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Motherland: Fort Salem - Bellweather Season - Review Roundtable: Red Wedding



This review was written by Aimee Hicks, Donna Cromeans (DJRiter), and Ellys Cartin.

Motherland: Fort Salemdelivered an emotional wedding and a bloody battle with Bellweather Season.Continue reading below to find out our thoughts on the episode. After reading, please leave your own thoughts in the comments.


The time finally came for Scylla (Amalia Holm) to deliver Raelle (Taylor Hickson) to the Spree. She went to the wedding seemingly with the intent to complete her mission as ordered. Then the rendezvous time came and despite knowing the consequences she didn’t leave with her. Instead, she fondly remembered the time they’ve spent together and professed her love. Seemingly she knew this was going to lead to bad things for her, but she still couldn’t hand Raelle over. What do you think was the final straw that broke Scylla and made her disobey the orders she was given by the Spree? Do you think she is still loyal to the Spree? Or was this act of disobedience her way of saying she was done with them? Did your opinion of her change at all when she chose Raelle over the Spree?

Aimee: I don’t think it was one big final straw but a series of things. I believe, in the end, Raelle’s love was far more powerful than any hold the Spree had over Scylla. I think each of those moments that Scylla remembered while they were dancing finally added up to an overwhelming realization that what she felt for Raelle was more than an act for a mission, but real love. The way her voice cracked when she was telling her that she loved her no matter what was very telling. That was not an act, but true raw emotion. Something that she has admitted is a foreign concept for her. She went into this mission planning to play Raelle, but ultimately got beat at her own game being blindsided by love. When it counted she chose love over darkness showing that Scylla isn’t entirely lost to the darkness. As for her loyalty, she chose Raelle knowing that by doing that she was turning her back on the Spree and there would be no coming back from that. As the balloon warned her, she basically signed her own death warrant by doing what she did. As for my opinion of Scylla, I have always liked her because I had a hunch as to what the writers were building towards. I like a good redemption arc and I have always felt that was the direction the writers were heading with her. Of course, she must survive whatever fate befell her and be given another chance, but pending those things occur I predict an even greater storyline for her. Also, by choosing Raelle over the Spree I gained a lot of respect for her. She accepted her own damnation in favor of trying to protect the woman she loves and that took a ton of courage.

Donna: I think Scylla began questioning her commitment to the Spree when Raelle gave her the odd pin/corsage. Although I think at that point it was her original plan to hand Raelle over, she began to have doubts about her loyalty to the Spree. For her, Raelle may have been the first person to make her believe that she was worthy of someone’s trust or love. Her act of defiance sealed her fate with the Spree. I won’t say my overall opinion of Scylla changed in regard to trusting her motives, but I will say it has softened and made me feel more sympathetic towards her when she chose love over duty.

Ellys: Couples that get together in episode one of a show often don’t flourish in my cold, cynical heart. I live for the slow burn, the agony of maybe they will never happen. And while Holm is always captivating, Scylla is often too hard to read. There was nothing more powerful in this episode than that moment on the dance floor where Scylla chose to not leave and just rested her head against the woman she loves and kept dancing. With only seconds, Holm spoke volumes without any words at all. Adoration. Gratitude. Resignation. We don’t know the whole story of who Scylla is or what has motivated her all this time, but in that moment, it did appear that she was making a huge sacrifice for love.


Tally (Jessica Sutton) now knows Scylla’s secret and moments before the attack she told Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) what she had seen. Then by the end of the episode, Scylla was missing. What do you think happened to Scylla? Did she take off choosing to leave Raelle behind? Was she captured by the Spree? Was she killed by the Spree? Did the Army get her? How will Scylla missing impact Raelle?

Aimee: I feel like Scylla is still alive given that Amalia Holm is the second-billed series regular, but she is likely having a pretty miserable time wherever she is. I truly don’t believe she ran off without Raelle. After their talk of running off together and leaving everything behind, I just can’t see Scylla leaving her behind. That means either the Army has her or the Spree do. Either way, she’s in for a world of hurt. She will either be imprisoned by the Army and pressed for information or tortured by the Spree for failing at her mission. No matter where she ended up things aren’t looking great for her. As for Raelle, I think losing Scylla will destroy her. Now that Scylla’s secret is known it’s only a matter of time before Raelle finds out. Her reaction to not knowing what happened to Scylla will hopefully give us some insight into how she’ll handle eventually learning the truth.

Donna: No doubt in my mind that the Army has Scylla. Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) has been suspicious of her all along and I think grabbed her and spirited her away before she could communicate with the Spree during the attack. Scylla’s disappearance will obviously upset Raelle, but the real question will be if Tally tells her the truth about her girlfriend.

Ellys: Scylla is not dead. If she were, there would be no point to the spell she drew on Raelle’s hand (what does that spell do though?!). At this point, there’s a 25% chance Scylla ran away to avoid the Spree retaliating, but I don’t think she would run off without warning Raelle. There’s also a 25% chance that Anacostia (mysteriously absent from the cleanup) spirited her off to be interrogated somewhere. Giving another 25% to another Spree agent nabbing her, but my final theory and final 25% is hedged on Scylla returning to Fort Salem in disguise as another person. Raelle is going to be worried sick.


Abigail’s (Ashley Nicole Williams) entire world was turned upside down when her cousin was murdered by the Spree at the wedding. The cocky character we’ve come to know was much more subdued at the end of the episode after having nearly been killed herself. How do you think the events of this episode will impact her moving forward? Will she be more understanding of her mom? Will she try to be a better team leader?

Aimee: I think Abigail got a bloody and violent wakeup call that shattered her world into a million pieces. What they are doing at Fort Salem is about more than prestige or honoring a legacy. They are in the middle of a war and I think everything that happened really brought that home for her. If it wasn’t for her mom bursting in to save her and fight with her then she would not have made it out alive. I think seeing how hard and ferociously her mom fought for her will definitely have a big impact on their relationship. Her mom left the frontline of the fight to find and save her. Her mom chose her over duty and I hope Abigail comes to understand the significance of that. I think we will see a more driven and understanding Abigail going forward as she tries to cope with what she went through while trying to hold her unit together.

Donna: I certainly would hope that these events would make her a less self-absorbed, self-centered character. I loved the moment when the Dean of the War College told her she could sleepwalk and still get in because of her name. That was a slap of cold water in her face. As far as understanding her mother, probably, because they appear to be cut from the same ego-centric cloth. I’m not a fan of either. Abigail got a much needed, in my opinion, dose of harsh reality that will hopefully ground her more and she’ll come to realize that she needs to act more as part of a team and not the de facto leader.

Ellys: It has become apparent that Abigail has probably lived the most sheltered life of any of the main characters. War was a career ladder for her family and not something she ever thought about entering her life so vividly and personally. The fight scene alongside her mom was the best action scene on the show so far. Nearly losing her life in such a violent fashion, in her own home no less, will undoubtedly mean that Abigail has an uphill recovery ahead of her. I expect one of the other girls will step up into the leadership position, but Abigail now has a very personal need to see the Spree brought to justice.


Tally’s world was turned upside down in this episode. First, she discovered that the man she had fallen in love with was promised to another woman. Then she discovered the secret about Scylla. And then, just to top off her bad day, she was caught in the middle of a vicious Spree attack. What will happen next with her? Will she fight for Gerit (Kai Bradbury)? Will she tell Raelle the truth about Scylla? Can she ever go back to the innocent character she was prior to this episode?

Aimee: I think we might have witnessed the end of innocent Tally. Her entire world was turned upside down in a single day. She was not only devastated by the news that another woman had secured Gerit, but she had to watch him with her. Then she discovered Scylla’s secret and had to weigh duty to country over loyalty to Raelle. Later she was caught right in the middle of a deadly Spree attack. At the end of the episode, there was a heavy weight clearly bearing down on Tally. I think she’ll fight for Gerit. They have such a strong bond she’ll try to find some way to not have to wait 5-years for him. As for her telling Raelle the Scylla secret, that’s harder to predict. I think she’ll want to, but won’t be able to. That’ll mean conflict when the truth eventually comes out and Raelle finds out that Tally knew and didn’t tell her. No matter how things play out I predict a lot of drama in Tally’s future that will severely hamper her normally chipper and upbeat personality. She is in for some hard days as she tries to manage the secret.

Donna: Of all the characters Tally is the one who has shown me the most growth. She proved herself a worthy soldier when she took her discovery about Scylla directly to her superior because she knew it was something she’d not yet been trained to handle alone. She’ll likely be inclined to fight for Gerit which will come to a tragic end. I’d like to see her learn from the experience and move on ridding herself of some of her naiveté. She may intentionally not tell Raelle about Scylla to spare her friend from similar heartbreak, but also because she may not trust that Scylla hasn’t converted her roommate to the Spree cause. She may blurt out the truth in a heated moment. That type of moment seems inevitable when the girls return to the Academy and decompress about what happened. The events of the day left them all with raw emotions and on edge that lead to an explosion of feelings and things will be said in the heat of the moment.

Ellys: I adore Tally. (Shocking I know!) In the wake of the tragedy, she was just looking out for other people, calmly guiding them to the fixers, but also immediately wraps her arms around her witches as soon as they are all together again. She had nearly as rough an episode as Abigail did. I also find it interesting that Tally went to Anacostia immediately. There was no hesitation in talking to Anacostia before Raelle. She didn’t even seem to consider telling Raelle first, which to me just indicated that Tally’s loyalties are with the Army first before her friendships. She is a good soldier after all. Afterward, considering everything that happened, I can imagine Tally keeping the secret for an episode or two.


This episode gave great insight into how relationships work on this show, at least within the realm of the witch establishment. What are your thoughts on how they treat relationships? Do you think the Spree have a different take on relationships?

Aimee: This show continues to impress me with the way they handle the flip of gender norms. It is a fun and refreshing change to see the women have all the control and the men being the ones to be held back while the women excel. Neither is right, whether it is men suppressing women or the flip, but this viewpoint is seen so rarely in TV and movies that it is really interesting to watch this sort of representation. In regards to the Spree, I feel like their idea of relationships is a bit more like how it is in reality, but I have a feeling even their society is matriarchal, so they may have their own customs. I just really want to know more about the Spree. I get that the show needed to make them this scary shadowy organization to sell the war, but it is time to start pulling back some of the layers and revealing more about the organization.

Donna: I found it interesting that marriages only last five years and probably only as long as it takes to produce offspring to continue the matriarchal bloodline. In essence, men here are treated as the breeders in a sort of twisted take on Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t think we’ve learned enough about the inner workings of the Spree to speculate on their views and motives.

Ellys: Motherland loves to dole out bits of witch culture, but at times this can be distracting from the show’s central premise. There is no indication that it matters to our characters that witches (at least wealthy ones) enter five-year marital contracts that are mainly for the purpose of creating offspring. One wonders if handfasting is required of all witches or expected of them and what this means for witches who aren’t attracted to male partners and don’t want to have children. But again, it doesn’t seem likely these details are important to the larger story or individual character development. Either the show is bungling the delivery of these concepts or they are just fluff to pad the runtime.


Reader Question: Submitted by TheMaskedTweeter: I think we all know this show is heading toward a great battle with the Spree, when that happens how do you think Raelle, Abigail and Tally will respond? Will they finally come together and fight as one?

Aimee: We spent five episodes watching the unit slowly grow. We got to see them act like silly college students at times. We got to see them fall in love and slowly become friends. I think when it counts the three of them will step up and fight together. They have proven time and time again that when they actually work together they are extremely strong. They each bring something to the unit and while each are strong individually, they are a true (and literal) force of nature when they unite. With that said, given Tally’s secret, I see some rough days ahead for the unity, but when it counts and when they are needed the most they will step up and unleash all their glorious fury.

Donna: Great question, one I think a lot of people have been wondering about. In my opinion, right now I think our three will respond as a slightly disorganized team with one true leader and one pretender to the throne. I think, however, in the heat of battle, a real leader will emerge and it won’t be Abigail. I think too we may find that during battle Raelle may be forced to use her Fixer powers to save one of her teammates.

Ellys: If you had asked me this question after episode 1, I would have said that this was all heading for a big battle. That is not the case, in my opinion. The Spree don’t fight battles. I do believe that Raelle, Abigail, and Tally (the RAT pack) will be sent off on a mission of some kind that will definitely put them all to the test. Right now they are united, and the laws of TV dictate that something must come among them and destroy that harmony.


Which performer do you think delivered the most memorable performance in the episode? Why did their performance standout for you? What were their best scenes?

Aimee: I must go with Amalia Holm. She did a beautiful job showing the overwhelming love growing inside Scylla. During the dance, she beautifully sold the moment when the final ounce of conflict within her character faded away. All of her resolve was gone and, in that moment, Scylla leaned into love. Holm did an amazing job showing the battle that raged in her from the start of the dance to the moment that she professed her love and chose Raelle over the Spree. I also adored the scene in the woods. Holm has such a pure chemistry with Hickson and that was really highlighted in there. I also find it really cute that Holm, who is several inches shorter than Hickson, was the one to pickup her co-star and twirl her around as Scylla got caught up in the fantasy of the moment they were in. (Side note: after the episode aired the actresses confessed that the twirl was an ad-libbed moment by Holm that the producers kept in the scene which made it all that more endearing of a moment). This was a really good episode for Holm, and she was brilliant in every scene. She continues to impress me every episode with her range and ability to create a character you want to root for despite her ambiguous nature.

Donna: Again, I’m probably going to go against the predictable and choose Jessica Sutton’s, Tally. She ran a gamut of emotions in this episode. From giddy excitement at discovering Gerit was at the wedding, to gut-wrenching heartbreak and then upon discovering Scylla’s secret, she put her personal feelings aside and became the soldier she was being trained to be. Watching Sutton take her character through this roller-coaster of feelings and reactions this week had my undivided attention.

Ellys: This was Ashley Nicole Williams’s episode hands down. The standout scene was when Abigail realized that who she was didn’t matter to the Dean of War College and that only her family name mattered. Abigail hasn’t been a character I have connected with before, because there is often this sense with her that she’s going through the motions to conform but has no original ambition of her own. This episode completely shifted my perspective of her. The immediate pain, the vacuum that you could see open up, on her face, the disappointment at not being seen as an individual, it was the first time that Williams has been able to show us Abigail’s heart.


What are your final thoughts regarding this episode?

Aimee: This might be my favorite episode yet. It had a bit of everything. We got to see High Atlantic society in all its glory. We got to better understand how marriages work within the confines of the elite establishment. They also showed our first up close and personal look into war with the Spree. We’ve seen it from afar in dark cryptic scenes, but that was the first actual fight we’ve seen up close and personal. And, of course, my favorite part, we got to see Scylla finally pick Raelle. This episode also served as a major catalyst for every single character. I don’t see any of the series regular characters being the same after this, especially the three that form the main unit. This was the mid-point of the season and they really went all in and didn’t hold back at all. I am now even more excited to see what comes next. And I really hope they don’t drag out revealing Scylla’s fate to long. All around it was a very well written episode with exceptional performances. I stand by my belief that this is one of the most ambitious shows Freeform has ever attempted and they are nailing it from every direction.

Donna: This was certainly an intense episode and gave us several more interesting threads that hopefully will be pulled together by season’s end. Is Abigail’s mother secretly organizing a coup against Alder? Will her cousins’ death and fight for her life alongside her mother change Abigail’s attitude? Will losing Scylla, although I suspect it’s only temporary bring Raelle closer to her teammates? And clearly, Abigail’s mother lied to Raelle about her mother, will we learn the truth of what really happened? Obviously, the Spree have an agenda about Raelle, is it because their leader is her supposed dead mother and wants her daughter by her side, or is it something more nefarious? I will also say that like last week’s episode pushing the network standards, this week came close to being a bit too heavy-handed with its graphic and bloody violence.

Ellys: My brain is stuffed with questions. Why did the Spree send an army of balloons when just one balloon has done the trick before? Was it a distraction? If so, what for? Scylla’s abduction of Raelle or the murder? And if the murder, surely there was an easier time and place then at a wedding full of top witches? Did they take their victim’s voice box? If so, why? And what did they do with it since they blew themselves up? Why and how does Abigail have multiple fathers and why didn’t we meet any of them? How does one get out of a marital contract? Asking for a friend who is definitely Tally. Why blue balloons? Wasn’t it unusual for there to be three Spree agents all in one place? Why did the bride put on a wedding dress after everything was over? If Scylla was going to crash the wedding, why the spell on Raelle’s hand? Didn’t Raelle’s mom die on a beach? Will Bellweather and Cleary lead a coup against Alder? Why did the Spree need to abduct Raelle from this wedding? Are the Spree afraid of Alder? What does Anacostia know? How long has Scylla been at Fort Salem? All the questions!


Each week we will select one question from all of you to include in our roundtable. Please submit your questions in the comments section below.


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