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The Man Who Was Thursday is the seventh episode of the third season of Salem, and the thirty-third episode of the series overall. It's premiered on January 4, 2017, on WGN America.


LOYALTIES WILL BE TESTED — Anne tells Cotton the great news of her pregnancy but is forced to partake in an unthinkable action that will wipe Gloriana of her memories. While Alden prepares to kill the Sentinel, Mary continues to trick Sebastian into thinking she loves him. Completely “under her spell,” Sebastian tells her that he will find a way to destroy the Boy once and for all where an epic plan of twists and turns unravels and true loyalties surface. [1]

Episode Overview


The episode opens with a heated scene involving Mary and Sebastian. At the House of the Seven Gables, Mary stormed out of a room (presumably Sebastian’s bedroom) and into a hallway. Sebastian followed her, asking for a kiss goodnight. In retortion, Mary spitefully told him that she hated him, to which he insisted that their implied sexual intercourse minutes prior was undeniably good, to which Mary shot back, telling him that that is precisely why she hated him before they kiss quite roughly. A passionate argument of sorts ensued, with them acting flirtatious towards one another throughout it. Sebastian pleaded Mary to run away with him to his family’s castle across the ocean (likely in Germany due to his mother’s German heritage), urging her to let Salem burn under the Dark Lord’s wrath. Mary insisted that even if she wanted to leave, she could not due to her earthly body being bound to the Salem area because of the resurrection spell. Not convinced, Sebastian told Mary that the Essex were lying to her about her not being able to leave Salem and tested it by grabbing her in a passionate kiss and teleporting the both of them to a wooded area in parts unknown, far away from Salem. Initially all seemed well, but within seconds, Mary began to shrivel and die, horrifying Sebastian, whom grabbed her once again, returning them to the House of the Seven Gables where an offended Mary angrily told him that he tested her word with her very life. Visibly ashamed and remorseful, Sebastian pleaded her for forgiveness. Keeping true to her act so as to secure his alliance, Mary told him that the only way that they could be together was if he helped her to murder the Dark Lord. A tearful Sebastian paused in contemplation. 

The next scenes opens at the Hale house with Cotton entering and asking Anne if she felt well, to which she jokingly replied that she did, despite vomiting twice that morning. As Cotton opened the curtains to let light into the room, he turned around, visibly shocked to see a cradle on the floor as Anne unbuttoned her shirt to show him her blatantly pregnant stomach, which had expanded drastically due to the presence of Gloriana’s baby in her womb. Perplexed by the rapid speed of the pregnancy, Cotton is left confused, to which Anne replied by blaming it on her witch blood. A moment of speechless joy ensues, with an elated Cotton informing Anne of his happiness and both of them promising to be the best parents that their child could ever have. Anne is visibly enamored and overjoyed at Cotton’s words. Needing to run errands, Cotton bids her farewell for the day and instructs her to temporarily move into the Sibley home with him to avoid the oncoming Great Terror, to which she promises that she will once she gathers her things and completes a few things. Once Cotton left, Anne was visibly shocked and possibly terrified due to an eerie and unexplained movement of the cradle on the floor of their parlor. As she approached it, the rocking stopped as an ominous shadow cast across the room with Anne realizing that it was the same demonic figure that she previously saw, still lingering. She swears that stealing Gloriana’s baby was what was best for Cotton and abruptly left the room. 

The next scene shows John Alden entering a blacksmith’s workshop so as forge the dagger that he was instructed to do so by Tituba for the purpose of slaying a dark angel. The blacksmith appeared, angrily holding a gun to the back of John’s head for trespassing. John gave him a bag of money and asks him to leave for the day so that he may forge a dagger, needing to be crafted by his own hands due to a “family tradition,” as he blamed it upon. Believing him, the blacksmith leaves and John began crafting the angel dagger as visions of Mary and Sebastian in an erotic embrace flash through his mind.  

The next scene briefly occurs at the House of the Seven Gables in Mary’s bedroom. In introspective thought, she sat at a desk, gazing at herself in a mirror, before taking a parchment and quill to begin writing a letter to John, informing him that she has gained crucial information from Sebastian about killing the Dark Lord, but that she can “hardly confess what she had to do to obtain it.” The scene ends. 

At Hale house, Anne, who is carrying a tray of food, entered her secret room. A hysterical Gloriana lunged at her, screaming “Witch!” to which Anne used her powers to levitate her before placing her on the floor. Gloriana’s mood changed from obvious rage to sadness, with her asking Anne why she stole her baby from her and tearfully pleading her conscience while crying for the baby. Anne attempted to justify her actions by insisting to her that if she had kept the baby, it surely would have died due to her poor health, but Gloriana was unconvinced and Anne continued to attempt to justify herself by insisting that the child would have been born out of wedlock and that Cotton would have had no choice but to sever ties with the baby and Gloriana to keep his reputation as a Mather upstanding. Gloriana sternly replied by stating that Anne “stole the life from inside” her and that “God will strike...” but Anne cut her off and retorted by insisting that God will view it as one of His kind creatures saving a life for a greater good. Gloriana fires back by telling Anne that they both know “what kind of creature” Anne really is. Anne left the room, locking the door, as Gloriana lunged at it, pounding against it and crying hysterically.  

In the woods, Sebastian entered the Essex Stronghold. The Essex Elder and the other witches gathered around him, weary yet unafraid. The Elder informed him that she and her fellow Essex have dreamed of killing the Marburg Hive in vengeance for all of its crimes against the witches of Europe and that they want nothing to do with the “fowl dwarf that Hell itself excreted,” (referring to the Dark Lord). Sebastian then informed them that it was not the Dark Lord who sent him as a messenger, but rather it was Mary who did and that she needed the help of the Essex to vanquish the Dark Lord once and for all. Her curiosity peaked; the Essex Elder’s angry expression visibly changed as she prepares to listen. 

Back in town, Isaac is rallying the people of Knocker's Hole, pointing out the hypocrisy of Puritans and that telling the truth about it will get one branded, pointing to his own branding on his forehead. The crowd of the poor adored Isaac’s message while they applauded him and elevated him to the status of a hometown hero of sorts. From the window of her boudoir, Mercy watched the events unfolding on the streets below, expressing her disgust and comparing him to a hideous sea monster of Greek legend, whose head grows back more grotesque than before every time that it is cut off. Hawthorne, whom was relaxing, expressed his plans for himself and Mercy to overthrow the Puritan establishment, asking Mercy if she ever heard the story of a tortured girl who was scapegoated and blamed by the rich of society, but would rise to an elevated status, obviously referencing her. He spoke of Mary Sibley, whom had been cast out of polite society, and how she fiercely controlled the Puritan establishment for years before he asked why “the beauty” before him (referring to Mercy) could not do the same. A knock was heard at the front door, with Mercy going to see who it was. Surprised and shocked, she saw the embodiment of “puritan virtue” Anne standing at the bottom of the staircase, whom initially did not recognize her. After Anne asked to speak to her over a matter of grave importance and implying Mercy’s potential bisexuality, Mercy informed Anne that she will visit her later at a time of her own convenience to discuss the matter, to which Anne agrees before leaving. 

At the House of the Seven Gables, Cotton is in his bedroom as Mary entered it. Initially angered by her presence, he blamed her for having damned Salem, his life, and possibly the entire world. Making clear her true intentions, Mary showed him Red Mercury, which horrified him due his awareness of its purpose and identity from his years of scholarship. Desperate to find out how to stop it, Mary inquired about such, to which Cotton replied that its master needed to be killed. Cotton informed Mary that he wanted nothing to do with her or her plans, and confessed that his wife was pregnant, to which Mary understood, asking him one last favor; delivering her letter to John. Coton agreed before leaving to do so, walking past the Hell gate in the hallway and hearing the voice of his tortured father calling from Hell’s depths. Cotton approached the door, calling out to his father and attempting to peak through the lock, before being interrupted by the Sentinel, whom informed him to avoid the door and that Hell itself lied beyond it. 

Back at Knocker’s Hole, Isaac was appointed the unofficial sheriff of sorts by the majority of the populace and was seen dealing with a robbery case involving Quaker refugees from a nearby settlement, whose homes were destroyed by French and Indians. While making clear to the accused that theft cannot be tolerated, hunger should not be either, and gave them a loaf of bread, making an example to the community that that could be anyone of them and that, but that restitution must also be made and the accused must clean the streets for a week. Immediately after, John Alden is brought forth, manhandled by two men, over being in the blacksmith’s shop with the blacksmith nowhere to be found. Isaac made John swear that he did no wrong, and so he swore. The two of them began walking together, discussing the Great Terror that was going to happen, before meeting Cotton, whom informed a cynical John that he was not willingly doing the Dark Lord’s bidding. John and Cotton then go to a pub, where Cotton hands him Mary’s letter, but due to John’s illiteracy, Cotton read it to him before revealing the news of Anne’s unexpected pregnancy to him. 

At the House of the Seven Gables, Mary was in her wardrobe room, unenthusiastically staring at the dress that she was ordered to wear by the Devil for their wedding on Black Sunday. The Sentinel entered, wishing to speak to her, but before he could do so, she sarcastically modeled the dress and called herself “the bride of Satan” before bluntly telling him that the Dark Lord views both herself and him as servants, not equals. The Sentinel stared in a silent agreement. 

At Hale's House, Gloriana was lying on the bed in the secret room before Anne entered, carrying a candle. Visibly started, Gloriana is paralyzed by Anne with a wave of her hand as the ginger witch walked closer to the bed, slowly crawling atop Gloriana and beginning to torture her. Gloriana’s field of vision was shown, confirming that Anne and the demonic creature seen stalking her prior were in fact one and the same (her specter). Unable to move, Gloriana lay helpless as Anne dug her finger into her eye, drawing blood. 

At the House of the Seven Gables, the Dark Lord is in the library before being interrupted by Sebastian, whom he told that he was expecting. Sebastian began by admitting he had a grave transgression to confession, which the Dark Lord already knew about, asking “How was she?” in regards to Mary. Sebastian, surprised that he knew and at his indifference over the matter, is told by the Dark Lord that unlike God, he had no preference for virgins and that Sebastian may enjoy her until Sunday. Sebastian then goes on to tell him that he has another transgression to apologize for, alerting the Dark Lord that Mary had went to the woods to conspire with the Essex witches against him. Sebastian pretends to have been involved in the plan before having a change of heart and alerting the Dark Lord of what was happening. The Dark Lord, fooled by his acting, has him escort him to the woods where Mary is with the Widdershins, whom are the last surviving members of the Hive.

Back at the Hale home, Mercy arrived per Anne’s earlier request. Curious as to what she wanted of her; Mercy asked before being told by Anne of a wayward young refugee girl who used to be employed in Mercy’s line of work. Anne requested that Mercy take her in at the Bird's Nest. When Anne took Mercy to the secret room where Gloriana was, it was revealed that Anne had erased her memory and that she had no knowledge of herself, not even so much as knowing her name or how she arrived in Salem. Without condemning her, Mercy made it very obvious that she saw right through Anne’s act, even telling her that she sensed a yawning emptiness in Gloriana’s womb before shooting a glance at Anne’s rapidly accelerated pregnancy. Mercy agreed to take in Gloriana, telling Anne that she owed her for cleaning up her mess. She then left with Gloriana and Anne looked into a mirror, seeing her specter in place of her own natural beauty and looking visibly anguished by it before sighing. 

In the woods, Mary met with the Widdershins, all of whom had left their stronghold for the last time. Greeted by the Essex Elder, Mary expressed her fear that it was a grave hour, but the Elder reassured her that despite it, it was one of ultimate freedom. After expressing her own gratitude and that of all the other Essex and of the earth itself, the Elder told Mary that they all, including the earth itself, were indebted to her. Mary told them that she was also grateful for what they were about to do for her. Just as the Essex Elder consoled her, by telling her to be brave and that it would all be over soon, the Dark Lord arrived with Sebastian, shocked and angry at the site of Mary conspiring against him. The Dark Lord tried to convince Mary that he and she both are of one body and one soul, which she denied before confessing that although she once swallowed the taste of evil, she did so in service of something greater and that the Dark Lord only wanted greatness for himself, not for others. Mary also made clear that she has no desire to ever be a god and that she only wants to be a woman. Despite the Dark Lord’s protests, Sebastian walks towards Mary and the Widdershins, standing beside her and revealing his true allegiance, angering the Dark Lord further as the Essex Elder used an earth-based magic to hoist him up by vines, causing him to scream. The Essex Elder then told him that although he was once the source of Mary’s power, he no longer was and that it would be the power of the Essex witches themselves coursing through Mary before she declared her as their sister. With her final words, she reminded the Dark Lord of the real meaning of sacrifice and of its power and that it is something that he has never understood before she and all of the other Widdershins pulled out knives from within their cloaks, raising them into the air and impaling themselves in the chest in a mass suicide. All of their blood began to pour from their chests and onto the ground where it all mixed into a puddle at Mary’s feet. With tears streaming down her face, Mary bent down and bathed her hands in the blood before smearing it upon her face as she rose. Aware of what was about to happen, the Dark Lord screamed for the help of the Sentinel, whom had just emerged from behind some trees and declined his pleas, telling him that they challenged their Father for a reason and that he would not allow the Dark Lord to stand above him or his brothers in Hell, leaving him to his fate. The Dark Lord then cried out for Mary to stop what she was about to do, but she vehemently denied his plea, telling him that she is not his mother. Finally, Mary declared herself to be the last of the Essex and extended her hand, channeling all of her power into a single crushing force that she unleashed upon the Dark Lord, destroying his earthly vessel by ripping off all of his limbs and head as his blood gushed and his spirit was torn from it and sent back to Hell. A moment of silence ensued. 

At the Alden home, John stared at Mary’s letter before gazing out the window and witnessing Sebastian escorting her through the dark ton square and back to her house, his arm around her. John then allowed the letter to burn against a candle’s flame.  

Minutes later, Mary and Sebastian stood before an octagon shaped window in a hallway at the House of the Seven Gables, with Mary mourning the deaths of all her fellow Essex and calling them “remarkable.” She then told Sebastian that while the Dark Lord was gone, his brother was still around and that they needed to focus on killing him so that they could be together. 

The episode closes with a cloaked figure gathering the body parts of the Dark Lord’s vessel in a sack and walking into the darkness. 


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • Clint James as Isaac's Man
  • Morgana Shaw as Essex Elder
  • Billy Slaughter as Refugee Thief
  • Doug Van Liev as Blacksmith


  • Essex Elder — Stabbed herself in the heart for an ultimate sacrifice.
  • Essex Hive — Unidentified last surviving members stabbed themselves in the heart for an ultimate sacrifice.
  • John Sibley — Dismembered by Mary Sibley to deprive the Devil of his human vessel.



To Be Added


Promotional Videos

Behind the Scenes

Cultural References

  • Continuing the pattern mentioning the days of the week.
  • The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare is a novel by G. K. Chesterton, first published in 1908. The book is sometimes referred to as a metaphysical thriller.

International Titles

  • French: L'Homme du Jeudi (Thursday's Man)
  • German: Rotes Quecksilbe (Red mercury)
  • Italian: Il Quarto Giorno (The Fourth Day)


See Also

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