‘Motherland’ 3×04 Review: “Happy, Yule!”
Last week, the unit was captured by the Marshal (review here). This week, they spend the Yule holiday together, grieving and deciding on their possible futures as Blanton Silver was sworn into the presidential office. There was no shortage of plot twists and emotional heartwrenching during this episode.
Warning: It’s about to get spoiler-y!
A New World Order
The episode began with Blanton Silver (Victor Webster) being sworn in as president. To say I was horrified was an understatement. But, I was relieved to see that President Wade (Sheryl Lee Ralph) wasn’t actually lost, or so I assumed when her fingers deteriorated like dirt on the autopsy table and Petra (Catherine Lough Hagquist) came in demanding a closed casket. Blanton was thrilled to take the leadership reins and whip them hard.
His arc has hit home on serious issues that are faced today. In particular and most recent, the Roe v. Wade overturn taking away women’s rights in comparison to the witch hunt Blanton established at the end of the episode as he was determined “silence their song”. MFS has always kept time with current events. It’s one of the reasons I believe the show has remained so popular. It connects with the audience on more than just a fan basis.
The Mockery Gala
At a gala to celebrate Blanton’s presidency and the triumph of The Camarilla over President Wade, Hearst attempted to show off his new “witchy” voice that he’d had implanted in last week’s episode. Either he hadn’t healed enough for the witch voice or it didn’t work out. So instead, he made a massive mockery of witches by singing so horribly it nearly busted my eardrums. Furthermore, he revealed three containers of witches. One held Sterling (Luc Rodrique) and Anacostia(Demetria McKinney).
The gala celebrating Blanton took dark turns left and right. Not only was there the shocking reveal that Hearst (Bob Frazer) and Blanton’s side piece, Kara Brandt (Emilie Ullerup) were siblings, but witches were pitted against each other with a dim promise to survive.
This was a shocking brutal part of the show. Blanton had to face a former friend and others he caged like animals and watch as they tore each other apart. Though Penelope is still adjusting to her poisonous state and quite cranky about it, I’d love to see Izadora (Emilie Leclerc) put her and her father in one of those containers together. I especially feel that way after seeing Sterling and Anacostia go up against two spree and lose. While I haven’t seen enough of Sterling to have an emotional tether, he and Anacostia are great together. So, it was unbearable to watch him spelled into stabbing himself and left on the verge of death.
Though still being held by the Marshall (Michael Horse), Scylla (Amalia Holme) was still trying to contact Raelle (Taylor Hickson). I applaud her for never giving up on Raelle. While she managed to get a little further along with a dead mouse, she still hadn’t gotten in touch with her. Still, she refused to give up.
What had me so curious was that the unit was being kept in this warded estate, yet they weren’t barred from exploring or kept apart from each other. This wasn’t a typical prison. More so, the Marshal has quite a sense of humor, at least I thought so with his whistle-trick that put the unit on their asses with a mild hangover. He could teach them a thing or two about patience.
On a side note: That tilt-a-whirl trick the Marshal did was pretty rad. I think I’m really starting to like him.
When the unit is pinned for the “witch bomb” that killed President Wade, everyone is understandably up in arms. The Marshal wasn’t moved one way or the other. Nicte, however, continued to grow more and more sour. The Grinch Witch that Stole Yule, if you will. So much so, she kept going on that Raelle was dead, hoping to drag the rest of the unit down to her level. It went in the opposite direction and got her scolded by Scylla. It also allowed for Nicte to open up a little bit about her mom leaving when she was a kid and making Yule forever a hard time to celebrate.
Time to Go
The Marshal granted some leeway for the unit. After all, it was the holidays. While awaiting a meeting with the council, they were to help gather the Yule log. This was when Tally (Jessica Sutton) encountered a secret moment between Alder and Khalida. Though I’m not surprised to see Alder pop once again, it was heartbreaking to hear Khalida say that she would be parting ways with Adil for this mission. It’s never easy to see a family split up and from what we’ve seen, they’ve only got each other. Though it was emotional, Adil took the major brunt of it.
Still, it was time to take major action and Khalida was needed to help bring the first song toegther. She and Alder needed to find the other stewards of the first song before they were cut down by The Camarilla.
Holidays Bring Everyone Together
Petra surprising Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) at the estate wasn’t the only delight during the episode. The unit needed some good cheer. It was beyond a relief to see President Wade and M (Ess Hodlmoser) as well. It was M’s extraordinary abilities and Izadora’s talent to make a golem that saved her. The joy of the reunion was short-lived sadly.
This is the first time in a little while that I was taken off-guard and actually shocked. MFS has a talent for being unpredictable. Kudos for doing it once again. Now, just give Raelle back.
While the unit seemed sadder than ever with Khalida (Kylee Brown) and Alder (Lyne Renee) taking off and Petra having to return to Fort Salem, President Wade taking part in witchy traditions seemed to lift spirits. So did everyone coming together to offer up a heartbeat to the earth for Raelle. Though kind of grizzly, the thought was in the right place. It was this mix of power from Scylla and the Yule holiday that response finally came from Raelle.
The mixture of joy and sadness between all of the characters brought to the surface both their hopes and heartaches. While it was bittersweet, the small moments of hope and joy in between really help them get through the tough spots and remind them of what they’re fighting for.
They See You
This episode granted something very special to the audience and the fandom. It’s no secret how much I love M. They’re a character that has really gained a spotlight with their stoicism and initiative, so, seeing them getting more screen-time has been outstanding.
M shared their backstory about getting conscripted. That being a non-binary witch presented difficulty because there was a specialty for them. But, it presented a unique opportunity for M as well, one that set them on this path where they got to learn and accomplish what no other witch has. M shared this, relating to Tally that she is also in a unique, but not simple or easy position. With her growing power and the ties she still had with Alder, Tally could hold all the balance. M encouraged her to believe in herself and her power.
What I also couldn’t help but notice was how well these two really connected. Maybe I’m just being hopeful. Who knows. While I like Talder, I could really really come to like Mally.
From Tally’s terrifying vision of Raelle and the Mother coming together to end the war and the world to Blanton Silver broadcasting imminent change and destruction of all witch-kind, I was speechless. There is still so much to come and it’s unclear how it will all end.
Then again, why should it end? Yes, I’m talking about the show. I’m still advocating #SaveMotherlandFortSalem. Back to the point, I’m pretty scared for not only the unit but everyone. After learning of Blanton’s plans, President Wade was back in the wind with M, their plans unknown. Ripping away rights and lives of witches will certainly lead to Tally’s vision. With so many unknown variables, I’m still clinging on for dear life, wondering what’s coming next.
How are you handling the latest episode of MFS? Let’s chat in the comment below! And, don’t forget to follow us @capeandcastle on Twitter.