Review: Salem 1.05 – “Lies”

Tonight on “Salem”, things really get turned on their head as many of the characters find themselves in new and intriguing circumstances, leading to challenges, betrayals, and revelations! We open in the whorehouse, where a guy is casually having sex with two prostitutes at once in the main room. Blatant sex for TV that is not conducive to the plot? Leave that to “Game of Thrones.” Anyways, the madam (Morgana Shaw) of the house excuses herself to go into the woods to meet with a group of older, gross looking witches, including Rose (Diane Salinger) and Hale. In the darkness of the night, they converse about Alden, of course, saying he must be dealt with for he is distracting Mary. They need to find out the secret Alden is hiding from everyone to use against him. They all decide Tituba, Mary’s most trusted servant, is the key to helping them.

After Mercy Lewis was able to overcome Mary’s bewitching last week, Mary needs to make sure she stays in check. Mercy is no longer a weak, scared child. She wants Mary to leave her alone or she will call her out. Mary doesn’t back down though. She says Mercy is only alive because she allows it. She wants Mercy to give in and stay silent. Mercy doesn’t reply.

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Meanwhile, Alden tries to open the box he took from Hooke last week. It won’t open by force, but opens by itself. Inside is a constructed apple with a twirling snake engraved on it. As Alden holds it, it gives him visions of towns of dead people covered in boils. Pretty gross stuff. He seems shocked and his hands are covered in blood. I’m guessing this object is pretty, pretty evil.

Cotton and his favorite whore, Gloriana (Azure Parsons) seem to be better after last week’s sex-rape(?) scene. He wants to double her earnings. As they get down to business (again!), Alden walks in, mid-thrust. Hilarious to see stupid Cotton caught with his pants down, literally.

Mercy gets a visit from three young girls. They are curious about the witches and bait Mercy into telling them all about them. Mercy is hesitant, but when one of the girls say that Mercy has more power than even Mary Sibley, she changes her mind. Her finger holds sway over life and death in Salem.

Mary, looking very much like the witch she is, and Tituba are approached by Hale at the docks. Hale makes up some story about his sick wife and asks for Tituba’s help. Neither Mary nor Tituba believes him, but she goes anyways. Later, he reveals he needs Tituba’s help in ridding the town of Alden. She’s in for that.

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Alden and Cotton research the mysterious box and discover it is something called the “Ritum Magni” or the Grand Rite. It is an evil object that calls up the Devil’s return. They plan to use the box as bait to find some real witches. Cotton is afraid, but Alden would rather die than let them rule this town.

Hanging out in the woods, Hale and his ghoulish heathen search through the pit of dead bodies for Hooke. They find his body and cut off his face. (I quietly put down the pizza I was eating to go vomit in my bathroom.)

Mary confronts Tituba about what Hale really wanted, but Tituba lies again. Mary sees straight through her lies and is pissed. Tituba goes to the woods, where Hale gives her Hooke’s face.

Meanwhile, Mercy’s friends want her to accuse one of their father’s of witchcraft for his cruel treatment. Mercy is so easily peer-pressured.

In town, Alden runs into Anne. She is super pissed and their encounter is awkward. She says Alden has offended her and she has lost her faith. Mary shows up, and she teases Anne about being young, claiming she was never that young. Alden goes to meet with Cotton, saying their plan must happen tonight. Hale and his wife (Lara Grice) discuss plans for Anne’s betrothal to Cotton — uh, what?

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Later, Rose shows up and lectures Mary about her stupidity and longing for Alden. She tells her not to look at him in public because it makes her weak. Mary doesn’t care. She is done listening to Rose. At the moment, Mercy, back in her dog-muzzle-chains, bursts onto the streets, being “walked” by her three friends. She prances crazily around the street. Rose, Hale, and Mary look afraid. Mary demands Cotton stop her. She walks right up to Mary and stares at her dead in the eye before passing her and accusing one of her friend’s father of being a witch instead.

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Meanwhile, in the woods, Tituba performs a weird ritual on Hooke’s face. She discovers from his reanimated face Alden’s secret! As Emily’s (Mary Katherine O’Donnell) father is thrown in a cell, Mary starts her manipulation of Cotton, putting on fake tears to say that Mercy is corrupted by her power and unreliable now. Cotton says he’ll investigate. As she leaves his chambers, she notices his book is open to the page of magic box.

Rose and Hale meet in the church. It seems Tituba lied to them about Alden’s secret. She is going to use it for herself. Rose also discusses how Alden possesses the malum. Later, Mary confronts Tituba, sick of her lying. Tituba tells Mary everyone has turned against her and they want to get rid of Alden, who Tituba claims Mary is in love with. She reveals Alden’s secret: he is a murderer. Mary is in disbelief. “Lies,” she says.

As Alden arrives home, he finds Mary, who confronts him about his secret. He is pissed. She cries to him, hoping there is some goodness behind his choice, but he denies it. He killed twenty men who had come to save him. She kisses him and leaves.

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Emily visits her father in his cell, basically boasting about his situation and her unfair treatment. He seems confident he’ll be freed. Anne offers Emily condolences and says he will get a fair trial. Later, Emily, Mercy, and their two other friends dance around a fire, calling to the devil. A black shroud arrives – it’s Mary. Mercy wants a new deal. She wants to be just like Mary.

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Later that night, shirtless Alden sleeps next to the Malum. It is just sitting right out in the open on a table. That’s not the best place to keep it, or perhaps it is, if this is a trap. Someone breaks into his house and sneaks to the box before falling through the floorboards. Cotton runs out of his hiding spot and the culprit is revealed: Rose! A true witch has finally been caught!

What did you guys think of this episode? I thought it was great. A lot of role reversals and revelations. The characters, specifically Mercy, Alden, and Tituba are gaining more power and momentum. Comment below with your thoughts and musings.

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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