Salem Recap S01E12: Ashes, Ashes

Among the corpses Mercy walks. The vermin eat the flesh, and Mercy has gone off the deep end. She looks at a young child unfit for burial in the cemetary, a mother who died in child birth, and the baby smothered to cover up the sin. She is the mother of all the dead. Her father said that there is no purgatory, but Earth is purgatory. Mary tells her that she is no ghost, she is more alive than any of them, but Increase will not look for her here among the dead. Mercy asks of her girls. Increase has four of them, but the Grand Rite will cleanse the land. Mary assures her that her, her girls and her children will have a place in the land. Mercy asks what is coming, and Mary shows her the apple. Death is coming.

Cotton sees the land as rotten due to a rotten apple, the Malleum. It will bring about death on a massive scale, but they know nothing of the ritual that will unleash it. Cotton believes that he has finally put together enough pieces, that the apple will open. He has seen the apple, or atleast the box that contains it in the house of John Alden. Anne interrupts his findings, coming at a late hour. She did not know who else to turn to. She asks if he thinks its possible to be a witch and not know it. He thinks if one deeded their soul to Satan they would know if, unless she points out if someone deeded it for them. Cotton tries to assure her, but she needs more. She asks that he examine her, and he’s taken aback by her demand. Cotton examines her, and Anne likes it. Her eyes turn red, and her tongue forks, but he sees none of it since he closed his eyes during the exam. He decrees that she is free of the Devil’s marks.

Increase bangs on a bell to awaken the girls. He wonders who will be first. The girls are covered in burns  from the water, and he tells them that whoever speaks first will not burn. Mercy peeks in on her friends, while Increase suggests that one of them speak first of what John Alden did to them. He leaves them to get his air. Mercy creeps in. She kisses her girls on the forehead. They are thankful that she is here, because they are so close to breaking. But she has not come for them, they cannot travel as she does. She has come to remind them who they serve, the Queen of darkness, and she has not forgotten them, anymore than she has. She tells them to give the old goat what he wants, and speak against John Alden at the trail.

The crones are pleased that the grand rite is nearly complete. Mary has succeeded where all others have failed. Mary wishes to know why John Alden though. He is the sacrifice they need. Mary offered up the little soul long ago, the hurting. He is innocent she says. The Malleum needs innocence to open. Mary is the daughter that they have raised, blood and tears are their weapons. To free him would be to reveal what she is, and to do that would be to lose his love. Rather than lose his love, they urge her to use it.

Cotton and Increase walk together. In all of the literature, Malleum is always evil, why would he think it would signify apple. Cotton thinks that it is a physical object, and that object is here in Salem. Increase thinks his way of thinking is failing. The simplest explanation is the correct one. Cotton isn’t satisfied with that answer. He’s trying to stop the grand rite. Increase finds that thought funny, his feeble son is arrogant. He asks if his son knows the cost of stopping one. Increase tells him of the time he stopped the Grand Rite. When he was a child, other witches tried to complete the Grand Rite. Many children disappeared, and were found dead. Then many more disappeared. While others searched for the children, he hunted the witch. The male witch took the form of a six year old girl. Increase choked the child, and when the devil collected the body he would not let go. His hands were burned by hellfire, his hands still burn and are oddly green. Cotton points out that the Grand Rite was averted. Increase tells him that there is only one way to avert the Grand Rite to kill the witch who started it, which means John Alden must die.

John is brought to trial. Increase speaks of John’s short comings. He ran off to war, to gave himself over to it fully until he was captured by the heathens. And with the heathens he became a powerful and weapon to be used against the puritans who had betrayed him. Cotton interjects that it is all speculation, he has no proof of what happened while John Alden was fighting, when he was held captive. Increase gives John a chance to speak of what happened when he was lost with the savages, but John says nothing. Increase is more than happy to tell more tales. Mary listens to all with tears in her eyes. He was a tool of malice, learning the dark arts, gathering familiars to do his bidding. Increase shows the people a mark on his neck, an iron hard raised lump where he suckles his familiars. John finds it humorous, and Increase slaps him for his impertinence. Increase even blames George’s illness upon John, thinking after he undermined the pillar of the community that he unleashed the true horror. He projected the night hag to scare Mercy to show that no one is safe. Increase turns to Cotton, asking of Mercy. Mercy was indeed plagued by a specter, and that John did cast doubt on it. Increase goes further, pointing out that John also said that prayer was worthless. John has been the one that stood up against every instance of witches, his name was on Corey’s lips when he died, and he stood for Bridgette. He condemns himself at every turn. He understands that women are the entryway to evil. He asks how many women has John seduced, that he’s tried to seduce even the highest women in the land. He asks Mary if the accused entered her house, her boudoir. Mary asks if she would allow such a thing. Increase points out that her manservant said he did. Mary tells him that John came to discuss politics, to announce his attention to take his father’s seat on the select board. Increase lets the question hang of why in the middle of the night, and moves on. He puts Anne on the spot, asking her about the forced kiss that John was seen delivering upon her. He asks her to deny it, and she doesn’t. A snake in the grass, and who allowed his witches to run the brothel of Salem. Worse, he points to the young maidens that were eager to allow him to lead them astray. Cotton leans forward to hear what they have to say. One steps forward. Mercy told them that it was John who came in the shadows of night, that he licked and bite every part of her, and bewitched her. She might not name his name, that she may blame all on the hag, but he took her at night in spectral form and gave her to the night. Mercy lured the girls with magical tricks and games, and soon they were dancing in the woods with him. Mary shakes her head as the girl continues, saying that they touched each other and lay with him. This Cotton finds interesting. He faces the girls, asking if it was all of them. He kneels before the chatty one, Emily, asking if she is no longer a maiden. If he were to examine her, one of the other women were to examine her that he would not find her intact. Emily is quick to say that he has tongue, fingers, and other invisible instruments of pleasure and that she had her eyes closed, that she isn’t sure what he did. Cotton points out her delusions; that all are susceptible to involuntary thoughts at times, but that Emily has been overwhelmed by them, especially in the face of extreme torture by Increase. Under the circumstances any girl would think herself a witch, and any man a devil. The people murmur. Cotton submits that the level of torture was worthy of the Inquisition. Who is the real victim, and who the villain? John Alden or someone who uses a tool of torture. Cotton pulls out Increase’s pear and as the murmuring gets louder from the people Increase tries to put a stop to Cotton’s show and tell. The people are outraged, and Increase calls a suspension to the hearing until tempers are cooled. Cotton is pleased, and John is taken away.

In his cell, John feels like the entire town wants him hanged like he does possess some dark magic. Cotton knows that he’s not a witch, but that he does possess dark magic power, the Malleum. He asks where the box is that he found that lured the witch to his house. Cotton believes that it is the key to the Grand Rite, it is the greatest weapon of the witches, that will open when the Grand Rite is completed. If that thing is what Cotton believes it to be, and his father knows he has it then it is the final nail in his coffin. Cotton asks what if it’s the only chance that they have. John tells him that Giles has it. He buried it in Giles Corey’s grave.

Cotton attempts to do a little grave robbing. He digs up the body, gives it a good pat down, and finds nothing. He opens the cloth, and gets his hands dirty.

Increase slices his own wrist and collects the blood on a linen. He hands it off to a man, asking him if he knows what to do with it. Cotton comes to his father, not to disrespect him more but because he is afraid. He fears while they disagree on methods, they are both determined to stop the grand Rite. That brings Increase some gratification. Cotton tells him that the Malleum is there, or was. He saw it, he touched it. Increase asks where it is, but Cotton does not know. Cotton tells him it was in John Alden’s house. They search the house, tearing it apart, they find nothing. John helped him, Cotton explains. They trapped a witch, carried her to the woods to question and kill her. John was merely helping him eliminate a rival, Increase believes. If Increase can admit that John may be innocent, he asks that his son admit that John just may be guilty, and if he is right thousands may perish, their nation will fall.

Cotton goes back to John, tells him that he searched Giles’ grave and that it was not there. John cannot believe his ears, he buried the thing himself, which we know Tituba collected shortly after. He asks who else knew, but John tells him none other knew but Cotton himself. Cotton thinks that he isn’t being honest, but John is. The people are mobbing, and John asks what is going on. John knows the girls are innocent. Emily breaks free, telling him that she only regrets her lies towards him. The selectmen grab her. John urges Cotton to do something to help the girls. Cotton leaps, and John looks to see what Emily gave him. She handed him the halved silver coin. Dollie watches the horror from the shadows. Emily screams of Increase’s promise to save them. The four are fitted for nooses, and weight to their legs. Increase is giving them mercy. They were promised that they would not burn. Cotton makes it to the platform, to try to reason with his father. The girls are tainted, Increase fears that they carry the devil’s seed, and he is certain they must die. They pose a threat to Salem, as Cotton’s weakness poses a threat. He must cut out the malignant malice before it threatens further, Cotton tries to stop it, but the girls are hung above John’s cell. Anne is shocked, and Mary angered. The girls are dead.

Dollie goes to find Mercy, screaming and crying in the woods. Mercy finds her, and Dollie tells her of Emily and the others at Increase’s hand. Mercy swore they would be safe, but they were killed, her master was to protect them, but she did nothing. Mercy sends Dollie back to Salem telling her to gather the young, the poor, the suffering. They will be their army, and it will be a new day. The new day demands a new Queen of the Night.

Increase faces the people again. He knows its hard to believe that one of their own sons is capable of witchcraft. Still he wishes that John be convicted and sentenced for what he truly is, a traitor and a murderer. Increase says that when John was with the Indians he took up arms and slaughtered men in his company, something he swears to be true. Those kind of accusations are apparently good Salem arguments in a trial. He dares John Alden to deny it, to deny that he painted his face, that he smashed his skulls of his fellow soldiers. Cotton demands to know where he got such information. The information came from Tituba. Increase asks again that he speak, that he dispute the charges. Cotton asks the same. John announces that every sane man knows that he’s not a witch, but when Increase asks if he is a traitor, a murderer, John says nothing. Silence confesses for him. Increase knows that he is a witch, but even still he thinks that John should hang for his other crimes. Out of the frying pan into the fire, Mary lets her tears fall.

Back in his cell, Cotton asks that John tell him that his father is wrong, that he is not the man he says he is. John wonders if he really wants the truth, if he really knows good from evil. The puritans think the world is black and white, but John wonders if the truth is that the world is nothing but shades of gray.

Flashback time. After the battle John was left for dead, but he was found by the Mohawk. They were not the Indians that they fought, but the enemy of them. They took him, and John doesn’t think that he’ll understand why they saved him, but they did. They pulled the bullet from his neck, which is the scar that Increase pointed out. They treated him with kindness and respect. Their holy man took an interest in him, and that too he does not know why. He worked with them, hunted with them, and after one of those hunts they returned to find everyone in the village slaughtered. They were killed by the militia, their militia. They couldn’t even be bothered to tell one Indian tribe from another. A red fog descended upon him, and did not life until he killed them all, all but one, which he corrected the night he found the box. And the malleum? He knew nothing about it, only what Cotton told him. When they lost the witch in the woods he thought it would be best to hide it, so he buried it with Giles. Cotton thinks that someone must have unburied it. John tells him that if his father is to be believed then all they must do is hang him, and then all their problems will go away. But Cotton still can’t figure out, after all they’ve been through if John needed a friend or pawn. Poor Cotton.

Mary weeps over John. Isaac tells her that weeping doesn’t help, that he’s done his fair share. She sees he’s still bleeding, but he tells her that around here, who isn’t. Mary falls her to his knees in tears. Isaac tells her that it is his fault. John was headed out of town, and if not for him stopping him, John would be long gone. He tells Mary that she can save John, that she’s Mary. They call her Mary Sibley, but he calls her magic Mary in his heart. Even when they were children she could do anything, she just has to want it bad enough.

John sleeps. Mary kisses his forehead, and he’s startled to find her. She tells him that they will hang him tomorrow. He points out she is one of they. She doesn’t know who she is anymore. John finds it funny that Salem is finally going to hang someone for something that he’s actually done. He tells Mary to go back home to her life, as Mrs. Sibley. Mary confesses that she is his life. He tells her its too late for that. She will not let him hang. John knows that the good people of Salem, the ones that he’s been trying to save, want him dead, they think he’s the devil. He’s no devil, but he is guilty of treason and he’s ready to hang for it. He’s tired of living without her. There’s no way for them to be together she says. It’s over, like everyone else in the town.  Mary tries to promise, but John doesn’t want anymore vows from her. He doesn’t think she’s making any sense. The walls are stone, the windows and door are steel, and that all the love in the world cannot change facts. Mary tells him that love is stronger, and there is still a place for them. She asks him to go to his dreams one last time, to dream with her. She kisses him.

And the kiss brings him some place else, far outside his cell in the woods. He looks at her in horror. Mary just let the cat out of the bag.


Copyright © 2013 Something to Muse About and Blogger Templates - Anime OST.