Charmed Season 1 Episode 4 – TV Review
I know, I know. I just said I was on the edge of dumping Legacies, too. But this isn’t for the same reasons.
I want to dump Legacies because it’s a vacant, boring sludge of a show that I can barely muster any excitement for.
With Charmed? Well, Charmed is just a little bit too cute and simple. And you know what? In a world of needlessly grim, “prestige TV” shows, cute and simple isn’t a bad thing.
It’s just a cute and simple thing.
TL;DR The Charmed Ones deal with conflicting options of how to handle Angela’s possession by the Harbinger; they eventually convince the Elders to let them attempt an exorcism, rather than the recommended execution; it succeeds, but an innocent man dies in the crossfire; Maggie steps away from her romance with Parker; Mel is shocked by how callous the Elders are towards mortal life; Macy’s “but what about science!?” schtick has worn thin.
I’ve had it. Already. And officially.
So we’re picking up right where we left off last week, as the girls have to babysit Harbingela and await further instruction from the Elders. They don’t have to wait long, though, as Elder witch Charity shows up with the solution: they’re gonna have to murder the fuck out of the creature, and Angela can’t be saved. Macy plays a brief game of The Trolley Problem and recognises it’s better to sacrifice Angela than risk unleashing evil on Earth, but Mel is more stubborn and demands they perform an exorcism, instead. Maggie, meanwhile, is distracted by her terrible academic performance, and offer of tutelage from Parker. Mel eventually abducts Harbingela out from under Charity’s nose and harangues Maggie, Macy, and Harry into her exorcism plan, with Charity eventually letting her give it a go. It succeeds, but Niko’s (Mel’s girlfriend) police partner, who had found them suspicious all episode, follows them and ends up getting killed by some swirling debris in the process. Charity witchily covers up the death, and Mel is horrified to learn she made it look like a suicide, and she pinned the Halloween murders (committed by Harbingela) on him, too, which devastates Niko. Meanwhile, Maggie initially entertains her homewrecking feelings for Parker, but ends up sending him away. And the episode ends as some demon guy steals the Harbinger’s contained form out from under Charity.
At least she didn’t get assassinated, because that’s apparently going around (Valerie Cruz was an Elder).
So like I said, Charmed isn’t exactly doing badly. Certainly not on the same level of incompetence as Legacies. Or, dare we utter its name, Arrow.
But for a show that I want to spend every week reviewing, Charmed doesn’t seem like it’s gonna last. I like my review shows to be juicier and more ambitious, like Dynasty or Riverdale.
Charmed is just, I’ll say it again, cute and simple.
Why I hate this episode:
Thus far, this cuteness and simplicity has largely kept away from infecting the characters with the same, but Mel comes awfully close to it this week. Her relentless insistence that Angela must be saved is understandably noble, but when those more senior and more experienced around you have another solution that, although not ideal, would avoid endangering hundreds of thousands of further innocents, maybe you should listen?
The episode has the exorcism succeed, so Angela is saved. But then poor Detective Blandly Attractive White Guy gets killed in the process, and this isn’t really commented upon. The show kind of just treats it with a “that sucks” shoulder shrug. So is Charmed saying it was worth exchanging the life of a straight white guy for an Asian woman? Cuz that’s fucked, cunt.
Maggie’s willingness to kiss up on Parker even though she knows he’s Natalie Hall’s boyfriend, and is an obvious cheater (she didn’t know he was with Natalie Hall when they flirted at her job, but he did), is pretty gross. Sure, she later puts a stop to it. But come on, girl. What happened to sister solidarity? He’s not even that cute.
Much ado is made about the sorority’s homecoming float preparations, and the climax of the episode (the exorcism) takes place on the float. But then that never pays off. Unless the parade is going to be next episode?
Macy finds another opportunity to butt in with some unnecessary science when she suggests using some special gloves so they can touch Harbingela during the exorcism without getting hurt. Ugh, we get it. Stop.
Why couldn’t Harry heal Detective Blandly Attractive White Guy?
Oh, and a romantic past between Harry and Charity is eluded to. Isn’t Harry just some kind of angel parasite in the body of a dead guy from the early 20th century? Eww, Charity.
But it’s not all bad:
Charity is literally a boss ass bitch. So I guess she can get her freak on however she wants. And I suppose I should know better than to kink-shame somebody in 2018. Fine.
Charity’s methods may have been a scooch too mercenary, but it was refreshing to have someone with some authority leading the Charmed Ones. Harry is their teacher, but seems otherwise bound to their whims. Charity does not give a shit, and I like that about her. The fact that the demon only stole the Harbinger and didn’t also kill her gives me hope she’ll be back.
I also appreciate that, when it came to the crunch, she was willing to change her mind once presented with evidence of Valerie Cruz’s prophecy.
It made me happy that Maggie’s poor school attendance actually became a plot point. Because yeah, you can’t spend all your time yucking it up with your sisters (sorority or otherwise) and fighting demons and then expect your class results to be good. You’ve gotta do the work, gurl.
In response to my above criticisms of Charmed’s handling of Detective BAWG’s death, Mel and Niko’s response to it gives some indication that maybe it won’t be glossed over after all. Niko is absolutely crushed and crying in Mel’s arms over it, both because her friend is dead, and also because he’s been made to look like the Halloween murderer. Mel’s reaction to this is a collection of disgust, horror, and I would imagine a budding distrust in the Elders. Good. Don’t forget this.
Oh, and the homecoming float may not have paid off, but it did make a cute (but not too simple) set piece for the exorcism. I wouldn’t have minded a reaction shot of Natalie Hall finding it beat up afterwards, though.