DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Witcher Season 3 Episode 2, “Unbound,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, citizens of the Continent! Toss a coin to your Witcher, y’all, because episode two is here to rock our worlds. Well, at the very least, it’s here to lay more building blocks for Season 3. “Unbound” isn’t quite as strong as its predecessor. You do lose that special spark when you split up your core group. That said, there are plenty of moments to enjoy, even if it’s not as potent as a whole.
Nilfgaard is being naughty, but what else is new? We learned that at least Rience is an animal lover, even if he burns people alive. We’ve got lots of political divisiveness and Continental strife. Ciri learns the hard lesson that sometimes it’s best not to act, even in the name of justice.
Ready to delve into “Unbound”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Aplegatt (Jim Sturgeon), King Vizimir’s man, chatting with a bartender in a tavern where they’ve conducted regular executions for weeks. They spot Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) passing on a letter to someone. Said letter is bound for Tissaia at Aretuza. Yennefer hopes Tissaia will welcome her and Ciri with open arms. Ciri (Freya Allan) stands outside the tavern. She spots Aplegatt, who strikes up a friendly chat. Suddenly, Ciri is plagued with a vision of Aplegatt meeting his demise. She tells him he’s going to get shot by an arrow. Yen quickly steps in, claiming Ciri was kicked in the head by a horse. She drags Ciri away.
Meanwhile, Geralt (Henry Cavill) walks through town while holding a monster’s heart. Jaskier (Joey Batey) accompanies him, lute strapped to his back. The pair stops in front of a door with a lion’s head door knocker. A metal spike shoots out from the lion’s mouth. Geralt tosses the monster’s heart onto said spike. Codringher (Simon Callow) opens the door to find Geralt and Jaskier. He somehow knew it was Geralt before opening the door. Next, Emhyr var Emreis (Bart Edwards) tests his reworked sword. He talks to the wordsmith, a bearded woman, about his time on the battlefield. Emhyr has his eyes set on becoming Emperor of the Continent. He hopes he can commission the swordsmith to craft him a weapon worthy of her talents. This episode is all about respecting the blue-collar working folk as it should be.
Then, we see Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni) sitting in the wine cellar of the White Flame himself, aka Emhyr. She has shackles on her wrists. Fringilla must taste test Emhyr’s wine to ensure it’s not poisoned. Geralt, Jaskier and Codringher unite with Fenn (Liz Carr) and her adorable kitty to talk about all things Rience. Geralt needs to know who Rience answers to. Fenn claims he doesn’t have enough coin for that information. He offers a throwing star to Codringher. If he strikes Geralt’s head, then it’s game over. However, if Codringher misses, he and Fenn must tell Geralt what they know about Rience’s boss.
Codringher misses on purpose. Fenn reluctantly reveals that one sorcerer has his pupils executing dirty business all over the Continent. They don’t know the sorcerer’s name, but they do know he resides in Vuilpanne near the old scarlet ammonite mines. Geralt and Jaskier prepare to depart, having all the info they need for their next move. Fenn’s remark, however, stops Geralt in his tracks. She knows who Ciri is. That’s when he learns that Istredd is one of their clients. Fun! Jaskier tries to persuade Geralt to brainstorm a more permanent solution for Ciri’s safety while en route to Redania. You see, he’s got that deal with Philippa and Vizimir, but Geralt doesn’t know that.
Geralt intends to travel to Vuilpanne alone. He vows to reunite with Jaskier after his mission. Meanwhile, Yen and Ciri have a girls’ shopping trip. They meet with Keira Metz (Safiyya Ingar), Yennefer’s old friend from Aretuza. She opens portals for her customers. Yen reveals they need one for Aretuza. Then, a man barges in with a child in chains. Ciri sees the kid’s future — he’s marked for death and will die should he cross that portal’s threshold. Ciri removes his chains and urges him to run. Before the man can harm Ciri, Yen snaps his neck. Knowing who he was, Keira makes a beeline through a portal to get out of dodge before sh*t hits the fan.
At Aretuza, Triss (Anna Shaffer) tells Tissaia (MyAnna Buring) that she wants to search for a missing initiate, Nissa. Tissaia finds the Brotherhood — Sabrina (Therica Wilson-Read), Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu), Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen), and Artorius (Terence Maynard) — meeting without her. Triss joins her before looking for Nissa. The Brotherhood discusses how the kings lost faith in them because they knew the elves were a problem but did nothing about it. It’s high time they unite the kings of the Continent before it’s too late. They demand Tissaia return Triss to Foltest’s court so they can move past this rough patch.
Tissaia orders the group to disperse since she’s in the middle of instructing her pupils. She broaches the subject of returning to Temeria to Triss, but she rejects the idea. She wishes to stay at Aretuza and help guide the girls. While in Nissa’s quarters, Triss finds what appears to be a streak of blood behind a chair. Meanwhile, Philippa (Cassie Clare) whips Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) like the bad little boy he is. It’s his kink. She asks for something in return — she wants him to chat with Radovid about keeping King Vizimir in check. Dijkstra insists he can do it himself. He’s been overseeing the king for decades. However, Radovid has a knack for political games. He might be good at it.
Speaking of, Jaskier finds Radovid (Hugh Skinner) throwing a party in Redania. He wants information on Rience’s boss so Radovid and Philippa can eradicate the Rience problem. But Radovid wants Jaskier to bust out the lute and entertain his guests with a song (or two). Maybe sign a few CDs. The works. Geralt arrives at Vuilpanne. He knows in his heart of hearts that it’s a trap. Even after Geralt drinks his Witcher potion, he still has a sinking feeling that the detectives led him to a trap.
Later, Yen and Ciri lead their horses through the dark forest. Yen expresses her disappointment in Ciri regarding her actions. Sometimes, restraint is best. Ciri wonders why she even has these visions if she can’t do anything about them. Yennefer wonders if she and Geralt should’ve trained Ciri to exercise caution and use common sense in perilous situations. She reveals they’re taking a detour to Aretuza by making a pitstop. She and Ciri turn their horses around.
Cahir (Eamon Farren) is not having a good night. For starters, he’s getting the snot kicked out of him. He even envisions Ciri calling him “Nilfgaardian scum” before spewing blood from her mouth. Thankfully, his old pal Gallatin (Robbie Amell) swoops in to save the day, killing the men who attacked Cahir. Gallatin helps Cahir bury their bodies. While Cahir is still loyal to Emhyr, the latter has him doing grunt work out in the sticks as punishment. Cahir wonders if Francesca has done anything to earn Gallatin’s loyalty. Gallatin believes it might be time to overthrow Franscesa. Her leadership methods are ineffective. Chasing after Ciri won’t solve their problems.
Cahir encourages Gallatin to take control. Emhyr and Nilfgaard will support him. I love a good uprising. Meanwhile, Fringilla gets progressively drunker as she tests the White Flame’s wine. She chats with one man about her time at Aretuza and how she was a powerful mage. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Then, said man ostensibly keels over. The guards prepare to throw his body out. In Redania, Jaskier’s song penetrates Radovid’s heart. It speaks to his soul. Before Jaskier departs, Radovid vows to look into Rience and his boss. The show is clearly setting up Jaskier and Radovid as a romantic pair.
Next, Geralt encounters some creepy horror sh*t while inside Vuilpanne. He sees three heads attached to what looks like bloody tentacles. They order Geralt to leave them alone. Then, he frees a blonde girl (Frances Pooley) who kinda resembles Ciri. Suddenly, a giant, headless creature comprised of multiple bodies, arms and legs attacks Geralt. It’s like something out of my nightmares. After successfully slaughtering the beast (and killing the heads), Geralt rescues the girl. Meanwhile, Fringilla escapes the castle by hiding in one of the body bags thrown outside. Smart woman.
Later, King Vizimir (Ed Birch) regales his court with countless stories while Radovid tells Philippa and Dijkstra about what he learned from Jaskier. Perhaps Philippa should visit Codringher and Fenn. Philippa departs, leaving Radovid and Dijkstra alone. Radovid suggests that everyone in the room is hiding something, his brother included. Vizimir met with Nilfgaard the night before. We see Aplegatt almost die by arrow, but not in the way Ciri envisioned. He’s safe for now.
Rience (Sam Woolf) barges into Codringher and Fenn’s home, demanding to know why they met our titular monster hunter. They reveal they told Geralt where to find Rience’s boss but withheld his identity. Rience grabs their sweet kitty, nonverbally threatening to set it on fire. He orders them to tell him everything. Then, we see Rience leave their house with their cat while the building blazes behind him. Philippa, who witnessed the incident in owl form, flies through his portal after him.
Meanwhile, Vilgefortz and Tissaia chat about Yennefer in their quarters. Tissaia received Yen’s letter and knows she’s on her way to Aretuza. Of course, Yen’s presence will cause conflict among the Brotherhood. Vilgefortz claims he’s willing to let bygones be bygones. After all, he and Yen share common traits. For one, they both love Tissaia. Aw. The pair smooch. Tissaia plans to meet Yen at Gors Velen to ensure there’s no funny business.
Then, Yennefer shows Ciri where she used to live, although the house is no longer there. Yen tells Ciri that she wasn’t born perfect. She had to work hard to cultivate the life she now has. She’s not even sure they’ll be welcomed at Aretuza, but they must try.
Geralt takes the girl to a stream, where she rests. He grabs water for her. When she wakes, she panics. However, upon learning she’s safe, she quickly recognizes Geralt. She claims her name is Ciri. Well, she’s credited as Teryn. Fake Ciri is here!
The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1 is now streaming on Netflix.