REVIEW: Motherland: Fort Salem – 1.02: “My Witches”

Tally Craven: an adorable ray of sunshine!

With the pilot episode behind us, we now know the world Motherland is set in, its magic system (or work system really), as well as the characters we’re following. Now it’s time to try to figure out what everyone’s true intentions are (looking at you Scylla) and just go along for the ride.

As “Say the Words” was a giant info dump for us, the second episode of Motherland: Fort Salem“My Witches,” lets down its guard and gives us pure fun (we love to see it!) while also still investigating the mysteries of the Spree and…Scylla for that matter.

“I want to show you something beautiful”: Just as the episode starts with a Scylla/Raelle scene, I figured they could be the first thing I talk about in this review. First of all, their chemistry is stunning and so attractive to witness. So of course it makes it that much more difficult to be wary of Scylla’s intentions. Raelle senses it too, as we see her try to learn more information about her by talking to a fellow Necro (aka: also Scylla in disguise). They share intimate scenes such as Scylla showing Raelle her necro powers, and the inevitable (and awkward) introductions to Tally and Abigail. Through Raelle’s eyes, we’re shown the beginnings of a beautiful couple. But through Scylla’s, we’re left with questions and mystery. The conflicting feelings are a bit much. But I stand by what I’ve said: I’m rooting for Scylla and Raelle and I ultimately think Scylla will turn good in the end. I truly don’t think she even knows what the Spree’s intentions are and just wants to find somewhere to belong. Goddess, I hope I’m right!

That’s one way to show the history of the Salem Witch Trials…

“Now girl, what do you have to say?”: As we ultimately see towards the end of the episode, the Bellweather unit, and Tally’s friend from home, Glory’s unit, are invited to go to the prestigious Pageant. From the looks of it, the Pageant was a way to honor the witches before them, arrive decked out in their solider uniforms, and really celebrate what it means to be a witch. The scene where Tally interacts with the young girl was precious, and further proof that she will be the witch that prevails! On that note, it’s interesting to see how the civilians react to the witches. Some, like the little girl and her mom, are so appreciative of the service the witches do for our country. Others, like the man in the pizza parlor that blamed Tally/the witches as “the problem,” aren’t. Not to mention Madame President Kelly’s (the show’s 45th president I might add) interactions with Sarah Alder, who we’re introduced to in this episode.

As for the Pageant itself, I don’t know about you, but I found the demonstration of the near hanging of Sarah Alder a bit off putting? Sure, this was most likely shown to emphasize how witches were treated back then, but I think it would’ve been even more beneficial to see if it was an actual flashback versus a type of play. But then, the characters wouldn’t see it, just the audience.

Tally: “I really like her.”
Raelle: “Me too, Tall.”
Me: “This friendship!!”

“A soldier couldn’t ask for better sisters”: The last few scenes of “My Witches” really did it for me, but then again I’m a sucker for laid back, party episodes that bring our characters closer together. The units are given some unsupervised free time, and it’s at this moment they really feel like a sisterhood. Tally even makes the confession of this, albeit drunkenly.

I think when it comes to a show like Motherland, that’s rooted in action and so much world building, systems, and rules, it’s nice to see these characters act like young adults and be in situations that we can relate to. For instance, there’s the too-adorable-for-words scene where Abigail refers to Scylla as Raelle’s girlfriend, to which Tally immediately becomes that giddy best friend that’s so excited and happy for you! If we continue to get more moments like this from the witch units, alongside the witchy action, and we see their friendship develop in multiple ways, Motherland: Fort Salem is going to be one hex of a show!

What did you think of 1.02: “My Witches”?

The next new episode of Motherland: Fort Salem, 1.03: “A Biddy’s Life” airs Wednesday at 9/8c on Freeform. The trailer can be viewed below.

Looks like in the next episode, we’re going to be getting new characters of the male variety. “There’s going to be a lot of…energy.” Tally’s going to be so happy!