Okay, so first things first. We established last time that whoever is writing this is a weeb Sailor Moon fan, right? Good, because that’s the only possible explanation for the opening of this episode. With no prelude or explanation whatsoever, for some reason this episode starts out with the girls in some other city that’s not Hilltowne, chasing around the Patchouli Bag Lady who stole the Moon Stick. The Sailor Guardians hurl some magic at the lightning youma, but she’s too fast for them, so they give up and go home. Seriously. They just LEAVE.
As soon as the sisters take off, Patchouli Hobo apparates back in and, with the coast clear, plunges the Moon Stick into the ground. Guess she’s opening the door to Tartarus after all! Too bad she was too swift and clever for this trio of witches who are supposed to be the most powerful and undefeatable sorceresses of all time. The ground splits open and the Moon Stick breaks back into three pieces as a zombie hand emerges from the earth.
Now that we’re all totally confused, the episode begins in earnest! Back at the house, Harry and Charity are looking at a broken rock on the table. Harry tells the girls that if this lodestone is broken, that means the Moon Stick is broken too. I… did I skip an episode somewhere? Where did the lodestone come from?
Charity informs the girls that the broken lodestone = broken Moon Stick = a demon must have been released from Tartarus, but they don’t know which one it was. However, whoever it is can most assuredly be assumed to be The Supreme Evilest (*cough* Trump *cough*), so the girls need to be ready to fight. They will have a window where the demon is weakened from its imprisonment in Tartarus, so if they want to defeat it, they’ll have to move fast.
Harry and Charity flirt, everyone gags, Mel tells Charity she’s been researching electricity demons who can teleport and hasn’t found anything, Harry acts surprised that Patchouli Hobo was able to teleport, I am even more confused because he saw her do it, right? He said that only Whitelighters could do that and it was all like ooooh evil Whitelighter, remember? Is there a gas leak in here?
Since I guess there’s not an imminent crisis or whatever, Macy heads off to work and Maggie heads to an internship recruitment meeting. Some fucking weird-ass hipster whistle music ironically twees at us while two yuppie Pinoys tell Maggie and a group of rapt millennials about their new dating app, which sounds like it’s exactly the same as other dating apps (it works using algorithms!), but it’s special and different and will help you find your one true love. You see, since Maggie has found her one true love in the form of a demon princeling, she wants to spread her happiness and is therefore interning with this company to… get her sisters laid, I think? Anyway, whoever refers the most new customers to the app gets to go to Chicago for some kind of seminar or something over the summer, and Maggie is all about that because Connerparkerdemon’s dad, CEO of the WalDemon, has a branch in Chicago, so they can spend a loving summer in the city.
Connerparkerdemon’s dad has other plans, though. He wants some of that sweet, sweet Charmed One blood, and the easiest way to do that is to employ all three sisters so he can mandate a blood test. Thus Connerparkerdemon suggests to Maggie that she instead come work with him at WalDemon this summer, so that they can make out during their breaks and for no other reason whatsoever. Maggie, a waman making her own way in the world, declines. It’s on to Plan B, then!
Back at WalDemon headquarters, Connerparkerdemon is getting a thorough dressing down from Mr. Walton. Why are you such a failure, blah blah. While he yells at him, Connerparkerdemon is overcome by a fit of tuberculosis. I guess that rare autoimmune disease thing from last episode wasn’t a lie after all. Since he’s half demon and half human, his halves are trying to kill each other, so he really is dying. WalDemon has been using their epigenetic whatevers to produce a serum that he injects to keep himself alive for however long. Apparently the reason Mr. Walton is trying to get Charmed One blood is to make a Better Cure that will keep Connerparkerdemon from dying. This seems uncharacteristically caring of him. Anyway, Connerparkerdude’s dying-ness makes for a brilliant Plan B. But more on that later.
Meanwhile, somewhere… for some reason… two gay dudes are on a date. They met each other on Maggie’s dating app and it was twu wuv at first sight. Isn’t it so sweet, this young love? Until it turns out that one of them is a demon and HE EATS THE OTHER ONE’S FACE! HOW’S THAT FOR TWU WUV?
Back at the house, Charity and Harry are flirting while
the underemployed grad school dropout Mel sits on the couch “researching” things in the Book of Shadows, because today it’s a book that actually has to be read rather than just “magical Siri give me the answer.” Her studying is interrupted by a Google news alert on her phone reporting the disappearance of the gay dude whose face got ate. He disappeared in [Whatever Fucking City that isn’t Hilltowne from the Beginning]! That’s where we lost Patchouli Hobo! Let’s roll out!
They get to the crime scene and Mel freezes time. They help themselves to rubber gloves from the police’s stash, and Charity explains to Mel that they need to determine whether the incident was demonic or human in nature. If it’s a normal human crime, they would back away and leave it to the police; their jurisdiction only covers supernatural crime.
Mel, apparently trying to fill the void Niko left in her life by becoming a junior crimestopper, is incensed. Shouldn’t they be using their powers to help everyone?! Charity points out that if they used their powers to deal with human crime over a planet with seven billion people, it would leave them no time to deal with the demons who would just kill all the humans anyway. Mel ignores her and starts snooping in the back of the missing gay guy’s car. There she finds glowing blue… stink bug carcasses? Honestly, I can’t really tell, but it’s insectoid in nature. Cue Harry flipping out like a little girl.
As they leave the crime scene, they are watched by a homeless woman using a storm drain as her toilet. Oh, I mean by Patchouli Hobo.
Back at the house, Macy is discussing her lack of social life with Maggie. Macy believes that being a workaholic is the best way for her to have an amazing career. Maggie tells her she needs to “shake that gorgeous hair of yours out” and live a little.
AND THEN SHE TOUCHES MACY’S HAIR AND MACY DROPS EVERYTHING TO GIVE HER A LECTURE ABOUT HOW YOU DO NOT TOUCH BLACK WOMAN HAIR
NO, I’M NOT KIDDING, SHE SERIOUSLY DOES
TO HER OWN SISTER
With that educational moment out of the way, Maggie suggests Macy sign up for her dating app, telling her that if she gets the most signups she gets to go to Chicago for the summer. Macy has a sad because she wants to have a sister summer. Weren’t you just screaming at her not to touch your sacred black woman hair?
Macy guilts her that she’s not allowed to leave her sisters because they can’t use the Power of Three without her. Maggie points out that Chicago is only a two hour drive away, and if it’s an emergency, Harry can apparate her. Macy says they can’t keep doing that to him because it makes him sick. I honestly thought they weren’t going to bring that up again ever, since it was just a throwaway line in the Belinda Carlisle episode, but I guess it is supposed to be important.
Over at the bar that didn’t exist until two episodes ago, Mel is taking out the trash, and, wonder of wonder, encounters Patchouli Hobo Dumpster diving. PH throws a lightning bolt at her; Mel freezes time to stop the lightning before it can hit her. PH flirts with her in the style of Garrus Vakarian, all reach and flexibility. Mel demands to know who she is. PH informs her that her name is Jada Pinkett-Smith and she’s here to recruit Mel for the Sarcana—short for Sisters of Arcana—an elite organization of witch mercenaries.
Mel is dubious that Jada is a witch and not a demon. Jada explains that she’s actually half witch, half Whitelighter, which is apparently Forbidden™. Thus, the Elders have tried to wipe her out of existence, but she’s managed to stay one step ahead of them with the help of the rogue witches in the Sarcana. Mel asks if she’s been killing the Elders, including her mother, because of their stance on Whitelighter/witch halfbreeds. Jada tells her that Dead Hippie Mom was secretly an ally of the Sarcana, and urges her again to join them and use her Charmed One powers to do good. She points out that the Sarcana help all of humankind, not just the magical ones, so if Mel were to join the Sarcana, she could fulfill her dreams of becoming Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Witch.
Jada leaves Mel with instructions to look for a spell on page 672 of the Book of Shadows, the Désénnnmáscárrrrrrárrrrrrrrrrrr spell. She helped Dead Hippie Mom write the spell, so if it’s there, it will be proof to Mel that Jada is telling the truth. She also gives Mel a shard of the Moon Stick so that it can’t be reassembled, as further proof of her loyalty. She tells Mel that she used it to free a witch who had been wrongly imprisoned by the Elders. She warns Mel that, Charmed or no, if she breaks the wrong rule, she could be the next to end up in Tartarus. Then she swishes her cape and swoops out.
Mel races straight back to the house and blurts everything out to Charity, because that seems wise. Charity is like, “That’s not possible. I mean, we killed the Sarcana.” LMAO you’re really helping your case there, Charity. But they’re terrorists, you see. They practice illicit magic in order to carry out vigilante justice. They don’t follow law and order at all. Very bad, very naughty. Mel asks how Jada could have known about the Désénnnmáscárrrrrrárrrrrrrrrrrr spell if she were lying. Charity says because the Sarcana were founded by a rogue Elder who used to have possession of the Book of Shadows. Mel hrrmmmms.
Meanwhile, Macy has caved and signed up for Maggie’s dating app. She’s not convinced she’s going to have any luck, though, because “studies have unanimously found that black women and Asian men are not only the least swiped on, they’re the least matched,” and on the off chance she did match with someone, “I’d likely be fetishized by those matches, and the last thing I want is some guy I just met telling me how exotic I am and how cute our babies will be.” (Real Dialogue Alert: That was the real dialogue.)
Finally! Bring me the wokeness!
Later, Charity is sitting outside all contemplatively. Harry comes out and tries to make out with her, but she says no—their love was a mistake, cursed, never meant to be. All right then. Harry’s balls a bright shade of neon blue, they then reminisce about her dead sister, who I guess was the one that Harry was the guardian for who blabbed her secret and got thrown in the loony bin and then committed suicide (from episode 3).
Over at the Generic Science Lab, Friendzone is crying softly in his cubicle. Looks like Summer wasn’t so Endless after all! Seriously, what was the purpose of that plot point? Anyway, Friendzone is single again and isn’t happy about it. He’s all snappy at Macy, who is not here for being spoken to that way by penises. She says, quote, “I don’t know what’s going on with you, but let me be clear: There’s no version of this relationship where you ever get to talk to me like that.” (She asked him where his reports were and he told her that he’d already emailed them to her. But he said it in a mad-sounding voice.)
The penis promptly bows down and begs forgiveness, which she benevolently bestows, as she is in a charitable mood today. He tells her she’s basically amazing and doing a fantastic job. She nods graciously.
At home, Maggie urges Macy to take advantage of Friendzone’s newfound singleness to “climb him like a tree.” Meow. Macy insists that ship has sailed, and also reminds her of the cowrie shell protection mark on him: “The one his grandma put on him.” Wait, what? I thought the last time we talked about this, you and Harry decided you’d put it on him yourself with your Afrocarribbean magic? Or something? I really feel like I’ve missed an episode, or perhaps the writer of this episode did.
Anyway, now Macy wants to take advantage of the new Asian guy who matched with her on the dating app—after all, since they’re both the bottom of the barrel, they can trust each other or something. This show is so anti-racist that it’s honestly kind of racist.
Maggie heads off for her own date with Connerparkerdemon. They’re eating WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THAT
Over the course of one episode Maggie has apparently forgotten that she’s vegan and is now happily munching on what the actual fuck. We are distracted from this atrocity when Connerparkerdemon begins “losing his powers”. He runs to the bathroom to try to regain his composure. There, he is felt up by the waitress. Oh, I mean his brother the shapeshifter, pretending to be the waitress. That makes it less gross, definitely.
Demon Brother, previously known as FBI Agent Demon Guy, informs Connerparkerdemon that he’s here to ensure he stays on task. He can’t be distracted by Maggie’s feminine wiles. He can’t fall for the witch, dammit, a demon could never fall in love with a witch! He may be half human, but Demon Bro knows that inside, he’s a true demon. This dialogue is so hamfisted, I’m telling you what. It can be really hard to keep a straight face watching this.
Anyway, “losing his powers” at the dinner table made for a great excuse to get Maggie’s blood. When he returns, she asks if he’s okay, and he says that he’s been feeling sicker recently because he’s supposed to get a plasma transfusion but they haven’t been able to find a matching donor. Maggie volunteers to be tested to see if she’s a match for him, which conveniently gives the Waltons access to her blood. Hook, line, and sinker.
Meanwhile, another innocent couple (this one hetero) is on a date, marveling over how they found their perfect match on Maggie’s dating app. Wait a second—isn’t that the gay guy? He’s not gay anymore? He’s bi? It doesn’t matter, HE’S EATING HER FACE! NOM NOM NOM!
Back at the house, Mel is having a crisis of spirit while Harry whimpers to himself about insect demons. When Mel mentions to Harry that she’s having second thoughts about Jada, Harry tells her that Charity’s sister who died (Fiona) had apparently been tricked by the Sarcana into revealing herself and was then abandoned by them. He warns Mel that they’re ruthless and he doesn’t want another of his charges to end up dead. Mel whatevers him and changes the subject.
At some other restaurant, Macy is on her date with the Asian guy and the two of them are commiserating about being statistically the least desirable members of humanity. This show is definitely not racist. Macy is attracted to his admission of unattractiveness. He thanks her for not being racist. (No, really, RDA.) But I think this entire episode just proved that she is? Anyway, no matter, he escorts her to her car, they kiss, and YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
Oh, so the perfectly nice Asian dude is a demon? I see how it is.
Back at the house, Maggie has returned from her date just in time to find Mel and Harry discovering a lead in the Book of Shadows: the demon who made the missing gay guy go missing was likely a cicada demon, and the things they found in the back of his car were pieces of exoskeleton. This demon appears every 17 years, taking human hosts to mate with before going dormant again for another 17 years. The last time it awoke, three Hilltowne University students disappeared.
Um, a lot more than three have disappeared this time.
Maggie takes a look at the list of missing people and realizes that they’re all people she’s signed up for the dating app. Whoopsie! Realizing Macy must be next, they race to find her. But it’s too late—Macy is already caught up in their web. Their web? These are cicadas, not spiders…? No matter! Gross bug thing!
They decide to try heading down to the dating app’s headquarters. Once there, Mel freezes time so Maggie can read the employees’ minds without them resisting. They discover that the colony’s queen is holed up in the basement, preparing to lay her eggs in each of the stolen host bodies. Eww. Once there, they find all the missing people all caught up in web. Spiders…? Harry has a panic attack. Mel and Maggie push through and find most of the victims have already had eggs laid in their mouths. This is even grosser than it sounds.
While they retch and gag, they’re confronted by one of the two yuppie Pinoys who founded the app, now in full bug form with some truly excellent CGI. /sarc Mel gives him a good stab through the head. Now all that’s left is the Queen Pinay. They free Macy, who’s dazed because the venom was pretty strong. Spiders…? As she recovers, Queen Pinay descends on her web. Spi—
They cast the banishing spell. It doesn’t work. IT NEVER WORKS. Queen Pinay starts making the room get really hot, which is apparently something bees can do. Bees now?? No matter; Macy uses her telekinesis to bring a heavy object down on her, because everyone knows the easiest way to kill a bug is by smashing it.
So did everyone else who got kidnapped die, too? This isn’t made clear. They did get their faces et, but I mean so did Macy and somehow she’s fine.
The sisters return to their house, where Maggie announces that she’s decided against going to Chicago this summer—this near death experience made her realize she could lose her sisters at any times, and you know. Hos before bros and all.
To an extent, at least, because the next order of business is to try to make Macy/Friendzone happen. AGAIN. Macy resolves to give him a call and try to work around the cowrie shell mark that whoever put on him.
The next day at work, Mel is taking the trash out again. At least, I think she’s at work? I don’t know where else it would be, but they’re suddenly using a much larger cityscape stock photo for their lead shots, so I can’t tell Hilltowne from Freyersville or whatever the fuck now. Anyway, in the alley, some dude in a ski mask is mugging some woman. Mel starts to use her powers, then thinks better of it and goes running in to try to stop him the human way. She’s interrupted by Jada, who just tasers the dude with her lightning power and then uses her Whitelighter power to wipe the woman’s mind. How convenient! Whitelighters and witches definitely shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce. Such forbidden.
Jada tells Mel off for not stopping him herself. Mel argues that she was going to, the human way. Jada snarks that she’s kowtowing to the Elders, and when she’s ready to make a real difference—silence that stretches out about 5 seconds too long and veers into squirming discomfort territory—to come find her. Before she apparates out, Mel notices a tattoo on her hand that surely has some deeper meaning.
Mel rushes to Harry’s office, where we find a poster on the wall which asserts, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights. Once there, she summons Charity, telling her she needs to talk to her about what’s really going on with the Elders. Charity is like, “We were just about to summon you!” and leads Mel through a portal to WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK
So it turns out the Elders are actually made up of a bunch of department store mannequins with a variety of ethnic hairstyles. This is normal. Charity assures Mel that their faces have been strategically blurred by the production team of Cops in order to protect their anonymity, since someone’s gunning for them and whoever that someone is can’t tell who they are just from the fact that they’re radiating magical energy or whatever.
Mel asks the Elders for more information about the Sarcana. Charity tells her that the Sarcana are tricking her by pretending to care about innocent people; the Elder Council protects the world, whereas the Sarcana are only concerned with serving their own ends, and won’t hesitate to harm innocents if it suits their own causes. Mel asks if Charity is referring to her sister, Fiona. Charity says that yes, Fiona is an example.
She then tells Mel that the Elders have chosen her for a mission: they want her to act as a spy on the Sarcana.
The scene switches to Maggie going to visit Connerparkerdemon to tell him she had the plasma testing that morning. She also tells him that Mel went with her for moral support and donated plasma as well; she figured if neither of them were a match for Connerparkerdemon, at least someone will get some help out of it.
Oh, Connerparkerdemon says cheerfully, someone out there will be helped very much wink wink nudge nudge.
Meanwhile, over at the bar that didn’t exist until two episodes ago, Macy is boozing up in preparation for asking Friendzone out. She gives him a call and asks him to come meet her. Being pussywhipped, he says he has a few things to finish up at the Generic Science Lab and then he’ll be right over.
Mel has copied down the tattoo she saw on Jada’s hand and tracked it down to a tattoo parlor for which it’s the logo. The tattoo parlor looks like the inside of
Miss Cleo Mama Roz’s nail salon, but my sister said she thinks it’s supposed to be a different place and they just used the same set. Inside the darkened parlor, Mel uses the Désénnnmáscárrrrrrárrrrrrrrrrrr spell, which opens a hidden door. She passes through… and is viciously clubbed to unconsciousness by some woman wielding a two-by-four.
Jada comes running in like, “Whoa whoa whoa, what are you doing, she’s the one I was trying to recruit!”
The woman replies, “But she almost saw Fiona.”
So I guess we know who Jada busted out of Tartarus, then! So much for being dead!
Meanwhile, Friendzone has finished up at the lab and is strolling over to the bar to meet Macy. Here is a literal transcription of what happened:
Me, to my sister: “Random thought: What if Friendzone dies?”
Friendzone: *GETS HIT BY A CAR OUT OF NOWHERE*
Me (again): OOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Overall Thoughts: While not as severe as in the first couple episodes, there was some delicious woke in this episode. It seems like they’ve switched from Mel being the main purveyor of woke to it being Macy. I mentioned before that despite being the worst actress, they seem to be giving Mel the most plot, and Maggie and Macy are sort of filler (although Maggie’s getting a bit more actual plot now that CPD’s been revealed to be a demon). She also is the top-billed one, which is odd because I don’t think any of these actresses have ever been in anything before. However, as mentioned previously, Mel’s actress is the only actual Latina one, so maybe that’s why.
Anyway! I think the ending of this episode is proof that I’m the real witch. I managed to kill Friendzone with my words alone. Maybe my sister and I will turn out to have a secret third sister, and then we’ll be the true Charmed Ones, destined to bring these pretenders down in a maelstrom. I can dream!