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Salem - Adam Simon Exclusive Interview: Co-Creator Talks Season 2 Finale, Will There Be a Season 3 & So Much More!



Hello fellow Heathens! Today I have a very special article for you guys - an exclusive interview with Salem co-creator and writer Adam Simon! Brannon Braga was locked in the editing room working on the season finale which he directed so he couldn't partake, but that's totally fine. Working on making the season two finale of Salem the best it can possibly be is way, way more important! By the way, I am far too excited to see this finale.

So I had a plethora of questions to ask Adam Simon, one of the brilliant minds that drives Salem to be as addictive as it is week in, week out, and it's all thanks to you guys. I had a ton of submissions from fans of the show and I managed to narrow down the best of the bunch. There is now so much to talk about thanks to Mr. Simon as we come to understand Salem a little better.

I'm not saying you guys weren't excited for Salem before, but after reading this interview, your hysteria will reach fever pitch for what's to come, guaranteed. The interview was so insightful and I learned so much about the show and how it came about, so I hope you Heathens will be able to take something from this amazing interview with Adam Simon, exclusive to SpoilerTV!

SALEM'S SPOOKY BEGINNINGS

Salem premiered on WGN America on April 20, 2014 as the network's first ever original scripted series and became an instant hit with fans. Ever wonder how the supernatural drama came to be? Adam Simon revealed that it was actually a little creepy. "Just a couple of weeks before I was asked by Josh Barry of Prospect Park to think about a TV show based on Salem, I received a gift in the mail from my brother, a law professor at the University of California. The box contained a recently-published massive hard cover tome containing, for the first time, every scrap of paper recorded during the actual witch trials so I had in fact been quite immersed in this material just when out of the blue I was asked to consider how it would be treated as a television series!" In other words, the conception of Salem was purely destiny, or as Adam puts it, "spooky synchronicity". So Adam went on to transform this idea into a reality, thinking of things "not from our 21st century perspective, but to try and create the inner experience of the Early Modern person of the 17th and 16th centuries." So Adam had an underlying reality for the series - the supernatural must be real. The witch trials happened; it is embedded in American history, but Adam chose to look at the horrific acts of the Puritans as something far bigger than they ever realised - "the witches were running the trials and using the own Puritans' hysteria against them." It's a unique twist on explaining the Salem Witch Trials from Adam's own imagination, immersing viewers in the 1692 ideals of the people from that world and bringing them to life. "The concept originally came to me by combining a couple of very simple ideas: firstly, witchcraft really was real. Everyone at the time believed in it. And arguably, the entire colony was awash in magical practices." Salem isn't showing us what happened in that fateful town, rather what could have happened if we opened up our own imaginations and believed in the witches the townsfolk feared. There's something raw and real about this show and that's thanks to Adam's revolutionary vision.

You would never guess that Salem is Adam Simon's first television series, would you? Adam has co-written 14 episodes of the show and that's not including the upcoming season two finale which he penned himself. The quality of Adam's writing is evident in his other projects too, such as 2009's The Haunting in Connecticut (I am still baffled by the sequel's name that Adam had no part of, titled Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. Georgia isn't in Connecticut right?), 2001's Bones, and his turn as a director for the 1990 cult classic Brain Dead. If you're anywhere near the Los Angeles area on June 26th, there is an event at The Cinefamily movie theatre showing Brain Dead with an appearance by Adam Simon himself where he will be available for a quick Q&A. It's not that Adam never tried to venture into television, as he "sold a couple of pilots which people liked but did not become shows". Fortunately for us, Fox21 saw the potential Adam's creation had and were drawn into his pitch. "Certain elements were already there from the get-go, from that original pitch including the role of Mary Sibley, the role of John Alden and Anne Hale and the idea of taking a very different view of Cotton Mather". How awesome is it that our beloved characters Mary, John, Anne and Cotton basically helped seal the deal to materialise this show? So much hard work from Adam already went into constructing the show and the journey wasn't even over yet.

When Adam Met Brannon, the most epic story since Mary Sibley and John Alden. Brannon Braga, that is, one of the best creative thinkers in television (and even film). Perhaps his most famous work was his involvement with three highly-rated Star Trek series, acting as producer and writer on all three. More recently though, Brannon co-created the ABC hit FlashForward, helped write the first three awesome episodes of much-missed series Terra Nova and acted as writer and producer for classic show 24. So how did he become involved in the genesis of Salem? "The first thing Fox21 did was send my material to Brannon Braga and when he responded to it, they got the two of us together. I couldn’t have been more thrilled." Adam had nothing but awesome things to say about his new partner in crime, calling him a "giant in the field" and "really one of the master creators of my generation in Genre Television." Adam gives his gratitude to Brannon, who "was the transformative ingredient which took this from being a very good idea to being a very good television show." The creation of the show became a huge team effort and each genius writer depended on the other to make it all happen. "From the moment at which he joined in, we've worked very closely -- and the core arcs and stories of both season one and season two have really come out of a constant dialogue between him and I. It's been a truly great partnership."


THE WRITING PROCESS

Salem is an interesting show to watch and the attention to detail and structure of the season has been something duly noted by fans of critics of the show. The questions I most wanted to ask were to do with the writing process that goes into each season of the show as it really is a huge team effort. When asked about the differences between writing the premiere year to the sophomore year, Adam said that "season one was a bit up-and-down. Brannon and I had written the first couple of episodes before we even had the rest of the staff, and we had mapped out the larger direction of the first season, the structure of the grand rite, where it was headed, what was happening between Mary and John, etc." While season one was awesome and fans love it dearly for beginning our new favourite show, it still had its fair share of first season problems. "There were some very talented writers that worked on season one but they also came from very different backgrounds. They had very strong opinions where they wanted things to go, which was great, except they were telling 13 different stories and I was trying to tell one story in 13 episodes". Adam had wonderful things to say about the season one team of writers, but it was still problematic to have different voices resonating in each episode. "Sometimes it seemed to me that characters I created suddenly sounded very different [in the episodes Adam didn't write], they weren't even speaking quite the same language from episode to episode which was tough on the actors and on the audience." Adam is very big on research and creating as authentic an experience as he can for the audience but that didn't translate as well in the writers' room. "I had brought something like a thousand tomes on history and the occult to our offices but I don’t think that first season any one but Me, Joe [Menosky] and Brannon ever bothered to look at them."

No offence to season one (I still stand by my love for it) but season two has been a better written season. The writing is much tighter and coherent and you can tell there's better communication between what the team behind the show want. "This season couldn’t have been more different. We completely re-staffed for season two except for Joe Menosky, the one writer we kept from season one." Joe Menosky has helped write five amazing episodes of Salem so far and his talent is definitely appreciated. "Joe has such a wild imagination and an unbelievably deep knowledge of psychology and mythology -- plus he and Brannon worked together for years on Star Trek." Adam had nothing but praise for the season two newbies, calling them "equally fantastic writers." What has helped with communication this season was that they seemed more comfortable with a "centralized storytelling process, with working altogether on a single-story in multiple parts rather than going off to do one's own story." When you look at the team behind season two, you start to see them as a band of superheroes working tirelessly to provide the Heathens the best show on television. "I have a tremendous staff that are super talented and they have far more experience of great television writing than me, and yet they all loved the show and the direction I wanted to go in and were happy to all work closely together. Kelly [Souders] and Brian [Peterson] are brilliant writers and showrunners themselves; Al [Septien] and Turi [Meyer] have some of the deepest most imaginative minds I’ve encountered, and like me they also come out of doing writing and directing horror films, a big plus! And Donna Thorland was someone I very much wanted to hire for season one but wasn’t able to. She is a great genre writer, a great writer of historical romance, and she lives in Salem! When you add in Brannon who is our captain -- like the Dr. Xavier of the team (but with hair and no wheel chair) -- it’s my dream team!" The Heathens couldn't agree more, including the Dr. Xavier reference.

We have to gave major props to the new writers of season two for joining the show. They have all managed to maintain the quality of Adam's vision with fantastic storytelling - you honestly can't tell different people write each episode when there's a consistent level of talent. They totally need to be mentioned here. Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson worked on Smallville together, writing episodes from as early as season two all the way up until the very final episode! They even wrote the 100th episode together, how awesome is that? I loved that episode. The pair went on to write a couple of episodes of Under the Dome last year. Al Septien and Turi Meyer also worked on Smallville, writing part one of the series finale while Kelly and Brian wrote part two - so we have them to thank for the awesome finale of Smallville. It's incredible how all four writers worked on that show and now use their talents for Salem. Al and Turi also wrote multiple episodes of my dearly beloved Witches of East End, three episodes of The Vampire Diaries, and even writing my favourite sequel to Wrong Turn. Donna Thorland is a bit different from the others, being an expert in her field of historical romance. She has released three standalone novels that have received nothing short of critical praise, including The Turncoat, The Rebel Pirate and Mistress Firebrand. They all deserve a lot of praise for pulling off an incredible sophomore season and joining Adam, Brannon and Joe in the writers' room. Here's to hoping all of them will return for season three!

Those interested in the structuring of season two can take a lot from this as I have. Adam went on to detail the process that went into this season: "Basically Brannon and I spent a chunk of last summer just brainstorming and mapping out what we ultimately wanted to have happen in the season -- some of it was stuff we had planned all the way since the beginning. Then we could get into a bit more detail when we got all the other writers together too and we all did a fair amount of talking through the direction of the season and specific episodes." From the get-go, the new writers helped Salem thrive, even doing their own research on specific topics as inspiration to help keep things real. The writers poured everything into planning the season in order to make it as fluid as possible so they knew what they were building towards. "I would say every big event of the season was certainly preconceived. We knew most of what would happen but we didn't always know exactly what episode they would happen in until we got closer to writing them. Then we would say ‘oh, of course! This is where the exorcism happens…’" It became clear from the interview how much thought went into building this show and the effort from everyone, as Adam further goes on to say "the goal has always been to try to retain the kind of, usually tragic, coherence that comes from a show that is adapted from novels rather than one that's just invented as you go along. But of course, here the novels only existed in our imagination, but we’re always trying to sense what’s in them -- as if this is all already written and we just have to find it."

Many people love the humour of Salem and its witty appearances in the show. Turns out the comedy goes hand-in-hand with the true genre of horror within the show. "There's a reason that we match comedy and tragedy -- these are the basic modes -- the twin masks! Of course Horror is fundamentally modern tragedy. And comedy is always right next to it. Laughing and screaming are very close." He has an excellent point about the twin masks and both elements work flawlessly in the show. Adam does have a rule though and it's a very clever one. "We have always tried to stay far away from self referential humour -- we never wink at the audience -- nothing that would break the reality such as it is of Salem. What we never want to do is say: 'Don’t worry, this isn't real. It’s just a piece of Genre TV'. We want to do it with a straight face -- we want to do it with utter conviction that this is real." It's gratifying to know they're working as hard as they are to deliver a realistic show without the meta humour. A few examples of the funniest lines I have pulled from Salem are Mary's line to Tituba - "I’m sure someone as cunning as you can find a way to remove bird shit from the linen" and Mary's line about Hathorne - "not fit to lead a beggar’s parade, let alone Salem". And in Sunday's episode, Midnight Never Come, Sebastian delivered perhaps the funniest line of all-time: "if I liked waking up to a dog nuzzling my bollocks". See how clever and hilarious they are?


AUTHENTICITY BEHIND THE WORLD OF SALEM

Nobody can deny the absolute gorgeousness behind the sets and costumes of Salem. Some people tend to forget that that isn't all that goes into making this show as unique to the times as possible. The finer details are all there within the show thanks to the writers and their research. "I had been interested for some time in the tradition of European witchcraft in the early modern period and the borderlands between early science and the occult. There is a lot of exciting historical material that sort of turns the history of witchcraft upside down. Suggesting that there was more reality to it than most of us have come to believe. More and more evidence that some of those accused did in fact conceive of themselves as involved in some form of witchcraft." Adam didn't leave a single stone unturned when delving into the history of America's infamous trials and the people of that era. That level of depth transcends the show's fiction to offer that alternate look of what could be that Adam strived for when conceiving Salem. The whole process fascinated him and rightly so as there is so much material to draw from in history. "I was also fascinated by a wider landscape of magical belief in this last period in which magical thinking dominated all of thinking. Even as late as the period we are talking about, say the 1690s, the vast majority of people still have a fundamentally magical view of how the world works, how the universe works, what's out there and what's in there. In particular I've been interested in the body of work being done on European witchcraft and its relationship to Shamanism and other world wide witch traditions." For those unfamiliar, Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world. It's fascinating to broaden the concept of a witch (remember the days when there wasn't much about them but pointy hats and broomsticks? Oh how far they've come) and Salem has helped to provide an alternate take on witches. There is much to be found embedded in this show, as "every episode contains many elements drawn from or inspired by history -- we feel free to use pretty much anything that anyone believed about these things, anywhere in the world, for the couple of centuries leading up to our period. If one had the will and the patience one could footnote dozens of details in every episode."


MARY SIBLEY (OR JUST MARY)

I honestly ask because I do not know the answer. Who doesn't love our main character Mary? Beautifully portrayed by the stunning Janet Montgomery, Mary has been the centerpiece of the show since the beginning. Recently, Mary has hit rock bottom as everything has come crashing down around her; she was stripped of her title and status in the most humiliating way, she has had more characters betray her than any other, and as of episode 12 of season 2, she lost the fight to save her son. Fans can agree that Mary has had an extraordinary transformation this season, something Adam has wanted for his main heroine. "Mary is the heart of the show on so many levels -- one of the things I most wanted to do from the beginning was create a really epic arc for her as an anti-hero and as hero. Men traditionally get to have such huge arcs to go from absolute villain to absolute hero and everything in between -- but it's really quite rare for the female character. They don't tend to get these kinds of redemptive arcs." It's true, women are usually portrayed one way or the other, so to have Salem's leading lady undergo this kind of arc is something quite refreshing for audiences. This is a female-empowering show with one of the most complex characters leading the cast. Her relationship with John Alden is something that is fundamentally important to the core of the show. "Salem was always intended to be a supernatural romance -- an epic supernatural romance. In fact, if there was one idea which really started it all, it was to try to reconnect romance and horror which have their origins together in the Gothic." Salem is certainly a true Gothic story in every sense of the word, right down to the transgressive nature of the show. A classic Gothic novel such as Matthew Lewis's The Monk comes to mind, about a monk who abandons his morals and begins his descent to Hell, we can see how Mary began that way in season one but has turned it around in season two.

Adam looks at Mary's transformation fondly, seeing it as less of a challenge but more of a pleasure. He also gave high praise to his leading lady, saying "Janet Montgomery has played her so magnificently. We really love her all the way from the most awful kinds of actions to the most sympathetic states. I really think she has been giving one of the great performances on TV I’ve ever seen. And I’m confident over time many will come to recognize it." It's hard to disagree with this statement considering he hit the nail on the head. Janet Montgomery, much like the show itself, is severely underrated. Janet's acting has grown from her early days of horror films like The Hills Run Red and Wrong Turn 3 and the Heathens couldn't be more thrilled to have her portray the delightful Mary. She is, without a doubt, the best female character on television right now.


TITUBA

Tituba is perhaps the most famous figure to come from the Salem Witch Trials as she was the one of the first people to be accused of witchcraft - and she even confessed. The direction the show has taken her in has made Tituba the character to watch. Adam saw the potential of Tituba by adapting the historical figure, seeing her as "one of the most interesting characters historically, and in terms of what we and Ashley [Madekwe] have done with her, you never know what she's going to do." Tituba is unpredictable and even now, after helping the Countess in her efforts to continue the consecration, we have no idea whose side she will end up choosing or what's next, but Adam did confirm that "Tituba has a critical role to play in the final episodes of the season". It might be the way Ashley portrays her, but even though she has done some rotten stuff and has lied more times than Jim Carrey in a 1997 comedy, we are still drawn to her relationship with Mary. A lot of people love their dynamic and wonder if they will ever be friends again. "On the one hand it's hard to imagine these two becoming the sisters they might have once been. But on the other hand we have taken a long and painful path to take Mary to some kind of redemption so who knows how these two will play out." And just to be a tease, Adam tells us "you’ll never guess what’s next for either of them, separately or together." If that doesn't make you excited for the future of Mary and Tituba, I don't know what will. Ashley Madekwe's portayal of Tituba is forever praised by the fans and Adam, and she has been a fine actress in the projects she has undertaken, such as the much-missed Revenge.


JOHN ALDEN

John Alden began the season a little removed from the action going on in Salem with the beginnings of the witch war between Mary and Mercy, but he has had a very important and transformative story himself. We can see John as a changed man from his days in season one, starting the season with an initiation by the Indians. Not too much is known about what it is they did to him as we moved through his storyline this season, but Adam sees it as more about his relationship with the Indians rather than explaining magic that doesn't correspond with simple rules. "There is material that will come out, I hope, for years to come from John's relationship to the Indians and the consequences of what they did to him or what he gained or lost to them. At its core, this relationship is about two things -- one, the classic archetypal image of the relation between the new American settlers and what he took or learned from the natives even while fighting them, and two, to show the viewers that the witchcraft in Salem takes place in the wider world of witchcraft." The portrayal of the Indians has been a fascinating one so far and I'm glad that is going to be further explored to show the clashing and combining of different cultures. "It’s an entire world of witches. A world of magic. This is something we plan to explore even more in the coming seasons." Upon speaking of Shane West's amazing portrayal of the transformation of John Alden, Adam said he "is one of our anchors. It's been wonderful to watching this charming young man evolve into a grizzly bear of American archetypal hero."


ANNE HALE AND COTTON MATHER

Anne Hale. Just like the others, she has had an incredible transformation from the mousy, innocent young girl in season one. Now, she can blow people's heads off without a second thought. It's been interesting to watch how she fits into this new world, and how she adapts has been one of the highlights of the season. "This whole season has been about Anne's journey" and upon talking about the full potential of Anne's power, Adam revaled it "will be clear by the end of the season". As Adam mentioned in the Writers' Wrap for episode 11, Anne and Mary hardly interacted in season one, but here they both collide as they are both subjected to their own transformations. "Right from the start we had very specific ideas about where she was going and where Mary was going and those are playing out this season exactly as planned." It's comforting to know that every direction they take the characters, it's always been the right direction. The scenes between Mary and Anne this season have been thrilling and both are moving forward in a way that raises the stakes. "There is so much more to come. Epic means epic. And it means a complicated dance where high falls and low rises and the wheel of destiny and character turns again and again..."

Cotton Mather, like John Alden, was a bit of an outsider at the beginning of the season. Starting in Boston, his storyline quickly became intertwined with Anne's. It appeared early on there was some sort of connection between the two, and I'm all for this romance. Unfortunately, Anne was put in a very desperate position and resorted to casting a love spell on Cotton. It's quite distressing for us fans when we love a pairing so much but have no idea if the love is real. When asked to explain the love spell, Adam remained coy and tells us to keep watching. "Much of the last episodes have to do with Anne and Cotton and the consequences of that spell, and the questions raised about freedom and choice and love. The whole question of human freedom is -- and will always be -- a big theme on Salem -- whether in terms of love, or salvation, or government." Free choice was recently explored by Isaac when condemning Mary for her previous actions, so the intricate nature of this theme is one that can be applied to every character, not just Anne and Cotton. One thing for sure though, while we may not know whether this love story will end well, these two characters will always be a real treat to watch and there are promising things on the horizon for both - "we really love this journey Cotton and Anne are on and I think no one will see what's coming. And on the other side of that is so much more." Adam praised both Tamzin Merchant and Seth Gabel for their incredible performances, noting that "these are two incredible actors and it's immeasurable what they have brought to these two characters. It's such a pleasure to write things knowing it's going to come out of their mouths and the ways they're going to make it feel true."


ISAAC WALTON

Poor Isaac. That's basically what every fan has said at some point while watching the show. From the very first scene of the pilot, Isaac was branded by George Sibley as 'Isaac the Fornicator'. Adam revealed that Isaac actually wasn't supposed to survive the pilot, so you can imagine our relief that the original plan of releasing Iddo Goldberg from his duties in episode one fell through. "Isaac is a wonderful character and of course Iddo Goldberg such a wonderful actor. Everyone thought he's got to survive, and Iddo brought such a distinct personality to him we just fell in love." In order to understand Isaac a little better, Adam tells us he was "fascinated by this archetypal opposition between the Witch and the Clown. And Isaac, especially for much of the first season, is a classic fool character, a wise fool -- like all true fools." Looking at Isaac this way actually helps in understand what his role has been to the show and how important his tragic story has been. The writers haven't put Isaac through Hell for nothing, "it was always my plan to take Isaac on a journey this season that by the end would bring him to the threshold of being a different kind of hero." Following the penultimate episode of season two, where Isaac was released from the stocks and given a fresh start, promises a brighter future from the character who has been beaten down more times than he's been able to stand. "We all know the hero’s journey is filled with suffering. And the journey from fool to hero, like Parsifal, is one of the most powerful and important." 


MERCY LEWIS

Elise Eberle has had a breakout role with Mercy Lewis in Salem. As evil as her character has become, we still can't wait to see what Mercy Lewis does next. Just like Tituba, she is unpredictable, and following the events of episode 12, her loyalties to the Marburgs are seriously questioned. Whether she survives the season or not, we have all loved the diverse acting talent of Elise. "Elise is a true force of nature. She's a young actress still just feeling the beginnings of her gifts. But I know we will be seeing her for a long time as she's one of the most extraordinary talents I've ever seen. The intensity and emotional reality she brings to Mercy - our lovely, monstrous Mercy - has really been miraculous to watch." We can hope that moving forward, once all is said and done in this witch war, that maybe Mercy can return to her initial beliefs of protecting the weak. As Adam said, she's lovely and monstrous, two juxtaposing qualities that make it hard to know what side of Mercy you're going to get. Her time as the burned version of Mercy was her low point, for sure, as she lost the trust of her friend Dollie and was seemingly lost until the Countess picked her back up. This season really reflected the capabilities of the young Elise and what she can really do as an actress.


SAMUEL WAINWRIGHT

The last we saw of the good doctor, Sebastian pushed him into the Hellfire at the Crags - a truly awful fate for someone who previously tried to help Salem heal from the plague that descended upon them. Then Samuel made the decision to join Mary in her witch ranks and betrayed Cotton Mather in the process. Karma's a bitch, right? But have we seen the last of Samuel? "For the season, yes. But in the future? I doubt it. After all, he is the first man since Dante to enter Hell alive, and there’s no reason he shouldn't, like Dante, make his way back out." This is promising news for those hoping for a confrontation between Samuel and Sebastian, and now John Alden is back in Mary's life, how will that love triangle work out? But entering Hell has to be a life-changing experience, so what can expect when Samuel does manage to break out of Hell? "Did you ever play The Call of Cthulu role playing game? The greatest thing about it was there were dice rolls, not about your strength, but your sanity! I loved that -- because of course, if any of us were faced with the reality of supernatural horror, I think [H.P.] Lovecraft would be proved right -- we’d go insane. So the real question for Wainwright is, when he emerges from Hell, will he have even a shred of sanity left?" Lovecraft was revolutionary in the horror genre and his tales of the supernatural and the humanity that faces it are fascinating, so to learn that Salem could potentially explore that very fact next season excites me beyond words. I bet I'm not the only one pleased of the possibility of Samuel's return.


THE COUNTESS AND SEBASTIAN

It came to no surprise how much Adam Simon praised his cast. "Every actor on the show has brought new dimensions to the characters off the page." The show benefitted from several new additions this season, including the legendary Lucy Lawless and up-and-coming actor Joe Doyle. "Joe is an actor I think the world will be hearing from for a long time very proud that this will be one of his first real exposures to an American audience." His performance as Sebastian has been so captivating as we struggle to totally understand what goes on behind those eyes of his. His devotion to Mary seems to be a little self-destructing, especially as it puts a strain on his relationship with his mother. "Having Lucy Lawless join us was like a blessing -- she brings such wit and yet such gravitas and infinite skill. She's so exceptional to work with because she combines three dimensions not often found in the same actor while she's the supremely down to earth person who treats everyone around her, high and low, with great openness and equality".

It's comforting for Adam's praise to reflect the true inspiration that Lucy Lawless is after millions know her from her legendary role as Xena. She's been in the game a long time now and has been someone that absolutely everyone around her can look up to, as well as her adoring fans. "She's a gifted technical actor, by which I mean she's just filled with real craft, real skill -- whatever you say she has three great ways of doing it and is a total professional." Adam compared her to Eros, the Greek God of Love to convey the essense of her acting. "There's a third dimension here and that's I suppose what I mean by Eros, not only on account of her powerfully erotic presence but in the sense of the Greek Gods." After watching Lucy as the Countess, and even from her time as the sensational Lucretia in Spartacus, it's very easy to see where Adam is coming from with the Greek God comparison. "Great acting should be epiphanic -- literally a glimpse of the gods. She seems to bring that kind of divine element into it -- all great actors have it but crucially not all know it. A few of ours have that level of gift but they're younger and are still feeling that power like sap rising -- coming into their control of it. But Lucy knows it and makes it look easy -- knows it because she's all grown up and knows what she is -- what she has -- like Cary Grant for example, that's the twinkle in their eye that says 'ain't life grand?' To be divinely blessed and know it gives them the power to bless the rest of us." Truly epic words for an epic actress.

"I'm quite sure that some day, a long time from now, people will look back on Salem and say 'I can't believe all those actors were once in the same show!'"


THE COMING WITCH WAR

Death is ever present in Salem, and so far there have been many casualties this season already. Among them were George Sibley and Dollie. "There does seem to be something almost gratuitous about the way many shows murder their characters for shock value. That's not our way." The deaths in Salem only happens to serve the story, not to just dispose of the characters to get a gasp from the audience. It's very admirable, actually, as it means we won't get frustrated like we usually do when the show decides to, for no purposeful reason, kill a character. I'm looking at Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead as the main perpetrators. It was sad when Dollie died, but it helped Isaac return to Salem with a huge purpose. George's death helped derail Mary from having control of Salem and opened so many possibilities for her character. See? There's purpose. "There is much tragedy in this tale -- I have often thought of it as being like a Jacobean Tragedy -- so there will be death, there has been much death, but as you see in Salem the line between the living and the dead is rather permeable, as it was in those days." Don't rule out a favourite character's death just yet - it could still happen! We are now heading into a finale where literally anything can happen, so we'll either be cheering, crying or comatose by the time the end credits roll.

I had to ask if Hathorne will be one to perish in the finale. He has been wonderfully played by Jeremy Crutchley and is a mortal villain I think everyone loves to hate right now. "Hathorne is a very important character, and Jeremy Crutchley is a remarkable actor. I hate to disappoint you -- but I think in season three, Hathorne will be even more important than he has been so far." As much as I do want to see Hathorne suffer for the torment he put Mary through at the stocks and the awful words he said, I will trust that the writers know what to do with him next. He has been such a complex character and he's been so great to watch and yell at for being the thorn in our favourite characters' sides, but it's what is keeping Salem on its toes. "I think we got a glimpse in his interaction with Isaac in episode 12 that he is a smart man and politician -- our number one goal in Salem has always been to have no character who is, as Mary would say, morally ‘garbed like a puritan in black and white -- instead all is grey'." Using Mary's own words against us on why we need Hathorne. It's a low blow, but we can deal with the talented Jeremy sticking around for another season. Since he is probably on Mary's hit list, and other people's too, it's going to be one hell of a ride to see what happens between these characters once the main storyline of the initial fallout of the consecration has passed.

When talking about the show's most anticipated moments, Adam revealed what he was most anxious for fans of the show to see. "I think from the beginning we were excited about seeing Mary Sibley and the Countess facing off. Though they've already had a bit, they've got big ones still to come." I must speak for a lot of people when I say that was one of the most-anticipated moments of the show from the moment Lucy Lawless was announced to be joining the cast as a new villain. "And of course the exorcism was something we were looking forward to all season! And personally I was most excited for fans to see the spider-witch-head. You ain’t seen the last of her either..." That spider-witch-head was absolutely freaky, in fact it won the Vilest Moment award in my review of episode 12. If we see more of the spider-witch-head, which will be creepy but totally up for it, that means we will also see the Secret Essex Stronghold, I'd imagine? Unless the spider-witch-head escapes, then our trip inside that awesome tree wasn't the last.


THE FUTURE OF SALEM

The question on every Salem fans' mind is a simple one - will there be a third season? Unfortunately, there's been no official word yet, but Adam has inspired hope that Salem will indeed return in 2016. "The network and studio have been super supportive of all we’ve done. The signs are good. But I have to say, we’ve already gotten away with some of the strangest and deepest things I ever wanted to do -- so I’m happy whatever happens." Considering how much care has went into the show from the network and studio, I mean huge admiration for WGN America for their faith in the show, it would be pretty surprising if Salem didn't get renewed. Though Adam will be happy with whatever happens, I know a lot of people will be crushed and disappointed if this Sunday's finale will be the last ever episode when there's so much more to explore. We have been grateful, though, that the network and studio have been amazing in regards to the show and it does spark hope that this will not be the end. "We’ve been blessed by both Fox21 and by WGN. The entire writers' room agrees that these have been the best and most inspiring notes this season that any of us have ever had from a network or studio."

The genius minds of Adam, Brannon and the Salem writing crew aren't just looking at a third season, but many more years to come. "We have a lot more story to tell -- that’s for sure. The true Salem events are still only in their first months in our show -- the most important events haven’t even happened yet -- and they continued for nearly 2 years! And beyond that we’re excited about a whole supernatural twist on American history, even beyond the events at Salem, so fingers crossed there will be much, much more to come..." My fingers, arms, legs, toes, eyes... absolutely everything is crossed for Salem to live a long and prosperous life on WGN America. There really is so much more to Salem than just the witch trials and we can trust the writers that they will continue to impress us with every coming episode. If anything, this is just the beginning of this remarkable show and there is so much more to look forward to than we originally anticipated.

A massive thank you to Adam Simon for taking the time out of his busy schedule to participate in this exclusive interview for SpoilerTV. Salem is a fantastic television show that deserves so much recognition for the efforts of everyone behind this wonderful show from the crew to the cast. Be sure to watch the final episode of season two this Sunday on WGN America at 10pm! As Adam said, it's going to be epic!

CHECK OUT THESE RELATED ARTICLES

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With the Starry Messenger comet drawing ever closer, John Alden fights for his life while Anne Hale works to comfort and protect one whose life or death brings with it great consequences for Witch and mortal alike. Mary, palpably affected by recent events, finds herself in a wholly unfamiliar situation, leading her to try a risky gambit. When John shares shocking and unbelievable information with Cotton, it leads the younger Mather to seek out answers.

SEASON ONE CATCH-UP
Behind on Salem? Haven't yet started the show's second season? Have no fear, my ultimate catch-up guide of my complete review of season one is all you need. Read my brief thoughts on each episode of the show's intense first season, my verdict of the entire season, and what to look forward to in season two - including new character descriptions and much more!

MY 2014-15 SEASON REVIEW
Salem isn't the only show I adore, but it is my current favourite show on television. To see all the other shows I watch, read my complete 2014-15 television season review. Included are shows such as Arrow, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time, Revenge, The Flash, Outlander, Game of Thrones, Empire, The Walking Dead, Scandal, and many more.

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, The Flash, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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