This Charmed review contains spoilers.
Charmed Season 2 Episode 15
The Charmed Ones all have their powers back, and they’re going to need them. The sisters three discover The Bad Guys have been transferring magic into resurrected bodies, thus creating monsters they can control. When the Charmed Ones accidentally damage a Bad Guy’s monster control Apple watch, a murderous magical marauder — played by Derek Mears, who I feel the need to point out because he is 6’5″!— takes out his former-slaver and sets off to kill and do crimes. The Charmed Ones find an Elder, Celeste, in the boot of the Bad Guy’s car. When they bring her back to HQ, Harry recognizes her as the one who made him a Whitelighter.
When the Big Bad was revealed to be Julian’s Aunt Vivian in the last episode, her villain spiel suggested she wanted to see an end to magic. With that being the end goal, why transfer the magic and not destroy it? The answer is, of course, that’s it’s too straightforward. You can’t build a season around reasonable behavior. The Bad Guy has to have a gratuitous plan that circumvents every logical step that could’ve been taken before the last measure, so the story can span 22 episodes (which is about 10 too many). I get how one can rationalize using magic against magic, but if you replace “magic” with “guns,” it doesn’t make sense. But making sense is not the point. Doing the utmost is.
And do the utmost they have. The entire season, this nefarious, still unnamed organization, has been stealing magic by hook or by crook. They freed Jimmy (Dark Harry), they kidnapped a menagerie of magical creatures, and held a resurrection at the club. (If you can’t go to Bella Noches where could you go?) Then they found themselves a living, breathing Elder to abduct.
Vivian’s cabal has been an interesting addition, if only because they went from moving in silence like the g in lasagna to making a lot of noise, seemingly overnight. They took so long to appear, and now that they’ve arrived, they’re underwhelming. It’s probably that their ultimate goal is to rid the world of magic, that makes them feel… less. It’s just an odd place to focus all that time, energy, and resources, but rich folks need hobbies too, I guess.
Celeste explains who she is and why the Bad Guys want her (she knows magic science, in short) and says the Charmed Ones will need the Power of Three. But as we saw in the last episode, the girls didn’t take the power because of the destiny attached to it, that it’d destroy the sisterhood. So, Celeste, in her infinite wisdom, puts a spell on the girls that send them into dreams that force them to experience their worst fears. To give them perspective, I guess.
What Charmed does well is characterization, at least where the main cast is concerned. I know the Charmed Ones. You could drop either of them into another show, and I’d be able to clearly visualize how they would behave in that setting. Macy, Maggie, and Mel are not my favorite characters by any stretch, but they are fully realized. This does hurt the show a little, though. The audience is so aware of what they want, what they fear, what motivates them, and how they move, and think, and feel… that putting them in these situations to explore their internal selves has become blasé.
Macy enters a scenario where Harry and Abigael are married with children. Dream Macy is off having an incredible career, while Abbie has become the de facto third sister. She and Abbie fight, and Maggie gets caught in the crossfire and dies. In Maggie’s dream, Maggie is.. a child? Jordan leaves her, saying “that’s what we men do.” Then the monster kills Mel. In Mel’s dream, she wakes up in an asylum, and Jordan helps her escape. Only he’s not Jordan, he’s the Witchfinder General, and her sisters are restrained over unlit pyres.
Celeste expected the sisters to wake up when they died in their dreams —based on the faulty premise that they each feared their own death— but instead, they lose each other in the dreams and are therefore trapped. I do not understand these rules, but after Macy gets Maggie killed, and Maggie gets Mel killed, they, along with Harry who made Celeste put him in the dream, die to protect Macy. That brings them all out of the dreamscape.
Later, the monster pops up in Portland, where the girls teleport, too late to save a fellow witch. The Charmed Ones have their sisterly bonding moment and say the words, ”potentia trium” —which is literally just “Power of Three” in Latin— and they generate a ball of energy, which is how the Power of Three manifests now, apparently. They hero-strut up to the monster and hit him with their newly acquired lightning fingers, which destroys him. They win this round.
I like this episode for what I hope it means for the rest of the season, but I don’t like that it treads ground that’s already been covered to greater effect in earlier episodes. The sisters have explored their inner selves, their external selves, and each other. They have been read, dragged, and attacked. The soul-searching has to end here. From this point on, the Charmed Ones are fighting at full capacity —though to be fair, they were winning handily even when they were working with nothing but potions and prayer — and I expect them, and their adversaries, to rise to the occasion.