We’re really on a roll here, Charmed Ones.
It may have taken a handful of episodes, but it seems Charmed has finally hit it’s stride, with Charmed (2018) Season 1 Episode 11 being the best episode yet.
The show has figured out what it was ultimately missing—focus. Now that the groundwork has been laid, Charmed is allowing itself to actually develop storylines that span across the season in cohesive ways, while also weaving them seamlessly into their monster-of-the-week theme.
When first realizing the show was reintroducing the weekly demon, I was hesitant. They had opted to focus solely on arcs which have spanned the entire season last episode, and it worked phenomenally. Would throwing another insignificant monster back into the plot ruin things?
I didn’t want the show to lose the pacing it just seemed to find. To get off track with conflicts that really have no stakes in the bigger picture would be devastating. Things were just getting good!
Luckily, my worries were needless. Once again, Charmed hit the mark. Even with the added drama.
Maggie and Macy being full blooded sisters is a twist no one could have seen coming, but still works within the narrative. That’s why it’s so ingenious. It's also convenient, seeing as how the show has faced a decent amount of backlash for the actresses ethnicities.
Sarah Jefferies, an Afro-Latina playing a full Latina, has caused some controversy. It left members of the Latinx community feeling confused and slightly shaken. By changing her birth father, Maggie is now the same ethnicity as sister Macy — as well as Jefferies in real life.
PR crisis averted. Very smart, Charmed writers.
Beyond it being a clever public relations maneuver, it's also just an excellent addition to the narrative. Macy breaking the news was hard to watch, but the organic way in which Mel and Maggie soaked in their new reality was heartbreaking, and some of the sincerest acting we’ve seen.
The concept of which sisters are fully related opens up a lot of opportunities, but also gives the writers time for different dynamics to blossom. It was a refreshing treat to see Maggie and Macy act like real sisters, pressure free.
Galvin’s involvement continues to be constructive, adding brilliant morsels of humor to the plot. He also giving Macy a trusting person to confide in. This allows the audience to see a new side of Macy-- a fully honest, not always put together side. It undoubtedly will continue to add layers to her character.
It was somewhat hilarious to think a few episodes ago I was hoping for Galvin to be cut from the show entirely. Now that he’s in on all the witchy secrets, I couldn’t be more pleased to have him around. He’s become one of my favorite aspects of each episode.
Harry’s arc also continues to intrigue me. It’s satisfying to slowly get introduced to his backstory, as opposed to the writers dedicating a full episode to him, and moving on.
I always enjoy when shows unveil different sides to characters—the more complex, the better. That's my rule of thumb. A darker shade of Harry, one with a complicated past and a son he can’t quite seem to remember, gives the character more depth and realism.
Harry now has other, more important things to focus on, besides mansplaining how to vanquish demons. That’s the girl's job now, and he exists to solely provide guidance and support—the way a white lighter should.
Harry leaving and the introduction a new white lighter -- even temporarily -- is enticing but nervewracking. The narrative isn't quite ready to take on an arc like that. It would inevitably shift the story completely, adding an entirely new heap of conflicts.
It may be an interesting plotline, but my instincts say it’s something that should wait for Season 2.
While the monster of the week did come off as a simple catalyst used to showcasing Jefferies singing abilities, the story itself didn’t overpower the more exciting elements of the episode. Bringing in an unbelievably talented guest star such as James Camil didn't hurt either.
Out of any demon the Charmed Ones have faced, the Maestro worked best. It was funny yet chilling, the effects weren’t overdone, and best of all, it came secondary to the sister's discovery about their family.
Even Jada and Mel worked flawlessly as the C plot story. It only got the amount of screen time it needed, and it was interesting to see Mel so immediately open and vulnerable.
It may have been a tad expository at times, but because of the low context relationship between the two women, the “spilling of secrets” trope worked fairly well.
Maybe best of all, the official return of Niko was brilliant. Making her a PI on Jada’s trail adds an entirely new level of complication to Mel’s story—the good kind of complication, of course.
There’s not much this episode could have done to improve itself.
Even the most cringe-worthy moment, when the sisters realized they had to apologize to one another for the Power of Three spell to work, was acceptable. It may have been cheesy, but it did show them working through their problems, and being smart enough to figure a way out.
The girls being shown as smart, capable, strong witches? That’s all I’ve wanted from the very beginning.
- I still hate Charity and wish she would go away forever
- It was a delight to have Lucy back this episode!
- Harry’s casual mention of gender fluidity was an excellent implication of social issues. Poignant enough to register, but not preachy by any means.
- It doesn't matter how technologically advanced we are as a society; I will always despise the "communicate through text bubbles on the screen" concept.
- I like Jada, but my heart still belongs to Mel and Niko.
Alright Charmed Fanatics, it's your turn! Do you feel the change in quality like I do? Do you love Galvin these days? How do you feel about Maggie and Macy being full sisters? And Team Niko, or Team Jada?
Spill your thoughts in the comments below, and if you missed the episode, you can watch Charmed (2018) online, right here at TV Fanatic!
Kat Pettibone is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.