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Motherland: Fort Salem - But I Don’t Even Have a Dress… & Revolution Pt. 2 - Review: Origin Story Of 3 Goddesses + POLL

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT. DO NOT CONTINUE READING UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED THE FULL EPISODE OR ARE OKAY BEING SPOILED.

Some shows end and are forgotten quickly, their impact minimal, then there are shows like Motherland: Fort Salem that in just thirty episodes forged a legacy that will endure long beyond that stark black closing card. The characters and performers as well as the brilliant creative teams working behind the scenes will forever be remembered as a part of this truly special series. A show like this doesn’t come around often, so its loss will leave a gaping hole that could take quite a while to ever fill even partially. In the show’s parting gift to fans, they delivered two of the best episodes of the series and one of the best series finales ever.



As the penultimate episode began, we got to witness yet again the bravery of the Bellweather unit. Raelle (Taylor Hickson), Scylla (Amalia Holm), Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), and Tally (Jessica Sutton) all stood united in the direst of circumstances. Knowing they had so many people behind them they willingly walked into the custody of the Camarilla to give all those that had fought beside them the best chance for survival. Their survival, in fact, was never truly guaranteed, but that is what makes a hero a hero, they throw themselves into situations they don’t know the outcome of for the greater good. Seeing them in that jail cell was disheartening, but it was such a sweet moment with Raelle and Scylla’s engagement reveal that gave a moment of respite to them all. It was also the moment the seed was sown for the Abigail and Adil (Tony Giroux) wedding. These women are more than a military unit, more than friends; they are family in a way that went beyond a blood bond. It is because of how well they know each other that the very smart decision was made to put Raelle before the cameras at the faux trial. True to Raelle, she delivered a speech from her heart that might not have won their freedom, but certainly made it a smidge harder on the Camarilla.

However, we all know what their fate would have been had it not been for the glorious return of President Wade (Sheryl Lee Ralph). Thanks to M (Ess Hödlmoser) and their immense bravery to protect Wade. Thanks to the bravery of the Marshall (Michael Horse) who risked everything for Wade even his own life when he lost one of his Marshalls. Thanks to even Nicte (Kandyse McClure) who played her part in finding them. To Petra (Catherine Lough Haggquist) and Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) who never gave up hope of finding Wade and saving their people. It took a whole array of people from varying backgrounds that, in many cases, crossed lines to play their part in protecting Wade so this glorious moment could occur. Seeing Wade take Blanton Silver (Victor Webster) down so many pegs with the slap heard around the world was magnificent. Webster is a tall guy with a big screen and acting presence, but with all of the strength and bravado Ralph infused into Wade it seemed like Wade was towering over Silver in that moment. It is worthy of note that it was such a significant moment that even the normally confident Kara Brandt (Emilie Ullerup) went to ground never to be seen again. A shame, because it would have been wonderful to see her pay for her crimes as well.



While everything in the opening half of the penultimate episode was engaging and necessary to set up the series finale, it was the last half that will live on the most vividly to fans of the show. It was the beautiful calm before the storm that they all so desperately needed. As an extra added bonus, we also finally got to see Raelle and Scylla make it to the famed lighthouse for some tender alone time. Then to just add the icing atop the cake, the writers also delivered a full-scale wedding for the duo. Not just a tiny intimate wedding, but a big High Atlantic wedding that brought almost everyone they have all cared about back into the picture including Edwin (Hrothgar Mathews) and Quinn (Sandra Ferens). Edwin also went out on a high note proving he may very well be the absolute best father to ever be depicted on television. That man doesn’t have a bad bone in his entire body. The way he so lovingly welcomes Scylla into his family is just a true testament to the man he is. While his presence solidified the union between Raelle and Scylla, it was the return of Khalida (Kylee Brown), who utilized her immense abilities to save Alder (Lyne Renée), that opened the door for Abigail and Adil to join them at the altar.

The whole ceremony was utterly beautiful and captured the essence of both couples. The only complaint that can be made about any of it was the fact that the music played over the actual vows. It was clearly an artistic choice but hearing the vows would have highly amplified the moment. However, the emotion was so palpable between the couples that the love in their eyes conveyed even more than the actual words could have. Hickson and Holm as well as Williams and Giroux were perfectly paired scene partners who worked so hard to make sure the love between the characters was always front and center. The writers gave them words to speak, but they elevated them in such a way that lifted both couples to an iconic level. It also helps that this entire cast seems to genuinely love and care about each other in such a pure way that the emotions translate so effortlessly into the characters.


 With those four married off, of the main Bellweather unit, that still left Tally the odd witch out. That is until the return of her old flame Gregorio (Praneet Akilla). This is one of the few things that could have been finessed just a tiny bit better. We’ve spent all season being made very aware of how single Tally was. They also put a lot of time and effort into forging other bonds for Tally that could have become something more. It felt a little off that Gregorio just reappeared out of the blue and Tally fell right back into step with him after not having mentioned him once this whole season. It felt a little odd, but also, Gregorio had proven himself a good guy in the past, so at least in the end Tally did find someone she could be with in the same way her sisters did. One can’t help but wonder, however, if the show had been given more time whom Tally would have actually ended up with. Perhaps it was always going to be Gregorio, but it would have been nice for Tally’s love life to have been given a little more time. Then again, had the writers done that we may have lost out on some of the beautiful moments she shared with both Alder and Nicte, so if this was the tradeoff in order to get those moments, then it was worth it to overlook the unbalanced nature of Gregorio’s return.

One return that was far less welcomed was that of Hearst (Bob Frazer) as he led the charge to free Silver and lay claim to Fort Salem. As if all of that wasn’t reason enough to hate him, he also ruined the peace that the group was having in the wake of the double wedding. The bonfire was just one of those pure moments of peace that anyone who watches TV knows was never going to end well. The characters were too happy and too at peace for that to not be interrupted in some sinister way. At least the Camarilla held off their assault long enough for us all to be graced with one last song by the multi-talented Hickson. It’s safe to say the audience is as enamored by her talent as Scylla.
 

Then the series finale began right where the penultimate episode left off. They were able to recover Raelle from the bloody throws she was tossed into when the assault began long enough to regroup. The way things played out as the group last parted ways should have been a warning sign for what was to come. In hindsight, it was evident that one of them wasn’t going to survive to see the end of the series. The fact it was Anacostia was a terrible gut-punch as much to the audience as the characters. The moment Anacostia said her goodbyes to the unit, with that speech only she could deliver should have been a big red flag. But that final tender moment she shared with Scylla, yeah, that should have told us all that Anacostia wasn’t long for this world. It’s hard to know how to feel about the way Anacostia went out. Yes, it was heroic and shocking, but also, it wasn’t really necessary. It was clearly done to display the stakes at hand and that nobody was safe. They could have done that in other ways though. It seems like everyone, characters, and viewers alike were robbed of the happily ever after Anacostia deserved. McKinney is such a powerful actress and put so much effort into making Anacostia such an important part of the lives of every character and endeared the character to the audience that it was brutal to lose Anacostia in that way. It is likely for that very reason that it had to be Anacostia. She meant so much to so many that if they were after a truly visceral reaction to the loss of a character then her loss impacted the most, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

Of our heroes, she was the only one who didn’t make it to the end, though at times it felt like others might join her at any moment. The demise of Anacostia meant that for the rest of the episode it was hard to know for sure if the body count would rise or not. The fight sequences were intense, and the stakes couldn’t have been higher. When Hearst activated the final attack on the Mycelium causing not only Raelle to short circuit but for Scylla and Adil to be taken down with her, it set the stage for the final fight in a poignant way with increased stakes. Also, worth noting is that after her confrontation with Wade at the wedding, Nicte still stuck around to join the fight. She didn’t hesitate to put herself in the line of fire to help the unit in their greatest moment of need. It showed just how much she has matured over the seasons and the impact Tally had on her. She stood side-by-side with Gregorio without hesitation to protect the unit as they sought refuge inside the Mycelium. That moment can’t be understated enough from Raelle’s perspective. She was sick and weakened, but the very idea of losing the woman she loves, and her friends gave her the will she needed to find a way to give them a fighting chance by opening that portal.


Then came a moment of such raw emotion that it was almost hard to watch. When both Adil and Scylla collapsed, gasping for breath, Abigail and Raelle were left begging Tally to help. These are two women who are leaders in their own right. They are powerful women who can be counted on to handle a crisis. But when it came to losing the person that completed them, they lost it and that is so true to life. Every person has a breaking point and that was it for them. The fear that Williams and Hickson conveyed in their voices was heartbreaking enough, but then to see the way they had Abigail and Raelle desperately cling to the person they love just made the moment hit all that much harder. This desperate moment gave Tally her moment to shine. After a moment of panic and begging Alder to come to their rescue Tally took a breath and finally put all of the pieces together. Raelle wasn’t the cause of the end of the world, she was the catalyst for its salvation. Big kudos to Sutton who through just facial expressions alone conveyed the moment that Tally saw the bigger picture.

After some perilous encounters, Alder did ultimately find the final steward and it turns out that all along she was right in front of everyone. Through Abigail’s ancestor Jem, it was revealed that the Bellweather line was the unknowing stewards of the final part of the first song. While the world burned, Scylla and Adil fought for their lives, and Fort Salem was on the brink of collapse the stewards united. The first song unleashed itself upon the world thanks to Raelle’s witchbomb ability. It did far more than any of us could have imagined. It set the world free by making everyone equal. Every man, woman, child, and Camarilla became a witch. The Mycelium’s answer to the problems that plagued the world and caused conflict was to make every being equal. It would have been great fun to see the reaction of the surviving Camarilla to realize what they had become.
 

Even though we didn’t get that we did get a moment that was very cathartic for viewers. We got the glorious reveal of Penelope (Mellany Barros) thanks to Izadora (Emilie Leclerc) enduring horrendous assaults by Hearst and his team. When the right moment came, she infected Hearst with the witchplague allowing Penelope to destroy him from the inside out. It was quite a full circle moment. Then to see her take out her own father the same way he had her taken out was a poetic way for both of their stories to end. In the end, evil didn’t prevail and while it wasn’t without loss and heartache, good prevailed.

In the end, everyone got to stand together at the end of the hard-fought battle. They got to mourn Anacostia together and they got to see the glorious result of her sacrifice and their hard work. Alder and Nicte (Arlen Aguayo Stewart) even got a final moment to make their peace. While McClure beautifully carried the Nicte storyline this season it was a joy to see Stewart embody the character in her final moments on screen.


When the dust of the battle cleared and with the golden glow of the sky cleansing the world, we finally saw the bigger picture of what this show was truly about. It was an origin story of three goddesses and all those that loved and supported them unconditionally. It was the story of heroes overcoming insurmountable odds to prevail over evil. Most importantly of all, it was the story of the immeasurable power of sisterhood, family, and love.

Before concluding this final review, a moment must be given to discuss this cast and the creative team. They gave us all a show like no other on television. It was entirely unique and groundbreaking. It wasn’t afraid to tackle hard subjects or dive into concepts that plague the real world today. They set out to tell this story of the power of sisterhood and they succeeded. They came together in a way that we rarely get to see these days. Never once was there even a whisper that they weren’t a united unit both on and off-screen. The relationships that we got to witness worked so well because the cast clearly adores each other. The bonds we witnessed on screen felt real because the love and respect behind the performances were very real. Kudos also has to be given to the writers, directors, and every person involved on the production side. They created a vast world full of aesthetic beauty and immense scope. While the show was very prematurely ended every person involved came together to allow this series to go out on a high note. If some prequel, sequel, or reboot doesn’t one day arise from the vast world this team created then it’ll be a travesty. This part of the story may have ended, but a world this vast still has many stories left in it. But, for now, we must leave this world behind and bid farewell to these characters we have all come to love. Thank you to the cast, crew, and every person involved in Motherland: Fort Salem!
 
Please use the comments to discuss your favorite parts of this final episode.