Charmed Season 2 Episode 17 Review: Search Party

In this week's Charmed, the Faction has a coming out party, and everybody is invited, even if they don't know it...

Charmed Season 2 Episode 17
Photo: The CW

This Charmed review contains spoilers.

Charmed Season 2, Episode 17

In last week’s episode, Harry and Jordan went on a mission to a Faction facility to get more information on the shady organization wreaking havoc on the magical world. To maintain cover, Harry pretended to be Jimmy, and the last we saw of him, he was in a blacked out limo gratuitously snogging Nadia—whose name I had to Google, cause I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard it—leaving Jordan to bring the Charmed Ones up to speed.

Jordan took note of the car’s license plate, and when the sisters run them, they discover that the car is registered to Julian’s company. Macy is just about to end things with Julian when she gets the news, but being his date for a fundraiser at company headquarters gives the Charmed Ones the perfect cover to find Harry and get more information. The Charmed Ones and their plus ones, Abbie and Jordan, infiltrate the function and chicanery ensues.

Julian catches Macy somewhere she’s not supposed to be, and she’s able to convince him she’s got lost and is disoriented from a migraine. She gets him to tell her his tragic origin story, which… I kind of guessed, though I expected the motives to be different. The accident that killed his parents also killed his sister, but not immediately. He remembers a man appearing, healing two women, then vanishing, leaving his sister for dead. As motives go, that is a powerful one. I knew Viv was a villain the moment she appeared on-screen, well before she was revealed to be, and the only question I had was whether Julian was also involved. Now we know he is.

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Julian’s disdain for magic, while falling in love with a magical person, should make for compelling drama. The problem is, his relationship with Macy doesn’t feel solid enough to hinge an emotional arc on. Their romantic connection feels mostly one-sided, even before she commits to ending it. Their feelings for one another are supposed to complicate things, but Macy is so thoroughly going through the motions, it’d be hard to convince me there’s genuine hurt there. I don’t know if that was an intentional choice by the writers, or improper direction, but the connection between those characters isn’t strong.

Had Julian been introduced earlier in the season, and/or been given more time on-screen with Macy, he would feel more integral to her, and his reveal would be more impactful. Instead he was a latecomer, and almost all of the time we have spent with him focused on Macy’s lack of deeper feelings for him. To be fair, Macy doesn’t have to love him for him to love her. But any conflict on her part that isn’t just guilt about not reciprocating Julian’s feelings would feel fake. Her feelings ain’t that deep.

Speaking of fake… Abigael is demon public enemy number one, or four, depending on if they want to kill her or the Charmed Ones more. With nowhere else to go, she tags along with the sisters, and has something akin to a heart-to-heart with Mel, where she also reveals some of her tragic backstory. The dialogue does so much to try to convince us that Abbie is bad, but her behavior never quite supports that point. She’s a very helpful antagonist, and I still don’t know what she’s actually doing here, but I like her a lot more when she’s not trying so hard.

Trying hard isn’t a bad look on everybody, though. Jordan is doing everything he can to help the Charmed Ones, and break his ancestral curse. He’s also throwing heart eyes at Maggie, who reciprocates, and this is the ship I sail with. I can’t really find fault in him, he’s just a generally enjoyable character, and has the kind of “appropriately worried but not too pressed” energy I’d like to see more of on this show. I do hope he gets to do more than be clutch though, because relegating him to just that is boring, and does the character and the story a disservice.

The Charmed Ones eventually find and rescue Harry, but the Faction still obtains a huge amount of magical energy from their efforts, which is ominous. What they plan to do with that is anyone’s guess, but it is absolutely not good for anybody, magical or mortal. After Harry recovers, Macy finally tells him how she feels. After her thorough, and heartfelt speech, which is the most honest and vulnerable she’s probably allowed herself to be in a while, Harry responds by asking her who she is. He’s lost his memory. She finally confesses her innermost feelings and Harry can’t come to the phone right now. You hate to see it.

This episode reveals a lot about the Faction, and their leadership, and sets up major conflict to come. My interest in the story waned a third of the way through the season, but the last few episodes have brought me back in. I am looking forward to what’s coming next, and if the rest of the episodes maintain this momentum, this might be a solid season after all.

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3.5 out of 5