Previously on ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’:
-The VP’s Daughter is a Witch
-Raelle and Abigail are alive and are returned to base to begin training their blast powers
-Our little ‘coven’ get into War College
-There are some lasting effects from being De-Biddyfied including extremely lucid dreams
And we are all caught up! Mostly. Shall we jump right in?
Testing is in full swing in the Necro base with Raelle and Abigail being placed into a windowed vault with them singing their little witchy hearts out trying to stop a threat, but it has little effect apart from tiring the pair out. The testing has been going on for days now and with Alder there to observe, there is little fruit of their labour. With nothing to report and with War College on the horizon, Alder decides that there is no other action to take but to suspend the tests. With the Biddys all lined up, they try to look at a new approach. Izadora and Alder head into the Mushroom Wall room to look at a skull which honestly looks like it is something Ellie cracked off the body of a clicker in TLOU.
Raelle seems pleased that the testing will not continue. She didn’t want to be a lab rat after all. They turn the subject away from testing to Tally’s dreams and quickly on to War College. And it is here that we hear our first mention of the word Coven. It’s not like I haven’t been calling them a coven for the last year but OK. Anyway, they are named after an Egyptian Goddess of War called Sekhmet. I don’t know as much about Egyptian Mythology as I do Greek, but Sekhmet is the warrior goddess who is also a goddess of healing and was seen as a protector. Warrior = Abigail. Healer = Raelle. Protector = Tally. I think we have all three bases covered. Turns out there’s a ton of rumours going around about the trio and Raelle takes a stand against a figure with no hair who is staring right at her. The VP’s daughter is stuck alone at a table with only a bodyguard for company.
Back at the new home base for The Spree, Willa and Scylla strategize. Scylla is trying to get an in with the organisers of the rallies. A fair word of warning for Scylla not to get too close, like she did with Raelle, and we are straight into mother-in-law and daughter-in-law bonding time. Being in the Army is tough. Even tougher when you marry someone that the higher-ups don’t approve of. Seems that the Army kept Willa away from Raelle and her father and that fed anger and hatred in Willa and twisted her into the person that she is now a Spree leader and still apart from her family.
Aaaand it looks like Raelle may have just challenged one person who can make her life hell, their Coven Leader, the mysterious ‘M’. They quickly dismiss the newly formed coven (man I need a new name for our trio. Time to workshop) but one member is a male witch. Yes, this will be the one and only time I refer to him as a male witch. Gregorio leaves a quick impression as being a member of the coven but Raelle is held behind for a chat with M.
Izadora is busy doing her testing but the head ‘links’ with Raelle and she is able to hear the ENTIRE conversation that Raelle has with M. M just wants to make sure that all secrets are now in the past but Raelle has quite a big one hidden away in the mushroom room, she just doesn’t know that it has been discovered yet.
A new coven means a new room. A new room means more bonding time for our little cluster of witches (yes I’m still workshopping give me time!). Gregorio is the topic of discussion and speak of the devil and he shall appear! They were speaking very loudly to be fair but he comes in and corrects the cluster to stop them from saying that he belongs to Abigail. Turns out he was dating Libba (R.I.P. Libba. You deserved better!) at the time and it was a secret. But he has been there to see Abigail, like when she gave the eulogy at Libba’s funeral. You can see the sparks fly between the pair but I think that Gregorio will be a perfect addition to our little trio, and may even give Adil a run for his money. He’s clearly smart, what with being in War College and all. He is funny, given that he makes fun of the whole ‘Male Witch’ aspect of his being in the Army (yes he is male, yes he is a witch, but why does a witch have to be such a gendered term? From here on in, everyone will just be a witch unless a character states otherwise.) They don’t have long to sit and catch up as M calls for the covens presence.
Alder has come for a visit. The entire coven is there (such as it is with just the two new members). Cue a speech from our ever fantastic general meant to strike fear and inspire at the same time. Sure the Camarilla are back. Sure they are no longer only against the Spree. They are in War College now and the stakes are even higher than before. I guess this is a perfect opportunity for some bonding between Alder and her latest War College recruits. She looks upon each of our cluster and speaks words meant for only them as well as a warning for all three; to keep silent and do what it takes to keep the country and each other safe. It is a speech filled with mystery that keeps M intrigued and wanting to know more before they head off leaving our Witch Shop Quartet free to go about their business.
Izadora is now dissecting the Clicker Head in the Necro Base. The skull comes off easily enough to reveal that the brain has been colonised by the Mushroom Wall (aka Mycelium but that’s boring). Izadora instantly puts the connection together that it is Raelle who has done this. After touching the spore wall last season, she forged a connection with it and that exploded and turned this guy into, well, a head filled with mushroom spores.
Scylla is on the hunt for her new friend at a different rally and is having flashbacks to the first Spree attack that we saw in episode one in the mall. The victim’s families are gathered around grieving. I like to think that it is bordering on regret but we don’t get to see much more before one of the rally leaders takes to the podium. It isn’t long though before a friendly face takes to the podium instead. Anacostia speaks about the loss of her parents. They make eye contact and Anacostia starts to appeal to Scylla’s human side.
Speech time is over and time for the two to come to blows. Scylla feels she is beyond the reach of Anacostia, but the fetch shows that she isn’t and the fact that Scylla feels love for Raelle shows that she is still human and capable of feeling emotion, even if she denies that feeling of remorse that Anacostia felt when the pair connected. Anacostia has been tailing Scylla for weeks and puts two and two together and instantly got four over what her objective at these rallies are. The Camarilla are at play here and it is Scylla’s job to get away in. Anacostia wants in, but she needs to convince Scylla. Things in the Army have been bad lately with Alders decisions such as puppeting the President (highly illegal btw) but before they can continue they are interrupted by Scylla’s new friend Bonnie and her husband Shane. Trying to keep them all together so that she can also have an ‘in’, Anacostia invites the group out for drinks.
Thinks with the VP’s daughter aren’t all sunshine and daisy’s. Her dad is on her case and she ends a phone call to him in tears. Penelope and Tally have that in common but before she can offer more words of wisdom the group head off to their Mothertongue class. Who doesn’t love a teacher who nerds out about their subject? Channing Grafton is pretty damn cool in my books. Instantly challenging Tally to a duel to show exactly why his subject is needed and uses the example of Adil (who is conveniently sitting in on the class) and how he can speak perfect English without ever learning it. This instantly gets everyone excited. Who wouldn’t love to be able to theoretically speak every single language in the world by learning just one language?
It seems to have incentivised Tally who heads off to see Alder to ask for permission to tutor Penelope to get her ready for basic. Before they can bond any further, Alder is called away to speak with the delegation from The Hague, but not all is as it should be. Khalida has taken up a seat in Alder’s office and is playing the role of BAMF once more in one-upping Alder. She has asked the other nations to allow her to tour them to find a home for her people. Such a large burden for a young person. Alder tries to offer protection, but it seems that has already been taken care of. The Camarilla are the main topic of discussion for this meeting however with the attacks becoming more brazen across other witch nations. The Camarilla have been spreading their Witch Plague far and wide, the black ivy-like disease which almost killed Khalida and which took out the six leaders of The Spree in one fell swoop. Questions are instantly asked of Alder as to how on earth they managed to rise again without anyone knowing, but Sarah is but one person. Sure she has her Biddy’s, and she is like 300 years old, but she is just one general. Give her a break! She calls for unity for everyone to come together and root them out once and for all, in all countries.
Make out time for Abigail and Adil, but he has other things on his mind, like the fact that his sister is trying to take him away from her on a world tour. Not only that but he’s met and had lunch with Gregorio and High Atlantic society isn’t the world that he knows. He accepts that there is nothing between Abigail and Gregorio and they leave it at that. Tally though is having recurring dreams. She is back in the jungle with Alder and the witch who released the sound captured in the bottle that made the attackers turn on each other. The work wasn’t cannon but Alder was willing to help them harness their power for good. Class beckons before Tally can look any further into it. And what a perfect transition because today’s class is on Off-Cannon work!
In a concrete room, the cadets are sat in a semi-circle in a room that the heat is ever increasing in. A close of a box and the heat is back to normal. The Off-Cannon work is something that they are going to have to learn to identify and resist. Think the Unforgiveables or Dark Arts in Harry Potter. This, however, isn’t the work of Death Eaters, it is the work of The Spree. A jungle of a bell has the Cadets gasping for air, then falling into submission and standing up and marching out of the classroom with bags over their heads in perfect unison. If you ever needed an explanation as to why Off-Cannon work is forbidden, this is why. There are few things more terrifying than having your own free will taken away from you.
They awake in an attic room with the bags over their heads and birds chirping away outside and clocks ticking away. Well, you’d think that it’s outside but the windows look out to walls. After Tally opens the curtains the birds stop and the clocks are turned up 1000x and the room grows dark and eerie. Sound is distorted in this room. They all hunt for the source of the working and Abigail thinks she has found it, but Tally knows better. A door appears and we are two witches down when they quickly run out. Raelle grabs a clock but a silver wire comes out and starts to wind its way up her arm. Tally though, while it looks like she isn’t doing anything, can see the sound all around her and guides everyone to safety.
Scylla and Anacostia are having the ‘time of their lives’ out at drinks with Bonnie and Shane. Drinks and bonding have taken place, Bonnie heads to the restroom and Shane heads to buy another pitcher. Anacostia and Scylla are both putting on a drunken act. Is this something that the Army teaches them? How to get drunk without actually drinking? Is it a spell or something? Come on I need to know! Neither of them wants to leave or give up their vantage with Shane handing over a big wad of rolled-up bills to a mysterious person at the bar.
The safety of the next room doesn’t seem so safe after all. The next attic room is filled with creepy cloth dolls with porcelain faces which giggle and move. That’s a nope from me. Can someone show me the exit? They fight back against the Attic of Nightmare Dolls (coming to a cinema near you soon). Once they are all taken out the lights flicker and Tally’s vision is activated in time to see a doll grab Raelle from behind and drag her and Abigail from the room. The sound leads Tally to a gaslight and once she turns it off, the ‘enchantment’ is lifted leaving Tally and Gregorio in an attic room with beaten up dolls. The doors open and the Major appears and congratulates them on making it out of the Doll House on their first try. Even M looks impressed and smiles. Can we all just make a pact right now to keep M smiling? That’d be great thanks! There is something wrong though. Raelle and Abigail are missing.
Raelle is locked in a box separated from Abigail. Izadora stands between and orders the start of the test saying that Raelle must pay for touching the Mushroom Wall. She opens a valve leading to the chamber Abigail is in. Abigail falls unconscious but the mushroom forms a protective bubble around Raelle. At least that means it is the end of the test. Congratulating herself on a job well done, Izadora reports into Alder and they sit in front of a fire sipping whisky. Raelle is the source of the explosion and Raelle alone, meaning that Abigail is disappointed that there is nothing special about her. Raelle has her mushroom powers, Tally can see sounds, but what about Abigail?
Raelle thinks that it is all bull. She can’t trust anyone but Abigail and Tally now. Tally is excited for this new power that Raelle has, but Abigail is left picking at her food while the pair chat excitedly about it. Feeling left out, she heads back to the room.
Time for the end game of the episode. Scylla and Willa debrief over dishes at the new Spree HQ. She can’t exactly leave out Anacostia’s involvement in her field trip but Willa doesn’t trust Anacostia at all. Khalida confronts Abigail on her way to her room and gives a threat to Abigail in the only way that she can. She has agreed to allow Adil to stay behind, but she warns Abigail that Adil will always choose his own people. Lessons for Penelope start off in the History halls. Tally takes her right back to the beginning with Alder. Penelope’s father doesn’t trust Alder, but a lot of people don’t, even including Tally herself at one point but she gets distracted. She heads off to view an image of Alder and some people who accompanied her on an expedition with a plane behind bearing the image of Artemis (yes huge Greek mythology nerd we know) but there is something wrong with the image. Someone has been erased and not by a bad photoshop job either. The closer and longer that Tally looks the image clears to show the woman from the jungle who used the Off-Cannon work.
So many damn questions again! Like what is Abigail’s special thing? Who is that woman? How much will I fall in love with M? I guess they will all be answered soon seeing as I am behind on writing recaps due to regular non-fangirl life (boo day time job that gives me money to keep doing these!). Until next time!
(P.S. I’m trying to figure out a way at the moment to get screencaps. Hopefully I’ll have some soon!)
-Written by Christine