diana and Matthew. She’s able to free herself from the bed she’s cuffed to later in E5 while Benjamin is preoccupied with torturing Gabriella, likely another witch. She's doing exactly as he had hoped, which is going straight to Matthew with the intention of luring him to his lair.

Goth poser. He wears white socks with black trousers and black shoes.
Jacob Ifan plays Benjamin Fuchs.

Diana is struggling to keep her daughter Rebecca satiated. This scene is quite the same as in the book. She takes Marthe’s hint that Rebecca wants something other than her mother’s milk. It's amusing to see a plate of russet potatoes in front of her and a big steak knife on the table. Someone was about to make Hasselback potatoes and then got sidetracked. Alright, of course, use the tool best suited for the job. Rebecca, your taters are on hold until we can get you to chill out with some fresh garnet drippings.

Diana, the Chopped choice of ingredients are breast milk, pumpkin, russet potatoes, or your blood. You have 45 seconds to feed your daughter before you're both sent back down the oubliette. What will it be?   

As in The Book of Life, barely a second passes and a vampire will hear the flow of blood as it is being siphoned. Matthew rushes to discover Diana allowing Rebecca to drink from a slice in the vein of her palm. Diana wins the argument and Matthew apologizes in agreement that they will do what they have to for their children.

Future prospects for Marcus and Phoebe seem to rely on Phoebe telling Marcus that she wants to become a vampire. He tells her to shelve that conversation until after the christening. 

Jack and Matthew have detected that Philip is a witch. It’s a sweet moment between them. The scene makes it seem like Matthew is cautious, almost in a possessive way, about Jack handling his son. Jack had earlier been patrolling the grounds of Sept-Tours looking for Benjamin in case he decided to come after the family. Later in the episode, they’re taking in the night's air on the grounds of Sept-Tours. Matthew mentions to Jack that he understands how difficult it is to have held back and not intervene when Baldwin threatens to take the children from the chapel. Matthew wants the family to stop hiding from the shame that blood rage has brought to them and admit that it has "done more harm than the actual blood rage" itself.

Guests arrive for the christening from New Orleans and London, Fernando de Clermont reunites with Sarah Bishop, Marcus’s family Geraldine and Ransome, finally meet Ysabeau, Chris and Miriam are now more than colleagues–they’re friends. They stop to observe the portrait of Philippe de Clermont, which is in view of the camera from a side angle again. At least this time it is about seven seconds to pause with slightly more light.

Whoa, I swear I just saw his eyes follow us!
Chris, come on! Philippe's painting is not alive.

Jack, I hear you like to draw. 
Do you know what a painter draws before he goes to bed?
Get it? He (hahaha), draws the curtains!

This big gathering seems to also be missing Gallowglass. Fernando tells Sarah that he decided to decline the invitation. Ysabeau says that their “allies are waiting in the chapel.” She calls the children "revelations." She’s come to realize that she has a witch as a daughter and that she regrets Philippe not being there; that Philippe would have been proud to witness this moment.

In the chapel, the godparents stand including Chris, Miriam, Marcus, Phoebe, Fernando, Sarah, Jack, Hamish, Marthe, and Ysabeau -- they vow to protect the children. Driving to Sept-Tours is Baldwin Montclair. 

The Catholic christening takes place first and then the Wiccan ritual conducted by Sarah Bishop. She bestows the names “they will take as they go out into the world…to recognize their potential. Rebecca Arielle Emily Marthe; Philip Michael Addison Sorley." 

Chapter 32 details that "Sorley" is the last name of Gallowglass. Addison was Diana's father's middle name.

Baldwin throws open the doors and apologizes for his tardiness, offers his congratulations, and asks for the children so he can take them to Venice for assessment. “We need to know what they are, Matthew.” Baldwin won’t recognize the scion. He calls them the “diseased branch of the family.” Jack starts to feel some anger and Ysabeau calls on him to control it. Baldwin labels this scion a formation of a rebellion. Matthew clearly wants to sink his teeth into his older brother.

We've washed away the baby's sins. But I'm still living with MINE, Baldwin! (Grrrrrr!)
LOVE this action and the actors in this scene! Peter McDonald is Baldwin Montclair, Matthew Goode is Matthew de Clermont

Vamp fighting is a matter of showing who’s got more strength and power – Baldwin is physically restrained and calls for Matthew to let go, literally. Matthew wants Baldwin to let him go, figuratively, let him go on, and do what he wants with forming a scion. Diana has the upper hand with threatening to set off an explosion. Matthew declares that he’ll never bring shame on the family. Baldwin settles for Diana who swears she will spellbind her family if they develop blood rage. She says if "the scion fails" she’ll "submit to the congregation." Baldwin finally relents and says Matthew is responsible for all whom he sired and all of whom those he sired has sired. So that means Benjamin’s his problem.

NY Fashion Week reaches a whole new level with Diana bringing her witch fire to the runway!
It's thrilling to watch her call upon the witch fire! Teresa Palmer is Diana Bishop de Clermont.

Sarah and Diana talk about her power. The 10th knot was not used, but it is the “knot of creation and destruction.” This is like her and Matthew’s partnership. She says her magic is made of this same principle, which she calls a “union of opposites.” She references Goody Alsop in saying that forming the scion is a representation of "old worlds dying and new worlds being reborn. When I get The Book of Life back, replace the missing pages and heal it, something tells me that my magic will be even stronger.”

Baldwin brings the Congregation up to date. Knox’s old chair still is empty. Gerbert is still sour about power. Insinuates that Baldwin approved of the scion so that they can still defy the Covenant. Baldwin clarifies that Matthew is now responsible if members of his scion screw up – whether they had done something against the covenant in the past or are accused of wrongdoing in the future. The question is raised by Domenico if Jack has been dealt with and Baldwin is satisfied that he’s no longer a threat. Satu speaks up and says that Diana’s promise to spellbind Jack is a betrayal to witches because it is against the principle of their way–don’t make a creature powerless, ever. Agatha tries to reason with Satu and brings to attention that voting on the matter would be unfair since the seat of a former witch has not yet been filled. Um, Agatha probably has a certain witch in mind--just hold that thought. 

Baldwin has to now answer to Gerbert’s insistence that Rebecca and Philip were to be assessed by the Congregation to which Agatha accuses him of wanting to kidnap them. He fumbles his way through clarifying that it is simply “quarantining” them. Gerbert starts to infer that the vampires need to take the lead on this matter.

Diana was showing the twins twinkling magical lights, and then she hears someone coming, so she quickly snuffs the magic and then pretends to be playing with their feet. Ysabeau appears and she asks Diana to come downstairs because a witch has arrived to see her and Matthew. Lena, the witch is warning them. First, she says Benjamin kidnapped her. Benjamin wants to expose the witches; he talked about “a witch with the power of life and death that would allow him to control everything.” He was hoping to mate with her to make babies like Matthew and Diana. She goes on to say, “He wanted me to be his Diana.” Lena lets out that Benjamin told her Matthew turned him into a torturer. They take her somewhere to let her recover. Marcus says that Matthew will need “the strength of the Knights of Lazarus,” if he’s going to find and kill Benjamin. Matthew gets all Eeyore-like, thinking nobody's gonna want to be part of their order of misfits. Chris, Miriam, Sarah, Jack, Rebecca, and Philip are now members of the Knights of Lazarus. “It means that we’ll be sworn to defend each other.” The Congregation won’t be able to target one individual without the defense of the entire scion of the Knights of Lazarus. The ritual of swearing on the sword and putting on the rings, which all contain the ouroboros goes like this: “Do you swear faith and fealty to the order and to each other, vampire, daemon, witch, and human to protect those in need of help? Welcome to the Knight of Lazarus.”

Fernando tells Matthew that he’s no longer interested in being the outsider like he was when Hugh de Clermont, his partner, was killed. He says, “I want to be part of your scion, Matteus, part of what you and Diana are doing. A member of your family. And I hope that is at your right hand.”

Olivier Huband is Fernando Goncalves.

“That is where I want you.”

Fernando, your amazing coffee will help me make, sweet passionate love to Diana all night. Thank you. 

Matthew sniffs the coat that Lena wore. Of course, he knows it belonged to Benjamin. He finds the watch in the pocket that once belonged to Philippe. It’s dated “1922” so there’s that clue to bite us in the ass later. Which vampire of the two is a better biter, Benjamin or Matthew? Definitely has to Matthew thinking back about how Diana reacted to his taking a drink from her heart vein in E9 of S2.

Diana and Matthew finally make out; it has been a minute. It took until the 5th episode to show he still enjoys intimate moments with Diana. She doesn’t want to promise that she won’t go near Benjamin. They sit up and he says, “You’re my wife, not a weapon.” 

She’s got Corra, the firedrake, just nearly ready to escape back in the chapel – let Corra kill him! Of course, the song begins, “Nightcall” by Kavinsky. This song was in the film Drive, and a cover version is used in this case. If one compares that film's Driver and Irene with ADOW's Matthew and Diana, well, we're at the point in the story in which there is an unavoidable conflict. It's in the way of their ability to go on with life peacefully. Diana is not actually the "Irene" in this scenario, but she's what has been grounding him and there is no one else for Matthew except her; his mate for life.

The Book of Life's passage in chapter 33 reads as follows:

“The family will survive if I don’t come back. There are others who can serve as its head. But you are its heart.” 

“There is no point in arguing with me. I know this from experience,” he said. “Before you, I was nothing but dust and shadows. You brought me to life. And I cannot survive without you.”

In E5:

“Mon coeur, ma lionne. If I don’t come back, this family of ours will go on. And there are others who can serve as its head. But you, you will always be its heart.”

Their romantic embrace brings the episode to a close while the camera pulls back into the burning fireplace. If you read any of the books, though, Matthew's hands are always described as having a cool touch. I always think of how the TV version cannot offer the sensual touch he gets from Diana's "fire" and she gets from Matthew's "ice." It is this passage I find going to for knowing what these characters feel when they embrace:

“It’s too hot,” Diana protested, though she still put her hand in his. 

“I’ll cool you off,” he promised with a smile. 

Diana looked at him with interest. Matthew’s smile broadened. 

His wife—his heart, his mate, his life—stepped down off the porch and into his arms. Diana’s eyes were the blue and gold of a summer sky, and Matthew wanted nothing more than to fall headlong into their bright depths, not to lose himself but to be found.

Darling, I think you have Rebecca's spit up on your back.

Episode 6

Writer: Christopher Cornwell  Director: Jamie Donoughue

Description: After receiving Benjamin's message, Matthew leaves Sept-Tours at dawn to track him down; Diana enlists Sarah's help to finally get the Book of Life.

Continuing from where E5 left off of Matthew leaving the family for Poland to find Benjamin. The song “Genesis” sung by Ruelle plays.

Philippe may be dead, but he lives on in this portrait overseeing everyone's arrival and departure.

He holds Philippe's watch that Benjamin surely planted for Matthew to find in the coat's pocket. He’s going to find him and kill him knowing that he may not come back. Diana is peacefully sleeping with the twins by her side. He looks at her from the side, he stops at the foot of the bed and observes her once more. He is about to pull open the door to leave and he turns back to see her entering the room with the portrait of Philippe above her to the right. I truly love the framing of this moment as they come together as dawn is breaking through the windows as they hug. He cups her head in his hands. In The Book of Life, “He cupped my face in his hands, searching every inch as though trying to memorize it.”

Philippe's portrait is serving the back story, so for it to oversee Matthew leaving to go kill Benjamin, it signals the warning of what happened to Philippe can happen to Matthew. We learn that Philippe was tortured by Benjamin and not the Nazis.

While Matthew is driving towards Poland, the hills reflect on his windshield as he’s facing what is really an uphill battle.

Let's recall that in S3 E1, Matthew told Diana:

“at the end of the first crusade, I was in Jerusalem. Philippe dreamt of establishing a homeland for creatures, but in order to do so it was necessary for us to reveal ourselves to some humans that we thought we could trust. And, Benjamin was one of them. When Benjamin threatened to expose us all, it crushed Philippe’s dream. … By God I wanted to punish him. Death would be too quick. I made him a vampire so that he couldn’t reveal our true nature without revealing his own. And then I abandoned him. A new blood-raged vampire. I thought it would kill him eventually or get him killed. It was the most terrible miscalculation."

Here’s the way The Book of Life covers this:

“He was mine. Benjamin began to trade in de Clermont family secrets. He swore he would expose the existence of creatures—not just vampires but witches and daemons—to the humans in Jerusalem. When I discovered his betrayal, I lost control. Philippe dreamed of creating a safe haven for us all in the Holy Land, a place where we could live without fear. Benjamin had the power to crush Philippe’s hopes, and I had given him that power.” 

… “Death was too quick. I wanted to punish Benjamin for being a false friend. I wanted him to suffer as we creatures suffered. I made him a vampire so that if he exposed the de Clermonts, he would have to expose himself.” Matthew paused. “Then I abandoned him to fend for himself.” 

There are several times in this series when a scene begins with someone facing the opposite direction. Their back to the camera. We saw it in S1 when Diana’s adrenalin is racing and Matthew is on the far side of the room from her trying to hold it together to not attack her and his back is to her. In S2 when Diana and Matthew arrive to see Philippe, he’s in his office and his back is to them. In S3 we saw Matthew facing out the window when Phoebe enters to introduce herself. Now in E6, Diana is at the fireplace in a smaller room when she tells Marcus that she’s going to Oxford and he can’t change her mind. She does not want to wait any longer with the three missing pages so she gathers Sarah and Fernando to go with her, however, Marcus asks Fernando to go ahead of them.

Diana asks that the rest all remain back at Sept-Tours to guard Rebecca and Philip. She gets out her Oxford University Bodleian Library reader card and magically duplicates it to make Sarah a reader. Sarah and Diana are fearless in knowing that showing up to retrieve the book is going to call attention to themselves. Where was Diana before I was of age to get into a show that was 21 and over without a valid ID?

E6 gives us another territorial pissing match between Baldwin, Domenico, and Gerbert in Venice. Two daemon members of The Congregation leave Gerbert’s office seeming to agree to his power grab. His intention is to reform The Congregation and fix the broken Covenant. He wants to have the vampires lead or, he believes, it’s all chaos from now on because of the scion Matthew formed. The plan is to ban Agatha, the ally that supports Diana, which in actuality, protects the Knights of Lazarus, the de Clermonts, from having to answer to the Covenant. Baldwin reminds Gerbert that Philippe never intended for the balance of power to be with the vampires. Gerbert argues that the “formation was to serve the Covenant and the wisdom of it was to be self-evident.” Baldwin is pressured to support Gerbert as Philippe’s full-blooded son and he complies. Domenico is silently absorbing all of this. Later he lends his voice to Baldwin privately.

Domenico gets that Gerbert is creating a lot of friction in his attempt to end the authority of the de Clermonts. Gerbert freely admits to meeting with Benjamin and now says that Benjamin was responsible for Philippe losing his mind, not the Nazis as we had been led to understand. Domenico is listening intently as Gerbert spills the beans that he capitalized on the opportunities as a result of Philippe’s death. If Gerbert could do this with Philippe, what's stopping him from doing this to other vampires?

Do you mean I spent 5-1/2 episodes being a dickhead to my brother Matthew when I should have just killed Gerbert and taken all of his money?
Gregg Chilingirian is Domenico Michele.

At the 38:42 point in the episode, Baldwin and Domenico meet. He calls Baldwin “an inflexible, arrogant head.” Baldwin has been manipulated by Gerbert to think that Matthew has undermined him by forming a scion. Domenico reveals, however, that Gerbert has fostered Benjamin’s reemergence and the blood rage killings. They have been in cahoots for centuries. Domenico drops quite a bombshell on Baldwin and he wants nothing in return for dumping this information in his lap.

Fernando and Marcus quietly agree to a plan which Fernando knows already without him even asking. Marcus throws it out there that he’s asking him as Grandmaster of the Knights of Lazarus. There’s only one person that matters in protecting Diana on her mission to get The Book of Life. Is everyone paying attention?

We’ve seen Philippe’s library back in S2 when he offered Diana free reign of it. He stashed a secret message in the binding of a book in it for Ysabeau to find later that season. S3 we saw research being done in that space perhaps with some books and then Ysabeau pulls out a book from it for the christening. This time Diana slides out her pages from under a slot built into a shelf. I’m so pleased that his library has become so useful to her this season.

Is this the best hiding place in all of Sept-Tours? If we're trying to imagine where Diana would have hid the missing pages, one of the first things we'd do is see if they were tucked inside a book kept in a library? How well hidden is this secret shelf?

Phoebe and Marcus get down to the discussion of having to run when the Congregation comes after them; how long he can hide out without being noticed as opposed to her. He essentially can go an entire lifetime without surfacing is what he’s getting at and she can’t because she’s not yet a vampire. He says, “If you don’t make the change, you still have a choice, you can still go back to your life.”

I don’t know how he can think that he can sire her with the fact that he couldn’t sire his friend James after the car hit and killed him. He tried to give him his blood and it wasn’t James’ genetics that prevented him from turning. It was Marcus’ blood that has the problem with turning a human into a vampire.

We’re 10:09 into the episode and the moment we’ve ALL been waiting for…(drumroll - cymbals) Steven Cree aka Gallowglass, shirtless, tattooed, with pecks and biceps exposed, plus his tight abdomen. Cree lifted weights; sacrificed ice cream and chocolate to bring the fans of Gallowglass his sculpted physique. He read the books and knew the fans expected a bigger character, physique-wise. 

I can live with the only sighting of Corra the firedrake being a tattoo on Gallowglass.

Take a moment to study the landscape of a man we all have had to endure being covered up in all the previous episodes.
The tattoos are fading and the tattoo artist thinks it is from sun exposure. She has an American accent. I’m not sure what she’s doing in Brighton, England on the boardwalk giving Gallowglass a touch-up session. She notices his left shoulder, thinking it is a dragon and he calls it a firedrake. Fernando shows up to save us from staring too long at this perfect torso. He explains how Diana will need his protection. Gallowglass points out to Fernando, “You were the one who told me I should walk away.” (sighs) (And we sigh, too, Gallowglass) “And you know how hard it was for me to do it.” (Aye, we know!)

Using tattoos to give us more clues about Gallowglass is our favorite plot device. 

Fernando: I do.

Gallowglass thinks he doesn’t need to be answering to the de Clermonts, i.e., Matthew’s got Diana and she’s got him. It’s all Sonny and Cher singing a pop ballad, yet, he’s got no one.

Fernando: Then don’t do this because you’re a de Clermont. Do it because you’re the man I know you to be.

"O, tha fìor dhòigh agad le faclan, Fernando," is the Scottish Gaelic for,
"Aw, you really have a way with words, Fernando."

For the sake of time, I’m not comparing this with The Book of Life, so I encourage you to read Harkness' words yourself that describe Gallowglass’s tattoos in chapter 23 of the book. I feel it would have been much clearer on how he felt about Diana if they created the same images of his tattoos on TV as they were in the book.

They arrive at the Bodleian Library. Diana is in her trademark blue winter coat, the least inconspicuous fashion, in my opinion. Oh, it’s thundering above, so the gloomy weather is so apropo for this daunting task of calling up Ashmole 782.

She sees Gallowglass standing center under the overpass and walks briskly to give him a big hug. She tells him that she missed him and he’s glad to hear it, calls her Auntie.

The vampires inform Diana that they’re keeping watch in the main outdoor plaza and she heads inside with Sarah not far behind her. They have vampire hearing and will know when danger is nearby.

Diana says she feels right being back and calls up the book at the call desk. The original staff person who searched for it the first time in S1 is still working there. The note comes back that the book isn’t there; it’s missing. Diana turns and starts to walk and something in the air tells her to check the lift again. There it is, on the lift. She moves to the side and the call desk staff person is suspicious. Refer to chapter 34 to read about how she finds it in The Book of Life.

Diana opens it and it is just like she left it in 2018. The spell to cloak her, though Sarah calls it a masking spell, makes it appear that they’re just reading together. She inserts the page with the tree and it accepts it with a seal like a laser fastening it to the book. The next page is inserted and then the page with the dark prince and his bride. Her and Matthew. She triggers a shockwave and the book's pages start flipping forward. She stops it and places her hands on it. 

“It’s the story of us. Here lies the lineage of an ancient tribe known as the Bright Born. Their power boundless as the night. Their love began with absence and desire, two hearts becoming one. When fear overcame them.” 

She’s absorbing the entire contents of the book. She’s becoming The Book of Life.

Sarah walks out holding a blue book that disguises Ashmole 782. Gallowglass cannot help but see under her skin the words are alive and flowing through her bloodstream.

Gallowglass's tattoo seems to be a variation on the Ingwaz rune symbol. It makes for a great tattoo because it is never in a reversed position. Adding a dot to the center is not traditionally how Ingwaz is depicted so I'll interpret it as a make up artist adding their own artistic marker.

They walk out of the plaza to the car down the road and, when Sarah removes the disguise, she sees all the text wiped from the book. They hustle Diana into a car, but a man who was there when the shockwave hit, calls Peter Knox to say that they’re leaving the area.

A vampire can move faster than a train through a dense forest and arrive without a hair out of place. 

Matthew finally arrives in Poland. He carries Philippe’s watch with him; he uses his vampire speed to cross through the forest. He finds the derelict facility and all of his senses are on high alert. However, I cannot help but feel like Matthew is unprepared for this psychotic killer. He enters a room that appears to have the 1940s, hospital-style light fixtures.

Benjamin enters and sees Matthew in the corner of the room. He knows how to get to Matthew in saying his best work was in driving Philippe’s torture to the point of insanity. “If it’s any consolation, I was well rewarded with the information I got from him.” Matthew thinks the contrary that he got nothing and that he’s been living a lie, “The wronged son!” he tells Benjamin.

He tells Matthew he’s exactly as he made him. “Do you remember what it feels like, that new hunger for blood? How it cuts you in two? How strong the blood rage is when you’re first changed?” 

Matthew admits he wanted him be cursed and Benjamin tells him that “it’s not a curse; it’s a gift.”

Benjamin says he waited until now to come after Matthew because he needed Matthew to be happy otherwise there’s no point in "ending a life of someone who is miserable." It’s exciting to Benjamin to think of being able to meet Diana and he tells him “witches are so fragile,” although he “hopes Diana is more robust.”

They tangle with each other showing off their vampire speed, but we can see how Benjamin is luring him into a room to torture him. The fighting goes on until it seems like Matthew comes out dragging Benjamin as if he’s won. He scratches Matthew’s face which heals quickly. A moment of stillness overcomes Matthew and he admits that it wasn’t Benjamin’s fault. I wasn’t a good father.” 

You can see Matthew is about to lean down and drain Benjamin when all of a sudden a shockwave hits him. It stuns him and seems to pull the life from him. He tips over and falls from his kneeling position, collapsing on the floor. It is Satu who is doing this. She shows great power in controlling how she can render Matthew powerless. Moments later Benjamin is on his feet again and she is in a space where he tortured witches. He regrets that Diana didn’t watch Satu bring down Matthew. She wants Matthew dead, but Benjamin tells her that they need Matthew to get to Diana. They made an agreement that Satu gets Diana and he gets Matthew because he doesn’t need Diana. 

Satu (Malin Buska) wears a dress designed by Susie Cave.
Her clothing line is under the label The Vampire's Wife.
Villanelle (Jodie Comer) wore a dress by The Vampire's Wife in one of the first episodes of S2 of "Killing Eve". 

The journey back to Sept-Tours is delayed by the fact that a disheveled Peter Knox is waiting for Diana and Sarah at the helipad. He demands The Book of Life be turned over and he realizes Diana has it inside of her. Sarah calls him a murderer and he goes off on a tangent about the witches he destroyed. She calls the wind to “capture the dark” and he accuses her of not having the power. Alex Kingston is a fierce witch and Diana steps in to add her energy to seek to avenge Emily’s death. He’s pulverized into the air carried off by the wind leaving behind only his spherical tool on the ground.

The tap of her hand to her heart awakens her power as she calls upon witch wind.  
Alex Kingston as Sarah Bishop.

Witch wind is encircling Peter Knox played by Owen Teale.

"For Em."

They return to Sept-Tours. Phoebe knows they have the book, but Diana clarifies, “It’s a little more complicated than that,” and then she shows the text lit up and moving under her skin. No one reacts like this is some unfathomable phenomenon that she absorbed the entire book.

BFFs greet Diana at the entrance to Sept-Tours. Though we cannot hear him, Philippe would have said, "She is power, and now she's The Book of Life!" 
Aiysha Hart (Miriam), Ivanno Jeremiah (Chris), and Edward Bluemel (Marcus). 

Diana braindumps the book’s information much to the delight of Chris and Miriam who find she confirms all of their theories. She and Sarah talk about what happened to Peter, but are interrupted by Marcus. It’s a video from Benjamin. He shows Matthew on an elevated angled table semiconscious, in a drugged state, slowly being drained of his blood. Matthew is singing a German hymn, which is actually a lullaby, titled “Der Mond ist aufgegangen.” In the book, Ysabeau says that Philippe used to sing it when he returned home. “Der Mond ist aufgegangen, / Die goldnen Sternlein prangen / Am Himmel hell und klar.” It translates to “The moon has risen / The golden stars are emblazoned / Bright and clear in the sky.” In the book, “It is a song about God’s final judgment,” says Ysabeau. Wicked, dark stuff, thank you, Deborah Harkness.

Diana never made a promise to not go anywhere near Benjamin. 

Benjamin tells Diana, with a lift of his wrist to his chest, wearing the watch that Matthew brought back to him, that “time is running out” if she wants to “say goodbye.”

The music that closes is written by Radiohead, “Street Spirit,” but this is a cover by Rosie Carney. It’s a perfect choice for this scene as Diana’s eyes well up and she boldly stares down Benjamin. The camera backs out of the room and the ceiling lights are like the dotted lines on a highway, like driving in reverse at night, fading out into the darkness.

Wow, if there was ever to be an opportunity for Diana to finally use her tenth knot, this would surely be it! In any heightened action scene of a TV drama, as its story is coming to a close, it’s emotional to witness a hero be taken down. Viewers will be intensely gripped with suspense as Matthew's soulmate and his friends take on a heroic rescue. Who can replenish Matthew's blood to revive him? He could drain Benjamin like he did Philippe, yet, not to put him out of his misery but to end him. How will Diana and the gang defeat Satu and Benjamin, and revolutionize The Congregation in the remaining 45 minutes of this series?