Motherland: Fort Salem 3×02 Review: “The Price of Work”
The unit makes it to the heart of the Cession, but both the Mycelium and Raelle are put in peril due to the Camarilla’s efforts in “The Price of Work.”
Finding themselves once again on the run after the season premiere “Homo Cantus,” the unit travels deep into the Cession in “The Price of Work.” However, they soon find themselves thrust back into action as the Camarilla start to poison the Mycelium. Back at Fort Salem, Petra (Catherine Lough Haggquist) tries to figure out if President Wade (Sheryl Lee Ralph) is an ally or an enemy.
The opening sequence of the group attempting to pass through a protective ward undetected starts the episode off on a high note. The romantic interactions between Raelle (Taylor Hickson) and Scylla (Amalia Holm) are sweet, and the discussion between Tally (Jessica Sutton), Nicte (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart), and Khalida (Kylee Brown) about being the outsiders to the two couples is also amusing. With some quick maneuvering and Abigail’s (Ashley Nicole Williams) effort to help Khalida after she trips, the group is able to successfully cross through the ward and into the heart of the cession.
The group ends up camping out in the woods, and soon begin to argue amongst themselves over Abigail overhearing Raelle and Scylla’s promises to each other to eventually run away together and the resistance to using Spree techniques. Neither of these arguments are surprising, but hopefully, the in-fighting doesn’t last too long into the season.
Tally does her best to calm everyone down, proving how valuable she is to the group. She continues to train with Nicte, who shows her the effects of too much-unrestrained work on her true, disfigured face. Tally recognizes the face from her previous vision and realizes that she is able to see into the future farther than any witch previously has. Tally’s continued development of her abilities remains awesome to see, and it will be exciting to see how she will be able to impact the impending war between the witches and the Camarilla.
Scylla drives into town and communicates with Anacostia (Demetria McKinney). Upon learning of the Camarilla’s attempts to poison the Mycelium, Scylla rushes back to camp to find that Raelle has been swallowed up by the Mycelium. Scylla informs the group of Anacostia’s instructions to investigate a nearby chemical plant that the Camarilla are using, and the group is eager to jump into action to save Raelle. Despite their earlier disagreements, the group immediately putting aside their differences to try and save Raelle is gratifying.
Back at Fort Salem, Petra and Anacostia invite President Wade and Vice President Silver (Victor Webster) to a dinner party to figure out where Wade’s allegiances lie. The two use a combination of Petra’s mother Minerva (Liza Huget) and lie-detecting technology from Izadora (Emilie Leclerc) to determine that Wade is sincere in her support for witches. The relief quickly turns to dread as Petra and Anacostia realize that this makes her a target for the Camarilla.
As the unit investigates the chemical plant, they soon jump into action when they see Camarilla leader Alban (Bob Frazer). While the ensuing action is fun, it seems like an incredibly stupid tactical move to just jump into the open and engage the Camarilla. Regardless, it’s fun to see the group work together and cause some damage to the Camarilla. The sequence ends up with the unit capturing Alban but ultimately end up letting him walk away when cornered by a group of Marshalls back at the campsite.
The highlights of the episode are the emotional moments between the members of the unit. Abigail, Adil (Tony Giroux), and Khalida end up embracing as they assure each other that they have each other. Likewise, Scylla’s concern for Raelle throughout the episode and Tally’s comforting of her is even more heartwarming, particularly as Scylla desperately tries to contact Raelle with the signal through her hand. Both of these moments are touching, and the group dynamics remain the biggest strength of the series.
Though the episode had many great emotional moments, there were also a couple of mysteries further developed. The black rain from the previous episode is synthesized to take the form of Penelope (Mellany Barros), but this form of Penelope has lost her memories and attacks Izadora. During the chemical plant sequence, Abigail and Adil provide a hint of what the union of earth and sky could be referring to as they combine their abilities to destroy the Camarilla. Though Khalida denies knowing what it means, there’s a sense that she may know more than she’s letting on.
As Raelle remains trapped in the Mycelium, it appears to her as her mother Willa (Diana Pavlovska). However, the poison seems to have corrupted the Mycelium as Willa tells Raelle to ignore Scylla’s signal in a sinister manner. It is unknown how long Raelle will be trapped inside, but hopefully, she will be able to reunite with the unit soon.
Regardless of what the outcome of these mysteries ends up being, “The Price of Work” is filled with great heartfelt moments throughout and raises the stakes even further. As fans wait for the next episode to arrive, they can participate in Freeform’s official Motherland: Fort Salem fan contest.
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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