Salem Recap S2E6: the Rose and the Briar

Cotton’s and John’s plan worked, and they have their witch. Cotton is rather drunk, but he believes that with the planet Saturn’s alignment help they can force the witch to tell the truth. John is less than pleased that his house smells like dog pee, which is what Cotton covered the house in along with some herbs to help the process. The witch taunts them to come downstairs to her, that the darkness is waiting for them. They head downstairs, since Cotton needs to inject his concoction into her veins. John draws near to hold her. She thinks her taunts have brought John closer, but its part of the plan. When he puts his hands on her, she speaks in John’s mother’s voice. Rose tells him that his mother is in hell, that she’s the devil’s favorite whore. John tears himself away, taking the syringe from Cotton and plunges it into Rose.

Mercy eats like a queen, stuffing her face with everything that Mary has to offer. Tituba looks on in disgust. She thinks Mercy is a dirty little creature. Mary reasons that she was too when Tituba found her. She tells her to clean her up, and burn her things.

John carries the body in a cart, but Cotton wishes to look at her brain, wondering if the devil changed her.

Mary  shaves George with a straight blade in front of Mercy. She talks of duty, and how fearless her husband is of her blade, but George look anything but fearless. Tituba comes to collect Mercy, but Mary has her take George instead. Mary sees that Mercy’s eyes are filled with want, and Mary wishes to give. Mary tells her that the hard part isn’t getting what you want, but knowing what you wants. Mercy knows what she wants, she wishes to be like Mary. Mary offers her a story, and Mercy is eager for one. She hasn’t heard one since her mother died. Mary gets a book off her shelf with her favorite stories, but Mercy doesn’t know how to read. Her father didn’t believe that girls needed to know how to, and Mary thinks perhaps she will teach her. Mary decides to tell her a story from memory, one of the Queen of the Night. She didn’t start as a Queen, but rose to that position. Mary starts the story, and draws Mercy onto her lap. The story sounds very much like Mary’s own, including having to give up the last part of her love that was deep inside of her hoping all of her dreams would come true.

The Ash maiden did as she was told, and she was brought to the King’s castle (Mary to George’s house). She met a servant who hurried her inside (Rose), and she watched a feast. At the feast Hale killed George’s wife, clearing the way for Mary. Mercy has fallen asleep on Mary’s lap. Mary brings out the straight razor, but Mercy was not asleep and she asks if the Ash maiden became Queen. She did. Unfortunately she had to sleep with the King. That night she saw what her soul had become, the hag. So while she got what she wanted she lost far more than she knew she could. She served the evil King for two years, and she begged to become the Ash maiden once more, but was refused. Salem would become a center of power, and there was no going back. Mary chose to embrace her power. And her kiss would not turn the frog into a prince, but she could turn a king into a toad. Fooling George into thinking he was getting a naughty threesome, with Mary and Tituba they bound him and fed him wine, and eventually shoved the toad down his throat. George put up a mighty struggle, but the women were successful. So the Queen came to rule the King and all the kingdom, and she became the Queen of the night and lived happily ever after. Mercy awakens in the woods. She is afraid now, sure that she was in Mary’s room. But Mary tells her that there are many door for a witch. Mercy would never point her finger at mary she says, and Mary plans to make sure that she does not.

Petrus is nearby in the woods eating bugs, and being his normal weirdo self. He spies Mercy running, and Mary stalking her slowly. Petrus thanks the Gods that he is what he is today, and not one of the hunted.

Cotton and John have brought Rose to the woods, looking to find the perfect alignment under Saturn. Cotton figures that once they have finished questioning her that they must kill her, but John doesn’t trust in his gun alone. Luckily Cotton has brought a sword, one that he has some familiarity in using. It surprises John, in a good way, and their plan may just work.

Hale receives a visitor, and Anne is suspicious as to why Tituba would be there. She asks her mother, but her mother doesn’t know or seem to care.

Marcy and Mary continue their cat and mouse chase. Mary finally catches up to Mercy, she pulls the girl against her, but she doesn’t slit her throat. She strips her down, tells the girl to say it, to tell him that this is what she wants. Mercy screams yes. That all the world shall be hers.

Darkness falls in the woods, and John is just tickled pink that he’s been brought to such a warm and inviting place. Cotton pays no mind to his sarcasm. Cotton details how and where to string up Rose, for optimal truth telling. As they try to string her up, the paralytic wears off, and Rose puts up a struggle. She’s no match for them, and they get her in place. Rose tells the men that the darkness is going to eat them whole, and their whores too. Poor Gloriana and Mary. Rose taunts him that he left poor Mary behind, and she had nothing to bargain with except that pit between her legs. John goes on the attack, but Cotton holds him back. The planet comes into alignment just in time, and Rose is pulled back. She asks what he wishes to know, and Cotton wishes to know everything.

Petrus talks to his bugs again. He wishes to fly south someday soon, some place without the craziness, and no snow. Tituba interrupts his muttering, she’s looking for Rose. He tells her that they did not see Rose, but they did see a witch, Mary, one she taught how to make doors. Tituba warns Petrus to remember whose side he’s on.

Cotton asks about the Grand Rite. It’s death for him and all like him. Sacrifices consecrate the land for their lord. Cotton thinks that it has not begun because there are no missing people, or children, but it has begun. Rose tells him that it’s not a sacrifice unless it hurts. Cotton asks for clarification, but John thinks its time to kill her. He slashes at Rose, but too late, she gets loose. She isn’t happy with them dangling her about like puppets, and she bites open her own wrists, spilling her blood upon the earth. She calls forth Zombies, which grab at the men.

Rose gets away with little trouble. Mary finds her in the woods. She tells her that she owes her so much, she remembers how she taught her to think like a Puritan, to use their unquenchable desires against them. Rose says that everything is going according to plan, but she brought the Malleum to Salem without her knowledge. The Grand Rite works best with a broken heart, but Mary’s heart is no longer broken. Rose has planned it all from the start. She was the one that planted into George’s head to send John Alden away. Rose planned everything right down to Mary bringing Mercy into the woods to kill her. She tells Mary that she even allowed John and Cotton to take her into the woods and question her. She needed to see for herself what was in John’s heart, and she has found that John loves Mary now and always, which is perfect because she needs Mary’s heart broken, and nothing breaks a heart like death. The zombies try to tear at John and Cotton, but Rose didn’t plan for John’s gun, or Cotton’s sword. She also didn’t plan for Mary. Mary introduces her to her new sister, Mercy, who beheads Rose. John and Cotton manage to fight off the zombies, who fall away with Rose’s death.

John and Cotton climb out of the woods. John thought Saturn failed them, but Cotton isn’t so sure. Sometimes the truth is riddles. Right now though, the creature is still out there. John knows that Rose will not come back to Salem, she’s been compromised, and she’s be killed without a trial. Cotton admires John’s courage, and John isn’t sure what he admires at first about Cotton. He decides he admires Cotton’s transformation.

Mary runs into John and Cotton as they arrive back into time. Mary says that she walks at night because she’s sleepless. She asks what they’re up to, and Cotton is quick to talk about the stars and Saturn. Mary knows that’s not the entire truth, and that they would not answer, but she allows John to walk her home.

Tituba scrubs Mercy’s skin clean, not exactly happy that she has been made one of them. Tituba makes it clear that the lady of the house is her lady. Mary tsks Tituba’s treatment. Tituba thought that Mary was weak when she looked into Mercy’s eyes, but she was motivated. She saw herself when she looked into Mercy’s eyes, and she knows that Mercy cannot point her finger and call her witch if she is one herself. Mary chooses to finish Mercy’s bath. She knows that Mercy went through hell tonight as she once did, but she doesn’t wish Mercy to ever face hell again alone.

Anne sits in her bed reading when she hears footsteps outside her door. She grabs a candle to find out what is making the noise, and finds what she thinks is her father. She touches the cloaked figure, and it falls to the floor, scaring her. Her mother tells her to come, its time they talked about her father.


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