“Salem” recap (1.8): Departures


Salem really stacked on the action in this episode. Nearly everyone (except for Mercy) made waves, got into trouble, almost got caught, pointed the finger, or found themselves at the doorway to death. Cotton Mather’s father, Increase Mather, begins to generate mass hysteria and the people’s faith—in him. He is hunting in every corner for signs of witchcraft.

Upon entering the brothel, Cotton and Gloriana are finishing up their sexy time and Cotton hides under the bed from Increase. Uh oh! He leaves his Bible out, but Gloriana pretends it’s hers (yeah right, G.) Increase barges into the room and suspiciously eyes her, but he just knows Cotton is involved. Downstairs, he meets Mab, head of the brothel and closet witch. She tells him she has nothing to hide, but then he goes and finds her secret stash of crystals behind the fireplace mantel. Clever hiding spot, why didn’t I think of that? The Magistrate fears that Mab well tell Increase about the other witches. He forms a plan.


Mary enlists Isaac (a face we haven’t seen in a minute) to take her husband George to Boston, to keep him away Increase. John Alden stands outside watching as Isaac rides away and gives Mary a look that says, “Girl, I still want you.”

Meanwhile at the docks, Mab is being dunked into the water like she’s at a county fair. Only, the pitcher is Increase, and he’s out for blood—or at the very least, the name of another witch. At the very last minute, she does name someone, but it’s Gloriana! Cotton tries to convince his father of her innocence, which just proves he’s got the hots for her, no use in hiding their romantic trysts any longer. Maybe this should be a lesson in shame and truth for Cotton. Increase says that Cotton can perform the examination on the accused—to look for the Devil’s markings, proof that she is a witch or not. Mostly, it just turns into a gross sexualizing of Gloriana, in which Increase asks Cotton to de-robe her so that he can stare at her boobs for an extra minute. Really, Increase? That’s desperate, sad, and I hope you never get laid, even though it’s roughly clear you need to.



Out on the road, Isaac notices George is making a strange sound from inside the coach, but then they get into an accident, causing the couch to tip over on its side and fling Isaac onto the ground. George stabs his belly and takes the toad out. You’d think somewhere, Mary Sibly would be made aware of this through her powers, but all that’s happening at the Sibly residence is another visit from John Alden, who presses Mary up against a wall. The dude will not take no for an answer. He’s clearly still feeling the effects of those vivid dreams he was having.

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