'Motherland: Fort Salem' Season 1 Ending Explained: The Camarilla, fungi and an earth-shaking Spree reveal
Who are the Camarilla? How do their powers work and what role do mushrooms have in THAT major reveal?
Spoilers for the 'Motherland: Fort Salem' Season 1 Episode 10: Witchbomb
Raelle Collar (Taylor Hickson), Abigail Bellweather (Ashley Nicole Williams) and Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton) have been front and center to the seriesp but that doesn't mean that there wasn't a lot more going on behind the scenes. The ancient enemy of America's witches, the Camarilla, seemingly popped out of nowhere but their arrival has, in fact, been teased for a while. It would appear that the Spree are far from the most dangerous enemies out there - and that final shot shows that we have more reason than ever to see the Spree in a more sympathetic light. We take a look at the major events that unfolded in the season finale and what this means for the season ahead.
Who are the Camarilla?
The Camarilla were first mentioned in Episode 3 - 'A Biddy's Life.' Wandering through the museum, Raelle and Scylla come to a wing that appears to be dedicated to those who hunted and killed witches in various ways. We see an item labelled the "Camarilla Scythe," which has two symbols on it that clearly mark the Camarilla as bad guys - an inverted cross, symbol of Satanists and two Nazi crosses. The scene implies that the Camarilla were a group of people who hunted and burned witches and though Alder claimes to have hunted the last one over two centuries ago, they have been alive and operating for a while - and Scylla and the Spree might have known of their existence all along.
The Camarilla were apparently the organization behind the murder of witches and the theft of their vocal chords. We see, in this episode, exactly what they use them for - they attach them to mechanical voice boxes worn around the throat that allow them to use a warped version of the witches' own magic. We see that they are the ones who created the dark virus that has been killing off the Tarim and they will apparently stop at nothing until all witches are removed from the face of the Earth, forever.
A camarilla is defined as "a group of courtiers or favorites who surround a king or ruler," and if that definition is of significance, it means that there's someone behind this deadly organization, yet to be revealed, who is at the heart of it all.
Scylla's backstory and the Spree
In an emotional scene with Anacostia Quartermain (Demetria McKinney) we finally learn what led Scylla (Amalia Horn) into the Spree's arms. It's known that her parents had been on the run after deserting the Army. According to Scylla, however, when they were found, the Army murdered them despite their surrender. In her rage, Scylla found refuge in the Spree. This episode does a lot to soften the threat of the Spree - first by introducing a far more dangerous villain and then by revealing that the Spree tried to warn the witches about the Camarilla's return. Lastly, we find out why the Spree were so interested in recruiting Raelle - the person tasking Scylla was none other than Raelle's mother, Willa Collar (Diana Pavlovska). Raelle has spent her life believing her mother was dead - she's in for a major revelation when she finds out the truth. That revelation may come sooner or later, as we see that Anacostia tracked Scylla to the Spree safe house - which may have been her plan all along.
Life, death and mushrooms
Scylla tried to explain the significance of the mushrooms way back in Episode 2 - 'My Bitches' - explaining that death was not so "cut and dry." In hindsight, it's obvious that she was trying to make Raelle understand that her mother was alive - and quite possibly, returned from the dead. Raelle herself has her own connection to mushrooms, despite being stabbed through the heart, she was able to heal herself in a burst of immense power that surrounded her and Abigail in pure white light, which itself was surrounded by a grainy swirl of darkness. Mushrooms grew over the Altair Mountains in their wake. We also see Willa cooking a plate of mushrooms when Scylla walks in to the Spree safehouse. What's more, Raelle still has an unexplained connection to the Mycelium wall - a connection that we now know might just be heriditary.
It's possible that Raelle died - or came close enough to death - to access her latent abilities. If her mother shares those same abilities, it would explain how she came back from the dead. As Scylla pointed out, all those episodes ago - "nothing ever really dies."
The fates of the Bellweather unit
Raelle and Abigail are left behind on the Altair Mountains after Raelle's mysterious inner power had been unleashed. It's possible that they may have to fend for themselves with whatever Camarilla agents remain. Raelle's burst of power was seen protecting them and last we saw of them, Raelle had not yet turned it off. Tally, in the meanwhile, made the biggest sacrifice of all: her youth. Despite her disillusionment with the Army, General Sarah Alder (Lyne Renee) managed to convince Tally of the justness of Alder's extreme actions. It was enough that when one of Alder's biddies - who are responsible for keeping Alder young - dies, Tally immediately makes the choice to sacrifice her youth, permanently, to keep Alder alive.
The Bellweather unit has been torn apart, their first mission after graduation affecting them all in major ways. They have been changed in a permanent way and they're going to be a part of an all new status quo when Season 2 comes around.
Season 2 of 'Motherland: Fort Salem' has been confirmed, with no release date yet set.