Saturday, November 12, 2016

Salem, Season 3, Episode 2: The Heart is a Devil

Zombie Mary rises from the grave, righteously pissed at everyone, especially Tituba. Because Mary has always given Tituba way more grief than she deserves

The other Essex witches inform Mary what’s happened – she’s been bought back to kill the devil who will enslave them all and make up for what she did wrong. Mary, at least, isn’t having that and rightfully points out all of them are responsible for this and she’s definitely not playing scapegoat. Still only she can kill devil child because Motherhood (apparently) and she’s now bound to Salem forever… so hell may be preferable

She’s still obsessed with John which means Tituba can get her onside by showing her a future with John dead. Yup, the world may die but what she cares about is John – and off she goes for a brief sexual reunuion. John has questions – especially since he and Sebastian are still snarling at each other over who is responsible for Mary’s death – but is willing to shelve them because Sex. The next morning Mary opts to magically send him to sleep rather than explain so she can catch up with Baby Devil

Remember John was spared by Hawthorn last episode because they need him to train a militia? Well he’s not exactly getting on with that, partly because he has very real, scathing views at the idea of war as glorious. Tituba astrally projects her way to him to remind him that he did shoot someone last week who didn’t die and that, maybe, just maybe, this war could be supernatural so could he get on with the soldier training already so they don’t all die.

As she points out, she must save the world through 2 stubborn fools who only want to save each other. Tituba is too good for this

Of course, since we’re talking devil children and the man who didn’t die when John shot him was Native American I believe we’re in for a horrible story of demonic native American “savages” against good Christian settlers.

John finally begins the training and we’re introduced to a new character who is clearly worshipping John and desperately wants to help fight – and is able to sucker punch him so, skills, I guess. This character is also either a trans-man or, more likely given it’s Salem a woman pretending to be a man to get in on the fighting. I don’t know where this storyline is going but I am slightly bemused that this show seemed to think this was big surprising reveal at the end of the episode.

Tituba gets herself a set of cat’s eyes that let her spy through the cat because relying on these guys? Yes, she’s definitely going to need to keep an eye on things

Isaac has still decided he’s the hero of the slums, investigating murders – in this case the man who Mercy killed for pimping out his niece. He is playing hero to the people but literally no-one cares about this man’s death or has a good word to say. Also, question question what is Isaac living on? I mean, he seems to have no gainful employment but is doing well for himself – so where’s the money coming from? Did I miss something?

He takes his concern to Hathorne who is very interested… in investigating the brothel and insist Mercy pay him 50% of the profits in protection money. Yeah, Mercy’s not going for that and one especially scabby curse later he’s on his knees begging for Mercy’s antidote. Is it just me or does this storyline seem very separate from everything else that’s happening what with the actual devil and all?

Then we come to Cotton. Now I’m not sure what is happening with Cotton – who is finally allowed in the church to make a rousing speech in support for… baby devil. After which he reconciles with Anne and declares his love much to her delight

There are two possible answers here:
1. As Sebastian says, Cotton just isn’t that brave. He’s not going to martyr himself by denouncing them in the church when they can easily kill him. And maybe even he’s just given up. The devil is here. They’re going to lose. So why fight? He’s swallowed his pride and is capitulating and he’s reconciled with Anne because, as he says, he genuinely is moved by her love in her eyes in these day times. Or maybe this is part of how he’s giving up – better to play loving husband than be the slave

Or there’s 2. He’s pretending to go along with it in order to secretly undermine whatever terribad plans are afoot, including fooling the always na├»ve Anne. This is possible given his conversation with John COULD be read as a plea for understanding or help…

The latter seems more likely in terms of narrative, but I’m not sure what Cotton’s long term plans are? Maybe he just doesn’t think that, despite how valued his words are, he has sufficient influence to condemn a child and Sebastian Marburg so overtly. Maybe it’s a bit of both, he wants to fight but still feels affection for Anne. He wants to fight, but would like to fight and live.

Still, we shall see where he’s going here. I honestly don’t know which way we’re gong

Back to Mary – she returns to devil child but his new demonic brethren (“The Sentinel”? by the credits) is suspicious and decides that what they really need to do is some insect-based torture to be certain of her loyalty. She manages to do a relatively good job of spinning a lot of truth with lies and is a really good spy – even when he puts a millipede in her ear which NO NO NO



Salem why do you always have the gross out scenes?

She has successfully infiltrated the household and is ready to play mumsy to devil baby – and drown and stab him in his bath

Alas, it’s a magical trick and Mary just got rumbled. Well it would have been an extremely short season if she had managed to kill him, I guess. I also really don’t want to see a full season of Mary playing devoted devil mummy.

I am curious as to where we go from here now, with her, since the obvious storyline of Mary undercover has been so quickly scuppered

I also wonder how the show is going to pull Isaac and Mercy into the main plot threat as they’re somewhat ancillary at the moment.