This Charmed review contains spoilers.
Charmed Season 2, Episode 4
Maggie is feeling guilty about getting the management job over Jordan, so she devises a way to help him keep his gym, as I predicted she would. After she tells him her plan, they agree and shake hands, then he says, “I love you. You saved my life.” It’s a premonition. She goes to tell Mel about it, but Mel is busy rebuilding the Book of Shadows one spell at a time and doesn’t take Maggie seriously. (Later, when Jordan says the words, it’s to his girlfriend, Lola.)
In HQ, Macy and Harry interrogate Abigael. Macy asks her why she orchestrated they kill Callum. She says she was trying to unite demons, and he was in her way. Harry then asks her if she’s the Overlord, she says, “I took an old myth and used it to my advantage” and, “my limited species doesn’t recognize people without penises, so I pretended to have one.”
Let’s unpack this… First, I don’t recall the Overlord’s gender being specified, so pretending to “have a penis” is… a choice. Secondly, and I’m just spitballing here, wouldn’t it be more subversive to be the Overlord and be female? Frankly, I don’t know why demons would have the same gender constructs as humans, but if demon society is misogynist and patriarchal, wouldn’t it be more powerful for the supposed Chosen One to present as a female? I digress.
Abigael’s story makes some sense, but I hope there’s more to it. I think she’s potentially a compelling character but she does not have the juice or the squeeze, and I’m just not seeing it for her as a villain. I suspect there’s another threat, someone much stronger and more insidious, who is moving in silence and possibly using Abigael’s subterfuge to their advantage; letting her draw attention away from them, unbeknownst to her. But, this is all speculation.
So Abigael is telling Macy and Harry about finding her friends dead before getting shot with the poison arrow then later waking up with a green wound, in a freezer truck that she escapes from, in Montana. She claims all her chicanery was because she thought the Charmed Ones were responsible for all of that, and she killed the witches in Vermont as revenge. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool…
But why though? Why would the Charmed Ones send an archer assassin to kill her with a poison arrow instead of using a vanquishing spell or the Power of Three? And who even is she? Why does she think they would target her? She was unknown to them until she manipulated her way into their lives. Whew! The ego on that one.
Back on topic. Macy plans to take Abigael to where she claimed to have escaped the truck. Before she leaves, Harry again says they need a safe word, and Macy agrees this time. Mel decides to go with Macy and Abigael. When they get there, they hear a Kyon, the “velociraptor of the magical world,” according to Abs. Instead of leaving to regroup, like Mel wants, Abigael runs ahead so Macy and Mel have to follow her. Mel gets really close to becoming a snack.
The trio find a puddle of green goo, that matches the poison the assassin uses, and follow the trail. It leads them to a cave where they find a trap, and a piece of antler belonging to a Kyon queen, who the assassin captured. The women take the antler so they can use it to track the Kyon and her captor. Oh, also, big reveal… Abigaie’s last name is Jameson-Caine. Caine as in Alistair. As in, she’s his daughter, and half-sibling to Hunter and Parker. SMH.
Back at HQ, Harry is perusing the Book of Elders, when Maggie helps him decipher a word which he says aloud. A spider emerges from a sketch on the page, and leads them to a hidden safe of some sort. When they open it they find an ID with Harry’s face and a different name, among with a file for a patient in Tulipe Asylum.
Harry goes to the asylum to find the patient, Helen. Only certain visitors are allowed to see her, but luckily the name on Harry’s ID is one of them. He talks to Helen, and asks her questions, asks if she’s a witch, but she’s unresponsive. When he mentions The Elders, she reacts violently, scratching him. She immediately calms down, then she heals him. She’s a Whitelighter!
When his visit is over, he looks through her personal effects. He finds photos and information that (I believe) suggest she’s from Salem, 1693. He says, “the alpha, the first,” and I’m unclear on whether he means witch or Whitelighter. When he’s leaving the attendant says something about “her sister” and Harry asks to see her. When he does, he sees a more violent, rage-y version of Helen.
Harry goes back to Helen and asks her if the sister is actually her. She says, struggling, “I am half.” And when he asks if the elders did this to her, she responds, “and you.” Bitch!
When Macy, Mel and Abigael return to HQ, Mel works on a tracking potion using the Kyon antler. When it doesn’t immediately work, Mel drinks it. Like one does. It connects her to the Kyon (she’s possessed?) and she goes through the portal to where the queen is. Her sisters and Abigael follow. They land in a warehouse that is full of pods, each with a powerful magic creature — all alphas — inside. They realize the assassin aka Not-Harry is a hunter, and they’re mad powerful, so clearly he wants to collect them.
Mel destroys the power sources and releases the queen. Macy goes to distract the Kyon, but Mel kneels to her and she leaves. The rest of the creatures begin leaving their pods, so the girls have to go, but Macy is a ways away from them. Harry orbs in and says “quick, I can orb again, long story.” So she tells the rest of them to return through the portal, and only realized to ask for the safe word after the fact. I thought she would “just knew.” *rolls eyes* He orbs her away.
When Mel and Maggie get back, they put Abigael back in her magical cell and go about their business. When they get back to HQ, Harry is looking at his own records and when they ask where Macy is, he doesn’t know. They realize she’s with the other one and Harry reveals that he’s his Darklighter. Y’all!
I am rarely caught off guard but I genuinely did not consider that Not-Harry was a Darklighter. In hindsight, it should’ve been my first guess what with the crossbow; a signature weapon of Darklighters in the original series. But to be fair, in the OG series, Darklighters mostly killed Whitelighters — and humans who would eventually become Whitelighters — while taking the odd contract from an upper level demon to do commit a murder or do other evil. As far as I recall, they weren’t the “bad half” of a Whitelighter, but were separate entities entirely.
Nothing has been revealed yet about how this works in the new series, but it stands to reason that for every Whitelighter there is an opposite, evil doppelganger. Maybe there is something here about balance. Or maybe Harry and Helen are special cases, which would make sense, they both survived the elder’s destruction. Either way, I’m interested to see how this revelation changes the mythology.
The new series deviates so much from the original, that again, I don’t know why they didn’t just make a new show about witches. That said, they kept the sister witch trio, their general powerset, the Book of Shadows (currently destroyed), and the Power of Three. There’s also their antagonistic relationship with demonkind, but that seems more a given, considering it’s a supernatural show about magic.
Speaking of Supernatural, I’m starting to get that vibe. The Charmed Ones are siblings, who travel to places where evil is afoot, and face mythological creatures, in their ultimate fight against demons. They also have an angel that pops up wherever they are and heals them. Technically, OG Charmed did it first — I distinctly remember recognizing the Wendigo in Supernatural cause I’d seen one in Charmed — but Supernatural is now far older than the current iteration of Charmed, and some things may be too similar.
I know it’s still early in the season, but I feel like the story is already plateauing. Currently, Abigael is a perfectly acceptable, but mostly uninspiring, antagonist. She’s really good at manipulating Macy, by constantly reminding her of their similarities, but that’s the gist of it. And I’m down with her Demon Feminism, even if her execution is flawed. But she does not elicit… anything. Not-Harry is more intriguing, but he doesn’t feel like the threat. I think I’m waiting for the Charmed Ones to be in danger for real.
At the beginning of the season, I wondered whether the sisters regain their powers too quickly, and I’m glad they haven’t. But I’m also ready for them to do something else. Maggie experienced a new element of her power and maybe that’s the middle-ground between giving them everything all at once and them being effectively useless. With or without their powers returned, I want them to be in it. Hopefully, in the coming episodes, they will be.