Motherland: Fort Salem picks up where last season’s finale left off in premiere “Of the Blood”, providing resolution to some of last season’s conflicts.
After Motherland: Fort Salem’s literally explosive season one finale, season two premiere “Of the Blood” follows the immediate aftermath of Raelle (Taylor Hickson) and Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) being stranded on their mission and Tally’s (Jessica Sutton) sudden transformation into a biddy. As many plotlines from the previous season are resolved, new conflicts are established as both the army and the Spree are faced with a common enemy in the Camariilla.
After the helicopter leaves Raelle and Abigail behind, the grief from their presumed deaths is palpable in both Tally and Adil (Tony Giroux). The subsequent reaction from Abigail’s mother, Petra (Catherine Lough Haggquist) and her blaming of General Alder (Lynn Renee) is also heartbreaking. As the grief over their presumed deaths grow, Raelle and Abigail discuss the life-saving explosion they were able to create as they see a body covered in mushrooms created in the aftermath.
Tally prepares to commit herself to life as a biddy despite Alder giving her a choice. A connection between the two is formed after Tally’s choice, and their new bond will no doubt cause conflict going forward. After seeing the lengths Alder is willing to go to maintain power last season, Tally’s sudden devotion to her and constant defense of her in this episode is a bit unsettling. It remains to be seen if Alder will redeem herself this season or if she will continue her unethical methods while commanding her army.
Thankfully, Raelle and Abigail’s presumed deaths are resolved quickly and the two are soon reunited with their friends and loved ones. Raelle and Abigail’s reunion with Tally, who decides to remove her biddy status after finding out they are alive, is one of the highlights of the episode and Petra’s embrace of both Abigail and Raelle is also a beautiful moment. Raelle and Abigail can’t enjoy the reunion for long as they debate whether to tell Alder about their new abilities. Raelle is rightfully skeptical of Alder, but Abigail and Tally convince her to be forthcoming. Alder is intrigued by their new abilities, and it will be interesting to see how these new abilities will develop and continue to help the two.
Abigail also reunites with Adil, and their romance finally culminates in the consummation of their relationship. The couple is easy to root for and Abigail admits that her feelings for him are deeper than purely physical. The insistence of Adil’s sister Khalida (Kylee Brown) that they leave the base will provide conflict to Abigail and Adil’s relationship though Khalida’s continued distrust of Alder is well-founded.
Elsewhere in the episode, Scylla (Amalia Holm) confronts Spree leader, and Raelle’s presumed-dead mother, Willa (Diana Pavlovska) about sending her to collect Raelle without knowing the truth. Willa doesn’t provide a lot of answers about her involvement with the Spree but informs Scylla that the conflict with the Camarilla is greater than the one with the army. The two disguise themselves and attend a vigil of a previous Spree attack, where a speaker suggests that the army can’t be trusted to deal with the Spree. This scene provides interesting context into what the civilians feel about both the army and the Spree.
Though Scylla and Willa’s storyline in this episode is isolated from everyone else, it will be interesting to see Scylla’s eventual reunion with Raelle and Raelle’s impending discovery that her mother is both alive and the leader of the Spree. In addition, Scylla’s discovery that Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) is tracking her will most likely lead to them working together in the future.
A new element of the season involves the discovery that the daughter of Vice President Silver (Victor Webster), Penelope (Mellany Barros) is a witch. A vocal test proves that she has witch blood and Alder is both excited by the discovery and determined to find more undiscovered witches to recruit for their cause. Penelope being the daughter of the vice president will provide an interesting wrinkle in the army’s relationship with the government and how the civilians view witches going forward.
Another highlight of the episode has Anacostia inform Raelle, Abigail, and Tally that they have finally been admitted to War College. The four women drink to the news and Anacostia teases them about how much trouble they’ve been for her. The relationship between Anacostia and Bellweather unit has always been great and will hopefully continue despite the Bellweather unit moving on in their training.
The episode ends with a terrifying sequence of a vision where Tally, Alder, and a group of witches are attacked in a jungle by giant worms and the Camarilla. Raelle and Abigail assure Tally that it’s a nightmare, but Tally discovers a very real mark on her stomach. The sequence is disturbing, and the nature of the vision and Tally’s physical mark raise a lot of questions.
While it’s great that Raelle and Abigail’s presumed deaths aren’t dragged out, a lot of the issues from last season’s finale seem to be resolved quickly. Tally’s sacrifice to become a biddy is reversed easily, the conflict about Abigail, Raelle, and Tally being denied admission to War College is resolved without much issue, and only Raelle seems to remain distrustful of Alder after her actions last season.
Though new conflicts will be introduced over the course of this season as the Camarilla threat continues to grow, it’s jarring to see some of these issues resolved so neatly in one episode. Regardless, the season premiere has a lot of great moments, and the current season will hopefully continue to feature great moments for Raelle, Abigail, and Tally with exciting new challenges for them to face.
You can test your own witch abilities in Freeform’s Motherland Witch Test.
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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