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Salem - Saturday Mourning - Review: "Red Wire or Blue Wire?" + Poll


3.09 - "SATURDAY MOURNING"
Directed by Jennifer Lynch
Written by Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson
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




'SATURDAY MOURNING' REVIEW

Oh how the tables have turned on Mary Sibley. It's happened so quickly, too, it appears as if nobody is actually on Mary's side except Cotton, who is trapped, and John, who is also trapped. Poor Mary is on her own! I enjoyed this penultimate episode immensely, the gravitas of the entire hour was hugely felt. The urgency that has lacked in certain episodes prior was cranked right up to maximum level right before the finale. I mean, I don't even know how I'm going to cope or what to expect from the next, final episode. I'm terrified. And sad, Oh, so sad.

I don't even know where to begin with this episode, seriously. I may get Mercy out of the way first actually, as it interlinked with some important parts including Gloriana and Cotton, and Isaac and Dorcas. What was so bizarre in the last episode with Mercy marrying Hathorne in the brothel only furthered the real reason Mercy is still around - to f*ck up the lives of those around her. I knew her game when she pointed Cotton in the direction of Gloriana, which, to be fair, was both a good and bad thing. Good, because I find Gloriana and Cotton so sweet and true to one another, it broke my heart when she just didn't know who he was anymore. BUT. One thing I do not approve of, no matter what Anne has done to him, he's a married man. He was in a good place with his wife. And just like that, he started to kiss a woman from his past. And in his mind, Anne has a baby with him. How quick he was willing to cheat on his pregnant wife is not something I was particularly impressed with, despite him being one of the 'good guys'. What is good anymore? His morals are so twisted. Yes, Anne has done awful things to him, but at that moment in time, he knew he had a pregnant wife and there was someone he loved from his past. His first instinct was to try and have sex with her. Not a good move for a good guy.

I'm not going to forgive Anne for what she's done, especially abducting a baby from the womb of Gloriana and for deceiving Cotton, but damn I couldn't stop myself from loving the confrontation between Anne and Cotton. I mean, I miss the pure and innocent Anne of season 1, and it's been frustrating to see her dabble in dark magic yet still try to cling onto what she perceived as right - now she's turned into a full-blown kick-ass bad witch. And I do love it. No more trying to convince herself she's doing the right thing. The confrontation worked in so many different ways. It allowed Anne to call out Cotton's hypocrisy of lying, and his own past of murdering innocents that I'm sure a lot of us have forgotten or overlooked at this point. The whiplash reaction of Anne turning from friend to fiend was very sudden, but a long time coming. I wouldn't take too kindly to being called a 'lying, vile, evil bitch.' Her pent-up rage was delicious to watch, and finally I found myself rooting for her to stop pretending to be someone she's not anymore and just embrace her true nature. Very surprised to see she would kill him so quickly too, maybe she wouldn't have even if Sebastian did stop her? Who knows?

Another flip to the dark side is Sebastian, who is also scorned by the rejection of someone he thought he loved. Very familiar in relation to Anne, his actual relation. It's easy to forget sometimes that Anne and Sebastian are related and they share a mother in the Countess. At first, I was getting a little tired at the beginning of the episode of the repeated "give me more of Mary's blood" and that was it, since it's all she's done this entire season is more, more, more. But now she's really working in getting her children to co-operate and she's done a fantastic job at manipulating them from her grave. I can't be the only one a little weirded out when she got them to kiss in front of her and she seems to get some pleasure from it. It's weird. She's encouraging the incest between her children. I mean, Salem has done some crazy things in the past, this is just another bonus piece of crazy. And weirdly, I love it.

Briefly going back to Mercy then and her scenes with Isaac, I was extremely touched by what Dorcas said to Isaac when Mercy lets her out of the cage. I think you would have to be sub-human to not have some kind of feeling during that scene. I mean, when she said "my heart will break if you die" - I felt like I'd been shot with a bullet of cuteness. Sweetest thing ever. I bet even Mercy and Hathorne felt it in the feels too, the way they looked at each other confirms it affected them somewhat. It was pretty stupid of Mercy to ask Isaac "did you do this?" when the mob led by Dorcas comes. Obviously, Mercy, Dorcas wouldn't just let you kill someone she loved and got the men to come save him. I'm with the crowd on this one, #FreeIsaac. If she had of just shown her compassion after Dorcas touched the world's heart, she wouldn't have this dilemma right now.

We now come to a point in the story where Marilyn Manson's use was to store the red mercury in the Devil's clock and hide it in plain sight in his barber's shop. I mean, it can be the most random of places to hide it if you weren't Marilyn Manson, I'm sure, but John discovering it was very handy indeed. John has always been pretty good at reading people (not counting the girl dressed as a boy, or Sebastian, or Mary, or Tituba, or...) but he was spot on with Thomas. Never seen him drunk nor nervous before, and it's a good job he observed this about him or he could have been his next victim. And what will Sebastian do with him now? I like that John was trying to disable the clock like a bomb, since it literally is a bomb, and for a moment, I thought it worked. Then it ticked again and that was when John knew he had failed. It would have been much less fun if he had of succeeded.

Finally, I can talk about the main bite of the episode - Tituba, her betrayal, and the final moments of this episode. It's what this entire season has been leading up to, Black Sunday, and it's literally upon us. Intense is not the word where it comes to the Mary and Tituba confrontation, as well as the Mary and Sebastian confrontation, and the Anne and Mary confrontation - a lot of confrontations in this episode. With Tituba, I've always wanted her to be on the same side as Mary. We get the idea that Tituba is bitter towards the imperialists and Puritans who ravished her home and destroyed her family, something Mary is sympathetic with. Is it just me, or is there still a part of me that thinks maybe Tituba could still be on Mary's side? It's just the way they parted, it had me a little suspicious. I wasn't a big fan of seeing a cat, any cat, be killed, so that wasn't very pleasant Mary! But it means Tituba is blind again, going into the final episode, she won't be able to see the havoc she's helped create.

But before the episode even ends, Mary, poor Mary who only wanted to protect the door from being opened, had to contend with a woman scorned. And Mary knows this all too well, remember, when she said at the beginning of the season that there's no force quite like it? Well Anne made her complete transformation by opening the door and allowing Hell to be welcome on Earth. Perfect timing for the Devil child to come back to life too. But the dialogue between Mary and Anne was so raw and passionate and dangerous, it really helped to elevate the episode even further in its final moments. Here we have two strong women, one from evil to good, and the other good to evil, with morals completely discoloured and confused. Never have I ever been so fearful of Anne before and what it is she's allowed to happen. It's safe to say that, even though the next episode is the last one ever, there is no coming back from this for her. Nothing will save hers, or even Salem's, soul now.

EPISODE VERDICT

I can't believe we are here, one episode before the finale, and we are just starting the end of the world that we have been building up to since, really, the very first episode of season one. I feel extremely satisfied, mortified and generally in love with this episode. The writers kicked everything up a notch and characters made very brutal choices that will change everything coming into this highly-anticipated finale next week. I don't even think I'm ready.


EPISODE AWARDS

Best Witch: Mary Sibley - only one we can trust.

Best Gentleman: John Alden - his reading of people worked in his favour with the barber, though not so much with Sebastian.

Best Spell: 'By the work of my fingers, the work of my bone, Come Samael, hurry home. Heed my calling, let you hear my voice, then the door will be opened, leave it no choice.'

Best Line: Dorcas: 'My heart will break if you die.'

Funniest Line: Mercy: 'It doesn't matter where you gain your appetite, as long as you dine at home.'

Creepiest Line(s): Devil: 'I'm home, and not a moment too soon, because in mere minutes, it will be sunday.'

Most Bewitching Chemistry: Anne and Sebastian.

Best Moment: Mary's confrontation with Tituba, leading to the opening of the door.
Runner-up: Anne's confrontation with Cotton.

Best Romantic Moment: Isaac and Dorcas, saving one another.

Most Sickening Moment: Mary killing the cat.

Creepiest Moment: Anne and Sebastian with the Countess.
Runner-up: The Devil returns.



What did you guys think of the penultimate episode of 'Salem'? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to watch the next episode, the FINAL NEW EPISODE, airing on Wednesday, January 25th on WGN America at 9/8c.



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