REVIEW: Motherland: Fort Salem – 2.08: “Delusional”

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Go on a mission with the army, but make it fashion.

Something I’ve taken note of in the past couple of episodes of Motherland: Fort Salemis just how each episode mirrors its previous season’s respective episode. For instance in 1.07- “Mother Mycelium,” Scylla was being tortured by the army to get information about the Spree; in 2.07 it’s Raelle’s turn with the Camarilla. (The episode title alone in season one can refer to 2.07). In 1.08 – “Citydrop,” it was the final test for the cadets to officially become a part of the army. Now the Bellweather unit (and Scylla) are officially on their “first” mission. Capture Nicte Batan. You thought the tests in Citydrop were difficult, wait until you see Nicte’s off canon work.

“Tell me everything you know about Nicte Batan.”: As mentioned above, this episode is all about finding Nicte, thanks to Petra’s last minute change of plans and Tally’s information. But how do you find someone that’s basically been omitted from history? Well it’s more like she’ll find you for the Bellweather unit’s sake. Remember the “Citydrop” comparisons I mentioned earlier? Well, it’s time for these witches to put all of that training and knowledge into good use.

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“She let us grieve her for no reason.”

This episode dealt heavy with delusions (the episode was literally titled delusional). Nicte took each of the girl’s fears and made them into their reality using off canon work. For Raelle, it was the “betrayal” of her mother being alive this whole time and working for the Spree. Abigail’s was creating the perfect weather work that would make Jemma Bellweather proud, with said family dying afterwards. And Tally? Turning back into a Biddy again and dealing with the tension between herself and Alder (which I’ll mention in a bit, because I have opinions). It took either Scylla or other Bellweather unit members to have them snap out of these delusions. Scylla even got caught in the cross fires of one delusion in a cabin fight sequence.

While some might say these delusions could serve as examples of filler until the ultimate reveal of Nicte, I think they were impactful because we got to see the “reality” of each character’s season long arc and their feelings on it. Even the harsh words the witches say to each other in the cabin pack a punch (literally) and serve as great development for them. So off canon work is awful, but great to help our characters handle their emotions!

“You just took down the leader of the Spree.”: After the long delusion battle, it’s Tally that captures Nicte. Not only does this fit with her season-long arc of seeing the untold story of Nicte, but this is also a great comparison of 1.08 – “Citydrop,” because Tally once again used her Sight, but this time didn’t back down and captured the Army’s second most notorious enemy. I’m also just a sucker for scenes with Tally where she’s a sunshine of positivity and then a complete take-charge witch the next. We love an optimistic badass!

Speaking of Tally, I have to mention her delusion of Alder. Throughout the season, we’ve seen this tension between Alder and Tally. Which has of course led to many people shipping ‘Talder.’ Do I personally ship it? No, it’s too much of a teacher-student relationship for me, but I see the chemistry; it’s even briefly mentioned in this week’s “After the Storm.” I guess I’m just frustrated because it’s very obvious that the writers are queer-baiting this pair. We’ve literally seen that delusion scene between Talder in countless promos and photos prior to this episode, and that scene barely resulted into anything in regards to their relationship. So why all of the constant Talder talk if there’s no action on it? Again, I’m not a fan of them, but the actual fans of them deserve better. Anyone agree or disagree?

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So you’re going to have your kinda ex girlfriend spend obscene amounts of time with your father? I’m awkward just thinking about it.

“People change. We need her.”: In actual queer lady couple news, I can’t end this review for this week’s episode without talking about Scylla and Rayalla in general. After episodes apart, Rayalla have finally reunited! I know I’ve seen many people talk about how they wish there was more Rayalla content this season, but personally, I think it’s better that the two developed on their own and then met up afterwards. Both have been through a lot and have changed. We’ve seen that with Raelle’s opinion of the Army and Scylla’s hesitance with the Spree. People come back into your life for a reason and this is theirs. Obviously there was hesitation from Raelle at first, given the information she knew of Scylla. But I think as she saw Scylla handle the delusions and how much she was willing to protect the Bellweather unit in full, that proved to her that Scylla’s okay.

Do I think the pair are going to pick up right where they left off? Not really? Although that kiss and new living arrangements of Scylla say otherwise. But I think Rayalla will take this time to rebuild their trust and start from scratch in a way. What did you think of this Rayalla reunion? And how do you think they’ll end up come end of season 2? I would give anything to see a Mr. Collar and Scylla scene though, my goodness!

What were your thoughts on this week’s Motherland: Fort Salem episode?

The next new episode of Motherland: Fort Salem, 2.09: “Mother of All, Mother of None” airs Tuesday at 10/9c on Freeform.

The trailer as well as this week’s “After the Storm” can be viewed below.

2 more episodes left. Given the title and trailer, I really hope we see the full picture as to who Nicte was before and after creating the Spree. Also whoever edits the “After the Storm” episodes needs a raise. The several season one references? I’m not crying!