We’ve crossed the halfway point of the pilot season for Motherland: Fort Salem. This season has been fast-paced setting up the story and introducing audiences to the nuances of the alternate history presented in Motherland: Fort Salem. The series has shown the differences between the three main witches Raelle, Abigail, and Tally, and done a good job of showing how three young women from different backgrounds can forge a sisterhood. The first five episodes have built up bitter tensions and revealed deeps bonds. After last week’s action packed “Bellweather Season,” episode six winds down to focus on the aftermath of last week’s events. Raw emotions and the heartbreak of grief are key components of this week’s episode “Up is Down.”
The story so far: Abigail has been working hard to live up to the Bellweather name only to find out, the name does all the work for her. The mystery of Scylla only deepens after a catastrophic event leaves her nowhere to be found, rendering Raelle an emotional mess. Tally’s mission to bond her unit is tested after learning a secret about Scylla and facing a heartbreak of her her own.
“Up is Down” is an appropriate title for this episode. Not only do the new recruits learn a new lesson in witchery, but several characters find their world turned upside down by the disastrous events of “Bellweather Season” Interesting magic effects still remain an integral feature of this show, but this episode takes a step back to dwell in the aftermath of Chervel’s wedding. Abigail is dealing with her self confidence and a bit of post-traumatic stress as she tries to make sense of recent events. Raelle’s emotional wreckage consumes her and she is intent on finding Scylla. Episode five was filled with action, but this episode does an excellent job of examining character development.
Taylor Hickson gives a heartbreaking performance as a grief stricken young witch forced to deal with the magnitude of her feelings. A rash decision is made and once again, the bond between the unit is reinforced. Ashley Nicole Williams gives a strong performance as Abigail. Her frustration and impatience with herself is evident as are the feelings of helplessness. Abigail is an alpha character and Williams’ performance really showcases the hit Abigail’s self-esteem has taken.
We are more than halfway through the season and the tension and magic is amping up. More secrets and conspiracies are being brought to light as the witches work to get through bootcamp. “Up is Down” is a dynamic episode in terms of character and it will be interesting to see how this season wraps up.
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