“Motherland: Fort Salem” Series Finale Recap: The Last Song

Valerie Anne here, sadly reporting for duty, because it’s the last time I’ll get to say this: Welcome to this recap of Motherland: Fort Salem, episode 310, “Revolution, Part 2,” aka the series finale.

Previously on Motherland: Fort Salem, Alder set off to find all the Stewards of the first song but is missing one because the lineage records were lost, Tally gave up her sight to become one of said stewards but not before having a vision of Raelle using the witch bomb on the whole world, Hearst killed his way to the Mother and took over Fort Salem, and Raelle, Scylla, Abigail and Adil all got married. Well, into their respective couples. I don’t know a lot about witch customs but I’m pretty sure they’re not a four-way spousal situation. But honestly who knows! Anyway!

After Raelle collapses after the wedding, she regains control of her body but she can tell something bad is happening to the mycelium. Petra confirms this when she tells them that Camarilla have taken over Fort Salem and are sending many troops there now. Abigail isn’t willing to let this happen, so she turns to her unit and asks if they’ll join her in defending their home. Raelle and Tally agree to one last hoorah, for goddess and country.

Tally and Raelle look decidedly at Abigail

Maybe someday I’ll write about a series finale without One Last Time from Hamilton stuck in my head, but today is not that day.

At Fort Salem, there is bad news and good news. The bad news is, Hearst is making himself at home with that smug smile of his, putting Penelope in a jar and being his general icky self. The GOOD news is, Izadora is alive and laughing maniacally in Hearst’s face. Get ’em!

Izaorda smiles with wild eyes

“They’re all gonna laugh at you!”

While the witches try to win this war once and for all, Alder is playing Carmen Sandiego trying to find the last piece of the first song. She starts in Ghana but the witch military there see her presence as an incursion. They think she’s causing the storm overhead. She isn’t and she realizes she’s causing more trouble than she intended so she Homer Simpsons into the wall and disappears.

Alder looks stunning with a scarf loosely draped over her flowing hair

“Little did you know I can cast Transport via Plants.”

Before they head off, Anacostia takes a moment to tell her girls how proud she is of them. She might have been a little hard on them at first but it’s because they knew they had greatness in them. She knew she wasn’t dealing with any old witch unit. She knew they were special. And even if they didn’t have important destinies, they were always special to her.

Anacostia smiles at her girls

“Don’t worry this is a totally regular speech I’m giving you for no reason, definitely not a goodbye speech, nothing to worry about here.”

She tells them to never doubt themselves, and then jokes that they should look out for Scylla, but it’s Scylla who starts the group hug. And that’s why we call her Mamacostia.

As they get ready for the fight, the girls have one more cute moment of sisterhood, teasing each other about how they all polished their shiny witch marks at the wedding, Scylla even seizing the opportunity to call Raelle her wife. Greg comes in and Tally swoons over him and Abigail is amused but I can’t help but think how random this all feels and how it could have been, and arguably should have been, M instead.

Abigail smiles at Tally as she leaves the room

Though, like Abigail, it does make me happy when Tally is smiling.

The witch gang makes their way through the halls of Fort Salem, and maybe it’s because they’re in such familiar territory, maybe it’s because they all “recharged” at the wedding, but Abigail and Adil are having cute honeymoon banter while fighting. It’s cute!

Meanwhile, outside, Anacostia, Petra, Sterling and Greg find the horde of soldiers and make a plan to do a spell to stop them, but when they start making a magic tornado, one of the soldier taps his armor and it casts a shroud of silence, cutting off their work and ending the spell in an instant. But then the armor glitches and Anacostia does a quick tactical read of the situation and S’KAs Petra and Sterling out of the way as the sudden halting of the tornado flings a car in their direction.

Petra and Sterling are safe, but Anacostia is crushed. Anacostia is dead. AND I AM VERY SAD ABOUT IT. And like, I know I should have seen this coming with the goodbye speech she gave, and I knew going into this we were going to lose at least one main player, but WHY HER?! I think Anacostia will go down in my long list of characters who died in a series finale who I simply do not register as dead in my mind or my memories. See also: [redacted] from the Buffy series finale.

Greg runs off to find the Bellweather unit and warn them about the armor that can kill sound, and together they head to the necro bunker. Petra and Sterling find more guards, and get Penelope-in-a-Can back. Petra can tell Sterling is losing focus so she tells him that he has to keep fighting, for Anacostia. So her death won’t be in vain.

The Bellweather unit makes it the necro bunker and the guards follow. They shut off the sound and only Hearst is able to use his stolen vocal cords to speak. He notices Raelle doesn’t look so good, and is delighted by this news.

Scylla holds Raelle up

“Joke’s on you, she’s not hurt, we just LIKE to stand this way! We’re MARRIED!”

Hearst presses a button and blasts more poison into the Mother, and Raelle’s witch bomb whips out, hitting Scylla, and Adil, too. Talder even feels it from afar. Tally is FURIOUS so she starts using her whip; magic or no magic, it’s still a weapon she’s proficient in wielding, so wield it she does. As she works, the armor glitches, and Tally and Abigail seize the opportunity to use work to take on the rest of the guards.

Tally and Abigail stand off against the guards

The whip work was *chef’s kiss* in this episode.

Raelle and Scylla would help, I’m sure, but they’re too busy walking the fine line between a Wynonna Earp/Supergirl ending and a Bury Your Gays catastrophe.

Tally and Abigail hold off the guards while Adil and Scylla drag Raelle to the mushroom wall. Eventually the silence barrier glitches and the girls get their magic back and they take down the current wave of guards. Abigail doesn’t understand what’s going on, but Tally is starting to put the pieces of the big picture together.

More guards show up and they start to fight again, but definitely have a disadvantage every time one of them activates the silence again. But as the tides start to turn against them, Nicte and her bats show up and save the day. Tally is so happy to see her, and Abigail is happy to hear that Nicte has a plan.

Nicte glowers

I sort of wish she had whispered, “I’m Batman” as she emerged from the bats. Just to lighten the mood.

Inside the mycelium chamber, Raelle stumbles to the wall and sings to it, opening a tunnel. She calls out to her squad and they all rush into the Mother–oh my goddess, it’s the Motherland. The titular role!

Once they’re inside, Tally looks around at the crumbling wasteland and realizes it looks very familiar. This is where her vision takes place. This is where she saw the witch bomb go off.

Tally looks too stunned to speak

“Alexa, play déjà vu by Olivia Rodrigo.”

Raelle was hoping that once she was inside, she’d be able to better access the myscelium’s powers and heal her friends, by Scylla and Adil are getting worse and there’s nothing she can do about it. Raelle wails Tally’s name, begging their Seer for a solution.

Raelle wails Tally's name, spiderweb scars glowing across her face

The way they cry out each other’s names sometimes hurts my FEELINGS.

Seeing Raelle and Abigail cling to their spouses, Tally knows what she has to do, and she yells out to Alder for help.

As Adil’s energy fades, he tells Abigail to let him go if the time comes, but she’s determined to get him to the ocean. Raelle laments ever leaving the lighthouse, but Scylla says that being together is lighthouse enough for her. Raelle asks why this is all happening to her, and Scylla says she’s the only one who would be strong enough to endure it.

Scylla holds Raelle's hand as she lays on a door-sized platform

THERE’S ROOM ON THE DOOR FOR BOTH OF YOU. NEVER LET GO.

Tally is still feeling enlightened and she knows the three of them have a higher calling; she doesn’t have to see the future to known that they can do this. They can fix it. She saw the witch bomb go off in her vision, but she didn’t see what happened right after. So they can decide what happens. She asks Raelle to trust her, and of course she does. Tally trusts in the mother, and that faith is going to get her through this.

Tally holds Raelle's hand reassuringly

I have faith in Tally.

On her side quest, Alder follows clues to Jamaica, which then lead her back stateside to Roanoke. She finds books and diaries and learns that her missing witch is called Jem. Jem was a powerful witch, who could use her work to control both earth and sky. Sound familiar? The notes say this final piece of the first song can break the world or remake it, depending on how it is sung.

Out in the real world, Hearst forces Silver to give a televised speech about taking back the country, when Sterling-in-disguise slips Izadora the can of Penelope. Izadora spikes Hearst’s coffee with just a splash of Penelope and she bursts forth from his body, turning him into goo.

Penelope glares at her father

I wish we could turn slimeballs into slimeballs in real life.

Silver stands face to face with the daughter he sacrificed for his hateful cause and tries to apologize, to make excuses, but Penelope isn’t having any of it, so she witch plagues him to death, too.

When things are looking dire in the Motherland, Alder appears with the Stewards trailing behind her. Seeing no new faces, Tally asks Alder where the last steward is, then Alder steps forward to Abigail. Her history was lost and stolen because of slavery and the cruelty of humanity, but Alder put the pieces together. Abigail is the final steward. SHE is the union of earth and sky. Not her and Adil, not their potential baby. Just her. Overwhelmed, she asks how she’ll know how to sing it, but just like she somehow knew she had more work in her from Jem than anyone realized, she will know the song when it’s time to sing it.

Alder and Abigail face each other as Alder explains

🎶 “Listen with your heart, you will understand.”

Tally tells Raelle that contrary to all the things she’s said since she had her vision, she needs Raelle to be the witch bomb one last time. But she wants her to use it to distribute the song, distribute it EVERYWHERE. Tally promises it will be okay, and Raelle trusts her wholeheartedly.

Tally stands over Raelle and tells her what to do

“But also this mushroom baby is coming so when I say go, we go. GO!”

But Raelle can’t hold it in much longer so they better start singing STAT. And so sing they do. Abigail does indeed know the song, and their voices all intertwine and go through Raelle and out of the mother and into the world. A soft glow spreads until it covers the earth like a dome, casting a yellow light on everything.

When the song is over, Raelle gets up and feels healed, and finally has the strength to heal Adil and Scylla. Raelle holds her wife, Abigail holds her husband and her sister-in-law, and Alder hugs Tally.

A collage of Alder and Tally, Raelle and Scylla, and Abigail, Adil and Khalida

My recap was late today and it was partially because I spent so much time making this. (Sorry, Heather!) But I couldn’t choose just one hug to feature!!!!

Once they resurface, Petra is there to greet them, and they all look together up at the glowing sky. Before they can celebrate their win, Petra tells them that they lost one of their own in the final battle. Everyone cries and says a few nice words about her – how she was fearless and feared, and saw the good in everyone, and believed in them the most. And they send her off with lil stomps, as is the witchy way.

Scylla, Raelle, and Tally cry for Anacostia

I wish it had been this bright in the Motherland so all my screenshots weren’t all so dang dark.

As they look at the new world they created, the Bellweather Unit can’t exactly figure out what happened, but they know everything has changed. Nay, that they changed everything. And they have a feeling it was for the better.

Scylla and Raelle hold each other as they look up to the new sky

“Plus, we get to join the Unkillable Gay Squad now!”

Alder pulls Nicte aside and asks her to show her real season one face, and she does. Alder apologizes for hurting her, and Nicte apologizes for holding a grudge. They joke together and you can sense a bit of healing happening. A peaceful resolution to their years of conflict.

As Tally looks up at the sky in wonder, her eyes start to flicker and she has her sight back. And then some. She can see so much more than she ever could before, including the fact that the sky is like this across the globe. Alder says that actually the Mother wants them all to be able to see that, so she takes the Bellweather unit up in a helicopter.

The Mother speaks through Alder and tells them that she once merged with six women, and their descendents were called witches, but now her gift is freely given. Everyone has magic now.

Alder faces the Bellweather unit in the back of the helicopter

The pilot of this helicopter is probably “what the fuck is going on?”

But the world will still need stewards, and she has chosen the three of them. Tally’s vision, Raelle’s care, Abigail’s fury. Together, they will guide the people. They will be called goddesses.

Once she’s done being a mouthpiece for the Mother, Alder knows her borrowed time is over. She calls them her daughters, kisses them all on the forehead, and then returns to dust on the winds.

The girls watch as Alder turns to dust on the wind

Iconic exit, to be honest.

Tally, Raelle, and Abigail hold hands; they’re in this together, forever and for always. They speak the mothertongue in unison and say, “Let us begin.”

They want to live up to the goddess title the people will give them, and something tells me they will.

The Bellweather Unit says in Mothertongue in unison: Let us begin.

As a great philosopher once said, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

And so we say goodbye to our witches. I’ll miss this little universe, and these girls. I’ll miss the whips and the magic and the sisterhood. The Bellweather unit showed us how important found family is, how to fight broken systems from the inside, and how to stand up to those who might hate and you just because of who you are, and how probably they’re just afraid you’ll realize how very powerful you are.

I’m so very grateful for two things in particular re: this finale. 1) all three girls and their partners (even the gay ones!) made it out alive. 2) This was very definitely and absolutely a series finale. This wasn’t a season finale repurposed, it wasn’t a cliffhanger episode that would leave the series feeling unfinished for all eternity. It definitely has stories to pick up if it got a movie or got picked up by another network, but if it doesn’t, we still have closure. We’ve lost too many shows prematurely lately, and while I wish this show had gotten one or two more seasons, I’m glad they had the heads up they did so they could give us a proper goodbye.

So goodbye to our goofball goddesses. I think I’ll miss your livetweets most of all.


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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 415 articles for us.

7 Comments

  1. I love this show and these characters very much but…was anyone else not feeling the resolution? When it comes down to it, it seems like the ultimate solution to fixing the problem of hate against witches was to make everyone the same. Not in every single way, of course, but in the way that obviously got the most focus on the show. True, they acknowledge it won’t be an easy transition, but it still feels like it’s glossing over a lot of the issues w/ prejudices as well as nuances of celebrating our differences in favor of trying to sweep that all under the rug for something easier. Idk maybe I’m just not seeing this right, but the more I think about this specific point the less I like it

    But regardless, I’m still grateful to the show for providing something so unique and gay, even if it was relatively short-lived. Besides, even I completely decide I didn’t like the ending, I can’t even say it’s the worst series finale I’ve seen, even this year. The Killing Eve finale still haunts me…

    • The resolution was too rushed to really leave any sort of impact. I feel like this season should have been solely about hunting for the First Song so that it actually mattered at the end.

      • You’re definitely not wrong, though I can’t blame the writers too much for that since Freeform’s cancelation put them in a box where they had a lot less time to resolve things than they initially planned. I put more blame on the actual resolution of making everyone witches since it’s something they still had full control

  2. This season was my least favourite. Everything and every storyline feels so rushed. I know they planned for 5-season arc but squeezing three seasons’ worth of plot into one wasn’t the answer. And I have to say the ending and it’s message doesn’t sit well with me

    PS: Did we need Greg at all? Anacostia’s sacrifice and death took about 5 seconds but they made sure to check in with Greg three times. It should have been M

  3. Boy you could really feel the plotline rush even more in this episode than you could the last one. So much shit was thrown at us in this last hour and because of that I didn’t really have time to feel or process it. Like we got a last minute swerve that Abigail was one of the Stewards, that was really poorly built up. And the final “Everyone’s a witch” thing needed more time then a speech sort of explaining it.

    I did get possessed by Chaos towards the end and thought “Oh man, what if they kill off Adil and Raelle and/or Scylla and the only romance that survived this show was Tally and Gregorio’s last minute hook up?” That would have been amazing, truly the worst thing they could have done.

    As a whole, I liked this show. It’s not perfect and this last season got crushed under the weight of trying to do a million things at once, but it was fun a ride throughout.

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