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Charmed: The Replacement

“They've taught us their game. Now it's time we beat them at it.”

‘The Replacement’ features some exciting developments where the season’s biggest stories are concerned, but its plot of the week is total filler. At this late stage in the season, screen-time wasted on such inconsequential action is a little frustrating.

With a Harry-shaped hole in their lives, the sisters attempt to adjust to their new normal; a thorn in their side in the form of an overly strict whitelighter, Tessa (or Regina George, as Mel decides to name her). Sent by the elders who think Harry bit the dust following their punishment in the previous episode, Tessa spends most of this episode berating the girls for not focusing on their magic. I immediately thought of Natalie from the OG episode ‘Blinded by the Whitelighter.’ Though she comes off similarly to Tessa, minus the try hard millennial vibe, Natalie’s desperation to abide by the rules gets her killed. We don’t get that far with Tessa, and I’m curious to see how this new dynamic will play out as the Veras attempt to save Harry behind Tessa’s back.

They may need a serious amount of power to free him from Fiona’s grasp. She killed most of the Sarcana (off-screen), with only Jada surviving thanks to her half-whitelighter side masking her from Fiona’s tracking spell. Jada splits town and advises Mel to do the same, but naturally Mel wants to stay and fight. Which is good since it looks like Fiona will be pretty hard to beat. Jada says that she’s the only person who has the power to match the Charmed Ones. We’ve seen this power in action already so I don’t doubt it. I just don’t know how this might tie in with the Source. The prophecy mentioned in the pilot hasn’t been fully completed yet, but given the death of several elders at Charity’s hands, it looks like it won’t be long before all the signs have shown themselves, and Fiona may be instrumental in that.

Niko also got pretty close to discovering the Sarcana’s lair. It took Mel opening up about her magic to get Niko to stand down. I’m not surprised Mel has finally dropped the anti-magic charade with her ex. The more questionable choice will be when does she spill on the spell she cast to remove herself from Niko’s life. Something tells me it won’t go over well. I do hope it happens soon though, because I’m actually genuinely upset that they’re being kept apart like this, especially since Jada and Mel have ended their own relationship.

The plot of the week here is pretty thin; a demon that hitched a ride home with Galvin who finally returned with everything Macy might need to rid of her demon side. They kill it pretty quickly after it possesses Galvin. Thanks to Maggie’s expanding abilities she was able to hear his cries for help and leads Mel and Tessa to Macy’s side. It’s not them who save the day though; it's Macy’s darkness. I almost felt bad for Galvin, who went half way across the world to help Macy, only for her to come to the decision that she wants to keep this side of her. It’s obviously a risky move, but it makes sense; it’s already helped save the day a few times over. It could be a key weapon in the fight against Fiona, and maybe even the Source.

Elsewhere Maggie’s struggles with her newfound heritage are handled with care in a genuinely lovely side plot. Given the madness of the past few weeks, Maggie hasn’t had time to stop and think about her newly discovered father’s side of the family. In light of her overdue tuition, she decides to put herself forward for an African-American scholarship; a decision she backs down on in the end, though she does vow to return the BSU. It’s great to see the series address this type of story and do it justice. It’s also great to see Macy and Maggie discuss this so naturally. Out of all the sisters I like the Macy/Maggie dynamic the most and it’s great that the series is exploring this side of their newly found discovery with such compassion.

Potions and Notions

We don’t see Harry (or Fiona) this week. You really notice Rupert Evans’ absence. He’s such a great part of the cast.

Chloe Bridges is fine as Tessa, though I wish the series would stop pulling from the same CW talent pool all the time.

The Yoruba demon kills Mama Roz, which is a shame since she was an interesting source of magical information for the sisters.

Spells and Chants

Mel: “It's bad enough we have to assume the Elders are watching our every move, but now Regina George is our whitelighter?”
Maggie: “Regina George. Much better nickname. Anne Hathaway does not deserve that.”

Mel: “Harry didn't expect us to be robots. He let us have personal lives, and he trusted us to know how to manage them.”

The major narrative keeps ‘The Replacement’ afloat, with the Sarcana/Fiona drama still keeping me invested in this series and the end game it's building towards. Perhaps the change in showrunners might help the series next season to focus on the supernatural elements that work and ditch the shoddy filler material that made this episode a bit of a drag.

5 out of 10 Yoruba demons.

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