The second episode of Motherland: Fort Salem, “My Witches,” premiered Wednesday night on Freeform. In the previous episode, hundreds of women partake in Conscription Day, which is the day when they take an oath to join Fort Salem and dedicate their lives to the military. The main focus is put on Raelle (Taylor Hickson), Tally (Jessica Sutton), and Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) who all come from different backgrounds and have separate reasons for joining the military. The trio makes their way to Fort Salem, but not everything is as they imagined. Places where they once felt unique are traded for harsh drills and the desire to defeat the evil group known as the Spree. Meanwhile, the Spree continues their heinous attacks that result in major casualties.
In “My Witches,” the trio, and several other units, travel to Salem Town for an annual witch celebration, but an unexpected disturbance throws the proceedings into chaos. Tally, after a difficult conversation with her mother, wonders if she made the right choice to embark on a military career. After failing to convince General Alder (Lyne Renee) to grant her request to switch units, Abigail attempts to bury the hatchet with Raelle. Raelle grows closer to Scylla (Amalia Holm), while the unit impresses Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) in their magic lessons.
With the pilot episode out of the way, Motherland: Fort Salem can now get into various recurring elements such as the relationships between the common people and witches. Given that the Spree are getting more dangerous with every attack they carry out, the U.S. government and civilians are relying on witches to save them. However, those relationships are quickly tested since any methods that witches have tried to get rid of the Spree aren’t working. There’s surely still hidden hatred on the part of the government for having to rely on a force they can’t control to solve their problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if this relationship only gets worse from here.
Speaking of relationships, things are really heating up between Raelle and Scylla. I was completely surprised by last week’s episode when it was revealed that Scylla was working for the Spree. That will surely lead to some interesting plot developments further in the series. However, I’m a bit disappointed with how their relationship is being presented. The “one partner is hiding a dark secret” trope in media has been completely overdone. I get that it was done for the sake of the plot, but I would’ve been happier had this specific aspect of Scylla not been included. This character trait shifts their relationship to a much more toxic one. I can see hints of manipulation already building in “My Witches.” There’s always the possibility that Raelle could join the Spree to be with Scylla on her own free will, but I think that would only make things worse.
There was a lot more worldbuilding in “My Witches” than I was expecting. However, upon realizing that the season would only be ten episodes long, it makes sense for more of this world to be established. For instance, the history of the celebration that happens every year in Salem Town offered a unique perspective to the fantasy genre. There was also much more information about life in the military and what happens to those who defy enlisting without a probable cause. I’m fascinated by all the rules and how several elements of reality and fiction are combined to create such an intricate world. I can only hope that more is revealed and seeing how the revelations affect the main trio of the series.
The magic lessons shown in “My Witches” are much more simple but still offer a unique quality that differs from other fantasy shows. So far, the show established that witches use more than just incantations as a means to use magic. The lessons in this week’s episode show just how powerful witches could truly be. It also shows that witches need to be as powerful as they could be to go against the Spree. It’s a dangerous world, which is an idea that already seems to be settling into the minds of several characters. I can only imagine just how difficult the lessons will be getting in future episodes. The stronger the magic they learn is, the closer the unit gets to the front lines.
Overall, I really enjoyed watching the second episode of Motherland: Fort Salem. “My Witches” is the perfect way to follow an incredible pilot episode. The episode offered a closer look at the relationship between common people and witches, which will surely be a recurring theme throughout the series. The worldbuilding aspects offered a closer look at this unique world, which shows me that a lot went into creating a show like this. The magic lessons continue to be fantastic while also showing just how dangerous dealing with the Spree will really be. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season plays out.
Motherland: Fort Salem airs every Wednesday at 9 pm EST / 6 pm PST on Freeform.
Motherland: Fort Salem, Episode 2 - My Witches
- Rating - 9.5/109.5/10
I really enjoyed watching the second episode of Motherland: Fort Salem. “My Witches” is the perfect way to follow an incredible pilot episode. The episode offered a closer look at the relationship between common people and witches, which will surely be a recurring theme throughout the series. The worldbuilding aspects offered a closer look at this unique world, which shows me that a lot went into creating a show like this.