This Charmed review contains spoilers.
Charmed Season 2, Episode 6
When we last saw Macy, she was being orbed away by Harry’s Darklighter while her sisters and Abigael escaped to safety. Harry decided that, to find her, he would need to know more about his dark half, so he searched his memories and feelings to discover the truth about his past and to better understand his Darklighter. He realized that they are each half of one man, that they shared memories and feelings. Because of this, he knew that Macy wasn’t in immediate danger because Not-Harry has feelings for her, which he knows because he has feelings for her. Whew!
This week, Macy wakes up to find herself “safe,” at home in her bed. Downstairs, “Harry” is playing music and preparing food. She asks him what’s going on, and he tells her they saved her from the Darklighter “before anything untoward happened.” He then presents her with wine, which makes her suspicious, so she tests him and he fails. She tries to open the front door, which she can’t, so she goes along with the charade.
They eat, they dance, then she goes full femme fatale and convinces Not-Harry to let her go upstairs and change into the little red dress he likes. (Has Harry made this known? Sir!) She tries to call for Harry and look for some other way out, but she can’t. She puts on the dress, then discovers the edges of a glamour, saying it’s not real, just as Not-Harry enters the room. She tries to attack him, but he has a power dampener on his person, so it fails and he binds her hands together. He lifts the glamour to reveal they’re in a highrise in Manhattan.
Which brings us back to where we ended the last episode… Mel and Maggie are looking for Macy, and even though the hellhound-provided coordinates place her in New York, no signal has appeared on the s(witch)board. I don’t know why they would need a distress signal to find her, as coordinates tend to be fairly exact, but apparently hellhounds summoned by a very difficult (banned) spell, who project coordinates from their eyes, cannot be counted on for specifics. The sisters and Harry mull over their options and decide that Maggie should try to touch Jordan again, to get a vision.
When Jordan is up for karaoke at a SafeSpace function, Maggie volunteers to make it a duet. They both sing (well) and she proceeds to touch him, awkwardly. It would’ve been easy to just wrap her hands on his as they both cradle the mic, but maybe they were going for slapstick? She gets a flash of a bar, but it’s not enough, so she and Mel concoct a plan to get Jordan in an elevator with Maggie, and use a potion to short it out, so they get stuck in there together and she can continue to fondle him.
The potion does a little bit extra and takes out power to the whole building, but Maggie and Jordan are indeed stuck, and she still finds every awkward way to initiate physical contact. After some attempts, she realizes it happens when she touches his right hand, where he’s wearing a ring. When she asks about the ring, he tells her it’s amber, and family legend says it has magical properties. She asks him if she can try it on and, when she does, she has a vision of Jordan getting hurt.
Meanwhile, Mel and Harry follow the first vision to the bar. Harry is able to orb there with Mel, which means he’s regaining his power, but it still takes a toll. Inside, a demon calls Harry Jimmy and says he owes him money for securing his place and other things. The demon challenges Harry to poker, offering Mel a prize if he wins. Mel agrees thinking she’d be playing, but she’s put in a closet and Harry, who can’t play, is left to do just that. Luckily, she has a little invisibility potion left so she uses it to stand next to Harry and tell him what to do. Unfortunately, the potion wears off before they’re clear, but Mel threatens light the whole place up with Hellflame, and they make it out with the exact address where Not-Harry is holed up.
In Not-Harry’s flat, Macy ingratiates herself with him. She asks him about himself. He tells her how he was freed and that his master wants to collect power, which is why he is trying to obtain the Charmed Ones. She invites him to dance, and adopting her sultry voice again, coos in his ear about giving them Abigael instead. She disarms him enough that she takes the power dampener off of him and is able to attack. They fight and when she gets an upper hand, he orbs away.
A moment later, Harry and Mel orb in. Having learned her damn lesson, she snatches Harry directly up and has him by the throat, until he says Hut-8 (their safeword), which verifies it’s him. I love that him appearing with Mel was apparently not enough to convince her, but good on her for being ready!
Not-Harry orbs back in, suited and booted in his assassin garb (we love an outfit change) and pounces as Harry orbs Mel and Macy away. After Harry drops them off, he returns to the flat. He goes for the Darklighter’s briefcase, which contains the green toxic goo. After some tussling, he manages to get it and throw it on Not-Harry, which debilitates him long enough for Harry to deal a fatal blow. Not-Harry turns to dust.
Back at HQ, Harry is heavily in his feelings, and having an existential crisis. He says, “humans are a mix of light and dark, that’s what makes us… them… whole.” He’s hurting. He checks on Macy and apologizes for what she had to go through “with that monster.” And she says — because never forget that they have Feelings — “he wasn’t all monster. How can he be? He’s a part of you.” (I cannot with that, take it and throw it away!)
Harry then asks what he was like. She tells him, “bold, selfish, charming… Twisted and tortured by what had happened to him, and you.” He then gets aggressively in his feelings because these are things he’ll never be and they died with his Darklighter, etc. But he doesn’t know that a Darklighter — like him, when he was stabbed to death — has reemerged alive and well in their shared grave. I foresee that Harry will not be able to kill his Darklighter without killing himself, and the only way to defeat him will be rejoining with him. He may yet become whole.
“Two months ago,” Not-Harry was released from his bottle-prison by a person who calls themself his master. My guess is: this person is a former Elder or one of their acolytes, looking to take advantage of the power vacuum created by the loss of the Elders and Whitelighters. If Harry (and Helen) survived the Elders destruction by being dissociated from them at the time of their demise, surely that means someone else could. It would make sense; they knew where to look for the imprisoned Darklighters and how to open the bottle. And, crucially, they were able to open the bottle without setting off the building’s defenses — something we know exists because Abigael triggered them when she touched Harry’s bottle. At the very least, we know that, whoever this person is, they are probably not a demon.
We also know, or can reasonably assume, they’re not a man. This is Charmed, and it is very Feminist. The people who write this show seem to always have that in mind, even if they stumble from time to time. Abigael’s story is a prime example of this. Her major concern is the lack of upward mobility for female demons. She wants to dismantle demon patriarchy, be respected, and have power. But she kills other women and comes for the Charmed Ones, who are also women. (This is a particular brand of feminism, but I’ll save that for another time.) This is not subtle at all. Also not subtle, is Macy asking if “he wants to collect us?” And Not-Harry replying, “I never said he.” oprah-shrug.gif
But all of this is speculation because the story is still focused on the surface-level antagonists, while the larger, more insidious threats are yet to be revealed. And while I do not mind a slow burn generally, this show doesn’t have enough else going on. Again, Abigael just barely qualifies as a threat, and Not-Harry is… formidable, but clearly beatable. There’s not really a sense that he can do much harm, whether it’s because the Charmed Ones are needed alive, or because his feelings for Macy will get in the way of him wanting to kill her.
Last week, I said I was invested in the relationships, and I am, but they need to show them. Here is yet another episode where Katrina is completely absent, despite her apparent significance in Mel’s life. They make time to remind us that Jordan has a girlfriend — and that Maggie would be in competition for his affections — which is entirely unnecessary, when they could focus on a character who is directly involved with the Charmed Ones.
We’re only a quarter of the way through the season, which means there is a lot of story left, and hopefully more time for characters we want to see more of. Like Kat. But, in the absence of something or someone to fear and root against, like a truly awesome villain, we need something to look forward to.
The demon who challenged Harry to poker, and thought was going to win (before Harry called his bluff) said, “look like witch is back on the menu, boys!” and I cackled.