This Salem review contains spoilers.
Salem season 3 episode 6
In Salem, season 3 episode 6, “Wednesday’s Child” prepares to bed and bury his mum by the Satanic equivalent of Easter.
Here’s looking at you, kid. It’s five days to Black Sunday and the whole town of Salem is abuzz with anticipation. Except the Sentinel, he’s only abuzz with bugs. Little John (Oliver Bell) has turned The Sibley House into the new world’s first bomb shelter and is already stockpiling goodies. After all, how often does an immortal being get married on the day the earth is scheduled to die screaming? Quite a few, actually, if you look at Samael’s record, it’s all captured on the Rolling Stone’s persuasive percussive masterpiece “Sympathy for the Devil.”
The drums on “Sympathy for the Devil” are amazing. Charlie Watts, a jazz drummer by inclination, restrains every urge to fill a single crevice. Listen to the theme Marilyn Manson slapped his pants to while recording. He must have crammed over twenty drums in there and every beat is sacred in its sacrilege. It drips with sweaty savagery, bloody tomahawks and smelly socks, darn it.
We may not have seen Anne Hale (Tamzin Merchant) stick a single stitch into her husband’s nether garments, but, my, what a cute little cauldron she has. Anne Hale has devised the most ingenious form of surrogate motherhood I’ve ever seen. She walls up an expectant mother Gloriana with the sperm of her formerly errant lush husband inflating her belly, lets it come to term, frets, fusses, gets a few ingredients from the Castevet’s fridge from Rosemary’s Baby and voila. Anne Hale is in vitro flagrante and is quite a dish, and I’m not talking petri. This kind of magic makes science appear a pale cousin. Imagine the infomercials.
The biggest groaner of a special effect comes from the hyper-real surgery session that Thomas Dinley performs on John Alden’s (Shane West) wounded knee. Manson is having fun, and his meat pies are practically giving themselves away. Dinley is a stranger in a strange land and has to keep his tongue planted firmly in his cheek lest it seek out anatomical curiosities. Lonely as it is for the small town barber who keeps the devil in a seventies bob, he lets his smirk be his umbrella.
Little Billy (Emily Skeggs) becomes a hero and gets his own legendary nickname. That really is the most Alden can do for the kid who saved his life and rebuilt him into the heroic frontiersman he was meant to be. Love them or hate them, the myths of early America drove the country as nuts as they west. With all those miles of trees and nothing but, cabin fever is a chronic condition at best. This gave rise to tall tales like Paul Bunyon and the smaller tails of the bunion the axman developed from those awful shoes nobody knew how to cobble for him. George Washington never chopped down any cherry trees, though he did separate sativa from indica, according to some papers filed at the Smithsonian.
Xena was a woman of many talents. Lucy Lawless’ Countess Marburg is a goddess of love. Her son and lover, the Baron Sebastian Marburg (Joe Doyle) is loath to ensnare the bewitching Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery) through supernatural means. After a swig of Mary’s blood, with the psychic backwash of the most powerful of bewitchers, the all-knowing Countess reminds the ageless pomp that magic can be used to court, not only to conquer. Who knew the Baron would be such an exhibitionist?
Isaac the Truthteller (Iddo Goldberg ) is also seeking justice among those usually denied an equal voice and he gathers a following tonight after staring down the town magistrate, Hathorne (Jeremy Crutchley). But check out Cotton Mather, speaking truth to power, like a union-organizing carpenter. I like how he acknowledges that Samael’s gripe is just.
Angels have gotten too good a rep. Little Samael explains to the star-struck Cotton Mather (Seth Gabel) that his beneficent winged heroes committed the most horrendous acts upon man that God could come up with. Vile things, angels, really, rapists and thugs throughout history, men and women fall to their knees in fear every time they appear. They are sanctimonious monsters, fearsome engines of wrath. Samael is right to keep these horny seraphim locked up in that hellhole for eternity while he awaits his wedding day. Though the kid is a regular cherub, I hope he grows up before Black Sunday.
“The Commonwealth of Hell” was written by Donna Thorland and Adam Simon and directed by Peter Weller.