“Bottled Appetites” proves people aren’t always who they seem and that you should watch what you wish for — especially when mythical beings are involved.
This recap of The Witcher Season 1, Episode 5, “Bottled Appetites”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
In the opening of The Witcher Episode 5, we meet a doppler, a shapeshifter who refers to himself as a collective and is approached by Cahir (Eamon Farren), an intelligence officer of the Nilfgaardian Empire. Since this doppler isn’t particularly nice, as many of them are, he’ll probably be keen on the idea of assassination on behalf of Nilfgaard. The doppler vainly surveys his current guise in the mirror. “We’d planned on wearing this one for a while…” he says, “but we are flexible.” Quite.
Mousesack (Adam Levy) is still alive and is being held in a cell of Dimeritium — a special sort of magic-suppressing metal — to deaden his powers. We briefly see him interact with Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni) before Cahir and the doppler arrive. Mousesack is freed and told to run, but the doppler easily catches him, assuming not just his physical appearance but also his memories and feelings. After, the doppler kills him and takes obvious pleasure in doing so. Cahir insists that the doppler is to bring Ciri back alive. “Fine, but it’ll cost you,” he replies, “children are our favorite.” What a charming individual!
“Bottled Appetites” finds Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) negotiating with a fellow mage over her continuing “treatments”, and we get some indication of how she has been living off the grid with no resources, away from the Brotherhood, in search of “what she so desperately wants.” She goes off to raise money by offering her services and stirring word of mouth, setting up in the town of Rinde, where her fledgling business of helping couples with their sex lives is interrupted by the mayor Beau Berrant, who arrives to collect what is due to the kingdom. Yen offers him her wrists, and he cuffs her, surely not knowing what he’s getting into here.
In Brokilon Forest, the dryads are arguing over Ciri (Freya Allan), who, with Nilfgaardian spies on the border, might be their only means of survival. They offer her the choice of whether to stay or continue her search for Geralt elsewhere.
Speaking of Geralt (Henry Cavill), in The Witcher Episode 5 he hooks back up with Jaskier (Joey Batey), whom it’s implied he hasn’t seen for a while. Geralt is fishing for a djinn to help cure his insomnia, and while arguing with Jaskia finds its amphora, held tight with a stopper boasting a wizard’s seal. They argue over it, and the stopper is pulled free. Jaskia, skeptical of the whole thing, begins to flippantly make wishes until the amphora gets smashed, the djinn escapes, and Jaskia begins to throw up blood. Geralt rushes him to Rinde, where an elf healer, Chireadan, explains that the injuries are of a magical nature and require the talents of a mage. There’s only one local to the area; Chireadan was tasked with bringing her to justice but couldn’t bypass certain defenses, and the mayor is currently keeping her in his house. I wonder who this could be?
Yen, meanwhile, speaks with Tissaia (MyAnna Buring) about what she’s looking for, and how much noise she’s making in the search. Her need for a cure is making her sloppy, and the Brotherhood, despite having left her to her own devices when she left Aedirn, is likely to come after her now she’s drawing so much attention to herself. She refuses to return to Aretuza, and her relationship with Tissaia remains testy.
Geralt takes Jaskier to the mayor’s house, where he knocks out the guard who demands payment for entry, and finds the mayor naked and entranced, looking for apple juice to take to the mage. The mage, surprising nobody, is Yen, who is presiding over a smoky orgy that Geralt, being a mutant, is immune to. When he introduces himself she recognizes the name. They flirt, and he says that if she fixes Jaskier he’ll pay her, whatever the price — not an offer I’d make, but you know how these things go. She puts Jaskier in a deep healing sleep, which gives Geralt time to bathe, which she insists he does. She joins him in the water and they have flirty banter about their histories and beliefs, at the end of which she determines that his company and conversation have been payment enough. If only real life were so easy.
Of course, The Witcher Episode 5 isn’t that easy either. Yen wants the djinn, and she needs Jaskier to make his last wish so that she can capture it. Even though the amphora was destroyed, the djinn is still bound to this plane and its master. She puts Geralt in a trance, having finally broken down his will, and he awakens in a cell with Chireadan after, apparently, going on a rampage, assaulting men on the town council who were voting to oust the mayor and eject Yennefer, and who will also determine his sentence. Chireadan, it’s revealed, is in love with Yennefer, and who wouldn’t be? Not Jaskier, I suppose, who awakes to find her topless with the amphora drawn on her stomach, and is immediately terrified. She tries to force him into making his last wish as it’s revealed that Geralt’s jailer is the man he assaulted outside the mayor’s house. As he’s getting filled in, he wishes the man would burst — and the wish is granted. It’s he who has the wishes, not Jaskia, though that doesn’t stop the bard from making one of his own, which is to leave Yennefer’s company. That wish is also granted, and he runs into Geralt and Chireadan outside.
Of course, Geralt knows that Yen will die in her attempt to summon and become the vessel for the djinn, so he heads back inside to save her; after she saved Jaskia’s life he can’t let her die. Yen is being torn apart by the djinn, and Geralt offers her his last wish if she releases it, but she refuses, claiming she wants everything. Her eyes turn red and the djinn speaks through her. Geralt makes his last wish, though we don’t hear it, and the house collapses as the djinn bursts from the tower and flies away. When Yennefer wakes up they argue, then they kiss, then they have sex, while Jaskia and Chireadan, believing them both to be dead, catch them at it through the window. In the aftermath Yen asks what Geralt wished for, but he doesn’t say.
The Witcher Season 1, Episode 5 ends with “Mousesack” arriving in Brokilon Forest, where he’s taken to Ciri. He tells her he knows how to find Geralt, which is convincing enough for her to leave with him.
Check out our thoughts on the next episode by clicking these words.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.