‘The Witcher’: A Sweet Reunion Is Followed by Heartbreaking Betrayal (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Witcher Season 2 Episode 6, “Dear Friend.”]
The Witcher isn’t a perfect show by any means; some of the dialogue can be a little trite, and not every plotline hits the mark (the Fringilla and Francesca scenes being the worst offender). But the show moves at such a pace that it doesn’t let you dwell on these flaws. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the speed at which The Witcher zooms through its plot is something to behold. This episode was no exception, forgoing weeks of meandering and getting straight to the action.
In the last episode, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) was given the task of finding Ciri (Freya Allan) and bringing her to the old crone. And in no time at all, Yennefer tracks Ciri down to the Temple of Melitele, a sanctuary for the sick and wounded, which also helps with childbirth and training new priestesses. Geralt (Henry Cavill) has taken Ciri there to help her with the more studious side of her training, especially as she’s proven her fearlessness on the battlefield — having stood her ground as bait to assist Geralt in killing some freakish granite dragon creature.
The reunion between Geralt and Yennefer is cute, though fraught with tension, as Yennefer realizes the girl she must kidnap is her former lover’s Child Surprise. There’s some lighthearted awkwardness as Ciri walks in on Geralt and Yennefer smooching, and later, the three banter about the existence of unicorns. For a brief moment, it almost feels like a family, and it’s the first time in a while that Geralt has been able to smile. Geralt needed this, especially after losing his trusty horse Roach (RIP) in the monster fight.
That’s not to say Geralt is completely oblivious to Yennefer’s unusual behavior. He recognizes that she’s nervous about something. However, Yennefer plays off her unease as a result of being on the run from the Brotherhood and her continued desire to have a child. She’s able to keep her true intentions hidden from Geralt, not that that makes things any easier, as Yennefer is clearly conflicted. But if she wants to regain her powers, this is what she has to do.
Ciri is certainly popular. With each passing episode, it becomes clearer and clearer that the young princess is at the center of this story. She is wanted by people and factions from across the continent because of her power. Some of those people want to harness that power for good, while others have evil intentions.
Cahir (Eamon Farren) and Nilfgaard want Ciri to help with their takeover. Cahir admonishes Fringilla (Mimî M. Khayisa) for forgetting the task at hand, invoking the name of the White Flame to belittle her. He believes Fringilla has become sidetracked by helping the elves, that their appreciation for her has become an addiction. This is seen in the celebrations after Francesca (Mecia Simson) gives birth, and Fringilla helps keep the newborn alive. The elves are grateful and beholden to Fringilla, but Cahir is determined to get back on track and find Ciri.
The mage assassin is also after Ciri at the request of an unknown employer. And he comes dangerously close to getting her after stealing the Elder blood mutation from Vesemir (Kim Bodnia) and invading the temple with a gang of goons. Thankfully, Geralt is able to fend them off in an excellently shot fight sequence that sees teeth knocked out and heads impaled on swords. But it’s this distraction that gives Yennefer the opportunity to portal Ciri out of the temple, while all Geralt can do is watch on feeling regret and betrayal.
It’s unclear what exactly Ciri is and what she’s capable of, but it’s obvious she is essential to the future of mankind. Nenneke (Adjoa Andoh), the headteacher at the temple, believes that Ciri is capable of great things. While others, and Ciri herself, might think she destroys everything in her path, Nenneke believes Ciri’s power could bring about world peace. Perhaps Ciri can unite the species, elf and human alike, and put an end to the cycle of hatred.
Triss (Anna Shaffer) has a less positive outlook on Ciri’s role in the future. After the vision she witnessed in Ciri’s dream world, Triss is deeply frightened of the princess. And that fear is only heightened once the Elder blood mutation is stolen. So Triss returns to Aretuza to warn Tissaia (MyAnna Buring) that Ciri has power that could be fatal in the wrong hands. Triss doesn’t care about armies and battles and who is loyal to who; she just cares about protecting humanity.
These fears are not unfounded; we’ve seen that Ciri’s powers have the ability to bring death and topple monoliths. And what Istredd (Royce Pierreson) learns in this episode points to Ciri’s threat. The mage visits the Codringher and Fenn detective agency — Simon Callow and Liz Carr make for a delightful duo as the history buff detectives. The trio uncovers a mistranslation in an old text that reveals the elves built themselves a walking weapon, a warrior to enact revenge for past betrayals. Queen Calanthe was apparently aware of this and hid her elven ancestry to protect Ciri and her family.
Is Ciri this weaponized warrior? That’s certainly the implication. And that explains why the White Flame and others are desperate to capture her. But, right now, it’s Yennefer that has her, and Yennefer’s intentions are purely selfish in nature. She isn’t interested in weaponizing Ciri or using her to usurp kings and queens. All Yennefer wants is her powers back, and that means handing Ciri over to the crone. Whether Yennefer will go through this, however, remains to be seen.
The Witcher, Season 2, Streaming, Netflix