Motherland: Fort Salem Episode 6 Up Is Down-Review And Recap
An emotional Motherland: Fort Salem Episode 6 gave each of our core three the chance to demonstrate their acting chops.
Things are beginning to come together in Freeforms’s original series. The show no longer has to race through exposition to define characters and a world we are just starting to understand. Longtime characters are facing trauma while a new mysterious pair show up at an outpost somewhere in a desert land. Who this man and his young sister are is a closely guarded secret, but he was expected and trusted.
His sister Khalida either has a disease or has been injured somehow. She has been brought to Salem for treatment. He and General Adler know each other and have a tense conversation. They speak in an ancient language that sounds like a mix of Native American and Arabic. Creative world expansion fleshes out more of the world outside the walls of Fort Salem. The mythology of Motherland is richer than first thought. Adler has lived a long time, and it isn’t wholly far-fetched to believe she could be as old as an early civilization. It is obvious their culture is one of respect for the old ways. He thinks the tones she uses to fight are revered songs never meant to be heard in battle.
The aftermath of Charvel’s death and the attack on the Bellweather home is ugly. Abigail and Petra are particularly feeling the strain. Ashley Nichole Williams(Abigail) is remarkable in the opening moments as a shocked girl whose memories are fragmented. Her trauma is causing her usual bravado to abandon her until she finally realizes what is happening. There is no time for Bellweather’s to grieve. She must pull it together for her family. Perhaps her privilege does come at a price. She must be in control at all times, and that takes a toll.
Her mother is struggling similarly only with the benefit of experience and time. She is trying to figure out how The Spree dampened their vocal seeds. A look inside her war experience reveals she isn’t just a highly connected politico, but a warrior in her own right with advanced skills and a lion’s heart.
The Spree never target witches unless in battle, until now. The targetted Bellweather’s likely didn’t know they were witches; their tie to the Bellweather line was so faint. Through marriage and dilution, their witch’s mark was almost too pale to see. General Adler is distressed because The Spree has employed a more cutthroat technique, and the old rules of combat no longer apply. There’s will no longer be a civil war but one of opportunity and resolve.
Seventeen victims from six different states were killed in the Spree attack. The Spree cut out their vocal cords and damaged their ears. While performing autopsies on the victims, they discover witch marks. Those marks prove The Spree didn’t just attack randomly. They went after Bellweathers specifically. Why their line specifically. Is there more to their history than initially presented?
The trio is splintering. The team each has their pain to deal with. Abigail has been through hell and wants to be left alone while Tally is trying to keep Raelle in the dark about Scylla until they know more. At a time when the three girls need each other more than ever, they are divided. That is precisely what The Spree wants, even if that wasn’t their first goal. For someone as honest and sincere as Tally, keeping this secret from Raelle is horrible. Tally Craven’s goodness radiates from her thanks to Jessica Sutton, who lets her vulnerability come through in every scene. She is a gentle, moral person in an impossible position. Sutton does an excellent job showcasing her kindness without losing the strength she possesses. Tally’s ability to tap into her emotions is a strength, not a weakness. Both to her personally but also to the group.
In training, the group is learning how to magically parachute onto the battlefield using Salva. It is a creative use of the mysterious drug seen earlier in the season. The lesson could not have come at a worse time for Raelle, who associates the drug with Scylla. A beautiful flying scene conveyed both the heartbreak a wonder of flight. Lost in her memories, she performs well until the drug wears off, and she crashes to the ground. Motherland: Fort Salem Episode 6 does an excellent job weaving the wild beauty of this magical world with the deep emotions of relatable people.
Anacostia(Demetria McKinney) has her hands full with Raelle, who is out of her mind with worry for Scylla. She has no idea the girl betrayed her. She only knows she misses her girlfriend and is worried about Scylla’s safety. What she thinks is indifference from Anacostia is actually respect. Respect for what The Spree can do and respect for Raelle’s relationship with Scylla. Not willing to leave things alone, Raelle sneaks into the necromancy tombs and comes face to face with an attractive but probably deadly force. She lies about touching the force even though some of the residue remains on her hand. The thing is described as a form of mushroom. What it will do to Raelle over time will be interesting. The shimmering wall is not as benign as it seems.
Scylla’s trainer tells Raelle to embrace her grief. A lovely bit of writing from Maria Maggenti brings truth to sorrow. Grief is like a wild animal that you have to let wear itself out. Anyone who has ever experienced grief knows how accurate that is. She tells Raelle, Scylla died in the storm. We have no way of knowing why she told Raelle that unless it is merely to allow her to move on, but Amalia Holm(Scylla) is slated to be in all ten episodes of season one, so it’s not truthful. By the end of the episode, Scylla’s true whereabouts are confirmed.
Taylor Hickson(Raelle) has her own moment to shine. When she was told Scylla was dead, it broke her for a time. Taking an overdose of Salva, she attempts to search for Scylla herself. Abigail and Tally track her down because, at the end of the day, the team is united. A true sisterhood has formed. It is a begrudging one the girls will have to rely on as things become even more perilous.
Hickson brings an unbelievable amount of delicate realism to the screen. Nearly numb, she can’t believe Scylla is dead. Scylla’s gift last week gives her all the proof she needs that she is still alive. The confirmation comes in the waning moments of Motherland: Fort Salem Episode 6 when Scylla is shown bound in the bowels of Salem. She is scared but silent for now. General Adler may change all that.
Abigail has lost her swagger but not her edge. Tally is the perfect one to help her through this. She is much more in touch with her emotions and is the tenderest of the group. Abigail does recognize Tally was only trying to help. She is a roiling mass of fear, pain, and sadness and tells Tally she appreciates her trying. Abigail is just a mess right now. When she is ready, she will come back to her for help. It is hard for her to admit she needs anyone. She is used to being in charge and perfect. She is neither right now. Raelle’s absence gives her what she needs to begin reaching out.
Naiah Cummins is Abigail’s new bodyguard. She is fierce and quiet, which makes her perfect for Abigail to lash out at. Abigail is embarrassed and feeling useless after the attack at the wedding. Having a bodyguard only intensifies those feelings. Luckily for her, Bridy has thick skin. She isn’t just there to protect her but to help her learn to defend herself.
The experienced fighter is breaking her down to build her back up. Bridy also has a wealth of experience to teach Abigail. Witches don’t just fight, they love and regret. These are essential lessons to learn for the young warrior. She chooses to keep an eye patch rather than heal her eye because it is a reminder of what losing focus can do. The loss of her sister in battle made everything look different. More details of what battle looks like in this new magical world come from this recounting of the fight. Razor hail, lightning strikes, and snow devils all sound natural and forceful.
Motherland: Fort Salem Episode 6 hit its stride. Bringing both the emotion and the backstory to an intriguing storyline makes this series a must-watch for fantasy lovers. Entirely feminine and powerful, excuses are not made just explanations. That honesty allows the main players to be fully realized people living in fantastical reality. Well cast and written this series dives deep into the what-ifs of alternate history. Catch up on all our coverage here while we wait for an exciting episode 7.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.