This episode deals with the ramifications of Charity’s actions and one of the sisters being kidnapped and under the control of a demon for the first time.
The episode kicks off with Harry facing a tribunal of Elders over his forbidden relationship with Charity. With this and the fact that he inadvertently put the sisters in danger, the Elders decide to revoke his whitelighter status.
Meanwhile, Mel receives a text from Niko asking her to come over. Mel introduces her to Scarlett, a woman who has fled a cult but has no memories of her time there, she was also the woman seen running at the beginning of the episode. Niko explains that she saw Scarlett and a group of glassy-eyed women at the grocery store a week earlier and gave Scarlett her card in case they needed help. Niko tells Mel she think the cult is related to the S’Arcana, but Mel reassures her it isn’t.
Niko’s theory is debunked in the next scene when the cult leader is shown yelling about Scarlett’s disappearance to the group of women, as it threatens the success of an unexplained impending ritual. After killing another woman in the group, which was an idiotic move as the ritual’s success is already threatened, he sends the others out to find Scarlett. The women eventually track Scarlett down at Niko’s place, Niko catches them, however one of the women use telekinesis to knock her unconscious. After Niko calls Mel to tell her what happened and ask again if the S’Arcana are involved, the sisters discover that the demon behind it all is Viralis, a soul sucking demon who forms a cult every ten years preying on vulnerable women to kill to extend his life for another ten years.
Maggie decides to offer herself as bait to the demon by posing as a student at a poetry slam reading a poem aloud about a recent break-up. Although the sisters initially believe witches are immune to Viralis’ hypnosis-like powers, they find out the hard way that they’re wrong when Viralis senses her desire to find a love that never leaves her and uses it to put her under his spell and take her away.
As Harry followed them and they used Charity’s compass and tracker as part of their plan, the sisters are able to track Maggie down to a barn. Inside the barn, Viralis starts his ritual whilst the girls have to freeze Niko to do what they need to do. Viralis gives Maggie some of his demon blood to further implement his control over her and orders her to kill anyone who walks through the door. Under this influence, Maggie attacks Mel and leads to them fighting it out, whilst Macy battles with Viralis. Macy nearly succeeds until he disappears, however due to his eyes being visible even when the rest of him isn’t, Macy successfully stabs him with his own athame, ending his affects on Maggie and the other women. At the end of the battle, Mel and Maggie return to Niko, who says that Mel is always in the middle of weird situations that she’s investigating, a fact that was constantly pointed out in the original series to the original sisters by cops suspicious of them. Macy also gives Maggie some of Viralis’ blood for Parker, which I’ll get to.
Overall I found this battle of the week to be compelling and well played out.
Meanwhile, Harry eventually returns to the sisters after his whitelighter status is revoked where it’s revealed he is being forced to age rapidly to what would have been his mortal age if he had lived—98. Knowing he doesn’t have much time left, he tells the sisters to accept his fate and he requests to see Fiona one last time. The sisters refuse to give up, with Mel asking for Jada and the S’Arcana’s help, but she refuses which leads to them breaking up. Jada also informs her that Fiona is getting ready for a ceremony that will allow her to come into her new powers, which would mean the S’Arcana, not the Elders, have control over magic.
After Jada refuses to help, Mel tries to expose magic in order to get the Elders’ attention, which she succeeds to do however she doesn’t succeed in convincing the Elders to reverse their decision. Whilst they are battling Viralis, Fiona has been following the sisters. She follows them to the barn and tries to get inside Harry’s mind but fails to do so as her powers aren’t at their full capacity and he is frozen due to his mortal state. When the sisters recount the battle with Viralis to Harry once it’s over, it’s revealed he is even older. Fiona then appears to them and tells them she’s willing to save Harry as she wants the Charmed ones to be in her debt. Her statement right there reveals she clearly has ulterior motives, Jada suddenly appears and orders her not to help Harry with powerful magic, but Fiona dismisses and threatens her and Jada disappears. They agree to let her help and Fiona takes them down to the Vortex Viribus where she tries to use it to amplify her powers so she can get inside Harry’s mind again, after she has reverted him back to his younger age. She fails to do so and decides to kidnap him to get what she needs.
I found the Harry subplot to be more compelling than the battle of the week, I think this is due to the fact that the viewers would be more emotionally invested in Harry and his battle, rather than the expected demonic one. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will be played out and finding out whether Fiona is really the villain rather than Charity, as well as finding out whether the S’Arcana are evil or not.
On a smaller note, Parker is in quarantine as the demonic infection has worsened. Dr Julia tells Maggie that she needs more demonic blood to save him. Maggie offers some of Macy’s blood, however Dr Julia shuts this down as Macy is only half-demon and the blood needs to be pure. Dr Julia reveals that Alastair’s blood transfusion to cure Parker’s previous infection activated his demonic side, and that she didn’t know about Alastair’s demonic side until it was too late. I liked the scenes between the two of them as it was almost like a mother bonding with her future daughter-in-law, especially when it’s revealed Dr Julia is keeping Maggie away as Parker is now in a barely controllable, angry, demonic form and she is clearly protecting her from him.
Overall this was a solid and compelling episode.