The episode begins with Macy in the bathtub. So, you know, if that’s your thing, we’re starting out strong this week. She’s listening to classical music with her earbuds in, bubbles strategically covering the parts that matter, some kind of moisturizing mask on her face (look, I know I’m a girl, but I have never used one of those in my life and honestly have no clue how they work). Behind the shower curtain, a shadow appears. It’s definitely a man, and he definitely looks like he’s holding a machete.
Macy’s eyes open, and she sees the shadow, screams, and hurls the silhouette away along with the shower curtain, which tangles the figure up. The shadow yells and yeah it’s Harry.
- Why is Harry in their house at 1:00 a.m.?
- Why is Macy taking a bath at 1:00 a.m.?* I’m a night owl but that’s late for even me.
- Why is Harry, even if he’s staying in their house, going in the bathroom when Macy’s in there taking a bath?
- Why does Harry need to use the bathroom at all? I thought he was dead? He’s apparently the type of ghost that can be seen, can interact with ordinary humans and hold tenured faculty positions, can eat and drink, and apparently sleeps and uses the bathroom. Are we sure he’s dead? Is there a purpose to him being dead? Because it makes no sense whatsoever.
* Answer: “1:00 a.m. baths are my safe space.” (Real Dialogue Alert: That was the real dialogue.)
Maggie comes running out of her room wanting to know what’s going on at one in the freaking morning. Macy is apologizing to Harry, who has done nothing to deserve this apology because YOU DON’T GO IN THE BATHROOM WHEN SOMEONE IS TAKING A BATH UNLESS YOU’RE OF THE SAME GENDER AND RELATED TO THEM BY BLOOD, okay? You’re a dude—if you need to pee, there are plenty of alternatives for you that are much easier for you than they would be for a dudette. At the very least, you knock and ask if you can come in, you don’t just stroll in. Honestly.
Anyway, what was the purpose of this? Fan service + exposition, that’s what. Harry tersely reminds them that while the Elders are… something… he has to stay with them… because reasons. So now he’s living in their attic, I guess. The Elders apparently have the Book of Shadows…? There’s not more than one copy…? So I guess Harry has to live there when the Book of Shadows… I have no fucking clue, guys. Anyway, he’s mad because HE wanted to take a 1:00 a.m. bath, goddammit.
This… scene, if we can call it that, is interrupted by Mel staggering in yelling at them all to shut up because she has to get up early tomorrow to go to detective partner’s funeral. I still can’t believe they copped (🇨🇭) out and killed him like that.
At the funeral, Niko recaps what we “learned” about him in the last episode, Mel tells her not to keep replaying it because she’s sick of hearing it it will only make her feel worse, and they make a date for dinner that evening. They leave the graveside only for a young man to approach the grave as they depart. He’s holding flowers in his hand. He’s probably detective partner’s gay lover. Hilltowne, Michigan apparently has a high percentage of F.O.D.s.
Just kidding. He’s a demon. His eyes glow and he turns into smoke and disappears into the freshly tilled earth. Guess we haven’t seen the last of detective partner after all!
Over at the Generic Science Lab, Macy is preparing to give a presentation. Some guy comes in, shaking her hand and addressing her as “Dr. Vaughn”. Oh, so she’s a doctor. She said she was 28, right?
Mm-kay. Well, I guess she wasn’t busy getting laid during that time, so she had a lot of time on her hands.
Anyway, this guy turns out the be the CEO of Morningstar Biotech. He also… possibly is the guy who took the paint can from Charity in the last episode? I dunno, white guys all look alike. Regardless, I don’t trust him. But his company has done a lot of things with epigenetics, whatever that is, and he’s looking to bring Macy into his fold because she’s such a prodigy and all.
While Macy stands there with her jaw dropped at this proposition, a sassy Gaysian who I guess has worked there all along but I’ve never seen him before appears behind her and tells her she better not blow it. Macy asks where Friendzone is as they were supposed to prep their presentation together beforehand. Gaysian is like, “Girlfriend, haven’t you heard the news? He’s been sucked into the Summer Sex Craze!” It may be November, but Friendzone has picked up a BBW named Summer in the time since the last episode. Wait, does BBW stand for Beautiful Black Woman or Big Beautiful Woman? Regardless, Summer is both (if by big you mean tall, because she’s pretty svelte), and Friendzone can’t keep his tongue out of her mouth, even in the Generic Science Lab. Macy is unhappy about this development. Did you lose your virginity to him, Macy? That was never really made clear.
Meanwhile, Niko had an appointment with an FBI agent to discuss what she knew about detective partner, which apparently wasn’t much. The agent gives her his card as she leaves, and as she walks away, he turns to face the camera—HE’S THE DEMON FROM THE CEMETERY! I’D RECOGNIZE THAT WHITE NATIONALIST HAIRCUT ANYWHERE! So, what, is everyone a demon in this episode? Because, frankly, I’d be surprised if Friendzone’s new BBW isn’t a demon. This show isn’t known for its nuanced writing.
At some coffee cart somewhere (on campus…?), Maggie has met up with Regina George. You know something’s wrong because Regina has her hair up in a bun and is only wearing a normal human amount of makeup, and thus looks like a regular person instead of a Stepford Wife. Over pumpkin spiced lattes, Regina informs Maggie that Connerparkerdude has dumped her. Maggie is appropriately sympathetic until Regina states that she knows he must have been cheating on her, because there’s no reason he would have dumped someone as perfect as her if he wasn’t cheating, and she’s going to get vengeance by finding out just who the trollop is.
This seems psychotic but okay.
She enlists Maggie to be the one to do her snooping for her so that she can keep her hands clean. What? Are we in the mob now? She then pulls Maggie into a hug, and Maggie reads her mind to hear her thinking, “Thank God I have Maggie, she’s the only one I trust.”
What a great Kappa sister Maggie is going to make!
Back at the house, Mel and Niko are having dinner, but Niko is too upset to eat. She tells Mel that there’s something she needs to know about detective partner: Just before he died, he told Niko that he’d found a connection between Mel’s mother’s death and the deaths of two other women, one in Santa Fe and one in New Orleans. Presumably these two women were also Elders. I guess they don’t all live in Hilltowne. But Charity was able to apparate into the warehouse when Maggie summoned her, so this doesn’t explain why they keep being so unavailable when the girls need them. Anyway, detective partner had pulled the files on all three of those cases (why the Hilltowne PD would have files on cases in New Orleans and Santa Fe is beyond me), and now no one can find them. Niko is starting to wonder if those three deaths may have been murders, and detective partner stumbled across Something Sinister in his investigation that led to him being murdered himself and then framed for the Halloween deaths.
Mel tells her that she thinks she needs to let it go. Niko presses, saying that she knows Mel always believed that her mother’s death wasn’t accidental, and doesn’t she want the truth? I honestly thought that Mel was going to miss the obvious lie here, which would be: If your partner was killed for this, that means you might be in danger, too. But she actually did finally say this, after first trying and failing to play it off like she didn’t care about her mother’s death anymore. Niko grumbles but sits back down. You know she’s not going to let this go, even though Mel is technically right—if it really was a murder and frame-up job, that would be very dangerous for Niko, too. But you know. Whatever.
Outside detective partner’s home, FBI Agent Demon Guy is on the phone with Epigenetics Demon Guy (I was right, he was the one who took the paint can from Charity last episode). He tells him that he searched the apartment but couldn’t find the DNA vials. What? He also tells him that he defiled the grave (eww), so now he can take the detective’s shape. So I guess he won’t be reanimating his corpse. They have some banter. I have no clue what’s going on.
Maggie comes home carrying some extremely large Sponsor bags and busts Macy Facebook stalking Friendzone and his new BBW. Macy says she doesn’t want to talk about it, so Maggie just feels her up in order to read her mind, as you do. Maggie then says that since she doesn’t need to do her Stalking Homework for Regina George, being as she already knows the harlot who came between her and Connerparkerdude was herself, she’s only too happy to help Macy with her stalking. They login to Maggie’s fake stalking account across all social media platform, Mariah Aguilera.
Is this what people do? Is this why I don’t get along with other humans and live alone in the woods in a hut that stands on chicken legs?
Now Mel and Niko are on the phone. Niko says she appreciates that Mel is worried for her safety, but safety be damned. Mel suggests they take a weekend off and go somewhere quiet to forget about all this. This suggestion jogs Niko’s memory and reminds her that detective partner had a fishing cabin nearby, and this may be where the evidence is hidden. She hangs up on Mel and runs off.
Honestly, at this point, now I’m worrying about her safety. Especially since, as she drives away, she’s followed by FBI Agent Demon Guy.
Back at the house, Maggie is fuh-REAKING out as she sees how perfect and flawless Friendzone’s BBW is turning out to be. She’s an Ivy League-educated sports journalist (wtf) and her podcast was just picked up by NPR. Her social media is filled with bikini pics, as Ivy League-educated sports journalists are known to do. “She’s so perfect, it’s… creepy! Seemingly ageless, hypnotic pull on men, like, a billion accolades, and impeccable nails? She can’t be human.”
Okay, now I’m thinking she’s not really a demon and this is a red herring meant to trick us into thinking she’s a succubus or something when, in reality, she’s just perfect. Because even this show can’t be that obvious, right? Right??
Macy says she refuses to participate in the demonization of another woman. There we go, I wondered where the feminism went this episode. Maggie counters that it’s not demonization if she’s an actual demon. She calls Harry to ask for his feedback. Instead of apparating in, he comes running in with no pants on and carrying an iron.
Harry tells Maggie that her language is problematic (Real Dialogue Alert: that was the real dialogue), but that it’s possible BBW could indeed be a succubus. He also looks at BBW’s photo and says, “My word. She’s supposed to be hot?”
Is that… is that racist?
The three of them decide to investigate. Harry informs them that succubi have wings and tails, but that they disguise these with magic. However, they typically flaunt their true forms with subtle markers such as tattoos or birthmarks in the place where the wings and tail would be. This has no potential to backfire on them, as wings are defintiely not one of the most common tattoos acquired by basic bitches. Maggie and Macy decide to investigate further at the Generic Science Lab’s cocktail party tonight, at which they’re celebrating Epigenetics Demon Guy’s generous and not-at-all-suspicious grant. Harry says he will ask the Elders to send him a succubus banishing spell from the Book of Shadows that they have for some reason, and he’ll text it to them. Cheerio!
Real Dialogue Alert: That was—
Meanwhile, at Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss, Niko has Discovered something. Her partner’s fishing cabin was… honestly a little psychotic. He had a big old pinboard with a shit ton of evidence on it, which seems really inappropriate. Should you be doing stuff like that at a remote fishing cabin instead of, you know, at the police department? On the desk beneath the pinboard is a bag that looks like it’s got a poop sample test in it. I guess this is the “DNA evidence.” Seriously?
Niko grabs the vials and starts photographing the evidence board with her phone. In the midst of this, she’s interrupted by… her dead partner’s reanimated corpse! Or I guess just the FBI Agent Demon Guy masquerading as him. He tells her that he can’t explain right now, but he needs the vials. She just hands them over, of course. He asks her what else she saw. “Everything,” she replies.
The demon punches her in the face, sending her flying against the pinboard and knocking her out cold. He then pulls out a Molotov cocktail and lights that bitch up. The cabin is quickly engulfed in green CGI flames, because why use practical effects when we can just use digital?
Fortunately for Niko, Mel has decided if there’s only going to be one episode this season in which she isn’t a useless bitch, it’s going to be today! Since Niko had blurted out that she was going to her partner’s cabin and its location, Mel was able to track her down and pulls up just in time to find the cabin ablaze. She tries to freeze time, but her powers won’t work on the demon flames. She finds Niko unconscious in the back of the cabin. Unfortunately, they don’t both burn to a crisp here. Mel manages to wake Niko up and the two stagger out of the cabin just before the roof caves in.
Back in Hilltowne, Macy and Maggie have arrived at the Generic Science Lab’s cocktail party, which is… a bar. Did I miss something? Did the definition of the phrase “cocktail party” change?
For some reason they let Maggie in, even though she’s repeatedly stated that she’s only a freshman. Oh, I know. She actually is 21—she failed kindergarten three times. That would explain everything.
Maggie, Macy, Friendzone and BBW make awkward conversation. BBW, feeling the awkward, excuses herself to the bar. Maggie runs off to join her, leaving Macy to… completely bite Friendzone’s head off for getting with another girl after she blew him off umpteen times. Friendzone irritably explains the definition of the words “friend zone” to her. She blinks blankly at him until Maggie and BBW return with beers. BBW rubs her scent all over Friendzone and they leave. Macy decrees that he’s not acting like himself—it’s definitely not like him to assert himself and not allow himself to be strung along any further by her. He must be succubused!
At the hospital, Mel and Harry, who is now clothed, are standing vigil over Niko. Mel tells him about the green flames she couldn’t freeze. Harry explains this is Hellfire, a type of “supernatural napalm” favored by demons. Mel also tells him that Niko says she saw detective partner; Harry recognizes that they must be dealing with a shapeshifter. Isn’t it nice that we’ve got him around to mansplain everything? Remember the old days of Non-Feminist Charmed, in which the sisters were on their own and had to figure everything out for themselves by sitting down and reading the Book of Shadows?
Harry has Mel forward herself the pictures Niko took on her phone and then delete them off Niko’s device, hoping that maybe when she wakes up she might not remember everything she saw and that this may protect her. Mel is worried the demon may still try to kill her. She asks Harry how they can protect her without telling her about their magic; Harry responds by yelling, “AS FOR YOUR ARGUMENT, I FAIL TO SEE HOW GANGSTA BITCH MUSIC VOL. 2 CAN BE CONSIDERED A RADICAL MANIFESTO!” Looks like Niko’s awake. Harry excuses himself, citing a “Women’s Studies emergency.”
Real Dialogue Alert: All of that was the real dialogue.
Back at the bar, Maggie comes out of the bathroom and runs into—literally—Connerparkerdude. She demands to know why he broke up with Regina George. He says, of course, that it’s because he likes Maggie better. He suggests that they give Regina some time to get over it. Maggie correctly points out that there is no amount of time long enough that would make it okay for her to then date her friend’s ex-boyfriend. I can’t even imagine a scenario in which this would work. Even if presumably Regina George is a senior (which she should be, being the president—usually these are elected in the spring and run a calendar year rather than an academic year, with the president being elected the spring of her junior year and finishing her term in the fall of her senior year—but since this is TV I bet that somehow it will come out that she’s supposed to be a freshman, too) and will be graduating soon, if you ever intend to talk to her after graduation that’s a no, and she’s sure to have friends in the sorority who will think you’re a skank and try to push you out even after she’s gone. Basically, girl, you need to choose. And remember: Sisters before misters.
Meanwhile, across the bar, Sassy Gaysian and his boyfriend are regaling Macy with Star Trek: Voyager lore while she attempts to stalk Friendzone and BBW. They’re making out behind the pool table and OH MY GOD HE HAS A SUCCUBUS MARK ON HIM! SERIOUSLY? SHE REALLY IS A SUCCUBUS. THIS SHOW REALLY IS THAT PREDICTABLE. IT DOESN’T EVEN TRY.
Macy runs to Maggie and tells her that BBW is actually a succubus and that they have to save Friendzone. Maggie asks if maybe she’s actually just misunderstood, or if maybe Macy is being melodramatic. See, BBW told Maggie that she liked her outfit. That’s all it takes.
Friendzone and BBW walk by, and Macy points out that BBW has a basic bitch tattoo: wings and a tail on her tailbone. Maggie proclaims that she always knew that tramp stamps were the work of the devil, and she’s back in the game. That’s all it takes.
Back at the hospital, Niko is asleep again and a nurse comes in, telling Mel that she needs to give Niko an injection. She’s holding a vial full of bright green liquid. Mel is supicious, glances out the window to the hallway and sees that same nurse outside folding hospital gowns. She freezes the demon, and then… instead of calling Harry to give her a sealing spell or something intelligent, she just SLOWLY WALKS OVER TO THE DEMON and sticks her face right up to the syringe and then TA-DA! The demon springs to life, grabbing her by the throat and lifting her up into the air. They struggle, Mel repeatedly freezing time and then losing her grip, and the demon almost makes it over to Niko with the goddamn syringe before Mel FINALLY calls Harry. He tackles the demon and eventually manages to stab it in the neck with its own poison. It turns into smoke and disappears into the air duct on the ceiling.
IT’S A GOOD THING WE’VE GOT MR. MAN HERE TO—
Niko is discharged and Mel brings her back to the sisters’ house. Mel wants to know why the demon is so focused on Niko instead of her, since she’s the Charmed One. Harry says that shapeshifter demons tend to be singular in nature and refuse to give up on a target once they’ve zeroed in on it, so for whatever reason, now that the demon is after Niko, it’s not going to give up until one of them is dead. Mel knows that even if they manage to kill this demon, Niko will still be at risk as long as she’s near Mel. She asks Harry if there’s a spell that could make it so Niko doesn’t remember they’ve ever met. Harry says there is, but tries to fob her off by reminding her that they don’t have the Book of Shadows for Some Reason. Mel asks him to ask the Elders if they can send her the spell.
Meanwhile, Maggie and Macy have tracked BBW back to her apartment. They knock on the door, BBW answers it, they cast the succubus binding spell on her and… nothing happens. So she’s not a succubus?
BBW, being kind and understanding as well as perfect, sympathetically tells Macy that she understands; she’s also done crazy things while drunk and jealous, and if Macy leaves right now she won’t tell Friendz—
Oh, Friendzone! What are you doing here, dressed in nothing but a towel? And will someone please explain to me what that glowing mark on his hip is if it’s not a succubus mark? Macy points it out to Maggie, but no one but Macy can see it, which makes Macy look even more drunk. BBW kindly informs Friendzone that she left her wallet at the bar and Macy and Maggie were just here to return it to her. The sisters leave with their tails between their legs.
When they get home, Mel has the Book of Shadows, which Harry has brought back from the Elders. What was the purpose of them taking it, again? She asks the others to help her perform a history rewriting spell, which requires the Power of Three. This will undo the past and make it so that Niko and Mel never met, which will further make it so Niko never transferred to Hilltowne from her old position in nearby Lakeville (such originally named cities), adding a further layer of protection. Only Macy, Mel, Maggie, and Harry will have any memory of how things were before. Maggie asks if this will undo detective partner’s death, or even go so far as undo their mother’s death since she was still alive at the time Niko and Mel met. Harry says no, the spell will only affect the living—death is the one thing that can’t be undone.
WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?? BUT DETECTIVE PARTNER IS ONLY DEAD **BECAUSE** NIKO WAS DATING MEL! HOW ARE THEY GOING TO HAVE KILLED HIM IN THIS REALITY IF HE WASN’T KILLED THE WAY HE WAS KILLED?
Harry tells them they need to be absolutely sure before they do this because the consequences can be extreme. Apparently his existence is due to some kind of similar spell, and because of it, he has no memory of his previous life. All he knows is that he died performing some sort of service of Good that the Elders saw fit to reward by turning him into a Whitelighter.
YOU JUST SAID DEATH CAN’T BE—
Harry tells Mel that the evidence Niko found will disappear off her phone after the spell is performed, so they need to analyze that evidence before they conduct the spell because they won’t be able to look at it again. He also tells her every physical trace of their relationship will be gone forever, so you can kiss that Cure album goodbye, bitch.
The girls set up the spell while hipster music wails. Mel goes down to say goodbye to Niko only to find her throwing her shoes on—gotta go back to the cabin with the chief and see if anything is salvageable, gotta solve this case, like a dog with a bone…
Mel has to freeze time in order to keep the maniac from running out the door and dying before they can cast the spell. She tries to say goodbye to her frozen form, but the spell kicks in first. Mel reaches out to kiss her, but she disintegrates into the sands of time and disappears first. This might actually have moved me IF THE EFFECTS WEREN’T SO GODDAMN SHITTY.
The next day, Maggie and Mel are stalking Niko on Facebook. She’s back to wearing the fake glasses she threw away in the second episode (I didn’t recap it, but while she was screaming about all the microaggressions in that episode she announced that her glasses were fake to make people take her seriously, and she stopped wearing them but I didn’t notice it until way later), but otherwise she seems happy. Macy decrees that she thinks it’s not worth it for witches to date. You would say that, now that you’re the one who’s been friendzoned.
Mel says that even if she can’t have Niko anymore, at least she’ll always have the memories. Harry, who has embraced his new role as butler and is cooking them all a full English breakfast, looks uncomfortable about this turn of phrase. Maggie feels bad and tells him that even though he can’t remember his own family, they’re happy to welcome him into their family. Harry tells her that she’s “such an American millennial.”
I honestly have no clue where he was going with that one.
The four of them discuss their next plan of action. Mel describes the evidence she saw, WHICH SHE APPARENTLY DIDN’T SHARE WITH ANYONE ELSE (except possibly Harry) before sending it into the eternal oblivion. The three witches’ bodies all had similar branch-like bruising or some other kind of marking, which Mel asserts she’ll know if she sees again. But her sisters won’t, since the moron didn’t show them the pictures.
Harry tells Macy that the mark she saw on Friendzone, even if it wasn’t a succubus mark, is likely some kind of demon mark, and tells her that he can make a copy of it but she’ll need to get close to him to perform the spell. She does this by going over to his apartment, apologizing for being a diva, and then pulling him to an awkward hug. Mission accomplished.
Maggie, meanwhile, has to go meet with Regina George, with the intention of telling her the truth about Connerparkerdude. This goes about as well as you might expect. Honestly, Regina George has for the most part acted like a normal human being rather than a plastic cunt the last two episodes, so I was definitely on her side here. She gives Maggie the boot from Kappa, which, frankly, she had coming. HOS BEFORE BROS, HO.
Over at the campus, Mel is heading to teach her class, only to find someone else teaching it. Oh, right! The morning of her job interview, she slept through her alarm but Niko woke her up. Since she and Niko never dated, Niko wasn’t there to wake her up, which means Mel now doesn’t have a job. She had a job, I guess? I knew she was a grad student, so I’m guessing this was one of those classes they have grad students teach. But does that really count as a job? Or is she now no longer a grad student at all? I don’t know shit and I doubt the writer of this series does, either. Anyway, unintended consequences! Which apparently only affect Mel, since Friendzone and Regina George were completely unchanged!
At an undisclosed location, FBI Agent Demon Guy and Epigenetics Demon Guy are arguing because neither of them can remember what FBI Agent Demon Guy’s mission was, since Niko has basically disappeared off the timeline. FBI Agent Demon Guy calls Epigenetic Demon Guy “Dad.” Oh, okay. They finally agree that the Charmed Ones must have caused a temporal shift, and they’ll have to figure out another way to get the witch Elders’ DNA.
That’s what was in the poop vials? And detective partner managed to have that how? He managed to get that away from the Santa Fe PD and the New Orleans PD and/or the FBI how?
Epigenetics Demon Guy says that instead of Elder DNA, they should focus on Charmed One DNA instead. And he knows just how to get it… *zoom in on computer with Macy’s Generic Science Lab profile*
Overall thoughts: This one wasn’t too derpy. It was, of course, completely retarded and overflowing with logical errors. But at least (?) it wasn’t political. Not much feminism apart from that one scene where Macy said she didn’t want to demonize other women/Harry called Maggie problematic right before calling BBW ugly. Mel was actually pretty normal in this one rather than a raging cunt. I might have been moved by the scene where Niko was being written out of the tapestry of time if it weren’t for the GODAWFUL shitty 90s-tier CGI. Regina George was written pretty even-handedly, for Regina George. I mean, apart from that psychotic break where she wanted Maggie to investigate the trollop on her behalf so she could end her. But she actually did acknowledge her psychotic behavior in a fit of tears just before Maggie confessed the truth to her, so that warmed me to her.
They better bring the woke back next week or I’ll be out of a job!