TV Show Review

TV Review: SALEM: Season 1, Episode 5: Lies [WGN America]

Janet Montgomery Salem Lies

WGN America‘s Salem Lies TV Show Review. Salem: Season 1, Episode 5: Lies began with Mary Sibley’s (Janet Montgomery) world closing in on her. The other witches met in the woods to conspire against her. They thought she was being “soft,” as they understood her to still be in love with John Alden (Shane West). They now must be rid of him.

Meanwhile, John tried to break into the mysterious “magick” box that he had retrieved last week from William Hooke (Matthew Holmes). It finally opened and inside was a wooden apple encased with strange engravings. John touched it and saw visions of people overcome with some malady, like the Black Death. It also imprinted his hand with a branding mark. We came to understand that the box is called a “Malum” and used during the Grand Rite.

Mary must kill 8 more people before the next lunar cycle, when the Grand Rite begins.

Salem seems to include at least one rather intensely graphic scene per episode. In this episode, Tituba (Ashley Madekwe) used her magick to “necromance” the face of the dead William Hooke. I appreciate that the writers are continuing to weave different aspects of the dark arts into the storylines. They may be playing with the history of Salem (which I think is smart creatively,) but they must be accurate and include the many aspects of “magick” that may have been practiced then.

Mary’s cool disposition broke open just enough for her and John to have a more intimate conversation. It seemed clear that she held a glimmer of hope for some good left in the world. She then confronted John about killing Hooke. He said that not only did he kill Hooke but killed 20 more men during the war. It was time for John Alden’s cards to hit the table…he’ll have a lot more latitude now, which Shane West needed.

Mary could no longer control Mercy Lewis (Elise Eberle). Mercy had discovered she could use her “possessed self” to wield mighty power in Salem. She was led through town on a leash and that monstrous muzzle, with several girls trailing behind her. Mary was quite visibly concerned about being found out a witch. Mercy ran up to Mary and confronted her, and the obvious threat of discovery made Mary shed a tear. Instead of pointing the finger at Mary, Mercy wound up accusing the father of one of her friends, who was planning on selling his daughter off as a prostitute on her fifteenth birthday. This was an impassioned, powerful scene overall.

Later Mary happened upon the other young witches cavorting in the woods. Mercy told Mary that she wanted to be just like HER. I suspect with such a wish Mercy is headed for a great deal of trouble in her nearest future.

In another part of town, a woman broke into John Alden’s house to steal the “magick” box. After retrieving it, the floorboards gave way and she wound up impaled on a lethal pair of deer horns. The “thief in the night” turned out to be Rose (Diane Salinger)…the box was, in fact, meant for her in the first place!

This was a tight chapter for Salem. With solid acting, steady writing and satisfying direction…staying tuned.

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