Charmed Season 2 Episode 8 Review: The Rules of Engagement

Power shifts, and Maggie makes a major decision, in the midseason finale of Charmed.

Madeleine Mantock as Macy, Melonie Diaz as Melanie, Sarah Jeffery as Maggie, and Rupert Evans as Harry in Charmed Season 2

This Charmed review contains spoilers.

Charmed Season 2, Episode 8

At the top of the season, I discussed how the show seemed to be taking Macy and Harry’s relationship in a direction I didn’t expect — one that felt out of left field — and, since then, the show has indeed taken their relationship to… strange places. Harry has discovered that he was essentially split in half, and that his other, darker side was made an entirely separate entity: a Darklighter. This Darklighter —  who I’ve lovingly called Not-Harry and now Dark Harry — attacked the Charmed Ones, then started targeting Macy specifically. He would visit Macy in her dreams, but his interactions were… not unpleasant.

Dark Harry has been sent by some as-yet-unknown master to collect power, including from the Charmed Ones. But because Harry himself has feelings for Macy, Dark Harry has feelings for her, too. One could argue that perhaps Dark Harry’s feelings would be more passionate, or at least less encumbered, because he is the side of Harry that doesn’t feel shame or guilt for going after what he wants. Dark Harry’s actions have been as much about seducing Macy to his side, as they are about capturing Macy and her sisters for his master.

I predicted that Macy would catch feelings for Dark Harry specifically and, in this episode, my inkling is confirmed. Macy feels A Way about Abigael and laments that Harry gives her the benefit of the doubt, which comes off as jealousy, even though it is warranted. When Mel confronts her about this, Macy tells her those feelings are for the other one. What can I say? When I’m right, I’m right. Mel suggests Macy give Harry a try because he has feelings for her, and Macy says, “no” but… “well.” Unfortunately, once Macy decides to give it a go with him, she happens upon him and Abigael kissing passionately. Yikes.

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read more: Charmed Season 2, Episode 7 Review

On the other hand, I was wrong about Abigael. Rather, I underestimated her importance to the story. Abigael came in as a semi-antagonist early in the season, and while she has been A Problem, she hasn’t seemed to pose any real threat to the Charmed Ones. She’s aware that the witches, and at some point Harry, are powerless, and has had several chances to gain the upper hand. She never really went on the offensive, except that one time in the very beginning, and at this point she’s aided the sisters more than she’s hurt them.

Until now, that is.

Maggie accepts Parker’s random proposal and they plan their wedding for that night, as Abigael and Godrick scheme and sow distrust between them. Parker reads Maggie’s thoughts without consent, and sees Jordan. Then he tries to force Maggie to marry him, but she escapes with the help of her sister—and Abby. Then, Parker shows up at SafeSpace in a jealous rage to kill Jordan, but before he can, Abigael shows up and takes him out.

Except Abigael only pretends to kill him. In actuality, she doses him with the magical apple, which makes him act aggressively, then fakes his death so she can regain the Charmed Ones’ trust while simultaneously blaming them for his murder. She rallies demons by telling them, “witches took my brother, I will avenge my bloodline. I am your new Overlord, it’s time for a matriarch to ascend.” And I’m not entirely sure what matriarchy has to do with this particular moment, but the demons cheer and accept her with open arms despite her doing nothing but say, “I’m in this bitch.” But, whatever.

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Abigael is the Overlord. She’s come full circle. First, she claimed the title without the power, then she had the power without the title, and finally she has both and, crucially, the demons are now behind her. The Charmed Ones do not know this yet, and they trust her again. They have no idea she’s waging war on witches and will probably be blindsided by whatever she does next. And she is definitely plotting something. Though I would not be surprised at all if she turns on the demons in some way because she is also half-witch.

My feelings about Abigael have not changed: She is a perfectly fine adversary for the Charmed Ones, especially in their currently de-powered state, but you can’t go from The Source of All Evil to… An Angry Woman. And there’s nothing wrong with being angry, being a woman, or wanting power, but there’s nothing particularly exciting about the way she’s going about things, either. It’s not that I dislike her; I’m just indifferent. But, hey, she might surprise me.

Speaking of surprises. Mel discovers a branch growing on the floor in HQ and finds in it what she believes is black amber — what Jordan’s ring is made of — and the source of their power. When Maggie touches it, she is able to see her full premonition about Jordan (showing Parker kill him) and, when Parker attacks Jordan, Mel is able to freeze him — literally, not just suspend him in time. It seems the Charmed Ones have not only figured out how to get their powers back, but have also leveled-up.

I look forward to seeing the Charmed Ones back operating at one hundred percent, with the Power of Three and all of the ways they’ve learned to practice magic without it. We still have yet to uncover who is behind Dark Harry; they may prove to be more dangerous than even the Charmed Ones with their expanded powerset can handle. I, for one, hope they emerge asaptually or that Abigael steps her villainy up. This show needs to work on its sense of stakes. Because, right now, it feels like there just aren’t any.

Additional thoughts.

Jordan was thrown across the room, and left unconscious. But if he remembers any of it, he will have questions. I’m curious to see if Maggie will tell him the truth about what happened, and also about his family’s curse. Did her survive it or will he have to be under their protection until his next birthday?

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I think Abigael is sincere about her attraction to Harry, and I think he is attracted to her malevolence. He has seen different sides to her, but he also, I think, likes that she is something he can’t be. In the same way I think Macy is attracted to Dark Harry because he speaks to the side of her she can’t, or doesn’t allow herself to be. They like being in the proximity of danger without having to become dangerous themselves.

Rating:

3.5 out of 5