Motherland: Fort Salem – Season 1 Episode 6 “Up Is Down” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Abigail crying.

Alongside Abigail struggling with PTSD, and Raelle’s heartbreak, a major reveal dealing with Spree comes in the aptly named, “Up Is Down.”

Alongside Abigail struggling with PTSD, and Raelle’s heartbreak, a major reveal dealing with Spree comes in the aptly named, “Up Is Down.”

Directed By Rebecca Johnson
Written By Maria Maggenti
Aired (FreeForm) 4/22/2020
Introduced This Episode
Bridey Naiah Cummins
Adil Tony Giroux
Khalida Kylee Brown

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

The Tarim Witches – Adil, Khalida, General Adler

Despite being told they are somewhere far off in Asia, near China and Russia, Adil and Khalida, two Tarim witches, they end up at Fort Salem. Leading to, to no avail, General Adler seemingly trying to recruit them, or at least learn their songs. However, the oldest of the two, Adil, he refuses this and seems to rather have their songs die with him and his sister than allow them to be weaponized.

PTSD – Petra, Bridey, Abigail, Tally, Raelle

What gives Abigail strength has often been the idea that if she isn’t the best, she is one of the best. However, between the reveal she wouldn’t have to work hard to get into War College, than the brutal beating at the hands of the Spree, she is shaken. Add on the grotesque death of her cousin, and now Abigail is dealing with PTSD. Which, naturally, her unit sisters try to help with, but Abigail pushes them away. For even though they may likely spend their lives together, she still is uncomfortable with the idea of letting them in.

But, while she can push them away, she can’t push away her assigned bodyguard Bridey. Someone her mother, Petra, personally has chosen due to her being a top soldier. Though, even with glowing credentials, Abigail doesn’t want her for she believes it furthers the appearance of her seeming weak. However, taking note of her nightmares and her wherewithal not being as it once was, Bridey might be the closest thing to a therapist Abigail may see.

Why do we say that? Well, it’s noted Bridey, despite all the powers witches have, is missing an eye. This is brought up as Abigail has a bit of a breakdown. So, the story goes, during a mission, Bridey and her unit were doing okay, and Bridey, being a bit overzealous, created a situation that led to her unit having to leave one sister behind. During their escape, Bridey lost her eye and has used that loss as both a symbol of how she won’t be able to see the same again as well as punishment.

Who Truly Allows The Spree To Exist? – General Adler, Scylla, Anacostia, Raelle, Tally, Abigail

While Abigail is going through it and pushing away her unit, there are silver linings which lead you to believe trauma might bring the girls together. For example, Raelle is told Scylla is dead, and with that, she and Abigail bond over their grief – briefly.

But, while Abigail lets her grief eat at her and fester, Raelle decides to be proactive. She searches for confirmations that Scylla is dead and even takes Salva, what allows witches to float, and steals Abigal and Tally’s to go to the lighthouse Scylla was supposed to take Raelle to.

Raelle's hand marked with a "S" on it.

However, she doesn’t make it that far and coerces Tally and Abigail, with Bridey, to rush to get her back before anyone finds out. But, with an “S” marked into her hand, there remains faith. One that might belong to her alone, but considering this might be Raelle’s first love, despite the mark she has (in regards to having sex), all she needed was a sign.

And guess what? Her sign was produced by Scylla. Someone who is in a dank room and being questioned. Though, what makes the situation interesting, which is an understatement, is the reveal that Anacostia and GENERAL ADLER are questioning her. Leaving you to wonder, are those two, alongside the teacher of necromancy, part of the Spree?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

A .gif in which Tally tells Abigail to not talk to her as she is doing.
Tally: Don’t talk to me like that.


General Adler Being Involved With The Spree

Could it be, after Tally revealed Scylla was part of the Spree, they simply nabbed Scylla and now are interrogating her? Yes. However, isn’t the more interesting idea is that General Adler and her associates started the Spree for a multitude of reasons? Take note, General Adler is hundreds of years old, and the sole thing keeping her alive is people who note the importance of her legacy. Otherwise, what youth, during prime birthing years, would sacrifice themselves?

The Spree are a ends to a means, and perhaps the main reason they only attacked civilians before is due to that keeping witches in power and revenge. After all, do you think, after humans killed her sister, General Adler would just let that go? Never mind, taking note of the Salem Accord, I’m sure she recognizes how much damage she has done to her own kind to save it. Heck, take note of how the current president speaks to her despite all the powers she has. Can you imagine dealing with that for hundreds of years yet love non-witches?

Plus, to further support this theory, Spree formerly didn’t attack witches, yet they decided to suddenly kill 17 members of the Bellweather clan? The most powerful witch family, due to money, size, and status. Add in Petra moving up in the world, and who better to take over and use what influence they have within The Hague to wrangle dominance from General Adler?

General Adler making herself known.

Heck, add in Anacostia, a foundling due to who knows why, and you could have a situation like Raelle where Anacostia is trying to get revenge for her mother dying, and General Adler gave her the means to do so.

Abigail’s Breakdown

Abigail has long relied on the strength of her voice and family name to bolster her position. However, as shown, a witch’s strength truly lies in their emotions. To which, we’ve seen a minimal amount of emotions from Abigail that didn’t rely on her having some realm of control. So, as they say, having a breakdown is what leads to a breakthrough. And I think Bridey besting Abigail and showing she is fallible, yet still a badass, opened a new path for Abigail.

Since, on top of the trauma of seeing her cousin, I think the whole idea she fought alongside her mom and fended off the Spree is negated. The fact they overpowered her at all is a major issue, and everyone knowing clips her at the knees. Yet, it seems with opening up to Bridey and her unit, maybe this could lead to her following in her mother’s footsteps? Because if there has long been one thing holding Abigail back, it has been her inability to connect with people.

Note, we aren’t counting connecting people in a sexual way, but emotionally, mentally connect without it being about a ranking or something of that nature.

Whenever Tally Switches It Up

As much as we gush over Abigail or Raelle, let’s not forget Tally. She is someone who may not have had the biggest storyline, just an adorable romance, but she keeps reminding you that beyond that Disney Princess demeanor is a bad as. And you have to appreciate that versatility since it has been around since the first few episodes. It’s just, unfortunately, since Tally had a head start, her unit sisters had to play catch up.

Wondering If Libba Would Never Mind Family History And Check In

Piggybacking on Abigail learning to connect with people and follow in her mother’s footsteps, I was waiting for Libba to say something. Granted, my fingers were crossed, hoping she would say something kind, yet I was also expecting something snarky as well. But, the long term hope is these two will end the multigenerational feud between their families. Something that we see is possible, for there was a scene when all the girls had a sleepover, and they were cordial. I don’t know what happened since, but we have proof they can at least be friendly rivals. So, like Raelle, we’ll keep hope alive.


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