On Sunday night, The CW's Charmed reboot concluded its first season. The series, a new take on the iconic 1990s/2000 series of the same name, spent its first season establishing a new set of sisters as the Charmed Ones while also sprinkling in a few clever nods, Easter eggs, and nods to the original. However, over the course of the finale -- as well as the previous week's penultimate episode "Red Rain" -- Charmed took all those references and kicked them to the curb, cutting ties with the familiar and setting up for a new and different magic world when the show returns for its second season this fall.
In Season 1, Charmed borrowed a few notable elements from its predecessor. The Power of Three, Elders in charge of the magical community, a half-demon boyfriend, Whitelighters, and even some familiar "villains" if you will, namely the Source of All Evil. For some fans, it was a nice way to acknowledge the original series while for others it didn't go over particularly well. It seems like the show decided to split the difference and just carve its own path, though. "Red Rain" set things up for the split with one of the Charmed Ones, Macy, taking the Source into herself as opposed to the half-demon boyfriend figure. The episode also saw the killing of all of the Elders, essentially wiping out the "power structure" within the magical world.
Following that socking turn of events, the finale "The Source Awakens" saw a Source-possessed Macy (Madeleine Mantock) trying to "fix" things -- bringing both her boyfriend Galvan and the Charmed Ones' mother back from the dead -- but ultimately ends with Maggie (Sarah Jeffrey) and Mel (Melonie Diaz) realizing that the Source is capitalizing on Macy's abandonment issues and insecurity. The pair ultimately convince their sister that they will never leave her, and it allows them to trap the Source into a necklace that then breaks into three pieces with each sister taking a section and burying their section in a separate corner of the world. Harry wipes their memories so they pieces can't be found and thus, the Source is vanquished.
In the aftermath, with the world set right again, it's the Charmed Ones who are ultimately left in charge of the magical world. The old power structure is no more, and it opens up for a completely different dynamic. As if to drive that point home, the season ends with Macy shutting the front door of the house with her telepathic powers, one last nod to the original Charmed.
It's an interesting choice to more or less cut dies with the original series in terms of references. While realistically there will likely still be some little nods here and there -- the reboot's "take" on the half-demon Cole, Parker, left with an open door for his return -- gives the series a chance truly do what it's promised since it was announced: tell stories of new witches in a new world. It may even open the door for additional types of magic, allowing the show to lean in more to the magical traditions of the sisters' Latinx heritage.
"We're new characters living in a world," Mantock said at San Diego Comic Con last year. "It's a new set of witches who've discovered they have powers. I think it's maybe a misconception to say it's a rip-off. I saw somebody yesterday describe it as a tribute to [the original] and I thought that was quite nice."
This break from the original also comes at good time for the series, and not just because it's the season finale. It was announced back in March that the series is getting new showrunners for Season 2, husband and wife pair Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro who are set to take the series in a new creative direction.
Charmed will return this fall on a new night, Fridays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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