If WGN America's supernatural series took place in modern times, we'd all be urging Shane West's John Alden to kick Mary Sibley to the curb. She's pushed him away time and again and finally, in the Season 1 finale, she left him for dead in the woods. That's not exactly the sign of a functional relationship. Still, heading into Salem Season 2, John & Mary's reconciliation is clearly on fans' minds (and the promotional department's minds — just look at that steamy promo image above). Luckily for John & Mary 'shippers, Shane West says there is one very important factor that could change their ruptured relationship and maybe even turn it romantic again.
I visited the set of Salem in March and had the chance to ask the man behind John Alden as well as Tituba actress Ashley Madekwe what might become of Mary and her former bestie and former lover — after all, the latter enters Season 2 filled with murderous rage towards the head witch in charge. Now, we can't expect anything to change as quickly as they will between, say, Mary and Tituba, who Madekwe says will reconcile quickly because "there are issues, but they have to work together because ultimately they’re on the same side, and when it comes down to it it’s kind of down to them and us."
While I'm all for female friendships (or I guess, alliances, in this case) enduring, you have to wonder how Mary's actions are going to sit with her other companion John, long term. Well, they are, in a few words, not great.
"I don’t think he’s interested in having the ice thaw. At least that’s the bare bones of how he feels, that’s the basis of these episodes," he says.
But that doesn't mean things can't change, he adds.
"Things can change, things may easily change ... Well one of the things that can help that is the addition of their son. If and when John finds this out, what will that do? Will it change his mind, will it not stop him at all? I don’t know. We haven’t gotten to that yet," says West.
He's of course referring to the character still named "boy" who comes into Mary's life in the Season 2 premiere. John has to eventually find out that he has a son, and considering West and Co. were still filming the rest of Season 2 when we spoke, he may not even know what will come of the father-son meeting.
Of course, I don't think I'm alone in hoping that it means some sort of romantic reconciliation, against all odds, and according to co-creator Brannon Braga, we 'shippers aren't alone.
"John and Mary, we always saw at the emotional thread running through the series was this epic romance and a tragic romance, you know? It starts kind of tragically and Season 1 ends tragically, and now this season starts tragically, but I’m rooting for John and Mary to get together. I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen, but I hope they find happiness," he says.
From your ears to, well, your ears, sir.
Salem premieres Sunday night on WGN America at 10 pm ET.
Images: WGNA (2); Giphy