The ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ finale was nothing short of jaw-dropping. From that shocking reveal to that mysterious Abigail and Raelle twist, creator Eliot Laurence is talking about it all and revealing what’s next.
The Motherland: Fort Salem really went there for its season 1 finale and set the stage for an epic season 2. The last seconds of the episode featured the shocking reveal that Raelle’s mom, Willa, is not dead after all. Scylla, after being freed by Anacostia, goes to Willa and is totally blindsided when Willa mentions her daughter. How’s that for a cliffhanger?
Speaking of Raelle, she is stabbed during a mission, and Abigail rushes to save her. Raelle begs Abigail to detach, but Abigal refuses. As they hold hands in what they think is their final moments, a massive explosion of black matter occurs. Tally and Alder, who are in a helicopter, are in complete shock at what they’re witnessing. Raelle and Abigal are suddenly transported to a different place and new life is growing all around them. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with creator Eliot Laurence about those major finale moments and what to expect in season 2.
Okay, I’m just going to address the elephant in the room. Raelle’s mom is alive! Was that your plan all along?
Eliot Laurence: No, it was late in the game. We immediately loved it, of course, because we’re writers and we always want to be surprising and rich, but where it led us in season 2 kind of convinced us that this was the move. It wasn’t just like, “Oh my, God, that’s crazy.” It actually had some deepening threads for season 2. When we found out how that played out, we were really excited and went for it. I gotta say I kind of love it. I love that weird country music song that’s playing. I love the sequence with the mushrooms, which are a little thematic for the show. I love the craziness of that moment. And then Anacostia follows Scylla. It’s just such a great like, holy sh*t, what’s going to happen in season 2 kind of vibe.
Scylla clearly had no idea about Raelle’s mom.
Eliot Laurence: She did not know about the mom. It’s funny because I’m working on the premiere right now and one of the first scenes with Scylla and Willa features Scylla being pretty mad at Willa. She’s like, “You basically sent me in there blind on a personal mission. You burned me with the army and with Raelle.” There’s a reckoning between those two right away, but then we’ll come to understand why all of this happened.
The scene where Anacostia lets Scylla go was a pretty epic moment. Is Anacostia part of the Spree now?
Eliot Laurence: We’re definitely going learn more as soon as we jump off [in season 2], but what we know now is that she’s seen some changes in Alder. She witnessed the puppeting, which for witches is basically the worst thing you can possibly do. It’s kind of equivalent to killing a baby. It’s really, really bad. We know that Anacostia’s take on Alder is changing and shifting. And then we also know that that there was a part of Scylla that she wasn’t willing to throw away. Those things are both very true. In season 2, we’re going to learn that there’s a third reason why she’s doing this and it reveals a deeper mission. I’m going to be very vague about it, but it’s pretty cool.
Are you setting up this whole Anacostia versus Alder? The whole protege versus prodigy?
Eliot Laurence: Totally. We’re also setting up this sort of out in the world and adventure for Scylla and Anacostia, which is so fun for the show because so much of the show is on the base. It’s really cool to see the outside world as we’re figuring out season 2. I think it gives context to how special Fort Salem is and fleshes out much more about the world, which I think people were very hungry for.
Now we have to talk about Abigail and Raelle at the end of the episode. What in the hell happened there?
Eliot Laurence: Even Alder is like… I do not know what happened. Basically, something came out of those two. They were linked. Raelle had been stabbed, and Abigail was keeping her alive through this sort of witch medic magic that they use. But Raelle was like, “Detach or I’m going to suck you down, too.” And then the moment that they were about to die and that guy was about to attack them, this force came out of them that protected them. You see it as they’re walking away. It’s literally rewriting the landscape as they walk and causing all of this new life to occur. One of the new storylines for season 2 that we pick up right away with is… What was that? How did we do that? Why did that come out of us? Can we do it again? I’ll tell you Alder would very much like for them to figure out how to do it again. Because that weapon could be the next atom bomb in the army. It’s something that nobody has seen before. It’s a huge part of season 2, and we’re calling it the witchbomb.
Are Abigail and Raelle alive?
Eliot Laurence: Yes. They’re not in some sort of parallel universe. They survived this thing, and the explosion came from them. They were the epicenter, so they were not destroyed by the explosion. They were kind of saved by it.
I might be reaching, but this witchbomb happened right after Abigail told Raelle that she loved her. Did that confession have anything to do with igniting the witchbomb?
Eliot Laurence: Absolutely. In the world of the show, we see how much sexual energy, for example, influences one’s magic. Emotions are hugely tied to the potency of magic working, even in this world where the magic is very military and very sort of almost scientific. It’s still fueled by intense, intense emotion, and that moment of them coming together after where we started them in season 1 with really not appreciating each other’s vibe at all is so moving to me. What a journey those two have had. We start season 2 with them bonded as this weapon without Tally, so they’re kind of separated from that the magical unit of 3, but we will obviously find ways to bring them back together.
As for Tally, what can you say about where she’s going to go in season 2? She sacrificed herself for Alder and now Raelle and Abigail will be on this separate journey. Is she going to be torn?
Eliot Laurence: We start the season very much with that. I can’t talk too much about what’s going to happen to Tally, but the impact of that decision is going to influence her entire season and the aftermath of that decision. Like I said earlier, the separation of the unit is going to be very painful, and then they’ll come back together again. I have to be a little bit careful about what I say without spoiling. I know it’s a huge decision and it was very impactful because, as we know, Tally was not so pro Alder at the beginning of the episode. Alder really got her back in those speeches.
I have to ask about Raelle and Scylla. They’re not together at the moment and are on their own separate journeys, but what is the plan for them in season 2?
Eliot Laurence: Those two will start the season in very different places, but it’s definitely not the end for those two. I’m not going to promise necessarily that they get back together or that they stay apart, but they are constantly going to be a part of each other’s lives. Whether from a distance or in the same room, they have this magnetism as characters where they’re kind of influencing each other from afar even though they’re not together. It is so not the end of those two, and they will eventually connect in a really, really dramatic way in season 2. I think that’s going to be so satisfying. They have something really special. Whether it’s rekindling the romance, which is definitely not off the table, or just getting deeper and deeper as friends, I think they have a lot more to do with each other. They’re so special together.
I’m still hesitant about Alder. I’m very curious to see if I’m eventually going to come around to her.
Eliot Laurence: I like hearing that. I like characters that are gray and complicated and that you can change your mind about. It makes me feel like they’re kind of in your life a little bit when I see characters like that, so I love hearing that. You’re going to learn so much more about Alder and who she was and how she learned to make the kind of tough decisions that she had to make when we get into season 2. There’s quite a bit to unpack, and I think once we learn some of the stuff that Alder has endured, I think we’ll understand her a lot better.