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Tag: Salem (1-10 of 17)

WGN America

'Salem' season 1 finale recap: The end is only the beginning

Season 1 | Episode 13 | “All Fall Down” | Aired July 13, 2014

Throughout Salem’s first season, we’ve seen a toad suckle at Janet Montgomery’s thigh nipple, we’ve seen a tar pit of demons writhing in hellfire, we’ve seen Shane West chop wood shirtless, and we’ve seen him get urinated on by a drunk preacher. It’s been a wild ride, to say the least, and the final episode was as jaw-dropping as the preceding 12 combined. Occult rituals, star-crossed love, exploding heads, patricide—the Salem finale had it all, and so much more.Read More

Image credit: WGN America

Shane West explains why 'Salem' finale is chaotic but in a good way

You may know him from The CW’s Nikita, which just wrapped its final season at the end of 2013, or you may know him from ER, where he played a lovesick doctor. Maybe you remember his stroll with Mandy Moore in the 2002 tearjerker A Walk to Remember. Or perhaps you even know him as the high school swimmer who turned into a fish monster in the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However you may have known Shane West in the past, you’ve never seen him like this.

In Salem, West plays the gruff war hero John Alden, who returns home to find his town being torn apart by witches and the paranoid Puritans who hunt them. We talked to West about John Alden’s inner demons, the benefits of being on a cable show, and what it takes to make a finale that fans will remember.

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Image credit: WGN America

Seth Gabel on the 'Salem' finale and the evolution of Cotton Mather

When we first met Cotton Mather, he was an uptight Puritan who spent his days preaching against witches, and spent his nights (and sometimes his days, too) in a brothel, enjoying the company of his prostitute girlfriend. As the first season of Salem draws to a close, the tortured Reverend Mather has turned into a bold, self-aware man of reason (albeit one with some serious daddy issues). Throughout the show’s 12 episodes so far, Cotton has gone up against his menacing father, caught a witch with his friend John Alden, and taken his clothes off and climbed a tree. I had the pleasure of talking to the actor who portrays Cotton, Seth Gabel (whom you may know from Fringe and Arrow), about Cotton’s journey and what it’s like behind the scenes of WGN America’s historical drama.

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Image credit: WGN America

'Salem' recap: The truth shall set you free

Season 1 | Episode 12 | “Ashes, Ashes” | Aired July 6, 2014

BOOM.

That was the sound of the sticks of dynamite lit by the writers at the beginning of the season finally exploding. In the penultimate episode of the season, our weeks of waiting finally paid off on two fronts. First, we found out the truth about John’s mysterious past. Second, John made the long-overdue discovery that Mary is a witch. There you have it, folks: two dramatic reveals (though, sadly, neither of them involved the reveal of Shane West’s torso), and it’s not even the finale yet. Buckle up! The end is almost here.

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Salem, episode 111: Mary (WGN America)

'Salem' recap: The best-laid plans

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Cat and Mouse” | Aired June 29, 2014

With only two episodes left in the season, things in Salem are really starting to heat up—and I don’t just mean the pot of boiling water that Increase has been using to torture Mercy’s gang of teen cohorts. Alliances are shifting, secrets are being revealed, and stakes are rising for everyone in Salem. All this drama makes for enough excitement that “Cat and Mouse” is still a jam-packed hour of thrills and gasps, despite the fact that John Alden spends the whole time moping in a jail cell (and fully clothed). Not an easy feat! Here’s what happened in this week’s Salem.

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Salem: Tituba

'Salem' recap: Love hurts

Season 1 | Episode 10 | “The House of Pain” | Aired June 22, 2014

It’s hard to say who’s had the worse week: Cotton — who can’t even succeed in killing himself, let alone anything else in life — or John, who spent the whole day traipsing through the spooky woods, only to come back and find himself under arrest for being a witch. Tituba takes the cake, though, since she had to endure not only grueling physical torture, but also listening to Increase blather on for hours on end. Then again, John did get peed on by Cotton, so I think he’s a close second for Salem’s “Worst Week Ever” trophy. From the top, here’s the play-by-play of this week’s episode.

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'Salem' (WGN)

'Salem' recap: Don't speak

Season 1 | Episode 9 | “Children, Be Afraid” | Aired June 15, 2014

Things are coming to a rolling boil here in Salem — and I’m not just talking about the random cauldron that the Elders are always stirring in the forest for no apparent reason. Increase Mather has turned the town on its head, and in this week’s episode, he finally confronted Mary about her husband’s witchcraft-related condition, leading to a surprising arrest. Meanwhile, Mercy continued her campaign to get her own spin-off on The CW, and John played house with Anne and an adorable boy who doesn’t talk. And even with all that going on, there was still time for John to take his shirt off and have a steamy conversation with Mary about … something. (I don’t know, I was just staring at his pecs.)

Here’s a rundown of “Children, Be Afraid.”

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WGN America

Increase suspects Mary of witchcraft on 'Salem' — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Last week, Increase Mather won Worst Father of the Year on Salem. This Sunday, he’s still a curmudgeon, but an astute one. In this exclusive clip, Increase comes close to accusing closeted witch Mary Sibley of, well, witchcraft, because he’s noticed something peculiar about her husband. He’s been sick for three years, and although 17th-century medicine isn’t what it is today, no doctor can diagnose his illness.

If you watched “The Red Rose and the Briar,” you know that Mary stuffed a frog down George’s throat in order to keep him under her spell, so he literally has had a frog stuck in his esophagus (imagine the coughing!) FOR THREE YEARS. If George weren’t such a deplorable guy, I’d actually feel bad for him. But in the clip below, it looks like Mary might soon get her comeuppance …Read More

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'Salem' recap: Papa don't preach

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Departures” | Aired June 8, 2014

Since the dawn of time, there has been at least one consistent thread of conflict among all humankind. This conflict is known scientifically as “daddy issues.”

Even as far back as the Garden of Eden, when God told Adam and Eve, “Hey, kids, have fun in paradise, but don’t eat from that fruit tree, K?” Adam and Eve were basically like, “You’re not the boss of me!” and did it anyway. (OK, so that’s not exactly how it went down, but you see my point.)

Whether it’s low self-esteem, a constant need for validation or a distrust of authority figures, daddy issues come in all different flavors. Cotton can never seem to earn his father’s approval, so he drinks and dallies with women of easy virtue. Anne tries to understand her father, but the more she does, the more she loses respect for him. John, we learned, was not the man his father wanted him to be either. Salem is a grab bag of paternal discontentment, and Increase Mather is making a decent run for Worst Father of the Year.

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'Salem' recap: You make my dreams come true

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “Our Own Private America” | Aired June 1, 2014

If we were going to rank the first half of this season based solely on what proportion of each episode Shane West spends with his shirt off, “Our Own Private America” would be number one by a landslide. Even when John did finally put a shirt on, he left the first three buttons undone, allowing for some shapely heavage (aka man cleavage). Warning: Don’t try this at home, guys. This fashion trend can only be pulled off by John Alden, Johnny Depp and men on the covers of romance novels. Mary and John were pretty much living in their own romance novel for most of this episode. Things got pretty steamy during Mary’s repeated visits to John’s dreamscape but, as always with this show, things took a dark turn. Here’s a breakdown of the episode, in case you were only paying attention during John’s shirtless scenes.

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