02x08 - Dead Birds

Previously on "Salem"...

Mary: Increase Mather, I call you from Hell. The witch you killed walks the streets of Salem. Now help me defeat her for good.

Countess Marburg: I want you to steal your father's book of shadows. There are secrets in that book... Secrets you and I both need.

Tituba: Witch killer, you will kill no witches tonight.

Countess Marburg: I, too, would see Mary Sibley curled into a ball of pain. And I have much use for a beauty such as will be yours.

Mr. Hale: This room, whose door only blood can open, is our sanctuary.

Wainwright: I've never seen a pox like this.

Cotton: But you've never seen a witch pox.

Wainwright: It's as though the bile consumes its victim from the inside out.

[ Hissing ]

Countess Marburg: My dark lord is already inside the boy. And come the comet... We shall let him out.

Cotton: You're dead. I killed you.

[ Screaming ]

[ Screaming ]

Increase: [ Gasps ]

Mary: I gave you leave to spy on the Countess, not haunt the streets of Salem like some ghost from a cheap ballad. You said that once you were sure, you would tell me the secret to destroying Countess Marburg. You spoke of an object. Well?

Increase: [ Laughs ]

Mary: Increase... Tell me or I will hurl your soul back to Hell in an instant!

Increase: I can indeed tell you how to destroy her... For a price.

Mary: Name it.

Increase: I must speak with my son Cotton.

Mary: About me?

Increase: No. About me and him, parent and child. You wouldn't understand.

Mary: You may see your son... Once you have told me everything.

Increase: Legends say Countess Ingrid Palatine Von Marburg was already alive when Lucifer fell and she was one of the first to call him lord, to kiss his infernal lips to make herself his bride, and that still she dreams of the return of her lover and works ceaselessly to that end. There is nothing she would not do, no one she would not kill... Men, women, children, even witches... To bring the devil back. Who can say when first she died or how? But in those days when magic itself was young, her body was enshrined in an elaborate sarcophagus that shielded not only her rotting remains, but a vital spark of her soul, which, like a cinder carefully tended, is enough to reignite her life force again and again and again. No manner of execution... Drowning, burning, beheading... Can quench the infernal flame of the witch. They say she's tasted death time and again, always returning to curse the world with her beauty and to continue her efforts to make this world his kingdom and to rule beside him. And she almost succeeded many years ago, when I first met her. She tried to hide from me using her powers of glamour to disguise herself amongst some refugee children. But... I found her.

Girl: Increase Mather...

Increase: [ Gasps ]

Girl: You will burn in hell for this.

Increase: If that is the sacrifice I must make to kill you, witch, so be it.

Girl: [ Laughs ] Better men than you have tried and died, while I am still here.

[ Choking ]

[ Hissing ]

Increase: [ Grunting ] [ Groaning ] I carried the pain every day of my life. Even as I killed her, the box which holds her unholy remains was safely hidden.

Mary: But where is it now?

Increase: Shall I trust a wasp not to sting? No. I will see my son first.

Mary: No. No, you will tell me first.

Increase: Or what? You have nothing to threaten me with. I'm dead, already destined to return to Hell. But you... you... You have much to lose, including your life. Do not forget, she has killed far more witches than I have. So perhaps it's time for you to learn something new... Trust.

Mary: [ Chuckles ]

[ "Cupid carries a gun" plays ]

♪ Pound me the witch drums ♪
♪ witch drums ♪
♪ pound me the witch drums ♪
♪ pound me the witch drums ♪
♪ the witch drums ♪
♪ better pray for hell ♪
♪ not hallelujah ♪

[ Horse whinnies ]

Anne: [ Breathing heavily ] Cotton. [ Laughs ]

[ Moaning ]

[ Gasping ]

Sebastian: To sleep, perchance to dream. What a fetching sight, watching you mewl and moan. Were you dreaming of me?

Anne: Of course not. Now leave at once. A gentleman does not sneak into a woman's bedroom.

Sebastian: I am no gentleman.

Anne: What do you want?

Sebastian: Stop trembling. Whatever it is I want, it is not your virginity. I have no use for a pale, inexperienced little stick like you. I'm here for the book.

Anne: Perhaps if I knew what you were looking for...

[ Gasps ]

Sebastian: No tricks, Anne. My mother would have your father's book of shadows. That's all you need to know.

Anne: You are hurting me.

[ Breathing heavily ]

Sebastian: Give me the book or I will bathe my mother in your blood to ease her disappointment.

Anne: Release me.

[ Knife clatters ]

Sebastian: Why, you little bitch. I will eat your heart.

Anne: Really? And what will your mother say when she realizes you killed the only person who can give her what she wants?

Sebastian: And what shall I tell her?

Anne: Tell her she was right. The book is mine, and I will not give it to her until I choose.

[ Door opens ]

Boy: Mother!

Mary: I'm glad to see you, too, John. Love... Oh! Why... why the tears?

Boy: Please don't send me away.

Mary: I would never send you away. W-whatever gave you such an idea?

Boy: I never see you, and I know you were angry with me last night at the dinner.

Mary: No. No. I've been very busy. I'm always thinking of you... Always. And as soon as my work is done, we shall spend every day together. I promise.

Boy: But I'm so lonely, Mother. Why can't I go out and play?

Mary: Just because you have to remain inside doesn't mean we can't play, okay? The perfect way to cultivate your imagination, perhaps even your talent. At your age, the world is a blank slate. We must find the best way for you to inscribe your truth on it. See?

Boy: [ Chuckles ]

Mary: John... What is this about?

Boy: They just come to me.

Mary: [ Gasps ]

Tituba: He must be watched at all times.

Mary: He is fine now he is with me.

Tituba: He is unsettled, vulnerable. I care only for the child.

Mary: If you are so concerned about my son, here's a task most suited to your skills. I'm sure one as cunning as you can find a way to remove bird sh1t from his linen.

[ Horse whinnies ]

[ Metal clanking ]

Anne: Cotton?

Cotton: Anne.

Anne: What's wrong? You look ill.

Cotton: Well, I-I-I, uh... I had a most disturbed night. I-I saw... [ Gasps ] I-I don't know what I saw. Perhaps it was just a dream. S-so, I, um... I came to see if this, too, was, um, but a dream, that you would deign to marry me.

Anne: Are you sure that your love for me isn't the dream, one you may wake from any day now?

Cotton: Not in this life, nor after. My... my heart is forever yours. I'm sure of it. In love, I now understand Faith, and with my faith, I... I begin to understand Love.

Anne: How so?

Cotton: The leap. In love and in faith, the evidence will only take you so far.

Anne: [ Chuckles ]

Cotton: And, then, um... And then...

Anne: And after the leap, then what? The fall?

Cotton: No. Flight.

Anne: [ Laughs ]

[ Breathing heavily ]

[ Groans ]

[ Brown Jenkins squeaking ] Why do you think the Marburgs want my father's book so badly, Mr. Jenkins?

[ Brown Jenkins squeaking ] I don't suppose you have any ideas.

[ Squeaking ]

[ Squeaking intensifies ]

[ Squeaking stops ]

[ Breathing heavily ]

[ Gasping ]

John: [ Coughs ] [ Groans ] Ah! I thought you weren't done with me yet.

Tituba: I wasn't. But I might be.

John: [ Clears throat ]

Tituba: It all depends on you, witch hunter, whether or not you can see how well our interests are aligned.

John: Our interests? A witch and me? It's hard to see what we've got in common.

Tituba: Love and betrayal. That is what we have in common. We have both loved the same woman and been betrayed by her time and time again.

John: Then why serve her all these years?

Tituba: What choice has a slave but to serve and plot?

John: And what part in your plot am I?

Tituba: That is up to you, John Alden. There is so much we can do for each other. We come from different worlds. We might yet make a new one together. Think on it.

[ Rocking horse creaking ]

Wainwright: Off your knees and on your feet, man. We've seen what happens to one plague victim. Let's see what happens to a hundred of them. Is it love that still has you addled? Miss Hale turned you down?

Cotton: No. She has accepted me.

Wainwright: Be careful what you wish for, then, eh?

Cotton: What do you think becomes of us after death?

Wainwright: It is not death, Mather, merely marriage. Well, for the victims of this pox, that is precisely what I intend us to find out at the Crags.

Cotton: And the rest of us?

Wainwright: What has turned your thoughts to the grave?

Cotton: I will tell you something I dared not even share with my love. The ghost of my father paid me a visit last night. Go ahead. Laugh if you will.

Wainwright: Last night, you were far from sober, and when you left me, you were clearly unfinished. For once, trust reason. Admit that your father's image was the offspring of your own overheated brain. Now come. We're up to our necks in this mess. We may as well be in over our heads.

Cotton: The Crags, is it?

Wainwright: Have you got any food or drink to bring along? I think we should be out there some time.

Cotton: Yes.

Anne: [ Sobs ] [ Brown Jenkins squeaking ] I'm no closer to discovering what my father concealed in these pages. I'm sorry to say, Brown Jenkins, so far your blood has been in vain. [ Squeaking ] Then my blood. Aah! [ Whimpers ] [ Breathing heavily ] [ Brown Jenkins squeaking ] Brown Jenkins? My father's book... My father's blood.

[ Gasps ]

[ Door opens, creaks ]

Tituba: Child, what is this? Secrets are meant to be kept.

Boy: No!

[ Thud ]

[ Bird caws ]

Tituba: I only meant to say, little master, your memories are your own, as is your destiny. It's best you keep both to yourself for now.

[ Door creaks, closes ]

Boy: You can come out now.

Wainwright: Well, just because you cannot see the world that lies beyond the horizon does not mean it's invisible. Eventually, we will see it.

Cotton: You would look into the face of God?

Wainwright: Well, some would suggest that God and nature are one and the same.

Cotton: [ Chuckles ] Now you blaspheme, sir. Though I could almost agree with you, seeing these angels of nature. Ahh! To fly.

Wainwright: Ah, do not envy the birds. They do not fly for joy. They fly to eat.

[ Liquid bubbling ]

Cotton: Lay aside your science, Wainwright, and fall to your knees. This is what they plan for us... For all of us.

Wainwright: They? Who?

Cotton: The blackhearted souls who stand behind all of Salem's horrors... Witches. [ Gurgling ] My god!

Cotton: If you wondered what the witches were planning with their pox, now you see. They would open the door to Hell.

Wainwright: What, so the damned may escape or the devil himself?

Cotton: God himself once became flesh and walked among us. Who's to say the devil wouldn't do the same?

Wainwright: The only Hell I believe in is a blackened human heart. I don't believe in witches or devils. But I do believe in evil, and I think you're right. There is great evil at work here... Human evil. And if so, it could be anyone, and they are more than likely hiding amongst us. So for the moment, I beg you, say no more of this. The last thing we should do is attract their attention. Look, the key is to understand what they're doing and to try and figure out how to stop them. But say too much too soon, and it'll be they who stop us forever.

[ Door creaks ]

Cotton: [ Groans ] Here is where the witches would lead all of Salem, all the country, all the world... Into the open mouth of Hell.

Increase: At last, you see the truth, my prodigal son.

Cotton: Truth? I don't... Know what that even means anymore. Especially when spoken by... A waking dream. Poison be the cure.

[ Glass shatters ] And have you journeyed all this way from Hell?

Increase: Matter of fact, I have.

Cotton: [ Laughs ]

Increase: And I haven't much time.

Cotton: Wow, that's astonishing! To escape Hell itself, and why? To mock my myriad failures one last time?

[ Laughs ] Oh, Father, how you must hate me.

Increase: It is not hate compels me here, but love.

Cotton: Love? You have never known an instant of love. Where, oh, where did you discover love?

Increase: Where else? In Hell. Something happened to me there, most unexpected... Compassion for and with all who suffer. Compassion is a balm, a cooling drop of water in the belly of the volcano. To feel such an emotion when one is burning, suffering. And who suffers more than you, dearest son?

Cotton: And your love, I suppose, um... Compelled you to journey all this way to warn me that if I don't change my life, I will end up in Hell beside you.

Increase: I've not come to warn you that you could end in Hell. I've come all this way to tell you... You are already there.

Cotton: What?

Increase: Cotton, you are in Hell, even now. I have seen it. You are burning. And I cannot bear to see it.

Cotton: If what you say is true... It is too late.

Increase: Save yourself.

Cotton: Save myself? But how?

Increase: I do not know. I will tell you now what I never told you in life. You are a better man than I. Your mind is deeper, your words are truer, and your heart...

Cotton: [ Sobs ]

Increase: Your heart is far more pure. Do not let my failures be yours. And know this... I love you.

Cotton: [ Sobbing ]

Boy: No, she's not. My mother's good. [ Giggles ] She does too love me. That's a lie. My mother is good.

[ Giggles ]

Mary: Who is here with you?

Boy: No One.

Mary: Why do you laugh?

Boy: That's my friend's name... "No One."

Mary: [ Sighs ] And, uh, what was your, uh, friend, No One, saying about me? You can tell me. Go on.

Boy: My friend doesn't like you very much. She says underneath your pretty face, you're a horrid old hag, and that you kill people all the time. And she called you... What was it?... Oh, yes, a filthy whore.

Mary: John, who taught you such words?

Boy: You are alone, all alone, and will die alone, you bloody-handed whore.

Mary: Stop it. Stop it, John.

Boy: Whore, whore! Whore, whore, whore!

Mary: Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

Boy: [ Gasps ]

Mary: John, I am so sorry. Please, I didn't mean it. Please forgive me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Boy: You're not even my real mother.

Mary: That's not true. That is not. That's not true. I am your real mother, and I love you with all my heart. Please, I'm sorry.

Boy: Get out. I hate you. Get out.

Mary: John...

Boy: Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!

[ Door closes ]

Mercy: There, now. She feels your pain. I told you she would. And soon they all will. Shh.

Mary: Doctor, what a pleasant surprise.

Wainwright: The surprise is entirely mine... Only because I missed the telltale signs for so long.

Mary: Whatever are you talking about?

Wainwright: Start with Isaac... "Your" Isaac. First victim of this pox that is so impossibly and yet so conveniently confined to Salem. Near whose hand I found the Malum... Which foolish Cotton Mather swears is the source of the pox... And, low and behold, upon further investigation, I find the fool is right. Isaac with a bag of gold amounting to a small fortune, Isaac who spoke only one name over and over in his delirium... "Mary." The same Mary who insisted, against all opposition, that the victims of this pox must be deposited at the Crags. Mary who ordered a cordon around Salem and forbade me travel to Andover in pursuit of a cure. All roads lead to you. The conclusion is inescapable. You, Mary Sibley, are responsible for this pox.

Mary: Who have you told?

Wainwright: Not a soul. But Cotton Mather has nearly figured it out. And if he knew what I knew, he surely would. But I have convinced him that we must handle this, for the moment, in secrecy.

Mary: I suppose you want the glory of catching the witch yourself?

Wainwright: Not at all. It is not my sense of justice that is aroused, it is my curiosity. See, I would know how such a thing is possible.

Mary: You desire my confession?

Wainwright: [ Chuckles ] Open your eyes, woman. It is me, Wainwright. I am not a puritan. Indeed, I'm not even a Christian. No, my religion is science. And I am more convinced than ever that what the Church calls magic and witchcraft is but undiscovered science. I told you once that I had never met a woman like you, one who would peer into the abyss with me. But now I know you have peered longer and deeper than I.

Mary: And what is it you want from me?

Wainwright: I want in.

Tituba: Don't you see, John Alden? We both want the same things.

John: You have no idea what I want.

Tituba: First the puritans betrayed you, then she betrayed you. Everyone betrayed you, just like they did me.

John: Betrayed you?

Tituba: I was happy to help these Essex witches kill those who slaughtered my people. But they will never truly accept me as one of them. And she... never loved me. Merely used me. Can't you see how delicious it would be, and how just? You, me... We destroy them all, puritan and witch alike.

John: [ Exhales sharply ]

[ Both breathing heavily ]

Tituba: Can you see now how closely our interests are aligned?

John: [ Groans ]

[ Both breathing heavily ]

Tituba: See how well we work together?

[ Moaning ]

John: [ Grunting ]

[ Both moaning ]

John: Ohh!

[ Chains rattle ] Ohh!

[ Both moaning ]

Tituba: Do you see?

John: No. Still not seeing it, I'm afraid. So why don't you go to Hell, where you belong?

[ Bubbling ]

Wainwright: And this orrery, like some celestial clockwork, tracks the comet overhead? Only the great Edmond Halley has even speculated that comets are not singular occurrences, that they cyclically return. And yet you witches have known for centuries. Such knowledge, such power, and yet you hamstring your own great achievements. You are scientists years beyond the rest of us. Why do you hide?

Mary: Because they kill us if we do not.

Wainwright: I understand now. Like Socrates, like Galileo, like Bruno, you are martyrs of truth. And finally you are fighting back, waging war against the puritans. And wiping out your enemies. Well, I will tell you, your enemies are my enemies.

Mary: I have many enemies.

Wainwright: Well, perhaps you need some more friends. Trust me and I will dedicate myself to you... All my knowledge, all my insight and ingenuity. Armed with the secrets of your world, I will be not only friend but a weapon. Can you do that... trust me?

[ Brown Jenkins squeaking ]

Anne: "For there are some who dream not as others dream, who see not as others see, but gaze through stranger eyes. Such are not what they seem by day, but rule the world by night."

Mercy: What kind of mother would abandon her only child to the woods? And then leave him in the hands of foul hags for seven years? Such a good boy deserves to have more.

Boy: Deserves to have everything.

Mercy: [ Laughing ] Oh, yes. That is the spirit. Open it. I know you can.

Boy: But it's locked. I've tried it. Mother and Tituba...

Mercy: Couldn't keep me out. They cannot keep you in. That door belongs to you. It is yours. All things are yours. Just tell it what to do.

Boy: Open.

[ Door opens, creaks ]

Mary: Now we share one breath. All magic begins in arousal.

Wainwright: [ Breathing heavily ]

Mary: Slower. Slower. Stop. Contain your excitement. Direct your arousal, or all of this dissolves into dream.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

[ Dog barking in distance ]

Mercy: She wouldn't even let you out to play. Come. Come. The night is our playground.

[ Chuckles ]

Boy: [ Giggles ]

Mercy: Come on.

[ Both laugh ]

[ Indistinct shouting in distance ]

Sebastian: So this is the boy who sets my mother's heart ablaze. You seem an ordinary enough sort to me. But Mother knows best. She says you are very special. A little prince. Well, then, little prince, it's time to meet your queen.

Mary: Increase.

Increase: I thank you for allowing me to go to my son. Should you ever have children, heed this advice... Do not wait until you are dead to tell them you love them.

Mary: I kept my word. Now hurry and keep yours. Where has she hidden the box that contains her soul? In Boston?

Increase: No. She keeps it close. It rarely leaves her sight.

Mary: Then where? On the ship?

Increase: No, not on the ship. It is the ship.

Mary: It is the ship? What do you mean? Increase. Increase?