Well this was one hell (no pun intended) of an episode and mid-season finale!
The episode picks up where we were left off with Mel coming to in the tattoo parlour to see Jada standing over her, telling her that one of the Sarcana overreacted and knocked her out. Meanwhile Hunter and Parker travel to Bucharest to steal the Amulet of the Archangels from a church where they are almost banished to hell by the church’s priest via a religious staff. As most of the series so far has combined magic and science, it was good to see it also combine religion as well. Although it didn’t completely go without science in this episode as Parker’s mother and Macy’s boss, Julia, comes up with a cure to Parker’s condition by using the amulet to drain the sisters of the powers and suggests to him he gives Maggie the amulet as a Christmas gift.
The sisters are later seen getting into the Christmas spirit by decorating their tree and drinking coquito. It is then that Macy reveals that the Galvin only suffered from a broken leg from being hit by a car at the end of the previous episode and that he’s going out of town, only to be surprised when he arrives to wish her a Merry Christmas and get a Christmas kiss only to fall over himself. Whilst this is going on, Mel and Maggie are also discussing their father as he is visiting, which leads to both of them and Maggie revealing what their fathers are like to each other. This would be a more insightful moment of character development had both their respective fathers appeared on screen.
Parker then comes to visit to give Maggie the amulet gift, which ultimately leads to his downfall as Mel notices it change colour, then Parker taking it off her later and ultimately discovering what it is when she looks it up in the Book of Shadows. Macy also suspects he’s a demon when Parker shakes Galvin’s hand and his protection mark glows and makes Parker wince. As Macy is calling Mama Roz to get advice on what she saw, Hunter sneaks up on her, knocks her out, hides her in a shed and shapeshifts into her. Ultimately it fools the sisters and Harry for a while, but not the house (at first).
The cat really comes out of the bag when Macy calls for Harry when Hunter-Macy is right in front of them and attacks Harry. As Hunter is shapeshifting into Harry and then Maggie in an effort to kill the sisters, Parker uses his demon self to protect Maggie and the Sarcana (in crow form) attack Hunter and send him away. Parker than takes Maggie away to explain himself but Maggie doesn’t believe him. Although it’s unexplained how she got back to the manor, Macy, Mel and Harry try to comfort her. Keeping up Marisol’s tradition of opening Christmas gifts at midnight, the girls go to the tree to open Harry’s gifts only for Hunter to surprise them and Parker to surprise him with the staff and try to banish him to hell. Parker is unable to do so due to his illness so the sisters do it for him, only for Hunter to take Harry down with him. Just as the sisters are trying to deal with it all, Galvin reveals he has seen the whole thing and therefore now knows the sisters are witches.
This episode for me was the strongest and a fantastic mid-season finale as it lead to the climaxes of all of the story arcs—Parker’s demonic nature has finally been revealed to the sisters, Galvin knows the sisters are witches, the crows at the scene of Marisol’s death have been revealed as the Sarcana, and Harry has possibly been killed (again). All of these plot climaxes will provide endless possibilities for the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next episode and the remainder of the season goes.
-Madeleine Mantock’s acting chops were well and truly on display in this episode as she is portraying both Macy and Hunter impersonating Macy.
-Harry’s cooking skills were again on display in this episode with his Christmas fruitcake.
-The reason for the presence of the crows throughout the pilot were finally explained.
-The scene between Parker and Maggie at the gazebo is very reminiscent of the scene in the original series between Phoebe and Cole at the cemetery, where Cole explains himself to Phoebe after his own demonic nature was revealed.
-This is the first Christmas themed episode of Charmed ever as the original series never had a Christmas themed episode.