Motherland – Fort Salem: Season 3/ Episode 4 “Happy Yule!” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Alongside getting some long overdue development on M, we see the aftermath of the Camarilla’s latest attack.


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Kara laying on Alban's shoulder, jokingly saying their parents would be proud

Alongside getting some long overdue development on M, we see the aftermath of the Camarilla’s latest attack.


Aired (Freeform) 7/12/2022
Director(s) Shannon Kohli
Writer(s) Micole Avenia
Introduced This Episode
The Marshall Michael Horse
Noodin Sarah Dawn Pledge
Colonel Jarrett Aaron Douglas

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Recap

Change Is Only Good When There Is Some Realm Of Control – Alban, Anacostia, Sterling, Kara, VP Silver, Izadora, Penelope, Colonel Jarrett, Petra

Colonel Jarrett (Aaron Douglas) and Silver letting Petra know she will have a civilian supervisor
“Colonel Jarrett (Aaron Douglas) and Silver letting Petra know she will have a civilian supervisor,” Motherland – Fort Salem, ” Happy Yule!,” directed by Shannon Kohli, 2022, (Freeform)

As soon as her death is confirmed, Silver ascends to the presidency, with Kara beaming, and gets to work. He has General Petra, and most at Fort Salem have a tail, with Petra’s being Colonel Jarrett, and while an inconvenience, Petra works around this. Especially regarding Izadora and her trying to hone this new Penelope who is sugar sweet, until she has a temper tantrum worthy of a toddler. But, with her being alive, this is the key to exonerating the Bellweather Unit.

But while that problem is being handled, things aren’t going well for Anacostia and Sterling. Alban has them in a cage, made to be part of the entertainment for the Camarilla’s inaugural celebration. One which has Kara in attendance, admonishing her brother Alban (!) and Silver in attendance as well. Which leads to an awkward moment when Sterling tries to remind him of his humanity, but that falling on deaf ears as members of the Spree are put into Sterling and Anacostia’s cage for a battle to the death.

A battle that leaves two Spree dead, Sterling stabbed due to a work that led to a self-inflicted wound, and Anacostia a bit more traumatized.

Have Some Faith – Nicte, Scylla, Wade, Petra, Adler, Khalida, Adil

Back in the Cession, Scylla is still trying to connect with Raelle, and her efforts lead to nothing but mockery from Nicte, who, with Yule coming soon, is more miserable than usual. Why? Well, Yule reminds her of her mother’s abandonment and being raised by a curmudgeon of a grandmother. And it seems with Scylla having love in her life and maintaining a sense of hope, it disturbs Nicte’s demons.

But, Nicte’s personal life is a low priority for most. The main thing on everyone’s mind is Adler appearing, President Wade’s death being faked, and an eventual meeting of the Bellweather Unit with the River Council. Which, originally, was supposed to include Wade, but then plans changed last minute.

Noodin (Sarah Dawn Pledge) talking to Adler after whipping some ass
“Noodin (Sarah Dawn Pledge) talking to Adler after whipping some ass,” Motherland – Fort Salem, ” Happy Yule!,” directed by Shannon Kohli, 2022, (Freeform)

Naturally, this is upsetting to Abigail, for she needs backup, but at the very least, she got some time with her mom in the flesh when it was revealed President Wade is alive. But, Petra isn’t the only one to whom Abigail has to say goodbye. Adler has come for Khalida, and a woman named Noodin, as they are the stewards of the first song, and while it is hard to say goodbye, Adil and Abigail have no choice.

A Song For The Lonely – M, Tally

As Scylla and Nicte bond and Abigail deals with the leaving of Khalida and Petra and talking to Adil about having a family one day, Tally is hanging out with M. During their bonding time, which includes Tally venting about her foresight needing to get better, M opens up to her.

Now, thus far, M has been simply that, identified by a name, title, and what they have done. But, it is hinted that M might be trans. For as we’ve seen, the witch military is segregated. Men generally make weapons, and women train to be soldiers. M wasn’t sure what path they would take until General Adler came into their life and pushed them to be a soldier, thus their current position. And it seems they relate and understand Tally and her unit’s need to know who they are and what’s next, for that’s where they were.

And overall, it seems that Tally may have found the type of connection she has been longing for, whether friend or potential love interest. Too bad when President Wade leaves, M goes with her.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

The Marshall (Michael Horse) talking to Adler about his people teaching her Biddy magic
“The Marshall (Michael Horse) talking to Adler about his people teaching her Biddy magic,” Motherland – Fort Salem, ” Happy Yule!,” directed by Shannon Kohli, 2022, (Freeform)
  1. The Marshall and President Wade have a moment, which seems to get intimate – is that something new?
  2. How did Petra find the time to go from Fort Salem to the Cession without any red flags?
  3. So is Yule a form of Christmas, the more pagan side of it, or a completely different holiday?
  4. How was Anacostia and Sterling snatched?
  5. So do witches have no allies in Wade’s cabinet or congress?
  6. Surely, Silver declaring genocide on television has to lead to an international uproar, right?
  7. So there is a civilian army? What role do they play, considering it has been pushed that witches were the military

What Could Happen Next

  1. Silver’s war on witches causing a bit of a backlash
  2. It being leaked that Penelope is alive
  3. Wade making a grand entrance before the Witch Restriction Bill is passed

Review


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Highlights

Wade Is Alive

At this point, it seems most shows aren’t truly willing to kill off notable characters for whatever reasons each production has. But, one of the benefits of “Motherland: Fort Salem” not killing off President Wade is her grand return to the shock of Silver. Which, considering all the Camarilla is doing, that could be interesting.

Character Development For M & Nicte

What we have gotten so far regarding M and Nicte are their credentials. We know how and why Nicte started and was the leader of the Spree. We know why M was given their own team, got assigned to Wade as part of their detail, and other accomplishments of that ilk. However, in terms of personal information? That has been lacking.

Regarding Nicte, outside of knowing, like Tally, there was some sort of awe when it came to Adler, we didn’t know anything else about her relationships. But learning of her mother’s abandonment and her struggles with her grandmother, even if it was just because she was stern, fleshes her out. For now, we know it isn’t just her hatred for Alder and what she did that made Nicte this way. It also came from her upbringing. If her grandma was a hard ass and got things done, that is the example Nicte is following more than pursuing an end to a means.

M opening up to Tally
“M opening up to Tally,” Motherland – Fort Salem, ” Happy Yule!,” directed by Shannon Kohli, 2022, (Freeform)

Then, with M, while it doesn’t lead to labels or clarity, it does create intrigue. M is non-binary, trans, who knows? To a point, it doesn’t matter, but knowing they are different creates opportunity. Just in the conversation M had with Tally, it pushed the idea that witches allow some sort of flexibility for witches. Be it working with Witchfather and making weapons or becoming a soldier in the heart of the army. Two paths that seemed very gendered, but apparently, it isn’t.

Now, could it have been fun to have learned more about M and their personal life? Yes. However, what is being presented is someone who seems comfortable with their career but could still be discovering who they are personally? So maybe they don’t have the words for who they are, how they see themselves, beyond being a soldier, and maybe never had the opportunity or relationship to really talk and explore the topic?

Loving To Hate Silver

Is Silver as basic as Alban and the rest of the villains? Yes. However, what makes Silver particularly hateful is that he isn’t the mastermind but is one of the most powerful. So to watch Kara be the marionette and Silver do as she wants makes him so pitiful. Not to the point of being a joke, like Alban, but it definitely makes you wanna shake your head.

On The Fence

Anacostia’s Capture & The Event Around It

All we know is that something knocked them out and led to them being held in cages. It isn’t clear what, and it is frustrating, but at the same time, the information isn’t necessary because of what comes after. Would it have been nice to see Anacostia and Sterling fight or be shocked and get a cliffhanger on that? Yeah. However, this is coming from the person who repeatedly talked about the show’s time management so if it had to be cut, so be it. Though an explanation of what happened would have been nice – even if as a throwaway line.

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Kara laying on Alban's shoulder, jokingly saying their parents would be proud
Motherland – Fort Salem: Season 3/ Episode 4 “Happy Yule!” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
“Happy Yule!” doesn’t necessarily balance out the lack of world-building we’ve experienced with inconsistent character development, but it is getting better. The rust seems to be breaking off, and the show that was beloved by us for two seasons is returning.
Highlights
Loving To Hate Silver
Character Development For M & Nicte
Wade Is Alive
Disputable
Anacostia’s Capture & The Event Around It
80

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