REVIEW: Motherland: Fort Salem – 1.04: “Hail Beltane”

General Sarah Alder or Wonder Woman? You decide.

Okay, so I may have thought last episode was the Beltane episode in its entirety. Boy was I wrong! Beltane was in full force in this episode and the event, the clothing, the locations, were everything! Truly stunning work by the cinematographers, choreographers of the Reel, costume design, etc.!

“Your unit’s attendance at Beltane is mandatory. However you wish to participate will be honored.”: Due to Porter’s death, and the fact that a member of the Spree just might be at Fort Salem (which we know is true), the idea of even having Beltane take place is questioned. For us humans, it seems like the right thing to cancel it (especially in our current climate); but the energy and strength that come from the Beltane rituals is so important for the army. We saw a little bit of that in last week’s episode, but this is only heightened by the end of it.
In Motherland‘sAfter the Storm” episode, show creator Eliot Laurence explains that the Beltane “signifies life, and joy and sexuality.” The events of the Beltane kickoff with the “Reel,” a dance that can know you better than you know yourself. Everyone participating in Beltane dance, and whomever you’re left with come the end, is who you have to spend the night with. I found the dance to be beautifully done. Not to mention, the bright outfits everyone was wearing, the scenery, and of course, the Ruelle song that plays (I appreciate how that group is featured in every young adult TV series).

Our witch pairings (or trios) are: Tally and Gerit, Abigail and her pair of men from last week, and Raelle and fellow gay, Byron. It was interesting seeing how each member of the Bellweather unit was spending their night. For Abigail, it was basically a formality. You have sex with these men, you get immense energy the next day. Plus, seeing Abigail boss both men around and then not even seeing them off the next day, is exactly what Abigail would do. Tally and Gerit are something out of a Nicholas Sparks movie. It’s filled with romantic looks and moments that Tally’s probably dreamed about since she was a little witchling. Raelle’s experience was quite different than her other unit members, which I’ll get into in a bit. I do wonder how long the energy aspect of this lasts. Do these strong feelings/powers last until the next Beltane? Do the boys continuously come over when the witches need a “recharge”?

When I first saw this photo I legit thought it was a Beauty & the Beast inspired wedding photo.

Interview with a Dead Person: The witches in Necro have a rare opportunity tonight because of the Beltane. They have the ability to basically speak with a dead Porter to get a sense of the last things he experienced before he died. Obviously this would not look good for Scylla. So, the clever little witch she is, she completely sabotages the moment and still makes Porter’s death appear to be a suicide. I will say, while I don’t trust her motives with the Spree, I am very impressed that she managed to get off scot-free thus far. Maybe if she were to use these abilities for good rather than evil, she could be even more powerful? One can hope. Also, speaking of Necromancy-based witches, I love that we saw a bit of what their training looks like. I’m hoping we see more of that in the future. Maybe even medic-based training if Raelle eventually goes that route?

“You can’t sense my “I’m not interested in guys’ vibes?!”: As mentioned above, Raelle pairs up with Byron, who is “not interested in girls” as she is “not interested in guys.” Obviously, not in it for the “energy,” the pair get to know each other a friendship level, and it’s so sweet! They bond over the absurdity of Beltane and the fact that everyone is having sex around them. And they talk about falling in love. Byron and Raelle’s friendship was such a minor thing in the episode and in the show, but it really spoke to me and I thought was lovely to see. I always feel like gay men and gay women are put in their own little corners and give off this reputation that they can’t be friends with each other.  But I think they should, and it always warms my heart when I see a show that features gay men/women solidarity friendship! I really hope we see more of Byron in the future!

Quick! Someone figure out what flower that is and see if it’s symbolic!

“No matter what happens, no matter what anybody else thinks, I’m with you.”: Speaking of the LGBTQ+ rep in the show, Motherland continues to give me gut-wrenching Raylla scenes! I say that because we know Scylla’s involvement with the Spree, and how this relationship is just going to go down in flames…yet I’m still over here, shipping them like crazy. As each episode goes on, we see that Raelle is slowly losing her trust with Scylla. Yes she knows that Scylla’s parents were Dodgers and there’s a lot of adjusting she needs to do with Raelle to overcome the past, but obviously, she doesn’t know about the Spree…yet. My theory is that in the next couple of episodes, Raelle will find out the truth about Scylla’s involvement and be done with her. But, I think what will make it even more heartbreaking is, that Scylla will want to walk away from the Spree and be with Raelle, but it’ll be too late.

I generally think that the end scene we saw of them was Scylla truly confessing her feelings for Raelle. She’s fallen for her subject, whether she knows it or not. Members of the Spree know it at least, seeing how she was attacked/warned by one of them. So basically, we’re all going to get hurt by this relationship, yet we’re still in it for the long haul. What are your opinions on Raylla and their characters overall? How do you think Motherland is doing in portraying them? Personally, I think it’s really refreshing to see them as the forefront couple of the show, which I feel like rarely happens.

What did you think of 1.04: “Hail Beltane”?

The next new episode of Motherland: Fort Salem, 1.05: “Bellweather Season” airs Wednesday at 9/8c on Freeform. The trailer can be viewed below.

Well this wedding looks like it’s going to be eventful to say the least.