The brewing battle between witches and humans reached an early conclusion (of sorts) on Friday with the de facto season finale of Charmed.
But before we dive into our Q&A with the CW drama’s showrunners, let’s quickly recap how they closed out Season 2: With help from Elder Celeste and Ruby — the latter of whom is apparently in the witch-ness protection program — the sisters were able to retrieve and restrain Jimmy, who might need to become a temporary ally in their fight against the Faction. But the mission was nearly compromised when Harry diverted from the plan to protect Macy, leading him to ask Maggie if she could use her new powers of persuasion to change the way he feels about the eldest Charmed One.
Meanwhile, Julian spent much of the finale pushing back against Vivienne, who insisted that he take advantage of his relationship with Macy to further their agenda. Learning that his sister was making progress, and that she might recover fully with more black amber, proved to be his tipping point. It’s really beginning to sound like Celeste is right about Julian — that he’s the second coming of “The Conquerer,” an ancient being that tried to take magic for itself.
TVLINE | From a creative standpoint, it must have been so frustrating to have to stop at this juncture, when you’re finally getting to what you’ve been building towards all season.
KRUGER | Twenty-two episodes is an epic journey. We think of Episode 19, which became our finale, as the end of the second act. The third act would have been about crescendoing, climaxing all of the stories and then wrapping them up. We had three fantastic scripts that I felt would be very satisfying…
SHAPIRO | …and will be satisfying, just not this season. We’re going to shoot those episodes whenever we get back into production for Season 3. We will have a chance to wrap up all of these stories as we intended. It’s just going to be a minute.
KRUGER | At least we feel good that by the end of Episode 19, all the questions have been answered. All the mysteries of what happened this season — where the Darklighter came from, how he was released, who’s behind the Faction — are answered. Now, our characters just have to resolve everything.
SHAPIRO | Almost by accident, Episode 19 is a really good place to stop if we couldn’t make it to the very very end.
TVLINE | I feel like showrunners have two choices now: Either they work behind the scenes to make their last episode feel like a finale, or they just pause where they are and plan to continue the action next season. You’re taking the latter approach?
SHAPIRO | Exactly. There was just no way to pay off all the threads that have been strung along this season. From the time we realized, “Hey, this shutdown might be happening” to the time we actually shut down was basically a day or two. There wasn’t enough time to change the direction of the ship.
TVLINE | Well, Harry seems to be trying to change the direction of his ‘ship. Does he really believe that his feelings for Macy are jeopardizing everyone’s safety?
KRUGER | Oh yes.
TVLINE | At least Maggie didn’t seem super eager to grant his request. Any chance she’ll change his mind?
KRUGER | I don’t want to ruin any surprises for the audience, but we’re also not trying to destroy all of their hopes and dreams. We wanted to illuminate this conflict that’s very real for the people in our story. If everything was easy, it would be boring.
SHAPIRO | They really do have challenges to overcome because of who they are. They have a special place in the magical kingdom, and that responsibility comes with consequences.
TVLINE | I guess the same could be said for Mel and Ruby’s relationship. Will they attempt to skirt around those consequences?
KRUGER | Yes. From where this [finale] ends, we still had three episodes to resolve this storyline. You should look at Episode 19 as a “to be continued.” I think that would be helpful for fans. There isn’t a period at the end of this sentence. There’s a dot dot dot. We had satisfying ways to end the season that would have been very positive for both of these relationships, but as we keep on going, there’s going to be conflict. That’s life.
SHAPIRO | Having said that, we’re really enjoying Ruby and Mel’s relationship. When you start a season, you never know which things are going to have magic in them, and that one definitely does. It’s something we’re enjoying writing for.
TVLINE | We didn’t see Parker or Abby this week. Can you say what became of them, and whether they’ll be around next season?
SHAPIRO | I feel like Parker and Maggie had the conversation that they needed to have a few weeks back, at least for the moment. That doesn’t mean we’ll never see Parker again, but it certainly put a punctuation on that relationship for a moment. Jordan and Maggie seem to have a very interesting friendship. We’ve really enjoyed writing for him, and I think he’s become a fan favorite, so we hope to continue writing for him. Not only is he a delightful person, but he also gets to be us — the ordinary person in the extraordinary world. And Abby is just a very complicated villain. We really like writing for her, as well. Each of these characters had their place in the endgame of the season, and we felt they really landed in a place that launched them forward. We have plans for all of them. They are all in our future, and in the future of the show.
TVLINE | This season was building towards a final showdown with the Faction. Since you’re rolling scripts over into next season, does that mean the Faction will stick around longer than you originally intended?
Without revealing too much, we loved how we ended the season, so we decided to shoot those three episodes and give that season its own conclusion, and then maybe we could jump forward in time and develop new stories. That’s our intention. That said, you get into a writers’ room with 12 really engaging people and you start to converse and you react to the environment you’re in, which is a pandemic, and you suddenly start to think about things differently. So there’s no way to be sure about what will change creatively as a result of what’s happened in the real world. Being creative means you have to be open to the universe.
Your thoughts on Charmed‘s early finale? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your hopes for Season 3.