Charmed series premiere recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”, Aired Oct. 14, 2018
The Charmed reboot finally dropped, and to be honest, I really enjoyed it. Despite the controversy that surrounds it, I think fans of other CW shows should give this one a chance. Plus, the actresses who play the sisters are perfect for these roles, and their chemistry really made the pilot work. Now, let’s break down the episode!
Meet the Sisters
Before we dive into the juicy details of the episode, let’s get to know all three sisters.
Mel Vera (Melonie Diaz): Mel and her little sister Maggie live together with their mother, and neither have any idea they (or their mother) are witches. Mel is a fierce and outspoken activist who is hell-bent on “taking down the patriarchy.” As we find out in the beginning of the episode when she’s with her girlfriend, she’s openly gay. Both Mel and Maggie seem to have an incredibly close bond with their mother, with Mel clearly being the leader of the two.
Maggie Vera (Sarah Jeffery): Maggie is the complete opposite of Mel. She’s a freshman in college, and she’s focused on fitting in, having fun, and joining a sorority. She’s fiery and gorgeous, but seems to be more interested in her social life than living a life of activism like Mel. On her way to a party, we see her cross paths with an ex-boyfriend (Brian) who truly seems like a swell dude. Something tells me their story isn’t over (also, according to IMDb, he’s in every episode of season 1, so I’m pretty certain we’ll be seeing him around again).
Macy Vaughn (Madeleine Mantock): Macy has no idea she is related to Mel, Maggie, and their mother. She’s the brilliant half-sister of the other two girls, and she’s also a scientist. She desperately wants the bond of family that she never had, and you can also expect her to try to incorporate scientific reasoning and processes into magic. In the beginning of the episode, she’s looking for a place to stay in town after landing a new job under Science Professor Thane, when she stumbles upon the Vera’s home and gets an eerie feeling.
Goodbye, Mama Vera
Right at the top of the episode, Women’s Department head Mama Vera is dealing with some serious stuff. We overhear a phone conversation where she says, “this is not a witch hunt, it’s a reckoning and I want him out.” Apparently, she’s trying to keep one Professor Thane on suspension after some harassment allegations.
Later that night, the mom is alone in the house while Maggie and Mel are out, when she hears something strange outside. We get some ominous foreboding thanks to crows flying around outside (Vampire Diaries pilot episode feels). She decides it’s a great idea to open the window and stick her head out, which lets a crow fly into the house and break some of her things with its haphazard flapping about.
Obviously she knows what’s going down, because she texts her girls to come home immediately and then heads to the attic to start doing a spell. Then, a group of crows bust through the window and start circling her, oh, and some billowing white smoke starts creeping toward her as well.
“Hear this! I have three,” she yells, stopping the smoke in its tracks. Apparently, this isn’t enough, though, because when the girls arrive home, they find their mother dead on the ground outside below the broken window.
Realizing Their Powers
Mel is taking the charge on her mother’s death, not accepting that it was an accident. She believes that Professor Thane is behind it all. Maggie is having none of it and thinks her sister is crazy, obsessed, and angry. Just as Maggie drops the news that she’s planning on moving into the sorority house she’s rushing, they get a knock on the door. It’s Macy, and she tells them after researching their house and using a picture she had of her birth mother, she knows she’s their sister (which Mel does not take well.)
Their union not only blows out the power in the house, but it seems to ignite the powers inside of them. First we see Macy’s powers manifest when she gets pissed and magically sends a beer bottle shooting across the bar (telekinesis). When it comes to Maggie, she’s dealing with some super vapid and bitchy sorority sisters when she starts hearing all of their thoughts. As for Mel, she’s with her ex-girlfriend in a coffee shop when she begins erratically freezing and restarting time.
Harry Greenwood is not only the mother’s replacement in the Women’s Department, but he also claims to be the girl’s Whitelighter (advisor). Boom, out of nowhere, the three sisters end up in the family attic, tied to chairs with Harry Greenwood sitting in front of them. “You are witches destined to save the world from impending doom,” he proclaims. “That’s right, you are the charmed ones, the most powerful trio of witches.”
Understandably, their initial reaction is to reject this. Harry tells them that their mother was in the process of unbinding their powers the night she was murdered. He also shows them the Book of Shadows, which if you watched the original Charmed, you know is a giant old spell book.
Harry tells the girls that they have 48 hours to decide whether or not they want to keep their witch powers to fight evil, otherwise all of their powers will disappear and they’ll remember nothing. Maggie is fully against this, and not surprisingly, Mel believes it’s their destiny. Meanwhile, Macy is trying to explain it all away with science.
The Demon Dog
Lucy, the sorority president, asks Maggie to come by the house. On her way there, she goes through some creepy woods (great idea!) and comes across an oozing, snarling demon dog that chases her back home. Harry and the girls decide that the bad force behind all of this is Lucy, since she’s the only one who knew where Maggie was heading. Now, they have to take her down with magic… or use sodium bicarbonate, which Macy discovers will also do the trick.
Before they head to the Kappa house, Maggie gets kidnapped and brought there as part of pledge initiation. The sisters, Harry, and even Brian, head to the house to “rescue” her from Lucy. But when Mel throws the sodium bicarbonate on Lucy, nothing happens. Looks like she’s not the demon. When Brian and Maggie are alone in the house, they realize he is the one possessed with a demon. Fortunately, tossing the sodium bicarbonate expelled the demon and he’s all good.
All of this serves as a great bonding experience for the sisters. They announce some harsh truths they had been holding in and they are all brought closer than ever. Mel and Maggie even share family videos of their mom with Macy so she can see what she was like.
But here’s the twist
The next day, Mel is at a rally on campus when she feels a coldness wash over her, and she knows something is wrong. She heads inside one of the buildings and into Thane’s science lab… and there’s Thane, full-blown demon style and ready to presumably kill Mel. Lucky for her, Maggie and Macy have figured it all out and show up just in time. Together, using their new powers and a spell, they try to take him down. But good ole Harry pops up and says the spell won’t work unless they officially accept this life and invoke the power of three. Of course they do, because otherwise they’ll die, and it works in taking down Thane.
Right before dying though, Thane says, “You think I killed her, you poor stupid girl. Now, it’s begun.” Whatever does he mean?! At the end of the episode, the girls find a ouija board in the house and contact their mom. The message they get is, “Don’t trust Harry.”