TV

“Motherland: Fort Salem” Episode 201 Recap: Return to the Fort

Last Season on ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’:

  • Abigail, Tally and Raelle graduated from basic training but didn’t get into War College
  • Anacostia allows Scylla to go free
  • On a mission to save Adil’s people, a Biddy falls and Tally takes her place
  • Raelle is stabbed and Abigail goes to save her, but the two are blown up and then cause a mushroom explosion.

Why yes, we are back witches! I’ve been dying to get my teeth into Season 2 of Motherland: Fort Salem ever since the final season one episode aired, and it only grew from there with the SDCC panel. I’m ready. I think. My feelings will get smothered. I will fall even more in love with the characters. Let’s jump right in. 

We open with a mundane scene, a lone choir girl singing in a church in what I can only assume is a Sunday service. When she starts to sing, the congregation sit up and take notice, but pretty quickly they start to notice something different. The stained glass window behind the singer is melting and falling through the stone window arch. More and more people start to take notice and take to their feet with the person who is recording the performance stopping to look up. The performance ends with everyone on their feet and clearing out of the church while a stunned singer looks on in disbelief. 

The plane ride back from the mission sees an old Biddy Tally Craven comforting Adil over the death of Abigail when her heart deep inside in breaking also. They aren’t the only two who are affected. Alder is almost catatonic over in her little corner surrounded by the other Biddies. Adil, pulling a ripcord on his feelings, asks Tally what it is like being a Biddy but the Biddy life is filled with secrecy. A small child brings Alder out of her stupor with Adil putting him down to sleep with a bedtime story courtesy of our favourite General Alder. 

Jumping back to one of the main cliffhanger and WTF moments from the season one finale, Scylla has made her way back to Spree headquarters only for us to learn that the leader of the Spree is none other than Mama Collar, Raelle’s mom. What a twist! Scylla calls her out on her BS but so much of the attacks that we have seen so far have not been orchestrated by the Spree. She connects hands and minds with Scylla and shows her images from a meeting in a restaurant with other Spree. They let loose the sound from the small container, killing everyone else there, and get on with their celebrations filled with champagne and oysters. 

Willa Collar, aka Bad Mama (ok but she did abandon her daughter and let her think she was dead), checks to see if the other attendees are out, but one has an earpiece in blocking out the sound and throws a metal ball into the room. Willa escapes by hiding in the opposite direction, but the ball releases a very familiar plague which worms its way in black tendrils throughout a persons body and killing the other Spree agents. Half the leadership gone, the Camarilla has struck and come back in a big way. 

Back on base, Petra Bellweather and Anacostia await the arrival of the mission party and Alder. Petra, utterly distraught, marks Alder and storms off leaving Anacostia with tears running down her face and left not only with the loss of Abigail and Raelle but also with the loss of Tally in her new life as a Biddy. There is no rest for anyone and everyone is straight into a debrief, everyone including Petra who has some very important information to share regarding the attack on the Spree a few weeks ago with the weaponised plague. Someone really needs to up their intelligence game! At least Alder now recognises that the Camarilla are back and that they made it personal to buy time to learn how to use their voices against them while pitting the Amry against The Spree. I mean, that is pretty smart stuff right there.

Old-timey TV’s are in with an aide coming in and turning the TV on to a news broadcast of the Vice President’s daughter singing in church and melting the stained glass with her voice. It makes them realise that there are more lost witches out there and that they need to be found before either the Spree or the Camarilla get to them. 

Catching up with Abigail and Raelle, the pair stumble across a mushroomified body. I am really sorry about this one but he must have been a fun guy. Even I groaned with this. Abigail wants to tell everyone what they were able to do but understandably, Raelle is scared of it and wants to keep it hidden. Who wouldn’t? Raelle doesn’t want to be kept and studied in the lab but before they get to discuss it, they intercepted by other witches who take them into custody.

Tally, separated from the rest of our favourite trio, is performing her Biddy duties. Alder is grateful for her sacrifice, but being a Biddy isn’t something that happens to everyone. They are handpicked, they are trained, they lie in wait until it is their time to come forward and perform their duty. Tally is a fast learner, but Alder has another way. Alder can reverse the Biddyfication process and leaves the decision in Tally’s hands. Before they can continue their discussion, they are interrupted by the news that Abigail and Raelle are alive. Without needing to say it, Alder turns around and old Tally instantly stands before falling to the ground. no more thought is needed. Tally’s answer to the De-biddyfication process is an emphatic yes at being reunited with her unit. Her best friends. Her sisters. 

Abigail is not letting the explosion go. She refuses to accept Raelle’s reasoning that they cannot trust Alder with this knowledge, but she pulls the ‘I almost died for you’ card. People are extremely rude in this episode and keep on interrupting people when they are speaking. I know it is for dramatic effect and all that fun stuff but please just let my girls finish a conversation! Before they can speak, they are told that they are not to receive a debrief. 

Alder and the rest of her Biddys sit in wait for the Vice President to discuss what will happen with his daughter after her display at the church. Accompanied by Anacostia, he takes a seat in front of her desk only to instantly ask what everyone means by the Matriline. Well, Mr VP, that is really quite simple and even a simpleton like I can explain it. It means something (in this case witches) are traced through the generations by their mothers. It really is that simple. With no one to ask, the only way to know for sure is to test Penelope and see if she has the work within her. Discretion is needed but the law states that if she has it within her then she must report to Fort Salem for training. It is a good thing that it is a sisterhood because everyone takes care of the others in the military and they look after their own. Not quite so foreign a concept.

Petra is standing like a fangirl waiting to meet her favourite celeb. That celeb is her daughter and Raelle. I honestly do think that I have had this look of excitement on my face at a convention before. At least they let Abigail and Raelle clean up before getting back to base. Petra is full of nothing but compliments for Abigail, saying that she is possibly the greatest Bellweather of them all, and even envelops Raelle in a huge ‘Mum Hug’. She is there for a dual purpose as she takes them to General Alder and the De-Biddyfication procedure. It shows all of the Biddys minds connected to alders but detangling Tally’s mind from Alders is not so simple. It is a delicate procedure but they manage it with Abigail and Raelle looking on. The new Biddy takes her place and the existing Biddys help her take Tally’s place. 

She is very weak and has wound her way into the infirmary but seeing her besties there instantly gives her energy. All Abigail and Raelle want though is information on Alder but Tally needs to know what happened. They both try and explain their positions, but Tally is quick to jump to Alders defence. Probably too quick. Abigail still wants vengeance for Charvel’s death in season one and noticed that the assailants then used the same tech that was used in this new attack. This seems to wear down Raelle and the three take hands before embracing in a group hug.

Adil and Khalida are taking an afternoon constitutional in the rain discussing their next moves. Adil wants to stay as he is done running and hiding, but Khalida being the little boss that she is tries to persuade him otherwise. 

A debrief is on the books for Abigail and Raelle, but the entire upper echelon of the army is there as well as Alder and her Biddys constantly asking questions that Abigail sees as secondary to their new powers. A quick look and nod of understanding between the pair sees Raelle revealing that the blast was them and it isn’t something that they understand or know how to control. Using Abigail’s words against her, they continue on with the debrief.

Scylla and Willa (certain people will hate me for this but has there been a TV show with a good Willa recently – Sorry Earpers!) continue to discuss what happened at the restaurant where the Camarilla took out 6 of their BBEG’s in one swoop. Scylla has been out of the loop for too long and doesn’t even know that there was an attack on a soccer stadium by The Spree. Willa, instead of using it as their normal attack, used it to reach out and warn other witches that their old enemy had returned. They aren’t alone in their discussion though, someone is watching through the wood using a fetch. They are burned and need to move safehouse. Willa heads in to start the quick escape while Scylla ‘dispels’ the fetch, that fetch being one Anacostia back in Fort Salem who looks both pissed and impressed at the same time.

Debriefs are hard but at least some new training has come out of it. Abigail doesn’t just want the training though. She wants answers and she wants them now. She wants to know who the Camarilla are and why they killed her cousin. She wants to fight them and get justice, but Alder wants to hold off until they have more training. Abigail does not like this and with Raelle following suit, they leave Alders office only to run into Adil and Khalida. Adil instantly lifts her sour mood while Khalida returns Willa’s charm to Raelle and hugs her in thanks. She does want something else and wants Raelle to help save Adil, to help him see that the Fort is not his home. A phone call to Papa Collar makes both Willa’s and Scylla’s betrayal hit even harder than it did before. Everyone needs a Papa Collar in their corner.

Adil and Abigail can’t wait to be reunited and they head out into the woods with blankets and sleeping bags to literally make the earth move. I wish that was a line I was making a pun over but it’s not the case. They caused earthquakes! Tally feels the tremors all the way back in the infirmary while checking that all her bits are where they are supposed to be only to be interrupted by Alder and the other Biddys. Alder just wants to check up on Tally, but the two of them share a weird connection now. Tally feels like she is missing Alder in the way that you would miss a mother, and Alder shares that loss in feeling that she has lost a child. The bond will remain in one-way shape or form forever but it will lessen with time. 

Penelope has arrived on base for her testing. Phase one is using a weird mirror x-ray to check for necrotised tissue on her vocal chords, which she passes with flying colours. Step two is vocals. A tuning fork is given to Alder and then struck for Penelope to match. Alder tells her to let the sound fill her very essence and to let it out when she is ready. The water in the bowl in front of her roils and raises in two long tendrils signalling her as being of the blood. Her oath should arrive at any time, and as a witch, she has the words in her blood. With a new witch in the army, Alder leaves only to be looked upon by Mr VP. I’ve yet to decide if he is a sleazeball or not but I’m sure that we will find out pretty quickly.

Willa and Scylla are on a mission that requires new faces so I guess we aren’t dropping the whole face burning quite yet. They head into the belly of the beast by going to a memorial service gathering at the site of an old Spree attack. It was naive of me to think that it was just a memorial service. The main speaker seems to be setting the attendees against the Army by pitting them against The Spree. Sure, you could believe him, but wearing an armband like that is giving me weird-ass vibes of some not so good things in the past and now I just want them to take this guy out immediately. 

Back in the infirmary the Bellweather Unit (which is you are new here is called the coven by me) are just having a completely casual hang out after Abigail and Adil shook the earth. Raelle seems shocked that Alder came to check on Tally. Some nice normal girl talk about sex seems normal. It seems like the world has been righted. I really missed these three and their teasing of each other. Raelle jokes about planning the Hand Fastening but Tally has seen how much Adil loves Abigail. Their evening girl talk is cut short by Anacostia entering demanding to see their medals. They stand to attention and receive them back now engraved with the words ‘War College’ engraved on them. She pulls out a flask to properly celebrate their achievements and the change that she has seen in them. Even better for her is that she now no longer has to put up with them as her charges. That is all up to Alder now

Speaking of Alder, she is all dressed in her nightly best of an old-style nightgown with her hair in a simple braid. Raelle and Abigail are passed out on the bed beside Tally who is having a less than peaceful night. She is stuck in a jungle with Alder, the Biddys and some other witches facing down The Camarilla who force huge bugs out of the earth to attack them. One crawls up Tally’s trousers and keeps stinging her before one of the witches lets lose a glass jar which forces the attackers to turn on each other. Tally wakes up screaming to be comforted by the coven before finding sting marks from the worms on her stomach. 

I really missed this show! I wish breaks between seasons weren’t so long but I somehow have even more questions about it now than I did with the season 1 finale! I cannot wait to get stuck into this season and write even more recaps! The real world with my day job and also my other side hustle sometimes get in the way so these recaps may not be up the day after an episode (much like has happened with this one) and if you are reading before I add screencaps I apologise. There is only so much fangirling a person can do in one day when they have a job to pay for a fangirling habit. Anyway, I hope to see you all back here for the next one!

-Written by Christine

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