Halloween comes to Motherland: Fort Salem with unique traditions and emotional moments on display in “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil.”
After the protest in “Not Our Daughters,” the time has come for Fort Salem’s version of Halloween in this week’s episode, “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil.” This Halloween involves plenty of frights, fights, and emotional moments for the Bellweather unit. While it is bizarre to have a Halloween episode in the middle of July, it is very interesting to see how Halloween differs in this universe compared to our own.
While the civilians still celebrate Halloween in this universe with trick-or-treating, both the witches and Camarilla celebrate the holiday differently. The witches in War College use the night to challenge the ghosts of a lost regiment to battle. Success in the battle allows each participant a limited amount of time to communicate with a ghost of their choice. Meanwhile, the Camarilla have revived their previous tradition of sacrificing a witch on Halloween night. The Halloween traditions are an interesting addition to the previously established world and the idea of allowing witches to communicate with the dead for one night adds more intrigue to the episode.
For different reasons, Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), Raelle (Taylor Hickson), and Tally (Jessica Sutton) are all eager to win the opportunity to speak with the dead. The sequence of the three, along with the rest of their coven, fighting off the ghost soldiers is exciting and Raelle quickly becomes the star of the fight with both her healing abilities and her newfound Mycelium powers.
Abigail continues her difficult path this season. Reeling from last episode’s Camarilla attack and believing that Adil (Tony Giroux) has been killed in the episode’s opening Camarilla attack on the train carrying him, Khalida (Kylee Brown), and General Sharma (Chelsea Gill), Abigail spends much of the episode blaming herself for falling so easily into the Camarilla’s trap. After winning the fight, she chooses to contact her dead cousin, Charvel (Bernadette Beck), who tells her that she’s failed herself and urges her to fight back. This becomes the encouragement Abigail needs and, after reuniting with Adil, encourages him to help her to find a way to end the Camarilla. Abigail choosing to forge her own path and back away from the army’s traditions has been an exciting journey to watch this season.
Raelle hopes to use the offered opportunity to speak to her mother. As the audience knows that Willa (Diana Pavlovska) is alive, it’s obvious that Willa doesn’t show up. Regardless, it’s heartbreaking to watch Raelle wait and hope for her mother to arrive and discovering the truth about her mother will most likely break her even further. In addition, Raelle confronts Anacostia (Demetria McKinney) about seeing Scylla (Amalia Holm) at the protest, but Anacostia refuses to tell her anything. Hopefully, the long-awaited reunion between both Raelle and her mother and Raelle and Scylla won’t be dragged out much longer.
After seeing through General Alder’s (Lyne Renee) lies about the mysterious Nicte (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart), Tally uses the offered opportunity to communicate with a dead soldier from her visions, Esterbrook (Wonser De-Gbon). Esterbrook shows her more of what happened on the night she died, but there weren’t too many new revelations in this episode. While this was one of the weaker plots of “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil”, it will be great to get more answers about Nicte and her mission with Alder soon.
The highlight of the episode was Scylla and Anacostia’s infiltration into a Camarilla meeting. The partnership between Scylla and Anacostia has been a strength of this season, and this episode is no exception. Both of them work together to save a little girl recently identified as a witch, who is about to be sacrificed by the Camarilla in their revived Halloween tradition. Scylla has fun while revealing herself to the Camarilla as a member of the Spree and as she plays with the group before killing one of their leaders. Anacostia also gets a great moment as she fights off a member of the Camarilla and assists Scylla by turning off the power. While Scylla’s choice to reveal herself as a witch to the Camarilla, in addition to her murder of another Camarilla member at the end of the episode, will likely have consequences, the sequence was exciting to watch.
This episode featured both great action sequences and great character moments. However, there are still many questions to be answered and the long-awaited reunions between both Raelle and her mother and Raelle and Scylla have yet to come to fruition halfway through the season. There is much anticipation of how these storylines will unfold, how the Bellweather unit will continue to evolve, and how everyone will deal with the growing threat of the Camarilla.
Hopefully, the second half of the season will continue to be strong while picking up the pace on developing many of the storylines. Motherland: Fort Salem will have a panel at this weekend’s Comic-Con, likely with some teases about the rest of the season.
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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