We learn that Mary “still has love in her heart” for John. And according to elder witch Rose, he still loves her. This is apparently not good for the Grand Rite. Rose needs Mary’s heart to be completely devoid of love for the Grand Rite to work, and so she’s taken matters into her own hands. But Mary is one step ahead of her.
Last episode, Rose fell through the trap at Alden’s house when she came for the artifact. Now, Alden and Cotton Mather are carrying Rose out to the woods to interrogate her before they kill her – before she can kill them. At the same time, Mary is busy with Mercy. She’s brought her to her home, let her dress up in beautiful clothes, and seems to be taking her under her wing. Tituba is urging Mary to kill Mercy, but Mary seems to be taking her time. Mercy tells Mary that her father never taught her how to read, and asks Mary to tell her a story. Mary tells her a fairy tale, about a fair, dark haired maiden who fell in love with a prince. But the prince was sent away by the evil king, and the fair maiden had to sacrifice the one part of her true love for him in order to survive… (you see where this is going.) As she’s telling her this, she has a razor blade in her hand ready to pull it across Mercy’s throat. But the telling of the story must trigger something in her, because she doesn’t. Instead, she takes Mercy into the woods, where she tears off her clothes and leaves Mercy to be taken by a demon, prodding her to chant the words that Mary chanted when Tituba did the same thing to her.
Meanwhile, Rose has conjured an army of the dead (or undead) to kill Alden and Mather. After she escapes them, she encounters Mary. Rose, over-confident after leaving Alden and Mather to die, admits that she was the one who orchestrated the entire march towards the Grand Rite – and that she foresaw every step of the way, every event that has unfolded. She was the one who used George Sibley to send Alden to war and break Mary’s heart the first time. And since she needs Mary’s heart broken again now, there is only one way to get it there now, and that’s to kill Alden. Mary, in a quite fury, tells her that she did not foresee everything. And that’s when she calls Mercy forth to quickly decapitate Rose.
With Rose and her powers gone, Alden and Mather survive the attack in the woods. As they walk, beleaguered and bloody into town, they encounter Mary. She looks at Alden, teary-eyed. He comments that she is out late, and she says she can not sleep. He offers to walk her home, and with the softest eyes we have seen of her since the beginning of the show, she accepts.
Back at the Hale house, Anne is drawn from her bedroom by a sound. She finds a dark-cloaked figure outside of her room. “Father?” she asks, reaching for it. But the cloak falls to the floor in a heap, a strange mask resting on top of it. Her mother appears from the shadows. “It’s time we talk about your father.”
Nothing good ever comes from a sentence like that.