Motherland: Fort Salem‘s “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil” had me absolutely living from start to finish. From Anacostia looking like the queen I always knew her to be, to this epic Samhain ritual that unearthed secrets long hidden, this episode really had me on the end of my seat. “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil” also made me really really mad. Charvel came in hot and was out of line, the Camarilla were legit going to sacrifice a child, and Tally discovered that Alder’s past is darker than expected while giving us another ship to look forward to blossoming. (The last part there didn’t make us mad *insert heart eyes*)
Let’s dive into Motherland: Fort Salem‘s “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil”!
Tally and All Her Discoveries
I’ve already proclaimed my love for Tally in multiple reviews. And not so surprisingly, “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil” really went and elevated that love and then some. Because this queen, oh she’s not stopping what she’s doing anytime soon. There’s a mystery in front of her that everyone keeps telling her isn’t real. But she knows it, feels it in her bones, that they are wrong or that they are lying to her. And she used this Samhain ritual to get answers and came out with more questions than she started with.
The whole thing with Alder and the group of people who martyred themselves, it speaks of taking advantage of a situation to paint a picture that fits the winners narrative. And when that happens, we’re left with gaps and holes in the story that the winner tells us not to pay attention to or bother with. But no, it doesn’t always work like that, especially with Tally. She’s found out the truth and what she does with this damaging truth is going to define her life, career, and journey on Motherland: Fort Salem.
Then there’s the other discovery…the more shippy kind of discovery that is absolutely worth mentioning. While doing the very dangerous Samhain ritual, Gregorio threw himself in the way of an arrow that was meant for Tally. You don’t do that for a simple friend. And I think we’ve been focusing too much on how he’s the one Abigail doesn’t want to marry that we haven’t thought about the potential for him and Tally to match up. And that look she gave him afterwards, there was an acknowledgement there and I can’t wait for more.
Abigail and the Ghost of Charvel
Never in my life have I wanted to jump through a screen and slap a ghost. Seriously, I know that Charvel died in pain but did she really have to go and turn the attacks against Abigail into something that is her fact? Her ghost specifically told Abigail that she was weak because she had allowed herself to be victimized. Excuse me? You don’t choose to be victimized. Those who are hungry for power and control are the ones who go ahead and take whatever power they want from those around them and that’s what happened to Abigail.
How dare Charvel’s ghost come into this house and try to make it Abigail’s fault? That’s not the way you reignite the spark inside of someone. That’s how you twist someone up and make them hate themselves if they show a spark of weakness, empathy, or meet a force that is stronger than them. And I’m glad that Abigail found something inside of herself to keep going, keep fighting, and make the Camarilla pay for what they’ve done. But it could’ve been done better and by someone who blamed her for something not her fault.
The one spark amongst all this darkness is the return of Adil. Yes, she said hurtful things to him that weren’t true. But she’s sorry and he knows it. They were words said in anger and confusion meant to drive him away. And Abigail running into his arms doesn’t mean that he forgives her. It just means that things are more complicated and that at the end of the day taking down the Camarilla is priority. They’ll talk about it, have that conversation, and conquer the darkness around them by each other’s side.
Raelle Needs Answers
If there’s anyone that broke my heart it’s Raelle in “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil.” Our girl has family in Tally and Abigail. That’s a forever kind of thing. But she doesn’t have her mom. She doesn’t have that blood relative by her side, guiding her through the ups and downs of life. And it absolutely broke Raelle when her mother’s ghost didn’t appear to her. We know that it’s not possible because Raelle’s mom is alive. But Raelle doesn’t know that. She just thinks that her mom didn’t want to speak with her from the great beyond.
And you know when stuff like this happens on Motherland: Fort Salem or in real life, we automatically turn it around and make it so we’re to blame for the thing that’s happened or hasn’t happened. And that’s not fair to us, to Raelle, or to the ones who love us. I just hope that Raelle realizes that her mother is alive sooner than later. And contrary to what her mom believes, I don’t think it’s going to be sunshine and rainbows, especially because of the harm that the Spree have caused and the fact that Raelle’s mom abandoned her for a “cause.”
Raelle also desperately needs answers about Scylla. That’s why she came to Anacostia. Because if there’s anyone that will understand, it’s her. But even someone like Anacostia has lines she can’t cross and secrets she can’t tell because the mission is that important. So until Raelle speaks with Scylla her mind is going to come up with theories, always the worst ones because brains are like that, as a way of coping and making it through the day. And that’s never helpful.
Anacostia and Scylla’s Team Up Keeps Getting Better
First of all, why isn’t there a press photo of these two looking amazing? Particularly Anacostia who looked like an absolute vision, from her hair to her outfit. All of it stunning. And then Motherland: Fort Salem really went there and gave me Anacostia fighting while dressed like that? I think my heart might’ve stopped and my breath caught in my throat. Because I now worship this goddess and want her to keep developing and growing her character and that of her relationship with Scylla.
But more on Anacostia. I think she’s understood what was going on with the Camarila in a way that she had never before in “Brianna’s Favorite Pencil.” Like, she knew they were a threat. But not enough for them to kidnap a child and then go ahead and try to kill her. That’s taking a dangerous step that Anacostia is not going to going to allow, no matter what her training has taught her about battle and the enemy. Anyone who kidnaps children is the enemy.
Then there’s the Scylla of it all. She was the enemy in season one and in some ways she still is according to those in the military that think they know what the Spree are and according to the people Scylla has killed. And honestly, it was a bit of a shock to the system to hear her talk about the lives she’s taken. We know it’s not that many, but she has taken lives and we don’t know if she regrets the part she played until the words truly fall from her lips.
Together, these two women are the team up I never knew that I wanted or needed. And they will continue to grow as individuals and as a team that will change the face of Motherland: Fort Salem forever.
Motherland: Fort Salem airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on Freeform.