Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3 Review: A Biddy's Life

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Was the episode's message supposed to be a horny witch is a powerful witch?

Whatever. Beltane certainly appeared to be a pleasant diversion from the day-to-day routine on Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3.

Unfortunately, this episode of Motherland: Fort Salem resulted in more questions than answers.

Picnic Lunch - Motherland: Fort Salem

That's to be expected. Eliot Laurence created a dense mythology over a decade, and he can't just throw it all out there at once.

So viewers are only going to a little bit of new information each installment over this 10-episode first season.

Military Meeting - Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3

This episode, titled "A Biddy's Life," finally gave viewers some answers about biddies, the half-dozen older women who constantly accompany General Alder.

The biddies seemed to be Alder's personal security force. It appeared to be an honorary position to which older witches, who somehow survived, retired.

But no. It turned out that they are so much more than that.

Hadn't you wondered how General Alder, the witch who signed the Salem Accord more than 300 years ago, still looks so good?

Well, apparently her biddies transfer all their youth into her in exchange for that position of honor by her side.

Official Sanction - Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3

It was creepy to watch ripe recruit Devin hold onto Alder's shoulders, and while Alder looked better, Devin appeared to be about 70 years old. Talk about your magical Botox!

It was interesting to watch the process of how a biddy was chosen. After one got fatally injured, I assume while protecting Alder, Anacostia checked the list of those who had volunteered for such duty.

Volunteered! Since they go into battle with Alder, being a biddy could hardly be considered a low-risk desk job.

They also appear to be on the same mental wavelength as Alder, perhaps another way they protect her. This is conjecture, and not anything that was spelled out.

Since this episode wasn't titled "Beltane" or "The Hague," viewers were back to guessing about those storylines.

Pretty Pair - Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3

Like why are men on the show called male witches instead of warlocks? Maybe because I'm betting warlocks would get much more respect.

It remains pretty fuzzy as to what men's roles are in this alternate history.

Men, dressed in pastels, were shown caring for children on Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 2.

In this episode, there were boy toys bussed in for the soldiers' enjoyment because horniness makes for better magic?

That worked for Tally, who was having her first experience with males her own age and who kicked ass in scrying practice.

Overwhelmed Recruit Season 1 Episode 3

The men working the soldiers at the picnic reminded me of a whorehouse scene in a modern Western.

And I'm sure the gender reversal of men being treated like pieces of meat scored points with female viewers.

But at the military council at The Hague, there were male generals, as well. So obviously men can rise to positions of authority even on this female-dominated world.

Also, some men are witches, and other men are mere mortals.

So how is it decided who partners with who?

Alpha Female - Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3

Raelle's father was mortal, and the way she talked, it must be a black mark against her that she's a half-breed -- half-witch and half-human.

Hey, maybe that's why she was living on that session/reservation.

It was fun watching how the members of the Bellweather Unit handled the Beltane (which sounds like the name of a hearing aid).

The festival didn't come off like a mating ritual, but rather just a chance for the gals to blow off some steam.

Abigail, who is used to getting her way with boys because of her family's status, simply picked off a couple of the prettier ones to amuse her for the weekend.

Decisions, Decisions - Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3

Tally went totally against the rules of Beltane and fell in love. She had just fallen off the turnip truck after growing up on the matrifocal compound, and she just didn't know any better.

Since Abigail and Gerit were old friends, I doubt she would have approved of Tally going after him if Gerit was going to hurt her. Abigail is self-involved but not that self-involved.

Raelle was bemused by the beefcake parade and hung out to protect Tally. But she was soon dealing with her own problems.

Yes, Raelle knows that Scylla is hiding secrets. So, every so often, Scylla has to give her a little intel to keep her on the hook.

You have to wonder how Porter managed to track down Scylla.

First Choice - Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3

But at least he knew her well enough to know that she wouldn't have answered The Call willingly, that she was playing an angle.

Once he determined that she had turned Spree, it was clear that Porter would be taking a header soon.

The only question is how much did Raelle attempting to heal him set her back?

That military council was a mess.

First Kiss - Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3

Not surprisingly, other nations' generals wanted to push Alder out of her position of leadership and take a more aggressive battle plan against the Spree.

Then there was the dying nomadic tribe of witches with the super-rare spells. Alder was right when she said that nearby countries would go after the secret weapon for themselves, rather than working together to aid the tribe.

I wasn't sure who attacked Alder, the Spree or one of her "allies."

To revisit the alternative world, watch Motherland: Fort Salem online.

What did you think of Beltane?

Is Tally safe with Gerit?

Do you want to see more big-picture storylines?

Comment below.

A Biddy's Life Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Motherland: Fort Salem Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

They do look to peacock and strut. [To Tally] Close your mouth.


Tally: I suddenly look weird and not in a good way.
Abigail: Stop fidgeting. You look fine.