TV Series Motherland: Fort Salem - Season 1 Episode 9 “Coup” – Recap/ Review...
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Motherland: Fort Salem – Season 1 Episode 9 “Coup” – Recap/ Review with Spoilers

As General Adler faces her most shocking defeat, we’re reminded how she has found a means to survive and be in power this long.

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Directed By Steven A. Adelson
Written By Eliot Laurence, Maria Maggenti
Aired (FreeForm) 5/13/2020

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Threats Beyond The Spree – General Adler, Petra

For the most part, we don’t see or hear much from humans. They exist, for sure, but we’ve honed in on witches and The Spree. However, with another attack on Tarim witches and mention of the Camarilla, likely witch hunters, it presents yet another threat. One which isn’t looking for liberation, however, but extinction. So if, or when, there is a second season, it seems we’ll get a new villainous group – hopefully, this time, with a leader.

Changing Of The Guard – Petra, Abigail, Tally, Raelle, President Wade, General Adler, Adil, Gerit, Khalida

Tally’s knowledge of General Adler lying creates a secret that borrows deep inside her, beyond keeping one from Raelle or her affair with Gerit (which may have ended this episode). So she turns to Abigail, her unit’s lead, for help since these secrets are not only killing her emotionally but also slowly destroying her love for the military. Thus leading to Abigail, despite finally getting to a good place with Petra, allowing Tally to reveal what happened.

President Wade retiring General Adler.

Said reveal doesn’t really phase Petra. However, when Raelle throws in what happened with Scylla, and that a Spree is at Fort Salem, that changes things. This leads to Petra talking to President Wade, and as General Adler is trying to gain support for the Tarim witches, and be allowed to make a move, she learns she has been relieved of her duties.

This news is hinted at with Adil, from Abigail, and this gives him some hope. For with his sister preferring to let their kind die than work with General Adler, there is hope an alternative to her may give them a fighting chance.

And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going – Anacostia, Scylla, Raelle, President Wade, General Adler

Just as Tally is wrestling with what she has learned about General Adler, so is Anacostia. For between what led to the death of Libba to wanting Scylla to be given a second chance, her faith in Adler is wavering. However, it is with seeing Adler take over President Wade and keep her from publicly firing her, which makes it clear the General Adler she idolized no longer exists. Heck, despite Adler likely being part of the reason “puppeting,” as it is called, is illegal, so comes the question if she made it through 45 presidents by doing this when things really got bad?

But, on a lighter note, with Scylla scheduled to head to some type of Guantanamo Bay facility, Anacostia allows her to say goodbye to Raelle. Someone who has mixed feelings about the idea for she feels used, targeted, and weak. However, Scylla does her best to push the idea that she was chosen because she was strong, and Scylla didn’t hand Raelle over because she was truly loved.

Leaving us with this: Anacostia learning what Raelle and her unit revealed to Petra and her wondering, when it gets back to Adler who set up the dominoes that nearly ended her career, what would she do?

Highlights

No One Fighting Over Gerit

Can we begin by saying, I love how men play such a small role on this and, in a true gender flip, they don’t really rise above love interest? Yeah, Witchfather might be training the men but, it’s basically to be good lovers and partners. Which is kind of hilarious.

General Adler’s Power Struggle

General Adler creepily smiling.

When it comes to General Adler, you have to take note of all the things which have to come together for her to maintain power. First and foremost, she has to have witches who are willing to sacrifice their lives to keep her alive. Following that, Adler’s military power relies on witches following the Salem Accord and not abstaining from conscription or, like the Spree, rebelling against it.

Yet, the biggest threat is her own soldiers. Hundreds of years of experience may make her an icon, but it also makes some feel she is set in her ways, callous, and unable to adapt to new enemies. If not, in the case of Anacostia and Tally, perhaps seeing her as seeing witches more as numbers since she has experienced death in such a capacity, she may only focus on statistics.

So to see her take over the president to protect her position, it makes you wonder how many times she has done this and who, beyond her biddies, might be aware? Never mind, once she stopped her control over President Wade, what happened?

The Rise Of The Camarilla

While mentioned only as a possible threat, the idea of an organized group, with a leader, who are a real threat to witches, is intriguing. Especially if they are witch hunters since humanity has had a limited role in the show. Mortals, non-magic users, there have been whispers, or rumors of them wanting to rid or further control over witches, but outside of line from Witchfather here, Petra this episode, and moments like that, nothing has come of anything. However, with the Tarim witches nearly extinct, so comes the idea the group Adler thought she wiped out are making a return. It’s just they are going for the smaller tribes to ramp up for Adler.

Libba’s Eulogy

Abigail at a podium doing Libba's eulogy.

It remains a shame we didn’t get to see Libba and Abigail bridge the chasm that generations have created. However, in Abigail calling out her mother, and perhaps Libba’s as well, both of their families, you get a consolation prize. All the while her acknowledging how terrible it is that, on top of facing constant wars which threaten their lives, at home, they have to deal with petty drama from those who should be allies.

Anacostia Removing Her Rose Colored Glasses

With being raised at Fort Salem and in military life, Anacostia looked to Adler as a maternal figure. And we’d submit, at whatever age Anacostia is now, she is just getting at that point to losing her idolization and seeing Adler for who she is. But, unlike most kids who lose faith with their parents, there is no room for rebelling and questioning here. Adler is in a power position and shows herself willing and capable of taking down detractors. So, with that in mind, what can Anacostia do? She has been awakened but has nowhere to go and no alternative to safely turn to or speak about the truth she is coming to.

Adil & Abigail’s Relationship

Now that Gerit has shown his true self in full, we’ve lost his and Tally’s Disney fairytale-like relationship. But, luckily, Adil and Abigail have stepped in with a sort of grown and sexy vibe. Note, I’m not sure they had sex yet, but I do appreciate the intimacy we’ve seen between them that dealt with vulnerability beyond the physical. For I continue to be amazed the girl who was paving the way for Tally is now having what seems like an actual relationship with feelings.

Khalida

Khalida downplaying General Adler's position.

I cannot say how big of a role Khalida will play, but I can say I hope she becomes a series regular. The way this child belittles and looks at Adler like they swapped ages tickles me in so many ways.

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Review Summary

The Short & Sweet Version

As General Adler faces her most shocking defeat, we’re reminded how she has found a means to survive and be in power this long.
Khalida
86 %
Adil & Abigail’s Relationship
84 %
Anacostia Removing Her Rose Colored Glasses
85 %
Libba’s Eulogy
83 %
The Rise Of The Camarilla
81 %
General Adler’s Power Struggle
85.5 %
No One Fighting Over Gerit
82 %
Amari Allahhttps://wherever-i-look.com
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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