The Witcher Episode Review S01E05 – Bottled Appetites
This article is a review and recap episode 5 of The Witcher entitled, “Bottled Appetites”. It was written by Sneha Koorse and directed by Charlotte Brändström. It was released on Netflix on 20th December 2019.
The last few episodes The End’s Beginning, Four Marks and Betrayer Moon, introduced the key characters and main story elements. The last episode, Of Banquets Burials and Bastards, saw the story begin to consolidate and a pathway for the characters to gradually come together. During this episode, Bottled Appetites, we finally get to see two of the main characters meet up. We are also introduced to some great supernatural type characters as a bonus. This particular story of the TV series is also based on part of Andrzej Sapkowski’s book, “The Last Wish”.
Although we’ve seen lots of monster stuff in previous episodes, in this, the monsters are less physical and more supernatural and sinister. We were introduced to a djinn and a shape-shifter that incidentally acted as though he had drunk too much gin. This was a fun episode and we saw a lot more meat added to the bones of the story. The girls will particularly enjoy the Bathtub Geralt scene and the boys will enjoy the Bathtub Yennefer scene – yep, they were together. Erm and maybe the orgy though choreography was a little weird.
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Ciri is on the run from the Nilfgaardian Empire and talking to a magic tree in Brokilon Forrest – I know, awesome right? A very dark and dangerous senior Nilfgaardian soldier called Cahir is after her. She has some sort of ‘special power’ that Cahir and more recently the dryads of Brokilon Forrest have recognised and consider important – Ciri herself realises that something is ‘different’ but has no idea what or how powerful her power is. She was told by her grandmother, the late Queen Calanthe of Cintra, for reasons of personal safety, that she should look for The White Wolf, Geralt of Rivia.
Yennefer has transformed from a young hunchback girl to a very beautiful sorceress. For many (around 30) years she was the mage working for Aedirn but getting stuck between a recent family squabble between the King and Queen, she has decided to leave their employ and fend for herself. She has considerable ability and skill and (and a very handy anti-aging ability) but has become embittered with her lot in life and irritated by her treatment by Aedirn Monarchy.
In terms of the timelines, this episode brings the key character timelines of Yennefer and Geralt together but these are both considerably earlier than the Ciri timeline – I think by as much as 50 years! Again, don’t get too hung up on the different times, it was important for the writers to get the key female characters set up in the story early and this was the best way to do it. Once you understand that you are looking at a possible flashback, it gives the episode a bit of a twist and certainly makes it less predictable.
The Witcher Review – Episode Five Recap – Bottled Appetites
The episode starts with a young man in a rooftop laboratory. He is taking a small body part out of a bag and putting in in a preservation jar. He is pleased with his work. Then, for some reason, he starts taking his clothes off (mind boggles).
At about this time, Cahir from the Nilfgaard Empire enters quietly. The young man notices and asks what he wants.
Cahir is there to engage him as a shape-shifter (known in The Continent as a Doppler). Apparently, Dopplers are normally good natured and helpful – in fact there was a whole plot-line dedicated to how helpful and ‘nice’ they are in the game (Witcher 3). This Doppler however, is not. Because of his alleged evil predisposition, Cahir needs him for his quest to capture Ciri from the dryads of Brokilon Forest.
The Doppler agrees to help him and they head back to Cintra. There they join the mage Fringilla and meet up with their prisoner, the unfortunate Mousesack. Fringilla explains that she no longer answers to her teachings and that she follows the White Flame. She adds that Mousesack could have been part of their campaign if only he had realised that Cintra had to fall.
The Mousesack Hack
The Doppler and Cahir join them and the Doppler asks disappointedly, if this is the person he is to change into.
Cahir tells Mousesack to run. I’m not sure why when poor druid is right in front of him. Possibly the Doppler enjoys a bit of a chase, but it seemed a little silly. The Doppler then chases and quickly catchers Mousesack. The shapeshifter begins the process of change. Not only does he begin to look like Mousehack, he takes his memories ……. and then kills him with a dagger.
Yennefer consults the Apothecary Mage…. Again
Yennefer is in a sort of magical apothecary. She is meeting a very cool but slightly sleazy mage to get a potion. She doesn’t have enough money and despite threatening the mage, she is unable to get the potion she came for.
It seems that she is unfulfilled after the loss of her last placement. She now practices sorcery as a freelance but with the absence of a womb, feels incomplete. This is the reason she regularly looks for treatment with the apothecary (a less powerful mage).
In the end, his sleazy talk of a possible partnership annoys her and she leaves.
Correctives Quite Effective – Whatever the Objective
Yennefer now consults individuals with problems. In this next scene she is consulting a couple who are much in love but the male member of the partnership has problems ‘rising’ as the occasion requires.
She provides a spell to help and is happily paid by the couple.
As they leave, the Baron and his burley henchman arrive to collect some money for the kingdom. Yennefer has no intention of paying but is tickled at the idea of being arrested. She is pleased for the distraction and smiling, she is handcuffed and taken away.
Shall She Go Or Shall She Stay
In Brokilon Forest, the ex-princess of Cintra, Cirilla, is under discussion with the dryads. The pretty but aggressive General is fearful that Ciri is not a dryad and is dangerous. She doesn’t want her to stay. The Queen however is convinced that her power would benefit them greatly.
When a dryad woman arrives with a pair of Nilfgaardian Empire soldiers heads that had strayed too close, the queen makes a decision. Ciri will be allowed to stay. It seems that the Queen would like Ciri’s power to be used to help safeguard the dryads from what seems like a certain invasion from Nilfgaard. She asks Ciri to make a commitment to stay with the dryads.
Needs Djinn to Sleep
Meanwhile, across The Continent somewhere, Jaskier and Geralt are by a river. Geralt is looking for something using a fishing net. Jaskier is bothering him with his usual banter. Geralt admits that he is after the Djinn because he is looking for a cure for sleeping. Implausible though that sounds, Geralt insists that it’s true and gets quite shouty about it.
Eventually, Geralt finds a Djinn bottle. He examines it and Jaskier looks on in disbelief.
Jaskier playfully takes the bottle and the top comes off in Geralt’s hands. Nothing happens at first but then the sky begins to get a little darker and the quick witted Jaskier utters, “Djinn I have freed thee and as of this day I am thy Lord”.
He makes a couple of predictable and frivolous wishes before accidentally breaking the bottle (it’s important to remember that ‘couple’ = two). Geralt is justifiably annoyed and they argue. In the heat of the discussion, Jaskier accidentally breaks the Djinn bottle and when Geralt picks up the pieces, he cuts his arm. Jaskier keels over in pain. The bothersome bard’s neck is beginning to swell and he is having trouble breathing. When he starts coughing up blood, Geralt takes Jaskier to a healer.
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At a small encampment outside the local town, an elf healer called Chireadan consults with Jaskier. He determines that because his ailment is magical in nature, he is not able to heal it. All he can do is stop it from getting worse.
He reluctantly hints that there is a local sorceress in the the town that will be able to help.
A visit from the The Mentor
Meanwhile, Yennefer is preening herself in front of the mirror when her mentor arrives. The beautiful and still quite scary Tissaia De Vries visits. She is concerned that Yennefer using her magic too much and that it will have consequences with the Sorcerers Brotherhood. Her magic is making too much noise and contradicts their agenda. Worse still, her attempts to get back a womb seem to be causing everyone concern.
Tissaia asks Yennefer to come back to Aretuza where she can be redeemed. The troubles that happened in Aedirn will be forgiven and forgotten. Yennefer refuses and Tissaia leaves through a portal. She looks genuinely sad before she leaves. It’s as though her prodigy has rejected her. Yennefer too looks a little regretful.
It may also be that Yennefer is right and that Tissaia needs Yennefer back to help fight the coming battle between Nilfgaard (and Fringilla) and the rest of the continent.
The Orgy at the Mayors House
Geralt heads off to see the Mayor to locate the Mage. At the house, he sees that the mayor is intoxicated or under the influence of something and completely naked.
The mayor gestures that the mage wants some apple juice and she always get what she wants. Geralt pics up the flagon of apple juice and drags Jaskier to look for the mage.
The mayor’s house indeed, turns out to be a bit of a den of debauchery and looks wonderful! Lots of people are moving around in very careful choreographed motions so as not to let the camera see too much (Game of Thrones did that a lot better).
Eventually, they are spied by Yennefer who looks more than a little intrigued by Geralt
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Yennefer notices that Geralt is immune and they introduce themselves. Yennefer is very impressed at finally meeting the almost legendary White Wolf of Rivia and he, in turn is quite impressed with her.
He asks her to help cure Jaskier explaining that he was attacked by a Djinn. Yennefer agrees to help after Geralt basically agrees that he will do anything – whatever the price (even all night long if she wishes).
I Only Have Eyes For You
She agrees and utters the work ‘Ragamuffin’. The music stops and the guests suddenly realise where they are and that they are naked. I godda say that the surprise was far more fun that the silly choreography.
As Yennefer walks off, we see that despite all the naked flesh in the room, Geralt only has eyes for Yennefer and in particular …….
Witcher Episode 5 Review: Bathtubers
Yennefer treats Jaskier and insists that Geralt takes a bath while the spell takes effect.
Once in the bath, Geralt is joined by Yennefer and the two flirt – back to back. Geralt discussed the Djinn and
Yennefer turns out to be a bit of an enigma for Geralt. On the one hand, she has an obvious selfish and harsh side and on the other, she agrees to help cure Jaskie simply by sharing their time. This softer contrast is something that he can’t get his head around.
He leaves the bathtub without offering to scrub Yennefer’s back – clearly upset!
Yennefer had managed to previously find some clothes for Geralt who complains that they are a little too tight fitting. Yennefer is as amused as the female viewing population by the statement and argues that they clothes fit perfectly.
The Third Wish
Geralt still questions her intentions and he realises that she wants to somehow use the Djinn.
Yennefer determined that Jaskier had only made two wishes and therefore, she could possibly take advantage of the Djinn tro make herself more powerful when Jasier makes his third wish. She applies some perfume as they talk. Strangely (certainly for a Witcher who is supposed to be immune to magic) the perfume affects Geralt who is immobilised and passes out.
The Popping Guard
Geralt wakes in a cell. He is accompanied by the elf healer Chireadan who had tried to stop the guards from killing him and was arrested too. The elf explains that Yennefer put him under her spell to enact her revenge on the council for interfering with her plans. Apparently Geralt had beaten a couple of them and then run amok before being captured. It was likely that he would receive the death penalty as a result.
Sure enough, when the guard arrived, Geralt was beaten and when asked to make a last wish, the guards head exploded! It turns out that Geralt was the one who had the wishes and not Jaskier after all!
Geralt had used one of them when the jar broke, the second was to blow the head off the Guard who was about to kill him. Geralt hurriedly made his escape and rushed off to find Jaskier and Yennefer. Poor Chireadan was left with bits of the guards head on his face.
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Yennefer was determined to use Jaskiers last spell and waits for him to awaken. She begins the spell.
Once Jaskier wakes from his treatment, Yennefer insists that he make his last wish. At first she attempts this seductively……
And when that doesn’t work, a little more persuasively…… with a vice like grip of his genitals.
Jaskier tries to make a wish but it doesn’t seem to work. Yennefer continues her incantations and summons the Djinn. She intends to become a vessel for the Djinn in the hope that this will make her stronger and able to cast more powerful magic.
While she is distracted, Jasker makes his escape. Outside he meets Geralt.
Geralt enters the room and sees Yennefer suffering for her spellcasting. He explains that it was not Jaskier but himself that had the wishes. He tells her that he is trying to help her.
She refuses his help believing that it will come with conditions. But the Djinn is very strong and her spell is beginning to fail and hurt her.
Geralt explains that if she tries to become a vessel for the Djinn of to get the Djinn to make her ‘whole’ again, it would kill her. He pleads with her to stop and he would then give her his last wish. She refuses.
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Then the Djinn takes hold of Yennefer. It calls for the Witcher to make his last wish.
Geralt makes his wish quietly and the Djinn departs. Yennefer is distraught that her spellcasting has failed but before she can chastise him, the roof begins to fall in.
Outside, Chireadan and Jaskier observe the roof collapse and assume that Yennefer and Geralt have been crushed. Yennefer has however, managed to teleport them to the ground floor just in time.
Geralt leans over her and tenderly asks if she is all right. Yennefer is angry, she has lost her chance for more power. The two argue but eventually, they look into each others eyes and decide that kissing is better than arguing.
They make love pretty much after the second kiss. Outside, Chireadan and Jaskier couldn’t help notice that they were alaive, ‘”Really alive!” as Jaskier remarked.
Afterwards, Yennefer asks Geralt what he had wished for.
But Geralt has fallen asleep. We are led to believe that the wish was used to cure his insomnia but we all know that would have been too easy.
Witcher Episode 5 Review: Leaving Brokilon
In the forest of the Dryads, Mousesack approaches and is taken to see the queen. There he meets up with Ciri who is obviously pleased to see him. He asks that she come with him as her grandmothers last wish was to go to Geralt of Rivia.
The General of the Dryans points out to the queen that she was promised through the Law of Surprise.
Ciri says goodbye to the Queen. She is very grateful for all they have done. She also asks that Dara, her elf friend, accompany them.
The Queen tells her that destiny is in her own hands and nobody else’s. Ciri turns, takes Dara’s hand and leaves the forest with Mousesack.
And with that, this really good episode ends!
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I really liked this show, It has lots of gratuitous in it, lots of nudity, violence and even a head exploding! It also had a really interesting story that twisted around and monsters that, for a change, weren’t actually visible! I loved every minute.
The meeting between Geralt and Yennefer really delivers! Their get together bubbled with raw energy, sexual charisma, and fun that kept is all entertained. Cavill and Chalotra look really good together and are physically and mentally well matched, That isn’t just good acting, it’s good writing and direction too.
Criticas and viewers at the time however, didn’t! This had one of the lowest ratings when it aired, of all the episodes. I think that changed when people had a chance to watch the show again.
The friendship between Jaskier and Geralt continues to erm… bloom, is that the right word…. continues not to want to see him dead…? And Yennefer is all her glory as a bit of a vulnerable and greedy bitch was absolutely wonderful. Anya Chalotra is managing to play the whole spectrum of this character very well and, it has to be said, looks great doing it.
Alas, not much of a part for Ciri again in this episode. I’m hoping that this will change soon.
The Witcher Episode Review – I’d mark this an exceptional 9.3 out of 10
How about you? If you select the “User” tab above, you can score by clicking on the relevant stars – Let us know what you thought!.
Again, many critics were negative about this episode which was unfortunate. It is truly and episode that moved the the story along at a pace. And, you need to remember, this is the start of an epic story. At the time of writing, there were three seasons planned. Based on the books alone, the saga could easily go to eight seasons! As I write, The Witcher is the world’s most popular TV show. After the early negative reviews, I wonder how much egg the naysayers are trying to scrape off their collective faces.
You can see other articles and comments about the show in The Witcher Episode & Review thread in the Discussion Forums and even post comments yourself!
The Witcher is a Czech-American fantasy drama web television series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich for Netflix.
The Witcher characters, pictures and everything else associated with the TV show are the property of Netflix, CD Projekt Red, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and Andrzej Sapkowski.
This Witcher TV Show Episode Two Review is copyright Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without permission.