Motherland: Fort Salem – Season 1 Episode 7 “Mother Mycelium” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

As General Adler tries to win over the Tarim Witches, the Bellweather Unit find themselves in General Adler’s affairs.

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Scylla screaming "No!" as Raelle is brought into her interrogation.

As General Adler tries to win over the Tarim Witches, the Bellweather Unit find themselves in General Adler’s affairs.

Directed By Shannon Kohli
Written By Nicole Avenia, Nikki McCauley
Aired (FreeForm) 4/29/2020

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

The Heart Wants What It Wants – Gerit, Tally, Glory

With Tally playing a part in both Abigail and Raelle’s current trauma, it throws off the dynamic a bit. For while her reporting what Scylla was planning likely saved Bellweather lives, there could be this fear that, if she reported to someone besides Anacostia, more could have been done? Then with Raelle, she is the reason Raelle’s girlfriend is dead, and while she saw something, there might be a hint of doubt about what she saw. Heck, maybe a desire to know the circumstances more to figure whether Scylla had to really be handled as she was.

Making it so, Tally decides to spend more time with Glory, when possible, and then when Gerit and the other boys show up, she gives in despite his nuptials. For while she doesn’t seem willing or able to relinquish her secrets to him, he can provide relief and a distraction.

Valuable In So Many Ways – Scylla, Anacostia, General Adler, Raelle

It is consistently noted how the power of witches not only lays in their vocal training but also their emotions and their mastery of it. However, as shown with Tally, emotions can be manipulated and as seen with Raelle, when they are not under your control, they can be deadly. Case in point, one of Raelle’s peers decides to mess with her due to her taking a bunch of Salva and going off somewhere. This causes, during a fixer training exercise, Raelle’s magic causing nearly all but the instructor to get knocked out.

Scylla and Raelle talking, and Scylla noting she loves Raelle.

But, this level of power isn’t the only means Raelle shows how useful she can be. She is also used by Anacostia to break Scylla who, be it training by the Spree or otherwise, was hard to break for Anacostia. However, seeing Raelle gave just enough of a splinter for Anacostia to not only learn of a location where the Spree congregate but see a different side to General Adler. One that is colder than she is used to for with picking up a hint of regret from Scylla, it seems she almost wants mercy for her. Something that General Adler may feel they can’t afford.

A Song You’ll Never Sing – General Adler, Raelle, Tally, Abigail, Adil, Khalida

After all, General Adler is still recognizing that she may face a future power struggle. One that may be due to her own ego, considering how she sees The Hague, but also due to her army lacking real challenge to The Spree. Making it so, with Adil and Khalida at Fort Salem, she is hoping, desperate, to cure Khalida of her ailment and use curing her as leverage to learn the Tarim witches songs.

However, her top soldiers fail but Raelle doesn’t. In fact, both Raelle and Tally remind us that, while neither have the Bellweather name to prop them up, their powers could easily make their lines legendary. At least for their graduating class. For whether it is Tally seeing Adil with his sister, despite his people’s cloaking spell, or Raelle dispelling whatever manmade curse was on Khalida, they prove themselves in ways they have only sporadically done before.

But, alongside seeing them in a different light, the same goes for Abigail. Thus far, when it comes to men, Abigail has had this attitude of use them and lose them. We saw how she treated her boyfriend in episode one, and considering how she played with her multiple suitors during the Beltane, and how she treated them after, her MO is clear. However, for much of the episode, she spends time with Adil and you almost get Tally and Gerit vibes there. Leading you to wonder, while raised possibly seeing men as a means of procreation and fun, could romance be on the brain?

Unfortunately, we may not know since, similar to Gerit, Adil’s time at Fort Salem is circumstantial and with Khalida better and physically harming General Adler and her fountains of youth, he and his sister are likely to leave.

What Must Also Be Noted

Anacostia watching her cadets go into combat.

  1. It seems my theory that General Adler was part of or started the Spree was wrong.
  2. With the discovery of a possible hideout for the Spree, it seems the cadets will get their first mission.


A Reminder That While Abigail Has The Last Name, Tally and Raelle Have The Power

Thus far, has Abigail done anything which was astounding or awe-strucking? Has she done anything beyond show the molding that comes with being a Bellweather? Which, by the way, isn’t to put her down, it’s more so to note how each person in the unit has their role.

To us, Abigail’s role is to provide leadership and a sense of protection for her unit. It isn’t to be the best amongst them, but perhaps handle the political and person to person communication neither Raelle or Tally can do. But, with that said, considering Tally’s abilities when it comes to sight, and Raelle clearly being as much a fixer as someone who can use their powers as an offense, there is more to her than a tragic love story.

Heck, this whole Christo-Pagan thing has wheels turning about the kind of magic there is beyond the Tarim witches and Adler’s which is referred to as Canon.

Seeing What Khalida Can Do

What you have to appreciate about how the Tarim witches have been spoken about, it doesn’t feel overhyped. We knew they existed and had unique or rare magic, but they weren’t treated as God-like figures. Which made Khalida taking down General Adler, who is treated as such, a noteworthy moment. It came out of nowhere and it sends another reminder that, despite her airs and graces, General Adler is far more vulnerable than it appears. I mean, even the ones she sucks the life out of couldn’t shield her.

Khalida talking to General Adler.

Then when you add in Witchfather hearing whispers of the US Government wanting to end the Salem Accord? Oh, her days seem numbered.

Abigail Smitten With Adil

There is a real need to question how Abigail sees men. Not just in terms of as partners, for romantic or procreation reasons, but also her “fathers.” How does she perceive them and how do witches take note of men in general? With it being a mostly matriarchal system, is everything flipped or in that ideal realm that is hoped for in future generations?

Either way, with seeing Abigail smitten with Adil and opening up to him in ways that are more in tune with how Tally acts, it showed a different side to her. One you have to appreciate for alongside showing her as more soft, vulnerable, romantic, it also reminded you how indoctrinated she is when it comes to her role in the military. Nearly every discovery or cute moment led to her bringing up her family name or combat. Which is a scary thing since she is so young yet her life is so controlled by a culture that will likely get her killed or, like Petra, coerce her to carry the weight of other people’s mothers being killed.

On The Fence

Wanting To Know More About Christo-Pagan Magic

Neither in the episode or in the after-show did we learn much about Christo-Pagan magic and it is frustrating. Mind you, we appreciate them not breaking down everything, for that would be strange. “Motherland: Fort Salem” operates in a similar ilk to “Better Things” in that it doesn’t explain what is going on for often, it is common knowledge amongst the characters. If not, things are as they are and not everything requires explanation or justification.

With that said, considering how Indian witches use gestures, the Tarim have rare songs, and now Christo-Pagan magic, it leads you to wonder if we’ve only seen the surface and maybe, just maybe, what General Adler does is basic.

Understand Why Many Dislike How Queer Couples Are Treated

Previously we watched “The 100,” and between that show, and a few others, there were articles about how writers, especially for young adult/ teen-oriented shows, seem to often have the queer couple experience trauma or tragedy. Be it, like Raelle, have that taste of bliss, and then heartache and trauma thereafter, or use one half to build up the other and then fridge the one who propped them up. And we didn’t really get how annoying that was till now.

I guess it is because, between Raelle and Scylla, the characters or their actors, we’re invested to the point of being fine with Raelle becoming Spree or Scylla coming back to the military. At this point, we just want them to be happy, together.

A Reminder That While Abigail Has The Last Name, Tally and Raelle Have The Power - 88%
Seeing What Khalida Can Do - 89%
Abigail Smitten With Adil - 82%
Wanting To Know More About Christo-Pagan Magic - 78%
Understand Why Many Dislike How Queer Couples Are Treated - 75%


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