(Warning: This post contains some minor spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of “Motherland: Form Salem.”)
“Motherland: Fort Salem” returns on Tuesday, and the show that captured imaginations with an all-female witch army continues to see its heroines confront all kinds of monsters in Season 2.
Right off the top, the second season raises a question a lot of fans had at the end of Season 1: Will Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton) stay trapped as an old lady forever? And can she go to War College and become a true witch soldier if she’s physically decades older than her friends in the Bellweather Company?
Don’t worry, old Tally doesn’t stick around forever. But before we get to that, allow us to give you a quick refresher of the Freeform show’s action-packed Season 1 finale.
At the end of the season, Tally became one of the elderly guardians who give up their youthful energy to sustain Gen. Sarah Alder (Lyne Renée), the commander-in-chief of the nation’s witch army who’s about 300 years old. These women are nicknamed “Biddies” and follow Alder around, literally giving her life. They spend their days sharing Alder’s memories and thoughts, protecting her and, uh, hissing loudly at people who piss her off. They still have the mental and magical aptitude of young women but physically, they’re old ladies.
Season 2 of “Motherland” picks up after an all-out battle between the witches and a new enemy they call the Camarilla. The Fort Salem crew ended up in a fight with the Camarilla that left several soldiers dead. Raelle Collar (Taylor Hickson) and Abigail Bellweather (Ashley Nicole Williams) used their vocal magic to create a massive explosion that saved the army but left everyone thinking they’re dead (but don’t worry, they come back almost instantly in Season 2).
When Alder and her golden girls were injured in a battle with the Camarilla in Season 1, Tally demanded Alder take her youth in order to survive. Alder accepted the offer, and instantly made Tally super old, which we’re shown through a very unsettling makeover that’s likely a mixture of makeup and CGI effects. (Sutton shouted out makeup artist Sandy Lindala in an Instagram post after Season 1 wrapped, writing, “27 and still kicking. Special thanks to the insane prosthetic team at Lindala MUFx who biddy-fied me and my little hands.”)
It’s all kind of weird, but honestly not the strangest thing “Motherland” offers up — after all, this is a show about a futuristic matriarchal America where an army of witches is responsible for protecting the country from monsters and anti-witch terrorists.
Fortunately, we don’t have to see Tally stuck in Biddy form for long in the 10 episodes of Season 2.
Once they’re out of crisis mode and about to join War College, Alder gives Tally a choice to renege her offer and finish training as a solider. Alder explains that becoming an old lady sacrifice is usually something people have a lot of time to prepare for, and that it creates a lasting psychic bond between her and the Biddy. Also, Alder basically admits the whole experience just sucks.
At first, Tally is hesitant to take her youth back, but when she finds out Raelle and Abigail are alive, she immediately changes her mind. A quick ceremonial energy swap gives Tally her life back and saps the years out of another devotee instead, leaving the real Tally free to continue her training to defend the country.
“There are multiple narratives happening all at once that will coalesce somewhere at the end of Season 2,” Sutton recently told ABC 7. “It’s going to be epic.”
Season 2 of “Motherland: Fort Salem” premieres June 22 on Hulu.