The fifth episode of Freeform's Motherland Fort Salem was a frustrating shocker. The episode was filled with teen angst and it was saved by a very surprising and gory ending. It was an episode to give viewers more of this witches' world, their wedding customs, and more of an understanding of how this matriarchal society seems to work. The characters' development falls short to the world-building portion though as they seem to constantly grow and then go back to worst child-like traits constantly making it hard to find them likable. "Bellweather Season" was yet another episode in which we got to know more of the witches' traditions– those are my favorite of this show.
I really like the historical aspects and world-building elements on Motherland. In this episode, they explored the union between a witch and their chosen man. It seems their marriages are more of a 5-year-loan than a life-long commitment to eventually bring an heiress witch into the bloodline. I enjoyed these moments, especially how the ceremony was portrayed. It was pretty without having to go all out. However, heartbreak followed Tally (Jessica Sutton) once she realizes her chosen lover Garit (Kai Bradbury) is also in line to get married and unavailable for the next five years.
On the other hand, Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), who was my least favorite character due to her constant acting like she has a stick up her butt, has now become the most likable out of their unit. She may not be the happiest in her current situation but still seems to handle everything thrown her way with decorum and does not back down from a challenge. We get to see more of her relationship with her mom and how strained it is. We also see how little she likes relying on her name to get benefits, which I really appreciated. Her interactions with her cousin after her wedding went a long way towards giving us a better sense of her emotional side. It was incredibly rough and heartbreaking to see how Abigail's cousin ended what should have been her day, but seeing her fight alongside her mom was pretty badass.
Motherland: Fort Salem Was A Wedding of Broken Hearts and Broken Family
As for Raelle (Taylor Hickson), she had the most potential to be my favorite in their unit; however, she has been the most disappointing character. Let's start with this: her petty tantrum to Abigail to get her to invite her girlfriend Scylla (Amalia Holm) was angering. She first claimed she does not have distractions, then says in the same scene that Abigail should want Scylla to be there to keep Raelle distracted from being a "rebellious kid" who has no idea on how to behave properly. I appreciated Raelle confronting Abigail's mother about her for her own mom's death, but Petra Bellweather (Catherine Lough Haggquist) saw that coming from a mile away and handled that situation masterfully.
The ending of Motherland: Fort Salem was what saved this episode, though. Tally sees Scylla with the balloon as she was hiding in the bathroom crying. I am so glad she did not pull a cliche and kept it to herself, and instead she went to one of her instructors to tell her Scylla was part of the Spree. Unfortunately, that is when **** hit the fan and an army of balloons started making their way to the party. We can definitely say none of these three girls will be the same after this wedding and I really hope we can start seeing things pick up and move at a much faster pace. Still wondering about Scylla: it seems she was struggling with her desire to be with Raelle and having to do her job. Looking forward to getting more answers.