“Salem” recap (2.10): Til Death Do Us Part

Little John is getting homesick, what with being all cooped up on that big ship of Countess Marburg’s. Uncle Sebastian isn’t exactly a fun time. Then there’s the Countess’s idea of a lullaby, which ends in John being submerged by her in his bath, followed by a passionate kiss. The Countess is using John as her vessel, to bring her lover—Lucifer, the Devil himself, back into the world, just in time for the comet. Her kiss is one of death, so whatever evils she’s blown into John’s tiny mouth are yet to be seen. Tomorrow, there will be a party in his very honor: his baptism in the River of Hell.

Cotton has been taken out into the woods to be executed at the hands of Hathorne, but just as these two henchmen are about to do their deed, John Alden comes out of the woodwork to save the day. Cotton had no idea that John Alden has the ‘Find My Friends Outside Salem’ app. So, here are they are in the thick woods talking about John Alden’s son. He tells him they’ll need to perform an exorcism because the kid is possessed. Cotton is up for any exorcism even though he isn’t practicing religion anymore, but first JA will have to visit with Mary Sibley to hash out the plan. And make no mistake Mary; John is only doing this for his son. He hasn’t forgiven you for being a witch yet. And he’s still scarred by his torture session with your mistress, Tituba.

SAL_210_2811.cr2 ‘Tis true—John is our son, but you, witch, are not my hun.

Mary has a brief encounter with Sebastian and the Countess at holy mass (or whatever these Puritans are doing as they listen to Hathorne ramble) where she assures them that she’s down for her son’s sacrifice. But feign as she might, the Countess smells her fear and reminds her that she’ll eat her heart out. Mary’s like, “My heart is too bitter for your taste.” And the Countess purses her lips together as per usual because she is mildly turned on by all this witch war competition. Anyway, Sebastian’s been doing the shittiest job of getting Mary in bed—which comes as no surprise because he’s in love with his own mother. His ambiguousness is teetering on annoying, and I really just want him to hop into that ‘80s movie The Frog Prince, where he’d be better suited paired up with bratty, evil older sister Helen Hunt’s character. Go play with your crowned jewels, Sebastian! He tells Mary to trust him. She finds that amusing, because, really? He says they’ll be reunited. And that’s true. But me thinks he means: reunited, in Hell.

Hathorne can’t wait for news to carry back to town. He must go to Anne Hale’s home right away to, in one sweeping gesture, tell her Cotton’s been killed, and then get down on his knee to offer himself once more to her. Anne is beside herself over the news, but suddenly, Cotton is there at the doorway and he’s pissed. He tells Hathorne that the old folks in Boston are going to be pissed, too. Magistrate Hale would be the most pissed. Can Mary bring him back like she brought back Increase Mather? Wish she would.

Anne and Cotton embrace, which is the sweetest damn thing ever—and if we may, a little retrospect back to Season 1 will remind us all that Anne and Cotton used to be some of the most disliked characters, if only because they clearly hadn’t found each other yet. Now, Anne is ballsier, braver and well on her way to being a witch leader—and Cotton isn’t up his father’s ass, obsessed with church, or drowning his sorrows in an ale every day. His visions of Gloriana are long gone, and in its place is a love spell. Don’t you dare break them up. They get married in the woods just to make sure no one fucks with them again, and then Cotton’s like, “Gotta motor if I’m going to make it to this exorcism—Mrs. Mather.” Wink, wink.

SAL_210_1555.cr2 Til death do us part, I be the Puritan to your witch heart.

Mary and Anne meet up. They aren’t exactly allies, but they’re getting there. Mary pumps up Anne’s confidence, but she also tells her she knows about her stealing the Book of Shadows. She knows Anne’s been marked by the Devil. Mary has work to do though. She goes to the docks where she sets a dude on fire and enters the ship in search of a way to destroy the Countess’s body. She frees all the imprisoned girls being stowed away for the Countess, and then she discovers Isaac. She lets him free, but he doesn’t know how to trust her anymore. He tells her Mercy Lewis is alive and is the Countess’s loyal mistress now. Where is Mercy Lewis? Isaac’s in search of his beloved Dollie, who he finds lifeless in the cargo hold. Blood is always the doorway.

There Mary goes, through an archway into an enchanted forest where she spots the Countess’s crypt. She unlocks the pentagram-sealed coffin and begins to lift the bones of old Marburg but her skin begins to deteriorate as she runs for the door back. Phew—she makes it!

Suddenly, Mary appears on the path where, deep in the foggy woods, The Countess and her son Sebastian are walking hand in forceful hand with John. Mary is silent and stoic as she walks and then she disappears off into the brush. The Countess can’t see what she’s holding. She reemerges with the body of Countess Marburg, who is petrified for once. Mary threatens fire because Mary is fire—as the Countess is water. What element will win the war? There’s no time for anyone to blink, because John Alden swiftly gallops in on a horse and sweeps little John up onto his back as Mary yells for them to go. She’s burning the corpse now, and the Countess runs to stop her while Sebastian lingers by holding a knife in his hand, capable of killing Mary at any instance and choosing not to.

SAL_210_1432.cr2 Fire, indeed, my run through your veins, but Marburg witches always reign.

John Alden and his son are safe, for now. He leads them to a barn where he introduces himself as his father and they embrace. Mary is back home now, but Sebastian isn’t through talking with her. She is really bothered by this guy’s lack of game. If he wants to be with her, why does he still show so much loyalty to his evil mother, and will he ever stop? Mary puts an ultimatum to him, but the knock at the door stops the whole thing. Two men are here to arrest Mary, and Hathorne is standing at her front porch to announce that the reason is adultery—for having Dr. Samuel (now dead in the Crag tar lake) in her bed. She’s taken away at once, and Sebastian beams at her doorway like an idiot. Hathorne rushes over to see the Countess—professing himself as her loyal servant, coming to collect his awards for arresting Mary and doing anything else the Countess asks. He can’t have angelic Anne, so he’ll step right into the Devil’s den and join the dark side. Speaking of—the time has come for Cotton and John Alden to perform this exorcism.

One problem, though: Lil’ John just woke up, his eyes are black, he’s hovering over a haystack, and he’s the Devil. So, a child Devil and two weary-eyed Puritan men walk into a barn. So, maybe now’s a good time for Cotton to start drinking again…

Tune in next Sunday for an all-new Salem, and follow my recaps each week. Tweet me @the_hoff and let me know if you’re #TeamMary or #TeamCountess