Salem (S03E02): “The Heart Is A Devil”

This season hit the ground running in the first episode, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The writing is stunning, as well the acting. If you aren’t watching this, you better have a damn good reason, because your missing a really great show. The storylines are so involving and the brilliant Brannon Braga and Adam Simon are great. They involve the fans on twitter by answering questions and being engaged. That is the true mark of a great show.

Now…on to the review. This episode packed a lot of information, yet left us with a lot of questions. For those not caught up, let’s review. After Mary’s death, Tituba went to the Essex witches to bring her back. Since Mary was the one who birthed the devil, she was the only one who could kill him. So, they agreed. In a beautiful fog filled scene, Mary comes out of the root tree like a baby form it’s mother’s womb. Everything in Salem has a catch: Mary can NEVER leave Salem. She’s as tied to the town as she is to the devil. To convince Mary to kill her offspring, Tituba shows Mary a future without humans, not even Mary’s beloved John Alden. So, Mary agrees.

Tituba finds this funny…Mary has to live in the place of her greatest sadness and may never be able to be with her true love. So, Mary goes to Alden, her true love, for a night of passion. She chooses her son over John, deciding since she “made her sons body,” she must “unmake him.” No, John, there’s no time to tell you everything, I lied about that. Mary goes to her son…and meets The Sentinel (played oh so evilly by Samuel Roukin). He’s not happy to see her and doesn’t trust her. He puts her through a series of tests, which, to Sentinel’s surprise, she passes. So she is allowed to reunite with the offspring.

The Sentinel did reveal some interesting information: We learn the he is King of Insects, the first creature God created. Him and Mary had met before…when Mary went to Tituba for help, it was him and his insect buds that crawled over her pregnant belly. This information puts The Sentinel in a whole other creepy evil light. I guess the devil has the perfect bodyguard.

Cotton Mather wants to die. Rather than be subjected to Anne’s rat familiar, Brown Jenkins again. But Anne is completely, honestly in love with him and tries to convince to follow the Dark Lord. Shunning that, Cotton finds enough faith to go back and give a sermon, like his old self. That may not be the case, though. Anne sleeps next to him, but he’s awake, and takes a strand of her hair. What is Cotton playing at? Is he trying to play both sides, or is he going to make his own deal with someone or something? Is there revenge being plotted, since Anne won’t let him go?

Meanwhile, Isaac (Iddo Goldbreg) is becoming a true player in Salem. He’s come a long way and has earned the storyline he’s given. He’s become Isaac, Salem P.I. Isaac is trying to find out what is going on in his town. First stop: Thomas Dinley (wonderfully cast and played by Marilyn Manson), the towns go-to for shave and haircut, pharmaceutical remedies, or autopsies. Isaac wants Dinley to tell him what happened to Alice’s Uncle. The only Dinley can tell him for sure is that is came from the brothel. Which brings us to Hathorne. Mercy, running the brothel put a neat little curse on him. His face is breaking out…in herpes. Back to Dinley’s, he gets something for the “cankers” and something for the “stench.”

Tituba urges John Alden to train the Salem Militia. To be able to defend the town from the war raging outside the walls. One of the trainees, and potential friend of Alden’s reveals, in their private quarters to be a female. We’ll continue to follow the breadcrumbs on this one.

Bathing her son, she takes what she thinks is an advantage to kill him. Pushing him under the water, she tries drowning, but resorts to a knife. Hesitating only for a second, she plunges the knife into the “boy.” Over and over, til she feels he’s dead. Only to see the Sentinel rise from the water. He had disguised himself, because he still didn’t trust Mary. The devil comes in, disappointed. The Sentinel: “Can I kill her now?” 

What awaits us for next week? Tune in to WGNAmerica on Wednesday, at 9pm to find out