“Salem” recap (1.13): All Fall Down


It’s the end of the first season of Salem, and this is the moment we’ve all been anticipating since we first learned of the Mallum. The Grand Rite must be complete now, and not even Increase Mather can stop it. Mary has spared her love, Captain John Alden, transporting him to the woods so that he can get far away from Salem and avoid his imminent death back in town. Many awful decisions have been made—Mary made a deal with the Devil, as did her servant and one-time lover, Tituba. Mercy made a deal with Mary, who may as well be the Devil, and now she is more evil than good, and she will stop at nothing to make sure that Mary pays for the deaths of her innocent friends under Increase’s watch. Anne Hale, skeptical of her witch heritage, is now acutely aware of her powers, because her father, the Magistrate, has put his family in hiding (thanks to the blood he spews all over a door frame from the chicken head he rips off.) It would seem a storm is approaching—a plague, and all of Salem has until moonrise to make peace, or war.

Mary promises John Alden that she’ll be back before the moon is above the trees, but when she is packing up back at the Sibly house, Tituba arrives with a surprise. The witches in the woods have sent Tituba to warn Mary that if she in fact abandons the Grand Rite like she says she will, leaving Salem and her messiness behind, there will be even more spilled blood. She also finds out that her child is really living—the child she had with John Alden who she thought she sacrificed to live the life of power she has now. Oh, Mary. You’ve got the crones after you, Tituba no longer cares for you like she used to, and Mercy is ready to battle. Your kid is alive and if you screw all of this up for true love, your kid will die. Tituba just called you a shitty mom, even though she basically made this whole situation happen. The only thing you’ve done is successfully keep Increase Mather at bay—for now.


Isaac arrives at Mary’s and she tells him that she’s a witch, the Mallum sitting before them. She asks him to take it somewhere in the woods, in a tree, and to travel onward and never look back, handing him a hefty fortune to start his life over with. Isaac is a sweetheart and he gets all teary-eyed at the thought of never seeing his good friend Mary again. It’s true; he’s done so much for her. But one last task: Deliver a letter from Mary to Cotton. As he does that, Mary barges in over at Increase’s little shop of horrors. The time has come, to let the witch out of the bag. We’ve seen this coming, ever since Increase first walked into town, and now she must kill him. What she doesn’t know is that people from town are hunting John Alden in the woods where she said she’d meet him, and he’s surrounded. It’s about to be daylight now, post-Grand Rite. And I get the feeling this isn’t the completion of one thing, but the beginning of another.


Cotton arrives at his father’s — and there’s no doubt this is part of Mary’s grand plan. She makes it look as if Increase has locked her up and gone mad. This leaves Cotton no choice, and he kills his father, who’s dying last words before he falls to the ground are, “Kill the witch.” Mary tells Cotton to get the hell out of dodge and leave Increase to her. She takes Increase to the dump pile in the woods where he’ll be eaten by dogs, no doubt. Isaac is off in the distance somewhere, opening up the Mallum to see what’s inside (I really don’t think he should be doing that!) — it looks like a tiny beating organ inside of that apple. It explodes all over the place and blood splattered against Isaac. What he doesn’t know is that it represents the birth of the dark Lord. The sky and the moon turn blood red—the Grand Rite has been complete, thirteen innocent people have been killed, the last being Increase (though he’s hardly an innocent.)


Back at the Hale hiding spot, Anne is throwing a fit and announces, “I am not a witch!” The Magistrate didn’t really think Mary could pull off the Grand Rite, but the apple he brought inside with them is rotting away, a sign of what’s occurring on the outside. What happens next is a fury of telekinetic power — the windows exploding and objects getting tossed angrily across the room. Ultimate shock-moment of the entire season: Anne kills both her parents, and the Magistrate, also known as the silver fox and the man witch, is dead. Anne Hale is apparently Carrie White.


Just as John Alden is about to be hanged in the woods—what people of Salem deem to be the lowest of all heathen lows in terms of how you are killed—members of the Mohawk tribe emerge and spear all of the Puritans dead, saving John Alden and carrying him off with them. I really thought Mercy and her so-called army would have stepped in to screw up Mary’s day by now, but Mary wasn’t able to make it to John Alden before he was chased through the woods as the full Hunter’s Moon rose into the sky. Mercy tells her pack that she is truly the Queen of the Night, not Mary. She is the one who chopped off Rose’s head. She will turn Mary’s plans upside down. But when? And how?


Tituba arrives in the woods to collect Mary. Neither of them act totally impressed with one another right now, but Tituba has another surprise for Mary—it’s her child. Does this mean Mary’s child is evil, too? Is it really her child? Is it too late for Mary to meet up with John Alden? Is Anne evil now? Hell, is the whole town of Salem evil? Isaac and Cotton are on the road out of Salem, Increase is some animal’s dinner, the Magistrate is no longer alive, George Sibly is still drooling somewhere, and we wait for Mercy to make her move. What will the waning moon bring to the second season? Who will be in power in Salem, and how will the coven of witches change, now that no one really stands together in solidarity? What are your predictions, and what do you think should become of the characters left living? Who has the most power now? Is the power back in the witches’ hands, and if so, is that a good thing, or will they use that power against each other?

See you next season, heathens!