Sunday, December 11, 2016

Salem, Season 3, Episode 5: The Witch is Back

So John and Bob are fighting uber rascist zombie Native American savages because Salem has zero respect for the depiction of minorities

As they fight, Bob gets stabbed which necessitates John to part her clothes to see her wound and notice that she in fact a woman. He had absolutely no idea until this moment.

Bob shares her backstory – those savage raping Native American savages (ye gods, Salem really?!) killed, kidnapped or raped her family and she hoped that the great John Alden would save them. He didn’t. So she now decided she will seek revenge as a warrior which means pretending to be a man because women aren’t allowed to fight

Also she kisses John while she has this great sucking chest wound

I would say this could become a comment on sexism, female vulnerability at this time, the tyranny of being forced to rely in men, the problem of male only professions – but instead we have that kiss which means we’re likely to have a love triangle or Bob dying tragically in tragic fashion so John can be So Very Sad about this.

Back in town Anne is being tortured by evil Baby Devil – while Minion is indifferent. He doesn’t understand sadism. He doesn’t care enough about humans to want to hurt them and finds it all rather distasteful. Luckily for Anne, predictably Cotton shows up to save his precious baby. He hands himself over which means, technically, he totally gets to claim the reward for turning himself in. Rather than laughing and killing him, Baby Devil decides to grant him his wish. Which is to save the womb holding his child

Or, Anne basically. But He decides he’s going to call the baby Hope regardless of Anne’s wishes and all will be wonderful and perfect because woooomb. While Anne is going to be all redeemed and find love with him again and it will all be perfect because wooooomb. Basically everything about Anne, good or bad, is set aside because WOOOOOOOMB

Also baby Devil wants Cotton to become his biographer and record his life story before he destroys the world because of course he does. And even if he doesn’t get involved and decides to nominate Minion to recite events to Cotton. And it’s all pretty hopeless – Minion describes a long series of events and all Cotton hears is “zomg god! So wonderful!” Minion is critical of god and Cotton gasps “BLASPHEMY!” unsurprisingly the fallen angel doesn’t sweat blasphemy all that much. Minion tries to raise the idea that power corrupts – and therefore god is the mostest corrupt ever

It’s interesting that maybe this is raising a storyline that god is not all good and that demons not all evil and how demonic rebellion against god could be a perfect parallel to witch rebellion against puritan authority – with the oppressed and downtrodden rising up against their righteous controllers: especially since Mary hisses at Cotton that the rise of Baby devil is as much because of Puritan Hate as it is Witch malice.

This would have been the interesting story to tell. This would have been so good. Why are we not telling this story? Why did we end up with Baby Devil and zombie Native Americans?

This is Salem to me – this show could have been SO MUCH MORE THAN IT IS

Anne is continuing to try for redemption – or, less cynically – she is a genuinely good person (unlike cynical me) who is trying to provide medical attention to the refugees since no doctors will help them. There she finds a pregnant lady called Gloriana – the father of her child is Cotton

Really, we’re going to do this? Really? Really Salem? Remember all those plot lines I said I wish Salem would pursue? This isn’t one of them.

Mary is also beginning her cunning. With Tituba’s help they identify and have killed a spy for Baby Devil among the Essex Witches. She dramatically submitting to Baby Devil to earn his trust and plan to make her his bride (uckies) and goddess. Now it’s time to work on Minion – she identifies Minion as having compassion (because how else could he try to use her guilt to push her to suicide if he didn’t understand guilt? Baby Devil would never try such tactics) and then graciously doesn’t rat him out to Baby Devil. She does gently drop into the conversation that Baby Devil wants her to be his goddess. So wants to be a god himself

Minion is not on side with this plan. Minion wants to be free, Minion wants his brothers stuck in Hell to be free. They don’t want to trade in one master for another and throws some not-so-veiled threats at Baby Devil over this.

Let’s add another twist here – Baby Devil now wants to get Minion out of the way so turns to a loyal servant to help, someone who has been helping him all along. Tituba!

I am going to need a flowchart to keep up with this. She’s been promised a lot and is getting inpatient with him not ponying up – to a degree where she can even dictate terms to him.

Other things happening – damn this show is full. Sebastian is still perving after Mary despite her epic disinterest. He also has Badly Bloke, the competitor for Hathorne, murdered… I am sure I should care from some reason.

And Mercy – the one storyline that still clings to the original meaning of Salem – is brutally attacked by all her mind/penis controlled men after Isaac releases all the penis doves (not a metaphor). She makes it to her brothel, near death. She wonders if this is karma, if she deserves this or if the world is so full of pain that this is just what always happens. She thinks about all the many many many times she has had to pull herself from the gutter and doesn’t think she can do it again. As a last act, she gives Hathorne her antidote so he can be free

And he refuses it

He declares his love and loyalty to her. All of the women in the brothel rally round – Mercy doesn’t have the heart to take their blood, but they offer it freely. And lo we see what would be an awesome extension to the oppressed storyline: the strength of the oppressed in loyalty, friends and looking after their own (albeit through malice, blood letting and penis theft… because Salem)