Motherland: Fort Salem - Witchbomb - Review Roundtable: The Rise Of The Camarilla By Aimee Hicks (May 25, 2020, 10:00 pm)
Motherland: Fort Salem
This review was written by Aimee Hicks, Donna Cromeans (DJRiter), and Ellys Cartin.
Motherland: Fort Salemdelivered a mind-blowing episode withWitchbomb where nobody escaped the episode without being fundamentally changed.Continue reading below to find out our thoughts on the episode. After reading, please leave your thoughts in the comments.
Raelle (Taylor Hickson) and Scylla (Amalia Holm) didn't share the screen in this episode, but each still seemed to have the best interest of the other in mind. Now that Scylla is free and Raelle seemingly survived her stabbing, what do you think will happen with them moving forward? What will their first encounter be like when they next cross paths?
Aimee: These two have a lot to process and work through. Both of their lives have been turned upside down and inside out. Before they can come back together as a couple, they need to reconcile the people they have changed into. I think they share a powerful and poignant love that won't be so easily squashed even by Scylla's initial betrayal. In the end, Scylla chose Raelle and I think that does count for something with Raelle. With the Spree and the Army witches fated to join forces to combat the Camarilla, the two women will be on the same side of the fight this time around. Hopefully, that will allow them to spend some time together and hash out their differences. Their first meeting is sure to be heavy and deeply emotional. I expect Hickson and Holm to blow us all away the first time they share the screen together next season.
Donna: While their relationship was a bigger part of the whole story, backing away from it or showing there were greater things to consider in their storytelling was a smart decision. That's not to say these two together aren't important and keeping them apart, for now, does a lot of things to strengthen their reunion. Raelle will be changed by both Scylla's actions and her near-death experience on the battlefield. Scylla, while trying to remain true to Raelle and never wanting to lie to her again may be facing her greatest challenge of not telling her love about her mother. Their next encounter will be intense, no question, with both having new insight into the actions of the other.
Ellys: For now, the show has chosen to close (but not lock) the door on Raelle and Scylla's relationship. It's a necessary decision since almost everything we've learned about them has to do with their connection to each other. It's time to see them as individuals before they meet up again. By separating them, the show has set the stage for their reunion to be very impactful. We'll have a better understanding of each of them and more (or less) reasons to root for their reconciliation.
There was a big shocker regarding Raelle. Her mom, Willa Collar (Diana Pavlovska), is still alive and seems to have a rather prominent position within the hierarchy of the Spree. Raelle's dad said that Willa left her daughter her charm to protect her and it seems to have worked given that Raelle wasn't mortally wounded until she gave it to the Tarim boy. She seems to have been trying to protect her daughter, but if that is the case, why do you think she just didn't take Raelle with her in the first place? Why did Willa have to execute such an elaborate plan to retrieve her daughter? Why do you think Willa had to fake her own death? Why do you think she picked Scylla for the mission?
Aimee: I get the impression that when Willa left, she knew she wasn't coming back, so it is curious as to why she didn't just take her daughter and husband with her. I feel like there might be something else at play with her exit from Raelle's life that we don't know yet. I'm very curious to see how Willa intends to explain this to her daughter when they are finally reunited. Surely Raelle will not be thrilled about being lied to and used yet again. On the other hand, I expect her to be thrilled, like she was with Scylla initially, just to know she is alive. We've seen how Raelle reacts to that sort of betrayal once the facts come to light, so I think Willa is going to have as hard a time reestablishing a relationship with her daughter as Scylla is going to have in trying to win Raelle back as her girlfriend. As for why Willa deployed this mission to retrieve Raelle, that is also curious. The plan seems to have been in place before Raelle went to Fort Salem, so she had ample time to have her daughter grabbed then. Once Raelle was at Fort Salem she did need to get creative to retrieve her daughter. She is Raelle's mom, so she surely knows the type her daughter is attracted to and you must give her credit, she hit the nail on the head by picking Scylla. She is also going to face some backlash from Raelle in sending Scylla to seduce her though. The complexities surrounding Raelle, Scylla, and Willa are ripe for some brilliant storytelling next season. Regarding why Willa had to fake her own death, again, I'm not quite sure about that either. I have a gut feeling that there is a lot more going on with Willa's presumed death than currently is known. I would, however, like to take this moment to say that I predicted early on in the season that I didn't think Raelle's mom was dead and I'm so glad I was right and they went this direction. Willa being alive opens a lot of stories to be told.
Donna: I think when she left Willa knew she wasn't coming back in terms of thinking she was destined to die. When the time came, and the opportunity presented herself with a way to live but she had to do it without her daughter or husband she grabbed it. Unlike the Army, with the Spree she had a way to grow in the ranks and gain power until such time as she could arrange to have her daughter brought in. From the beginning Willa likely suspected her daughter would be a powerful witch but she had no way to get to her until Raelle was at Fort Salem. She faked her death so her daughter would go to Fort Salem with a legacy of service and sacrifice and not being branded the daughter of a deserter. This mother/daughter reunion is going to be emotionally fraught and intense, there will be a great deal of resentment on Raelle's end to which she would be entitled. Having Willa not only alive but also in a position of authority with the Spree opens any number of great storytelling choices for Season Two.
Ellys: Willa faked her death because leaving the Army isn't an option, especially for someone who isn't from a high class. Whatever she did to escape was no doubt too risky to tell her husband and daughter about; she may have also wanted to spare them a life on the run. For Willa, being a healer and having a front seat to the slaughter of witches could be a strong motivation to join the Spree. That said, her entrance was certainly framed creepily. Was she the voice of the balloon communicating to Scylla? And did she pick Scylla for the mission knowing she would be Raelle's type? And why did the camera linger on the large chunk of meat in the dish Willa was preparing?
With the Camarilla in the picture now, the Spree and the Army seem on a collision course to being forced to work together for the survival of all witches. The Spree even took the extraordinary step to send a vital message to the Army regarding their shared enemy. Why do you think they chose to raise the alarm and warn their Army counterparts? Do you think a united witch Army has a chance against the Camarilla? Can the two sides put aside their differences long enough to defeat the Camarilla? What compromises do you think each side will have to make to unite both witch sects?
Aimee: Here's the thing, I think the Spree has been blamed for a lot of things they didn't do. We now know the wedding attack was the Camarilla and not the Spree. I'm confident other things the Spree were blamed for were not their doing either. Regardless, they still have done some despicable things. However, to be fair, the Army has done its share of dark and questionable things, both sides have blood on their hands. Despite everything, I think the Spree are smart enough to know that not them nor the Army will survive the Camarilla if the two sides remain divided. To survive the threat of the Camarilla they are going to have to come back together as witches united against a common enemy. So, I think, the Spree sending out an early warning to the Army, while only mildly traumatizing civilians, was sort of their way of proposing a treaty. One thing is for sure, this alliance will not come easily. It will be fraught with distrust and angst. There will be in-fighting and bickering, but I think they will ultimately find some sort of way to come together, at least temporarily. And, who knows, maybe this contentious alliance will open the eyes of those on both sides. As for compromises, the Spree is clearly going to have to stop targeting humans and the Army is going to have to remove some of the restrictions placed on witches. I see it this way, the United States of America is supposedly a united country, but we are incredibly divided, however, when there is a threat consuming the entire country most of the citizens drop their bipartisan and ideological issues and come together. Then as soon as the threat is eliminated the usually divided culture resumes. I suspect we'll see something similar portrayed throughout this Spree and Army uniting storyline, but on the other side of the Camarilla war I hope they can somehow both be better.
Donna: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The Spree knows this and understands that the Camarilla is a powerful enough enemy on their own at first glance. The fact that they are a centuries-old group of witch-hunters makes it even more plausible for the Spree to reach out and help the Army as a way of saying we need to work together to defeat a common and dangerous enemy. It will be an interesting power struggle as to who will be in charge as they fight the Camarilla, and both will have to change some of their tactics.
Ellys: The Spree sending a message to the Army was probably their way of calling a truce. Of course, Alder already knew the Camarilla was back. She just didn't want to admit it, perhaps her most notable leadership failing this season. That said, it's hard to imagine a world where the Spree and the Army align for long, especially since the Spree has been trying to stir up human anger toward witches. Who is to say the Spree didn't covertly help the Camarilla? And why would Camarilla agents have called themselves Spree at the wedding? Or were they actually Spree agents who just happened to stumble on the Camarilla crime scene? Or were the Spree trying to frame the Camarilla?
The Camarilla are human witch hunters who covertly spent all season rounding up witch voice boxes they could use to weaponize against the witches. Some of the things that were blamed on the Spree were highly likely the Camarilla. The Camarilla was last seen over two hundred years ago when Alder thought she'd ended them. What do you think brought them out of the woodwork now? From what we saw during the battle they appear to be a patriarchal organization in stark contrast to the matriarchal society of witches. What are your feelings regarding a potential setup of patriarchy versus matriarchy?
Aimee: I really hope that the Camarilla is a patriarchal group like they looked like they might be. The contrast of a matriarchal society versus a patriarchal group could provide some intriguing stories next season. We know there are male witches, but they respect a strictly matriarchal hierarchy, so it'll be interesting to see the contrast of them versus the Camarilla. I think it will be critical to the story next season to learn early on why the Camarilla chose now to reappear. My guess is that Alder never destroyed them and for the last two hundred years they have been regrouping and passing along their ideology to each new generation. When the Spree broke away from the Army the witch population became divided and as the old saying goes "United we stand, divided we fall", and I think the Camarilla saw their golden opportunity to strike. They also must have a rather sadistic leader at the top of the organization to dream up the idea of stripping witches of their voice boxes and using them as weapons. I had a feeling there was a third entity at play and I think the Camarilla are really going to help take the show to even greater heights than they are already at.
Donna: The re-emergence of the Camarilla at this time is strategic. They see anti-witch sentiment growing with the actions of the Spree and may be aware of the President's dissatisfaction with Alder's command of the Army. While both are busy battling in-fighting and fighting each other, they will be distracted which makes it the perfect time for the Camarilla to strike. This could be more of a human vs. witches battle. While most of the soldiers of the Camarilla appeared to be male there were women with them too, so until I see more of their leadership structure I'm not going to speculate if they are a total patriarchal led army. It would be interesting it that does turn out to be the case as most of the society we have seen so far in this world is matriarchal being challenged by a patriarchal group sets the stage for some complex stories going forward. A delicious twist that occurred to me would be the what-if of having the leader of the Camarilla be a descendant of the male side of the Bellweather clan, creating an interesting paradox for Abigail and her mother to face about their family history.
Ellys: We assume they are patriarchal because most of the members we saw were dressed like boys from the wrong side of the bayou with their floppy hats and sunglasses and red shirts. But there were also women with them. It's too soon to call them patriarchy nor is a male vs. female story particularly interesting. One can assume that the Spree's activities may have prompted their reemergence, although why they would go after just Bellweathers and Tarim for their voice boxes raises more questions.
Tally (Jessica Sutton) spent the entire episode calling out General Alder (Lyne Renee) for her hypocrisy. We got to see a vastly different side of her as she challenged the system she once adored. Then, in the heat of battle, Tally risked everything to save Alder by becoming a Biddy. Sutton has revealed that she knew this was Tally's fate all season. Looking back at the season, can you pick up on any hints that indicated this was coming? How do you think this will impact the unit moving forward? How long do you think Tally will remain a Biddy? Or do you think she will permanently remain a Biddy? And can Tally ever come back from thinking she witnessed the deaths of her sisters?
Aimee: The reason why this twist hit so hard is that there was absolutely nothing indicating it was coming. Even though Sutton knew since the start of filming, she never dropped any hints in interviews or let anything slip through in her performance. She helped nail the big surprise and, oh boy, was it a huge jaw-dropping surprise. I'd like to think that Tally becoming so critical of Alder will make her a different kind of Biddy. I don't think she is going to so easily bow to the status quo and will, therefore, keep challenging Alder, but by being intimately linked to her now, I think there are some very rich stories waiting to be told here. I don't think she will remain a Biddy forever. For one, that level of aging makeup on Sutton will not be an easy task to keep up for every single episode. For another, the makeup and prosthetics they need can't be cheap. Then again, this show seems to have a rather healthy budget, so maybe that won't be an issue. The bigger reason I don't think they'll leave her as a Biddy forever is that the strength of the show is with its core Bellweather unit. Tally is a Biddy now and therefore the Biddy's are her new unit if you will, but her heart will always belong to Abigail and Raelle. I think she will fight to one day be reunited with them as a unit, especially after she learns they survived. I expect her to deal with a lot of trauma and guilt over not being able to go help her sisters and a severe amount of PTSD over presumably watching them die. They have set Tally up to have a hell of a complex arc next season.
Donna: This was, for me, one of the better twists of the finale. Although Sutton knew this was the direction her character was headed, I saw no indication in earlier episodes. In fact, there was just the opposite, Tally's loyalty is and always has been to the Army, something she grew to believe wasn't Alder's motivations. Alder's actions to protect the Tarim when the Camarilla attacked showed her perhaps, she had misjudged the general somewhat and despite her reservations she knew they needed Alder's leadership to survive. Her actions in becoming a Biddy were purely survival instinct, once the dust has settled, she might come to regret that decision. Although having her remain a Biddy would provide a much-needed thorn in Alder's side they will not let her remain one. There must be some sort of reversal process to allow that if it proves that a Biddy does not fit with the others or their host. After seeing how traumatized Tally was by the seeming death of her unit, and her reaction when it's discovered they didn't die, Alder may do the most human thing she's ever done and release Tally from her Biddy commitment. She may also do so when she realizes what a powerful force Tally, Raelle, and Abigail make as a unit, a force they may desperately need to defeat the Camarilla.
Ellys: I wasn't sure this twist worked the first time I watched, but I found it more effective the second time around. The fact is that Tally's patriotism was still the dominant force in her life, and she was moved by Alder's description of past horrors, especially since Tally then witnessed those horrors firsthand. I think that ultimately Tally wanted Alder to persuade her back into her earlier position of loyalty. She wanted there to be justification, and she was eager to accept it. I wouldn't say the season needed hints this was coming. Out of everyone, Tally has been the one most in awe by all things to do with the Army repeatedly. We haven't seen any reversal of the Biddy process, but odds are it could happen, especially with the forces of magic acting up in unusual ways.
Alder is an extremely complicated character. It is hard to gauge her actual intentions. In the prior episode she seemed to be heading down a sinister path, destined for darkness. Then in this episode she made a very compelling case for the actions she has taken. What do you think Alder is really up to? Is she a good leader who must make tough decisions as appeared to be the case in this season finale? Or is there still something sinister hiding inside of her?
Aimee: I think I need to stop trying to predict what Alder is up to. One episode she looks like she is going to go down a dark and evil path and then the next episode she comes off looking like a strong leader. The writers of this show are so good at playing things close to the vest that until they are happening it's hard to see what path they are taking with the characters, and that's a great thing because it keeps the audience engaged and speculating. I honestly have no idea what will come of Alder. I see scenarios where she still goes down a dark path, but I also see scenarios where she is a good leader just doing the best she can during hard times. So, honestly, I have no idea what to think about Alder, but I'm looking forward to going on the ride to find out what they have in store for her. Also, I'm super excited that Renee was upgraded to a series regular for next season, so I'm sure they have some big stuff in store for Alder.
Donna: I'm still on the fence with Alder. She did the right thing in this episode but I'm wondering if she was pushed towards that by Tally's challenging her decisions. Alder is not used to being challenged and having someone call her out may have pushed her in the right direction, this time. There's no question that Alder is a capable leader in battle, but I still believe her quest for ultimate power will ultimately make her reckless. I think Tally's actions in both challenging her and then not hesitating in becoming a Biddy will have an impact on her. I was excited to see the actress has been bumped to series regular next season, so it will be interesting to watch how or if her character grows.
Ellys: It all comes back around to Alder having held power unchecked for hundreds of years. No one is as old as her, and she remembers prior lifetimes full of countless horrors. Her fear that the world could revert to that condition will help her justify anything she sees as preventing that from happening. And she isn't wrong. The hostages dying sucked for them, but the trucks full of bombs had to be stopped. And no one was going to get there in time. She made a tough call, but we weren't shown she had any other options. We also know that Alder is weak, dependent on the Biddies to give her power. Perhaps she simply keeps going because she hasn't met anyone who can take her place, and perhaps when she does, she'll consider stepping down or sharing her position.
Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) spent all season desperate to get into War College. When she and her unit were denied entry she was devastated, but then she was handed the opportunity to go, minus Tally and Raelle. It was a test of who she was destined to be as a leader. When it counted the most, she shunned the privilege that came to her because of her name to go into the heat of battle with her unit, her sisters. Then, when Raelle was mortally wounded, she put her own life on the line to try to save her sister. What do you think about the journey that Abigail has been on this season? Is she on the path to becoming a true leader?
Aimee: All season long we've watched Abigail claim to be a leader and claim to want to be a leader. We've seen indications that under her cocky bravado a good leader could be lurking, but I think her actions in this episode proved that she is on the path towards growing into a powerful leader who will perhaps be a better leader than those in her line that came before her. When it counted, she refused to abandon her sisters. All her hopes and dreams for War College were handed to her on a silver spoon, but instead of following her dreams she followed her unit into the heat of battle. That alone was an indication of the path she was on. Then came the fight scene. She saw Raelle fall in battle and her first instinct was to run to her fallen sister. Without hesitation she took Raelle's hand and linked with her. She was not leaving Raelle behind even as she saw the Camarilla was surrounding them and the helicopter was leaving. She was not leaving Raelle to die alone and there was so much power in that sentiment. Williams, wow, she has taken Abigail on a real journey to this moment and at this moment, when she was lying in the dirt with Hickson, you could see the connection between the actresses through the characters and you could feel the sisterhood. That made the moment even more poignant and Williams made sure through her performances all season long that this moment not only felt natural, but that it felt right that this is exactly where Abigail would want to be in this horrific moment.
Donna: Being a good soldier was drilled into Abigail from the moment she was born. I've had my doubts all season as to her abilities as a good leader. Her actions in this episode went a long way in changing my opinion of her ability to lead. Can she lead? Yes. Is she a good leader? That remains to be seen but she's getting there. We knew she and her unit had already been through so much together that she would never have allowed them to go into battle without her even going so far as to sacrifice her life to save Raelle.
Ellys: Not for one second did any of us think that Abigail was going to take the easy way out. She easily had my favorite character development this season, and her journey was beautifully capped by choosing her sisters over the family legacy she had been both motivated and suffocated by.
Earlier in the season, Raelle touched that mushroom thing, the Mycelium, in the necromancy building. Ever since that moment the writers have subtly hinted at ways it may have impacted her. As she lay dying on the battlefield, puncture wound to her chest, struggling for air, she and Abigail grasped hands. After a declaration of sisterly love from Abigail, a burst of energy (or something super powerful) blasted from their interlaced hands. It appeared to start in Raelle's hand. Do you think that was a result of Raelle touching the mushroom? Did it heal her and Abigail? And where exactly were they when they were walking surrounded by the black curtain engulfing them? Are they still alive or caught in some sort of purgatory?
Aimee: The weird explosion of energy that emanated from Raelle and Abigail's hands was without a doubt a result of Raelle touching the Mycelium earlier in the season. The power, whatever that may be, was inside of Raelle, gifted to her when she linked so briefly with the mycelium, and I think it somehow amplified her healing ability. What I think was particularly powerful was that it seemed like it was Abigail's confession of the sisterly love that triggered Raelle's will to live. Abigail gave Raelle the motivation she needed to realize she had to live, if not for herself, then to not take her sister down with her. In the series premiere, this is exactly how Scylla described the way she thought Raelle wanted to escape the Army, on the front lines in the middle of a fight, going out in a blaze of glory. Raelle got all that and instead of giving in to the inevitable, she fought to stay alive and saved them both in the grandest way possible. The black substance that exploded from them and engulfed them, well, that I have no idea how to describe or even speculate on what it was. I believe, if I'm remembering correctly, that the mycelium could be some sort of bridge between life and death, but that doesn't really help me guess exactly what it was doing as it engulfed Raelle and Abigail. It seemed to be changing the area surrounding them as they walked. I don't think they are stuck in a purgatory of sorts, but I do think that this is going to profoundly change both women and forge a strong bond between them.
Donna: The seeming survival of Raelle and Abigail was totally due to Raelle's previous encounter with the Mycelium. Perhaps Abigail's life force and determination not to let Raelle die triggered the reaction thereby activating the power of the mushroom. Mushrooms bloom as they grow stronger, and in a sense, we will see Abigail and Raelle bloom and strengthen their bond and survival thanks to the Mycelium. Right now, the black cloud and explosion have placed them in a state of suspension until both are strong enough again to enter the real world. The bigger question to ask is will they find whatever magic gifts they had suddenly enhanced by their shared experience, making the unit, once they are reunited with Tally, more powerful than ever.
Ellys: I love that the show circled back to the Mycelium in such a big and mysterious way. I have all the questions. Did it release some kind of toxin into the air? What supernatural element healed and saved them? I didn't consider that they might not be fully conscious, but they did seem to be in quite the daze. If a force associated with death did rescue them, they might need a Necromancer to help them identify it. Did the Camarilla survive the blast? What is the Mushroom thing? Or who is it I should say? This show tends to stay away from the more eerie side of magic, so I like that they have this mysterious element at play.
Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) made Raelle a promise to look after Scylla. As a result, we got to see the bonding between Anacostia and Scylla. It turns out the two women aren't as different as they initially appeared. In fact, they share a lot in common. Ultimately, Anacostia made the tough decision to free Scylla. Do you think that was out of the kindness of her heart? Or did she do it with a bigger plan in mind?
Aimee: I think both are real possibilities, that she did it out of the kindness of her heart and did it with a bigger plan in mind. She forged a rather quick bond with her captive, even Alder noted it. Honestly, I wasn't really surprised when Anacostia decided to free Scylla, especially after that heartfelt scene they shared earlier in the episode. It seems like Scylla and Anacostia are cut from the same cloth, but when there was a fork in the road, they each took a different path. I think Anacostia sees a lot of herself in Scylla, and that might scare her a bit. Even Scylla was a bit surprised at how much they share. In the last episode Anacostia was already dreaming up ways she could bring Scylla around to their side and redeem her. She was not ready to just throw Scylla out and write her off. Freeing Scylla, I believe, was more than just keeping her promise to Raelle, but making that promise to Raelle did add a little extra motivation for her to find some way to help Scylla. Holm and McKinney have done some amazing work together in the past few episodes, but this episode really gave them a chance to showcase how great of an acting team they are. I'm very curious to see how things play out between the two of them.
Donna: It was a combination of both. Scylla managed to touch her with her declarations about being human and her genuine love for Raelle. However, I think Anacostia letting Scylla escape and then conveniently showing up where Scylla goes to meet the Spree are totally by design. While Scylla got to Anacostia, I think Anacostia got to Scylla as well on some level and got her to agree to a dangerous plan to infiltrate the Spree. Anacostia's current sense of dissatisfaction with Alder and the Army will make her a prime target for conversion, but her loyalties will remain with the Army. This could lead to some intriguing storylines for Anacostia, the first which will be her discovering that Willa is the lost comrade she often refers to, and Willa uses that connection to make her see humans in a different light.
Ellys: Anacostia's decision came from a place of intense conflict. Her shaken faith in Alder, her connection to Scylla, her bitterness at her (ridiculously silly? or too scared to break the rules?) parents…all of this contributed to letting Scylla go. I got the impression in that scene that Anacostia was hoping Scylla would just run and not go back to the Spree, but apparently, that was either a deliberate misdirect or blurry acting direction.
As the episode ended, we saw Scylla enter a Spree safe house. A quick pan from the camera showed that Anacostia was on the street, following her. Did Anacostia let Scylla free to use her to get to the Spree? Or do you think Anacostia convinced Scylla to work with her? We also saw that Willa seemed very familiar with Anacostia. Willa didn't seem the least bit surprised that Anacostia helped Scylla escape. How do you think Anacostia and Willa know each other?
Aimee: I'm torn on this. The first time I watched it I thought for sure she was following Scylla, hoping to be led to the Spree. Then I watched it a second time and I wondered if perhaps they had arranged this. Scylla had already chosen Raelle over the Spree, so surely, she knew going back to the Spree could turn badly. There seems like there could have been a small amount of time that we didn't see, where Scylla was free in the interrogation room while she and Anacostia were staging it to look like Scylla escaped. It is plausible that they could have worked something out to benefit them both. I'm starting to get the impression that Anacostia has a bit of a reputation of being soft of heart despite her tough as nails exterior. Willa was not at all surprised that Anacostia would set Scylla free. I'm guessing that Willa and Anacostia served together before Willa was presumed dead. I don't think it would be wild to speculate that we could see Anacostia eventually sway towards some of the ideals of the Spree. I think what she has witnessed recently and what Scylla said to her got her to thinking about a lot of things. Anacostia seems poised to have a complex storyline next season.
Donna: I believe I addressed this in my previous answer. There is a connection between Willa and Anacostia as former teammates. They clearly will know one another providing us with another complex reunion.
Ellys: We speculated early on this season that Anacostia looking out for Raelle was due to a past connection with Willa. What if Anacostia was the other Spree agent all along? It would be a breathtaking twist. She could have been testing Scylla's loyalty to the Spree the whole time. And leading the mission against the Spree could have been a necessary sacrifice to maintain her cover. I might be reaching here, but I'm looking for anything that makes sense of whatever nonsense Anacostia jogging right in front of the safe house was supposed to be.
Freeform pleased us all by renewing the show for a very well deserved second season. What do you want to see happen in Season Two? Are there any plots from this season that you hope they drop? Are there any plot points you hope they will explore further?
Aimee: This season was very well-paced and planned out, so I expect nothing but the same from next season. I expect the Camarilla conflict to consume most of, if not all, Season Two. We'll surely get to see the tension of the Spree and Army witches working together. There is going to be a lot going on with Tally as a Biddy. Raelle and Abigail are going to have to figure out how to cope with whatever has happened to them. Raelle and Scylla will have a lot to work through to get back to where they were in their relationship before the wedding. We will also surely see the fallout that comes with Willa still being alive. I really hope that they dive further into Spree ideology and give us more information regarding their structure and organization. Now that Tally is a Biddy, I'd like to see the origins of the Biddy's further explored. I also really hope they dive deep into the Camarilla, so we can all really understand where their hatred comes from and what led them to launch a new war against the witches now. This show is so well structured and they've done such a fabulous job of building a richly complex and dynamic world for these characters to inhabit that whatever happens is surely going to be amazing and jaw-dropping in its twists and turns. I'm so happy that Freeform didn't drag out this renewal and gave the show the second season it so deservedly has earned.
Donna: We've obviously been left with several challenging things facing the young witches of Motherland: Fort Salem. Have Raelle and Abigail survived? How will their brush with death change them? The question of Tally remaining a Biddy will certainly be at the forefront at the beginning of Season Two. What I would like to see is more of Anacostia's journey, Alder's character growth, and I need to learn more about the Camarilla before declaring them as dangerous a threat as we've been led to believe.
Ellys: The Camarilla aren't a remarkably interesting addition to the show, in theory, or execution. Also, the Camarilla leaving the helicopters intact was completely silly unless they wanted everyone to escape, which doesn't make sense no matter which way you turn the page. I'd much rather explore the conflict and intrigue within the witch community then bring in a third-party threat.
This show has been one of the most visually stunning shows Freeform has ever produced. What have been some of your favorite visuals from throughout the season? Were there any costumes or props that really caught your eye?
Aimee: This show is one of the most visually stunning shows I've seen in an exceptionally long time and it continues to surprise me that it is on Freeform. The network clearly granted this show a healthy budget and they are using it very wisely. The cluster of tornadoes from the season premiere when Scylla and Raelle first met was a small taste of what this show could do, and they have continued to impress since then. The beach scene where Tally and Abigail found Raelle was made more poignant by the warm colors that just enriched the intense emotions. I also adored the aesthetic design of the scene when Scylla confessed that she was trying to learn how to be more open with Raelle. The way they framed the scene in a tight close-up of Holm and Hickson with their touching foreheads as they conveyed that intense moment between their characters really highlighted how much heart and emotion the two actresses were putting into that emotionally rich moment. In stark contrast, another of my favorite scenes, was Scylla and Raelle's reunion in the interrogation room. That scene was one of the most emotionally intense of the season and the dark aesthetic look really helped to amplify the heart-wrenching performances being delivered by Holm and Hickson. Then there were the warm dusty colors surrounding that was almost Raelle's death scene. The coloring of the scene and the way they framed Raelle and Abigail made the scene more powerful. This show truly has a beautiful aesthetic.
Donna: Visually this series told us it was going to be different in the very first episode with the stunning effect of the tornado storm. The production team has been masterful all season using dark and warm hues to highlight great moments and have provided several stunning images. One episode was the Beltane episode, whereas most of the other episodes had been filled with darkness or warm muted light, this episode exploded with life and color, from the costumes to the set design and unusual choreography. The season finale also brought some exceptional images, from the light shining through the stained glass window into the girl's dorm room, the helicopters flying into the sunset, the dark cloud that ironically will symbolize life instead of death for Raelle and Abigail to the striking side-by-side aging and de-aging of Tally and Alder during battle. This shows that the producers have been given the budget and leeway to create something unique for this unique show.
Ellys: The flying scenes were incredible. I also loved the effects of the Mushroom wall. Tally and Abigail comforting Raelle at the beach was also an incredibly powerful visual, with the lighthouse in the distance and the vast ocean surrounding them. My favorite non-uniform look was probably Raelle's black Beltane outfit. I also find the absence of modern technology to be a continually interesting choice.
Which performer do you think delivered the most memorable performance in the episode? Why did their performance standout for you? What were their best scenes?
Aimee: Choosing just one is not possible. Even isolating just a few to call out is impossible. Every single performer on this show absolutely nailed everything they were given in this episode. No one performer was better than the others. But, in terms of memorable scenes: the whole sequence with Raelle and Abigail, Anacostia setting Scylla free, Scylla going to the Spree house, the whole Camarilla fight sequence. Lots of powerful performances helped elevate this episode exponentially.
Donna: Sutton and Hickson have been impressive at different times all season and both had great moments to shine in this episode. However, I will have to say Williams most impressed me in this episode finally showing me that Abigail possessed the heart and qualities that make a good leader.
Ellys: This was an episode focused more on checking off plot points than spending time with the characters, but Williams and Hickson owned that final scene with Raelle and Abigail lying side by side. I don't believe the show set up their bond as effectively as it thinks it did, but the actresses made the moment land.
What are your final thoughts regarding this episode?
Aimee: I have watched a lot of shows in my life and seen a ton of season finales, but I can't remember a time when there wasn't a single thing I could fault or a single performance I didn't think was up to par. This was as close to a perfect season finale as I think I have ever seen. The writing was tight and very well structured, as is expected from this show, they have a strong writing team. The performances, wow, they were all-powerful and stunningly executed. This is easily going down as my favorite show of 2020 to date. Not a single part of this season disappointed me, and this season finale was one of my favorite episodes of the season. I can't wait to see what Season Two will bring for this incredible series.
Donna: This episode was exceptional in the way that it tied together with some storylines while opening the doors to others. The show's storytelling has been outstanding and built to a finale that packed a lot of action and show-stopping moments in a noticeably short amount of time. My sincere hope is that they can continue with the commitment to quality work and stories in the second season. I think with this exceptional cast and writers they can pull it off and avoid the second season sophomore-slump many shows experience.
Ellys: While this episode had a plot convenience affliction that made it hard to tell if things were happening way too easily or on purpose, it was an overall entertaining wrap-up to a show that managed to be both unique and consistently engaging. Looking at the season as a whole, it earned its renewal.
Please use the comments section to discuss your thoughts on the topics we talked about in the article.
We are signing off for the season, but we will be back here next season to discuss each episode of this brilliant show.