Okay – we're not gonna' lie: the opening scene to Freeform's Motherland: Fort Salem completely caught us off-guard. That terrorist attack by The Spree was so disturbingly horrific, it had me checking to see if something screwed up and I was watching American Horror Story. The series doesn't exactly believe in the term "subtle" – which was exactly the kind of "trial by fire" tone needed to introduce us to cadets Tally (Jessica Sutton), Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), and Raelle (Taylor Hickson) – three very different witch-warriors who all share the same cause… right?
Whih brings us to the preview images and promo for next epsiode "My Witches" – as well as a sneak preview that gives us the distinct impression that General Alder (Lyne Renee) and the POTUS don't necessarily see eye-to-eye on their respective roles… and that there may be some major backstory about to come into play:
"Motherland: Fort Salem: season 1, episode 2 "My Witches": The unit travels to Salem Town for an annual witch celebration, but an unexpected disturbance throws the proceedings into chaos. Tally wonders if she made the right choice to embark on a military career when witch-hate and her own mother stand in her way. Smarting from Alder's denial of her request to switch units, Abigail attempts to bury the hatchet with Raelle. Raelle grows closer to Scylla, while the unit impresses Anacostia in Windstrike training.
Created by Eliot Laurence (who also created "Claws"), "Motherland: Fort Salem" is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country. "Motherland: Fort Salem" follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped with women on the front lines, the fight looming and terrorist threats that are strikingly familiar to our world, but with supernatural tactics and weapons.
● Taylor Hickson (Deadly Class) portrays Raelle, a reluctant recruit with major authority issues whose mother recently died in the line of duty.
● Jessica Sutton (The Kissing Booth) is Tally, a kind, strong-willed and curious witch who enlisted despite her mother's passionate disapproval.
● Ashley Nicole Williams (Shepard) plays Abigail, an unquestionably alpha, smart, driven and courageous witch who hails from the upper echelons of military witch society and is excited to be joining the ranks of the witches' army.
● Amalia Holm (Playground) rounds out the young witch recruits playing Scylla, a playful yet dark and mischievous recruit who is not what she appears to be.
● Demetria McKinney (The Saints and Sinners) plays Anacostia, a tough but wryly humorous drill sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training.
● Lyne Renee (Deep State) recurs as General Sarah Alder, the highest-ranking officer in the Armed Forces and the only leader the witches have ever known.
The ten-episode, one-hour drama Motherland: Fort Salem is written and created by Laurence and produced by Freeform Studios, Gary Sanchez Productions, and McKay's Hyperobject Industries. Laurence, Ferrell, McKay, Messick, Adelson, and Maria Maggenti serve as executive producers on the series.