Things weren’t looking up for the witches of Motherland: Fort Salem when viewers last checked in. Specifically, Raelle (Taylor Hickson) had been left behind to fend for herself by General Alder (Lyne Renée). In a surprising move, Abigail (Ashley Nicole Williams) jumped off the helicopter that was fleeing to safety in order to stay behind with Raelle. It was a major move for the pair’s friendship and leaves the two stronger than ever heading into Season 2, premiering Tuesday, June 22 at 10 p.m/9c on Freeform and ABC Spark.
Another huge twist from the end of Season 1 was seeing Raelle’s ex, Scylla (Amalia Holm), reuniting with the Spree and finding Raelle’s mom (Diana Pavolvska) surprisingly alive and well. What will Raelle do when she finds out that her mom is not only alive but working with the Army’s enemy? The TV Junkies recently caught up with Hickson prior to the Season 2 premiere to get a glimpse into what Raelle is thinking heading into this season. She shares her thoughts on what the return of Raelle’s mom may mean and why Raelle will need her friendship with Abigail more than ever before.
Raelle, Abigail, and Tally (Jessica Sutton) also enter War College this year as the series promises to push their magic, relationships, and beliefs to the limit. Hickson also previewed an interesting character that crosses the girls’ paths at War College and who they may be for Raelle.
The TV Junkies: Raelle has always thought that her mother died in the line of duty, but we saw Scylla actually meet her mom at the end of last season. What can you preview about the return of Raelle’s mom and what that may mean? Taylor Hickson: Raelle’s character arc this season is greatly enveloped by the relationship she never had with her mom, or the absence of her mom, and being drawn to her presence. She really put it off and didn’t address her feelings, as a lot of young teenagers do just grappling with their own identity. As much as it is that, you’re really seeing Raelle blossom and step into her divine feminine energy. You see it in little things as well, like her appearance and physicality, how she interacts with the world, her community, and the people around her. She never stops chasing.
TTVJ: Raelle’s mother’s return is wrapped up in this storyline with Scylla. When they last spoke, Raelle wanted nothing more to do with Scylla, but we know they had a deep love for one another. Where do things stand for them in Season 2?
TH: It’s really sore. She’s going through a heartbreak that was parallel to losing the only other woman she ever loved, her mother. She’s very alone and torn between using and utilizing her emotional tools and leaning on her friends to try to grapple with this by herself. It’s a completely human response and something that everyone can identify with. I think we really see her battling with her old habits, and trying to bottle everything and having the responsibility and strength to take everything head on. You get a lot of back and forth.
TTVJ: While those relationships may be struggling, Raelle’s friendship with Abigail may never be stronger, given she stepped off that helicopter to stay with her. What does that action mean to Raelle and their friendship?
TH: That was a very pivotal, transformational piece in the development of their friendship. She understands that these people would do anything for her. As she says in the trailer, Raelle thinks Tally and Abigail are the only two people she can trust. She doesn’t say much that she doesn’t mean and won’t talk otherwise. She truly understands the gravity of what it would mean to give your life for someone you love, and I think it’s the only thing carrying her through her heartbreak at the moment. She doesn’t have much else, and she isn’t in a place where she can talk to her blood about it because she doesn’t want to worry her father. These are the only people who really see her and stand by her, no matter what choices she makes.
TTVJ: We’ve heard that the girls are in War College this season. What’s that mean and can you preview some of the new characters who will cross their paths there, maybe specifically their new squad leader M (Ess Hodlmoser)?
TH: I’m a huge stan of M. They’re probably one of my favorite characters of Season 2. I really like the dynamic they have with Raelle. There’s a lot of tension there and what the undertone of that tension is? I’m unable to speak for, not out of giving away any information, but just of knowing. There’s a lot going on there and it’s a very interesting power struggle between the two, but also a mirrored friendship. They really see themselves in each other and that’s something that ends up uniting them. I don’t think it’s too far to say that Raelle might have a little crush. [laughs]
TTVJ: Is there any particular episode that stands out for you this season that we should really look out for?
TH: After Episode 5 you’re just in for it and will have holes in your couch from gripping so tight. They really pushed us emotionally and challenged us as actors, which I’m really grateful for because it was really therapeutic in a time where I needed it. Besides that, it gives no rest for the wicked! It’s very intense and I really like what they did with the cinematography to attach to the tone and mood of the series.
Motherland: Fort Salem Season 2 premieres Tuesday, June 22 at 10p.m./9c on Freeform and ABC Spark
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.