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Motherland: Fort Salem - Irrevocable - Review: Many Seek Power + POLL


At this point it’s starting to sound like a broken record, but this was yet another perfect episode. Not a single thing about it can be brought to fault. It was certainly the best episode of the season and is one of the top episodes of the entire series. After a bit of a slow start at the beginning this season locked into a gear that is surging it ahead of even its own spectacular freshmen outing. As if it wasn’t already a foregone fact, this season is truly showcasing that the creative team behind this series knows what they are doing and they are executing their plan flawlessly. This episode had intense action sequences and so many rich heartbreaking and heartwarming emotions. Taylor Hickson (Raelle), Ashley Nicole Williams (Abigail), and Amalia Holm (Scylla) delivered some of their best work all season, no small compliment given that these actresses have been delivering on a high level all season. Tony Giroux (Adil) and Diana Pavlovská (Willa) also delivered great work as well showing complex sides to both of their characters. Sadly, by the end of the episode, the series had to say goodbye to one of them, but it was one heck of a way to exit a series.

Before discussing that powerful exit, it’s prudent to look back at how they ended up in the situation they did to lose one of their own. This episode had an interesting structure, whereas most episodes of a show have very clearly defined individual storylines, this episode had that too, but ultimately what started out as about four different storylines ended up as two. By the end of the hour, the storylines had merged into each other becoming just two distinct ending points that brought the characters together in interesting combinations. The first storyline continued from one of the big plot points from the prior episode, and that was Nicte’s (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart) attack on Alder (Lyne Renée). This episode picked up with Alder in a special room known as the Warding Circle. While she recovers, she and the Biddies are being kept hidden away in the room. It’s poor timing because Vice President Silver (Victor Webster) insists on holding a meeting with Alder. Given Alder’s condition, she sends Petra (Catherine Lough Haggquist), who rushed back to base upon learning about Raelle’s kidnapping, in her place. Petra would ultimately end up standing side-by-side with Silver at a press conference. That could certainly give Petra the opportunity to make a move that would make her mother proud. It shall be interesting to see if Petra pounces on that opportunity.

Elsewhere, Tally (Jessica Sutton) closes out her time in the Cession promising Edwin (Hrothgar Mathews) that they will get his daughter back. She also makes a stop by to see Quinn (Sandra Ferens) and sees her having a covert meeting with a group of dodgers. Tally tells Quinn about Raelle and how the Army is hiding the reemergence of the Camarilla. She must go back to base, but Quinn promises to look after Edwin. Tally is clearly a witch on a mission now. Her storyline takes her back to Fort Salem and a major confrontation with Alder, but it seems like she’s not done with the Cession. She is obviously fed up with Alder and all her lies that keep coming back to hurt them all. She has connections in the Cession now and should things go sideways and she needs a quick out she would almost certainly be given sanctuary with Quinn and her group. With each passing episode, it seems more and more likely that at least some of, if not all, the Bellweather unit will go rogue before this season ends.

With the way Tally has seemingly lost her rose-colored glasses when it comes to Alder and lost her reverie surrounding the woman she once loyally followed, it is growing likely that the loyal soldier may be one of the first to defect. They have setup a lot of similarities between how Nicte was loyal to Alder before Alder abused her power. That abuse is something Tally has seen over and over. At some point she’s going to hit the same breaking point that Nicte did. The big difference being that there is no chance that Tally will go on any civilian killing sprees. She is a great foil for Nicte. Even with her anger towards Alder raging, Tally still was able to see through Nicte’s working to save Alder and identify a rogue Biddy. At the end of that scene, Tally seemingly saw Nicte in her mind’s eye, and it seemed to be implied that Nicte saw Tally as well. What happens between these two is a big question mark, but it will certainly be fun to see what the writers cook up. They will either end up as mortal enemies like Nicte and Alder or Tally will finally be the one to bring the Spree leader to her knees. An act like that would not only earn Tally immense recognition, but it also might be just what the two sides need in order to unite to stop their common foe while any of them are still left to face the Camarilla.

While Alder and Tally’s storylines merged back into each other, Adil and Abigail as well as Scylla and Willa were on opposing paths that would ultimately lead them to partake in the second big merge of the episode. Their point of convergence would end with Raelle. Before they got to her each group went on a heck of a journey. Adil and Abigail started their journey by creating a blood compass using Adil’s Tarim work and Charvel’s (Bernadette Beck) blood. While organizing a plan they stopped at a diner where Abigail saw her mom on the news. She and Adil got into a confrontation with some witch-hating locals. In defending Abigail, Adil ended up getting hit and returning the punch tenfold. That was just the start of how this episode would end up changing the normally pacifist Adil. He was a witch on a mission, and he was willing to override his pacifist nature to protect Abigail and their people. Time and time again he used magic to hurt the enemy, something that seemed to shock even him. It will be hard for Adil to come back from the events of this episode.

This episode also had a big impact on Abigail. She broke with protocol and the Army to go on this rogue mission with Adil. Avenging Charvel has been a driving force for her. She finally retrieved Charvel’s stolen vocal cords and dispatched the Camarilla in possession of it with ease. The power that Abigail displayed in that moment was astronomical, it was a true showcase of how fierce of a witch she has become. Minerva (Liza Huget) would have been very proud to have seen how her granddaughter dealt with the whole situation. Abigail did proud by the Bellweather name. It was so nice to see her back in fighting form after all she has had to endure and overcome this season. After dispatching the Camarilla agent and helping to rescue the young, kidnapped witches, she found out through Adil via those young witches that the Camarilla had captured Raelle. That would lead her to form a tense, but necessary, alliance with Scylla to save Raelle.


Scylla’s journey to that moment was an adventure all its own. After finding out via a false call to Edwin that Raelle had been kidnapped, Scylla and Willa were set down a path that would see only one of them return. Despite looking like he hadn’t survived his first encounter with Scylla, it turns out that Marcus Tooms (Josh Blacker) was alive and well, a fact that Scylla exploited to force him to take them to the facility where Raelle was being held. The time in transit gave Willa and Scylla time to really talk and connect. It is obvious that they both have a mutual respect. Willa knows how much Scylla loves her daughter and Scylla didn’t try to deny it. As Willa observed, Raelle is likely to carry a lot of feelings of hurt and betrayal regarding them both, but the thing that they share is that they would both do anything and everything for Raelle.

At the center of this episode was Raelle. After being kidnapped by the Camarilla and tortured by the sadistic Camarilla Doctor (K. Scott Malcolm), Raelle faced a hell-like nothing this show has ever tackled before. Raelle was sadistically killed no less than three times in the span of this one episode and each time the Mycelium protected her. It even put up a very impressive fight against the Witch Plague to buy Willa, Scylla, and Abigail time to save her. What was interesting is that we got to see Raelle have direct interaction with the Mycelium in some sort of complex dream-type reality. The Mycelium expressed its plan for Raelle including why it chose her. Per the Mycelium, “You will turn the tide in the great war to come…many seek power…but you do not.” Powerful words that also seemed to speak of a prophetic war that the Mycelium knows more about than she probably should. Next season there needs to be a whole episode about the origin of the Mycelium because she is an incredible entity. The Mycelium even spared the young witches that the Camarilla tried to sacrifice when they crushed Raelle to try to force her to use the Witchbomb on the young, kidnapped witches. The Mycelium knows what she is doing and chose well in picking Raelle. With the young witches, Raelle was ready and willing to sacrifice herself for their survival. Raelle also has a fierce will to survive as was displayed when she did battle against the Witch Plague and stayed alive long enough to get help.

Unfortunately, by the end of the hour, only Scylla is left to face Raelle alone. After Scylla and Willa broke into the facility and dispatched a lot of Camarilla agents, they finally found Raelle in a cleanroom being consumed by the Witch Plague. In the ultimate act of motherly love, Willa gave Scylla a parting message of unconditional love for her young protégé to convey to her daughter, before going in and sacrificing herself for Raelle. She showcased just how powerful she is that she was able to extract the Witch Plague from Raelle and contain it long enough for Scylla and Abigail to get to Raelle and get her free from the plague. It was utterly heartbreaking when the weak and barely conscious Raelle was so desperately trying to reach her mom only for Abigail to stop her to prevent them from losing both mother and daughter. Raelle didn’t even have any energy left to fight, but they weren’t out of danger yet. Even in the wake of being reunited with Raelle in a dire moment, Scylla was allowed a moment to mourn the loss of her mentor and friend as she stole a final glance at Willa. That is before Abigail brought her back into the moment. Despite their differences, Abigail and Scylla had no choice but to work together to save the barely conscious Raelle and escape the building before the Witch Plague got them too.

Mother and daughter did get a heartwarming and heartbreaking reunion thanks to the Mycelium who allowed them to unite in the dream-type realm it setup to protect Raelle. It is far from the closure Raelle wanted and she begged her to not leave her again, but alas, Willa was snatched away again, only this time permanently. Though, this is a magical show, so Willa will likely be seen again. It was also nice that before her sacrifice, Willa got to tell Scylla about her regrets about joining the Spree and leaving Raelle behind. Even with Willa gone, at least those are things that Scylla can convey to Raelle for Willa. Unfortunately, with Willa gone, she took a lot of answers with her that not even Scylla can fill in for Raelle. Even despite their brief reunion, Raelle has a whole new round of guilt to carry around regarding her mom.

As this episode ended, Raelle couldn’t seem to even process the fact that it was really Scylla in front of her, so it’s hard to say how this reunion will play out. For most of their brief encounters, Raelle was unconscious. It’s hard to say if she was even aware it was Scylla who helped Abigail rescue her, ultimately she was fully aware that the woman she never truly stopped loving was back in her life. Despite Abigail and Adil being present with them, it was Scylla who was keeping vigil over Raelle’s bed in whatever safe house they took refuge at in Western Pennsylvania. Scylla willingly went with a group she knew was Army to be with Raelle. It will be curious to find out if when Abigail called in Raelle’s rescue to the Army if she mentioned Scylla. Even if she did, surely by this point, Scylla has proven that she is an asset that is worth their time to keep around. Scylla has been changed by her love for Raelle, her connection to Willa, and her partnership with Anacostia (Demetria McKinney). She isn’t really Spree or Army at this point. She’s stuck right between the two entities with her only loyalty seeming to be to Raelle at this point. Scylla has a lot to answer for and Raelle is likely to take her to task in the next episode. Scylla acknowledged earlier in the episode that she was confident Raelle would never forgive her, but the love these two share may just be enough to eventually help them bridge that gap. With them reunited, hopefully, the show doesn’t rip them apart again and they can finish off the season together. It would be nice to see them hash it all out and reunite as a couple before the season ends, but that might be asking a lot given everything that has happened. Then again this is the same couple that fell madly in love in under five episodes and in that time built a strong enough relationship that their unbreakable connection is still so profoundly strong even after being separated for almost an entire season. With those factors taken into consideration, it isn’t impossible to imagine them reuniting as a couple in the next three episodes. Whatever comes next, one thing is a fact, Holm and Hickson are a powerhouse duo who are going to deliver on whatever the writers throw at them.

This was an intense episode that allowed the cast to really dig into some deep material and they did not disappoint. In fact, every single performer took their performance to a new level and each of them got a showcase moment. A lot is seemingly on the horizon. The Camarilla referred to the Witch Plague as a “he” that seemed to be almost sentient. Much like its counterpart in the Mycelium as it seems like they are the opposite sides of a similar sentient species. So, could there be another battle between the Witch Plague and the Mycelium? Nicte is still out there causing havoc instead of trying to find a way to help save her people from the Camarilla. Alder seems to be rapidly losing her grip on the Army. Tally grows bolder with each episode and seems poised to play a pivotal role in bringing Nicte to answer to her actions. Abigail and Adil went rogue, so what is next for them? Can they just go back to life like it was? Or was the taste of freedom they received enough to drive them further from the Army objective? Raelle has lost so much and been put through so much, but she did get Scylla back. Will she see Scylla’s return as a good thing or will Scylla’s return cause Raelle more grief? Scylla has had her ideological ideals challenged, so what comes next for her? Will she go back to the Spree? Or will she choose Raelle again and risk facing the Army to stay with her? Or will Scylla sway Raelle and they finally run off together like they talked about last season? So much that this season needs to tackle and only three episodes left, so strap in and prepare for what has the potential to be an even bigger more epic push to the season finale than last season.

Don’t miss the next episode on Tuesday, August 10th 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? How do you think Raelle will react to Scylla?


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