"Witches, despite their increasingly glamorous status in pop culture, have long been symbolic of people’s preconceived notions and fear of othered people, particularly women who deign to seize their own power (literal or otherwise)," says Caroline Framke. "Women suspected of witchcraft and women who practice witchcraft have met terrible ends as they fought for the right to be taken seriously on their own terms, and for their lives. Witches have a fascinating, terrible history in this country that is rooted in having to navigate and outlast a system that would love nothing more than to stamp them out for good. Anyway, Motherland: Fort Salem is nowhere near as nuanced or interesting as all that. Instead, the self-righteous new Freeform drama makes the baffling decision to tell an alternate history in which witches negotiate an ending to their persecution by the government by agreeing to form an elite and ruthlessly effective branch of the U.S. military. The rules of enlisting are vague and arcane; the mythology strives for epic, but is too bewildering to register as anything other than silly." ALSO: Motherhood: Fort Salem leans early and heavily into its most familiar, least interesting storyline.