“Motherland: Fort Salem” Episode 109 Recap: The Puppeteer

Last Episode on ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’:

  • Raelle finds out that Tally turned Scylla in for being Spree.
  • The team breaks apart and then comes back together during their final training exercise, City Drop.
  • Alder sends the cadets into a real mission and forces them to kill Spree hostages.
  • We lost Libba Swythe.

And now we move on to the penultimate episode of the season Episode 9,  ‘Coup’.

Basic Training may be over now but the coven is out on a hike with the other cadets. Tally is trying to face the fact that Alder lied to them all and said there were no hostages in the truck. Tally is our sweet cinnamon roll who cannot wrap her head around the fact that Alder lied to so many people because she could feel the hostages emotions as they realised they were going to die. She feels used.

Petra is using this occasion to visit Abigail in their rooms to discuss the operation with her daughter. she is proud of her daughter but informs her that Abigail must give Libbas eulogy at her service. She doesn’t stay long as she is expected in General Alders office to discuss the Tarim, Adils people. While looking for the Tarim, a team of witches come across a camp filled with dead bodies, all with their vocal cords cut out like Bellweathers and arranged into a very specific pattern, into a Pentagram. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all what a pentagram is. I never knew until now that it takes 15 dead bodies to make a pentagram, but now I do and you do too.  They debate over if this is the work of the Spree or not with Izadora producing evidence from the vaults that it could, in fact, be the Chamarea. They were after Alder but she got rid of them over 200 years ago and refuses to believe that they have another threat on the horizon.

This is not a shot I think I ever needed to see but it reminds me so much of the episode of Wynonna Earp (301 if anyone is asking) where the dead bodies in Pussy Willows are arranged so precisely.

The coven is having some downtime in the Rec Hall when Tally proclaims that they have to do something because she did not answer the call just to be lied to and used in the way that Alder used them. They decide that they need to pay a visit to Petra, the only person that they think that they can trust with this.

It is time to see more of Sarah Alders terrible bedside manner again as she delivers the news to Khalida and Adil that more of their people have been murdered, but they already know. She wants to intervene to save them but Khalidida refuses help, wanting to save their songs from falling into the wrong hands. Khalida is not wrong, but Alder angers her and she sets off a mini earthquake in their rooms. When Alder tries to blackmail a child she is again put off guard when Khalida informs them that it is not exactly down to Alder that she is alive.

The BALLS on this child!

The coven has a face to face with Petra Bellweather and informs her that Alder lied to them about the hostages. She is under the illusion that the Spree murdered the hostages but Tally corrects her to say that the cadets, in fact, killed them all. After brushing Tally off, Raelle drops the bombshell that Fort Salem has been infiltrated by the Spree and that Alder is holding Scylla in an underground torture chamber. She instantly dismisses the cadets and you can see the cogs working overtime for how she can work this to her advantage.

Anacostia joins Alder and the biddies for dinner and we learn that Alder cannot eat. Does she just obtain nutrients by osmosis from the biddies who still eat? Does she no longer need to eat because she is basically like a vampire now, sucking the youth out of her biddies? I don’t think that we will ever know. The topic of the day is what to do with Scylla. Do they keep her on base and hidden away in the Necro facility or do they move her somewhere else? Alder wants to move her but Anacostia thinks that she can be turned around to their cause, use her as a spy and turn her into Snape. Alder obviously has the last word and decrees that she should be moved, end of discussion.

Do you like drone shots showing Fort Salem with the cemetery on site because this is what you get with a truly stunning and moving moment showing rows upon rows of gravestones, all white and all identical like you see in the War Cemeteries. We move swiftly from that to a sea of navy uniforms and brown uniforms, signalling that it is time for Libbas service. Alder delivers Libbas flag to her mother and Abigail takes to the podium for her eulogy, except she can’t read the drivel that her mother has clearly written for her to say. She goes off-book and delivers a speech about how her dumb noodling neigh neigh horse was the person she hated most but it was something that was tradition, not necessarily because she was brought up to hate Swythes. Despite her hatred, Abigail is happy that Libba was in her life as she made her stronger and made her the witch that she is today. Her speech is clearly moving enough to end the long line of hatred between the two families.

Every single shot of this show is just so stunning.

Not only does Abigail give a eulogy for Libba, but the coven (as well as Adil and Glory) have a toast to Libba and to Abigail as their leader, their Warrior Queen, their high priestess, the person they would follow anywhere. Before they can delve too much into the fact that Raelle found Libba hot, Tally gets a late-night booty bird from Gerit who is now married. Tally says ‘Sorry not sorry’ before ghosting it out of there as Gerits new wife has been deployed and she needs to get her some.

Anacostia’s priority is Scylla and she takes time out of her day to go and sit down with her. Scylla plays light of the situation (and probably the location) and confesses that she is a witch, something I found funnier than it actually is. Anacostia is not amused by Scyllas attempt to win Best Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Scylla flips the switch and starts to give Anacostia a history lesson citing witch burnings before Anacostia chimes in saying that Scylla is to be sent away to a prison in the Caribbean. Anacostia is more interested in what makes someone want to join the Spree than sending Scylla away but Scylla demands to see Raelle before she is taken away saying that if Anacostia does this one thing for her, she will tell her everything she wants to know about what made her turn to the Spree.

Alder takes a trip to see President Kelly Wade in order to try and convince her to allow her to make a move on the Tarim. Alder claims humanitarian reasons but the President refuses and gives us one of the best LOL moments of the season. When the biddies hiss at her she hisses right back, a clear act of defiance. Wade takes Alder to school over the fact that she sent in untrained cadets into a live mission resulting in Libbas death. Alder stands by her decision resulting in Wade forcing her to retire because Alder kept her in the dark over the Spree infiltrating the fort. Alder and the biddies leave quickly casting thunderstorms overhead.

Anacostia pulls Raelle aside to let her know of Scyllas request to see her again, but Raelle destroys the hearts of all Raylla shippers everywhere with the words ‘She is dead to me’ and walks away, refusing to see Scylla one last time before she is moved to prison. She tells the coven of the request and they try and talk her into going to see her one more time. Abigail even says that she would love to speak to Charvel or Libba one last time before she is dragged away to speak to Petra about the eulogy. Petra has news of big changes coming but doesn’t say anything other than to pay close attention to President Wades address.

Tally decides to spend the afternoon with Gerit but gets a surprise visitor when his wife comes back from deployment early while they are in the middle of their ‘meeting’. Instead of being angry and upset, she tells Tally to stay where she is while she grabs a shower and then joins the two of them. Tally is not into a threesome though, despite Hilary planning the whole thing with Gerit. She does not want to be a part of a throuple and storms out saying that Gerit has no clue who she is and what she wants.

Abigail visits Adil where she learns that Khalida is refusing help from Alder, saying that she is a wise girl. Even though she was told not to say anything, she tells Adil that their leadership is changing and that she just needs him to trust her for a little longer with the pair sharing their first kiss. Raelle isn’t slacking while these meetings are taking place and she goes to see Scylla in what I hope isn’t out last Raylla scene. Sylla still loves Raelle but she can’t trust her anymore, and who can really blame Raelle. She was Scylla’s mark until she fell for her at least and everything became real. Raelle doesn’t know why she was picked, but neither does Scylla who only knows how powerful Raelle is. Scylla chose Raelle over the Spree though, but Raelle cannot hear it and leaves Scylla to her imprisonment.

Raylla keeps coming for my heart

President Wade, while waiting for her address, hears a buzzing noise. Seconds before she goes live we cut to Alder and the biddies singing a song. Anacostia can hear and feel that something is off and leaves to find out what is happening. Abigail and the coven stand proud, waiting for Petra to be named as the leader of the army, but Wade disregards the teleprompter which states this. She instead states that Alder is the one true leader of the army and gives her all the power she needs to take on the Spree in any way she can at home and abroad, giving her free reign to go after the people going after the Tarim. Anacostia has found the source of what is off, it is Alder and the biddies puppeting Wade and changing what was to be in the address to fit Alders needs.

This shot is just PERFECTION and I am so here for the colour shift towards red

Tears streaming down her face at the betrayal, Anacostia leaves before she is seen spying. Adil no longer trusts Abigail and leaves, the two of them hurting in different ways over the announcement. Anacostia finds Raelle and puts aside her tears to help Raelle through hers. Raelle still loves Scylla and feels stupid and lost over what has happened. Anacostia confirms that the love that the two of them shared is real but Raelle messed up. She tells Anacostia that she told Petra Bellweather about Scylla infiltrating the base and being held prisoner in Fort Salem who then told President Wade who was then making the statement. All the pieces are falling together and Anacostia can no longer trust General Alder after she puppeted the president for her own gain, even though it as illegal and just plain downright rude. Who does that to a president? Clearly, Sarah Alder does. The coven is now in danger of being found out.

Anacostia deserves all the love in the world because she just cares so much about her cadets. They are all her own children at this stage.

And that is it for this episode. Does anyone else feel that anxiety forming in the pit of their stomach over the fate of the coven? Yeah, me too! At least with the news today that this amazing show was renewed for a season two eases that a little going into the finale as we know that we have even more episodes to look forward to (whenever filing is allowed to resume that is with everything shut down just now). I am beyond excited for the finale but I also don’t want the hiatus. See you all this weekend (I hope) for our final recap of the season and a top 10 moments.

-Written by Christine

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