Salem 3×04 ‘Night’s Black Agents’ review


When you find out an episode is going to be directed by Joe Dante, you can expect the episode to be dark with some light elements, especially when you have his longtime buddy/actor Robert Picardo added into the mix. Of course, the episode does have it’s dark and depressing moments because it’s Salem. But, with Dante’s expertise, he was able to add a bit of his humor, which is needed at times for the intensity of the series. I saw that dog peeing on Cotton, Joe. Nice touch.

Let’s check out what is happening to each of our characters.



Cotton escapes into the woods to be met with images of Anne trying to contact him. He threatens to go to Boston and reveal everything. Sebastian finds out he ran away, but in exchange for not revealing this to the Dark Lord, he asks Anne to tell him everything that happened to Mary in the reckoning. She tells him Mary’s powers were taken from her, but she survived. Sebastian reveals that he loves Mary and betrays Anne by telling the Dark Lord about Cotton’s escape. The Dark Lord calls on his ‘night’s black agents’ to find Cotton and if they fail, Anne will suffer the consequences.

As Cotton is running through the woods, he runs into Mr. Stroughton (played by Robert Picardo) and his wife and begs for their help to take him to Boston. Little does he know, they are witches and capture him back to their home. He wakes to find himself tied up in their home. The Stoughton’s plan to reap the reward the Dark Lord has promised by turning Cotton in, but they agree to wait until the Dark Lord ups the reward. She begins prepping him as a meal, but is stopped by her husband. He tells her that the Dark Lord wants Cotton alive. As they begin to banter hilariously, Cotton frees himself and kills the Mr. Stoughton and their dog.

Tituba watches through her cat and begins a spell that protects him from the Dark Lord’s crows chasing him. She appears before him and tells him that he has someone that he loves – his unborn child.

As punishment for Anne losing Cotton, the Dark Lord begins to torture Anne.



Post-losing her powers, Mary experiences the worst of pains from the Sentinel. She imagines bugs crawling into her skin as if she was relapsing from a drug. The Dark Lord tells her she’ll love him one day. As Mary is recovering, Sebastian tries to convince Mary that they should be together, but she turns him down because her son stands in their way. Oh, that tricky Mary. She knows how to play those men. She is totally using Sebastian’s feelings to somehow get to the Dark Lord.

As Mary roams her hallway, she begins to hear the voices of her victims through a locked door. Her victim Rebecca Nurse brings Mary to relive her sins and experience it herself. The Sentinel tries to get her to kill herself by jumping off the balcony. She tells him to kill her, but she knows he cannot because the Dark Lord forbade him from hurting her. She taunts him that she does have a choice and that he does not.

Mary is sent back to the Essex coven. They want to protect her, but Mary refuses to give up. She requests to be sent back to face the Dark Lord. That’s our girl. The witch is back and she’s stronger than ever. Her powers did not define her. She defined her powers and herself. This is why Mary is so awesome. She is one step ahead of everyone and knows how to use other’s feelings for her own gain. I predict her using The Sentinel’s anger to have him fight his own brother, because why not? Also, Janet Montgomery is killing it this season.



Alden follows the Native Americans and French to save Billy, who, lin the last episode, foolishly hid in the French cart. Alden attacks the camp and finds Billy with the French leader in the midst of torturing him/her. After saving Billy, Alden demands answers from the French leader and finds the Angel Tears, which was planned to blow up Salem. And, like that, those demonic Native Americans show up.

I have to be honest, I need more John Alden storyline.



Mercy and Hawthorne’s relationship advances and there is so much passion between the two. Hawthorne begins to reveal his problems with the refugees and being pulled from all sides on the issue. Mercy comforts him. She supports him more by having her minions cheer Hawthorne on in front of his peers, particularly Treasuer Putnam, as a great magistrate. Mercy then proceeds to recruit another girl for her brethren as Isaac watches from afar.

Let’s be honest, Mercy is actually doing some good. Sure, these girls are selling their bodies to better their lives, but she’s providing them the opportunity to survive. It’s not like she’s beating them and taking their money. She provides them a choice. I have to say, I’m liking this new empowered Mercy. Also, I’m really digging #MERTHORNE.

Side note, don’t you think Jonny Coyne (Treasurer Putman) make a great Uncle Fester from the Adams Family?



We finally find out the name of the little girl following Isaac around – Dorcas. If you’re wondering where that name came from, it’s from the bible. The writers provide their character’s names for a reason. Dorcas was a “woman was full of good works and almsdeeds”. So, I’m guessing, this little orphan girl was sent to Isaac to be part of his team to help in the good. When Isaac is unsure of what to do, she provides him good advice to just make sure “there are no more Dollys” (what happened to Dolly).

Isaac visits Mercy’s dollhouse and tries to convince the women to leave, but they love their life with Mercy. Isaac ventures upstairs to Mercy’s room and finds birds locked in cages. Uh-Oh… this can’t be good for Mercy. Also, where is the security for Mercy’s room? Can any gentleman just go up in her room and essentially rob her? For someone all magical and powerful, she has horrible security in her place.


So, what’s going to happen next? Will Isaac release the birds? Will Cotton return to save Anne and their unborn child in time from the Dark Lord? What’s Mary’s next step? Will Billy reveal herself to John Alden? What’s up with the demonic Native Americans? It’s killing me. We’ll find out more next week.

Salem airs every Wednesday on WGN America at 9pm.

from Nerd Reactor


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