Salem S01 Ep02 – The Stone Child

John Alden and Cotton Mather

This week’s Salem is less dynamic and shocking than the pilot and I think it’s better that things have calmed down a bit. Still, there are some freakin’ scary scenes: the foul hag that Hannah sees or that creepy doll that blends in and stalks poor Anne.  Now the series is focusing more on the characters: meaningful dialogues and unlikely partnerships. Not to mention that some characters voice their opinions, regardless of the consequences.

Just like Shane West told us in the interview at WonderCon 2014, Captain Alden and Reverend Mather team up in order to save their hometown. They’ve known each other since childhood, but they are so different. John is not so educated as Cotton is, but he is a good man that relies upon reason instead of magic. However, him witnessing the witches’ sabbat has shaken his beliefs a bit. On the other hand, Cotton is smart, lettered, but he is naïve and his belief in God clouds his judgement and makes him weak. In this way, Cotton makes the perfect puppet for sentencing the witches’ targets. He is to John what the latter lacks. And the same goes for Cotton. They are a great team and I think that eventually, they will track down the witches. Am I weird if I find this partnership of theirs a bit funny? Just remember Alden making fun of Cotton’s books or Cotton teasing John for not speaking Latin. I liked Captain Alden from the very beginning, but now I like Cotton too. He’s a really enjoyable character. By the way, Cotton seems to have more than a sexual relationship with that prostitute. I didn’t expect this. While watching the pilot, I thought she was a random girl he bedded. I can’t believe Mather doesn’t see there’s something fishy about these supposed witches that openly reveal themselves to the people of Salem. Already knowing how cruel and dangerous the inhabitants of Salem can be, wouldn’t it be stupid for a witch to show her true colours and then do nothing to escape? It’s too easy, isn’t it? Too bad Cotton can’t see the truth. Mary is one clever puppet master.Magistrate Hale and Mary Sibley

Mary Sibley sticks to her plan and her newest victim is Salem’s midwife: Bridget Bishop.  Mary basically sets up her targets and sooner or later, they end up hanging. We got some hints in the pilot, but now it’s pretty obvious that Tituba is the one who calls the shots. So far, this is my theory: seven years ago, Tituba was the only witch in Salem (Magistrate Hale might be some sort of wizard too). She needed acolytes in order to fulfill their dream (remember the “elder” Hale talks about): Salem being ruled by witches. Mary was the perfect pray: unwed and pregnant in a Puritan society. So Tituba made her an offer: dead or alive as a witch? I may be wrong, but there’s more to Tituba than meets the eye. I’m sure she’s hiding something. While watching the pilot, I kept asking myself the reason Magistrate Halle allied himself with the witches. This week I got my answer. But what will he say when Anne is attacked by Mary?

It’s obvious that Mary still has feelings for John so she tries to make him leave Salem because it’s for his own good. Anyway, John is so hurt that he gives away his half of the coin to a random beggar so she can see. So she can feel his pain. He can’t believe his eyes when he sees that she’s still wearing her half of the coin after all these years. I really wonder what’s in store for them.

The trial scene is one of my favourites. Bridget’s defenders come up with reasonable arguments. I think this is what some people of Salem believed back in those dark years too. It’s absolutely terrifying to see how easily people can kill another human being based on supernatural assumptions.

John Alden and Anne HaleJudging by the ending scene and the promo for “In Vain”, Anne will be attacked by the witches and probably be the next sacrificed innocent. Clearly, Mary acts out of jealousy mostly and caution. Speaking about Anne, I adore her character. She’s a smart girl, an artist, she’s eager for knowledge and stands up for her friends. The scene when she slaps Reverend Mather in front of everyone is incredible. I knew she had a rebellious nature, but I didn’t believe she would go that far. And awww Captain Alden conforting her in his arms. Ugh, too bad they can’t be a couple.

So, any thoughts on “The Stone Child”? Let us know in the comments.