As Salem heads into its final three episodes, Mary Sibley’s world is crumbling around her. “On Earth As In Hell” was a bit of a slower episode of Salem than I would have liked since we are so close to the season finale, but it managed to throw together some nice character moments before tossing in a cliffhanger ending that is a near-replica of one we already saw a few episodes ago (the Countess gets Baby John).
The highlight of the episode was clearly seeing Mary Sibley be completely vulnerable for an entire episode. Watching her be put in the stocks (in clown makeup, no less) is a sight unlike anything we have ever seen of the character. Seeing her bare all to Anne (which was my favorite part of the episode) and Sebastian later in the episode were equally unexpected treats. It’s not that we want to see Mary publicly humiliated (if you had asked me that during last season, I might have a different answer), but it’s a refreshing change for the character since she always seems to be one step ahead of everyone. It was only a matter of time before someone knocked her down a few pegs, so of course it was going to be the Countess.
Speaking of the Countess, she was busy with reconnaissance as she worked on gathering information about John (and killing his “Indian Mistress” in the process). What was nice was seeing her reaction when Mary let her know about the plan for an exorcism on Baby John. Like Mary, the Countess always seems to be one step ahead (with the exception of Mary stealing her relict last week), so it’s good to see that while the Countess is cunning and powerful, she doesn’t know everything.
The other major part of the episode centered around Baby John. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that I just don’t think he’s that interesting of a character to hinge the rest of the season on, and I felt that way during this episode until he got possessed. That was a fantastic creepy child possession scene. It was creepy and made Baby John infinitely more interesting. If only he wouldn’t have reverted back to regular ol’ Baby John at the end of the scene.
“On Earth As In Hell” was more of a setup for the final two episodes of the season, but what it lacked in forward momentum it more than made up for in character moments and horrifying scenes.
- Apologies for getting this up so late and for the brief(ish) review. I’m in the middle of a move! I’ll be on time (and more talkative) next week.
- Tituba’s Thankless Task Of The Week: Not being in the episode. Seriously, has she been tied up this whole time?
- Speaking of not being in the episode, where’s Mercy? Has she been bathing in the blood of small children all this time?
- So Cotton knows Mary is a witch now. That can’t be good, right?
- Poor, poor Isaac. He just can’t win, can he?
- “How about that George Sibley was a son of a bitch!” -At least Isaac got one good zinger in before he got knocked out.
- “Even the village idiot knows a harlot when he sees one.” -Hathorne’s quips with Mary are nowhere near the level of Mary/Marburg interactions, but they’re entertaining nonetheless.
- “I would rather die by my own hand than be a servant to that bitch!” -See what I mean?
- Being possessed feels like a nest of wasps inside you stinging you. Great.
- Here’s the promo for next week’s penultimate episode!