(A possibly dumb question: if Jack spent his early vampire life pining for Diana and Matthew, obsessed with proving himself as a true de Clermont, and met Philippe, why did he never cross paths with past-Matthew? And why wouldn’t Philippe have instructed Matthew to cull the blood-raged vampire with the rest of them instead of telling Jack to wait for Matthew to teach him control? Never mind. This is a magical story after all, if not necessarily a logical one.)

Knox and Fuchs aren’t even the extent of the conflict, as Baldwin’s arrival at Mayfair showed. Tense as it was to see teeth bared among the de Clermonts, it was fun to be reminded that vampires have more in their repertoire than grave family dinners and angst. They can also zip around like speedy little mosquitos and bite like… much bigger mosquitos. Kudos to Diana too, for that bit of violent improvisation with the home décor. Baldwin found out the hard way about the boundless powers of “the witch“.

Matthew kneeling to Baldwin might be the family way, but it felt unnatural to see our imperious male lead bow to tradition. On which subject – is Matthew’s age getting to him? “To save Jack, I would have to disobey Baldwin, the head of my family. That’s insanity.” More insane than, say, breaking a centuries-old covenant and marrying into a species hated and hunted by your family? Disobeying Baldwin is all Matthew’s done ever since we’ve known him. Why stop now?

He hasn’t stopped now. In fact, Matthew’s moved further than ever before from de Clermont tradition. Disobeying Baldwin by refusing to kill Jack is step one, outing creature chromosomes to humans is step two. (A round of applause to Dr Roberts, incidentally, for bursting the balloons at Matthew’s pity party with his “black man from Alabama” speech, and reminding the vampire that his people are hardly the only ones who’ve suffered at the hands of evil.)

Change must come, Matthew decided this episode. After all, everything Philippe devised was designed to conceal and protect creatures from warm-bloods, and where did that lead? An inability to sire, dwindling magic and mentally ill daemons (we sorely need an episode set solely among that last crew to give us any sense of what daemonhood actually means, but I don’t think one’s coming). For creatures to have a future, the status quo needs shaking up and this sixth century patriarch knows it. His trip back to Elizabeth’s court taught Matthew that he was more than somebody else’s assassin, a lesson he’s brought back to the present.

Baldwin wasn’t the only patriarch disobeyed this episode, Satu had a set-to with Knox in a satisfying continuation of last week’s rebellion against her former master. There was beautiful work from the dark witch, who whipped away Knox’s balls and told him in no uncertain terms that he was no longer the boss of her. A pity that stained-glass window got in the way of her show of force, but every war has its casualties.

Source: Den of Geek

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