DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Witcher Season 3 Episode 6, “Everybody Has a Plan ’til They Get Punched in the Face,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, citizens of the Continent! The Witcher is back with Season 3 Volume 2, and, folks, “Everybody Has a Plan ’til They Get Punched in the Face” is a banger. It’s an unnecessarily long title and a little too cutesy for an episode devoid of humor, but it’s a propulsive outing from beginning to end. This is such a breath of fresh air compared to the plodding pace and weaker narrative of Volume 1. It feels like a return to form. Clearly, the writers were building up to this.
Episode six racks up quite the body count. People bite it. Some of the kills, like Rience, feel like the writers said, “Well, we don’t know what else to do with this character, so let’s take ’em out.” Rience’s death is unceremonious and underwhelming. However, I enjoyed the fight sequences (All that magic!) and the nonstop action.
Ready to delve into “Everybody Has a Plan ’til They Get Punched in the Face”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) threatening Geralt (Henry Cavill) to join him or die. It’s Redania or bust, right? Geralt agrees to accompany Dijkstra. He even leaves his sword behind. Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) mutters a quick spell to search for Ciri. She ventures outside her quarters to find Geralt’s sword. Then, she escapes through a secret door in the wall while the Aretuza guards, who are Pro-Redania, search for her. Yen psychically reaches out to Ciri (Freya Allan) and urges her to run.
Meanwhile, Radovid (Hugh Skinner) leaves a sleeping Jaskier (Joey Batey) to hunt for Ciri. He sneaks into her quarters to find she’s MIA. Jaskier confronts Radovid, claiming he only slept with him to get to Ciri. Radovid’s feelings for Jaskier aren’t real. Radovid believes Ciri would be better off in Redania. He also insists his feelings for Jaskier are true. He apologizes before departing. Poor Jasky. So, the show places him in his first onscreen romance with a man, and they have Radovid betray him instantly? Gross.
Next, Dijkstra takes Geralt to what looks like a holding cell for Aretuza’s mages — the traitors. Sabrina (Therica Wilson-Read) and Keira (Safiyya Ingar) appear to be Team Redania, while they have Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu), the real threat, in chains. Dimeritium shackles repress the mages’ magic. Yen encounters Lydia (Aisha Fabienne Ross), who tries to kill her. Thankfully, Triss (Anna Shaffer) saves the day, entrapping Lydia. Before they leave, Yen appears to kill Lydia. RIP.
Tissaia (MyAnna Buring) barges into the room where Dijkstra and Philippa (Cassie Clare) keep the “traitors.” Dijkstra claims they won’t restrain Tissaia out of respect for her. She’s the most powerful mage there. The Redanians blame Vilgefortz, claiming he aligns himself with Nilfgaard, but Tissaia doesn’t believe them. Geralt, who sits in the corner, refuses to get involved in Brotherhood politics. Same, bro. Same. He spots a fog lingering over the waters. He suspects said fog is magic used to conceal the ships sailing toward them. We see an army of cloaked figures reach for weapons as they make a beeline for Aretuza.
Next, Tissaia frees the bound mages. A fight breaks out between the Redanians and the mages as Dijkstra flees. Geralt follows him. Tissaia finds Vilgefortz in the dance hall, where everyone was enjoying themselves mere hours before. He finally reveals his hand to her. So, who’s the cloaked army heading toward them? Why, it’s the Scoia’tael, of course. They’ll burn down Aretuza in the name of the White Flame, aka Emhyr var Emreis of Nilfgaard. Oh, and Vilgy never loved her. He merely used Tissaia for her resources. He now has no use for her. Cold. My girl was too blinded by Vilgy’s hotness to see his deceit.
Vilgefortz removes Aretuza’s magical barriers to give the Scoia’tael access. They’re led by Francesca (Mecia Simson). They stand before Tissaia and order her to step aside. Suddenly, the mages appear behind Tissaia, including Artorius (Terence Maynard) and Margarita (Rochelle Ross). All the mages flex their magical muscles as Tissaia puts up a force field to protect them. Unfortunately, the Scoia’tael’s archers send arrows with dimeritium tips through said force field. The arrows take out a few mages. Francesca orders Cahir (Eamon Farren) to bring her Ciri.
Meanwhile, Yen finds Ciri outside the castle, safe and sound. She urges Ciri to run away with her. Geralt will find them, as he always does. During the battle, Tissaia kills Filavandrel (Tom Canton) as the latter jumps in front of Francesca to protect her. Filavandrel literally explodes into bloody bits. Artorius tries to take out Francesca. However, Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni) steps out of the shadows and murders her uncle before he can act.
Suddenly, Francesca sets her sights on the fiery ring above the hall. She sends it crashing to the ground, catching everything on fire. I like how we see the ring come down through Francesca’s eyes.
Later, Ciri and Yen encounter Rience (Sam Woolf), who tries to set them on fire. There’s lots of fire. Ciri retaliates, cutting off two of his fingers. Yen spots Geralt behind Rience and tosses his sword to him. Then, Geralt delivers the final blow — he decapitates Rience. So … that’s it? Bye, Felicia, I guess?
At Aretuza, Tissaia walks around in shock as the mages fight for their lives against the Scoia’tael. Istredd (Royce Pierreson) makes his grand entrance. He and Triss tend to one elder mage who’s having a heart attack. Sabrina and Keira, who initially defected, beg Tissaia to let them fight for Aretuza now. They didn’t know Vilgefortz would try to destroy Aretuza by way of the Scoia’tael. She silently allows them to join the good side again.
Suddenly, Triss takes an arrow to the shoulder. Istredd pulls it out and urges her to remain calm. He needs her to stay on this plane. She encourages him to search for the Book of Monoliths that was in Stregobor’s vault (placed there by Vilgefortz). Tissaia walks onto the balcony and calls up Alzur’s Thunder, a last resort. Yen senses what she’s doing and understands the gravity of it. Ciri pushes Yen to return to Aretuza to support Tissaia. She vows to return to Ciri and Geralt. Before departing, Yen kisses Ciri and calls her “my daughter.” Okay. This made me teary.
Meanwhile, we see Alzur’s Thunder in action as Tissaia controls the killer lightning bolts. They eradicate their targets instantly. Istredd wanders into Vilgefortz’s quarters to retrieve the book. Unfortunately, Vilgy catches him in the act. Then, he sends Istredd through a portal. To where? We don’t know. Buh-bye for now. Earlier in the episode, Geralt broke Dijkstra’s leg and arm. He sits there in immense pain. Philippa saves him from the brink of death in her owl form. Next, she helps Dijkstra walk out of Aretuza, leaving behind the bloody battle they helped start.
Outside the castle, Ciri and Geralt run into Cahir. Ciri tells Geralt she wants to kill Cahir for what he did to her family. This is vengeance. She tries to fight him while pushing him toward the cliffside. However, Cahir doesn’t want to fight her. Instead, he apologizes for what he did in Cintra. He will lay down his life for her now. Before Ciri can act, some soldiers appear, and they spot her. Cahir urges her to flee while he fights them off.
Then, we see Tissaia losing strength as she strikes her enemies with Alzur’s Thunder. Her hair is now white. Yen marches onto the battlefield, deftly deflecting Francesca’s attacks. Suddenly, Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen) appears to save the day. He’s using fire magic. He orders everyone to flee the scene as he prepares to lay down his life for Aretuza. Meanwhile, Geralt and Ciri find a boat they can use to escape. However, he senses something is amiss. Knowing what it is, he urges Ciri to leave without him. Ciri makes a beeline for Tor Lara.
Geralt confronts Vilgefortz. Vilgefortz still tries to get Geralt on his side as he prepares to fight him. Vilgy talks too much. Not a fan of villains who yammer. He’s Pro-Nilfgaard, blah, blah, blah. He and Geralt battle it out. Ciri is now inside Tor Lara, while Stregobor unleashes a seemingly fatal fiery blast that engulfs whoever’s left on the battlefield.
Back to Vilgy and Geralt — Geralt gets his ass handed to him. Vilgefortz stabs him a handful of times and destroys his sword before leaving him to die. Then, Vilgy follows Ciri into Tor Lara. He calls out to her, asking her to be his pupil. She tries to speak to Benavent’s portal at the top of Tor Lara. Ciri wants to understand it. She raises her hand as if to launch a spell. Vilgefortz orders her to stand down, claiming she’s not strong enough to harness this power. Suddenly, a powerful blast knocks Vilgefortz back. Tor Lara explodes.
Meanwhile, Geralt floats in the water as his wounds bleed out. Thankfully, Triss finds him. She’s very good at finding folks in the nick of time. Francesca, Fringilla and what’s left of the Scoia’tael are outside Aretuza while contemplating their next move. Francesca desperately wants to locate Ciri. Yennefer embraces Tissaia as they watch Aretuza go up in flames alongside the other mages. Tor Lara continues to crumble from the explosion. It all looks pretty damn bleak for the mages.
Do you think Vilgefortz is dead? Will Francesca find Ciri? Can Tissaia and the other mages rebuild Aretuza? Only time (and more episodes) will tell.
The Witcher Season 3 Volume 2 is now streaming on Netflix.