This Charmed review contains spoilers.
Charmed Season 2 Episode 10
I have reached a point in my relationship with Charmed where I am no longer invested in the show itself but am committed to finishing what I started. I am making a meal out of a morsel, and finding little things to delight in, in what has become an overwhelmingly underwhelming season of television.
Last week, Mel and Maggie’s presumed-dead father Ray reappeared, and in the midst of being magically hunted, discovered his daughters (and now-deceased ex-wife) are witches. Somehow they figured out that whoever Ray was working for is possibly the person who freed Dark Harry, so in this week’s episode Mel asks Ray to get in contact with his client. When things go south at the meetup, Ray bargains for his life with a vial of black amber. Later we see the liquid used in a lab to revive a dead animal, and the people who have it also saw Mel use her powers.
I hope this doesn’t mean more bad guys. What I very much do not want is this show introducing yet another potential threat to the Charmed Ones, when they have yet to make any of the pre-existing threats feel, well, threatening. Plus, the sisters have easily survived every obstacle so far this season, despite being effectively powerless the entire time. Now that they have powers again, I would rather the focus remain on the currently established enemies, even if their identities are currently unknown.
I have said several times this season that I do not see it for Abigael and the fact that the writers make her act so petty, tells me they don’t either. If they were convinced she was a compelling villain, they would give her more to do than be generally bitchy in the vicinity of the Charmed Ones and pontificate about feminism in the demon patriarchy. As it stands, she is a person that is irritating on the periphery, like a fly you can see but who isn’t close enough to swat.
That said, Abigael in this episode had me tickled. She fakes being poisoned so she can run to Harry for help in hopes they would bond or something because she may be half demon but she’s full cheese. But Macy comes with, and she doesn’t trust Abbie, so she figures out the plot and confronts Abs about the finesse. Homegirl reads Macy for absolute filth and clocks her about her feelings for Dark Harry, saying something like, “maybe he (Harry) likes someone who appreciates his goodness instead of wanting someone a bit…darker.” And I oop.
When Macy exposes Abigael to Harry, he basically shrugs it off, and when she gets huffy about it, he says, and I quote, “you ain’t checking for me, so why you checking for her checking for me?” Which is valid. Harry obviously doesn’t say that, but that is the sentiment. He knows that Macy is aware of his feelings for her, and she doesn’t seem to reciprocate, yet she always feels a way about him giving Abbie attention, which is some, “I don’t want you, but they can’t have you” energy.
To be fair, Abbie is someone Macy deeply distrusts so there is reason for her to be wary. However, it just comes off as your everyday run-of-the-mill jealousy. Which is fine. Her feelings toward the Harrys is complicated, and she’s allowed to be protective of the person she cares for even if she doesn’t quite know what form those feelings take.
But Abigael makes several points. When Harry confronts her about her little plan, she says to him —and this is a real, direct quote— “I see you. Forget about the Darklighter, to me you are whole.” And biiiiitch, she could’ve gotten the draws right there if not for Macy’s interruption. This time, though, Harry was legitimately needed so Macy wasn’t intentionally blocking, even if the timing was unfortunate.
Speaking of unfortunate timing, Jordan is turning 26 and the Ghost of Witch’s past decides to enact her dead at 25, curse and kill him literally two hours before the deadline. Maggie briefly thwarts her, but when she escapes from a magical trap, Maggie has to bring Jordan into the command center to protect him. He learns about witches and his family’s Witch Hunting legacy in the same day. Maggie eventually convinces the witch to spare him, which she does, but she warns that the curse isn’t so easily broken and says Jordan has to “balance the scales of Justice,” which is vague.
I don’t know what Jordan’s role is, but maybe breaking the curse for real for real means helping the Charmed Ones protect other witches. Then again, that storyline seems to have been abandoned (or maybe, since Abigael is acting Overlord, she’s put a moratorium on witch murder, even though coming for witches was her entire platform). I do know that I like Jordan and Maggie together and the writers clearly want me to want them to be together but instead of making this one thing simple, they have to complicate it for the drama of it all.
The women being witches who are being targeted and hunted by demons and other unknown threats is drama enough. Having a relatively low-key, healthy relationship with a significant other will not take away from that. But I guess if Macy can’t have a Harry, and Mel can’t have Kat, Maggie doesn’t get a romantic situation either. If there is a deliberate message here about Independence and not needing a man or a romantic relationship to be valued, skip it.
Skip any of the “lessons,” especially Abbie’s particularly brazen ones. You can just show characters doing things that are impactful and the fact of them doing it is a point made. Abigael usurping her half-brother and taking control over demonkind, and the visual of her presiding over a room full of men (or male-presenting demons) is a stronger point than any of her several monologues about it. This show needs to do less talking and more showing. It needs to trust its audience and stop making plain statements that make everything feel like a bid for woke points instead of a genuine sentiment.
The original Charmed wasn’t marketed as a feminist show, they just had women doing hella stuff independently, and women who didn’t need men to be successful, or to be powerful. And even though they made missteps (some things do not look right with this 2020 hindsight) they were doing things we think of as feminist or progressive, not because they were trying to tell us that’s what it was, but because that’s actually what it was. This rebooted Charmed needs to put their intention in the characters actions, not their vocabulary.
What I need to happen as soon as possible, is Dark Harry to hit them with the, “surprise, bitch…” so we can get back to the fun angst and will-they-won’t-they, and Macy flirting with her own dark side, and Harry having an existential crisis, and Dark Harry waffling between his duty and his feelings. I need one of these villains to do something, anything… Because the story feels stagnant. There is nothing to lose and nothing to gain, and I think that’s the biggest sin of all… There are no stakes.