The Power of Three was reconstituted Sunday as a new trio of young women discovered a magical legacy and took down a sexual predator — who also happened to be an actual demon.
The series premiere of Charmed introduced viewers to Mel and Maggie Vera, two very different sisters living with their stressed-out mom in Hilltowne — or “Helltown,” as the locals call it — a small college town in… I want to say Michigan? Anyway, from the moment we met the Vera family, there was drama. Maggie was sneaking out to an ill-themed sorority party in her sister’s combat boots, Mel was texting saucy demands (“Get naked!”) to an unidentified recipient, and mom Marisol was locked in conflict with an alleged sexual assailant who claimed his suspension from teaching at Hilltowne University was merely part of a “witch hunt.”
Speaking of witch hunts, poor Marisol didn’t even live long enough to see the show’s first title card. Though Mel and Maggie eventually returned home from their respective nights out, they simply weren’t quick enough, arriving at the manor just in time to discover their mother — who was in the middle of unbinding their powers, but we’ll get back to that later — laying lifeless on the ground outside.
Three months later, fate brought a young scientist named Macy Vaughn to Hilltowne, where she accepted a job working under Professor Thaine, the same creep Marisol was trying to take down before she was taken down, herself. And that wasn’t Macy’s only connection to the Vera family — she also had of a photo taken in front of their house when she was just a baby, from which she instantly deduced that she must be Mel and Maggie’s estranged half-sister. (I mean, she ended up being right, but you’d think she’d collect a little more evidence before dropping that bomb on them.)
Neither Mel nor Maggie took Macy’s news particularly well, but everything changed when the three began to exhibit (gasp!) magical powers. Macy discovered her telekinesis after accidentally flinging a beer bottle against a wall with her mind, a feat she somehow managed to dismiss as a side effect of being “drunk and clumsy”; Mel realized she can freeze time during a particularly intense coffee date with Nico, the recipient of those aforementioned sexts; and Maggie learned she has telepathy, a trick which confirmed that the girls of her sorority are just as vapid as her sister always said.
What’s more, the ladies were kidnapped by Harry — the smarmy British professor who took their mom’s vacant position in the Women’s Studies department — who served up a few more mind-melting secrets. Not only is he actually an angelic guide known as a Whitelighter, but they are the Charmed Ones, the only witches capable of preventing the impending apocalypse. Donald Trump’s election was apparently the first of three signs, followed by the death of Marisol. The only sign that remains is “the awakening of the source of all evil,” so things are getting pretty grim.
Mel was borderline thrilled by this news, ready to use her powers to solve Marisol’s murder, but her sisters were somewhat less eager to embrace their apparent destiny. For Maggie, it was a fear thing (and can you blame her?), while Macy’s scientist brain simply refused to accept the existence of magic. But all it took was a few demonic encounters — including Maggie’s adorably clueless ex-boyfriend Brian, who was unknowingly possessed for a hot second — to get them on the same page. From there, the hunt was on for the real demon on campus
As luck would have it, the girls’ big mystery demon turned out to be Professor Thaine, allowing them to kill two birds with one
stone hand-holding chant. But just as they were about to celebrate the death of their mother’s killer, the demon used his final breath to say, “You think I killed her? You poor, stupid girl. Now, it’s begun.” (I’m no expert in demonology, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single good part about that.)
The episode ended with one last unfortunate surprise for the newly reunited sisters: A message warning them not to trust Harry was delivered (from Marisol?) via the spirit board, and when the girls foolishly read that message out loud, they summoned their supposed enemy right to their doorstep. Ruh-roh.
Also worth discussing…
* I’m curious to hear what everyone thinks of The CW’s Charmed, but I’m especially interested in hearing from fans of the original series: Did it meet your expectations? If you were worried, have your fears been… vanquished?
* Another question for O.G. Charmed fans: How do you feel about Harry’s powers? I’m glad they kept the healing, but I’m not going to lie — I miss the orbing.
* And am I crazy, or was the phrase “witch hunt” used no less than five times in this one episode?