Our story begins with Mel waking up in the tattoo parlor where she got beaned last week, Jada (previously known as Patchouli Hobo) standing over her. Mel’s like, “What do you want with me?” Jada’s like, “You’re the one who broke in, remember?” Mel recovers from her temporary amnesia and snarks at Jada that the Sarcana should rethink their recruitment methods if they think knocking new members unconscious with a 2×4 is an appropriate initiation tactic.
Maggie, on the other hand, thinks it’s a perfectly appropriate initiation tactic. She says as much when the scene switches over to Mel reporting back to her sisters and Harry. She also warns Mel against letting them do anything like make her eat Oreos until she pukes. Who wrote this? Come on, people, these are FRATERNITY initiation tactics! You could never get away with shit like this under National Panhellenic Conference rules. And let’s be real, all this stuff is the sort of crap guys would think of. Girls are bitchy to each other but they don’t get thrills out of watching each other barf.
Anyway, Harry warns Mel again that the Sarcana are terrorists and that this is an extremely dangerous mission that she should think twice about accepting. They are also pros at mind games—she could be seduced! Mel tells Harry that he’s being hysterical.
Harry: “I beg your pardon, hysteria? Is it quite necessary to use that anti-feminist term?”
(Real Dialogue Alert: That was the real dialogue.)
Suddenly the scene changes and we’re in Bucharest. Wait, Bucharest? Yes, you read that right. After spending the first seven episodes of this show in a tiny town that no one’s ever heard of and never branching beyond its borders, we’ve become globetrotters over the last two: Freyers Township or whatever, and now Bucharest. Wow.
Anyway, there’s this big old cathedral with a skeleton reposing in a glass sarcophagus before the altar. I forgot how weird European churches can be. Connerparkerdemon and his Demon Brother come beaming in through the stained glass and smoking in through the vents and stuff, because just walking through the door isn’t good enough for demon royalty.
They approach the skeleton, St. Dragos. St. Drogo? No, St. Dragos. The saint is all dressed up with a crown and lots of jewelry, including a big pendant with a white stone on it: The Amulet of the Archangels. Demon Brother tells the skeleton that they’ve come to relieve him of his bling (RDA). Connerparkerdemon phases through the glass and removes the pendant, which isn’t clasped or anything, perfect for easy thieving.
An Orthodox priest comes running in just then, waving a stick and screeching “INFERI!!!” The demons prepare to Do Battle. The priest uses his stick to blast them backwards and begins performing a spell to open what appears to be a gateway to Tartarus. So I guess the Moon Stick isn’t the only key! Why Mr. Walton didn’t think of that when he was all pissed off about Jada getting the Moon Stick, I don’t know. Could it be that the writers are coming up with this crap as they go?
Demon Brother makes a running leap, jumps over the opening to the gateway and tackles the priest. The priest drops his staff, closing the portal. Demon Brother begins choking the priest to death, and Connerparkerdemon tells him to let the priest go, as they have the amulet now. They argue about CPD’s human side, but finally Demon Brother acquiesces and agrees to let the priest live. CPD actually believes him and just leaves. Demon Brother picks up the priest’s staff and stabs him through the throat with it, then takes the staff for his own.
The scene switches and suddenly it’s Christmas! Snow is gently falling just outside the window, the first flurry we’ve seen so far in MICHIGAN. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that it will be the last sign of snow we see in the entire series until next Christmas. There will be no 20-foot snow drifts or lake-effect blizzards in any of the upcoming episodes. What was the reason we decided to have this town be in Michigan and not California, again?
Anyway, as Harry and Mel decorate the tree, Maggie brings them a concoction called ḉóqúít́ố. It’s like eggnog, but MUCH better because it’s ethnic. Harry says if he has to try her culture’s foods, she has to try his, and gives her some of his homemade fruitcake. She gags because White Man Food is gross, unlike eggnog with coconut, which sounds much better.
Six minutes into the episode, Macy appears out of nowhere to tell us they found the driver who hit Friendzone. Oh yeah! I killed Friendzone by sheer strength of will at the end of the last episode! Except Macy informs us that he luckily escaped with just a broken leg. Goddammi—
Mel and Maggie theorize that since the driver was drunk and had two prior DUIs on his record, maybe the accident was just a coincidence and had nothing to do with the mark that suddenly we know Friendzone’s grandma put on him which was the obvious conclusion but since Harry and Macy jumped to a different one in that episode it became really confusing when everyone just suddenly knew his grandma had done it. Macy decides to call Miss Cleo Mama Roz, whose phone number she suddenly has, and find out more information.
Maggie the Millennial checks her phone and tells the sisters that Ray is on his way. Who? Oh, no one important. Just Mel and Maggie’s father.
I guess I just assumed that the identity of their father would be a mystery because wasn’t it in the original show? But no, this guy is just a deadbeat dad. They call him by his first name to show off what a deadbeat they find him to be. Maggie the Gullible Millennial still has hope they can have a good relationship now, 15 years after he abandoned them, though. That’s why she invited him to the Vera-Vera-Vaughn family Christmas! He will definitely come and not stand them up.
Macy comments how odd it is that they call him by his first name, since her own father (you know, who raised her??) was always called ‘Dad.’ Maybe because he raised you?
And while we’re on the subject of your dad, Macy, I have some questions—is he your birth father or were you adopted? If he was your birth father, why do you keep saying your mother “gave you up” instead of just assuming that your dad got sole custody? If he was your birth father, why did he and your mother split up? Did he know she was a witch? Is he the reason for the non-melanin-related “darkness” within you? Well? Speak up—
Never mind that, back to Mel and Maggie’s deadbeat! He left them the day after Maggie’s fifth birthday! He’s the literal worst!
The doorbell rings. It’s Friendzone, fresh from the hospital! Macy doesn’t know whether it’s safe to go near him, so she asks Harry to distract him with ḉóqúít́ố. On his way in the door, Friendzone tries to ambush Macy with mistletoe. This ends with him slipping on a banana peel and falling on his ass, courtesy of the mark. Good times are had by all.
Meanwhile, over at the Generic Science Lab, Mrs. Walton (Macy and Friendzone’s boss) is talking to her son, Connerparkerdemon. I had basically suspected that she was Mr. Walton’s wife or ex-wife since she’s a high-up at WalDemon, but this is the first episode where it’s actually confirmed. She’s taken the three samples of Charmed One blood that they’ve collected over the last several episodes and run tests on them, confirming that the Charmed Ones’ powers could indeed be used to create a cure for Connerparkerdemon’s Affliction. The cure would kill his human half, making him pure demon. Connerparkerdemon isn’t convinced that the tradeoff of losing his human side would be worth it, but Mrs. Walton is like, “DAMMIT, YOU’RE MY SON, YOU MUST LIVE!”
She urges Connerparkerdemon to take the Amulet of the Archangels he and his brother procured in Bucharest (how did they get there and home so fast? Is everyone in this show able to apparate except the sisters?) and give it to Maggie. Since she’s the empath, if she wears it long enough, it will drain all three of their powers, because logic. As their powers drain, the stone will turn black; but if she takes it off before their powers have completely drained, their powers will return. Connerparkerdemon’s like waaaah I don’t want to hurt Maggie! Mrs. Walton’s like it won’t hurt her, just take away her magic. Connerparkerdemon’s like ☹
Meanwhile, over at the Walton Lair, Mr. Walton is discussing the current state of affairs with Demon Brother. It turns out the reason Mr. Walton wants a cure for Connerparkerdemon has nothing to do with familial affection—apparently there’s some kind of prophecy that when the apocalypse happens, the Source of All Evil will take a demon born of a human as his vessel. Mr. Walton believes that the prophecy refers to Connerparkerdemon, and if they can get rid of his human side, then the Source will possess him after they free it and Mr. Walton will be able to RULE THE WORLD! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Back at the house, Harry is doing a very excellent job of distracting Friendzone with completely heterosexual dialogue such as, “How do you like the tree? The balls are very well spaced,” and, when Friendzone asks where Macy is, “That little lady is in the kitchen cooking up a storm, so don’t even think about dragging her away from that stove.” (Real Dialogue Alert: I didn’t make any of that up.)
Mel heads off to a pledge meeting for her sorority—my, how the tables have turned! As she heads out the door, Connerparkerdemon strolls in, laden with PRODUCT PLACEMENT!
Connerparkerdemon gives Maggie her gift and urges her to open it now. She adequately fawns over the amulet, which he claims he picked up at a vintage boutique, which men are known to shop at, and helps her put it on. He also shows her the gift he got for the mysterious Ray, who’s “in Japan for the year” (is… he a professor too? Maggie said he was driving from Minneapolis earlier?): a chess set inspired by Japanese netsuke carvings. See, shit like this is why I hated this douchebag before we found out he was a demon and he automatically became interesting. Maggie says she doesn’t deserve him because he’s too perfect. Connerparkerdemon’s like ☹
Over at the tattoo parlor, the witch sorority is like, BOOM SHAKA LAKA! And Mel gets a magic tattoo on her wrist, no bloodletting required. As the initiation ceremony is completed, a bunch of crows appear and fly around the room. CROWS, YOU SAY?
Five minutes later, she’s back at the house and telling Harry all about it. The crows + the Lichtenberg figures clearly = Jada killed Dead Hippie Mom. Harry seems convinced. Macy comes bursting out of the kitchen like BITCH WAT U DOIN UR SUPPOSED TO BE DISTRACTING FRIENDZONE AND PLYING HIM WITH ¡ȻỐQỪỈTỢS! Harry’s like calm your tits, Connerparkerdude’s distracting him! Macy peeks in on them chatting and when they do the bro high five-handshake thing that guys do, CPD collapses in pain while Friendzone’s cowrie shell mark glows. Maggie assumes CPD’s just losing his powers again, but having seen the mark, Macy knows otherwise. She rushes outside to give Mama Roz a call, because I guess the house has bad cell reception or something who knows.
Mama Roz tells Macy that if the mark caused CPD to have that reaction, it’s a sign that he’s a magical being with a strong evil energy inside him, most likely a demon. Macy gets off the phone to warn her sisters, but is CLUBBED OVER THE HEAD WITH A SHOVEL! So Mags Visaggio is a writer on this show? Because there’s a lot of blunt force trauma to the head going on here.
The perpetrator, Demon Brother, drags her into the garden shed and ties her to a chair with zip ties. Ah, bondage. He then takes her form and tries to go back into the house. Unfortunately, his demonic energy is so much stronger than CPD’s that Friendzone’s mark just NOPEs and repels him straight out of the house as soon as he set foots in the door.
Mel comes running to see what happened and find “Macy” flat out on the ground. She asks “Macy” what happened, and “Macy” tells her that Mama Roz said that Friendzone’s mark is malfunctioning, which is a thing that makes sense, and that it’s hurting people who are innocent, so they need to take it off him. “Macy” gives Mel a spell that “Mama Roz” “gave” “her” that is supposed to remove the mark. It’s a potion which can be mixed into the ḉóqúít́ố. Mel mixes it up and gives it to Friendzone who’s like, “Oh geez, not more of this shit, please,” as Mel pins him down on the couch and shouts, “DRINK, BITCH.”
(Dialogue Alert: Some of that was real, you get to figure out which for yourselves.)
After Friendzone has imbibed, Mel returns to report to “Macy.” “Macy” says the best way to test out whether it worked or not is to snuggle up to her man and see if she can get a little stocking stuffer tonight. I… think Demon Brother is gay? He keeps over-the-top flirting with other males while in female form, including his BROTHER which was eww. Anyway, Mel is like, “Whoa, Macy, you’re not seriously thinking of losing your virginity tonight, are you?” Guess there was definitely no deflowering on Halloween, then. Demon Brother is like dafuq at this revelation, but plays it off like lol jk and they go into the house.
In the dining room, Maggie and Connerparkerdemon are admiring the Victorian ice skating figurines that Maggie has set up on the table. Maggie complains that Mel hates it and won’t ever let her put the whole set out, because “All the figurines are super white and conforming to traditional gender roles.” (Real Dialogue Alert: That was the real dialogue.) At those words, Connerparkerdemon begins to die of consumption. I know, CPD, I know.
Maggie frets over him and asks if he brought his meds. CPD tells her that he’s supposed to be starting a new regimen, one that could cure him, but he’s worried about the side effects: they may make him feel like a different person. Maggie says that anything personality-altering sounds like bad news and maybe he shouldn’t take it. CPD says he doesn’t want to but his family is pushing it on him. Maggie says it’s just because they love him and want to save him. CPD laments that none of them care what he wants. Maggie says she’ll always listen to him. They undress one another with their eyes as the amulet turns from white to black.
Mel sees the amulet change and her eyes bug out. Still suspicious of CPD after the incident with Friendzone’s mark earlier, she drags Maggie upstairs and asks her what the meaning of this necklace is. Maggie suggests that maybe it’s a moodstone. It sure is gaudy enough to be one. Maggie gets mad that Mel is implying CPD is a demon, because the additional implication is that Maggie is so stupid that she’s been reading his thoughts for months and hasn’t noticed yet.
Just then, her phone dings—a text from their dad telling them “lol just kidding I’m not coming.” He said he was on his way and then he lol jk’ed? Maggie runs away yelling at Mel that she’s always right. Connerparkerdemon runs after her to console her. They embrace in her room as she confesses that Mel always treats her like she’s stupid and naïve. She asks him about the necklace and he reiterates that he got it at a vintage shop and that it probably is a mood necklace. He promises to never hurt her, and while they mack, he unhooks the necklace and slips it into his pocket. As soon as he takes it off her, the stone turns white again. Mel, watching from the doorway like a peeping tom, sees the stone change, which makes her Even More Suspicious.
She runs to go tell “Macy,” who, being in actuality Demon Brother, now knows that CPD betrayed them by taking the necklace off. Meanwhile, in the garden shed, real Macy has regained consciousness and is trying to get the gag out of her mouth with her telekinesis. As Mel and Harry formulate a plan with “Macy,” the real Macy succeeds in removing her gag and calls Harry. Harry goes, “Macy, I hear you calling me, but you’re right here?” Demon Brother realizes the jig is up and attacks Harry. He hurls him through the attic window—that’s the second time that window’s had someone hurled through it—and pursues him down to the garden.
Macy calls Harry again, and he apparates away from Demon Brother and into the shed to free the real Macy. Mel and Maggie, meanwhile, run into the garden and find “Harry” there. Now begins the hijinks of “who’s the real So-and-So?!” as Demon Brother shapeshifts from person to person. These shenanigans are brought to an end when Connerparkerdemon runs out, sees what’s going on, and charges his brother. They get into an “epic” fight (bearing in mind this show’s budget), with the two of them shifting back and forth into their shadow and smoke forms.
Demon Brother temporarily stuns CPD and barrels toward Mel. Mel tries to freeze him but has just about as much luck as she did when she tried it before. Just then, the magical tattoo she got from the witch sorority starts glowing, and a murder of crows swarm in and attack Demon Brother, driving him away. Mel realizes that the crows came to protect her, and wonders if the crows that were in the house the night their mom died weren’t the accomplices of the murderer, but rather had come to protect her, too.
Anyway, Demon Brother is gone and now everyone knows that Connerparkerdemon is the shadow demon who stole the Moon Stick from them a few episodes ago. He says he can explain, and then kidnaps Maggie so he can explain, because that’s how we do things on this show. If someone needs to do some ’splainin, they kidnap the person who needs the ’splainin to. He takes her to some snowy gazebo where he tells her The Whole Story. Maggie is like “zomg you lied to me! I’m just as naïve as Mel said I was! I never want to speak to you again!” and runs back to the house.
Maggie pouts a little bit to her sisters and Harry about CPD’s betrayal, but they don’t get much time to recoup before Demon Brother is BACK. He comes down the chimney in his smoke form like Santa Claus, Merry Christmas Ho Ho Ho. He’s like u bitchez gon die bc u cut mah pretty face (No, really) (Gay), but is stopped in his tracks when Connerparkerdemon materializes with the Orthodox priest’s staff in his hand. He uses the staff to open the portal to Tartarus. Or, at least, that’s what he TRIES to do, but he starts coughing his damn brains out in the middle of the spell.
The three sisters run to support CPD and perform the spell for him. The portal to Tartarus opens, sucking Demon Brother in… and sucking the staff and Harry in, too! Harry dangles on the precipice for a single instant before murmuring, “Fly, you fools,” and disappearing into the fiery bowels, the floor sealing closed after him.
As the girls stand there staring aghast at the floor where once there was a hole where once there was Harry, Friendzone awkwardly clears his throat behind them. Whoops, forgot about him, didn’t you? He’s apparently been sitting there the whole time and no one noticed. Essentially his role on this entire show.
“What the hell?” he asks.
What the hell indeed, Friendzone!
Overall thoughts: Damn, I was hoping Friendzone would be leaving the show soon, not becoming more important!
That’s all I got, it’s too hot to think.