WGN America‘s Salem Our Own Private America TV Show Review. Salem: Season 1, Episode 7: Our Own Private America is by far the best episode of the season thus far. The series is getting sharper with each passing chapter. The writing is tighter and the stakes are getting higher.
At the top of this episode, Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery) had an important conversation with Magistrate Hale (Xander Berkeley). She shared her unhappiness with what had been happening behind her back, and also enlightened him to who it was that came up with the plan to use the Puritans against each other…it was Mary herself. Hale then bowed and pledged his allegiance to her. Janet Montgomery continues to give a stellar performance as Mary Sibley.
Hale got word of Increase Mather’s (Stephen Lang) imminent arrival by ship and planted a male witch at the helm. With all of the death on the ship, Increase suspected witchcraft and realized it was the ship’s captain, and promptly did away with him. Increase Mather landing in Salem is not going to go over well with Mary, especially since Hale is privy to the knowledge.
Mercy Lewis (Elise Eberle) was busy setting up a family, all to be accused of witches. (Three deaths out of the eight needed could be attained in one fell swoop.) The writers have given Elise Eberle quite a character arc over the coarse of these first 7 episodes, and she’s made the most of them. I have appreciated the committed and well crafted performances by her each week.
Mary was busy in her dreams trying to get her hands on the “Malum.” In one of her dreams, Anne Hale (Tamzin Merchant) appeared. John Alden (Shane West) walked straight up to the young girl and gave her a passionate kiss. The thought that John might end up with Anne is obviously haunting Mary.
Eventually her dream led John to her…and they were almost together carnally. Mary got faint of heart and said “I’ve had all I need from you!” She may regret those words later, whether said in a dream or not.
Mercy was successful in turning the towns people against the family she was setting up, by dragging a dead body (that she had killed) through the town. Cotton Mather (Seth Gabel) was able to calm the crowd. The family was taken to jail for the night and would be tried in the morning. Glorianna wanted to reward her man, but Mather wanted Glorianna for a real mate now. He told her to be patient, and promised things would be different in the future.
Increase Mather did not suspect Mary of being a witch…and Increase may prove to be the character that turns the Grand Rite on it’s head. The addition of Stephen Lang to the cast is a good one!
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