Hello and welcome to this recap of Motherland: Fort Salem season three, episode three, “Oh Elayne,” aka the one with more sad gays than my heart can handle.
Previously on Motherland: Fort Salem, we learned about the witches that spread the mother tongue to the world, Tally’s sight tried to get stronger, and the Bellweather Unit went on the run with Adil, Khalida, Scylla and Nicte; though their septet is down to five with Raelle swallowed by the mycelium and Khalida missing.
We start this episode where the last left off, with those that are left in the witch gang sprinting through the forest to evade the Marshals. They reach a cliff and they know they can’t fight, so they’re not sure what to do. Then Scylla has a plan: she gives Abigail, Tally and Adil some salva so they can fly down, and she and Nicte will make their way through the Session on foot, since they’re not afraid to use disguise magic and they know their way around a little better.
So Tally third wheels it with Mrs. and Mr. Sky and Earth, they do some drugs and leap off the cliff. Luckily the salva kicks in before they hit the ground and they float down to safety like someone cast Featherfall on them. They still can’t find Khalida so they use a blood compass (casual) to at least figure out what direction she went in, and they take off.
Meanwhile, at the White House, Izadora and Anacostia tell the President that they figured out exactly when Penelope was infected with the witch plague, and they believe with utmost certainty that Silver infected his own daughter. The President not only trusts their findings, but also declares that she wants to take immediate action. Anacostia says that General Bellweather doesn’t think that’s wise, since Silver is likely lower in the chain of command, but the President won’t stand for betrayal under her own roof, so she’s going to publicly denounce his bill and put him under criminal investigation ASAP. And she knows there will be backlash, but she’s ready for the fight.
Back in the woods, Nicte and Scylla get to a bus stop, and Nicte is ready to kill civilians and steal their faces, but Scylla reminds her that they’re not Spree anymore. Nicte is annoyed but follows Scylla’s lead, and instead they disguise themselves as Regular Guys and buy bus tickets out of the Session.
A woman named Pauline from the Session joins Anacostia and the President in the Oval Office, and she wants to discuss the attack at the chemical plant, because she happens to know the Bellweather Unit is behind it. Anacostia asks for permission to retrieve her unit, but is denied. Anacostia scoffs at the idea that anyone but her could catch these particular witches, but Pauline assures them the Marshals are all over it…which changes Anacostia’s tune.
And sure enough, the Marshals continue to be their badass selves, calmly strolling as they seek their quarry. One Marshal gets on the bus, and because of his True Sight, he can see right through Scylla and Nicte’s disguises.
(Side note: Shouldn’t the Marshall be able to see Nicte’s real face? Or is she wearing a mask on a mask and he only saw past the first one?)
Anyway, they break the bus window and hop out, running for their lives once again, the Marshal’s whistling fading as they sprint.
Elsewhere in the woods, Adil’s blood compass is having a hard time keeping up with Khalida, so they ask Tally to use her newfangled skills to see a future in which they find Khalida so maybe they can use that information to find out what their next steps should be.
Tally’s eyes glow red and she sees a roadhouse with Khalida inside, so they head to a nearby town.
Having escaped the witches’ grasp, Hearst stumbles back to his office only to find Brandt waiting for him in his chair. She is patronizing as she tweaks his broken nose and tells him not to fuck up again. He starts to whimper, “I failed the cause,” and I’m starting to think she might be the brains of this whole operation. She tells him to get his act together and storms out.
After she leaves, Hearst makes a call, saying vaguely mad scientist-y things about bringing a top specimen, and that it’s time to begin…
Tally, Abigail, and Adil arrive at the roadhouse and it starts to play out just like Tally’s vision, where they go inside. They’re surprised to see Khalida there, cool as a cucumber, and when they ask her what happened she points out the reason she’s safe and sound: Sarah Alder.
Alder’s eyes flash icy blue as she holds up a tray of shots, but Tally is too stunned to speak. She just kind of stares and mindlessly reaches out toward her to see if maybe she’s dreaming, because she can’t believe the General they watched die is standing before them now.
Tally has so many questions: how is she alive, how did she find Khalida, why did she bring Khalida here of all places. Alder promises there will be time for questions, but for now it’s time for nachos.
Tally ignores this and keeps demanding answers anyway, but then a singer named Elayne takes the stage, and when she starts to sing, Tally starts to dance.
She stops peppering Alder with questions, rips off her jacket to reveal the cutest horse girl sweater, and dances over to Abigail, who dances right back. Abigail loves seeing this side of her, and Tally says she saves her best moves for “the lucky few” and continues to dance with Abigail.
Abigail points out Tally’s shiny witch mark and tells her to use her sight to find someone to fool around with at the bar. (Side note: “When is the last time you had your mark shined” is hilarious and I want to steal it.) Unfortunately, before Tally can clue us into who in this room she is most attracted to, the music stops and they snap back to reality; the rest of the bar just thinks their good time groove is over, but Abigail and Tally know work when they feel it.
Alder starts to leave the bar, but Tally is still desperate for answers. Alder says they should start their quest for answers by talking to Elayne, so off they go to find the songstress.
Around this time we learn that the experiment Hearst was talking about was a vocal cord transplant, and the specimen he wanted it done to is himself. It’s gruesome and bad and I hate it! Interesting if not surprising to realize the Camarilla don’t hate the existence of witches with powers, as they claim, they hate that they don’t have said power.
Anyway, back at the roadhouse, Alder and Tally find Elayne and Alder asks her where she got her power, what her family told her about her gift, about her piece of the first song. But Elayne has no idea what she’s talking about, so Alder shines her eyes purple and sends Elayne screaming.
Alder calls her a thief but isn’t worried about her; she just wants the piece of the original song, so they get onto Elayne’s tour bus. Tally helps Alder look through the bottles of stolen songs for the one they’re looking for, but she wants to know how she’s back. When she learns the Mother took Raelle, Alder says things are worse than she thought. But Tally brings up a good point that the Camarilla are also looking for pieces of the original song, so maybe it’s suspicious that Alder is too, and didn’t come back to the war college to recruit people to help her.
When Alder tells Tally her ultimate goal is to heal the land, Tally asks if Rae will be okay after that, and Alder just says “if it’s the Mother’s will” like she’s been fully indoctrinated into a mushroom cult.
Inside, Abigail and Adil try to figure out how Khalida got here, and she says since she’s a keeper of a piece of the first song too, she now trusts Alder. And I don’t know! I just feel like there’s something shady going on here.
After running for a while, Scylla wants to rest and has to convince Nicte to take a nap in an old barn. While Nicte sleeps, Scylla tries to use a dead raven to connect to the mycelium, and thus, Raelle, but her vocals wake Nicte up, and she’s pissed. And as if to prove her point, they soon hear the telltale whistle of the Marshals, and when their whistles sound a lot like Scylla’s work just did, they realize the Marshals are tracking their vocal signatures; following their echoes like footprints. They whisper through the ravens to throw the Marshals off course, but instead of taking advantage of this opportunity to run, they start to argue.
Nicte tells Scylla her love for Raelle has made her weak, but Scylla doesn’t care what Nicte thinks, she’s desperate to reach Raelle inside the mycelium, so she runs back to her dead bird to pick up where she left off…but then Nicte turns the dead bird into dust. Which pisses Scylla off and sends them into a witch fight.
The two of them throw each other around the barn with their voices and yell at each other long enough that the Marshals stroll right back in and find them. He is impressed with their distraction, probably less in their ability to use said distraction to get away, but either way they’re wrapped in magic dampening bolas so they’re officially caught.
At the roadhouse, Tally hears her friends yelling for her so she comes outside the tour bus and sees that the Marshals caught everyone; she rushes back inside for Alder’s help, but after doubling over in pain, Alder has completely vanished. So Tally tucks the vial into her pocket and gives herself over to the Marshals.
Later, the bar manager comes to check on Elayne, and finds her dead on the ground with her vocal cords ripped out, surrounded by a bus full of broken bottles.
Back in the White House, the President preps to give her speech as M works with Sterling and Anacostia to prepare for the ambush they know is coming.
The good thing about the Marshals catching all our kiddos is that now they’re all together again in a haunted mansion. They’re not tied up anymore, but Abigail promises they checked all possible exits and the house is warded to the teeth.
Scylla tells Tally and Abigail with a quivering lip that she tried to contact Raelle but couldn’t, and just weeps an apology while Abigail and Tally hold her.
At the White House, M calls in for their first check-in with Sterling, but they get no response. So they try Anacostia, but get nothing from her either. They run to check the command center, and find nothing but a trail of blood; one soldier is dead, and Anacostia and Sterling are missing. Taken.
M runs back to the Oval Office and realizes the camera crew for the televised speech were the Camarilla all along, but before they can do much about it, a huge explosion tears through the building, leaving pink glowing mushrooms in its wake. And unfortunately, at least one body: President Kelly Wade.
I actually find this turn of events disappointing and a little disheartening, but some twisted little kernel inside of me is hoping they had someone pretending to be the president to prepare for the ambush, since they knew her life was in danger, and part of M and Anacostia’s plan was to have a soldier ready in the president’s place using Spree face-changing magic to fight if it came down to it. And then they have to play along and pretend the president is dead for Silver to make his next move. Maybe this is part of whatever Wade and Grandma Bellweather were plotting behind closed doors. Because I think it would be pretty shitty of the show to have her talk about being a badass Black woman last episode, and then reiterate that she’s ready to fight in this one, just to have her die in an explosion? So maybe I’m naive but I’m hoping it’s a fakeout and that the real Wade and also M are okay. Fingers crossed until next week!
Yeah Nicte’s true face should have been shown when the Marshal (Who seems like he’s controlling the others? Marshal Hive Mind?) blew their illusion away. It’s one of those things that takes me out of this show because I just start to think about the show in technically (I.E. this happened probably because Nicte’s primary actress wasn’t available) and that’s not something you want to happen.
Speaking of things that took me out of things, we had two dumb decisions tonight: Scylla trying to contact Raelle when the Marshal(s) were barring down on them and the whole President situation.
With Scylla, they had just figured out how the Marshal(s) was tracking them and she still decided to try and contact Raelle, an act that would 100% guarantee that Marshal would realize that he was tricked and turn right around. Like I get she’s desperate but like this was the absolute worst time.
With The President, like they knew that this would happen and they still managed to get completely blindsided and let it happen anyway. I guess Anacostia is kidnapped now and the President & M are dead. This is also the point that where I don’t get why the face changing Magic is a Spree exclusive spell because you’d think having magical body doubles would be quite useful when you’re trying to protect someone important, like say the President of the United States.
Great recap as always Valerie! I love this show but they REALLY need to let Tally kiss a girl. She constantly looks like she wants to. She’s like Lena Luthor in that way.