“Salem” recap (1.7): Our Own Private America

Saturn is a karmic, slow-moving planet that teaches us to reexamine and take closer stock of our lives. I should know—my Saturn is returning as we speak. In last week’s retrograde episode, Saturn became the source of spells and exposed secrets, and this retrograde will last for several months leading up to the elusive Hunter’s Moon that Mary Sibly keeps speaking of. Now that Rose has been killed, Mary shares her death with the Magistrate (she literally shows him her head), who’s let his hair hang down for once. Seriously, what kind of conditioner does this man use in his hair? Perhaps egg—but we’ll get to that in a bit. If anything is to get out about this death in the coven, it will be his head next. Mary has plans to execute three more people, in keeping with the plans of the Grand Rite.

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Meanwhile, Anne Hale is still skeptical of her mother’s explanation of her father. She tells Anne that the Magistrate is a spy. Well, that doesn’t totally explain why he, um, disappeared into thin air out of his cloak, does it? Anne is a truth-seeker, so she’s unconvinced and unwavering—she will find out what is happening, and she won’t turn into another one of Salem’s shrinking violets. Mary needs to figure out where the Malum is, so she instructs Tituba to send her into John Alden’s dreams. This is something Tituba is highly against because “dream walking” can be dangerous, causing Mary and John to lose their senses of reality. Nevertheless, Tituba reluctantly agrees and smears her potion oil over Mary’s lips and Mary is sent into dreamland—for a little sex on the beach with John Alden. I have a feeling this will not end well.

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The Magistrate pays a visit to the brothel where the head wench, Mab, asks him about a ship situation. He is able to receive word from the ship via one of the girls’ bare backs (truly sexy), and he’s informed of Increase Mather, Cotton’s father, who seems to think there’s a witch on board the ship, causing everyone to become gravely ill, with evil intentions, no doubt. Increase stabs and kills the captain of the boat, making all of us wonder who he truly is, and what he’s capable of.

Mercy is having a great time extracting her newly found witch powers. Her pretty little friends are over for tea, and she slips a potion into Dolly’s drink so that when they begin to play a game of “drop an egg in this drink to see your future husband,” Dolly is shocked to see a skull, not a cute Salem boy. Mercy is totally satisfied and shows off her accomplishment to Mary, who smiles and tells her its time to think outside of her body and travel beyond her physical limits. Basically, Mary is the one having the most fun. Sure, she may have killed her fellow witch mate Rose, and yes, she is planning to kill again to carry out the Grand Rite, but she’s grooming the new baby dyke—I mean baby witch—with Mercy, and Tituba will still do anything for her, despite her jealousies and apprehensions. But life is but a dream, and in Mary’s dreams with John Alden, however frisky they may be, they are starting to get out of hand.

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She seduces John Alden into believing this is the most realistic, lucid dream he’s ever had. She keeps asking, “Where is it?” And then she sees Giles Corey’s grave and assumes the Malum must be there. Tituba is there by Mary’s bedside to remind her that she may never come back from this, from stepping around a man’s mind. The following day, John Alden isn’t acting himself. He sees a woman naked under her black cloak and presses Anne Hale up against a wall to kiss her—which she certainly doesn’t mind. He ends up ducking into the brothel and zombies his way through a sexcapade. Mary is caught in another dream now where she ends up in is a chase through the woods—she’s running from a pack of savages. She wakes up just before they kill her. But while she was sleeping, everything turned upside down. (No, she did not turn into Peter Gallagher. Get it? While You Were Sleeping?)

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Mercy did what Mary told her to, sort of—she steps out of her body and travels to Dolly’s mother’s home to slit her throat. She was only supposed to give her a good scare, but she took it too far because she’s a young witch and she can’t help herself. The town is in an uproar and believes the Barkers killed Dolly Trask. Three people are sent to the jail. Curiously, that’s the number of people Mary wanted to kill to carry out the Grand Rite. But there’s no time to think about that just yet. Now that Mary is awake from her horrid nightmare, Tituba and Mercy set out to retrieve the Malum. As Mary sits awaiting their return, John Alden barges in and begins to make face with Mary. She doesn’t turn him down, but after some rolling around on her bed, she pushes him away and explains how complicated this would be if they began to see each other again.

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As Cotton Mather stews around in his study above the streets of Salem, he starts to smell something terrible and realizes the Barkers have been burned at the stake. In walks his father, Impression Mather, fresh of the boat and super smiley. He mocks Cotton’s set-up. Cotton is a man of reason, and believes in the age of reason, whereas Impression is mostly just concerned in unveiling what is here in plain sight—evil witches. He pays a visit to the Sibly mansion and Mary fawns over him in her best Academy Award moment. When she asks him how long he’ll be in Salem, he expresses that he’s down to hang in Salem until every last “whore witch” his dead. Mary flashes him a smile, but now there’s one big fish to fry, and he could get in the way of the Grand Rite.

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Will Tituba and Mercy make it back safely to the Sibly mansion with the Malum? Will Mercy do something destructive again—causing another mob in the streets? Is John Alden severely butt hurt that he can’t get down with Mary after seven long years, a foursome at the brothel and a lusty handful of wet dreams? Yes. What will come of Impression Mather’s visit in Salem? Will Cotton intercept and find a way to stand up against his father? Who’s side is the Magistrate on, if he was aware of Impression’s arrival but did not tell Mary or the other witches about it? Will Mary go straight to the Magistrate and have him killed, knowing he was aware of Impression?

Tune in next week, and follow me on Twitter for all of my #heathen updates @the_hoff

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