Last week’s “Salem” pilot was a rather bewitching debut, especially if you love the manipulative tendencies of the show’s main character, Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery). During the narrative’s opening moments, we’re on Mary’s side as she essentially mortgaged her own humanity to ensure lover John Alden’s (Shane West) return to Salem.
Their reunion, however, is met with its share of compromise, as the town has sunk into a deeper pit of immorality and violence. Mary Sibley, the supposed heroine of the story, has done, in Montgomery’s own words, some pretty “horrific things” during her journey.
“Salem’s” second episode, titled “The Stone Child,” has Alden trying to figure out what the heck is really going down in Salem. Although she’s the leader of the true witches of Salem, Mary Sibley still holds deep feelings for Alden. Will human love triumph over witchcraft, or is Salem literally going down in flames. And what the heck is the stone child?
“Salem” airs Sunday, April 27 on WGN America at 10 pm et/ 9 pm ct.
Here’s a clip of Janet Montgomery talking about why she loves playing Mary Sibley:
And…a sneak peek into Sunday’s episode is below:
“Salem,” an invigorating drama starring Shane West and Janet Montgomery, premieres Sunday, April 20 (10/9c). Produced by Brannon Braga (“24”) and Adam Simon (“The Haunting in Connecticut”) is WGN America’s first scripted series. I checked out the pilot last month and was pleasantly surprised. Sex, violence, witchcraft, along with a heavy dose of moral ambiguity was slathered throughout the storyline, and even if the show doesn’t sustain such its fevered pitch of debauchery, “Salem” is off to an intriguing start.
The narrative begins with Mary Sibley (Montgomery) madly in love with John Alden (Shane West), but due to Salem’s politics and all that witchery nonsense, happily ever after isn’t a reality for the pair. After Alden heads off to war, Sibley enters a dangerous pact with a mysterious woman (Ashley Madekwe)to bring her lover back, no matter what the cost. When Alden returns home, he discovers Salem is even more rife with corruption, with rabble rousing aristocrat Cotton Maher (Seth Gabel) serving as the head of the snake. Even though Mary’s dream of reuniting with Alden is fulfilled, it comes with a huge price.
During a Television Critics Association tour panel earlier in the year, Seth Gabel accurately described what makes “Salem” such a thematically layered show. “You can’t just define this show as just a show about witches, witchcraft, or the Salem witchcraft trials,” said the actor. “It’s about so much more . . . it address a lot of energies that exist within the human psyche that we repress. When you allow those energies to come out and be expressed, what happens to them? And when you allow them to be repressed, what repercussions are there as a result of that? The blood and death that followed that tragic event in American history is, I think, a result of that kind of repression.”
To hear Shane West discuss why he signed on to “Salem” and explain why John Alden is the “first American hero,” click on the media bar below:
With the glut of television series and films bandied about during this month’s Television Critics Association Tour, it’s hard not to look at new projects with an over critical eye. Salem, however, is definitely on my radar thanks to its intriguing trailer and the talented roster behind the project (Janet Montgomery and Shane West headline the show). The 17th century set series is WGN America’s first original drama, so as far as expectations go, co-creators Brannon Braga and Adam Simon are definitely shouldering a huge load.