Secrets? Who needs secrets?! We're talking about the town of Salem here.
On Salem Season 3 Episode 9, Pandora must have opened a box because every secret, alliance and evil was exposed and sent out into the world. It is (mostly) all out in the open at this point heading into our series finale. It was...glorious.
We need to discuss the biggest revelation out of the gate: Cotton finding Gloriana! It took a few episodes, but we got to this key moment.
Season one was nearly three years ago (that's 2014!), and I forgot how much Cotton truly cared for her. His emotions with finally being reunited together and then his sadness when she didn't remember him was such a heartbreaking scene. It's not how you'd want them reunited.
Does anyone else think Cotton wasn't angry enough? Gloriana is supposedly THE woman he truly loves – the first, in fact, we're introduced to. He finds her in a brothel AND discovers his wife, who he somewhat hates, was involved in hiding her – and he's not a bottle of rage? That doesn't seem right.
I expected him to fly off the handle or do something different, especially when hearing Anne stole the baby. Choking her was a bad idea; she's a witch – she could do worse. Maybe he does love her, after all?
Kudos to the writers and Tamzin Merchant – she was incredible. She was raw, pained and full of hate to pair with her character's direction. I loved her dialogue, especially the one against Cotton's hypocrisy and the state of overall male misogyny.
Anne: Yes. Of course, that is what we women are to you -- a good woman is a half-doll-half-angel and a bad woman is but a hideous fiend. Well I will not be your angel doll a second longer, even if I could. I would rather be a fiend...a great fiend!
[Magically throws sewing needle]
Anne: You shameless hypocrite! You...who persecuted and executed so many innocents. You...who murdered your own father. You...who sang the worst sin of all is a lie. And your entire life is a lie! Every time you climbed the pulpit after a night of drunken debauchery, you lied to everyone, or is lying merely another privilege reserved for men?!
Sebastian's punishment of trapping him in the mirror was a nice twist. Him being confined to watch as the world around him suffers during Black Sunday is a terrible fate. I have a feeling it'll play a part with his survival next week.
It's an evil move. Though, Sebastian and Anne making out might be the creepiest thing he's done in a while – besides forcing Mary into bed, of course (that tops the list). It was gross; I don't understand the closeness in their family.
I've lost any sympathy I had for Sebastian. He chose evil, he chose rape, and he chose incest – you can't come back from that. Mary can continue to keep slaying him with her words; he deserves it!
Speaking of Mary, did she give up too easily? Before encountering Tituba/Sebastian/Anne, both the Sentinel and the dark lord were dead, she had nothing to fear except the door opening, and no one to her knowledge was around to do it. She succumbed to her paranoia a little too easily.
Cotton: What has happened to you?
Mary: I don't know. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. Perhaps killing him took what life I had left? Perhaps I returned to the grave they took me from? But I shall not go until I am sure. He calls to me. Do you hear him?! He talks to me. My monster. My son...my son.
Granted, she was justified in being a little crazy. After everything that has happened to her the last three years, it's a miracle she has any shred of sanity left. (She DID take some pleasure in snapping that cat's neck...)
Mary: The most fatal error, my treacherous sister -- placing your trust in the dark lord...and this mangy mouter.
[Snaps the cat's neck]
Tituba: Blind me if you will. I can track and kill you in the darkest night!
Tituba's motivations throughout Salem's run have continually thrown me off. She's good and then evil, working with Mary then against and back-and-forth. At this point, I've decided she must be on her own side.
For the first time this series, Tituba has been honest, and it's refreshing.
I'm glad the writers gave us a reason why this character jumps back-and-forth to each side without it coming across as implausible. Tituba may be this untrustworthy and powerful witch, but she started the show/history as a slave. She is someone ripped from her family and forced into this situation.
We can't forget she has a justified reason to have an ax to grind with people. Tituba hates EVERYONE in Salem; she'll side with whoever can get the job done. Her actions, while extreme, make sense.
Mercy's actions, however, don't make sense. She keeps playing with fire and screwing people over when it's not needed. Do they make sense to you?
I think this is one of those situations where maybe the animosity built up since the second season is influencing her choices. She didn't need to reveal Gloriana's presence to Cotton or kidnap Dorcas; she was free of the drama. It's interesting to see that when Mercy has everything she wants, she continues to tempt fate.
The proof is in the outcome: The town is seeking blood outside her brothel and she ruined any potential alliance with Anne by revealing her secret. Not a smart play!
For a dark show (and one with lots of grey skies), I'm captivated by the use of light. It doesn't come around often, but I notice it a lot more in certain sets, particularly Mercy's brothel. Go back and look – I love how the light is always seeping through the windows. It made the standoff scene even more intense.
John finding the Sentinel's clock was too coincidental for my liking. Searching for an unknown evil and having it nearby without realizing it are two completely different outcomes – this was too easy. If he had not been in the right place at the right time with a worrisome Thomas, the group would've never known.
I would've hoped for a more climactic discovery, but you can't win them all. The clock is still in play and Sebastian having it is not a good sign. And we can't forget the door.
The door is open – it felt right for Anne to be the one to do so. I've mentioned before that Anne's transition to villainy has been an interesting ride to follow. I wish she hadn't made out with her brother, but I guess she went all in as a villain...
I loved that it was Mary who tried to talk some sense into her. The two didn't share a scene together all season, but their chemistry in the past has been strong. I forgot how much they hated each other.
The moment of Mary begging Anne showed the stark difference in their role reversal since the beginning of the series: Mary is now the believer filled with humanity while Anne is the monster using her powers against people.
Mary: You would damn generations to hell on earth because of your own bitter heart?!
Anne: You are absolutely right, I would. Happily. I would turn the earth into a bitter desert in the very image of my heart!
The dark lord has that way with his followers. Having Oliver Bell back as a foe in the series finale will be a great edition to the end. I'm still crossing my fingers we'll see the Countess return next week as well. (I can hope!)
What did you think of "Saturday Mourning"? Will Cotton be freed from the mirror world? Is the dark lord out for revenge against Mary? Who do you think will survive the events of Black Sunday?
If you missed Salem's penultimate episode, you can watch Salem online via TV Fanatic. Come back to let us know what you think!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.