Who knew that to bring back Increase Mather from the dead, you’d have to plant a smooch on his crusty, decapitated head! Mary Sibley knew, and she also knew she’d have to lay a line of sand around her to protect her from him. Increase Mather may be back from Hell, but as Mary puts it, there’s still Hell on Earth to tend to. Mary tells him that the witch he wanted off the streets is still out there. She needs his help (and manipulations) to win the day. But, I don’t want to be so quick as to say: “Mary needs another man.” She doesn’t need another man—she needs an evil, evil, evil man.
One man who’s been lurking in Mary’s shadows without her knowing, is now locked up and shackled by her mistress Tituba. Captain John Alden isn’t exactly in control anymore. Sure, the medicine man he hoped he could somehow “become” would’ve helped him kill all the witches in Salem—he probably dreamed up some gross victory speech in the town’s square, where he may be awarded gold and the attention of some fair maiden for his victories, ridding Salem of witches for good. But Tituba has other plans. She scans his body with her fingers, laughing to herself about all this torn-up power JA is stuck with. She wonders if he had any idea—that eventually it would literally tear him apart. “Never had much use for men, but I’m starting to think I might have some use for you,” she whispers in his ear. We already figured that much, Tituba.
A dinner is set. Mary Sibley will have the Countess and her son Sebastian plus other “elites” at her home, to show that she and the Countess are running a fake ship of friendship and support, even though we all know they are on a hard-to-hide warpath. The Countess visits her old friend Anne Hale, to settle a matter Anne’s perhaps forgotten about. Anne did give up the identity of the Countess to Mary Sibley, so she should be punished. Instead, The Countess asks her to fetch her father’s (John Hale) Book of Shadows at Mary’s house when she’s invited over for this lavish dinner.
Anne learns what her familiar, Brown Jenkins, really wants—to feed off her. (Like Mary’s toad, once home inside George’s belly.) Meanwhile, Mary piques Sebastian’s interests by asking him to dispose of George Sibley by tonight, and she’ll repay him with ample gratitude (also known as sex, duh.) Somewhere in an upstairs window, Increase Mather is surely hemming and hawing over “Satan’s favorite whore” outdoing her bidding.
Mercy Lewis never died and went to hell like Increase, but she looks like a ghost back from the dead. Her hair is long and she’s wearing one of the Countess’ fine dresses. A plan is set. Mercy will lure the children. Say what? We now see a group of young girls spinning cotton and other materials through a wheel while a rotten woman scolds them and keeps them on their toes. Mercy is a ray of light through the window, enticing one girl outside with an orange in her hand and a big smile on her face. The girl goes along while one other watches on.
The idea of a formal dinner is enough to make Anne Hale go crazy. She may live in an empty nest now that she’s killed her parents, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have anyone to talk to. There’s Brown Jenkins. As she dashes through the room holding up differing black gowns to wear, she requests Cotton Mather arrive at her door with a bouquet of flowers and “poetry on his lips.” Just then, there’s a knock at the door! Magic. Cotton was just at the pub earlier, having a chat with Dr. Samuel Wainwright about this love sickness he seems to have. Dr. Samuel assures that there’s no cure for it, but that he would like to murder a dying man tonight and would just love it if Cotton, “Doctor of the Soul” Mather will accompany him. Cotton downs a tin pint of ale and nods. Sure, sure, whatever you say Dr. Samuel.
Now, he’s got a party to go to. Little does he know his own father is “back” from the grave, though luckily they won’t be rubbing elbows and white ruffles at Mary Sibley’s dinner table. No, Increase Mather is aboard the Countess’ ship as we speak. He needs to know if she is the witch he fought in battle with so long ago. If so, she’ll carry his mark as he carries hers.