DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Witcher Season 3 Episode 3, “Reunion,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, citizens of the Continent! We’re halfway through Season 3, Volume 1 of The Witcher, and things are slowly yet methodically moving in the right direction. “Reunion” touches on a prevailing theme in Season 3 thus far: the price of neutrality. While Jaskier notes that being neutral has consequences, Yennefer tells Ciri in episode two that sometimes it’s best not to act. Similarly, while telling Ciri the story of Shaerrawedd in the season premiere, Geralt remarks that neutrality doesn’t get you a statue. This begs the question: is it better to act when you know it’s right? Or do you consider the consequences, the domino effect that could unfold from your actions?
“Reunion” is a little inconsistent on the pacing front. However, we get some great Geralt/Jaskier moments and beautiful performances across the board.
Ready to delve into “Reunion”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Vespula (Beau Holland) listening (well, pretending to, at least) to Jaskier (Joey Batey) dissecting everything Radovid told him. Like, obsessively. Vespula points out that Jasky 100 percent has a crush on Radovid. Methinks part of it is because Radovid stroked his ego by claiming Jaskier can “see” people. Jaskier denies the crush, claiming he merely wants to keep Geralt safe and take Rience out of the equation. Before he and Vespula can get it on (again), Geralt, “the family goat,” knocks on his door.
Geralt (Henry Cavill) introduces Jaskier to “Ciri” (Frances Pooley), who’s in a trance-like state. She has a few lucid moments, but most of the time, she rants incoherently. They take “Ciri” to a family friend — a druid named Anika (Catherine McCormack), who lives with someone Geralt helped, a werewolf named Otto (Dempsey Bovell). Anika confirms that “Ciri” is under a magical enchantment, which is pretty potent. She gives “Ciri” an elixir to help. Geralt learns from Anika that his mother, Visenna, passed away the year before. That’s how she met Otto: while mourning for Visenna. Geralt appears to be temporarily in shock but recovers quickly.
Meanwhile, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and Ciri (Freya Allan) visit the Giancardi Bank. Yen reunites with Giancardi (Giuseppe Lentini), who we learn was saved by Yen at one point. Yennefer gives Ciri money and urges her to buy something nice while she carries out a task. Giancardi assigns Fabio (Stuart Thompson) as her escort around the village. In Redania, Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) and Philippa (Cassie Clare) ask King Vizimir (Ed Birch) questions about his clandestine meeting with the Nilfgaardian envoy. Vizimir claims that when Nilfgaard seizes control of the North, they’ll leave Redania alone.
Dijkstra doesn’t think it’s a good idea to negotiate with them, especially without his counsel. Radovid (Hugh Skinner) watches the interaction with mild amusement. After Vizimir puts Dijkstra in his place, Dijkstra and Philippa brainstorm their next moves while Radovid eavesdrops. Philippa wonders if it might be time to make Queen Hedwig, Vizimir’s wife, “useful” to them. She also encourages Dijkstra to utilize Radovid to keep Vizimir in line. Of course, Dijkstra would rather claw out his eyes than work with Radovid.
Next, Yen meets with Tissaia (MyAnna Buring) in one of the spacious vaults at Giancardi Bank. Yen accuses Tissaia of learning that Ciri was live and sharing the news, hoping to curry favor with the Northern kings. However, the kings still loathe the Brotherhood, and Ciri is nowhere to be found. Tissaia reminds Yen of how the Brotherhood and the kings feel about her. Yen reveals she wants Ciri to train at Aretuza. Yes, war is on the horizon, but she might lead them out of it with her extraordinary gifts. Tissaia is hesitant to hide a wanted princess at Aretuza. Tissaia notes how Yennefer finally became a mother. Her love for Ciri is evident.
Then, Ciri munches on an overabundance of doughnuts (although there’s no such thing as too many doughnuts) while Fabio tries to get folks to open bank accounts … unsuccessfully. Istredd (Royce Pierreson) waits for his contact to deliver the magical items he needs. She deposits said items; however, one thing is missing: the monolith book. Condringher and Fenn told him it was buried in a Xin’trean cavern. Istredd’s contact informs him that the book was sent to Aretuza by order of the emperor himself. All hail the White Flame.
Speaking of, Cahir (Eamon Farren) introduces Gallatin (Robbie Amell) to Emhyr (Bart Edwards). They’re all going to chat about Gallatin taking charge and deposing Francesca. Then, the elves can work alongside Nilfgaard successfully. Emhyr takes a shine to Gallatin instantly. After the latter departs, the emperor questions whether Cahir arranged this meeting to get back into his good graces more quickly. Well, it worked. Emhyr asks Cahir if he’s ready to come home.
Meanwhile, Geralt and Jaskier wait for the elixir to work its magic on fake Ciri. Geralt learns about Jaskier’s deal with Dijkstra and Philippa. He’s not mad. Jaskier reveals he’s been tasked with bringing Ciri to Redania. He agrees with them — she’d be much safer there. However, Gerald knows Ciri well. She won’t enjoy being locked away in a castle and forced to pump out royal babies. An idea strikes Geralt during their conversation. He wakes fake Ciri and asks her about “the source” she keeps rattling about. What source? Who is it? Anika urges Geralt to exercise caution as he could disrupt the elixir’s efficacy.
Fake Ciri wakes and tells the group her real name is Teryn. Suddenly, Teryn morphs into someone else — someone darker. She’s possessed. This dark force claims that they’re Ciri’s destiny. Teryn recites the opening of Ithlinne’s Prophecy. Then, she sends a magical blast in Geralt, Jaskier, Otto and Anika’s direction. Otto starts turning into a werewolf because Teryn removed the amulet Geralt gave him, which prevents transformation. Geralt tries to subdue Otto while Jaskier attempts to wrestle the amulet away from Teryn. He tosses it to Geralt, who presses it quickly against Otto’s chest to stop the transformation. Jaskier also quiets Teryn by feeding her more of the elixir.
Meanwhile, Ciri and Fabio listen to a barker who introduces his audience to a basilisk — or so he thinks. Ciri points out that he has a young wyvern in a cage. The barker, annoyed with Ciri, tries to swipe at her with his cane. Rude. Suddenly, he falls into the cage, releasing the wyvern. It circles above the crowd. Ciri tries to contain the creature by throwing a blanket over it. She reaches for her knife but notices it’s missing. That’s thanks to Mistle (Christelle Elwin), a member of a teenage gang called The Rats. Mistle tosses the knife at Ciri. When the wyvern leaps onto Ciri, she stabs it with her knife. However, she passes the victory off to a local knight.
After the incident, Ciri parts ways with Fabio. Mistle reappears with Ciri’s money, which she also stole, but refuses to give it up. Ciri holds the talisman Yen gave her and says the spell that’ll reunite them. However, Yen’s nowhere to be found. Suddenly, Ciri runs into Margarita (Rochelle Rose), one of the administrators at Aretuza, and Sabrina (Therica Wilson-Read). Margarita mistakes Ciri for a rogue pupil, while Ciri believes she’s being kidnapped. Yennefer and Tissaia appear, and Yen explains who Ciri is.
Later, Ciri watches while Yennefer, Tissaia, Margarita and Sabrina lounge around a bathhouse while giggling like schoolgirls. They demand Ciri fetch them more wine. She talks back to them, forcing Yen to pull her aside and give her a stern talking-to. She explains it’s imperative that Ciri play nice so they can seek refuge at Aretuza. It’s an emotional argument with gut-wrenching, layered performances from Chalotra and Allan. Yen reminds Ciri that she’s not Geralt before storming out.
Then, we see Geralt sitting with Anika, who’s recovering from Teryn’s attack. Anika reveals how Visenna died — she was brutally attacked by a villager who thought she was an elf. Geralt launches into a monologue about his childhood with his mother. Tears streak his face as he recalls what it was like and how she simply left him one day. He asks Anika if Teryn can stay with her while he decides how best to help her.
Yennefer brainstorms about how to unite the mages. They must present a cohesive front before bringing the kings of the Continent together. Then, it hits her: they should host a conclave of mages at Aretuza. Everyone loves a good conclave. Meanwhile, Ciri tries to summon Geralt this time. She fought with Mommy, so it’s time to appeal to Daddy. In Redania, Radovid delivers a package to King Vizimir containing Queen Hedwig’s head. Vizimir starts sobbing while Dijkstra comforts him.
After Vizimir departs, Dijkstra turns on Radovid, putting the king’s younger brother in his place. If you’ve watched Preacher, you know how terrifying Graham McTavish can be. Radovid suspects that Dijkstra and Philippa had the queen beheaded, which is true. All the more reason why Dijkstra believes he should stay quiet. He could be next.
Philippa and Eva (Cal Watson) have mind-blowing sex. Afterward, we learn that Eva took off the queen’s head at Philippa’s behest. The woman Eva spotted, the emperor’s emissary, didn’t move her mouth. Philippa wonders if said emissary was using telepathy. Eva remarks that her portal was dark and black, like Rience’s. That’s when the lightbulb switches on — the mage backing Rience works for Nilfgaard.
Next, we see Rience (Sam Woolf) talking to Lydia (Aisha Fabienne Ross). He rants about how he only agreed to take this job because he thought she was working for Nilfgaard. She reminds him that her alliance with Emhyr is merely a means to an end. Rience touches Lydia’s face, and the illusion she maintains falls away briefly. We see her real mangled visage. Rience orders Lydia to ensure Emhyr keeps him in the loop if he’s to go along with the master plan.
Filavandrel (Tom Canton) orders Francesca (Mecia Simson) to get some rest after he watches her tend to the elves. They’re still recovering from the battle at Shaerrawedd. Cahir visits Gallatin in his quarters. Gallatin talks about how they would’ve been best buddies when they were younger. Suddenly, Cahir stabs Gallatin in the neck. Gallatin dies in Cahir’s arms. Cahir tearfully explains that it has to be this way. Who says that? Ciri rides her galloping horse through the woods. She’s pursued by the Wild Hunt, with Eredin calling out to her. Before they catch her, though, Geralt appears. He shoots magical blasts at them, causing them to disperse. Geralt and Ciri embrace. That’s when Ciri spots a bit of smoking metal and chainmail. “They were real,” she says, stunned.
The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1 is now streaming on Netflix.