Salem Review: The Sins of Our Fathers

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This week, on Salem Season 1 Episode 11, as Cotton rebels against the influence of his father, Anne learns she's more like hers than she hoped.

While the life of John Alden hangs in the balance, Mary uses her powers and Isaac and Mercy to help set him free but Increase has her cornered at every turn.

Does anybody get what they want this week? Let's take a look.

Mary pulls out all the stops in her attempt to free Alden, but they are all fruitless. Is it safe to say she's lost control of the situation? I think so.

Mary's first mistake was losing track of George's progress with his old pal Increase. He's coming along quite well and can spit like a sailor. Apparently that's all Increase needs for the old sod to cast a vote on behalf of the Selectmen, the very group Mary pulled together thinking her proxy for George would swing it her way. 

Of course, Mary almost couldn't count on Hale. He seemed awfully close to abstaining, but in the last second voted against trial. That's when Increase rolled George in. 

Mary's second hope was pinned on the actions of Mercy and Isaac. She spelled Isaac so he knew where to take Increase to find Mercy, a witch Increase wanted very much. Mercy would do anything for her lady although I'm fairly certain she's a wildcard that nobody can count on.

And Mercy can do just about anything. She can craft killer spikes from rib bones (after licking her fingers of the juices of the dead...Oh. My. God.) and rise up after being slashed with nary a problem. But she does get hurt and was unable to finish off Increase for Mary. I do hope Mary knows not to cross the girl.

Cotton was in rare form this week and the sarcasm dripping between the words of conversation between him and his father were fabulous. 

Increase: Do you know why I came back to Salem?
Cotton: Lovely. More questions I can answer to your dissatisfaction.

Seth Gabel continues to show up the rest of the cast as he makes the best case for his character with his acting skills. It's easy to feel all of his emotions and never suspect what's coming next. After sobering up, he realized the best he could do was to join his father in the prosecution of Alden -- as Alden's defense. Brilliant!

As Anne sought answers to her lingering questions about Hale and his magical mask, she went to daddy first, only to feel rebuffed. Next up was Increase, a conversation Hale interrupted before she shared what she knew of him. Finally, she approached Cotton and it was their understanding of their similar circumstances that lead Cotton to sober up and represent Alden.

Anne pushed far enough that Hale gave her answers. First, yes he's a witch. But he's also a loving father. When that didn't satisfy Anne, he had no alternative to let her in on her own secret -- that the mask only works for people of his kind. Anne is a witch.

It appears we have witches by birth and witches by choice in Salem. Hale was the child of witches, it would seem. He saw them burn and at a very young age had abilities someone shouldn't. Anne hasn't been in such dire circumstances to trigger her own powers, but what she does now? Who knows?

I can certainly see the Hales sharing with Anne that Mary is like her. After all, they have used her as an example many times. Wouldn't she fit the bill even more now? With power comes great responsibility and all that jazz. 

It seems to me that Anne will want to help Alden in whatever way she can. In order to do that, she'll have to understand that he is being protected by the witches, even if not so well. Is that the next step in this story? To embrace her and bring her in? 

Will Anne be able to hide her secret from Cotton and Alden? She looks up to them more than any others in the town. It won't be an easy road ahead as she tries to reconcile who she is with who she thought she was. But, it does seem likely that she would want to tap into some of her "magic" to save those she cares for the most.

I'm worried for Mercy and Isaac. They're both a little off in the head and now their physical bodies aren't holding up. I'm not worried about Alden. Can you see them offing him before a second season? Plus, he has said nobody will chase him from Salem, so when he's freed he will carry on with the fight.

Did you ever imagine you'd be standing on the side of the witches in Salem? I definitely don't stand with the Puritans. I'm firmly planted with Cotton and Alden, but it's difficult not to care about the fate of the witches, because people such as Anne are a part of them. 

Both Cotton and Anne are up for some interesting times with their fathers. Cotton is attempting to tone for his father's with his own actions. What will Anne do now that she knows how like her father she is?

With only two episodes left, I really have no idea what to expect. I kind of like it that way. If you've missed any this amazing program, you can watch Salem online via TV Fanatic.

Will Anne turn to witchcraft to try to save Alden?

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Salem Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Am I a witch? Yes. But does that make me any less of a loving father? No. Most certainly not.


Increase: Do you know why I came back to Salem?
Cotton: Lovely. More questions I can answer to your dissatisfaction.