Oh, how the tables have turned.
It took some time to get here, but the Charmed Ones finally claimed their power.
What an epic display of women power it was.
There is a lot to dissect from Charmed(2018) Season 1 Episode 18, as the show will seemingly never break it’s habit of cramming as much content as possible into a single episode. Luckily, most of that content was worth the watch.
Most of it.
There were a lot of returning guests in “The Replacement,” but unfortunately most of their appearances felt relatively pointless to the episode.
It’s always lovely to see Ellen Tamaki, especially when she's sharing the screen with Melanie Diaz. Anything these two do together is worth watching, and Mel working Niko's engagement party was gut-wrenching.
However, their scenes at the bar felt like a waste of story space.
Niko has already interrogated Mel about the Sarcana. There was no need to force the women into the same room for that specific purpose. Mel loves Niko -- she will always show up for her, regardless of location.
Niko’s first appearance easily could have been at the end of the episode, when she calls Mel to the Sarcana Headquarters.
Removing the engagement party would have left more time for emotional levity during the last act. Niko needed to know about the breakup with Jada, but that simple exposition could easily have been added to the final scene.
Niko forgetting Mel was a huge pivot for the show and forced Mel to change courses completely. Since their breakup, it has continued to be a prominent piece of Mel's characterization. Which is why it felt odd for her to reveal she’s a witch so casually this time around.
Even if Mel was blurting out the truth from frustration, the fallout of that admission needed more levity; if only for the sake of the audience.
There was also the return of Jada, the only one of the Sarcana able to survive Fiona's wrath. She, too, jumped in for a quick bit of exposition, only to be discarded from the story completely.
Again- why was their conversation so laissez-faire? There was a heavy romance between the two and it’s strange she would flee so quickly. She didn't have a single bit of concern for Mel’s safety or wellbeing.
Jada has been a notoriously fierce character. If she managed to dodge Fiona’s because of her white lighter side, couldn’t she risk sticking around longer to help Mel?
If Jada survived because she's half white lighter there must be a reason why. And how did Fiona kill all those witches? Why did she kill all those witches? Jada may not want to stick around and help the Charmed Ones fight, but she could have at least given Mel a little more information.
And what about her parents?
There are too many unanswered questions in Jada's story. Fingers crossed she'll be returning to fill in the gaps.
Another character who has now come and gone from our charmed lives is Galvin.
Galvin was unbearable when the series premiered, but the writers worked diligently to give him significance. Strange significance, maybe, but significant nonetheless.
He steadily became an important player for Charmed(2018) Season 1. He found out the girls were witches. He fell in love with Macy and was given a strong amount of backstory involving his mark and family history.
His growth was admirable, and it seemed to be leading to something big; whether it was to exorcize Macy’s dark side or elevate his character somehow.
Then he vanished for five episodes, returned, broke Macy's heart, and left again.
It doesn’t make much sense, especially considering how enamored with Macy he was. He was so supportive and accepting of her magic. It's extremely out of character for him to walk away completely, especially after the lengths he went through to help her.
The change in direction feels jarring. It seems like the writers might have listened to the audience's popular dislike of the Macy/Galvin pairing. Is it possible they wanted to give his character an easy exit?
Would that mean we're on our way to a romantic Harry and Macy storyline?
If we are, all the plot holes are officially forgiven and forgotten. I promise. Just give us Hacy.
Speaking of Harry, his presence from the episode was surprisingly missed.
Maybe that was the point.
Harry didn’t begin as my favorite character; his overbearing nature irked me. I didn’t enjoy watching a middle-aged white man dictate what these beautiful, strong, powerful witches think and do.
As the series has progressed, my opinion on Harry has changed. He’s let go of the reigns and let the Charmed Ones lead the way; a decision which almost cost him his life.
Now that he’s gone and Tessa has taken over as white lighter, the juxtaposition between their coaching methods only highlights how good Harry is for the girls.
The sister's ability to stand up against Tessa (and the Elders in general), was one of the best parts of “The Replacement.” Shutting down Tessa's opinions on magic is a solid example of how far the Charmed Ones have grown over the first season.
From the very beginning, breaking away from any organized magic dictatorship was the right decision. The Elders or the Sarcana, it doesn't matter--the Charmed Ones hold the power that can save the world. That means they should be the ones calling the shots.
This is a show about girl power, after all.
It’s nice to see the writers following through on that promise, and showcasing women's empowerment in every facet.
Hopefully, that will be a thread that continues throughout Macy’s upcoming breakup arc. Galvin may have been her first love (and first time), but anyone who can’t see the goodness a woman sees in herself, isn’t worth keeping around. No man is ever worth you doubting who you are.
Do you hear that ladies? NO MAN SHOULD EVER MAKE YOU DOUBT YOURSELF.
Macy is a strong, intelligent woman. If she trusts what’s inside of her, Galvin should too. If he can’t do that, then he can keep on walking. Bye bye, Galvin. Should have let that parasite demon eat you after all.
Macy doesn’t need a man. But if she wants one, it should be someone who will respect the darkness inside of her. Someone who will help her control it and use it to her advantage. Someone who won’t turn their back on her.
(Someone like Harry. Harry could do that. Harry would do that. Harry has done that. I’m not picking favorites or anything, I swear. #HACY).
I’ve been watching human nature for decades and everyone has the capacity for darkness. It’s your actions,, not your nature that defines youHarry
Perhaps one of the strongest aspects of the episode, however understated, was Maggie’s journey to discovering her racial identity.
Recognizing (and embracing) her black background is something I hoped for Maggie, but never thought it would get handled so directly.
Charmed(2018) Season 1 has dealt with a lot of positive messages rooted in feminism. Most of those messages are told allegorically through the use of magic and Wicca. It would be almost impossible to depict a woman navigating a newfound racial background that way.
It also just seemed too important to bury in metaphors.
The Charmed writers agreed and dove headfirst into Maggie’s search for self-discovery. It was shocking to see a show tackle such a tricky storyline, but so far it's been done with beautiful finesse.
Disclaimer: I am a white woman. I'm not here to take up space and declare Charmed’s depiction of Maggie's blackness a success--only a woman of color can do that.
All I can say is it felt like the right move for Maggie. Mulling things over with Macy felt like the right move for her character. It also felt important she decided to spend time with the BSU.
Was she right for not taking the scholarship because she's only ever identified as a White Latina? It's a tough issue; it's personal, subjective and not something I can answer. It's not something Macy could answer. That question is for Maggie and Maggie alone.
It’s a difficult topic because there is no right answer as there is no correct direction for the story to go. There’s just conversation to be had and I applaud the show for creating space to have it.
Kudos to Jeffrey and Mantock, whose performance was so chocked full authenticity, it felt like two women having a real conversation, not two characters acting from a script.
As disappointing as it may be to watch a few of these season-long arcs fall to the wayside, it does feel like Charmed gearing up for an epic finale.
Fiona is (unsurprisingly) very evil, the girls are without their white lighter, and Alister is still lurking in the shadows.
The Sarcana are dead, the Elders are untrustworthy, and the signs of the apocalypse are in full effect.
Buckle in Charmed Fanatics, because this is about to get good.
- As annoying as I found Regina George (Tessa), I did agree with some of her points. She’s not evil (which I could sense from Charity immediately), she’s just been conditioned to work a specific way. If Harry can change, I believe Tessa can too. Deep down, I think she was impressed by the Charmed One's abilities.
- Mel told Niko she’s a witch, but she needs to come completely clean now. Altering someone's mind is a form of violation, and now that the secret is re-spilled, Mel should confess.
- Speaking of Niko, she would be such an asset for the sisters to have in their corner. She’s smart, she’s wily, she can handle herself—she’s never been a hindrance, and they need all the help they can get against the Source.
- I am thrilled to watch Maggie and Macy bond over their heritage and culture. Jeffreys and McClintock steal the show when they share screen. I would like to see Mel a bigger part of that bonding, however. She’s the one who needs it most.
- It was fascinating to hear more spoken Creole. Hopefully the loss of Galvin and Mama Roz doesn't mean the loss of their culture on the show.
Okay, Fellow Charmed Ones! Spill your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
Were you surprised Fiona was evil?
Were you disappointed in Galvin breaking up with Macy, or did you understand?
Are you a fan of Tessa, or do you miss Harry?
What did you think of how they handled Maggie's ID?
I want to hear all your thoughts! Remember, you can always catch up on anything you missed by watching Charmed(2018) online, right here at TV Fanatic!
Kat Pettibone is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.