In an unexpected development, witches are becoming a back story as the friendship between Cotton and Alden takes the forefront on Salem - and that's perfectly okay.
It seems difficult to imagine that the chemistry between Seth Gabel and Shane West would outweigh that between any of their female counterparts, but it's certainly what happened. The moments between Cotton Mather and John Alden are what make Salem essential viewing.
It's never been more apparent than it has been since Increase Mather hit town. On Salem Season 1 Episode 8, Increase sits right in front of his son and tells Alden how much he admires his family and his sacrifice to keep fellow citizens safe by joining the war. Nothing his son has learned or done is enough for Increase.