Salem 3×10 ‘Black Sunday’ series finale recap and review

Well, it’s time and I feel like this series finale, which is utterly fantastic, deserves a recap and review. I’m still in shock of how a show this fantastic is ending, but honestly, that was the best ending it could possibly have. Let’s begin.

Recap

John realizes Sebastian has double-crossed him. Sebastian wants to kill John himself and bring his corpse to Mary. They begin to fight with Sebastian using his powers to attack him, which injures Thomas Dinley. Sebastian knocks John out and frees Dinley. As Sebastian is trying to pick out what body part to cut out of John, John cuts Sebastian’s throat. As Sebastian lays dying, he confesses his love for Mary and tells John to save Mary. Dinley and John try to stop the clock.

Anne has opened the portal to hell on Earth and awakens the Devil in Little John’s body. The Devil walks towards Mary and tells her Black Sunday is coming… along with their wedding day.

Anne returns to her room and confronts Cotton, who is stuck in a mirror, on what he had turned her into. She is now free from the world’s approval. He tries to convince her to free him, but she knows he is too scared to do anything and frees him. Anne takes Cotton to the Devil where Cotton begs to not destroy Salem.

Anne excitedly talks about the destruction of Salem and tells him he could stop all of this by just saying yes. He is confused until Anne and the Devil tell him they want his soul in exchange for all of the souls in Salem. If he agrees, he just needs to open the door and walk through into Hell. He chooses to do it. He embraces Mary, Cotton apologizes to her for his harsh words. Anne demands he apologize to her, but he only apologizes ever laying eyes on her. He walks into hell with Anne closing the door on him.

In a disturbing scene, the Devil begins to break down and grow a new body from Little John’s into a young adult. With Cotton’s sacrifice, the Devil’s life force becomes stronger. The Devil continues the plan to marry Mary and have her bear his children. He demands Anne take Mary and prepare her for the wedding. Instead, Anne takes her to Countess Marburg’s corpse and cuts Mary to make her bleed into the corpse’s mouth. She then places Mary in bed with the wedding dress on.

John sneaks into the Sibley house and finds Mary in bed. They embrace and declare their love for each other. Mary tells John that she doesn’t think she can make it because of what Anne and Marburg have done to her. He tries to keep her awake and begin to take her away until Marburg’s corpse reacted transferring Marburg into Mary’s body. Marburg/Mary then knocks John out cold and embraces Anne. They walk towards the Devil’s room to find him waiting for her in bed. Marburg/Mary pretends to be afraid and has sex with the Devil.

Meanwhile, Anne is in another room and begins a spell. She appears before John and tells him she will reunite him with the real Mary. She tells him to grab Mary from the tomb and take her far away from Salem. She only wants the angel-killing knife he made. John goes to Marburg’s tomb to find Mary in corpse form calling for him. He takes the body and carries her out into the woods.

Isaac’s men break into Mercy’s brothel to get Isaac back. Hawthorne and Mercy watch in horror as they move towards them. Isaac tells the couple that he could stop them if he talked to them. In tears for not having her vengeance, Mercy allows Isaac to leave. Isaac yells at his followers to stop, but they continue to loot. The community in Knocker’s Hole begins to riot. Isaac finds Dorcas and hides her. He tries to make his men stop killing each other and they suddenly freeze. Isaac sees Anne walk through the frozen crowd and tells him she plans on being the only witch. Anne tells Isaac that he should be in charge of Salem. He turns her down, which causes her to unfreeze the crowd and have him attacked.

Hawthorne is worried about being attacked, but Mercy tells him her magic will protect them. Just then, Anne teleports to Mercy’s room. Anne tells Mercy that becoming a widow makes a person stronger. Mercy loves Hawthorne too much to ever want to be a widow. Annoyed with that answer, Anne begins to kill Hawthorne through strangulation. Mercy begs Anne to not kill him. She only wants to be with him. Anne, disgusted by Mercy’s weakness, strangles them both as they die holding each other.

Anne then teleports to Tituba’s and tells her to go far away from Salem, but doesn’t want Tituba to say anything. Anne then teleports Tituba on a slave ship with her mouth shut.

She teleports next to the Devil as he is making love to Mary/Marburg and then stabs him in the heart with John’s knife. The Devil asks Anne why did she do that? She tells him, ‘Power’. She tells the Devil that she will bring him back through the child in her womb and that she will be his bride. Marburg/Mary cries over the corpse mourning for her lost Devil. Marburg/Mary confronts Anne until she realized Anne is stronger than her. She begins to accept that she will be the Queen’s Mother. Anne then murders her mother, which has the body transfer back into the corpse.

As John is walking away with Mary’s body, the body transforms from the corpse into Mary alive. They embrace and run away from Salem.

As time went on, Anne is now part of the council in Salem. She gives a motivational speech to the people of Salem in church, including Dorcas who mourns for Isaac. Anne tells the crowd that they will destroy all witches and ‘make Salem great again’. It later pans to Anne looking fabulous with Brown Jenkins on her throne.

Meanwhile, in hell, Cotton looks over the terrors of hell and is overcome with madness. End Scene.

Review

YAAASSSS QUEEN

I couldn’t have thought of a better ending than to have Anne become queen of the witches and Salem. Since season one, she had been controlled by someone telling her what she should and should not do with her life. Now, she doesn’t even want the Devil to control her and kills him. What a badass.

I’ve always said Anne had such a sad life. She never wanted to become a witch. She wanted to actually be a decent person but was born into this. She killed both of her parents, which could cause a person a lot of guilt. Then, Anne fell in love and thought she finally had a moment of happiness until she didn’t. Just when she thought she found a family through her mother, Countess Marburg, that was quickly taken away from her too. All Anne ever wanted was to have a normal life, but she couldn’t. Now, she’s taking control of that life and becoming her own person and queen. I can’t really complain about that ending. Yes, I am sad that she killed Isaac, Hawthorne, and Mercy, but she had to kill off anyone who threatened her way of life.

Also, Isaac died because of his convictions and I respect that. I’m still sad about it, but I do appreciate he died being a hero and not succumbing to the power that Anne offered him. As for Mercy and Hawthorne, I was a bit heartbroken over that as well. Mercy finally found what she had been looking for all three seasons – a man who loves her despite her flaws. I was hoping Anne would let them run off and be together like she did with John and Mary, but I can deal with them dying in each other’s arms.

As for Cotton, he probably got what he deserved. Yeah, he was a preacher, but a very bad one at that. He drank, had sex, killed his father, and played with the wrong girl’s heart. I knew from the beginning that he wasn’t going to get a happy ending. Cotton wasn’t very likable until he got with Anne to create #Cottanne, so I’m not holding my breath about his character being in hell.

All hail, Anne Hale.

John and Mary Reunited

I am very happy that John and Mary found their happy ending. I’m also happy that John was so nice to Anne to have done that. Now, they can finally be together and outside of Salem. John and Mary’s love story was the main one on the series and they deserved happiness. Both redeemed themselves to be deserving of each other and I’m thankful the writers gave us that moment of happiness.

Final thoughts

This is the most heartbreaking article I’ve ever had to write.

This series deserves another season, but if that’s not possible, I am very satisfied with what was given to me. The ending was just an unexpected twist but made sense at the end. This show, and especially this episode, has kept me on my toes in storyline and characters. The writing was just brilliant on how everything connected. Creators Brannon Braga and Adam Simon and the rest of the Salem cast and crew should be proud of this fantastic show that has captivated so many.

As a fan of the series from the beginning, even prior to being offered to write the reviews, WGN America’s Salem has found a place in my heart. The series had everything most horror fans would love: gore, history, sex, symbolism, love, intricate characters, and, of course, engaging storylines. Based loosely on real-life people in Salem during the witch trials, Braga and Simon, were able to bring this history and make it into something so fantastical and into your worst nightmare (and I say that with love). Their team of makeup, hair, wardrobe, production, set design, and special effects transformed this series into one of the most intense horror series on television.

The series introduced us to Mary Sibley and her story of love and loss – from losing the love of her life, finding her son, and then having to kill the shell of her son, and saving the world. The character has gone through so much, but through it all, she came through even stronger. Janet Montgomery has beautifully developed this character to become not only a symbol of power but also to symbolize womanhood.

If there was anything that I’m proud of Salem for creating, it is their female characters. During the Puritan days, a woman was defined by who she married and not of her own character. Mary Sibley represented so much more than just a fictional character on television. Mary did not have that many options, like women in today’s society and because of the men in power. Sure, she was a witch and did horrible things, but she did feel the guilt and the need to do it for herself and then, in season two, for her son. Now, she has finally found peace and a new life with John.

The series also touched on so much symbolism and parallels to the real world. Yeah, we don’t have witches, but we do have leaders and people who threaten our way of life. Like the series dealing with refugees, many countries in real life were dealing with the same crisis. Did the series mean to be political? Not at all. It just felt that way and gave us another way to view the issues.

Salem has been an amazing journey for me as a viewer. Thank you, Salem and WGN America, for this wonderful story.

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