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Charmed: Season Three, Part Three

“We always knew this was a life of sacrifice.”

(This review covers the rebooted series Charmed episodes 3.14 through 3.18, and includes spoilers!)

Déjà vu.

I almost feel bad for the producers of Charmed 2.0. After all the hard work they put in over the past two seasons to break free of the OG version’s rules and story beats, history has repeated itself in a very unfortunate way. Much like Shannen Doherty’s Prue was written off at the end of the third season two decades ago, Madeleine Mantock is now leaving her role as Macy, meaning the Charmed Ones are once again down a sister heading into the fourth season. What’s different this time is that Macy’s exit was known ahead of time, and we don’t have to deal with an off-screen death.

Before Macy’s exit, the season pivots focus away from the threat of the Perfecti and their rigid view of good and evil, and towards the "Whispering Evil," an escapee of The Tomb of Chaos, and the enemy responsible for a post-apocalyptic future. Given the Whispering Evil is a formless being, and only ever really interacts with characters through possession, it’s hard to get behind it as a threat, but the fight against it is strengthened with the constant dread of who it could take over next.

A trip to the future also reveals just how devastating an effect it could have on the world should the Charmed Ones fail in their mission to stop it. Not only is the world broken, but the evil itself has taken over Macy and is essentially unstoppable. The show’s approach to a war torn future is fairly open and shut, but is pulled off in a fun and well executed way given how low budget The CW can be.

After a few fake-outs, the Whispering Evil is stopped for good, but at a huge cost. As Macy attempts to create an antidote to the Whispering Evil’s possession, she is unexpectedly possessed, and uses the untested sample she took in order to vanquish it, inadvertently killing herself in the process. The season finale ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ begins with Macy’s brave sacrifice, then takes a step back to focus on all that Macy had left to achieve and experience, as her sisters cast a spell that allows her to go through her bucket list, albeit in a dream world. It's a beautiful approach to Macy’s exit, and a testament to how well this season has made use of a more character-focused story in light of real world restrictions. I do feel like Macy's story has been cut prematurely, but the show did the most with her exit given the circumstances.

It does seem like Macy won’t be the only character we won’t be seeing much of after this, as Abigael’s journey to redemption has reached its apex. As her sister Francesca is introduced (played by Legends of Tommorow’s Jes Macallan, with an even worse fake accent than Dianne Farr), we learn of their mother’s similar betrayal of her full witch blooded daughter, using her own grandchild for eternal youth. I’ll admit this brutal reveal isn’t focused on as much as it should be, but Abigael’s final confrontation with her mother is juxtaposed with all the right lines to make us feel like she’s learned her true worth, despite her traumatic childhood. After coming to terms with all she’s been through, Abbey decides to head away with her sister and niece, to get to know the members of her family that might show her the love she was denied. It’s a nice sentiment, but I’m a bit disappointed that this might be it for Abigael. Poppy Drayton was a fantastic addition to the cast, and she played off each of the core four really well. Hopefully the door is open for a return sooner rather than later, especially since we’re down a Charmed One.

Mel’s brush with her future self during a brief magical coma results in her taking on the burden of her future self’s unborn child. I was hoping the series would avoid writing Melonie Diaz’s pregnancy into the show, as I do find it kills the true trajectory of a character’s development, but the magical elements mean the lasting effects could be easily undone and we’re not stuck with a baby for the rest of the series. And I like that future Mel doesn’t spill the beans on who she might be raising this baby with, so her future partner’s identity remains a mystery.

Potions and Notions

After a lot of back and forth, Harry is remade as a whitelighter, despite his sacrifice to give up his humanity for Macy. I wonder if we were supposed to see more of human Harry in future seasons if Macy wasn’t killed off.

It looks like Jordan will be joining the magical world for real next season, as the final moments of the season reveal him to have developed the power of healing – no doubt as a result of his helping Harry to die and be reborn.

I loved Abbey's goodbye to Mel. I'll miss how the two of them interacted.

Spells and Chants

Macy: “We always knew this was a life of sacrifice.”

Macy: “I'll always be here, part of the magical world one way or another.”

Heading into the fourth season, I think Macy’s death presents a nice opportunity for the series to rebrand, and bring in some fresh blood. I’ve read theories that the Veras’ cousin Josefina could be a potential candidate for the third Charmed One, but as much as I like what she brings to the show, I would love to see someone join with a bit of experience, to boost the performances of the central cast. Madeleine Mantock grew into her role a lot, but we need this new cast member to come in and not need that adjustment period to get into the swing of things. We’re already heading into the fourth year of the show, and there’s no time for training wheels anymore.

8 out of 10 future Mels.

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