I try to think of Charmed as an entity entirely separate from the original series, but in taking on the name and basic premise, the reboot has opened itself up to expectations and comparisons. Though the show is wildly different from its predecessor — so much so, that I’m not sure why they didn’t just create a new concept — they have pulled certain elements directly from the source. Last season, Maggie fell in love with half-demon Parker, much like Phoebe fell in love with half-demon Cole in the original show. The reboot also introduced a third half-sister in Macy, like they did with Paige when Prue died.
That being said, a narrative element I thought the reboot might avoid recycling altogether, even though it was one of the major ongoing storylines in the original, is pairing one of the sisters with their Whitelighter. Mel is Very Gay and Harry is a man, so that pairing was off the table. Maggie is very young, for one, and was deeply involved with Parker, so outside of her having feelings for someone else, them together would just have been a bad look. Macy dated Galvin for the majority of the first season and his self-sacrifice — a rant for another day — greatly affected her. She hadn’t shown any interest in Harry or anyone else, as far as I can recall.
But that was then… In the last episode, a man with Harry’s face killed Harry. That same man communicated with Macy through her poison-induced altered state. Now she is seeing him in her dreams. Macy’s interactions with him have alluded to some deeper, possibly romantic feelings between Harry and herself. When Not-Harry — as he shall be called — speaks to her, he does so in an alluring way. She doesn’t retreat from him; rather, she seems to be drawn to him. She doesn’t know at first that he’s not Harry, she only knows he’s different from Harry.
Macy and Harry set off together to find Layla, the missing daughter of the two slain witches from last episode, leaving Mel and Maggie behind. Harry and Macy discuss the awkwardness between them. Macy admits she’s been dreaming about him, and that, in her dreams, he’s different, seductive. He then reveals that Not-Harry, the one in her dreams, killed him. At the demon club where Layla is being held, she magicks them into some Black “demon-y” outfits so they blend in. But when it’s clear that everyone entering is being tested for demon blood, she has to enter alone.
Back at HQ, Maggie discovers her dad (and Mel’s biological father) has died. Maggie wants to go to his memorial, but Mel disagrees and tries to remind her that he was trash. Maggie blows off steam at the boxing gym, where she runs into first-aid-kit cutie, Jordan. Mel goes to the magic shop where she attempts to steal some herbs and is caught by the gorgeous shop owner Katrina. She’s allowed to leave with the stolen goods cause sis can “sense” that she’s a troubled soul. While Mel perfects a cloaking serum, Maggie decides to travel by portal to her dad’s memorial… alone.
Not-Harry shows up while Maggie is alone at her father’s grave, saying her goodbyes. It becomes clear to her very quickly that he’s not the Harry she knows and trusts. He tries to attack and she struggles to get away from him. Mel, cloaked, picks up a shovel and hits him on the head, knocking him out long enough for them to escape through the portal. At this point, everyone is now aware of Not-Harry. But since Mel and Maggie don’t know that yet, they decide to use the rest of the cloaking serum to sneak into the club and help Macy. When they run into Harry outside the club, they pounce on him, and he proves he is himself by citing one of their mother’s recipes.
When Macy enters the club, she’s fitted with a bracelet that prevents her from using her powers. Inside, she sees a cloaked figure on a pillar in the center of the room. A demon comes out on stage, removes the cloak, revealing Layla, and begins to wax poetic about a demon Overlord that will rise to unite all demonkind. He intends to burn Layla as another declaration of war against witches, their “oppressors.” Macy interrupts by claiming to be the Overlord. At the same time, cloaked Mel and Maggie enter the club and start hitting folks with sticks, which makes it seem as though Macy is using power despite wearing the bracelet. When the demons are sufficiently distracted, Macy frees Layla.
Harry, who hadn’t been able to orb since he healed Macy, is finally able to orb into the club. When he approaches Macy, she hesitates for a second, before looking into his eyes and realizing he’s the real Harry. They all escape.
Back at HQ, safe and sound — though, it’s unclear where Layla went — Harry admits to Macy that he’s truly scared for the first time in his life. He begins to fret about them needing some kind of system, a code word or signal, so she knows it’s him. And she says, and I quote, “all I need is a look,” as she gazes into his eyes. “Like this. Eye to eye. And I’ll know. I’ll just know.” Bitch!
Now, look. I will admit that I wasn’t watching extremely closely last season, so it’s entirely possible they sprinkled some breadcrumbs here and there. But whatever this is came out of nowhere, as far as I’m concerned. Their development of feelings seems abrupt to me. Nothing about their relationship last season felt non-platonic, but they are going very hard with the looks and the feelings and there is just a different kind of intimacy between them now than what we’ve seen in the past.
It looks like Charmed may indeed recreate the Piper and Leo coupling. However, this time, there are no elders or other whitelighters to scrutinize and disapprove of their relationship, which changes the dynamic and gives them opportunities to do something very different than the original.
This episode gives us a lot of information. It expounds on the war being waged on witches. It introduces a Big Bad, The Overlord, which may or may not be Not-Harry. It also takes the Charmed ones from relative safety, with everyone believing they died in a fire, to immediate danger now that demons know they are still alive.
Without their witch powers, they are vulnerable, and it’ll be interesting to see how they long they remain that way. The Power of Three couldn’t save them or the book of shadows from Not-Harry, so maybe they’ll learn to rely more on other kinds of magic, like potions. Or maybe Macy will continue to develop her demon power and take on threats alone…