Motherland: Fort Salem – Season 1 Episode 1 “Say The Words” [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

In a slight change of pace, “Motherland: Fort Salem” may focus on witches and the supernatural, but with the general omittance of men, things appear far more severe.

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Title Card - Motherland Fort Salem - Season 1 Episode 1 “Say The Words” [Series Premiere]

In a slight change of pace, “Motherland: Fort Salem” may focus on witches and the supernatural, but with the general omittance of men, things appear far more severe.

Created By Eliot Laurence
Directed By Steven A. Adelson
Written By Eliot Laurence
Aired (FreeForm) 3/18/2020
Genre(s) Drama, Fantasy, Romance,

Young Adult, LGBT

Introduced This Episode
Raelle Taylor Hickson
Abigail Ashley Nicole Williams
Tally Jessica Sutton
Scylla Amalia Holm
General Sarah Alder Lyne Renee

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Plot Overview

For almost 327 years, the United States, among other countries, have harbored witches for the use of war. However, as time has gone on, a group known as the Spree have risen. A group that operates on the idea that being conscripted to various military groups is akin to slavery. An idea which isn’t lost upon this year’s new recruits, such as Raelle, who lost her mother due to the decisions of her unit mate, Abigail’s, mother. But, amongst them is also Tally. Someone who could have escaped the conscription, due to the number of witches in her family who have died, and yet she still signed up.

Why? Well, while some know the truth, like Raelle and Abigail, who comes from a long ling of notable witches, Tally maintains the sales pitch in her head of getting to travel and see the world. That is alongside protect those without magic from the Spree, who are seen as terrorist due to them using their song to cause mass suicides.

But, with Raelle and Abigail at each other’s throats, and Raelle ready to hit the front lines and die early, if not possibly join the Spree, so comes the difficulty of these girls forced to rely on each other if they which to ascend in ranks or survive – period.


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The Lack Of Men Means Different Sources Of Drama

General Sarah Adler (Lyne Renee) giving a speech.
General Sarah Adler (Lyne Renee)

Unfortunately, in young adult dramas, when you intermix men and women, it comes with relationship drama. The kind that often puts the female character at a disadvantage story-wise. Then, when you add in life or death situations, usually sexism, amongst other issues between the sexes, thrown in. Luckily, with no men at Fort Salem, it seems when Abigail kissed her boyfriend goodbye, that might be the last dude we see for a while. Thus leading us to see drama of a different sort, which ranges from Abigail’s family being descendants of slaves, and how that affects her, to the mixed feelings people have about conscription.

Also, while there aren’t men in the show, as shown by Raelle and Scylla’s relationship, we will have queer relationships in place. The kind which, yes, are hot and heavy, and don’t explore intimacy beyond making out and manipulation, but who knows what the future may hold?

Are Spree Really Terrorist?

Considering the deal General Sarah Alder made, and how we hear about Raelle’s mother dying and all of Tally’s aunts, it pushes you to wonder if Spree should really be seen as terrorists? Granted, they are killing innocents, and are a decentralized group. However, there is a slight push to give some room of doubt. If only to hear their side to things. For despite us seeing dozens jump to their deaths and the disturbing way they use magic, considering who and what they are going up against, so comes the need to question if we should damn them right off the bat or be cautious about doing so?

The Battles To Come

Considering abilities which range from healing to manipulation, it makes the battles to come seem more complex than what we often see when it comes to magic users. For example, both on the side of good and evil, we see people whisper or say something which forces people to abide by their whims. Also, considering we’re introduced to healing magic and the possibility of necromancy, the various specialties that can be introduced aren’t limitless but could mean notable battles and destruction.

Mind you, it isn’t necessarily clear yet if this could be the show that kills off named characters. However, considering we’re already made aware of how many family members died of our leads, it seems inevitable for them to likely be scarred and lose many friends in pursuit of peace.


First Impression: Optimistic

While, as we feel for every show, there is a question of longevity, what “Motherland: Fort Salem” has going for it is that it lacks the usual boy x girl distractions which often hinder shows like this. For with there being a serious terrorist threat, hardly any men present, and talk of legacies, sacrifices, and exhibition of varied powers, by cutting off the familiar, it opens up more time to explore topics sometimes ignored. Thus giving “Motherland: Fort Salem” the ability to explore relationships amongst women, outside of some metropolitan setting, and show them in ways we don’t often see. Even on FreeForm.


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The Battles To Come - 84%
Are Spree Really Terrorist? - 86%
The Lack Of Men Means Different Sources Of Drama - 85%


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