Motherland Fort Salem Episode 9- Coup-Review and Recap
An emotional and sexy penultimate episode asks everyone to pick a side in Motherland Fort Salem Episode 9.
There is nothing more dangerous than a zealot with power. Motherland Fort Salem Episode 9 reveals the lengths General Alder is willing to go to to keep her post. She has ultimate authority and isn’t ready to part with it, no matter the cost. Everything has been building to this. All season long, we have watched as Alder behaved questionably. She has reacted at times irrationally, emotionless at others. Her Biddy’s which act as food and amplifiers are slaves to their master. No will of their own and no control over their own bodies. It is the ultimate betrayal of a gender in the name of power. Alder is a one-person show. She has those in the inner circle who she uses to gather and disseminate information, but all decisions are hers alone. Tyrannical in the extreme, she refuses all council and dissent even from her most trusted colleagues.
This is what a dictatorship looks like—an individual with so much power she doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Alder is as much a product of her past as she is her magic. Persecuted and killed, she saw first hand what could happen to witches. Now her kind is revered as an essential cog in the democratic machine. The Spree attacks have triggered something in her that prevents her from seeing she has become as ruthless as them. She has so singularly focused on The Spree she may have overlooked an even more significant threat. One that is ancient and more patient than she is. The Camaria evidently has been around since the beginning. General Alder believes she eradicated them all long ago. The slaughter of the Tarim says otherwise. This new enemy sets up an intriguing season two storyline assuming Motherland Fort Salem gets a pickup.
The episode opens with a grisly staged scene. The Tarim who live in the Altai Mountains were slain and arranged in a pentagram for Alder’s soldiers to find. It is a message to the general, and unfortunately, the peaceful Tarim got caught in the crossfire. It is a gorgeous Amber hued opener that was infused with real emotion thanks to cinematography from Michael Wale and direction by Steven A. Adelson. The ugliness of the act was filmed with the most delicate of camera shots. Nothing is more impactful than the loss of innocent life.
Equally compelling is the small scene between Khalida and General Alder. Kylee Brown(Khalida) has channeled her inner witch with the portrayal of the all-knowing young girl. There is a battle brewing between the two witches. She is a match for Alder and meets her passion with steely determination. Alder may think she is in control, but the calm arrogance Khalida addresses her with speaks volumes. Khalida already knows the Tarim were attacked and refuses Alder’s help. She understands that the magic her people possess would be dangerous in Alder’s hands. They will be an exciting pair to watch in the season finale.
In a meeting with Adil and Khalida, there is an effective but subtle staging that showcases just how in synch the Biddy’s and Alder are. The Biddy’s have been a source of mystery until now. We know they provided Alder with life-force, but now we see the extent to which they are under her sway. They are plugged into her thoughts and emotions like extensions of her being. Acting as resonant batteries for her body and soul, they radiate her opinions. With the simple tilting of their collective heads, everyone knows what she is thinking, and in the case of Khalida, it is annoyance and surprise. She isn’t accustomed to being the second strongest and smartest in the room. She better get used to it.
Motherland Fort Salem Episode 9 was general Alder’s story. Lyne Renee has simmered as the head of the military all season. At times she was commanding and altruistic and others calculating. Now she is all cold rage. Renee’s Alder is a literal psychic vampire who will do anything to win, even if that means putting a puppet spell on The President of the US to retain her power. Raelle told Petra Bellweather about the hostages and, more importantly, about Scylla. Hoping for a coup, Petra told the President unleashing the disastrous events that transpired. The President had had enough of Alder’s rule. She was looking to make a move and unseat Alder, putting Petra in her place. Before that could happen, the powerful witch and her Biddy’s spelled her and hijacked the press conference. Anacostia knows the girls are in trouble, and by the end, they do too.
Abigail, Tally, and Raelle are all still reeling from the violence of Citydrop. The most sympathetic of the group by discipline and nature, Tally is struggling with what happened. She is beginning to question the Alder and her decisions. Tally has come a long way from the devoted enthusiastic believer she entered Fort Salem as and the concerned woman she is now.
Making matters worse is a messy relationship with Gerit and his wife, Hillary. While Hillary was deployed, Tally has been hooking up with Gerit. It was a source of positive recharging for Tally. Unfortunately, Gerit wasn’t the only one with interest in the red-haired witch. An ill-timed arrival by Hillary was really a carefully hatched plan to land both Hillary and Gerit in bed with Tally. Angry at the manipulation, she rebuked the idea of a threesome. Someone should have told them three isn’t always company.
Abigail has to deliver a eulogy for her frenemy Libba. Her mother wants a civilized speech to put the Bellweathers in a good light. Abigail tries to provide the rehearsed speech, but her begrudging respect for the fallen witch drives her to speak from the heart. The honesty is beautiful and far more effective than exact words would have ever been. The cadets should never have been in that situation, and Abigail, Tally, Raelle, and Anacostia know it.
Anacostia’s loyalty is beginning to crack. She has seen inside Scylla’s mind and knows there is genuine remorse there. She also knows they have something to learn from the traitor. Before being shipped to a prison on the Caribbean of all places, Scylla offers a chance to explain how she came to be Spree in exchange for a final meeting with really. Initially, Raelle refuses, but it is Abigail who convinces her that regret should be a strong motivator.
At the meeting, Scylla again displays pure pain. She pleads with Raelle to believe her. Scylla tells her she chose Raelle over the Spree. Taylor Hickson gives a masterclass in grief this week as tears pool in her eyes. She has lost her trust in herself and the one she loved. Raelle can’t imagine she was picked by The Spree because of her power and not because of her lack of it. That insecurity is written all over her lovely face. Matching her emotion is Amalia Holm(Scylla), who swings between absurd bravado and abject sorrow. Her screams at the end are shattering.
Motherland Fort Salem Episode 9 felt like the penultimate episode it was. It was Rocky being knocked down just as his theme song starts ringing. It was a team of football players offering their jersey so Rudy could play. The coup was The Purge siren starting. There is a storm coming, and as much as General Alder thinks she controls it, she doesn’t. Catch up on all our coverage here before next week’s finale.
- Altai Mountains- This is a real mountain range where Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan meet.
- The current President of the US in Motherland Fort Salem is the 45th. For reference, our current 45th President is Donald Trump. A woman of color as Motherland’s President is a genius decision. It shows just how different that world really is.
- The President’s suit for the press conference is very Puritanical. It is a smart costume choice by Tracey Boulton to remind everyone of the period in time witches were persecuted.
- I am totally down for an Adil and Abigail ship. They are both very powerful and Adil comes with some tricks no one else possesses. He and Khalida will be important allies.
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.