Warmth and Reunion: S2E6 Review: “Dear Friend…”

By Tanya Malik

Score: 7.5

“Dear Friend…” is an event-filled episode that opens in the aftermath of “Turn Your Back”.  Ciri still wants to become a Witcher, but Geralt laments that she only wants revenge. As Geralt and Ciri head South to Ellander through a forest, they are attacked by a chernobog.  Chernobogs are rarely mentioned in The Witcher; rather, they come from Slavic folklore. Also known as Zcerneboch, or “the black god”, it brings bad fates, death, and woe. In the show, chernobogs are made of stellacite, a mineral found in the monoliths. When Geralt and Ciri fight the chernobog, they combine both of their efforts, with Ciri baiting the chernobog to attack her before Geralt kills it. During the fight, Geralt’s horse Roach is mortally wounded and he must euthanize her.  Ciri admits that she felt that the chernobog didn’t want to attack her, which raises more questions about her powers and the role her Elder Blood will play.

Meanwhile, Rience attacks Kaer Morhen to look for the serum, and it is revealed that Geralt and Ciri are going to Nenneke’s temple to train Ciri’s powers. The temple is where Witchers learn to use signs, and Vesimir took Geralt there to study  in his childhood. In Cintra, Cahir is back and he isn’t pleased with the elves,  doubting their loyalty to Nilfgaard and dismissing them as bad fighters. He tests their skills by sparring with  a few elves and Filavandrel himself, until Filavandrel hears that his wife is giving birth and rushes to her side. Francesca gives birth to a girl, and the elves celebrate the entire night as a baby elf hasn’t been born in years. This is a joyous scene for the elves, but this event also gives Cahir greater doubts about their loyalty to Nilfgaard and their willingness to fight.

After speaking with Ciri at the temple, realizes that Ciri is a Child of Destiny and a Daughter of Chaos. Ciri goes to the library and tries to unlock the power of a device called an Orbuculum by using her powers. Yennefer also arrives at the temple with the intent of abducting Ciri, but her plans are complicated when she reunites with Geralt and realizes Ciri is his child of suprise.  Geralt formally introduces the two to each other, but he doesn’t know Yennefer’s true intentions – to use Ciri to get her powers back. That night, the three of them are then attacked when Rience and the Michelet brothers track down Ciri with the intent of kidnapping her.  Geralt fights the Michelet brothers, killing them, while Rience attempts to breach a chamber where Yennefer and Ciri are hiding. The Orbuculum activates due to Ciri’s fear, and Yennefer uses this opportunity to teach Ciri her first spell – portals. Both of them escape through the portal to an unknown destination, leaving Geralt behind, even though he pleads for them to stay. Rience flees, escaping Geralt through his own portal.  Even though Yennefer’s motives are malevolent, she takes a liking to Ciri, which may conflict with her intended plan.

Meanwhile, Istredd seeks the help of investigators Codringher and Fenn to discuss Ciri’s origin based on a mistranslated scroll; rather than the elves creating a weapon to destroy the humans, they created a warrior who had the ability to either change the world for the better or to destroy it. This raises the stakes for the rest of Season 2, and it creates a lot of unanswered questions about Elder Blood and how Ciri’s powers will develop.

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