Salem Season 2 Premiere/Recap – Crow Penises, Plagues and More, Oh My!


Anytime a show kicks off it’s new season with a graphic scene of someone getting their penis chopped and being replaced with a crow – no, really, it’s exactly what you think it would be, you know you have just left all sense of reality and logic behind. WGN’s Salem returns this week with a barnburner of an opener.

I’ll freely admit that I found the Salem’s excessive weirdness (not necessarily the over the top graphic nature of the violence) to be off putting and it took quite a while for everything to click with the show. Before a recent set visit I binge watched Season 1 on Netflix and bailed at around episode four but picked up the back 3 episodes including the finale. The season long story came together nicely at the end and I was pretty much down with a fresh start for S2.

After successfully releasing a plague upon the 17th Century village of Salem Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery) doesn’t have much time to ponder her success largely due to her being blackmailed into doing the deed. At this point all she cares about is being reunited with her long lost son who the coven is still holding hostage to force her to continue to do their bidding. Meanwhile she takes charge of the small village despite some of the men in town speaking out against the very notion of a woman being in charge.

Salem Season 2, Episode 1 Image Gallery!

Everyone is wondering where the plague has come from and the town has instituted draconian methods to combat it and are arresting and segregating anyone who even looks like they may come down with it. Stuart Townsend joins the cast this season as the mysterious Dr. Samuel Wainwright a man practicing new techniques in medicine and threatens to unravel Mary and the Coven’s plans.

Another new cast member Lucy Lawless is the mysterious elder witch Countess Marburg. She heads to Salem with designs on confronting Mary and causing trouble. The opening doesn’t tell us anything about her character other than she’s just as vicious as everyone else on the show.

In one of the weirdest 180-degree changes on the show, Mary’s one true love John Alden (Shane West) makes a deal with a mysterious Indian tribe to completely transform to become a “mole” and balls to the wall super witch hunter. I’m completely confused by this sudden transformation into a hater; at the end of last season John discovered Mary was a witch and didn’t seem to care. He just wanted her, now he’s fueled by rage.

Cotton (Seth Gabel) one of the most hypocritical characters on television is still fighting his eternal demons to stay right with god, even though he did kill his daddy. Daddy issues! Mercy Lewis is tired of bowing down to everyone only to end up getting betrayed. She starts by turning men in the village into her slaves by cutting off their penises and replacing them with crows – everyone I saw this with all gasped at this scene. She confronts the old Coven and declares war on Mary and all of the other witches in the village. Tituba (Ashley Madekwe) who is still holding Mary’s son hostage is going to have to learn how to work together with Mary if she hopes to survive Mercy’s wrath.

The show is just as dark and hopeless as last season. It’ll be interesting to see how all the new characters and John’s quest for vengeance plays into how this season eventually unfolds. The S2 premiere episode is a barnburner both literally and figuratively. While I was kind of meh about S1, I’m fully down for a S2 ride.