Motherland: Fort Salem has been building up to the opening of the new witch testing centers and opening day has finally arrived, but things don’t go according to plan for anyone involved. Let’s jump right in to season 2, episode 4 “Not Our Daughters.”
The episode opens with a US Army commercial inviting all women to a testing center near them for non-invasive testing to determine if they are a witch and to join the Army if they are. It’s an all-American commercial that follows one woman as she goes through the process and “finds her voice” at Fort Salem and ends with Penelope and General Alder.
Storm clouds and thunder hang overhead as Gregorio and Adil sit outside, and Adil helps him with his studies in Mothertongue. Abigail finds them, and when the moment gets awkward, Gregorio decides it’s time to go. Adil confronts Abigail about the storm overhead, but she says it’s better if no one knows she caused it. She can’t break it either, because her throat’s still blown out though she’s mending slowly. Adil tells Abigail that he is leaving Fort Salem to join Khalida in India where she thinks they’ve found a home for the Tarim. Abigail is clearly upset by the news as he walks away. Abigail practices with her scourge while Tally sits on the floor reading textbooks. She’s still upset with Abigail for ditching her at the reception and getting herself injured. Raelle arrives as Tally asks about Adil to discover he’s leaving. Raelle is also filled in on Tally’s research into the Liberian Conflict. None of the texts say Alder was present at the Martyrdom, contradicting what Tally has seen in her dreams and visions. She’s determined to get to the bottom of it.
In her office, Alder meets with Petra and Anacostia who fill Alder in on working with Scylla and their discoveries about the Camarilla. Alder is angry they disobeyed her orders about Scylla, but now they have information on the Camarilla’s testing in schools. Alder dismisses Petra and confronts Anacostia; however, Anacostia makes it clear she knows about Alder puppeting the president for her own gain and tells her this is Petra’s operation. Alder rebuts with, “And it’s my army,” so Anacostia reluctantly agrees to follow the Camarilla courier. Petra will lead the operation to swap out the Camarilla’s school tests for the Army’s test.
Scyalla finds Willa at home with another cell leader having a disagreement. Scylla takes a photo of Raelle from Willa’s fridge as Willa tells her she won’t be party to whatever suicide missions other Spree cells are planning. Willa tells her to stay on Orsatti (the Camarilla courier) and also tells Scylla to keep the photo of Raelle just as Scylla is leaving: “I miss her, too.”
At the testing site, Alder talks with a reporter about the testing center launch and the process. They walk outside to find dozens and dozens of protesters chanting “Not Our Daughters” and “Find Your Voice” with signs. More arrive on a bus, faces covered and carrying a mysterious box that an officer takes (bypassing security) and delivers to a “worker.” Inside are devices that they place around the center.
Petra joins the Unit for dinner, reminding Abigail that she needs to choose a handfast partner soon, hinting that she should pick Gregorio. Abigail, however, wants to focus on fighting the Camarilla. Petra congratulates Raelle on her weapons test, but Tally jumps in to ask her what she knows about Liberia, a.k.a. “the forever-front.” To Tally’s dissatisfaction, Petra knows as much as her. The rebels refused conscription and martyred themselves to make a statement. She also believes Alder wasn’t there and encourages Tally to find someone closer to the story.
Back in their room, Abigail and Raelle have a heart-to-heart. Abigail feels like she’s failed, first with the Witchbomb and now with Adil. Raelle reminds her she is stronger for experiencing Scylla, and Abigail will be stronger from Adil. That’s when M calls everyone to the common space where she delivers orders from Alder. The Coven will attend the test center opening for security but to also make the new witches feel at ease. Raelle will be part of Alder’s personal detail, and Tally is going to catch a different ride to the center.
Anacostia and Scylla watch Orsatti from their car at the center. Scylla stares at her photo of Raelle and tries to ask Anacostia about Raelle. Anacostia tells her to keep her mind on their mission. Orsatti is on the move, and so are they. They enter the crowd out front, who are even more riled up than earlier. Bonnie and Shane see them and give them bandanas to cover their faces and keep their identity protected.
Vice President Silver, Penelope, and Tally ride in the VP motorcade to the test site. Penelope confronts him about seeing her differently since the church incident and tells him she’s still the same person. If he can’t accept it, then he’s the same as the protesters in her eyes. Tally tries to cut the tension by reminding them that the conscription process and enlistment is scary for both parent and child. Silver promises to work on feeling less intimidated by the idea.
Anacostia notes that the crowd is a mix of regular citizens and movement people there to frenzy the crowd. Orsatti isn’t chanting, but he isn’t leaving, and she realizes he must be waiting for something. That’s when Alder, the Coven, and Penelope walk on stage. Scylla wants to leave when she sees Raelle, but Anacostia says they stay. Penelope steps up to the mic and sings a Seed, and the basin of water comes to life with tendrils shooting up into the air. Alder then gives a speech, but the audience continues to boo and chant. “I ask that each of you honor your country by letting these young women discover who they truly are,” she asks of them. A prospective witch arrives in a car and walks up the middle of the crowd as they chant viciously at her. She’s frightened but makes it to the front of the center. Several men jump the barrier and throw a fire bomb at the stage, and Raelle pulls Alder down just in time as the American flag goes up in flames.
Inside, the woman who is being tested is confirmed as a witch. She thanks Alder, saying she’s always felt different and out of place, and that everything make sense to her now. Alder welcomes her into the fold. More women arrive for testing, and the center fills with potential recruits. Meanwhile outside, Orsatti greets an officer prompting Anacostia to contact Alder with Farspeech and warn her that something may happen and law enforcement could be in on it. Abigail finally tells Raelle that she blamed Adil for getting the Tarim killed and that that’s why he left, and she also says she doesn’t know why she said it to him.
Petra arrives at the site where she and Alder discuss the modern tactics of provocateurs by the Camarilla. Alder agrees they must also evolve, and they agree that they must lie. The Camarilla can’t know that they are backing down, so they will say the Spree are on site. Outside, Silver pleads with Penelope to leave with him in his motorcade. She wants to stay — what kind of statement is it if she leaves? — but he asks her to let him protect her while he still can. She agrees, and they depart.
Alder attempts to give M orders via Farspeech, but it glitches right before a loud high-pitched sound causes the Coven to grab their heads in pain. As they recover, Abigail hears Charvel through Farspeech, asking for her help. Abigail looks for her, and Tally realizes her Sight isn’t working either. Abigail runs to find Charvel in a parking garage. She finds the source, but it’s a man wearing a device that is using Charvel’s vocal cords. Abigail has walked right into a trap. A van pulls in behind her and she’s outnumbered, plus their devices dampen her powers. She breaks out her scourge. The Coven try to clear the grounds, but crowd control goes awry for them. Raelle finds herself surrounded by angry protesters and tries to explain that the Army is where these women belong; she found herself there, and promises the Army will make them strong like it made her strong. Scylla overhears her speech as the crowd continues to circle. On the other side of the aisle, Tally also tries to clear everyone out, but it’s too late. A sound mine goes off, throwing everyone to the ground unconscious.
In the garage, Abigail uses her scourge to break the sound devices one by one, but the Camarilla’s knives slowly cut away at the length of her scourge. She’s kicked to the ground and held down as a man begins to cut her throat to take her vocal cords. M and Tally arrive just in time and throw the van at the attackers. M takes down the remaining Camarilla while Tally holds a sobbing Abigail. Back in the crowd, Raelle is hit hard in the head with a rock just as she locks eyes with Scylla across the crowd. A man runs into her, but when she turns back, Scylla is gone. Raelle finds the photo of herself where Scylla was standing.
Petra meets with Alder to tell her Izadora is working on breaking down the Camarilla mines. Petra points out that Abigail was directly targeted again, but Alder reminds her that fighting angry is not useful. Tally and Raelle sit with Abigail in the base infirmary (they are getting very familiar with this place) as Abigail comes to. She’s upset that she walked into the trap because she feels like she failed at saving Charvel, too. Raelle tells her she can’t put that on herself. They tell her the attack is being attributed to Spree, not the Camarilla, and she’s furious that Alder said they didn’t need to worry. All three are angry about Alder’s lies. Furious, Tally storms out of the infirmary and straight into Alder’s office where she demands answers about the Nicte Batan.
Motherland: Fort Salem airs Tuesdays on Freeform.