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Salem - Wednesday's Child - Review: "Hardest Review to Write Following Cancellation"


3.06 - "WEDNESDAY'S CHILD"
Directed by Peter Weller
Written by Donna Thorland and Adam Simon
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

SEASON GUIDE

3.01 - "After the Fall" (November 2, 2016)
3.02 - "The Heart is a Devil" (November 9, 2016)
3.03 - "The Reckoning" (November 16, 2016)
3.04 - "Night's Black Agents" (November 30, 2016)
3.05 - "The Witch is Back" (December 7, 2016)
3.06 - "Wednesday's Child" (December 14, 2016)
3.07 - "The Man Who Was Thursday" (January 4, 2017)
3.08 - "Friday's Knights" (January 11, 2017)
3.09 - "Saturday Mourning" (January 18, 2017)
3.10 - "Black Sunday" (January 25, 2017) - Advance Preview




'WEDNESDAY'S CHILD' REVIEW

The episode to air the day after the show was officially announced as cancelled, I must admit, it was very difficult to get a review out on time due to the news. To say I'm mortified would be an understatement. It wasn't necessarily a surprise, but to see 'Salem - Cancelled by WGN America' in one sentence was hard to digest. Still is. Wednesday's episode was perhaps perfect for the occasion then considering the ticking clock the characters are facing on the show, summed up with an air of finality by the Dark Lord himself.

'Married on Wednesday, bedded on Thursday, sickened on Friday, died on Saturday, buried on Sunday.'

Each episode title from now until episode 10 takes after a day of the week, and it is perhaps fitting that the show will be buried with the title of 'Black Sunday'. I've discussed the possibility of the end coming with the readers of the reviews in the past considering how big the scope is for season 3, and we have wondered how anything could get bigger than the Devil in Salem. Apparently nothing else can, and we end in four episodes time. If this is what is best for the story, and we get the perfect series finale to wrap everything up, then I can be happy in the knowledge that this show was able to tell its story from beginning to end and that this 'cancellation' is only an ending to a complete story. The word 'cancelled' in itself is an ugly term and distills negative connotations, but Salem is heading somewhere and it's going to finish the way it's supposed to.

Going onto the actual episode then, it was a huge one for Anne. When Gloriana returned at the end of the last episode seeking her baby daddy (Cotton), we knew Anne would not take this lightly. I shipped Cotton and Gloriana in season one and was super sad when she was banished, and her return was well worth the wait. Just as we thought Anne was back to her innocent season 1 self, we see her pull off an act that is rather monstrous - transferred Gloriana's baby into her own womb. Perhaps that is why she saw that hideous creature thing through the window, that Gloriana dreamed about. Maybe Anne is that hideous creature thing, since she made Gloriana's nightmare come true and Anne was the monster that stole it. Great scene in transferring the baby and I pitied Gloriana so much for trusting Anne. I wonder how long she'll be locked in that attic for. Surely Cotton will realise Anne is further along than she's supposed to be? Regardless, Anne closed the episode with a pretty chilling delivery of: 'I have done exactly what I promised I would do. I have ensured your child a healthy, happy life. One it could never have enjoyed as the bastard child of a whore. But one that is sure to enjoy as the beloved child of Cotton Mather and his wife, Anne Hale.'

Mary's triumphant return in the last episode meant she didn't have the biggest role in this episode - instead she was a little passive in the hopes that her plan of psychological manipulation would win out. As much as I liked Sebastian, I wasn't a fan of his actions against Mary in this episode. I usually found his lovelorn puppy persona to be rather endearing, but he went a little too far by forcing Mary to have sex in John Alden's bed - with John Alden in it! That's brutal! Effective, but brutal. Has Sebastian gone down in my estimations now? Yes. I thought he was a redeeming character, but this act has tipped him off the deep end. Now he has majorly pissed off John and Mary won't be happy about it, so I expect to see another body by the series finale.

After Isaac had a downfall from the very beginning of the show, season 3 has been his best season - he is really coming out on top! After his bold move against Mercy in the last episode, I was expecting some kind of repercussion here, but instead, it turns out it was the best thing he's ever done! Now he's basically dubbed the Mayor of Knocker's Hole and he has men now. Got to say I do love this side of him. His scene with Dorcas is as cute as ever, and it makes me more anxious that something truly terrible is going to happen to her, or Isaac, in the next couple of episodes. Things don't go smoothly in Salem, so it's only a matter of time now.

Mercy's story with Hathorne has come on rather suddenly too! While it was touching that he would reject his freedom from her in the last episode, now he's proposing marriage! I'm hoping Mercy is double-crossing him, now using him only to exact revenge on her nemesis, Isaac. But at the minute, it seems rather genuine. It may also have to do with power, and Mercy loves power, so Hathorne's affections may be the only one that has come on too hasty. She didn't get to do an awful lot in this episode either, so I wonder where her story is going to take her for these next 4 episodes. She's got nothing to do with the bigger story, so how her story ends could go one of two ways.

EPISODE VERDICT

It's still hard to know we are over half-way through the final season. It's not quite real yet. Wednesday's episode was good, but perhaps one of the weaker ones of the season. Action moved relatively slowly here, even though we are building up to a huge, momentous occasion. Anne's story was the only one worthy of pace, and it was the highlight of the episode. With only 4 episodes left, I hope they're all jam-packed with action and movement so that we go full steam ahead to a finale we will never forget.


EPISODE AWARDS

Best Witch: Anne Hale.

Best Gentleman: Isaac.

Best Spell: Anne's lullaby-charm.

Best Line: Mary Sibley: 'Vulnerable I may be but I am not powerless. I am the most powerful thing there is - I'm a woman in love.'

Funniest Line: None.

Creepiest Line(s): Anne Hale: 'I have done exactly what I promised I would do. I have ensured your child a healthy, happy life. One it could never have enjoyed as the bastard child of a whore. But one that is sure to enjoy as the beloved child of Cotton Mather and his wife, Anne Hale.'

Most Bewitching Chemistry: Mary and John.

Best Moment: Gloriana realises her baby is gone.

Best Romantic Moment: Mary and John meet in the woods.

Most Sickening Moment: None.

Funniest Moment: Cotton thinks the Dark Lord is playing chess with an invisible God.

Weirdest Moment: None.


What did you guys think of the sixth episode of 'Salem'? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to watch the next new episode, airing on Wednesday, January 4th on WGN America at 9/8c.



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