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Charmed: Jingle Hell

“Maybe I am too trusting.”

It’s bizarre that Charmed would introduce its most emotionally charged plot since their mother’s death, and essentially blow it up before it’s had any time to grow into something truly significant.

Parker’s reveal was just two episodes ago, and as of this week he’s now been outed, and potentially lost his own half-brother in the process. His betrayal of Maggie left me a tad cold, a feeling that is somewhat soothed thanks to how wonderful all of Maggie’s character beats were in this episode.

As the holiday season hits the Vera home, the sisters and Harry get ready to welcome Maggie and Mel’s father for his Christmas visit. It’s great to finally learn more about their dad, who has apparently not been a part of their lives since Maggie’s fifth birthday. Though Mel seems to be indifferent to her father and his decision to leave, Maggie’s empathetic nature rears itself, and she excitedly prepares for his arrival, even breaking out old toys he used to give her for Christmas every year when she was a kid. In the end he’s a no-show, which is the first major blow to the sister that always expects the best from people who may not deserve it.

Maggie’s trusting nature is the crux of this episode, which is a good thing since she’s the first character on this series I’ve actually grown to completely love. As Parker continues to hide his true intentions from Maggie, Galvin’s mark and a power stealing necklace accidentally reveal his true nature to Mel and Macy. Naturally Maggie refuses to accept what her older sisters are telling her, but after a few fun magical hijinks, Parker is forced into revealing himself to protect the sisters from his brother, Hunter.

There’s a moment before all this happens where Parker removes the magical necklace that is meant to steal the Charmed One’s powers, just as Maggie breaks down in front of him over her own father’s negligence. In light of what he learned just minutes before about his own family’s shortcomings, and their true plan to use him as a vessel for the Source, there was potential to really mine his torn allegiances as he falls for Maggie. Perhaps this is still on the cards, but his reveal so early in the game permanently alters the dynamic of a man caught between two worlds. It could stand to reason that the ladies being aware of what he is could be more beneficial to the forward momentum of the season, but as of this moment it’s disappointing to see the rug pulled from under this story before it’s truly gotten on its feet.

One plot that’s been working incredibly well so far is Jada and the Sarcana. Though their presence this week is a lot less significant, we do learn a few key details about them. The biggest reveal is of their attempts to protect Marisol on the night of her death. The crows that Mel saw during her initiation to the group sparks some distrust given that she saw them tear out of the Vera home the night Marisol was killed. But after they fly to her aid during the showdown with Parker and Hunter in their fake snow filled back yard, Mel learns of their more protective nature. Were the Sarcana really behind their mother’s death? At this point, it’s hard to know given that we haven’t figured out who they raised last week, though I do think Jada’s personal intentions are mostly good.

Potions and Notions

Harry and Hunter were blasted into Tartarus, the dimension that the Scythe opens. How will they get Harry out? Will Mel seek the Sarcana’s help to save him?

Galvin witnessed the girls using that a weird staff Hunter stole in Romania to open the portal to Tartarus. Will they use magic the erase Galvin’s memory or come clean?

Harry made his signature Christmas cake, which Maggie hated. I think his cooking and baking looks great; the Veras really do give him a hard time sometimes!

I screamed at Hunter morphing into Harry and outing himself by acting too British: “Blimey, that strumpet nearly made me soil my knickers.”

The Veras drink coquito instead of eggnog and Christmas. I had to Google what Coquito is and it sounds just as disgusting as eggnog.

Spells and Chants

Maggie: “You got a weird feeling, and that's enough to tell me you think I'm so stupid I wouldn't notice my boyfriend is evil?”

Jada: “You Charmed Ones: Next level extra.”

Now that we’ve seen enough of Charmed 2.0 to know what kind of series it is, I’ve accepted the fact that it will never be what the original was. The family drama is significantly cheaper, the performances that bit weaker, and the writing seems to sometimes be on the wrong side of cheesy. But amongst all that, I’ve found a show that I actually enjoy. Since the pilot episode the writers have found a way to subdue the try-hard dialogue, place more importance on the magical world, and raise the stakes beyond silly screaming matches. Its biggest flaw right now is one that can lead to the series actually being kind of great if it’s used wisely; the show is just too ambitious.

With a pretty green cast and writing team, there’s a bit too much going on for them to handle right now, and the more important plots aren’t being given enough to develop so that the audience can actually become invested in them. In the second part of the season, the writers need to reign in the wildness of the past few weeks and make use of the genuinely great mythology they’ve introduced so that they can prove these characters won’t get swallowed up by the absurdity of their respective magical situations. They’ve already proven that Maggie can shine, let’s see if the rest of the Vera/Vaughn sisterhood can keep up.

6 out of 10 coquitos

Originally posted at PandaTV.

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