Charmed 1x02 “Let This Mother Out” Review
I’m going to start this review by saying that the Charmed reboot is my “fun” show, meaning that I’m taking everything with a grain of salt. I’m not going to be doing any deep analysis with this show. It’s fun and it’s light. A lot of the shows on The CW lately appear to be very dark in their storytelling, like the darker they go, the better they’ll be. That’s not always true. We need some light in our lives and Charmed is it for me.
The episode starts off with an introduction to a supposedly new “big bad”. It’s a dark, mysterious...blob of goo. It attacks a female janitor in one of the labs at the college and then it leaves through the vents. Throughout the episode, we’re brought back to the victim of this attack, however this event was held far from my mind because of where we left off in the last episode.
The pilot episode ended with the sisters using a spirit board that had them in contact with their mother. I never believed that for a second. The spirit of their “mother” told them not to trust Harry. We had absolutely no reason to not trust Harry, but we are still just getting to know all the new characters, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. When we return to the sisters in this episode, Harry informs them that the spirit boards are notorious for attracting tricksters.
Well now we have the spirit board telling us not to trust Harry and Harry telling us not to trust the spirit board. How could this all go wrong? Allow me to tell you.
Our three sisters are immediately taking sides. The logical sister, Macy, firmly believes that this spirit isn’t their mother and it can’t be trusted. The angry, more emotional sister, Mel, has her own firm beliefs that it is their mother in the spirit board. Maggie, who seems to be the sister caught most in the middle this episode, sided with Macy. (For most of this episode, they went by a “majority rules” way of decision making.) Together, they decide to provide Harry with a truth serum and to not interact with the spirit board until they know where they stand with Harry. That sounds pretty fair to me, but the spirit board has other plans. Once it is just Mel in the house, it starts interacting with her and she lets it because she’s firmly Team “That’s My Mom”.
Macy goes to work at the lab at the college. That’s when she discovers the attack on the woman the night before. She was hospitalized and telling people that she was attacked by a black blob. Makes her sound totally sane, doesn’t it? Macy manages to snag a sample of the goo when nobody else is looking, for research purposes of course, and then makes her way to the hospital to inquire about the victim. When she makes it to her room, she sees Harry standing over the woman. When prompted, Harry informs her that all he was doing was erasing the very painful memory of the demon attack from her mind. It sounds legit, but we’re supposed to have some doubt about Harry this episode. All Macy sees is a man they have been doubting, standing over a victim that was attacked, using magic on her. Suspicious, indeed.
Maggie had been called off to a bedside vigil (led by her Kappa sisters) for Angela Wu, who was the female coma patient from the last episode. Taking extra precautions as to not come into direct contact with people that would lead to her reading their thoughts, she wears gloves. Maggie soon learns that that doesn’t help at all, unfortunately. All the sisters hold hands to pray around Angela. Maggie is able to hear all their thoughts because they are all connected. She’s then told to hold Angela’s hand and once she does, all she hears is Angela’s screams of horror. This causes a very visible reaction that once again ostracizes Maggie from her sorority sisters. To ease this pain and let loose some tension, she goes to hook up with her ex-boyfriend, Brian. Except if she touches someone, all she can hear is their thoughts. It goes about as well as you’d expect it to and there is no relief in this exchange for Maggie at all. If anything, it further convinces her to just let Brian completely go and stop stringing him along (which she does at the end of the episode).
One by one, Maggie and Macy make it back to the house. Maggie arrives first and finds Mel speaking with the spirit board. Mel convinces Maggie that the spirit is their mother. She tells her that she’s been asking questions that only their mother could know the answers to. Apparently, that was all that was needed on Maggie’s part because she becomes the second member of Team “That’s My Mom” just in time for Macy to come home and find them. That’s when a demonic hand reaches out and grabs Maggie, causing Macy to use her powers and flind the board away from them, thus smashing the spirit board. Mel is upset and this causes a little spat between her and Macy. Macy just asks that Mel wait to see if the truth serum works on Harry. Seeing that Maggie is now on Mel’s side and the “majority” is no longer in her favor, she tells them that it’s not so much “the power of three”, but “you two and me”. That stings. Mel and Maggie have obviously grown up for each other and Macy, who’s just moved into the house to get to know them, as well as their new powers, is the odd girl out and feeling so.
Macy had just finished concocting the truth serum and put it in a thermos when Niko arrives with a gift for Mel. Niko also shows up with a thermos that looks exactly like the one Macy put the truth serum in. (You can clearly see where this is going.) Tensions are high because of the spat Macy and Mel are having, so in the heat of the moment, Macy grabs the wrong thermos and leaves to meet up with Harry. Niko was merely just dropping off food for Mel, so when she leaves to go to work, she grabs her thermos...or what she thinks is her thermos.
Niko is a detective. She and her partner are actually interrogating as suspect when we see her take a sip of the drink and it goes into immediate effect. Clearly something is off with her and this could put her whole career in jeopardy. Niko calls up Mel because she feels compelled to tell her that, not only does she love her, but she’s one of the worst drivers she’s ever seen. Mel immediately rushes to the police department to take her girlfriend home. The truth serum is clearly very strong because Niko just starts telling people what she thinks of them as Mel drags her out. This is where Niko informs Mel that she slept with her ex-fiance just last week and the gift she brought her today was a guilt gift. We see a bit more into their relationship. Niko and Mel love each other, clearly. Niko left her ex-fiance because she wanted to be with Mel. (Was Mel the other woman?) Because the truth serum is still working, Niko tells Mel that she’s always feeling nudged out because when Mel gets in touch with her emotions, that tends to leave Niko in the dark on what Mel is thinking and feeling. She can’t do it anymore and she shouldn’t have to! Right on, Niko!
Mel makes it home right after Maggie has managed to fix the spirit board and has been speaking with “their mother”. She’s informed her that her spirit is able to come back, but there isn’t much time and they have to work fast. Together, they cast a spell and Marisol actually appears! It looks like her and it sounds like her. However, I’m still doubtful. Marisol asks where Macy is and the two inform her that she’s with Harry. This is where Marisol tells them that Harry was the one who killed her and that he wants to steal their powers.
During his little meeting with Macy, Harry figures something is up. Macy keeps asking him random questions and keeps looking at the clock. He transports (because I refuse to call that orbing) them both back to the house right after Marisol informed Maggie and Mel that he killed her. He sees that the spirit board is fixed and that Marisol is back. Just from seeing Marisol, Macy seems a bit more convinced that it was actually her in the spirit board. The girls incapacitate Harry and he’s down for the count.
The three women are informing their mother of their new abilities, when Maggie tells her that she wishes she could “feel” her, like she can hear what others are thinking and feeling. Marisol informs her that she isn’t really a person, she’s a visiting spirit and she’ll only be there for a few hours. She instructs the girls to a mirror in her old office at the college (the one Harry currently resides in) where they can find the Prism of Souls and that they can use that to trap Harry.
They must go inside the mirror and once they are in there, they’re essentially trapped because their powers don’t work. Once they figure out how to get the prism, they must work together to find a way out. This is when Maggie starts firmly believing that Marisol isn’t who she says she is. She believes this little trip was a trap.
When they get out of the mirror and get back to the house, they find Harry and Marisol fighting to the death. Marisol informs them that the prism could be used by Harry to steal their powers and they have to help her. Maggie and Macy are skeptical. It’s Mel that needs some real selling on this matter. In one last attempt to get Mel on her side, “Marisol” tells her that “it was always you and me”. This confirms to Mel that it isn’t her mother because her mother never played favorites with her and her sister. They vanquish the demon. Harry was right. Mel was wrong. I’m feeling pretty vindicated because I never once thought it was actually Marisol.
Turns out, the prism that could steal their powers can’t actually be destroyed. As a show of faith, Mel gives the prism to Harry to put back in the mirror in his office. She lets him know that while she doesn’t like him, she does trust him. (Come on, Mel. What’s not to like?)
By the end of the episode, the sisters are working together and firmly rid the “majority rules” situation they had going on. They all have to agree on what to do in these life or death situations, otherwise things will only get more complicated. We also learn through Harry that the Elders (Harry’s Whitelighter bosses) found out that the goo that actually killed that victim from the first scene (because she died during the episode), is called the Harbinger of Hell. It’s the third step in the apocalypse that was talked about in Harry’s first speech to the girls about their destiny. The harbinger is hunting for a human vessel and everything will get a whole lot worse once it finds one.
Angela Wu happens to wake up when Harry is explaining to the sisters that the harbinger is looking for a vessel. Is Angela the vessel? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.
Listen, this show has predictable storytelling. I didn’t go into this show to put my mind to work. Like I said at the beginning, this is my “fun” show and that’s exactly what I’m getting. The scripts so far have been pretty cheesy, as well as the effects. This series is still working out its kinks like most shows do in their first seasons. I’m still very open to what the rest of the season may bring.
Just like the sisters, I’m very much not into Harry just popping into their house whenever the sisters say his name. He says they’re saying it with a purpose for him to get there, but we all know he’s not. He’s just being overly cautious and perhaps a tad bit nosey.
I do like that they nickname him “Meghan Markle”, so as to get a bit more privacy. Perfect logic, if you ask me!
That selfie trick at the end was so cheesy. In order for the demon to be vanquished, it must see its own true form, but all the mirrors were broken when the demon was summoned into the house. Cue Maggie whipping out her cellphone and turning on the selfie feature. Absolutely ridiculous, but I loved it.
I want more of a backstory on Niko and Mel’s relationship.
I want more of Macy and Galvin because they’re super cute.
I’m sick of the sorority storyline for Maggie. I’m over it.
Charmed airs Sundays at 9/8c on The CW.