“My Work Here Is Never Done”: A Preview of Salem, Episode 4

WGN America’s Salem is the gift that keeps on giving. When you think they can’t push their characters to develop any further, they do; when you think the storyline has reached its end, they give you a plot twist that has you rethinking everything you thought you knew. Whether it’s gore, romance, terror, or despair, Salem’s producers and writers never disappoint. The first three episode of the new season have been captivating and, sometimes, downright creepy. This week they return with Episode 4: “Night’s Black Agents,” which eases up on the creep factor and takes the plot down unexpected paths.

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After her violent reckoning, Mary’s mind is reeling from the loss of her magic. When her physical withdraws cease, Mary is left to deal with mental anguish and the haunting of past deeds. In light of her unhinged and desperate mentality, Mary and the Sentinel find themselves on a shaky but even playing field. Let’s just say that by the end of episode four, Mary is at once herself again and unrecognizable. Salem has always made it clear that Mary’s true strength lies in her femininity; a large part of her journey this episode is rediscovering that part of herself and the hidden strength of being without magic.

Salem’s prodigal son, John Alden, was last seen on a mission to Deerfield where his young companion stupidly snuck into the back of a French wagon. John is truly in his element when he’s on the battlefield but this rescue and recovery is unlike any he’s had to do before.

Anne has been trying her best to keep Cotton safe from the Dark Lord but once he is out of her sight, she has little choice left. After witnessing Mary’s punishment, Little John decides it is time Anne faced a reckoning of her own. We find Sebastian, the eldest Marburg sibling, continuing to act as a servant to the Dark Prince however we see him struggling internally with his love for Mary. This episode he finally learns what is truly standing between him and who he believes to be his true love.

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Finally free of the control of his wife, Cotton tries to flee to Boston where he plans to expose what is happening in Salem. He seems to think that all of his problems will be solved when he reunites with a Bostonian couple he knew before coming to Salem but, Cotton finds himself out of the fire and into the frying pan. So far, Cotton can’t seem to catch a break this season but this episode may turn that around.

As per usual, Tituba is pulling strings behind the scenes and being an unlikely Dark Knight. However, one mustn’t be fooled by her role as savior and counselor because Tituba’s true master is and always will be herself. Something we love about Tituba is that you never quite know what her true motives are and what she’s thinking; just a little something to keep in mind this episode…

Mercy and the Magistrate, removed from the witchy drama, are focused on building and ruling the Salem of their dreams. Salem has never been an easy town to conquer, and the couple is met with adversity, seen and unseen. The Magistrate fumbles as his authority is questioned by the Selectmen and when Mercy seizes a business opportunity in Salem’s refugee crises, Isaac is soon to follow. We find Salem’s savior rethinking his notions and finally getting a piece of information that could help him reach his goal of taking down Mercy.

Director Joe Dante sets up the twists and turns perfectly in “Night’s Black Agents” but leaves us bracing for impact by the end. This is the episode where all traps are set and ready so, if new viewers weren’t already hooked on Salem, Episode 4 will certainly change that.


Episode 4: “Night’s Black Agents” airs Wednesday, November 30th at 9/8c

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