Review: Salem 1.04 – “Survivors”

Tonight, Salem opens with an exorcism! Yay! Mercy Lewis is getting exorcised by her father, Reverend Lewis (Thomas Francis Murphy). He slices open her stomach while chanting old Latin. A black snake slinks out of her stomach and out of the room…. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

Mary boasts in front of her husband about the innocent blood that will be spilled. We see him sneakily clutch the needle he stole from her last week. A new guy sneaks around town looking altogether suspicious. I’m sure we’ll see him again. Alden goes to visit his parents graves. Anne appears and they engage in a conversation about her sudden sickness from last week. She tells him of fever dreams, of the creepy doll and her father removing it from her room. Alden does not trust Magistrate Hale at all (and for good reason!).

rose4Alden goes to Cotton Mather with his suspicions: he thinks Anne was under a spell. Cotton is surprised that Alden has finally admitted that some form of witches exists, but he is distracted by his favorite whore, Gloriana, who happens to be kissing/flirting with the new guy in town. Cotton finally snaps and runs over to them, breaking them apart. He is very mad, but Alden prevents him from further violence. It seems Alden recognizes the new guy, but he denies knowing him to Cotton.

Mary and Tituba walk down the street, where they run into a not nearly as possessed Mercy. She wheezes and convulses under Mary’s stares, almost accusing the nearby blacksmith of being a witch, but she collapses. Mary realizes they have lost control of Mercy. She, Tituba, Hale, and Rose (Diane Salinger) meet out in the woods and discuss their current problems. Mary insists that Mercy just needs to rest, while Hale stresses their lack of time before the Hunter’s Moon and Alden’s suspicions of him. Hale wants to abate Alden’s suspicions. Rose tells Mary she trusts her vision. Hmm.

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Mary arrives at Cotton’s place and easily guilt-trips him into doing more for her and the town. She totally uses his father against Cotton’s warped psyche. Oh, poor Cotton. Sucks his name is Cotton, too. Anyways, Hale takes the opportunity to invite Alden to a reception in his honor. He wants to make amends. Alden is resistant. He doesn’t get a chance to answer Hale because he follows the mysterious newcomer around the corner and attacks him. The newcomer, William Hooke (Matthew Holmes), is, of course, an old mate of Alden’s. Hooke claims he saved Alden from savages, but Alden just wants Hooke out of Salem, immediately.

Cotton goes to inspect Mercy (how easily he is swayed). He discovers she is cured via an exorcism as she had been drinking agrimony, an herb used in exorcisms, and a large incision across her stomach.

As Mary departs for Hale’s reception, her husband stabs himself with her needle and begins to write a message in blood. Outside of her house, Mary is accosted by Hooke, who want passage onto her “quarantined” ship to get his cargo. She refuses him, multiple times. She arrives at Hale and sees Anne is wearing a new necklace. When she touches it, her hands burn. It seems Hale gave Anne that necklace to protect her from further harm from Mary. That’s actually the wisest thing Hale has done, but it will most certainly piss off Mary. Mary is already pissed off when Cotton happily arrives to tell her Mercy is healed via an exorcism. Mary is livid. What’s worse than witches? Catholics (HA!). She puts down Catholics and Cotton. Poor Cotton looks so sad.

Salem hale4Meanwhile, Alden is making a speech for some reason and he basically calls all them witches out, saying he thinks the so-called witches aren’t the ordinary people, but the town leaders. Later, as everyone eaves, Hale reveals he just invited Alden over to win his fortune. He is just acting as a concerned father, saying he thinks the witches tried to target her with a doll. Alden doesn’t miss a beat, calling Hale on his crap and saying he is going to prove he is a liar. BAM! Stupid Hale. Glad Alden wasn’t tricked.

At the same time, depressed Cotton arrives in church to find Gloriana waiting. She yells at him for using her as charity and as a whore, but then she starts to seduce him. He yells at her to leave, but then he starts choking her, rips her dress, and rapes(?) her. It was just weird…

Anyways, moving on, Hooke breaks into the Sibley house. He comes across George, who gives him the message he had started. It says, “witch.” Later, Mary and Tituba arrive home. Hooke blackmails Mary, saying he will tell everyone she is a witch, unless she lets him on her ship. She acquieses. Tituba says she will handle Hooke. Mary needs to focus on getting Mercy back under control.

An interesting twist is revealed. Hooke is working for old witch, Rose. He goes into the woods to confirm his plan. Wonder what Rose wants? Meanwhile, Mary begins her taking of Mercy again. She talks through her fire to appear as the ugly spectral witch to Mercy. Mercy tries to resist, but Mary is relentless. The black snake shows up again and makes it’s way down the screaming Mercy’s mouth. It was quite a disturbing scene.

Tituba arrives at Alden’s place and basicalwitchsymbol4ly tricks/blackmails him into stopping Hooke, saying Hooke threatened to reveal a secret affair between Mary and Alden. Of course Alden is going to stop him. On the ship, Hooke gets parcel 769 and heads back to shore, where Alden awaits. Hooks reveals that Alden spilled innocent blood and killed a lot of soldiers (treason). Alden spared Hooke before, but not today. He starts choking Hooke in a funny choke hold. After a brief struggle, Hooke is dead! Alden throws his body into a nearby pile of corpses. Alden opens the chest to reveal a smaller, ornate looking box. Hmm, what could be in it?

Hale confronts Anne about her infatuation with Hale. They argue and Hale demands she never speak to him again. She is obviously not happy wit this. As Mary stares at her half-coin that she once shared with Alden, she happens to see Alden walking by. She brings up the promise they made each other years ago and how they knew nothing of the world. Aw, sad. She still loves him! He wishes her sweet dreams, but Mary has nothing but nightmares! She goes back inside and sees Mercy in her mirror, holding the black snake in her hands, happily yelling “I know what you are!” AH! When Mary turns to look for her, no one is there. Oooh, creepy!

What did you guys think of this episode? What’s in the box? What does Rose want from it? Why did Alden commit murder and treason? Is Mercy free of her affliction? So much is happening! Let me know what you think below!

Salem airs on Sunday nights on WGN America at 10 pm ET/PT.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck

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