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Salem - Midnight Never Come - Review: "Now THIS Was the Best Episode Yet!"


2.12 - "MIDNIGHT NEVER COME"
Directed by Alex Zakrzewski
Written by Donna Thorland and Adam Simon
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington


THE CHARACTERS





SEASON GUIDE

Click on a title to be taken to the review for that episode. Need a catch-up of season one before starting season two? Be sure to read the ultimate catch-up review of season one.



'MIDNIGHT NEVER COME' REVIEW

"How does it feel to lose everything you've ever had?" 

Was this not just a truly spectacular hour of television? What a thrilling episode to have as the penultimate episode of the season. Just wow. Yet again, there is so much to talk about so I am jumping straight into it. I'll start with Mercy. She's been pretty absent lately, but apparently she's making a name for herself in the town too. I'm glad her kidnapping of children is being noticed in Salem and I would have loved to have seen more of that. I loved her scene with Mary too as she sort of taunts Mary about her failings. "It seems all my sins have returned to me." This season has delved into themes of choices and consequences, and Mary is feeling that in full force as we have seen her falling down to Earth every episode. What I also appreciated too was Mary's questioning of Mercy's morals too. Mercy started the season with the idea of protecting the weak but has so far derailed due to Mary's burning. I missed the interactions between Mercy and Mary actually as they are both complex characters that have a deeper connection due to Mary turning Mercy into a witch. The scene with Mercy and Sebastian also makes me think that Mercy may go back to Mary to help her as it appears Mercy's wishful thinking is just that. Sebastian really puts her in her place. I did feel a little sorry for Mercy to be honest as she's so naive and Sebastian was really mean, especially when he said nobody wanted her. But Sebastian also said something interesting, about how the Countess has a daughter, which leads us to...

"I already killed one mother. Who's to say I won't kill another one?"

Anne Hale. You really surprised me in this episode Anne Hale. I did love it though as it further cements the idea of her unpredictability as she develops her craft. She was totally the one to watch out for in this episode, and in all fairness to Anne, she really didn't do anything with malice. I was first taken back by her when Little John was crying for his mother and Anne shouted at him to shut up. That was a very intense moment and I was unsure of what was going to transpire between the two. It was nice of Anne to keep Little John protected in her attic, even refusing to give him up to the Countess at first. I honestly didn't expect the Countess to be Anne's mother, but it does make sense. They're both gorgeous flame-haired beauties and we all knew the Countess knew Magistrate Hale in the past. It also explains why Anne is so powerful as I always thought she was way more powerful than her father, and her mother was mortal so where did it come from? Now we know and it was a really neat twist. I loved that she already knew and she really didn't care very much about it, even threatening to kill her. Loved the scenes between the Countess and Anne. "This changes nothing." Anne protecting Cotton through it all though was sweet, and I can understand why Anne did what she did in the end (I'll be getting to that amazing consecration scene very soon). I could see that Anne was trying to remain good and pure, her ideals of a fair world at stake and the Countess played her like a fiddle. The Countess said she loves games, well I think Anne unknowingly played her game.

"These are trivialities compared to being orphaned, enslaved,
sent across the ocean from hand to sweaty hand."

The scene with Anne and the Countess visiting Tituba was also a great scene. I started to feel like I was siding with the Countess here and seeing Mary as a bad person, just like she was trying to make Anne see that. The Countess is so beautifully written, it seems effortless and it translates to the audience. I'm sure I wasn't the only one agreeing that Tituba has had a harder life than Mary will ever know and that her past drama pales in comparison with Tituba's. I didn't actually blame Tituba for siding with the Countess in the end, she spoke directly to her soul. I love that the Countess has kissed every single female witch on the show and I loved when she kissed Tituba and Anne was looking at them with a weird but curious expression. And another shout-out to the writers, the part with the Countess talking about Genesis - "What kind of a God plants a tree bearing the fruit of true knowledge, only to forbid his creation to partake?" - is a question I have been pondering very recently actually as I have been studying transformations on a module at University. As soon as she said that, I preached. This was a very female-empowering episode actually.

"Could you do me a favour? Be careful."

Onto the men of the hour. Sebastian stole the show with his hilarious line I mentioned previously, and I was very happy that John survived his ordeal after the cliffhanger of episode 11. We saw in the promo for this episode that John tells Cotton about Anne being a witch. I was anticipating his reaction and it was just what I thought it would be. Denial. He sees the good in Anne and wants desperately for everything to be perfect and pure. It wasn't a nice way to find out your wife is a witch but better to hear it from his bestie than someone else I suppose. I'm glad he knows the truth though as he was confident his wife was not a witch, and I loved that he wanted to give her a chance to respond. It's went from Poor Isaac to Poor Cotton now I think. Watching his wife twist the head off a bird then squirt its blood all over the wall must have ripped his heart out. Being stuck in the attic isn't good but at least now he isn't in the dark and he'll learn so much from the book of shadows. I can't wait for the confrontation in the next episode as we see a glimpse of it in the promo. And Isaac. He is definitely not Poor Isaac anymore. I am so happy for him and it's the first time I've appreciated Hathorne on the show. I still want him dead for what he said to Mary in the episode before but what he did for Isaac in this episode was lovely! I was so touched when the woman gave Isaac the bread. Goodbye Isaac the Fornicator, hello Isaac the Truth-Teller.

"Fail me... and we are all doomed."

My love for Mary's scenes knows no bounds. I love when more mythology is explored and the part of Mary going to the Essex Tree was off-the-wall amazing. The Hag's face on the spider was so creepy and weird and awesome. The whole tree thing was awesome, I mean what a beautiful set piece! It opened Salem up to a whole bigger world and meeting the old ones in the tree helped scale how big this witch war is. They seem to be on Mary's side though it was dangerous for Mary to enter that place. They all looked different and authentic and they really creeped me out. The whole scene creeped me out. Mary was so brave for doing that and threatening to abandon her oath. The thing that took me by most surprise though was that Mary was sojourning while she visited that place and then John. At least, I think she was while she was in the Essex tree. I doubt she'd run home to sojourn to John, so that explains why Mary was so daring when she entered. It was still brave of Mary though as she could still suffer the consequences. Loved knowing more about Mary being the Samhain Witch too.

"You were not born for this. You were born to be loved. And I do love you."

The last 7 minutes of the episode was non-stop excitement. It was the moment we've been anticipating since the Countess stepped foot in Salem. The moment we've been anticipating since we realised Little John is the sacrifice needed for the consecration to happen. And what a scene! It really didn't disappoint. I expected Anne to bring Little John though Mary was surprised. I wonder if that's going to make Mary get her vengeance on her in the future. And Tituba too, they were all there like a much-needed reunion. The Countess was just deliciously perfect in her role here and my mouth dropped to the floor when she said any avowal of complete and total love was needed at the moment of sacrifice. The Countess tricked Mary and it was so devastating yet beautiful to watch. I wondered why John didn't shoot sooner, but it looked like he and Mary knew there was nothing they could have done to stop the consecration so they would have made the ultimate sacrifice in killing their son who was then completely taken over by the devil. That moment between Mary and Little John though brought me to tears. Mary's words were so affecting, and I think even Anne and Tituba were touched by it. I hope they both help Mary in the finale after realising what they did was wrong. Even Sebastian is on the verge of fighting back due to his mother slapping him. But my God, the final moment with Little John growling and staring at his mother was so scary.

"My Lord. Oh, My Lord."

EPISODE VERDICT

I sound like a broken record at this point but "Midnight Never Come" is literally the best episode of Salem yet. I've said that about so many of the episodes to date in season two, but this one blows them all out the crags. We have been building up to the consecration all season long and we've been rooting for Mary and John to save their son. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Mary as she completely failed in her mission to stop the consecration - and I love it! As much as I wanted Mary to be happy and whatnot, I knew that stopping the consecration would mean stopping the most exciting thing that could possibly happen to Salem. Why would I want that? Now the finale is going to be all sorts of epic and this episode could not have been more awesome. Just wow, I am so impressed. Shocked at times but completely enthralled. I want the finale so bad, but I don't want this heart-attack-inducing season to be over.


EPISODE AWARDS

Winner of Best Witch:
Mary
Best Witch: Mary. 2 episodes in a row but to be fair, all the other witches were very naughty in this episode.

Naughtiest Witch: Anne Hale. She took Little John to the consecration as she was manipulated by the Countess. Got some making up to do.

Best Gentleman: Little John. The poor buggar went through Hell and delivered in every regard.

Best Spell: "The Essex tree is deep and wide, but unseen as any breath. I'll pay the price to come inside, though it may mean my very death."

Best Line(s): "Yes, if I liked waking up to a dog nuzzling my bollocks." - Sebastian Marburg. What a line, I laughed for a solid minute. Delivery = on point.

Most Bewitching Chemistry: Mary and Little John. The scene at the crags with Mary telling Little John of her love for him was truly poignant.

Best Moment: The entire consecration scene, from the moment the Countess leads them in the woods to Little John hugging the Countess while staring at his mother.

Most Romantic Moment: Mary and John. "You must stay in this world a little longer."

Creepiest Moment: Little John staring at his mother at the end of the episode. He looked so scary.

Vilest Moment: Seeing the hag's head on the spider body. Was totally weirded out by it.

Sweetest Moment: Same as what I said for the Most Bewitching Chemistry. Honest to God tears in my eyes.

What did you think of 'Midnight Never Come'? Let me know your thoughts on the episode in the comments and be sure to watch the season two finale on June 28 on WGN America at 10PM!



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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