Motherland: Fort Salem 2×02 Review: “Abomination”
The Bellweather unit begins their training at War College as an unlikely alliance forms between Scylla and Anacostia in “Abomination.”
With Raelle (Taylor Hickson), Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), and Tally (Jessica Sutton) finally reunited and receiving their admission to War College in “Of the Blood,” this week’s episode, “Abomination”, sees them start the next level of training. War College quickly differentiates itself from the basic training the three received last season as the lessons intensify and new faces are introduced.
This week’s episode introduced more of the new characters announced for this season. M (Ess Hodlmoser), a non-binary leader of the Bellweather unit’s War College coven, instantly butts heads with Raelle before a moment of reconciliation. M seems like an interesting character and their presence will provide commentary on the very gendered dichotomy of last season’s interactions between the male and female witches. In addition, Gregorio (Praneet Akilla) is a new classmate who has history with Abigail. It remains to see what these new characters will add to the story, but they both have a lot of potential.
War College itself introduces new lessons, including speaking in mother tongue. Later on, a professor uses a technique commonly used by the Spree to control her students, forcing them to put bags over their heads and lead them into a test. The group seemingly ends up in an attic and must destroy the source of a noise that causes inanimate dolls to come to life and attack the students. The sequence is both exciting and creepy. Tally is given the opportunity to shine as she is able to use her abilities to see the source of the noise successfully end the test.
In addition to her work in the trial, Tally also shines throughout this episode. She connects with newly recruited vice president’s daughter Penelope (Mellany Barros) and gets permission form General Alder (Lynn Renee) to mentor her. It’s unclear what to make of Tally’s growing connection to Alder, but it’s amazing to see her develop her abilities as well as a character.
Tally also continues to have visions of walking and fighting in a jungle with Alder and a mysterious woman. After coming across a picture of an old Army unit, Tally is able to see that the mysterious woman from her vision has been magically erased from the photo, raising questions about the woman’s identity and why Alder attempted to erase her.
Alder and Izadora (Emilie LeClerc) struggle to test Raelle and Abigail’s newfound abilities. After attempting to kill the two of them on Alder’s clearance, the abilities manifest solely in Raelle and Izadora discovers that Raelle’s touching of the Mycelium spores is the cause. The discovery makes Raelle one of the Army’s deadliest weapons and it will be interesting to see how Raelle deals with the revelation going forward. On the other hand, Abigail’s disappointment over not also having the special ability as well will most likely cause friction in the future.
In addition to discovering her lack of a special ability, Abigail receives a warning from Khalida (Kylee Brown) that Adil (Tony Giroux) will eventually leave and always prioritize his people over her. While Khalida’s position is understandable, hopefully there will be a way for Abigail and Adil to work things out. It seems as though Abigail hasn’t had as much to do this season as Raelle and Tally, but Abigail will likely get her own chance to shine either with a new ability of her own or with her skills as a natural leader soon.
Meanwhile, Scylla (Amalia Holm) continues to investigate the Camarilla with Willa (Diana Pavlovska). Willa provides a little more information into why she joined the Spree in this episode, but there are still many questions left to be answered and Raelle’s discovery that Willa is both alive and a leader of the Spree continues to be anticipated.
Scylla also reconnects with Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) as they both independently infiltrate a vigil for Scylla’s Spree attack from the show’s pilot. It’s great to see Anacostia working undercover and it will be interesting to see how her work outside of the Army will develop going forward. Both Scylla and Anacostia play off each other well and their shared goals will create an intriguing, though somewhat hesitant alliance.
This episode also plants the seeds for Scylla’s redemption arc. Scylla is clearly affected by seeing what her actions have caused, and Anacostia continues to argue that Scylla is remorseful despite her own denial. Scylla has a long way to go, but it will be interesting to see how this arc will develop, particularly with an inevitable and highly anticipated reunion with Raelle coming up this season.
This episode had a lot of great moments, particularly for Tally, Anacostia, and Scylla, and introduced a few new characters and interesting storylines. Many of the questions raised and storylines introduced are intriguing and it will be exciting to see how they are answered and developed going forward.
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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