Motherland: Fort Salem Back on active duty on Tuesday with the arrival of a new witch, rumors of a new threat and the beginning of a new nightmare for a key member of the team.
TVLine spoke to series creator Eliot Laurence about the season 2 (and beyond) premiere, but let’s start with a quick recap: Raelle and Abigail came back alive, much to the amazement of their fellow witches; Tally went through a procedure to de-Biddify herself; Penelope, the daughter of Vice President Blanton Silver, was handed over to the military after being exposed as a witch on national television; Adil’s sister expressed concern that he was ‘changing’ as a result of all the suffering he had seen; and Scylla learned that the Camarilla is actively colluding to take down both the Army and Spree witches.
The premiere ended with Tally having a terrifying nightmare in which Alder and her team battled (and lost to) some giant worms in the jungle. But if it was just a dream, why did Tally wake up and find herself covered in worm bites?
Below, Laurence answers some TVLine’s burning questions from Tuesday’s season premiere:
TVLINE | Let’s start with Tally, who’s going already through it. If Raelle and Abigail hadn’t returned, was she really willing to spend the rest of her days as Biddy?
She was! But did she make that decision? No not much. And that is very clever to jump into the breach like that. She believes so completely in her truth that she does crazy things. I think she would have found a way to make it work, but that was the choice she made. And it was a pretty tough choice. Those offers won’t last long. They are like biological batteries for Alder. It’s a tall order, but she jumped in because she’s Tally.
TVLINE | I guess this isn’t a question, but that whole de-bid sequence was so cool.
When I saw the special effects in post, and I saw that spider web network they created, and the amazing Emilie Leclerc who just gave me David Lynch vibes as she brought everything to life… that was one of those moments in the show where everything just comes together in a cool way.
TVLINE | And her battle is not over yet. What does the future hold for Tally?
In episode 10 of last season, Tally and Alder had that very intense conversation in the caves. Alder said, “I’m a general. I make tough decisions every day and stand behind them all.” Now the question is: Is doing they? Maybe there was one she’s not very comfortable with, and because of Tally’s connection to her, she’s getting access to some PTSD that she’s not supposed to have.
TVLINE | And Tally’s nightmare with the worms was our first encounter?
All the way. And it’s also nice because we get to see Alder through the ages. This was a conflict that happened about 20 or 25 years before the present day of the show. It was a colonial war, and we know for sure. It’s cool to watch the world expand, even in history.
TVLINE | At least Raelle and Abigail have come back, possibly more powerful than ever? What could they discover about themselves and their newfound strength?
Well, it’s an ongoing thing. They were protected by this power, and I think it’s the work of the first few episodes of the season to see exactly where that comes from and how it manifests. It is the strong demand at the beginning of the season. It may also be the next great superweapon, and armies are always looking for the next new thing that will give you an edge over everyone else. Alder, because she does what she does, is very eager to figure out how to implement and militarize this.
TVLINE | If the Camarilla come for spree and military witches, maybe they should team up against their common enemy?
Yes, but because it is motherland, it will not be easy and wise. It will be quite spicy. But you are absolutely right. These petty squabbles that have been going on for hundreds of years in world history are meaningless in the face of someone who wants to wipe you out completely.
TVLINE | I loved that one line: “Hatred is a disease. Find patient zero.”
This is a season where a lot of hate is looked at. As you saw in Episode 1, there is suddenly a very public outing of a witch. Penelope didn’t even intend to [melt that glass]. She was just singing in church and vocally something happened. There’s a lot of hatred around the corner, so it’s going to be a season of examining institutions and rooting out the corruption in these institutions and seeing how hate is so contagious within these power structures. We were definitely inspired by what’s going on in the world, and I hope it’s not a special way of after school.
TVLINE | I was shocked when I heard the word ‘contamination’ in one of the promos.
There is certainly some of that. We’ve seen a little bit of the witch plague in season 1, a disease specifically designed to hunt witch’s blood, and it’s getting worse this year – a a lot of worse.
TVLINE | I love Victor Webster, so I’m happy to have him on board as the VP. He seems surprisingly cool with the witches. Will that relationship remain stable?
He is in a unique position. Silver’s late wife didn’t know she was a witch, but she passed it on to Penelope. The magic we see in the show is things that have been honed for hundreds of years. If you haven’t had any training, you may be that person who has premonitions or can see when it’s raining. But until you are militarized, you can’t control these magical powers. So he finds out not only that his late wife was a witch, but also that his daughter is a witch. It’s that thing about growing up as a gay kid when your parents suddenly see you differently, sometimes right away, and how hard that can be to deal with. That’s his journey, and he’s doing pretty well – for the most part.
TVLINE | Had to save the biggie for last: What are the chances of a big Raelle/Scylla reunion this season?
The odds are good. These are two celestial bodies that are getting closer and closer together in the same space. As writers, it was a challenge to get them in the same room with the epic stories they both represent. But as you talked about people joining forces, the meat of the season brings people together in ways they never expected. I will say the odds are very good.
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