'Motherland: Fort Salem' Episode 8 Review: Raelle is finally forced to confront the truth about Scylla
Spoilers for 'Motherland: Fort Salem' Season 1 Episode 8 'Citydrop'
It's been almost a full season and the witches of Fort Salem have, by and large, seen very little in the ways of actual combat. With 'Citydrop,' they're up against just that, though not in a way that anyone was expecting. However, that's not the only conflict that the Bellweather unit has to deal with as the secrets they've been keeping all come to a head and now they have an important choice to make.
Last episode's stunning cliffhanger set up 'Citydrop' in a big way - big enough that to find out that Citydrop is nothing but Fort Salem's version of wargames and it is a definite letdown. While initially disappointing that it's all just a combat simulation, however, it allows the show to have its cake and eat it too. The first half of the episode has all the action and suspense of a military operation, while also having all the inter-unit conflict that would have been ridiculous in a real combat situation. It's a good way for the Bellweather unit to clear the air in a safe, but high-pressure situation before things get very, very real.
This episode is Raelle Collar's (Taylor Hickson) journey to make and she covers a lot of emotional territories. Still dealing with the shock and trauma of finding out that Scylla (Amalia Horn) is still alive, she quickly finds out that Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton) was the one who reported Scylla and has been sitting on that secret all this while. She deals with that betrayal, with her own denial and pieces it all together to finally realize the truth: that Scylla was a member of the Spree, right from the beginning. It's a huge emotional journey for Raelle to have gone through and the show does a good job of having her go through it all in one episode while not making it feel rushed.
The episode ties up a lot of its seasonal threads very neatly, in fact, as the Bellweather unit is pushed to its breaking point. Abigail Bellweather is none too pleased to find out that Raelle has been in love with a member of the Spree all this while and the unit nearly breaks down. Tally really comes into her own, here, proving once again that it's folly to underestimate her. She is a soldier true and true - there's no hint of regret in the face of Raelle's betrayed feelings. Tally already bears the confidence of a solider who feels that being under orders is all the moral justification they need.
It's a confidence that's immediately shaken, however, as the witches are thrown into the deep end after their first real confrontation with the Spree. It leads to some heartbreaking deaths, made all the more tragic as Libby Swythe's (Sarah Yarkin) antagonistic shell had finally broken open to support Abigail in her time of need. It's not the Spree's attack, however, that shakes the Bellweather unit up so much as the fact that they knowingly attacked, and destroyed a truck full of hostages and then saw their leader lie about it on national television.
The Bellweather unit is in a unique position. Young enough to have not been fully indoctrinated into army support, they have seen an uglier side of their own army, and just how far General Alder (Lyne Renee) is willing to go. They're going to have to make a choice that will change the course of their lives forever - do they agree to blind compliance or will they go against their own army and expose its secrets for the horror they are? With only two episodes left in the season, it's a choice they have to make soon and it's going to be a dark road, no matter what they choose.
The next episode of 'Motherland: Fort Salem' airs May 13, on Freeform.