In Salem, West plays the gruff war hero John Alden, who returns home to find his town being torn apart by witches and the paranoid Puritans who hunt them. We talked to West about John Alden’s inner demons, the benefits of being on a cable show, and what it takes to make a finale that fans will remember. I wanted to show the audience what most people might think if they were thrown in this situation, where what they didn’t think was true turned out to be a reality. It’s quite an interesting scene to open up the finale, because we start it the way that it ended with the second-to-last episode. I think it’s kind of a collection of emotions all at once.
John and Mary have both changed so much since John left Salem those years ago. They’re both completely different people. Is there any hope for them to start over? Or has too much damage been done at this point?
Salem does a great job of maintaining that balance of giving enough story that the audience feels like there’s constant action, but at the same time making them wait for things long enough that it really pays off.
That goes along with one of the themes of Salem, where it’s not necessarily one specific thing, and that’s an idea that you guys touch on a lot. No one is good or evil; nothing is black or white, especially with the characters. Is that something that was important to you when you read the script?
Absolutely. We knew going in that John Alden was going to come off more like a somewhat perfect hero in the beginning. I didn’t know necessarily what happened in his backstory right away, but I was told it was going to be somewhat sketchy, and I knew by episode 4 or 5 you were going to find out that John wasn’t so perfect either. What I love about [the show], as these 13 episodes have evolved, is being able to see all those layers for all those characters, and to see the positive and the negative
Chuck would have the city dripping in honey from every rooftop if she could, but until then, she’ll settle for adding miniature cup pies to the Pie Hole’s menu. Ned is scandalized. Nontraditional pies are about as scandalous as Ned’s life gets—when he’s not waking the dead.Death pulls him away from cup pies when a scratch-and-sniff book explodes, killing one Anita Gray. A student of olfactory science expert Napoleon LaNez, Anita sniffed out an advance copy of his upcoming self-help book, The Smell of Success, which was rigged to blow. It seems that someone was trying to kill LaNez, possibly for the fact that his book was moved up the release schedule at the expense of an adult pop-up book (Pop-Up Pin-Ups). Ned and Emerson visit the author, Meanwhile, Olive is on a mission for Chuck, who wants to get aunts Lily and Vivian out of the house and back into the pool, where they dazzled for years as renowned synchronized swimming duo the Darling Mermaid Darlings. Since Olive was a fan of the Darlings, she persuades Lily and Vivian to pull their old costumes out of storage.
Vibenius disappears, only to turn up later at the Pie Hole. He confronts Olive, who comes at him with a knife, and an emotional Chuck, now wrapped in her mother’s sweater. After convincing them that he was actually trying to shut off the methane and save LeNez, Vibenius smells up the ladies (it’s exactly like it sounds). Olive is easy—she smells like dog—but Chuck’s scent is more complicated, with notes of honey and death. Because LeNez conveniently unlocked his car from across the street, he was unharmed in the blast. It actually boosted the presales of his book. To make the most of these 15 minutes of fame, LaNez has arranged a press interview, complete with Ned and Emerson as witnesses. Ned gets bored and snoops, as you do, and finds himself checking under his host’s bed, as you do, and he stumbles upon a tube sock like the one in his sink, marked with almost the same warning. With LeNez in custody, Ned adds cup pies to the menu at the Pie Hole, because who wants to be the kind of person who decontaminates himself against the world? Change happens. Even Lily and Vivian are diving back into the pool, trading their unhappiness for at least the chance of something better.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the second installment of the rebooted sci-fi franchise, stampeded to an easy win at theaters this weekend. The movie won over critics and fans, collecting a 90% approval rating from critics, says Rotten Tomatoes, and a collective A-minus from moviegoers, according to pollsters Cinemascore. Dawn pawed $73 million, according to studio estimates from box office firm Rentrak. Analysts expected about $60 million. The debut marks a solid improvement over its predecessor, 2011′s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which opened to $55 million and went on to collect $177 million. Solid reviews and word-of-mouth could propel Dawn, the eighth movie in the ape franchise, to an even stronger run.
While kids were the primary focus of Fox’s advertising campaign, old-school ape fans turned out, as well. According to online ticket retailer Fandango, 87% of advance-ticket customers said they’d watched at least one of the five original movies, which ran from 1968-1973.
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