A Strong and Satisfying Conclusion: S2E8 Review: “Family”

By Tanya Malik

Score: 8.5

“Family” is an exciting and action-packed finale that shows that family doesn’t only represent blood, it also represents the strong bonds people who stay together have with each other. Ciri is possessed by Voleth Meir and begins killing all the Witchers at Kaer Morhen. Francesca and Filavandrel find out that Redania was responsible for the death of their child, and Emperor Emhyr arrives saying that he wants to find his daughter and get her back. The elves also find out that Ciri has Elder Blood and realize that she can save them after they capture Istredd. Ciri’s significance is rapidly growing, and this season has brought out her character traits as a young woman who believes in her strength, who never gives up, and who “radiates a spark” as described by Yennefer.

The episode opens with Ciri at a party in the palace, where she has overslept and is woken up by Mousesack. This party is a nicer version of the same one that took place in “The End’s Beginning” (the show’s 2019 pilot), where Nilfgaard never attacked Cintra and Ciri’s parents are still alive. However, this party is a hallucination, and Voleth Meir is actually using Ciri’s body to kill the Witchers. Geralt comes back in time and the Witchers realize that Ciri is possessed and prepare for a battle. Yennefer and Jaskier also arrive after creating a potion. Voleth Meir uses Ciri’s powers to summon monsters from the Medallion Tree (revealed to be a Monolith). which attacks the Witchers, starting the fight.

Geralt offers to be the vessel for Voleth Meir, but Voleth Meir refuses. Vesemir tries to stab Ciri, but the wound heals. It is not until the Witchers realize that Voleth Meir feeds on hate that they are able to make progress, with Geralt saying that Ciri needs to come home and the other Witchers saying positive comments. Yennefer also offers her body to Voleth Meir, who enters her body as Ciri teleports them through a portal leading to the Wild Hunt. Voleth Meir’s plan all along was to go home, so she leaves Yennefer’s body and joins the Wild Hunt. Ciri teleports them back to Kaer Morhen and it is discovered that Ciri cannot only teleport between places, but also between other worlds as well. As a result, Geralt and Yennefer discuss that Yennefer will train Ciri and both of them will protect her. 

Meanwhile, the elves have gone to Redania and Francesca performs a spell, killing all the babies in a town. The Brotherhood of Sorcerers are worried about Ciri’s power and discuss how best to find her. It is also discovered that Redania wasn’t the one responsible for the death of the elven baby, but Emperor Emhyr himself. As Emhyr is entering the palace, he shows his face, revealing that he is Ciri’s father, Duny. He asks the guards to take away Fringilla and Cahir as he says that he can no longer trust them. Meanwhile, at the insistence of Tissaia, the kings of the North convene a secret conclave. They know now that Ciri is alive and the key to the political future to the North, so they place a bounty on her head to capture and use her as a political pawn. Dijkstra plots his next move, and the enigmatic owl with whom he is allied is revealed to be none other than Phillipa Eilhart, a sorceress fans of the novels and video games will recognize as an extremely powerful and ruthless character. From a satisfying and hair-raising fight scene to more parties becoming involved in the search for Ciri, this episode heats things up for Season 3 after the wild ride of Season 2!

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