Previously on ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’:
-The Testing Centres opened to find new Witches
-The Camarilla turned out in their droves to the protest and laid a trap for Abigail
-Alder spun it for The Spree to be appointed the blame for the ensuing attack
-Raelle and Scylla saw each other once more
-Tally confronted Alder about Nicte Bitan
All caught up? I am so ready to jump into this recap. I promise it is a fun one!
A train on a mountainside in India is our first stop this week with Adil, Khalida and General Sharma on their little jaunt to try and find a new home. Some nice tea and deserts are had before the real business begins with Khalida trying to get to the bottom of what General Sharma wants from them in return for the safety of their people. It isn’t long before things go south, and go south quickly. The Witch Plague has been hiding at the bottom of General Sharma’s teacup and instantly takes over her and her aide, leaving Adil and Khalida nowhere to go but to try and leave the moving train on a mountainside to escape. The affected carriages break off and crash over the mountain before we can find out if the pair managed to escape.
Alder decides to set the mood for her evening encounter with an old record playing on a gramophone before taking a stern tone to retake control of the situation that’s brewing with Tally. Claiming falsehood, Alder needles Tally for where she is getting her information. A quick mental note to one of the Biddies and the music is quickly stopped. Alder claims that Nicte deserted the army after seeing what happened in Liberia and that she covered up her own involvement due to a severe case of butthurt. At least Tally is being honest in her need for answers and trying to get them whereas Alder is part of a conspiracy. Who are we more inclined to trust here? Tally’s connection and ability to have visions of Alder’s past or Alder’s need for control? Either way, Tally finally spills the beans about the connection, and we see the side of Alder that we are used to seeing with politicians. A cold, hard and seasoned general. Not the motherly and welcoming figure that she projects to the rest of the army. She tells Tally that she will have Izadora give her something to get rid of it before instantly dismissing her.
Things aren’t going any better for Anacostia. Raelle approaches her and after some brief comments about how Abigail is, Raelle jumps right in to ask the million-dollar question: Did Anacostia know Scylla was out and about in the world. Well, I mean yeah she 100% does, not that Anacostia is about to tell Raelle that. At least Raelle has proof that Scylla was at the rally. Unable to deny it, Anacostia spins it that the army is aware that she is free and was at the protest, but it benefits the military so it is better to continue on as is. Asking how Scylla got the picture of a longer-haired teenage Raelle is too much though and Anacostia leaves without anything further.
Speaking of Scylla, she is on the phone with Bonnie in the kitchen overseen by good old Mamma Willa discussing a Halloween party and the dress code. Another Spree Agent, Jonas, that we have NEVER seen before comes in, packs a bag and makes to leave. Willa tries to stop him, but Scylla steps in saying that he doesn’t have to go on a suicide mission. Willa and Scylla seem to be the only ones in the Spree that are seeing the bigger picture. Sure they may hate the army, but they at least see that the army is the least of their problems right now and that they must work to rid the world of The Camarilla. He calls Scylla weak before leaving. It strikes a chord with Scylla and Willa picks up on that telling her that there is always a choice.
Abigail is certainly feeling the loss of her Scorge. Being in a hospital bed doesn’t fit Abigail Bellweather, not even when her mother comes for a visit to see how she is. That great Bellweather rage is on full display with Abigail demanding that they do more to find The Camarilla and not blame it on The Spree. It is a full-on emotional display from both Abigail and Petra. Petra looks like she may go in for a hug, but settles for a comforting hand on each of Abigail’s arms before Abigail storms out calling herself stupid for walking into their trap.
The dining hall is getting a little bit of a facelift. Blue/grey table covers are being replaced with black cloths and roses for what is called Dumb Supper, a meal for Samhain (Halloween to us non-magic practitioners). The Dumb is there to mean silence and it is in reverence of the dead given that Halloween is the time of year when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its weakest (Thank You Charmed for that bit of information when I was growing up!). Their time discussing Samhain comes to a quick end though with Gregorio coming by to see how Abigail is doing. He isn’t talking about the Camarilla attack. He is talking about the train derailment in India with Adil and Khalida on board. Lost in flashbacks of Camarilla attacks against her and those she loves she knows that it is never going to stop.
Debriefs with crime scene photographs have made their way onto Alder and Petra’s calendars for today with Izadora being sent out to collect samples of the Witch Plague. Things only go from bad to worse with no word from Adil and Khalida and the Indian Military placing the blame for the attack on The Camarilla. I guess this kinda makes the American Military look bad in blaming The Spree for attacks that were not theirs. Some good news on the home front comes at last though with Petra managing to gather the testing tapes that The Camarilla were using in schools to find the lost witches before their ears and voices had fully matured. Blandton is making things worse though, because of course he is, and is postponing opening other testing centres with no date in sight. I mean, it is understandable. The first opening was attacked by The Camarilla, but the public doesn’t know that. They just think that their usual enemy of The Spree was behind it, and with Wade still out, Blandton is in charge.
This is Halloween. This is Halloween. Well Samhain, and this calls for dressing up! The kids running around trick-or-treating (or Guising here in Scotland because we are cool like that) while Anacostia and Scylla are dressed to the nines in a gorgeous dress and pink jacket ensemble for Scylla and an AMAZING pink jumpsuit and white cape jacket for Anacostia. I really do think that both of these outfits would bring a tear to Opal’s eye (really go watch EXU if you haven’t yet. It is AMAZING!) The pair even discuss borrowing each other’s outfits before they make their way to Bonnie and Shane’s house in just enough time to see Bonnie take her daughter out dressed as a fairy unicorn. Bonnie is less dressed up than Anacostia and Scylla (aka Justine and Amelia) but Shane has been dressed by the wardrobe department in what I think used to be a three-piece brown suit with a blue overcoat and complimentary shirt. I like the overcoat. the suit, not so much. They are all set to head out to the party, all except Bonnie who is staying behind for the amazing event of taking her kid round the block to get candy so she can stuff her face with it and collapse on the living room floor after a sugar high. Poor little kid. She asks for her best friend to join, but given that she is a witch, her parents have decided to lie and say she is on vacation rather than say that they are bigots.
Training runs even on Samhain with Abigail on the mats training with her scorge. Her head isn’t in it though, leading her to make a bad move and tap out. The great Abigail Bellweather, tapping out. It is unheard of! Good thing Tally and Raelle are there to go after her and say they are going home with her during the break to help her through her PTSD. Abigail, given all the trauma she has been through since basic begun, believes that no one is safe anywhere. They don’t get to have a long discussion though as the rest of the War College group heads off into the woods with torches. A finger to the mouth to tell them to be quiet from Gregorio and they follow. Alder is already in the woods with a fire of her own lit to burn the Camarilla Testing Tapes and ready for the evening to begin.
Samhain isn’t all about the Dumb Supper. On Samhain, those in War College head into the woods to wake the dead. This isn’t a fun family game of wake the dead though a la Addams Family. This involves a cut on the hand with blood poured into the fire to begin the game. The aim is to defend the fire. There is an old ghost story of the Lost Regiment. A regiment was in the forest in the deep of winter with no heat, no warmth, and naturally, they gave into temptation and lit a fire. It proved costly though with their enemy finding them and slaying them all. Each Samhain since the attack, the Lost Regiment traverses the woods to put out the fires. But what do you win? It is a game? Great question! and M will explain. The regiment that keeps their fire burning to the last stroke of midnight wins and they get the honour of speaking with the dead. Of course, Abigail has better things to do, but Tally urges her to stay, and stay she does.
What is spookier on Halloween than candles in a ballroom? I mean that opulence is so frightening! Anacostia and Scylla are at the Camarilla party of the year with their companion being Shane, who has found a blue suit jacket under his overcoat. I would have thought black tie or maybe even an actual Halloween costume would have been more appropriate. Even a mask would work. Well, the Camarilla thought of that one, but instead of giving them all masks before they arrive, they gain their masks upon checking their names on the guest lists. Plain white masks obtained (they really can’t be for anonymity if they get them once they have already arrived), and it is time to go in. But how did Shane get in? He brought a gift.
Things are heading down town to spooky town back on base with the rolling fog and the impending horses of doom approaching. Thankfully we have M at the helm. They have just enough time to discuss who they will talk to. Tally goes for Valda Esterbrook to get answers about what happened in Liberia. Raelle understandably goes for her mom. M though stops them before they can get much further and gives further instruction about how to combat this ‘threat’ including one hell of a display with their Scorge and turns the arrow heading for the hearth into smoke. Arrows start flying at the group just as a violin picks up back at the Halloween Party.
Every single person is dressed in a creepy mask, but one is wearing a red mask, singling him out. But he takes it off. So much for anonymity if that’s what they were even aiming for. He stands on a stage in front of something hidden by cloth. He starts by saying that the staff will be arriving late so that he can start the party off with something special. Cue the violin music and some boring exposition about how they will be bringing back a long-forgotten tradition of All-Hallows Eve. I mean, just call it Halloween ya douche!
The Witches, partaking in their own ritual, are having one hell of a time keeping the arrows from reaching the hearth. A ghostly figure appears on horseback with a longbow and arrows in a quiver on her back and fires an arrow. It is meant for Tally, but Gregorio steps in front and takes it for her. I mean, if that isn’t a match made right there then I don’t know what is. Fixer needed, Raelle is on the case, but it isn’t easy keeping the arrows away with being down two witches.
The exposition of Red Mask continues and Shane’s gift arrives in the form of a crying Tiffany dressed in a white dress as the star of the party.
The red cloth is removed to reveal a hangman’s array with a rope and a hook attached. Anacostia instantly moves to try and shut down the power to kill the dampeners that The Camarilla has placed around the party to give Scylla an opening to grab Tiffany and get the hell out of dodge. Anacostia is clocked by a masked figure on the balcony leaving through a door and is followed. Little Tiffany has her hands bound by red rope and is strung on the hook to hold her arms up high.
Midnight starts to strike and Raelle is still fixing Gregorio. She manages just in time and heads back to the rest of the group to help fend off the last batch of arrows coming their way. She heads out and calls upon her new mushroom powers and knocks Ghostrider off the horse, but they manage to get a shot off. It missed Raelle and heads right for the fire, but the final chime goes off just before it can reach the hearth. That is it. The game is over. Sehkmet Company won, and they can now wake the dead.
Anacostia, reaching the basement, is found by the male before she can turn the power off. Turns out it is the same guy who they knocked out previously. Jack. She fights him in high heel boots looking like something out of Alders Angels and manages to knock him off before he pulls out a scythe looking dagger.
Poor Tiffany. Strung up while trays are passed around with stones. They really intend on stoning a poor innocent child to death. It gets to Scylla who just has to step in. She asks them to stop, but what can she do? Her only intervention is to out herself as a witch and as part of The Spree. Not only that but that she is responsible for the deaths of thousands, and that she enjoyed it. The Exarch pulls out the same dagger and goes towards Scylla with guards getting her from behind. But it is at that moment that the room is plunged into darkness with Anacostia cutting the power. Scylla, in all her rage and fury, is unleashed. Hell hath no fury like a witch scorned. The band rushes out and Scylla pulls a lighter out from her purse and lights the Exarchs face on fire, absorbing the smoke.
Tally helps Gregorio to his feet and Anacostia and Scylla leave the party with Scylla. A pretty fruitful Samhain if you ask me.
M holds all the candles. Each witch gets one and they are instructed to find a dark place and light the candle alone and speak the name of the dead witch that they want to speak with, and their messenger will return with them. They have only until the candle runs out so they had best make this quick. Gregorio, breaking my heart, goes off to speak with Libba, while everyone else scatters. Tally to speak with Valda. Raelle to speak with Willa. Abigail to speak with Charvel. As the names are spoken, a spider is released from the candle and heads off to retrieve their dead witch.
Tally and Abigail have their dead witch to talk with almost instantly. Esterbrook calls Tally ‘Conscripted’ and tells her time is short, whereas Charvel says Abigail is a failure. But she didn’t fail Charvel or anyone else in her family. She failed only herself.
While Tally and Abigail speak with their chosen witch, Raelle waits patiently, but no one comes. I mean, we know why Willa does not come, but it is heartbreaking to see Raelle go through this. We all knew that finding out her mom isn’t dead and abandoned her would be painful to watch, but I want them to take it all back and save Raelle the pain.
Tally asks the all-important question to find out why the Martyrdom happened, but it is all lies. They didn’t have a group suicide pact. It is easier to show Tally what happened though and Tally is transported into Valda’s memories of that night. Trapped, they make to surrender.
Charvel acts as a therapist from beyond for Abigail, saying the words that she needs to hear. She has allowed herself to become the victim time and time again by using her insecurities against her, not in using Charvel against her. Abigail has been a soldier all of her life and has performed her duty, much like Charvel did before her death.
Valda, just after speaking of surrender, is interrupted by the breaking of glass and the shattering of a vessel unleashing a seed forcing each member of her group to commit suicide. Valda, the last one standing, tries to hold it off, but she is overtaken and the vision fades with the candle burning out. Abigails lasts slightly longer and Charvel tells Abigail to stop worrying about being a soldier and start being a warrior to get revenge on those who have made it their duty to wipe out her line. Go Warrior Queen, go! And with that, the light is extinguished.
Raelle’s candle burns on until it is light outside, but the spider did not return with Willa Collar. We know exactly where she is, but Raelle calls out to her mom one final time to even see a glimpse of her before it dies, but to no such luck.
The next morning is sombre. Raelle has imagined the conversation she’d have with her mom over and over again, and all she wanted was a chance to have it, but that was ripped away from her. Raelle thinks that there is something wrong and that her mom didn’t want to talk with her. Tears rolling down her face, she heads off to pack her things to go on break and proclaims that she is heading back to the Cession to see her dad during the break. Tally decides to go too and asks Abigail to join, but she has her own mission for the break. She needs to be herself again and wants to be the warrior that Charvel told her to be, and if that means a bloodbath then so be it. Tally tries to be the voice of reason which Abigail sees very quickly and uncharacteristically. Interrupted by Petra and a stern glance from her sends Tally running. She has news about Adil.
On the passenger side of a military truck, out pops one Adil only to be attack hugged by Abigail. Oh, they have had a time apart. It seems all is patched up between them, and even Khalida knew that Adil needed Abigail so sent him back to her. It is a good thing too. Adil doesn’t know that Abigail was attacked by them as well. It instantly hardens the pair and they decide to go on the offensive, together.
Bonnie is in a chipper mood that morning, asking Shane if he wants breakfast after his party the previous evening. It wasn’t the type of breakfast that Bonnie had in mind. After picking up a unicorn pencil from a play table in their bedroom (which I mean, conveniently placed and why is there a play table in their bedroom and not in her own), Bonnie climbs into bed, pencil in hand. She pulls away slightly and asks if anything bad happened to Tiffany, given that she still isn’t back from her vacation. Shane covers his own ass and says so what, it’s just one less witch to worry about. Bonnie seems to agree and starts chanting ‘Not our Daughters’, which is a bit weird for sex but OK. The thing that is also weird for sex is, well you know, a unicorn pencil stabbed right through the ear, which as we all know from Waverly Earp is the best place to stab someone bigger than you. His hand goes slack and Bonnie pulls out a lighter to burn off her face to reveal that it was actually Scylla all along.
She leaves the house only to run into the real Bonnie coming back from the store. She goes to leave but has some words of wisdom for Bonnie. She tells Bonnie to find something to live for, like her daughter, rather than live with hate. Scyla leaves only to hear the screams of Bonnie discovering the dead body of Shane in their bed.
Ooooooh boy that one was a lot. A good A LOT but still. A LOT. So now we have had Beltane and Samhain, what will we have next? Midsommer? Mid-Winter? I honestly am so in love with this show and it just keeps getting better and better with each episode that comes along. I can’t wait to see where this story takes us next.
-Written by Christine