TV Reviews

Review | ‘Charmed’ Season 1 Episode 19: Source Material

Despite an assured previous episode, Source Material moves plotpoints around like chess pieces; setting the scene for the final episodes to come.

Season 1, Episode 19: Source Material
Directed by: Stuart Gillard
Written by: Natalia Fernandez & Allyssa Lee
Starring: Melonie Diaz, Madeleine Mantock, Sarah Jeffery, Ser’Darius Blain, Ellen Tamaki, Rupert Evans & Nick Hargrove

While the previous episode we enjoyed was quite well paced and structured, I found myself struggling this week to get into it. Perhaps it’s because it focused too much upon this season’s big villains: Fiona and Alistair. I have a thing against poorly written villains who stick around longer than they need to. Out of the two, I’d have to say I prefer Fiona: at least you can understand her motives, but Alastair is given far too much screen time for somebody who has very little motivation behind his evil deeds.

This episode is clearly setting us up for some big conflict still to come. The most important takeaways I have listed below, ranging from least important to most important.

1. Tessa is dead

I mean, that sounds a little bit callous, but there’s no two ways about it really. Tessa is dead. Which is confusing, because I was fairly confident that you had to be dead to be a whitelighter in the first place. After stalking her to Fiona’s hiding place, Mel then indirectly got Tessa killed, as a lightning bolt aimed at Mel instead hit Tessa, causing her to die. The sisters briefly mourned, but other than that did not dwell too much (which is slightly callous considering it was their plan to manipulate Tessa in the first place). However, it does give Harry leave to be their whitelighter again, I suppose.

2. Niko is involved and enthusiastic

Despite her earlier reticence to involve Niko in her magical life, Niko assists Mel in stalking Tessa to find the whereabouts of Fiona in order to save Harry. Mel is adamant that Niko shouldn’t be involved anymore with the magical side of things, and gifts Niko a ring that should protect her from any enchantments. Niko is delightful enthusiastic when Mel freezes The Haunt except for her, showing that maybe honesty would have been best in the early stages of this season instead of erasing Niko’s memory. Niko has also been affected by this enchantment, expressing what she feels was a mental breakdown two years ago.

3. Harry is back

The sisters were successful in their mission to retrieve Harry from Fiona’s villainous clutches. Having been absent from the previous episode, it turns out that Harry was required so that Fiona could ascertain the whereabouts of the Origin Dagger, which she intends to use for a nefarious purpose. Fiona is keeping Harry around for exposition I suppose, with a magical collar that makes him do her bidding, as well as preventing his escape. Fortunately, the sisters break the enchantment and he is back in their employ, though this time separate from the Elders, while still retaining his powers which is quite the new dynamic.

4. Charity is working for Alastor

Alastor’s intentions for Charity are made clear in this episode, as she is sent to Tartarus in order to release Alastor’s other son, shape-shifter Hunter. Despite being compelled to do Alastor’s bidding, Charity is also attempting to reach out to her wayward sister…

5. Macy’s demon side starts to grow

Having broken up with Galvin, Macy is still adamant that she keep her demon side and use it to her advantage. Indeed, she uses it to reveal Fiona’s massacre of the Sarcana, as well as what happened to her boss Julia. Unfortunately, it shows signs of getting the best of her, when – upon discovering that Galvin is taking a job with Doctors Without Borders, her demon powers take over and smash a flask.

6. Fiona’s evil plan becomes clear

Jeez, Tartarus can really mess up a person can’t it? I mean, going around and murdering people is going a little far, but she is definitely more of a sympathetic and compelling villain than Alastor is, who is just relentlessly evil for the sake of being evil. In this episode, we discover that Fiona wanted Harry to reveal to her the location of the Origin Dagger so that she might control the Soul Flame to rid the world of magic. While the Charmed Ones prove strong enough to break Harry from her control, they are still not strong enough to defeat Fiona, however, and she escapes from them. She doesn’t have the Origin Dagger, however, which leads us to…

7. Parker is the Source

Parker spends this episode being ruthlessly manipulated by his father and older brother, as well as losing his mother. It’s going great for him. Parker has been absent from our screens to attempt to rid himself of his demon side using his mother’s antidote and it is time for his final dose. However, something goes wrong and Parker has a bad reaction to the final dose, causing him to freak out and his mother to fly across the room. Turns out that this is all a ruse and Parker was really injected with demon blood, as his brother Hunter has disguised himself as Julia. Hunter then kills Julia and Parker is convinced that he is responsible for his mother dying. Understandably devastated, he speaks to Maggie about it, who responds with horror and disgust at Parker’s actions. Little does Parker know that this is also Hunter in disguise, driving Parker right into his father’s arms, as he believes that there is no redeeming himself. Alastor has succeeded in gaining the Origin Dagger before Fiona, and stabs Parker with it to make him the Source.

Summary

So we end the episode with: Fiona trying to get rid of magic (though without the Origin Dagger); Parker is now the Source (having been stabbed by the Origin Dagger); the Apocalypse is seemingly nigh, according to the prophecy and Macy is becoming increasingly unable to control her Dark Side. Everything is slotting into place for an almighty showdown in the next few episodes, as the Charmed Ones battle to save the planet from destruction at the hands of the Source of all Evil (hopefully without killing Parker, however).


Musings

So I didn’t mention it in this review, because is it that important?, but Galvin is taking his Doctors Without Borders gig, and to an extent I kind of think Good Riddance. If he is not ready or willing to accept the full Macy, then he does not deserve her. It is as simple as that.

Another revelation in this episode is that all magic derives from the same Source: be it the magic that witches use, or that demons use.

Something that has always confused me is Niko’s memory loss. I thought that it had just rewritten Niko’s memories of her relationship with Mel, but upon reflection I believe that the actual timeline has been changed – in which case, how on earth did Mel manage to cast that powerful a spell to rewrite time? That’s crazy powerful, and also dangerous. Why don’t they use that spell all the time? Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when Niko inevitably finds out about the spell, as there is clearly still chemistry between the two of them.

I really feel like Fiona isn’t as evil as she is being portrayed to be. I mean, okay, sure, no that’s not true. She’s awful. She’s a serial killer and that’s not okay. But her plan is understandable. She wants to get rid of magic after she was imprisoned for going against the Elders. If all of magic comes from the same source, however, surely the battle for good will be solved by completely erasing both witches and demons. I personally feel like this evil plan is being made to seem more evil than it actually is. It’s a solid plan.

What’s going to happen when the Elders realise that Harry is still the Charmed Ones’ whitelighter? That can only go badly, really. Also, who died and made them in charge of magic? Like seriously, why are they in charge, it’s so confusing.

Alastor is the worst. Like literally, his villain arc is so boring, especially when he’s surrounding by more compelling characters like Charity and Fiona. Move over, please. Ya basic.

What does Alastor hope to gain from the Apocalypse happening? Where does he think he’s going to live? I never understand villains like this. Regardless, I hope the sisters succeed in saving Parker. It would be disappointing if his character arc ended tragically.


The trailer for next week shows Macy’s demon side unleashing itself with dire consequences, though I can’t help but feel it’s a bit of a random time for these subplots to be cropping up? Especially with the Apocalypse on the way.

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