REVIEW: ‘Motherland: Fort Salem,’ Episode 4 – “Hail Beltane”

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Motherland: Fort Salem,' Episode 4 - Hail Beltane

The fourth episode of Motherland: Fort Salem’s first season, “Hail Beltane,” premiered on Wednesday night. In the previous episode, several male witches, lead by Witchfather (Nick E. Tarabay), arrive at Fort Salem for the Beltane festivities. This sparks feelings amongst many of the soldiers, including Tally (Jessica Sutton) and Gerit (Kai Bradbury). Tally takes attempts to make a big step in order to bond with Gerit. Someone from Scylla’s (Amalia Holm) past confronts her, which puts Raelle (Taylor Hickson) on edge. To ease the situation, Scylla confides more personal details of her past to Raelle. Meanwhile, General Alder (Lyne Renee) meets with the international military council of witches to discuss a new crisis. As all of this is going on, the Spree makes another move against civilians.

In “Hail Beltane,” Raelle wakes up in the hospital wing after attempting to save Porter’s (David Lennon) life. She joins the rest of her unit to celebrate the rest of the Beltane festivities. Tally and Gerit continue to grow closer, especially after taking part in The Reel. Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) uses the festivities to fuel her sense of competition. Scylla, worried that her involvement in Porter’s death will be discovered, avoids answering Raelle’s questions. Raelle finds comfort in Porter’s friend Byron (Bennett Taylor), who offers advice on how to deal with everything that’s going on. Meanwhile, General Alder orders to have all the dorm rooms searched for traces of the Spree as Porter’s body is undergoing an autopsy to rule whether his death was intentional or not.

I figured that the Beltane festivities would only take place in last week’s episode but I’m glad that wasn’t the case. “Hail Beltane” gives more information about the importance of the event and what happens during it. The activity that the episode focuses on is called The Reel, which is a dance that witches take part in for the sole purpose of forming a special bond with someone. I was really impressed by the dance choreography and how it leans on the aspect of forming a sensual bond with someone. It’s something that I was clearly not expecting, which made this scene stand out the most. Not only do we see how effective the dance is but we also see soon-to-be soldiers getting the chance to live normal lives.

Motherland: Fort Salem,' Episode 4 - Hail Beltane

A big portion of the plot in “Hail Beltane” focuses on Raelle dealing with Porter’s death and wondering whether she can fully trust Scylla. Though her worries are justified since the audience knows that Scylla is involved with the Spree, I’m glad that these worries come up. Their relationship did happen quickly, which is great, but I was surprised to see how close they got without really knowing much about one another. Porter’s arrival was a big curveball in their relationship, which only escalated after his untimely death. This is the necessary obstacle that their relationship needs to go through and I wouldn’t be surprised if more from either Raelle or Scylla’s past tries to come between them.

Another major aspect of the plot in “Hail Beltane” is the investigation into whether Porter’s death was accidental or not. I was surprised that Fort Salem would concern themselves in doing this for someone that wasn’t a member of their school. However, its necessity is obvious since they’re worried if the Spree were behind this since that would mean their school had been infiltrated. The autopsy that was done on Porter was unique since it showed just how powerful necromancy was in this universe. I wouldn’t mind seeing how powerful other specialties are, especially since we’re almost at the halfway point of the season.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching Motherland: Fort Salem’s fourth episode, “Hail Beltane.” Seeing more of the Beltane festivities and the effect it would have on the witches was fantastic. It served as a distraction for everyone from the current state of the world. The Reel looked incredible and it’s a scene I’m sure many fans of the show will be going back to watch. Scylla and Raelle’s relationship continues to be tested, which is an essential struggle they must go through. With Raelle, Abigail, and Tally heading to a wedding in next week’s episode, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Motherland: Fort Salem airs every Wednesday at 9 pm EST / 6 pm PST on Freeform.

Motherland: Fort Salem, Episode 4 - Hail Beltane
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    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

I really enjoyed watching Motherland: Fort Salem’s fourth episode, “Hail Beltane.” Seeing more of the Beltane festivities and the effect it would have on the witches was fantastic. It served as a distraction for everyone from the current state of the world. The Reel looked incredible and it’s a scene I’m sure many fans of the show will be going back to watch. Scylla and Raelle’s relationship continues to be tested, which is an essential struggle they must go through.