Motherland: Fort Salem Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Cession in Session


Things had been looking up for the Bellweather Unit.

But events rapidly conspired against them on Motherland: Fort Salem Season 3 Episode 5.

If, as was the original plan, President Wade spoke for them to the Council of the Great River, the fugitives would have had a better shot. The Council would have at least listened to the leader of the United States.

Having sweet-faced Adil welcome each council member in their native tongue was a clever opening gambit. Unfortunately, it was the high point of their presentation as well.

Instead, the Council got to hear from Abigail. Full-of-herself, entitled Abigail. And they indeed weren’t of a mind to be lectured at by Abigail.

Still, their reticence couldn’t be all dumped on Abigail. They arrived with their minds made up. The fugitives were a problem with which they didn’t want to deal. So why even show up?

The problem was that the Council, like President Wade, was unaware of Camarilla activity within their borders. 

It’s hard to fault these leaders when General Alder, who thought she had eradicated the Camarilla centuries ago, was shocked to find that they had been rebuilding their numbers in secret ever since then.

So, in the Council leaders’ minds, the tolerant Cession seemed an unlikely place to become a hotbed of Camarilla activity.

Fortunately, the fugitives could spell out how embedded the Camarilla had become in the U.S. government from President Silver down.

That and sincere testimony from Tally and especially Scylla got the Council to take a second look at their position on the fugitives.

Their final decision wasn’t even marginally fair, letting the witches leave The Cession but unable to return. It was incredibly unjust to Raelle, who disappeared into the mycelium soon after they arrived in The Cession.

But that still beat them being sent back to a Camarilla-infested D.C. — just ask Anacostia.

At least they ended up with a new ally, Thelma, who was the most antagonistic of the council members toward them.

Why did the Council need to slap those spell-canceling collars on the fugitives? The mansion was warded, so where were they going to go? That was what led to the mess that followed.

Does the Camarilla have a mole inside the Council? How else can it be explained how Hearst and his thugs were able to get into the warded mansion?

It wasn’t like he was a particularly adept witch with his stolen voicebox. He just used it to bludgeon the fugitives, showing no finesse.

I half-expected Nicte to return to save everybody. But no, she beat feet when she escaped, at least for now.

Fortunately, Thelma wandered back from checking out the grounds. How did she miss all those black-clad Camarilla? But she was more than a match for the cowardly Hearst, who only attacks captive witches.

Adil employed the magic mushroom Khalida had left him to bring in the real cavalry, Alder, who banished Hearst’s squad and got him running away again.

Only the resurrected Alder was weaker than you would expect, as the poison that the Camarilla was pumping into the mycelium had a negative effect.

Scylla asked the most critical question: What does that mean for Raelle, depending on the mycelium, to heal her?

Tally finally told Abigail about her apocalyptic vision of Raelle destroying the world. Maybe Raelle loses control of her powers because of the poisoned mycelium?

Abigail didn’t offer a practical solution to Tally for her to attempt to change her prophecies since most of them are vague and open to interpretation.

It’s time for Izadora and company to devise an antidote to that poison. That will be tougher with Silver’s oversight officers on the Fort Salem campus.

The scene between Alder and Khalida talking about how they lost their parents to the Camarilla was touching, especially when Alder said they’re now sisters.

With Alder disabled, does protecting the stewards of the First Song now fall on Khalida? It will be fascinating to see how mighty she is despite her appearing to be a tween. And does Shepherd Boy have a role in this process, or is it just his cabin that they’ve taken over?

The Mother wouldn’t have sent off Alder on this quest if the reconstituted First Song weren’t vital in the upcoming war with the Camarilla. Here’s hoping Alder lives through it.

It was a shocker to see Sterling still alive after stabbing himself as the entertainment at Silver’s inaugural party. Who knew that Anacostia was so talented at healing?

And who would believe that Hearst’s people were so stupid as to leave a witch ungagged? Even strapped down, Anacostia could enchant one of the lab workers enough that he attacked the other, and they took out each other.

And what about some security precautions in a facility that holds witches captive? Anacostia and Sterling could roam free with just an occasional guard to take out.

But that parade ground full of Camarilla soldiers they discovered promises to be trouble.

It’s time for the Army and the Spree to make peace because they’ll need every witch they can find to battle the Camarilla, especially those with stolen voiceboxes.

Watch Motherland: Fort Salem online to track the Camarillas’ rise.

What did you think of the Council of the Great River?

How can Alder bounce back?

Was the Camarilla more numerous than you expected?

Comment below.

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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