Salem Review: The Ultimate Betrayal

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Tituba betrayed the person she loves most.

On Salem Season 1 Episode 10, Increase has every intention of getting the names of the leader of the witches from Tituba, but instead she presents him with a lie that he was very willing to accept.

I, however, find giant holes in this little development. Let's dig in.

Obviously, Mary was very angry about Mercy pointing her golden finger at Tituba, but the Mercy has caught onto the magic thing quickly. She can transform herself into a spider and disappear before Mary's eyes. Mary was left to plead with Increase on the basis of her childhood friendship with Tituba as a reason to release her friend, but instead he called Mary a weak and irresponsible woman (at best?). 

The lion's share of the hour delves into Increase torturing Tituba for names; sharing her story about the white men tramping into the jungle to carry her away and and another white man, Hale, who saved her, selling her to Mary's family. We learn that they two girls were more friends than slave and master. 

Increase was quite bothered by all of Tituba's tales. He just wanted names. After declaring she cannot turn on the love of her life, she gives names. Mercy and Alden are placed on Increase's witch list. At least the story of Mercy was true -- she started out a victim but was turned. Completely true. We knew their feud would come back to bite someone in the butt.

Anne, meanwhile, put on Hale's witch mask transporter and got taken to the woods in the blink of an eye. Alden was, mercifully, chopping wood sans his shirt as Hale requested his help tracking to find Anne. I've heard a very popular hashtag on Twitter is #ShirtlessShane -- at least it gives the guy something to do; so far he's been far more of a peripheral character than a lead, don't you think?

Hale and Alden run into Cotton while hunting Anne in the forest. Poor Cotton. He was so bereft over the appearance of Increase and the removal of Glorianna that he tried to kill himself. Discovering he didn't even have the balls to follow through with that, he took to happily pissing from the trees and, like Tituba, waxing poetic. 

Admittedly, watching Seth Gabel babble about just about anything is enjoyable. He's easily one of the most engaging actors on television. So, as I was watching all of these scenes play out, it was kind of fun. I particularly enjoyed seeing Increase mutilate himself for his sins. He has a bevy of horrid contraptions, many of which he used on Tituba. 

Unfortunately Tituba naming Alden annoys the hell out of me. Her long personal history didn't make me feel any anything for her other than annoyance despite how hard they tried to make Tituba sympathetic. I wanted to smack the gleeful smile off of her face when she saw Alden taken into custody.

The story blows apart because Increase is not an idiot. It's implausible for him to believe Alden is leading the charge of witchcraft when it started far before his return from war. For seven years everyone thought Alden dead, but we're to believe Increase now buys Tituba's nonsense? It doesn't work.

Perhaps Increase listened very well to what Tituba was saying and understands her greatest love is Mary. Maybe he can read that in turning over Alden she was protecting the woman she loves from her love for Alden, knows Tituba is concerned Mary might turn to Alden instead of her and most importantly -- that she's protecting Mary's true identity as the ruling witch of Salem. 

I'm not interested in seeing Mercy and her acolytes accused, although I don't doubt Mercy can take care of herself now. Tituba has been the weakest link on Salem because we really have no idea where here true loyalties lie. Now that she has crushed Mary's childhood dreams, can we believe she's loyal to her? Perhaps she's only loyal to the Kanima. 

I didn't see the previews, but I hope the next installment proves that Increase is playing along with Tituba to get the information he really wants, because right now it's ruining my Salem buzz. 

Does Increase believe Tituba or is he hoping to get better information by arresting 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 10 Quotes

At best I consider you to be a weak and irresponsible woman. At worst, well, let us not even consider the worst.


If. Such a small word with such immense consequence. For all of us.