[Season 1 !Season 2 ]
Yet another remake of a classic show. Well, we should not be too dewy-eyed over the original Charmed (1998) . It portrayed the demons as People of Colour who lived in a hot place down south - obviously coded references to Latino immigrants who want to live in California. Since the original show was about a race-war fought from the perspective of White terrorists, this new version is a race-swapped version of the same thing.
Two Latina girls live with their mother ( Valerie Cruz ). The bad news is, they lose the mother. The good news is, they discover they have a secret older sister. The trio also have a secret destiny. A creepy white man insists they are Witches, and he is a magical guardian called a Whitelighter.
The show has an unpleasant air of Social Justice propaganda. For example, the new sister's boss has been accused of sexual harrassment. We know he must be guilty, because he tells her that she has a pretty blouse. When the sisters say this to each other, it is treated as them just giving emotional validation. Anyway, the old man is white so he must be up to no good. Another white male, who believes the old man is innocent until proven guilty, is likewise portrayed as a villain.
The original show may have had its problems, but it treated its protagonists as empowered women instead of a bunch of privileged victims.
At the end of the previous episode, in a cliffhanger structure taken from Alias , the Latina girls tried using a ouija board. Here it is called a spirit board, so as not to breach copyright. They want to make contact with their mother ( Valerie Cruz ). Whoever is on the other side tells them not to trust their Whitelighter, Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans - Man In The High Castle ).
The eldest sister discovers that a cow-orker has died mysteriously. Her sisters investigate, and discover a demonic entity was responsible. It jumps from body to body, and possesses a woman who was trapped in a coma.
The youngest sister wants to ingratiate herself with the Kappa sorority. She agrees to host their halloween party at her family's house. Hopefully any real-life witchery will be taken as halloween pranks.
The lesbian sister has her hands full. Her lover, the lady cop Detective Niko Hamada ( Ellen Tamaki ), is grieving because of her lost friend. The Elders have decided the easiest way to maintain the veil of secrecy between the mortal world and the world of magic was to frame the dead man and make him seem to be a serial killer. Naturally, the lesbian cop decides to investigate further. Unfortunately there is a shape-shifting demon on the trail as well.
The scientist sister meets her lab's new sponsor. He is Mr Caine (Craig Parker - Legend Of the Seeker ) of Morningstar Industries. Yes, a rent-a-villain with a creepy character name. It seems like this show is now following the Aaron Spelling traditions of its roots.
The scientist sister has more important things to think about. Her cow-orker, the one she wanted to date but never got round to because she lives in the #MeToo no-workplace-dating era, has now got himself a perfect girlfriend. But if the girlfriend is too good to be true, she might actually be a soul-sucking succubus!
The lesbian sister has her hands full. Her lover, the lady cop Detective Niko Hamada ( Ellen Tamaki ), has been written out of the story. Well, this subplot was a LBGT version of the TJ King storyline from the original series. Some people might use it as an anti-gay twist, but it is just an updated version of a straight storyline.
The sorority sister has been expelled for her actions at the Halloween party. Her former friend is so upset that she inadvertently awakens a hostile spirit. Two of the sisters go back in time to 1989, when the spirit died and became a ghost. They take the opportunity to spy on their mother ( Valerie Cruz ), when she was preganant with her first daughter - the one she abandoned.
The scientist sister is curious about her own heritage. She visits a Voodoo priestess, and asks for help. All she gets is enough vague answers to further the plot a bit.
Turning back time may have saved the lesbian cop, but the butterfly effect means that the lesbian sister is now unemployed. The whitelighter tries to get her an interview for a new job.
The girls are visited by a satyr, a drunken goat-boy. He was guardian of a fragment of a magical scythe. His part was stolen by an evil entity.
The scientist sister reveals the magical key she discovered in the previous episode. It was their mother's legacy - it turns out she was one of the other guardians.
The ex-sorority sister has a positive development in her love life. But as always, this may be too good to be true.
The scientist sister has been promoted because all the old white men have been killed off. She promises her boss, Dr. Julia Wagner ( Rya Kihlstedt ) that she will make cost savings through efficiency.
The student sister gets offered an internship with her boyfriend's father. She prefers to avoid nepotism, and goes for a different internship.
The student sister invites her boyfriend over for an Xmas surprise. Unfortunately the surprise is on her. His brother tags along, and tries to steal a magic artefact.
The sisters want to get their Whitelighter back, after he accidentally got banished to Tartarus - a prison for demons. The Elders are willing to cut their losses. Luckily the renegade witches will help out - for a price.
Mr Caine (Craig Parker - Legend Of the Seeker ) also wants his son back from Tartarus. Instead of making a truce with the Charmed Ones, he antagonises the guardian demon who then becomes more susceptible to making a deal with the sisters.
The student sister is upset because her boyfriend came out as mixed race. She casts a spell on herself to dull her emotions, but naturally it all goes badly wrong.
Macy wants answers about her origins, so she summons a necromancer. What could possibly go wrong?
Maggie attends a frat party, in an attempt to get over Parker.
Mel helps Harry cope with the memories he has recovered.
A manic pixie dream-girl is killing people. She is literally a Pixie.
Mel and Maggie switch bodies (and powers). This means they will not be able to keep secrets from each other.
Macy wants to learn control of her inner demon, so she seeks guidance from the Elders.
A monster is turning college students into stone. This is the modus operandi of Medusa the Gorgon. To put a modern spin on the old story, it turns out that the monster was the victim of slut-shaming.
Macy has been having memory lapses. Now she starts to piece things together.
Harry has been removed, and the sisters have a new whitelighter – Tessa Flores-Cohen ( Chloe Bridges ).
The sisters plot to get Harry back from Fiona ( Leah Pipes ). With the Sarcana gone, they are short of allies. However, they choose to take things into their own hands rather than rely on the Elders for backup.
Parker asks Maggie for help when he tries to conquer his demon side. Dr. Julia Wagner ( Rya Kihlstedt ) tries her best, but things do not go as expected.
To get access to the Source, Mr Caine (Craig Parker - Legend Of the Seeker ) must kill all the Elders. He sends Hunter out to get them. The Charmed Ones set an ambush for him. They forget that he is a teleporting shape-shifter. On the other hand, they only need to protect one Elder so they can sacrifice all the others. Jessica Steen is the lucky one.
Maggie's sorority is holding a Sinko Da Mayonaise party. Of course, Hunter knows the sorority girls. How long will it take Maggie to realise this leaves her vulnerable?
Macy uses her demon powers for insight. Unfortunately she seems to be addicted, and as her demonic side slowly takes over this becomes a good analogy for drug addiction. After all, she uses a needle ... albeit a knitting needle!
Luckily there is a Deus Ex Machina. The girls can always call on their mother ( Valerie Cruz ) for help.
There is still one seer left. The whitelighter's boss Fiona ( Leah Pipes ) was stripped of her powers and immortality, but she retained her status as a seer. Now her own sister, who she betrayed to the Elders, wants to kill her. Which is the evil twin? Ironically, they are BOTH evil twins.
This is well-written, a lot more mature than the earlier episodes.
The tall sister, Macy, is now the Source of all magic. Unfortunately power corrupts, and she decides to use it for selfish ends. She goes back in time to create a better world, where she got to stay with her mother. Naturally it all goes bad.
The show has had a focus on the Charmed Ones' love lives. Will one of them get a happy ever after? Or will all three end up focusing on their hobby as leaders of the magic-using community?
With the Elders and the Source both destroyed, two of the sisters hold a big party. Maggie is celebrating her birthday, while Macy the scientist has got a new job ... in Chicago. The other one, Mel, keeps track of events in the magical community - and discovers that at least one whitelighter has gone missing lately.
Next morning, when the girls are hung over and distracted by cleaning up, a mysterious cloaked figure attacks them. Whoever it is seems immune to the Power of Three, which should be impossible. They also have a crossbow with poisoned bolts, which makes they the equivalent of a Darklighter. It seems a lot has changed in the rebooted version.
The sisters escape by jumping through a portal, and end up in the basement of a Safe Space ... in Seattle. Macy the scentist one is injured by a Darklighter bolt, and starts to suffer halucinations about Harry. The others must save her before the venom kills her.
Some poison-spitting rat-demons are on the loose. They are hunting down witches .... because there is a war in the supernatural world.
This Season is a soft reboot from the previous Season. The power of three has been stripped from the witches. Macy retains her demon powers, and Harry is still a whitelighter – the last of his kind - but as the only two magic-users they have been weakened by the Darklighter's venom.
It turns out that the two dead witches in the previous episode had a niece, who has been abducted by the surviving demon. Well, it makes sense that a coven has three members. The real surprise is that Harry and the sisters did not realise this earlier.
Harry and Macy go on a road trip together, driving from Seattle to Vermont. Yes, three thousand miles together. This is stressful for Macy, who is having weird dreams about Harry. What she does not realise, and he does not tell her, is that the Darklighter is Harry's mirror image.
Mel is upset about being left at HQ, so she amateurishly shoplifts some magical herbs from the nearby Wicca shop. When she gets back to the basement, she discovers that Maggie has deserted her post and gone off to their father's funeral in Mineapolis. Maggie did not bother getting a car and driving the thousand miles, she just used a magical portal. A pity that Harry and macy could not have done the same thing.
Harry and Macy disguise themselves as demons by dressing in black clothes and using enough makeup to make themselves look conventionally attractive. They infiltrate a demon get-together, where different demon factions have united against the witches for the first time in a thousand years. Why the Source was incapable of doing this is not evident. A Demon Overlord, Zagan the Mighty, has risen from the grave.
Maggie got a job as part-time receptionist at Safe Space, so the sisters could access the magic room in the basement. Unfortunately their antics have made management crack down on security, so to continue their access Maggie needs to get a promotion to assistant manager. Her love interest, Justin the tall skinny guy from the boxing gymn upstairs, is also interested in the job. Rather than let her sweet-talk him into giving up, he gives her a pep talk about fighting for what you want.
Macy becomes obsessed with saving witches in danger, so she goes off alone to save Abigail ( Poppy Drayton ). The bad news is she is badly outnumbered, and ends up in a magic-proof faraday cage. The good news is that she can use her science skills to MacGuyver her way out of trouble, so even when she is without her powers she is far from helpless.
Mel and Harry try to ingraciate themselves with the Wiccan shop woman. They join her meditation class, and enter the astral plane in search of a clue to decode the Book of Elders. There they meet a guardian, who gives them riddles.
Maggie and Macy face off against the Evil Overlord. But it is all too easy, as if it is an obvious setup. So who is double-crossing whom?
The Big Bad Overlord storyline has been tied up. Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) is imprisoned, and gives up all she knows. She claims to be uniting everyone against the Darklighter, although nobody trusts her. Macy and Mel force her to retrace her steps, so they can find out what the Darklighter is up to. They run into a massive werewolf-looking thing. Abigail says it is the velociraptor of the magical world, although apparently it can only detect movement so it is more like a Tyranosaurus Rex.
Harry orders Macy to select a safe word so that she can recognise him from the imposter. She chooses Hut 8, a reference to Bletchley Park. Not because it was empowering for women, but because of Alan Turing – the famous homosexual mathematician. Is this a comment on Harry's own sexuality? After all, he has been linked to female love interests previously.
Maggie settles into her new job as assistant manager. The bad news is that she has to sort out a way of helping Jordan Chase, the tall skinny love interest, to keep the lease of his gymn. The good news is that whenever she touches his skin she gets a flash of her old precognitive power again. It seems he may be the key to getting her powers back.
The show actually mocks its own Season One social justice wanker agenda. A politically correct flunky tells Maggie We don't use the word Office. It's a micro-aggression against people who worked in corporate jobs. Apparently the preferred term is a Creative Cocoon.
Maggie sends Harry to investigate an asylum where witches were once imprisoned. He discovers a patient there who might be a magic user. As a result, he learns a lot more about himself.
The sisters and Abigail learn about the Darklighter's plan. He has captured the Alpha of every major species of monster. Yes, basically he is stealing ideas from Crowley in Supernatural .
Macy is in the clutches of the Darklighter. The other two sisters have run out of leads, since none of the demons they tortured had any idea about the Darklighter. They change tactics, and try a locator spell. Instead of summoning Macy home, they summon a green-eyed hell-hound.
Harry tries to search for more info on Darklighters. Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) offers to help him, and although he does not trust her he has to accept that she is the only one with superpowers. She puts him in a demonic mind-meld, and they explore his subconscious together in search of his connection to the Darklighter.. They discover how the Elders created the Whitelighters, and by extension how they created the Darklighters. This in turn indicates what the Darklighter's agenda is.
Kat, the woman who runs the Wiccan shop at Safe Space, is having a mental breakdown. Either it is due to side-effects of the meditation session when Mel and Harry went to the astral plane, or she is being manipulated by a demonic villain. There is a third option, that the manipulator is actually beneficial.
Macy wakes up in her own bed, with no sign of her sisters anywhere in the house. It seems that they are too busy with their careers to hang around the house all day. Luckily Harry is cooking a fancy dinner for her, and he has timed it perfectly so it is ready just as she wakes from what he tells her is a two-day coma. Yes, even Macy realises that it is all a little too good to be true. Harry just wants to spend some quality time with her before the inevitable unpleasantness, but she is happy to just go straight to the unpleasant bit.
The two sisters are still looking for Macy. They trace he using the magic map, and locate her somewhere in New York City. However, they need more info. Maggie the psychic girl needs to touch Justin the tall skinny boxing man, so she corners him at the Safe Space's kareoke night and forces him to sing a duet with her. Of course, his real girlfriend is with him so it is incredibly creepy and awkward. If only she had found a way to be more honest with him, rather than constantly lie to and amateurishly attempt to manipulate him.
Mel discovers that Kat, the woman who runs the Wiccan shop at Safe Space, is leaving because she had a mental breakdown. Since this is because of the Charmed ones, Mel has to sort it out. Also, Kat is Mel's potential love interest for the Season.
Someone killed a bunch of Dryads and stole the magical fruit they were protecting. It is a bit like ambrosia in Xena: Warrior Princess , insofar as it gives the eater superpowers. In this case it just temporarily makes the eater immune to magic. The obvious suspect is Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ), but she points the finger at her replacement ...
The new Evil Overlord is Parker, Abigail's brother ... and Maggie's ex. Maggie and Abigail pay him a visit at his Evil lair. The good news is that Parker seems keen to cooperate. The bad news is that his techniques are standard demon procedures - torture and murder!
With Maggie away, Macy and Harry start stalking her other love interest. They know that Justin is cursed, so they steal his magic ring to find out more info. It turns out that the key figure is his ancestor, a witch-finder named Lawrence Mortimer Chase.
Maggie wants to marry Parker so they can create a truce between Demons and Witches. Harry, Mel and Macy are all opposed to this. So are Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) and some demon hard-liners. Will good and evil work together to prevent blandness taking over?
It turns out that Parker is quite insecure. Not only that, he becomes insanely jealous when he discovers that Maggie has been hanging out with Jordan Chase. No good will come of this.
Maggie, Mel and Harry head off to track down the Darklighter's chakram. It has been found by a Relic Hunter who wants to sell it on the black market. This hunter turns out to be Mel's father!
Macy stays at Safe Space to fill in for Maggie. She meets a venture capitalist, Julian Shea (Eric Balfour - Haven ), who plans to dig up the building's basement. Can she talk him out of it without using magic?
Justin, the tall skinny black guy, has his twenty-sixth birthday party. His ancestor, Lawrence Mortimer Chase, was cursed by a witch - and all males of his bloodline will die when they are twenty-five years old. Now the witch's ghost appears, intent on making the curse come true before he hits the deadline. Maggie does not think that a man should be punished because his ancestor did something bad. If Jordan lives through this, Maggie will have to explain about the supernatural to him.
Mel and her father go to Reno, Nevada, and try to track down his black market contact Nadia ( Peyton List ). There is a lot of bickering - from Mel, anyway. she blames her father for lying to her mother, even though mommy concealed her double life as a witch.
Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) claims that someone tried to assassinate her. Harry and Macy head along to check it out. This leads on to more of Abigail flirting with Harry, and although Macy gets jealous this also highlights Harry's jealousy of her friendship with Julian Shea (Eric Balfour - Haven ). The irony is that in Season One, Macy's main storyline was about her being a scientist. Now the three sisters spend most of their time worrying about their love lives. It seems the show has lost its woke politics angle.
Harry falls mysteriously ill. Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) agrees to help him, because she wants him for herself. Macy pays a viist to Julian Shea (Eric Balfour - Haven ), and asks to borrow his Theranos gadget. Unfortunately his aunt does not trust Macy's intentions.
Maggie and Justin go to New Orleans, Louisiana, and try to track down the car belonging to Nadia ( Peyton List ). They uncover a voodoo cult that is raising the dead.
Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) has cooked a meal for Harry. Yes, despite his protestations they seem to be dating. She shows no reticence in her attempts to seduce him. Instead he gets called off to help the other Whitelighter, Helena.
Mel gets lucky when a lesbian bartender slips her a phone number. Well, it certainly pays to advertise.
Macy thinks that her demon powers are displacing her witch powers She visits Abigail, and asks to borrow the powers-stealing dagger. As a result she discovers whar really happened to Parker. Abigail swears her to silence - so Macy will be torn between her honour and her sister.
There is a flash of the Season One style of politics. Abigail lambasts Macy and her sisters for not being Strong Women. In return, Macy states Women finally have a say in how things go. Let's not resort to the same nonsense men have been perpetuating for centuries. Of course, in reality none of this is accurate.
Maggie and Harry go after the runaway Darklighter. Mel stays with the Whitelighter. It turns out that Helena was married off at the age of sixteen. In reality, marriage was a career in its own right and an arranged marriage was a step up. Although Helena's lover was only thirty when he died, that is because people matured faster and died younger in those days.
Mel had a happy hook-up with Ruby the lesbian bartender. Macy, however, is frustrated at the loss of her powers so she decides to dig up the basement's floor in the hope that she can find some black amber. This results in the lockdown protocol being invoked, and all three Charmed Ones trapped inside.
Harry dreams about his Darklighter, Jimmy, who invites him to a showdown. Harry decides to take Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) along - not as a date, but as backup. Poor Abby's job is to kill Harry if it all goes wrong. But if it goes right, he agrees to prostitute himself to her.
The Charmed Ones have to divulge their unspoken secrets. Maggie was glad when Parker was removed from her life, because it meant she no longer had to make hard decisions. Macy has to reveal the secret she is keeping about Parker's fate. The good news is, in return they uncover the secret history of the Charmed ones.
Harry and Abby run into a snatch squad of humans. The men use dart-guns, but Abby has telekinesis and fireballs.
Jimmy the Darklighter is being hunted, and sends a distress signal to Harry the Whitelighter. After all, if one dies then they both die. Someone has cleared out the abandoned factory that was filled with captured magical creatures.
Maggie goes to Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) for help. Justin comes along to distract the evil overlady while Maggie tries to steal the powers-stealing dagger - which is in the armoury in the dungeon. Yes, she actually has to talk things through with Parker.
Macy tries some experimenting, but gets distracted by Julian Shea (Eric Balfour - Haven ).
The Charmed Ones rescue a fellow witch ( Kate Burton ). She turns out to be the Elder who built their new Command Centre. She can even help them get the Power of Three back. However, this might be more than the sisters have bargained for.
The sisters end up in a dream world, where all their worst fears have come true. Macy discovers that Harry has shacked up with Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ), while Maggie discovers that her boyfriend Justin has become a witchfinder like his ancestor. The usual trope is invoked, with a twist - only if all three sisters die in their dreams do they all die in reality.
The Charmed Ones kill a demon VIP. Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) is glad to be rid of him, because he was ambitious and she perceived this as misogyny. Her plan is to replace him with a female demon, who will become an ally in the new matriarchal demon society. Unfortunately Godric the King-maker does not agree with the truce with the Witches, so he brings Parker out of cold storage. Poor old Parker is lambasted by Maggie for his villainous tendencies, but she is not exactly heroic herself. After all, she has done nothing to rescue him for the last few months.
Meanwhile, Harry wants to infiltrate the Faction's base in Duluth. Unfortunately they have the magical equivalent of a faraday cage, so it is impossible for him to teleport. He wants to send a human in, so he recruits Justin to help. Instead of simply standing back and letting Justin pose as a delivery man, Harry poses as the delivery man while Justin poses as a corpse. Yes, this plan is more complicated than necessary.
Justin takes a dose of tetrodotoxin to become temporarily dead. The problem is that the witch's curse still affects him, so in his afterlife he meets the ghost of the witch who cursed him. If he cannot convince her, she might make him permanently dead.
Harry also forgets that the Faction know what he looks like. For example, Nadia ( Peyton List ) worked very closely with his dark-lighter Jimmy.
Julian Shea (Eric Balfour - Haven ) invites Macy to his party. She brings along her sister Maggie and their male plus-ones, Harry and Justin.
Julian's Aunt Vivian is all over Justin, especially when she discovers that he is single and available. However, when he is asked to kiss her on the lips so that a Charmed Ones spell will work, he replies even white dudes can't do that these days. What a strange world he chooses to live in!
Mel helps Abigail Caine ( Poppy Drayton ) collect some items from her apartment. Abby complains that low-ranking demons are basically animals. Ironic that she is part of the system that exploited them, and never bothered to end the systemic inequalities that oppressed the lower-caste demons.
Harry has amnesia, and the only thing of use that he can recall is the Faction talking about a Forty Stone Parasite. Maggie and Mel work out what this means, and accompany their father on an expedition to infiltrate the Faction's secret base in a remote hydro-electic plant.
Macy stays with Harry, and gives him a memory-recovery potion. Unfortunately the Faction took precautions against such an eventuality, so the potion's magic rebounds onto Macy herself. This puts her into a coma, as she relives an event in her college days. A boy in her class flirted with her, so she got violent and let her demon powers emerge. Her father had to call in magical help.
Julian Shea (Eric Balfour - Haven ) and his team have taken possession of Safe Space. Their efforts to drill into the basement are blocked by a magical force-field.
Julian explains why he is obsessed with the magical world. When he was a child, he saw a Whitelighter. Justin states this is a supervillain's origin story, perhaps a reference to the movie Shazam! . However, it is more like a superhero's inciting incident. The witches and whitelighters are revealed as selfish, and willing to sacrifice innocent human lives. No wonder the humans are trying to harness magic for the betterment of all mankind. Although the original show had a Personal Gain clause, this show's witches constantly use their powers for selfish reasons.
Julian has a flashback to the time Dr. Tanaka (Hiro Kanagawa - iZombie ) discovered the darklighter's bottle. Hopefully the doctor will be a recurring character next Season.