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Motherland: Fort Salem - My 3 Dads - Review: Break Interrupted + POLL



SPOILERS FOLLOW! DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE FULL EPISODE!



If Motherland: Fort Salem was looking to inflict seismic change on the narrative of the series then this episode certainly accomplished that in spades. It was a slower-paced episode, but that had no impact on the brilliance of it. In fact, making the pace more laid back allowed the big moments to hit all the harder. From big reveals to cataclysmic attacks and everything in-between, this episode laid the groundwork for some intense episodes to follow. The main plot point of this episode was the group being split apart for break, and as the saying goes, united we stand, divided we fall, and that certainly came into play. Splitting apart for break would end up leaving them all vulnerable in one way or another.

For Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), she made the choice to bring Adil (Tony Giroux) home with her which would prove to not be quite as laid back of an occasion as she had hoped. The plan was for Adil to come with her so they could go pay their respects to Charvel’s (Bernadette Beck) grave and get a sample of her blood. Instead, her three fathers, Anton (Daniel Bacon), Claude (Kwesi Ameyaw), and Fermin (Anthony Santiago), in cohorts with Petra (Catherine Lough Haggquist) planned to bring all of Abigail’s suitors to their Annapolis home so she could finally choose one. That included Gregorio (Praneet Akilla) who currently seems like the top choice from Petra’s perspective. It was very interesting to get to see the inner workings of a High Atlantic family from the perspective of a relative outsider in Adil. He was in many ways the voice of the audience when he was replying to Abigail’s suitors regarding their customs and his for courting. This whole exercise did prove one thing, of all those men present, the only one who is truly capable of standing side-by-side with Abigail as a partner and a confidant is Adil. He may not have thought of partnering with Abigail, but that is exactly what makes him worthy of her. He doesn’t see her as an object he has to win a chance with, he sees her as a woman he cares about as a person regardless of her bloodline or womb. The Abigail and Adil relationship has a long way to go, but the groundwork for this romance to last continues to be laid each episode.


Williams has been a standout this season, doing brilliant work showcasing this powerful storyline the writers have given Abigail. After half a season of the writers tearing Abigail down it was amazing to see the snarky fierce Abigail rise out of the ashes like a regal Phoenix and go toe-to-toe with her own mom in the name of standing up for what she believes in. While that was a great scene, the apex of it was Minerva (Liza Huget) putting her daughter and granddaughter in their places. She told Petra to back off and told Abigail to set sail to greatness. It is easy to see why Minerva is so revered, but it is also clear that her relationship with her daughter is tense. Minerva is still the matriarch of the Bellweather family, and clearly sees Abigail as the future of the family after she is gone. While it was remarkable to see Abigail get that sort of support, it was also hard to see Petra belittled. Petra may not have the greatest backbone when it comes to Alder (Lyne Ren√©e), but she has made strategic moves, like deploying Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) on her mission with Scylla (Amalia Holm). It seems like Charvel’s death left a great lasting impression on even such a powerful matriarch like Minerva. However, it is curious why Minerva, who is of the old school way of doing things, would want Abigail to put her ambitions and drive for revenge over procreation. Going forward it will be interesting to see how Minerva’s intervention in this moment impacts this mother-daughter dynamic between Petra and Abigail. Will Abigail feel more emboldened now with Minerva’s blessing? Will Petra strive to be more than an underling of Alder’s? It will be fascinating to see what the fallout is of this big family-defining moment.

The bigger story of this episode is the attack on Alder. As has been theorized from her first mention, Nicte (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart) is indeed the founder of the Spree. Perhaps most interesting, however, is that in a weird and twisted way, Alder herself gave birth to the Spree. It was Alder who ordered Nicte to use that suicide working against the Liberian witches. By using Nicte’s off-canon working against their fellow witches, Alder ignited something deep-seated and malignant inside Nicte. This has now created a battle of the titans where witches and humans alike are all collateral damage. In the end, neither Nicte nor Alder will be in the right. They are each likely the hero of their own story, but by trying to one-up each other they have each become the villain in the eyes of others.


Nicte and Alder went from one-time friends back in 1994 during the Liberia mission to mortal enemies by the time this series takes place, presumably in modern time. According to the timeline this episode divulged, the Spree have only been around since 1997 after the Liberia mission inspired Nicte to try to liberate witches, so who was the enemy back in ’94? Who was attacking them in the jungle? The Camarilla had supposedly not been a threat for a very long time, more than just two decades, so is it likely wasn’t them. Were the attackers rogue witches trying to protect the rogue Liberian witches? Did Nicte join them after going AWOL and from there she birthed the Spree? If that is the case, then a rebellion was already in the works, just not yet organized. Alder likely knew that and it’s why she came down so harshly on the Liberian witches. Instead of squashing a rebellion, she led to the birth of it.

While Alder has done a lot of bad things in her time, not even she deserved the horrible attack Nicte launched. Jonas (Albert Nicholas) barely hesitated to sacrifice himself for Nicte to take Alder down. What comes next? Nicte and Alder are both clearly too focused on each other to see the whole bigger picture with the Camarilla. Instead of trying to kill Alder, Nicte should have been calling a cease-fire until they could deal with the Camarilla. Now, instead of a truce, they are now on the verge of a full-on war with each other. Witch versus witch.


The events of the end of the episode did leave a bit of a void. With Alder critically injured and even the Biddies down and out, who will be leading the Army? How long will it take Alder to recover from the attack? Will she ever fully recover? With only Izadora (Emilie Leclerc) and Anacostia at her side now, and neither of them having any real authority, it is within reason to presume that Petra will be called back to take some position of command. After Minerva’s little speech to Petra about having promised her that she would answer to no one, then doing exactly that by working under Alder, it is safe to theorize that if Petra ends up in command, even temporarily, she’ll make it quite hard for Alder to resume her position at the top. This could be the beginning of a complex power struggle that up until this point, Alder has been able to hold off, even if just barely. At this rate, all the Camarilla really need to do is sit back and let the witches destroy themselves. Hopefully, someone with a little less vengeance in their heart will rise to the occasion and knock some sense into both sides and get them united while there are any witches left to unite.

Could that person be Willa (Diana Pavlovsk√°)? We saw the lengths she was willing to go to escape Alder’s way of doing things. We have also seen her commission her own anti-Camarilla mission against the prerogative of Nicte’s mission for the Spree. She seems to be able to walk the moral line that rests directly between the Army and the Spree. She also clearly has a soft spot in her heart for regular civilian humans as is evident by the fact she fell in love with and married Edwin (Hrothgar Mathews). Of all the characters in a position of power, Willa seems the most poised to have an impact on a necessary truce to combat the Camarilla. First, and most important, however, is the fact that she needs to reveal herself not just to the Army, but to her own daughter and husband as well. That will be no easy task as the hurt they will both feel by her abandonment will be massive. Though Edwin seems to be a bit of a saint, so it’s easy to imagine him finding it in his heart to understand why she did what she did and to accept her back into his open arms. Edwin will likely have a bigger role to play moving forward and that’s a good thing because his calming presence is likely what is going to be needed when mother and daughter are eventually reunited.


This episode also showcased that Willa’s caring and compassionate maternal side is still fully intact as she tried to comfort Tiffany (Ava Marchfelder), who is now orphaned thanks to Shane (Juan Riedinger), and under Spree care after Scylla broke ranks with Anacostia. It was sad to see the Scylla and Anacostia partnership end for now. Holm and McKinney have this amazing dynamic when they work together, but each performer is called to other storylines for the moment. It is reasonable to theorize that this is not the forever end of this partnership. Anacostia was right, Scylla has changed. She is far more like Willa now than Nicte, but she still has a gnawing need to inflict death as punishment for things she deems a crime. Granted, nobody can truly fault her for what she did to Shane. She, perhaps, should have allowed justice to be served through proper channels, but she also likely knew no human justice system was going to truly punish him. However, after he brutally murdered Tiffany’s parents, some justice may have been had. It’s a moot point, however, since Scylla took care of him. But even that murder, she did for seemingly good reasons. She has had multiple chances in crowds to take down scores of humans but hasn’t, illustrating Raelle’s (Taylor Hickson) powerful positive influence over her. Some of it, also, is Willa’s influence. This season has seen Scylla taking her cues from Willa and those cues have been far more save the witches than kill the civilians. That doesn’t undo what Scylla has done in the past, but it does show that she is on a different path as Anacostia noted. This Scylla is not the same person from the first episode of the series. The question is, will Raelle be able to see the changes in her?

Before that question can be answered, they need to find and rescue kidnapped Raelle. This episode saw Raelle return to the Cession with Tally (Jessica Sutton) to visit with her dad, giving us more of the great Sutton and Hickson dynamic. Getting to see Tally and Raelle have some alone best friend time was nice ahead of all the impending drama. It was also discovered that the Army sent a witch detail to look after Raelle while she was off base. While she and Tally were in the Cession they got to catch up with Quinn (Sandra Ferens) who is Willa’s best friend. When Raelle told Quinn that her mom didn’t come to her during Samhain, Quinn revealed that any spirit summoned on Samhain from the fort is obligated to come. She looked very suspicious that Willa didn’t show and since she seems like a very smart lady it’s likely she’s starting to put the pieces together. That may come in handy as all will need to unite for Raelle. The biggest question of all is, who kidnapped Raelle?


In the process of trying to find out what the Camarilla are doing with the young witches they have been holding in custody at the veterinarian's office, Scylla and Willa discovered that the Camarilla are fully aware of Raelle, and she is their prime target. The question is how the timeline of the episode plays out. Did Scylla and Willa find that while the kidnapping was occurring or is there a time gap? That is important to wonder about because the kidnappers were either Spree or Camarilla. The argument for the Spree is the fact that they only used darts against their targets. If they were Camarilla the odds of them leaving Tally and the other witches alive and with their voice boxes intact are slim. On the other hand, it could have been the Camarilla and Raelle was just such a critical target that the other witches weren’t enough of a prize to worry about them at that moment. If it was the Spree, it could have been that Willa saw that picture at the vet's office and decided she needed her daughter with her to best protect her, so she ordered the kidnapping to retrieve Raelle. The more dramatic storyline, however, is the Camarilla having Raelle then forcing Spree and Army to work together to get her back. It’ll be interesting to see who the kidnappers ultimately end up being.

If it isn’t the Spree that have Raelle, then the Camarilla have no idea the wrath they have just brought down upon themselves by taking her. Willa and Scylla will stop at nothing to get Raelle back. It likely won’t take Tally very long to call Abigail to tell her what happened. Witches from all sides will be coming at the Camarilla from all angles to get her back. For the purposes of storytelling, it’ll likely be Willa and Scylla that get to her first setting up a powerful reunion. Given what Raelle told her dad about her last day with her mom all those years ago, and their fierce fight, it’s clear that there will be a lot of emotions when it comes time for their reunion. Willa has a lot to answer for but given how deeply Raelle misses her mom and how much guilt she has been carrying around, it’s possible she’ll give Willa some slack. That’s a courtesy that Scylla may not get right away. One thing is for sure, this episode setup what could very well be the most intense episode of the season yet as a rescue mission is launched. No matter who has Raelle there will be a whole slew of people coming for her and she means so much to all of them that none of them will stop until she is rescued. If the Camarilla do have her, they are in for the wrath of a bunch of very angry witches.


This was a spectacular episode that has great emotional moments and some really intense moments. It even graced the audience with a performance by the very vocally talented Hickson. Now that it is canon that Raelle is a gifted singer, it would be a waste for the show to not showcase Hickson singing again. Her song was beautiful and perfectly sung. Given the trajectory Raelle’s storyline is on that is probably far off in the future, but it was nice that they added that into her character. From start to finish this was just a really satisfying episode that was perfectly paced and per usual brilliantly acted. We should all brace ourselves because the next episode has all the makings of a very intense and emotional hour.

Don’t miss the next episode on Tuesday, August 3rd at 10 pm ET/PT on Freeform.

Until the next episode, be sure to drop down the comments and leave your own thoughts on the episode. What were your favorite parts? Who do you think kidnapped Raelle?





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