Long live the queen! Even death can't keep our Mary down.
Picking up from the season premiere, Salem Season 3 Episode 2 saw the return of the reigning mother witch, Mary Sibley. A future without Mary on Salem is almost too dark to imagine. It's possibly darker than whatever horror the dark lord has in mind.
The entire opening sequence with Tituba and the Essex witches captured everything you'd expect (and need) with Mary's return. The horrifying future, her reluctant acceptance, and the eerie fog/color that coated the scene – it was perfect. But the best part that clinched it may be the twist: Mary must stay in Salem FOREVER.
Mary: What have you done to me now, queen of bitches?
Tituba: Only ripped your soul through the wall of silence, cursed you back to life, and trapped you forever in the home of all your tears. Run as far and as fast as you may, Mary Sibley. You can never escape Salem.
Did anyone expect this restriction twist? I had guessed she would come back as a half-demon or completely evil, but this adds a new layer of sorrow to her character. She's stuck in a place she hates, risking her chance at never being with the man she loves. (And Tituba is clearly loving this!)
This episode is the first time we've seen Alden and Mary embrace their love without restrictions in a long while. The scene may have been brief and with only a few words, but Janet Montgomery and Shane West have amazing chemistry together. They're one of, if not the, strongest relationship. I could feel the emotion and pain when she gave a tentative goodbye.
John: Where are you going?
Mary: Where only I can go.
John: No. I won't.
Mary: You can't help me, John. I made that boy's body, only I can unmake it.
John: You said you'd tell me all. That there would be time...
Mary: I lied. There's no time, no time at all. If I succeed, we will have all the time in the world. If I fail, then at least I felt your love in me once before the darkness fell.
Anne and Cotton is another relationship that I want to see work. Anne's love for Cotton is even more apparent this episode; you can see it in the way she almost begs him to follow the dark lord's plan.
Does anyone believe Cotton still loves Anne? The fact that it was too easy for him to switch opinions after the sermon and the way he grabbed a strand of her hair; this almost seems to be a ruse. Cotton is essentially playing with our emotions – he has more thrills throwing shade with Alden.
Anne: You did it, my love. You did it! I didn't know what you were going to say. I thought I'd have to watch you die right there.
Cotton: There was a moment when I knew the devil had won, and I had fallen out of God's world and into his. And then I saw you. The face, the love, the light shining from it. And then I knew in that instant that even if I was in the dark and Godless universe, there was still love. There was still you.
The "B" storyline between Isaac, Hathorne and Mercy got a little bit more complex. Isaac's new, more confident persona is one of the best standouts from Salem Season 3. He's not playing the victim – he's actively exploring the mystery. Hathorne is still the despicable man we've always known, but the curse he suffered by Mercy was an interesting touch.
Compliments to the makeup artists and prosthetics for this Salem installment. They did a great job showing the progression of Mercy's curse and the interesting way the infection appeared on Hathorne's face.
The issue I have with this storyline, as well as the "C" storyline with John Alden and the militia, is that it's not compelling as of yet. Sure, we're only two episodes in and the stories will progress, but the stakes aren't there.
The threat of the dark lord is felt perfectly with the music and the acting – especially when Mary and the dark lord are together. Here, it feels like something is coming later on.
Mary: I climbed over the black wall of sleep and crawled from my grave because I cannot deny the truth. You are my son and we belong together until the end.
Dark lord: How long I've waited for you to say those words. And I promise you, you shall be so happy.
Mary: Just being here, holding you, I already am.
Marilyn Manson made his big debut this hour in two scenes. I quite liked his character – he seems non-threatening and calm, but it could be a mask for the true evil. I have no doubt he'll be a presence all season, just like the dark lord's new ally.
Was anyone shocked by the monster's revelation? I was! I didn't expect him to be involved in something that happened to Mary two seasons ago. Though, the character, just like Alden's new recruit, is still a bit flat. The twists help to flesh out the characters, but they need a bit more development before their appearances or loss really matter.
What did you think of "The Heart Is a Devil"? Will the dark lord spare Mary from death? Is Cotton going to hurt Anne?
If you missed this thrilling episode, go watch Salem online via TV Fanatic. Come back here to let us know what you think.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.