Monday, January 23, 2017

Salem, Season 3, Episode 7: The Man who was Thursday

The battle against the darkness continues – with Mary lining up her forces.

Sebastian is awful and continues to continue to sexual assault his way into Mary’s affections, kissing her after she said no and generally convinced they can still live happily ever after despite him forcing her to have sex in front of her true love, her totally not being into him oh and her not being able to leave Salem.

He insists it’s not so and he’ll prove it by teleporting her miles away from Salem… and nearly killing her. Oops. Sebastian needs to start listening. Or dropping dead. But it’s a shame he’s still needed – and she keeps aiming him firmly against Baby devil – and having him go to the Essex witches for him

One piece in hand.

Next step is Cotton. Cotton doesn’t like her, this is true but Mary is able to cut threw his righteous objections with some simple practicality. It helps that the house has the new in feature for modern interior designers – a doorway to hell. Behind which is Cotton’s dad, the not-even-remotely-lamented Mather senior who urges his son to say “yes” since defeating the devil is a great idea. Thankfully, all Mary asks him to do is deliver a message to John because he has a pregnant life: this is the theme of the episode. Despite the world about to end, everyone is super worried that Cotton’s unborn baby and doesn’t want him to endanger himself or his evil wife. Never mind the upcoming apocalypse.

He does confirm that Red Mercury is terribad awful and cannot be stopped and has been used to destroy cities by an angry god in the past. Just in case we didn’t get it.

He delivers the letter to John – and then reads it (it seems John can’t read) which is basically Mary’s confession that, yes, she’s totally having sex with Sebastian. But only because she’s trying to use him. It also comes with an epic plea for perspective – yes she may be shagging Sebastian. But if it works and the world is saved they’ll have many many many years in which to get over that. If it doesn’t work? Well they’ll all be burning anyway so who cares?

Oh and John’s like the only one who isn’t all pro Cotton’s baby: because his witch kid turned into the devil. That will make you a convert to birth control.

After letting John know what she’s doing but not asking him to do anything (because she’s totally got this in hand), Mary goes on to poke Baby Devil’s evil brother with more hints that baby devil wants to become the next god, totally in control and she and evil brother will just be servants. She also undresses in front of him which seems to be her basic method. Which is a bit weird since he’s already made it clear he doesn’t care for humans and is actually made of insects. Still the whole servile thing has definitely pushed his buttons since his whole rebellion from god was all about freewill.

Her pieces nicely lined up she has Sebastian go to Baby Devil to report that Mary is about to betray him with the Essex witches and he should totally run into the woods almost alone to confront her.

They arrive at the tree for Sebastian to change sides and the Essex coven to lecture him about magic – the magic of their tree and, above all sacrifice. Real sacrifice – because real sacrifice doesn’t mean killing people: it means killing yourself. The only meaningful sacrifice is of yourself (which is an excellent definition of sacrifice – because to sacrifice is to give something up. Killing strangers? Isn’t giving something up except some money for dry cleaning if they get splashy). The witch coven proves this by all stabbing themselves – empowering Mary and the tree to basically rip baby devil limb from limb

He appeals to his brother who promptly tells him no – the very right he rebelled for in the first place. Now that’s going to make the family reunion awkward.

I would say it’s a little anticlimactic that baby devil was killed this way – but it was well done and I love how Mary lined everything up. I think it would have helped more if we’d had more investigation into the idea that all magic isn’t of the devil (something they’ve spent two seasons insisting on), but having Mary do this, take down her son, be the instigator and the planner while being brutally practical? I like it. And I’m tired of baby devil

Of course, some unknown figure runs off with baby devil’s body parts so who knows what happens next. My bet is on Tituba. Also Black Sunday is still due to happen with all the demons being released which is probably not going to be a good thing.

So it may be useful that John is making the demon killing dagger Tituba gave him a recipe for (thankfully he’s a blacksmith. Apparently). This also lets him see Isaac again who nearly has him penalised for stealing the smithy or killing the smith

Isaac has set up Knockers Hole as its own little independent town. He has a big speech about everyone looking down on them, not caring about them and thinking they’re better than them and how they can rise up and build their own him. It’s half good and empowering and half respectability politics with a strong element of “if you just cleaned up and stopped fucking everything would be better” which is less good. At least with them building their own society we actually see a side to these people that isn’t all prostitutes, child abuse and drunkenness. Let’s leave that To Game of Thrones

He also sets up his own court which is more than a little power mad. But then, he also appears fair and just and kind so long as we assume someone’s sorted out the methods of production and supply chain to let him just hand out bread etc. When John’s brought before him, he does question who made Isaac judge and jury but Isaac’s rather excellent come back that judge and jury actually don’t give a shit of the people in Kocker’s Hole pretty much knocks that back. Another good answer would have been “the people”, since he’s pretty much ruling by popular acclaim.

It’s nice – but with the world ending on Sunday I kind of feel like Isaac and his republic of poor people is somewhat moot at this point

As are Mercy and Hathorne plotting to do whatever it is they’re doing

To another not-quite-involved-plot line. Anne has gone from opposing the devil to just focusing entirely on her baby: which, as said, is also the reason why Cotton basically gets a free pass from having to do shit about the end of the world. Cotton happily accepts “witchery” as an excuse for his wife suddenly being 8 months pregnant. These are puritan times, this may actually represent the sum of his knowledge about Female Mysteries.

Anne is more concerned by something haunting her house and her occasionally appearing all haggard and dead in mirrors (signs of evil I guess – because evil = ugly is pervasive). She still has Glorianna kidnapped in the attic which kind of fails as a long term plan. Especially since Anne’s repeated attempts to convince her that the whole baby stealing thing was for Glorianna’s benefit isn’t convincing. So instead she lobotomises Glorianna with a finger nail – ouch – and ships her off to Mercy as a poor, lost, amnesiac refugee prostitute in need of work and shelter

Mercy, also being a witch, promptly responds “yeah right, I know what you did here!” and makes it clear Anne owes her.

Again, I’m curious to see where this storyline is heading except – end of the world is on its way and all.