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Season 1 Episode 6

"The Red Rose and the Briar"

Alden and Cotton find themselves coming face-to-face with a real witch, whilst Mary thinks of a solution to the conflict within the coven...[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]



Alden talks to Cotton who is boozing and staring at the box – the Malum. He’s excited that a witch suspended beneath Saturn cannot lie and he will question the one he captured tonight. Cotton says they have to drag the witch out to the woods tonight to interrogate her. He says he found the best spot but they have to get her ready to travel. He’s mixed up dog urine and some other herbs that he says makes a powerful paralytic. Alden isn’t happy that his house now spells like piss.

They look into the hole at the witch who tells them the darkness is waiting for them. They head down with some trepidation. She cackles gleefully. They find her crouching on the floor and Cotton says they have to inject the fluid into her veins. He tells Alden to get ready. The witch tells him to come closer so the darkness can taste him. Alden tackles her and then the witch speaks in his mother’s voice and asks why he’s doing this to her. The witch tells him that his mother is in hell and is the devil’s favorite whore. Alden grabs the needle from Cotton and plunges it into her chest. At first Cotton thinks he’s trying to kill her but then sees that it worked and says – that will do.

Tituba isn’t happy about their house guest but Mary reminds her that she was rought at first as well. She tells Tituba to burn all her things since she won’t be needing them anymore.

Alden and Cotton haul the witch out on a cart covered in a cloth. Cotton wonders if the devil has physically changed part of the woman’s brain and they wonder if they will both be dead by tomorrow. They keep on going.

Mary shaves George with a straight razor as the man is noticeably afraid. Mercy is ready to try her hand at it, but Tituba takes the razor from her. Mary leaves the room with Mercy who looks at Mary’s diamond necklace. Mary takes it and puts it on the girl. She tells her the hard part isn’t getting what you want, but knowing what you want. Mercy says she does know and wants to be just like Mary someday.

Mary pats the bed and asks if the girl wants a story. Mercy says she hasn’t heard one since her mother died and Mary says of course her Puritan father would not have cared – she says it’s the women that keep them alive. She pulls a book off the shelf and hands it to Mercy who admits that she can’t read because her father thought it was not appropriate. She says he told her it was God’s will but Mary says she will read if she wills and says she may teach Mercy to read one day.

She tells Mercy the story of the Queen of the Night. She starts out with once upon a time and begins the story that sounds like Snow White. She says she loved a handsome prince and the prince loved her. She invites Mercy to lay her head on her lap and Mary does. She tells Mercy the evil king sent the prince to her death and the maiden’s heart turned gray as ash.

Mary says one night a fairy came to her and promised her the world if she would give up the last of her love for her dead prince. She says she wept to give up the last of his love that dwelled deep inside her, but she gave it up to make her dreams come true. She says the ash maiden was brought to the castle. We see Tituba bring a younger Mary to a door where she knocks. Tituba puts on her hood as a servant rushes Mary inside. Tituba leaves.

The servant allows her watch the lords and ladies with the evil king and his queen. Mary watches Hale, George and the others. She says the dark queen was felled with the wave of a hand. We see Hale dump some poison into George’s wife’s wine. She says this cleared the way for the ash maiden to become queen. Mary pulls out the straight razor and holds it near Mercy’s head.

Mercy asks if she did become queen. This stops Mary’s hand. She tells the girl she did and says the worst part of becoming Queen is marrying a King. She says the ash maiden married the evil king. She says her wedding was consummated with great joy but then we see hairy old gross George thrusting into a still and unhappy Mary then falling asleep heavily while Mary vomits into a chamber pot.

She says she had one monster on top of her and another inside. We see Mary in the mirror looking like a zombie wretch that is what she herself has become on the inside. She tells Mercy that was the first lesson – to be careful what you wish for. She tells Mercy that she served as Queen to the evil King for two years that felt like two thousand and then begged the fairy to turn her back to the ash maiden.

She is told that all the kingdom could still be hers. We see the servant explaining to her about the foundign families and why they chose this spot. She tells Mary it will be one of the richest spots and who controlled it will control the world. The ash maiden says that made her decide to use her power. She says she couldn’t make a frog into a prince with a kiss but a king into a toad.

We see her bind her lusty husband and then she brings in Tituba. He’s excited as they pour wine down his throat. Then the women kiss while he moans and struggles to kiss them both. They blindfold him and then shove the giant toad into his mouth as he struggles. They knock him over and hold him down until he swallows it. They pry his rosary from his hand and hold his nose until he ceases his struggle.

They take off the blindfold. Mary says and thus the queen came to rule the king and be the queen of the night. She kisses Mercy’s cheek and suddenly they are in the woods. Mercy asks how they are there when they didn’t go out the door. Mary says there are many doors for a witch and Mercy swears she didn’t name her. She goes running in fear.

Petrus hears Mercy scream and sees Mary striding through the woods. He tells his bird that there are only two kinds of creatures in the woods – the hunter and hunted. Cotton and Alden also hear a scream but Cotton says it’s the cry of a great gray owl – Satan’s mascot and says it’s almost time. He tells Alden they need to hurry to get there.

Cotton says they have to ask questions quickly and then Alden says and then they must kill her before the paralytic wears off and she kills them. Alden says that a flintlock doesn’t always work and Cotton pulls out a sword and tells Alden he fenced a little at school. He hands the sword over to Alden who says it just may do.

Hale answers his door. Tituba comes in and he says that Rose is missing. Anne asks why they are meeting and her mother says it’s his business. Anne doesn’t like that but continues spinning.

In the woods, Mercy runs wildly from Mary who follows slow but intent. Mercy is tangled in vines and Mary approaches and takes her by the neck.

She traces a line down her throat and then slices down the front of her dress. The girl falls to the forest floor and looks up. She sees Satan (or a minion) in all his hooved glory and cries out. Mary tells Mercy to tell him that it’s what she wants. Mercy cries out yes and Mary tells her that all the world shall be hers.

Cotton and Alden come to their selected spot. Alden says it’s the second most unpleasant place he’s ever seen. Cotton says they have to suspend her from a tree directly beneath the sky so Saturn will loosen her tongue. Cotton looks up with an astrolabe and Petrus watches them through the trees. He tells Alden to hurry. Her hand is twiching and she grabs a stick and stabs him.

Cotton panics and says the drug is wearing off. They rush to lift her with the ropes as Cotton yells that they are losing the moment. Rose laughs at them and tells Alden that Mary had nowhere to run after he left and that she had nothing to use to protect her but the bottomless pit between her thighs. She asks where Alden was and he pulls his sword but Cotton stops him.

She cries out and Cotton tells her that Saturn compels her to speak the truth. She asks what he would know and Cotton says – everything. Petrus tells his creatures that some day they will fly South where there are no Puritans. Tituba comes in and he says she’s almost as quiet as Mary. She tells Petrus that Rose is missing and he says they have not seen her but did see a witch in the woods. Petrus tells her that he saw Mary in the woods and she must have learned to make her own doors. Tituba reminds him to take care and remember whose side he is on.

Cotton asks Rose about the Grand Rite and she says it’s death for him and the others for all they have done and will do. He asks how and she says sacrifices of pure blood consecrate the land to their Lord Satan. He says they have not yet begun because there are no missing children. Rose says it’s not a sacrifice unless it hurts and asks if he’s hurting.

Cotton asks what she means and she wriggles her hands and is close to free. Alden says they have to kill her and goes for the sword. Her hands are free and she disjoints her shoulders and climbs backwards up the tree. She tells him that he can’t dangle her as a puppet and tells them that they are the puppets. She bites her writsts open and blood flows out of them and onto the ground.

The blood begins raising the dead. They come for the men. Then she is gone from the tree. Rose walks along in the woods and cracks her back unnaturally then sits on a stone. Mary comes upon her and says – I found you. Mary tells her she owes her so much and she remembers all that she taught her – how to think like a greedy Puritan and see through their eyes and how they could use their desire to sieze control.

Mary asks Rose why she brought the Malum to Salem and Rose says because of Alden. Rose says true malice needed for the Grand Rite ferments best in a loveless heart. She says there is still love in her heart for Alden and that it must be gone. Rose says she put the very thought in George’s head to send Alden away. Rose says she has foreseen all these steps.

Mary asks Rose how she came to be there and she says she allowed herself to be captured and interrogated by Alden and Cotton to find out once and for all what is in Alden’s heart. Rose says that the poor fool still loves her and always will. Rose says she needs Mary’s heart broken and nothing breaks it like death. We see Alden struggling with the risen corpses that are attacking he and Cotton.

Cotton wields a torch and Alden the sword and gun. More are coming out of the woods though and it looks insurmountable. Rose tells Mary that she saved Salem the cost of transporting their bodies to the Crag. Mary asks Rose if she has met their newest sister and Mercy comes out of the woods at a run and neatly lops off Rose’s head. Mary’s pretty face is blood splattered as Rose’s head tumbles across the ground.

When Rose dies, her undead minions lose their life and Cotton and Alden could escape. Alden tells Cotton he heard more riddles than truths from Rose. Cotton says there were truths in there that he must think about. Cotton says that the creature is still in the woods. Alden says he’s been in dangerous woods before and says that Rose won’t show her face in Salem again because she would be straight to the noose without a trial and Cotton says he admires his sangfroid.

Alden tells Cotton that he came into the woods a bookworm and came out a hunter. Cotton says he emerged without a catch and Alden says a hungry hunter is the most dangerous kind. They stragger back into Salem and are met by Mary. She tells them she has insomnia often and the night air calms her. She asks why they are about and Cotton says they were tracking the movements of Saturn and she asks Alden if he’s taken up astronomy – he says the fault is not in the stars but us and she says he has the quote backwards. Mary asks what he was really doing then says she knows he would never tell her the truth. He walks her home.

Tituba bathes Mercy and tells her she’s one of them now. She tells her she’s a tool and a weapon now – somewhere between hammer and saw. Tituba tells her that Mary belongs to her and Mary says she came just in time to save her from drowning and Tituba criticizes her for not killing Mercy when she saw her big brown eyes.

Mary tells Tituba she saw another way and that Mercy can’t point at her and says witch when she is one herself. She tells Tituba that she must be kind to her new sister and Mary takes over bathing the girl. She tells Mercy that the sponge once lived in the sea as did we. She says men thinks of themselves as hard as stone and says they are brittle and easily broken but women know they are mostly water with sea around and inside them.

Mary says when she hurts she remembers what water is and does – flows, changes and endures far longer than the rock. Mercy begins to cry. Mary tells her she went through hell tonight as she herself once did. She gives Mercy a token and tells her she will never face hell alone again and kisses her head.

Anne hears steps and takes her candle to investigate. She sees the door close down the hall and tiptoes down closer with candle in hand and pushes the door open. Anne calls out to her father. She sees a robed figure by the window. She reaches out and touches it but the robe falls and she sees a mask. Anne gasps. Her mother is there and tells her it was time they talked about her father.


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