As the Countess and her son move against two of John Alden’s valued allies, Mary suffers under the yoke of Puritan oppression stemming from an alliance between the Marburgs and another of Mary’s powerful enemies in Salem. But even as she seems to be at her most hopeless, Mary tries to take advantage of a widening schism between mother and son. As John and Cotton proceed with their monumental and unfamiliar task, each must process new information and gather strength to aid them in what lies ahead. Meanwhile, wracked with guilt and sorrow, a mournful Isaac pays a surprise visit to an already somber town gathering, Anne Hale finds the fate of many may rest in her novice – but powerful – Witch’s hands, and John and Cotton get the first glimpses of the enemy they are facing.
Magistrate Hathorne stands before a cheering crowd in the Commons as Mary is stripped of her dignity. She is proclaimed to have been adulterous having entertained Samuel Wainwright in her marital bed, forcing her husband George Sibley the former selectman to watch leading to his death. Her face is painted like that of Jezebel and is placed in the stocks as Hathorne announces she will no longer be known as Mary Sibley simply Mary when the citizens of Salem begin to throw rotting food at her.
In the woods, Sooleawa comes across a nestle of mushrooms when a viper approaches warily of the creature she steps back but is startled by the appearance of the Countess. In her native tongue, she tells the girl not to be afraid as she only wants to talk about her friend John Alden and kisses her. The countess is able to decipher the truth of John Alden as she sees both of the night he underwent his initiation with her tribe and of Sooleawa and John having sex. The shaman soon arrives but is killed by Sebastian and the countess quickly kills Sooleawa by snapping her neck.
Elsewhere John and Cotton are at the seer's hut. While little John is asleep on the floor Cotton draws a ritualistic circle and hieroglyphics where he lies and John questions him on the dangers of performing an exorcism. Cotton tells him that in theory, the circle will contain the demon but if broken they risk death or eternal damnation but assures him that the boy is well. John seems to be having second thoughts and asks if they are doing the right thing but Cotton assures him that it may be the only thing they can do to stop the witches but John seems only to care about saving the boy. Little John wakes up noticing his hands are bound asks where he is John tries to calm the boy but he tells him that the ropes are tight and are hurting him, calling him father leaving Cotton bewildered. John clearly uncomfortable tells Cotton that he and Mary were once in love but he didn't know he had left her with child and she bore his son in secret because of what the selectmen would have done to her and the child. Cotton tells him that he must think to leave father and son alone. John tells his son of when he was a boy to take his mind off the ropes admitting that he only had two friends Isaac and a girl that would one day become his mother that he had loved her even then. Little John tells his father that he misses his mother and John sadly tells him that he does too.
Back in Salem, as the citizens gather at church Mary is left in the stocks and is visited by the Countess who offers her water. She chastised Mary for her actions as the day should have been one of triumph for her, not degradation but Mary tells her she would suffer any amount of degradation to save her son. The countess tells Mary she will find John Alden as she has tasted his Indian lover lips and knows he is a fine soldier and an even finer lover, that soon she will take their son and complete the Grand Rite before the comet passes. Mary remarks if there is no trace of the dark lord in her son what will happen then stating that it is not the first time a demon has been driven from its host. The Countess realizes that they plan to perform an exorcism on the boy and chastised her stating that if they try it will certainly kill the boy. Meanwhile, a grieving Isaac carries the body of Dollie through Salem and takes her to church as the citizens watch on horrified during George Sibley's memorial service. He tells the crowd that George was a son of a bitch who branded his flesh for the sin of love and sent John Alden off to die in the war so that he could steal his girl. He tells all those present that they are all hypocrites and guilty of fornication, that God has turned his back on them for they have brought the evil to Salem, not the Indians, French or the witches. Isaac kisses his Dollie one last time before Hathorne strikes him and he is arrested.
At the seer's hut, John continues to bond with his son promising him that he will get him away from Salem as soon as he can but the boy asks where will they go? John asks him where would he like to go and the boy asks him to tell him of his most favorite place, he recalls a place that the Indians took him Niagara Falls and describes it to him. The boy continues to plead with his father stating that the ropes are hurting him and tries to convince him to loosen the ropes, overcome with paternal concern nearly does but is stopped by Cotton who has returned and tries to convince John that the boy is possessed by having him recite the lords prayer stating that demons cannot utter the words without it scorching their tongue. As the boy struggles to utter the words despite his father's encouragement he continues to tell his father that the reverend is hurting him and John angrily pulls him away before the boy is taken over by a demonic force, screaming in a foreign language he releases a high pitch sound that forces both men to their knee's before passing out.