Salem Recap S01E10: House of Pain

Furniture piles up in the street. Inside Increase  binds his flesh with a strap. He prays to the lord as he tightens it more and more finding himself a wretched thing, worse than those he pursues.

The girls prepare to dunk Emily’s father. She hopes that the devil is as kind to him as he was to her. She spits upon his face before the girls toss him down with the rest of the corpses in the grove. Emily misses Mercy, but Dollie believes that Mercy is always with them in the form of spiders.

Mary searches for Mercy in her darkened house. She isn’t pleased that the girl is hiding, and even less so that she pointed her finger at Tituba. Mary finds Mercy beneath a table. Mercy tells her that she did it for her, that had she not it would be Mary in the house of pain. That decision was not up to Mercy though, and when Mary goes to grab her, she finds a tarantula in her hand. Mary crushes the spider, and now she’s pissed.

Magistrate Hale goes out for a walk with Mary while Anne watches him leave from the window. She creeps down the hall into the back room. The door closes itself behind her, and she spies her father’s mask. She picks up the thing, looking through it’s eyes, there’s a forest. The mask binds itself to her face, and she can’t get it off. Anne falls through the mask, and finds herself in that forest.

Magistrate Hale has known Tituba even longer than Mary. If anyone can hold out against Increase its her, he tells Mary. Mary doesn’t like the idea of if, or the consequences of if she fails. Hale tells her to trust Tituba, she will use the opportunity. Mary doesn’t see torture as an opportunity. Tituba can use this as a distraction to take the heat off of them, and turn the attention elsewhere. Mary cannot bear the thought of Tituba being tortured, she won’t stand for it.

Increase has taken over the whore house, and he’s very pleased to hear that his place of repentance is nicknamed the house of pain. He finds it an apt name. Mary has come for Tituba, but Increase thinks that she belongs to the devil himself. Increase wonders if becoming befriended by her mistress is why she went astray, and furthermore if Mary herself would not benefit from being in the house. Cotton overhears, and admonishes his father, asking if he remembers to whom he speaks. He does, Mary is the wife of his friend, whom under her care has withered to an invalid. She resents his implications. He isn’t implying anything, at best she’s a weak and irresponsible woman, and he doesn’t even want to consider the worse. He’ll take responsibility for her husband and her slave, and he suggests that she return home to her husband’s house.

Tituba sits inside the house of pain, surrounded by instruments of torture. Increase shows off a tongue tearer to snip lying tongues, a skull crusher and  breast stripper, some of his favorite toys. Cotton tells his father that he once pressed a man to death, that a tortured person will confess to anything true or not when under duress. Increase will not take the first lie as fact under pained query. Cotton argues that it’s a self evident truth. Whatever horror takes place today, Increase blames Cotton’s weakness on it. Cotton falls back, as Increase tells Tituba to meditate on the tools. They will be her savior. He places a heretic’s fork in place to keep her attention before he starts in with the thumb screws. Cotton points out that he is employing the same tools of the Inquisition, many that were used against Puritans, and reminds him that they were called heretics. Increase tightens the screws and Cotton leaves as Tituba’s screams pierce the air.

Mrs. Hale asks her husband where Anne is, as he burns his mask in the fire. He tells her that her foolish daughter did something really dangerous, she put his mask on. Mrs. Hale slaps him. Hale explains that only one traveler can use the mask at a time, and it took her to the woods. Since she has no experience using it, the only thing it served to do was be evidence against him, hence the burning. He will find her. His wife is livid. Whether he has to face down Indians, wolves or the devils that he swears that he can control, if he does not bring Anne home she swears to expose him. Hale warns that exposing him, will only serve to implicate herself. So long as he burns, she’s willing to die as well.

Anne thinks that it is all but a dream, that she is really in her bed at home. She desperately tries to wake herself up to no avail. With resolve she tries to figure out how to get home, and finds herself face to face with an Indian.

Once again John is chopping wood for shakes, and once again he’s shirtless. Hale comes to him about Anne. John wonders why he would think she would be in the woods, but he knows his daughter Hale tells him. Sometimes she thinks, and sometimes she leaps without looking. He knows that John thinks that he has failed in his position as Magistrate, and even has dark suspicions about him, but Hale asks that John put all that aside for Anne. Reluctantly John agrees, and  tells him he can thank him if they find her.

Cotton wanders the woods, having a drunken conversation with his father. He wonders if the his father  really thinks that he’s saving them from hell. He believes its too late, Salem is hell. He cannot be what his father wants him to be, he is only what he is. He wishes that he was never born, and although he cannot draw back the sands of time, he can break the hourglass. Cotton attempts to drown himself, but he cannot even do that.

Increase pauses in his little torture session. Tituba is bloodied and bruised. She’s accused half of the town, but he knows that its all been lies. Increase is rather pleased with the progress so far, he thinks she’s close to revealing the truth. She’s close to the point where angry is so undurable that she will break. He picks up another toy, a choke pear or the pear of anguish. It’s inserted and then opened, with the idea that the subject will open up. Increase prepares to insert it between Tituba’s legs.

Cotton says a mocking prayer and he stumbles around drunk. He has a sound in the wood, thinking the devil himself has come to take him. He offers himself up to the devil, ready to die. But when he hears it again, the sound fills him with fear, and he throws his boot at it. Cotton moves to retrieve his shoe, and finds a deer skull nailed to a tree, from the eye socket a butterfly comes out. Out of death comes life, he sees that’s the true face of the lord. He removes his remaining boot and dances around the trees.

Bloodied instruments litter the table. Tituba tells him that he cannot know what she has done, or who she has served until he knows why. He asks her to tell him. She tells him for justice. She is not a witch, not a puritan. She was of the Arrowback tribe, she can still see the green of her jungle when she closes her eyes, and the deadly white skin of the English. They slaughtered the men, chained the rest, and raped the women. She was too small to be of use to them, but they made her watch. As she was chained she saw two glowing red eyes, and they spoke to her, claiming her. Increase tells her that Satan speaks to all of them in their own native tongue, and he readies to continue on.

John finds tracks in the woods, someone came through recently he tells Hale. They follow the trail, but the person did not know where they were going, they moved erratically. Cotton pees on the men from above, Hale thinks the reverend has lost his mind, and John demands that he comes down out of the tree. Cotton refuses, he sees more clearly from there, God himself walks in the woods. John asks what the hell happened to him, and Cotton gleefully tells him that he removed his boots, he felt the earth between his toes. John tells him that if his insight is real, then it will be just as real in his room. He thinks the tree can teach him so much more. The men leave him, they don’t have time for him right now.

Increase stokes the fire, asking Tituba when she sold her soul to the devil. Her body was bought and sold many times she says, but never her soul, never until she came to Salem. She was a child in a cage, given less food to eat than the animals on the ships. Then a man came, the one who brought her to Salem (Hale), only to be bought and sold again. Hale brings her and sells her from man to man, but atleast she is no longer in a cage. Her last owners the Wolcotts are nice, they give her a bed to sleep in, and their daughter Mary treats her like a sister. At night she still weeps for her mother, and runs off into the dark woods. Increase asks who she meets in the dark woods. She meets the Kanima. He has come to save her, to save them all. He gathers to him all who hurt, all who hide, all who hate, all who thirst for justice and gathers them into the circle and promises them a leader, a savior who will crush their enemies with a mighty fist and he keeps his promises. Increase keeps his promises too, and he promises to put her eyes out if he does not tell her who is in the circle, the circle of witches. She refuses, and he drives his fork into the board next to her head. He’s impressed with her mettle. It’s inspiring, touching, but she’s been duped. Those creatures are the enemies of all mankind. Tituba asks who started the war between witches and puritans, the few witches or the mighty puritans. By her own admissions, they’ve sold their souls to the devil, he asks. Were his people ever slaves? Did they ever call out for justice and his god answer with thunder? She tells him its obvious that there are no witches, just poor people like her, hunted and hurried for no reason other than they are not him. He begins to remove his gloves.

John finds evidence of Anne, he’s picked up her tracks now. Looking around John finds something besides Anne’s tracks. He tells Hale no matter what happens to stay calm and say nothing. A group of Indians descend from the trees around them. They get a closer look at the men, and John speaks to them in their native tongue. The leader answers, and the group clear out. Hale tells John that he is a mystery of mysteries. He walks the woods like a predator, and speaks to savages. John tells Hale that they saw Anne, but they did not touch her. They used a word that can mean many things, but usually just means crazy. Hale knows his daughter is many things, but not crazy. Luckily for her, they did think she was, they thought she was a walker between worlds. The men continue on.

Increase’s hands are dirty, burned. He tells her that it does not matter who started the war, only that it end, and it will end. He tells her that she and her kind have no hope. They will bled, they will hurt and they will die for a hopeless cause. Tituba does not think that love is a hopeless cause. She will not betray the one true love of her life. He understands, finally he understands it all, understands everything. Shes nothing more than a poor girl, kidnapped and alone, seeking love. He does not doubt that she loves, but asks her to honest, does she really think that they love her as much as she loves them. He asks her to consider who they are, not who they wishes them to be. They would betray her in an instant to save themselves. He asks if the horrors she’s endured, the agonies have been worth it for this person, and Tituba has endured much, and there is still an ugly death in front of her. He asks if that is really what she wants now that she has admitted to herself who they really are. He tells her that the greatest pleasure in the world is when the pain stops, and all she has to do is whisper a name and it will stop. She whispers a name to him.

Anne continues to wander the woods, now blanketed in darkness. She takes a seat on a fallen log, finally admitting defeat, and begins to sob. As if matters couldn’t get worse, it begins to rain, and she laughs at her luck. The rain suddenly stops, startling her. The sound of breaking branches behind her scares her. There’s whispers in the woods, and the Kanima congratulates her for finding her way home. Anne runs scared in the woods, and flies right into John’s arms. She clings to her father, and asks him how they found her. He gives all the credit to John and his unnatural tracking abilities. John tells them that following the tracks was easy once they found some, but he cannot understand how she got so far from Salem leaving so few tracks. Anne looks to her father. She says she is a silly thing, and she ran into the woods. He doesn’t believe her story. She says that it rained briefly and perhaps that washed away her tracks. She kisses John upon the cheek, asking him to forgive her for what she put them through. Hale thanks John for finding his daughter. John says that he’s sure they would do the same for him if he needed rescuing.

Mary tries to pull herself together, Increase pays her a visit. He tells her that she is correct, that Tituba is a remarkable woman, and he can understand why she is not merely her servant, but her friend as well. He finds her extraordinary, so much love in her, but what he did not understand before was that the Chief Witch of Salem was not just her leader, but her lover. Mary is surprised that she confessed. Love is a two faced coin, and one side is surely betrayal. He asks if he can pour himself a drink, and Mary allows it. George always did have a fine cellar. He continues, no one will ever admit that love is equal. But when they find that one always loves more, and when they realize that it tastes of ashes. Mercy Lewis may have begun as a victim, but she was made a witch. Mary tells him that Mercy went out earlier, and she has not returned. Increase tells her that it does not matter, he will have her and her girls by the time the sun comes up. Increase admits that when he first returned to Salem he was convinced that Satan’s true partner was in front of him, and all he needed to do was take her. He was shocked to learn that Captain John Alden stands behind all of Salem’s horror. After laying that blow on her, he asks her to walk with him, to get some good night air so that they will have a good vantage point for the arrest.

John, Anne and Hale walk back, and John is tempted to go back and find Cotton, concerned that he’s going to wake in the belly of a bear. As they enter the town, they’re greeted by a mob carrying torches, how cliché. John is placed under arrest by the Selectmen. John asks for his charges this time, and he’s told its for witchcraft. Mary watches the spectacle, and Increase watches her. Only Anne protests the arrest, but John goes peacefully. In a cell John sits, Tituba sits in one nearby, and she is quite pleased with herself.


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