You probably have some questions after all the head-exploding twists packed into the Season 1 finale of WGN America’s “Salem.”
Zap2it spoke with executive producer Brannon Braga and asked him as many of the burning questions left after all the revelations in the episode as possible. Let’s go through the characters and their fates one by one — that is, unless you had a Mrs. Hale moment and are busy cleaning some metaphorical brains off the wall.
Things weren’t looking good for our hero in the final moments of the show, as he was shot, bleeding out and on the brink of death — that is, until the Indians stepped in and possibly saved him.
“It’s safe to say that John’s life hangs in the balance, his love hangs in the balance and coming back to Salem will not be an easy task,” explains executive producer Brannon Braga. “What interest would the Indians even have in John? What is it about John that they’ve now saved him twice? So there’s a mystery that we’re going to explore out in those woods.”
Is John okay with the fact that Mary’s a witch? “He has his own baggage,” says Braga. “One of the emotional payoffs to John’s murderous secret is that they both carry baggage, and if anyone on this planet could accept Mary Sibley it would be John. Season 2 will be the complete transformation that occurs — there are new stakes, emotionally, in that relationship. It’ll be supercharged.”
Mary was ready to leave Salem — until the witches revealed that the love child she thought she’d aborted has been alive all along.
“You’re absolutely going to see more of the boy,” Braga reveals. “We’ve had ideas since we created this show, Adam [Simon] and I, about what we would do with this boy and what he means and what he means for Mary. His father doesn’t know about him — what happens when he finds out? Is this boy some spawn of the devil? We want to keep that a mystery for a while. Suffice to say he’s going to have a very complicated relationship with his mother.”
Mary has done some unspeakably evil things, but now that her son is in the picture, can she be redeemed? “That’s what’s interesting about the appearance of the child,” explains Braga. “Is this going to put her on a path of redemption or a path of deeper [evil]? The forces around her are using the child to control her. She was ready to bolt.”
Cotton finally summoned up enough courage to fight back against his father — too bad it happened to be with murder rather than words. “Even though his father is dead he will always be haunted by him,” Braga says, but things might not have gone quite as far if Mary wasn’t there.
“Mary manipulated the situation. It may not have happened if Mary hadn’t forced these two together in the most heated moment of the season. Keep in mind Cotton still has a blind faith in Mary. He doesn’t know she’s been playing him since day one.”
Cotton will also be on his way out of town in Season 2. “As of now, he’s a man on the run. As we move into Season 2, we want to broaden the world a little bit. We may even see Boston.”
Perhaps the most explosive moment of the season (sorry) came when Anne’s powers finally overflowed — resulting in the deaths of her two parents.
“Anne, we knew she was going to be a cradle witch,” Braga says. “It was just a matter of when we reveal it, how we reveal it, will she believe it? In her very denial of being a witch, [that is] the moment where she completely unleashes her powers and we see my God, she may be more powerful than Mary. What will she do with this definitive knowledge next year?”
While Anne kept denying her natural born powers, Mercy Lewis tried her hardest to gain as much power as possible. Braga says that Mercy grew stronger and stronger as a character thanks to the dynamite actress cast in the role. “We knew Mercy Lewis was going to play a peripheral role, kind of this supernatural Lindsay Lohan from hell, a local celebrity, but when Elise Eberle hit the scene we were like holy cow, she’s great. We have to do more.”
“Tituba is doing her job very brilliantly,” Braga says. “Tituba was everything we hoped she would be this season. She may not have as much screen time as the other characters, but she’s kind of pulling all the strings.”
Have any more burning questions about the finale or the direction of Season 2? Leave them in the comments, and we’ll try to get the producers on the phone for a few more minutes and ask ’em for you.