Charmed recap: The Charmed Ones face off against a demonic cult leader
An unexpected consequence of Charity’s betrayal leaves the Vera sisters reluctant to get involved when a demonic cult leader arrives in Hilltowne.
The episode begins with Harry facing a tribunal before the Council of Elders, his “unsanctioned’ relationship with Charity now public. Facing further charges of putting the Charmed Ones in harm’s way — by, you know, being unaware that Charity killed five Elders (including Marisol Vera) and then attempted to kill Macy to cover her secret — the council rules to revoke his whitelighter status.
With their whitelighter M.I.A., the Vera sisters are struggling — and not just because of his unofficial duties as their personal chef. Unaware of Harry’s fate and with no way to contact the Elders, the sisters are frustrated by the council’s hold on them. But Harry isn’t the only person they’re concerned about. Galvin has abruptly ceased all connections with Macy, leaving her worried his grandmother is right about his quest being too dangerous. Meanwhile, Parker’s condition is continuing to deteriorate as Maggie and Dr. Wagner seek a cure for his demon virus.
Mel is surprised to receive an urgent text from Niko asking her to come over. Despite Maggie and Macy’s warnings not to get caught up with Niko again, she agrees. At Niko’s, Mel finally meets Greta, the private investigator’s ex in the previous timeline and fiancée in the current timeline. She also meets Scarlett, who has just fled a cult but has no memories of her time there. Niko explains to Mel that she saw Scarlett and a number of other glassy-eyed women at the grocery store the week prior and concerned, gave them her card. Niko wants to know if this cult is affiliated with the Sarcana, though Mel reassures her otherwise.
The cult may not be Sarcana-related, but there’s definitely magic at play. In a remote barn, the demonic cult leader (Roswell, New Mexico’s Tyler Blackburn) is fuming over Scarlett’s disappearance, which is threatening the success of an upcoming ritual. After killing her friend and a fellow follower, the demon sends four of his entranced followers to retrieve the former devotee, encouraging them to kill whoever stands in their way.
Maggie is desperate to see Parker but his condition is too dangerous. Dr. Wagner reveals that the last time Parker was afflicted with this demonic virus, the blood transfusion from Alastair activated his demon side. She also opens up to Maggie about meeting Alastair, not knowing he was a demon until she was living a “real-life Rosemary’s Baby.” While Parker refuses a blood transfusion from Alastair, Julia needs demon blood to cure him and since Macy, a half-demon, is ineligible, Maggie vows to find some.
After being stripped of his whitelighter powers, Harry is back...as a very old, human man. To their horror, he tells the sisters that his body is now rapidly aging, catching up to the age he’d be if he hadn’t died and become a whitelighter. Considering that age is 98, Harry knows he’s running out of time and has some final words of advice before he dies and the new whitelighter arrives. Calling the sisters his legacy, Harry tells them he’s so proud of them. But while he encourages them to accept his fate — making one final request to see Fiona before he dies — the sisters refuse to give up on him.
Meanwhile, the demon cult leader’s followers have tracked Scarlett down at Niko’s. Hearing her screams, Niko rushes to the living room to find Scarlett levitating in the air, the cult followers circling her. Confused by what she’s seeing, Niko pauses and one of the followers uses telekinesis-esque powers to knock her out with a vase.
Mel finds Jada at the tattoo parlor the Sarcana use as a headquarters. Jada tells her the Keeper (a.k.a. Fiona) is ready for a ceremony that’ll allow her to take on her new powers, which would shift control of magic from the Elders to the Sarcana. Mel tells her about Harry’s situation and asks for help, but Jada is unwilling to help Harry, whom she calls an “Elder patsy.” She warns Mel that a war is brewing between the two groups and it’s time to pick a side. Furious at her apathy, Mel questions her relationship with Jada and storms off. Having overheard, Fiona emerges, telling Jada that anyone too close with her sister isn’t worth saving.
Angry that the Sarcana are refusing to help Harry and unable to contact the Elders, Mel resorts to calling the Elders the old-fashioned way: forcing them to make contact by recklessly using her powers in public. The Charmed Ones are summoned before the Council of Elders, where they make a plea on Harry’s behalf. While the Elders are unwilling to reinstate him, Mel reminds them that they also share some culpability in being duped by Charity.
Niko calls Mel for help, describing what she saw the night the cult followers came for Scarlett. She asks again if the Sarcana are involved. Mel admits that there’s a lot about the Sarcana she doesn’t know and offers to look into it. The sisters find the demon they’re looking for in the Book of Shadows. Named Viralis, he’s a soul-sucking demon who forms a cult every decade, preying on vulnerable women to sacrifice in order to extend his life by another 10 years.
With Harry dying and time running out, the sisters don’t want to be distracted by a demon on the loose. But knowing that Harry would want them to continue their duties as Charmed Ones, they decide to quickly go after him. Maggie offers to be bait, wanting to secure some demon blood for Parker and under the impression witches would be immune to Viralis’s powers. Unfortunately, while Maggie is able to attract Viralis’s attention, she falls under his spell and they disappear back to his compound.
Having lost track of Maggie, Mel, and Macy panic and call out for Harry…who arrives, admitting to having followed the sisters out of worry. While he no longer has his powers, Harry’s magical knowledge remains and he is able to help the sisters track down Maggie’s location and agrees to take them. Meanwhile, Fiona has been secretly following the trio.
Having acquired his necessary 10 followers, Viralis begins his ritual, which involves his sacrifices stabbing themselves as he sucks the life out of them. Outside the barn, Harry, Mel, and Macy arrive and stumble across Niko. To prevent the P.I. from getting in the way, Mel freezes time, but unfortunately, the now-human Harry is also frozen, leaving Macy and Mel to continue alone. Mel’s powers cause all the humans inside the barn to freeze, leaving Viralis and Maggie. He gives her some of his demon blood and commands her to kill anyone who walks through the door. Maggie attacks Mel with a knife and while Mel’s initially reluctant to fight back, the pair duke it out.
Outside, Fiona appears and attempts to perform magic on the frozen Harry. Failing, she vows to “get into his mind” before he dies.
Under the spell of Viralis, Maggie tells Mel that while Parker and Harry are leaving her, he won’t. Meanwhile, the demon confronts Macy with a large knife. She’s able to quickly get the upper hand, using her telekinetic powers to choke him with his necklace, causing him to disappear. Knowing he’ll likely try to continue his ritual, Macy has the knife waiting when he reappears and is able to defeat Viralis and lift his spell. While Macy and Mel try to stage the scene so that Niko won’t know they intervened before her, the P.I. tells Mel that something weird is happening and she’s somehow always in the middle of it. Macy, meanwhile, presents Maggie with a vial of the demon’s blood, which she was able to procure before killing him.
Maggie gives the demon blood to Dr. Julia, who warns her that things are going to get worse before they get better. As Dr. Wagner goes to deliver the dose to Parker, we find out why she’s keeping Maggie away. No longer looking like the fraternity brother we’ve become accustomed to, Parker now looks wildly unhuman — like a shadowy Night King.
As the sisters recount Maggie’s rescue to an even older and frailer Harry, Fiona portals into the living room. She tells them she wants to save Harry because she wants the Charmed Ones to be in her debt — but she definitely has other ominous ulterior motives. Jada also appears, warning Fiona against performing the powerful magic on Harry. However, she quickly departs after being threatened by the witch.
Agreeing to her help, Harry and Fiona disappear to the Vortex. After restoring Harry to his younger age, Fiona uses her heightened powers to, once again, get inside his mind. While she’s significantly more successful this time, she’s unable to obtain everything she needs from him, forcing her to take Harry captive.