Motherland: Fort Salem 3×08 Review: “Petra’s Favorite Pen”

Petra's Favorite Pen
Raelle (Taylor Hickson), Tally (Jessica Sutton), and Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) in “Petra’s Favorite Pen”

The unit is forced to make game-changing decisions in an attempt to end the war in “Petra’s Favorite Pen.”

With Raelle (Taylor Hickson) back in the fold after “She Returns,” the unit must continue to move forward in “Petra’s Favorite Pen.” Alder (Lyne Renee) and Tally (Jessica Sutton) team up to find the remaining pieces of the first song. Meanwhile, Raelle, Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams), and Adil (Tony Giroux) seek to rescue Scylla (Amalia Holm). It’s great to see Raelle finally retake her place among the unit and the return of the central dynamic between her Abigail and Tally is a welcome sight.

Tally and Alder travel to find another steward of the first song, a witch (Francisca Dennis) frozen for centuries in an icy cave. The witch is not pleased to see them and possesses Tally when she gets the opportunity. Alder uses a sword frozen in the cave to free Tally from the witch’s grasp, and Alder’s concern about Tally is evident throughout the episode. This season has made me become much more invested in Tally and Alder’s dynamic, and Renee and Sutton’s chemistry continues to shine.

Tally offers the witch her sight in exchange for the piece of the song. Her reasoning that she doesn’t have anything good to see in the bleak landscape is a fair, yet heartbreaking assessment. The witch agrees to the deal, and Tally becomes another steward of the first song. It’s surprising that Tally would give up her defining ability, and it will be interesting to see how the unit works without it going forward. The cave collapses on their way out, and Alder seemingly sacrifices herself to allow Tally to get out safely. Despite the cave collapsing, it doesn’t seem like this is the last we will see of Alder.

Alder (Lyne Renee) and Tally (Jessica Sutton) in “Petra’s Favorite Pen.”

Meanwhile, Raelle learns about Scylla’s location from an injured cadet that she heals. She, along with Abigail and Adil, go to rescue Scylla. The rescue mission seems to be too easy. Scylla is being held in a place nicknamed “The Slaughterhouse,” which turns out to be an ordinary school with pretty lax security.

Raelle is able to free the unharmed Scylla without a fight, merely threatening the Camarilla guard with the witch bomb. Despite the simple nature of the rescue, the romantic reunion between Raelle and Scylla is worth the wait.

Back at Fort Salem, Petra (Catherine Lough Haggquist) finally lashes out at her Camarilla civilian oversight officer. During a tense conversation, she kills him with work involving several taps of her pen. It’s satisfying to see Petra stand up to the Camarilla for a moment, even though she must still appear compliant during a surprise visit from President Silver (Victor Webster). She is able to dodge Silver’s suspicions with the help of Sterling (Luc Roderique) disguising himself as the dead Camarilla officer.

In a battle with the Camarilla, Abigail is moved by the death of several cadets. She decides that the unit should turn themselves in to stop the war. While the idea is noble, it’s also misguided as it’s evident that the Camarilla won’t stop until they kill all witches. The rest of the reunited unit surprisingly agrees to the plan, and the ensuing hug between Abigail, Tally, Raelle, and Scylla is a very beautiful moment.

Before they turn themselves in, Abigail says goodbye to both Adil and Thelma (Olivia Lucas). Raelle takes the opportunity to propose to Scylla, who says yes as Raelle slips her mother’s ring on Scylla’s finger. These highlights are emotional moments to hold onto as things will likely get worse for the unit before they get better.

As Raelle, Scylla, Abigail, and Tally walk towards Petra and the army at the end of “Petra’s Favorite Pen,” there is a sense of dread yet a sense of hope that they will be able to find a way to persevere in the end.

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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