Sunday, December 4, 2016

Salem, Season 3, Episode 4: Night's Black Agents

Cotton has made his escape from Anne who is now in a bit of an awkward situation since she has to convince Baby Devil that she has it totally under control and this super influential man isn’t now heading to Boston to raise an army to completely raise Salem

(While I can see this as a concern, the fact the French are rampaging around is probably more of an issue than rantings about witches).

An APB is quickly released across the witchy devil network to find Cotton before he reaches Boston – which reaches some old friends of his family. Who helpfully take him in and tie him to the table.

This couple is absolutely hilarious. They’re such Nice People who just happen to worship the devil and use magic. And eat people. I didn’t think Salem really needed comic relief and It really does kind of break the tone, but it’s awesome so I don’t care I’m running with it.

They also have some interesting philosophy – why not worship the fallen angels that gave them knowledge and the ability to learn when god would have kept them “ignorant and naked” in Eden. It’s a point – and doubled by the practicality that as farmers working the land the magic that witchcraft brings them makes an amazing difference to their lives. Including simple survival. Hey if you have to choose between a distant god with vague promises for a future afterlife and a being that can offer you real survival now, what do you pick?

Between greed and insulting his wife’s cooking the couple fails to hold on to Cotton and he escapes – and is further saved from Baby Devil’s murder birds by Tituba

Why is Tituba helping Cotton? I have no idea, she just seems to be in the role of helper, at least she seems annoyed by this. But she does tell Cotton that Anne is pregnant with her child so that he can choose whether to go to Boston or back to his baby.

We all know which one he’s going to choose so why even cliffhanger this?

Back in Salem, Mary despairs and is near collapse after her powers were stripped from her and no amount of Sebastian’s poetry readings convinces her differently (she’s not into you guy, back off). And she’s certainly not ready to play mumsy to Baby Devil

What breaks her out of her funk is the attempt by Minion to try and convince her to commit suicide. Just realising that this fallen Angel has to resort to mind games and can’t just kill her – because Baby Devil has ordered him not to, gives her the defiance she needs to resist and chose to live (and mock the Fallen Angel who decided he had rebelled against god in the name of freedom and now had no freedom at all which is an epic take down). She announces her defiance to the Essex witches – she’s going to take Baby Devil down

Hey, remember how when the Essex Witches were evil they were all deformed and monstrous and now they’re all pretty human looking? It’s appearance based morality again!

Back in Salem Hathorne is still under the control of Mercy – but with all the sex and her wanting to rule by her side it no longer seems like a bad thing to him. But he’s torn because he is still beholden to all the people of Salem who voted for him and trying to resolve this Refugee crisis that has divided the people is super difficult and also far too topical a storyline for the writers to resist

But with Mercy on side – and all the men she has in thrall (she seems to be magically stealing the penises of men who visit her brothel) suddenly there’s a swell of public support for Hathorne. The refugee crisis also gives her more possible employees for her den

This doesn’t please Isaac of course, advised by Wise Little Waif Dorcas who wants him to protect people rather than pursue vengeance, decides to go to the brothel to save the poor sex workers. Who don’t particularly want rescuing since she keeps them safe, provides good working and living conditions and the occasional blood donation she requires is nothing compared to the alternatives out there. Isaac wants to force a victim narrative on them – and they’re not playing into it.

Really Mercy's story, her finding strength from utter powerlessness and rising up goes back to the core of this show - but she's still cast as the villain

And John and Bob are still out fighting the French and zombie Native Americans