By Meaghan Kirby
May 13, 2019 at 07:36 PM EDT
Shane Harvey/The CW

In the penultimate episode of Charmed, the Charmed Ones are in a race against the clock as the prophecy falls into place.

Having seen all the Elders — save one particular not-so-good Elder — fall before them, the Charmed Ones and Harry are carefully plotting their next move, using the prophecy as their guide. When Maggie hears Parker reaching out for help, she wants to drop everything and go after him, starting with the address Niko was able to trace Lucy’s phone calls to. However, Harry cautions that they can’t move without a plan because they’re up against a prophecy…and a now an imminent apocalypse.

Macy gets a call from Galvin — which is unexpected considering their current predicament — alerting them to the hospital, which is overrun with patients bleeding from their eyes, ears, noses, and mouths. Galvin is assisting with the effort to diagnose this mystery virus and while he’s looking for a rational scientific explanation, he thinks it might be demonic. Yep, it doesn’t take magical epidemiologist to deduce that the ominous Harbinger virus is finally here.

As Macy races off to test a blood sample for demonic activity, Niko is wheeled by on a gurney. Mel notes that her symptoms are different from the other patients, as she’s not bleeding from her eyes and ears, but Harry is unable to heal her. Using her empath powers, Maggie discovers Niko’s memories are flooding her brain, which Mel thinks might have something to do with her learning the truth about the history rewriting spell. Before they can further think of how to help Niko, her fiancée Greta arrives and kicks them out.

Despite his initial reluctance to seek out Parker without a game plan, with the Harbinger no longer sealed inside the sacred paint can, Harry reverses course and decides their last option is to prevent Maggie’s boyfriend from becoming the Source’s vessel. Meanwhile, Galvin joins Macy in the lab as she tests the demonic virus, confirming it is, in fact, the Harbinger virus.

Maggie, Mel, and Harry scope out the address Niko gave them, which Alistair has since abandoned. Parker reaches out to Maggie again, sounding increasingly desperate. Remembering a spell their brief, late Whitelighter Tessa made her learn, Maggie touches a burned-out glass window and learns that Parker is close to taking on the Source.

With the diagnosis confirmed, Galvin wants to quarantine the patients with the Harbinger virus but Macy tells him it’s no use as the virus will change tactics to get what it wants, which is to tip the scales to evil. Meanwhile, at the hospital, one of the infected patients begins attacking all of the nurses and doctors around him, before being knocked out with a sedative.

Macy tells her sisters and Harry that the Harbinger has spread and she thinks it’s their fault. Further proving that Alistair is officially the worst dad, his plans to see the rise of the Source of All Evil involves the deaths of both of his sons. The Harbinger was inside Hunter during his massacre of the Elders and when the sisters vanquished him, they unwittingly released it, infecting everyone at the Cinco de Mayo party.

Macy laments the loss of Elder Bari’s needle, wishing she could use her Evil Sight and suggesting they could have prevented everything if she had been able to use it. However, her sisters and Harry remind her of the far too many risks and side effects that come with overusing her Evil Sight.

Mel heads back to the hospital to perform a restorative spell on Niko, freezing time due to the overwhelmingly chaotic scene. However, as she makes her way to Niko’s room, she discovers Niko is no longer wearing her magical protective ring — which she was wearing before Greta kicked them out of the hospital room — and has become infected with the Harbinger’s virus.

Wielding her new staff, Maggie calls out to Parker and is able to connect with him on an empath astral plane of sorts. He tells her that while his dad believes he’s gone over to his side, he’s still working to defeat him. Parker tells her to find Charity and keep her safe because she’s the last great sage (she was never stripped her Elder status when she lost her powers and is therefore keeping the prophecy from coming to fruition). As the connection fades, Parker tells Maggie he loves her. Maggie relays Parker’s news about Charity to Harry and they take off in search of her at a place called the Gardens of Latebra, a safe haven few people know about.

Meanwhile, Galvin and Macy find Mel at the hospital, where she fills them in on Niko’s infection with the virus. Adding that Niko and the other patients are having to be restrained, Macy surmises that the Harbinger is infecting its victims’ brains. Galvin remembers something from the Yoruba texts from when he was studying to be a Chirij. He thinks he might be able to save the already-infected people using the spell he was going to use to remove the Ibi from Macy. It’s dangerous — and cost Galvin’s grandmother her finger — but he needs to save them. They head up to the roof where the infected patients can’t get to them to prepare, while Mel heads off to consult with the Book of Shadows on a back-up plan.

Maggie and Harry find Charity in the gardens, picking at a plant bud. She attempts to escape, but without her magical powers is easily stopped by Maggie, who despite her disdain for the Elder, reveals they’re at the gardens to protect her from Alistair. Charity reveals the bud she’s holding is crucial to performing the Akkadian Smokescreen, a spell that’ll keep her permanently hidden, but she needs to speed up the plant’s growth cycle. Harry orbs away and returns with a very pissed Mel, who is livid Charity’s asking for help with the same spell she once told Mel could not be used to save Niko from Hunter. With the prophecy in the balance, Mel relents, but as she’s speeding up the plant’s growth cycle, a very demonic Parker arrives, revealing he tricked Maggie into helping him find Charity.

While Harry orbs his ex to safety, Maggie and Mel fight Parker. Maggie is able to trap Parker but instead of killing him, she appeals to his humanity, which briefly surfaces as he asks her to kill him. But she hesitates, and with his demonic side back in control, Parker disappears.

Using her Evil Sight, Fiona learns of Parker’s failure, deciding it’s on her to ensure her older sister dies. However, Alistair maintains that Parker’s weakness is all part of his master plan, reiterating that once Parker becomes the vessel for the Source, Alistair will control the demons while Fiona will control the witches. Unfortunately for the demon, he has no idea Fiona is secretly scheming to double-cross him and destroy magic.

Mel is pissed that Maggie didn’t kill Parker when she had the chance, However, Maggie thinks his pleas for her to kill him is enough to prove that his humanity is still in him somewhere and he can be saved.

On the roof, Galvin and Macy prepare the ritual, giving them time to formally make up after a few very rocky weeks. Macy apologizes for getting him involved at all but Galvin stops her, revealing he has no regrets — not even the whole possessed by an Abiku thing, He tells her the whole experience made him grateful to be human as he now sees what a burden the Charmed Ones carry and wants to help in any way he can.

Harry takes Charity to the Vortex Viribus so he can continue to speed up the growth cycle on the plant. It’s not an ideal hiding spot due to its connection to Fiona, but he has no choice. Unfortunately, Fiona portals in and before Harry can stop her, she mortally wounds Charity. Harry’s unable to heal her and she succumbs in the arms of the Whitelighter after telling him she always loved him.

Maggie and Mel see the stormy sky turn an ominous shade of red as Harry orbs in and reveals that Charity has died, putting the prophecy in action. The Whitelighter says the plan now comes down to Galvin and Macy successfully performing the ritual. While Mel and Harry go to grab the Book of Shadows to take with them to Macy and Galvin, Maggie calls out to Parker’s human side one last time. Alistair, who seemed to be counting on Maggie’s continued faith in Parker, then kidnaps the youngest Vera sister.

As Galvin performs the ritual, he reveals there must be a sacrifice. Realizing he plans to sacrifice himself, Macy tries to stop him but is prevented by a magical barrier as Galvin tells her, “You were right all along. Sometimes, you got to lose one to save the many.” She desperately calls out for Harry but the magical barrier also prevents him from intervening and the two of them watch as Galvin completes the ritual, healing all the infected patients, and dies.

Harry takes a despondent Macy back to Mel at the Vera house while they formulate a plan to rescue Maggie. Harry can see the storm hasn’t quelled, meaning while Galvin was able to heal the infected people, the scales couldn’t be tipped back. While Macy says this means Galvin died for nothing, Harry tells her it prevented a massive global killing spree, meaning there’s still hope.

Harry orbs Macy and Mel into the eye of the storm, where they see Alistair and Fiona performing a spell and Maggie tied to a tree. Maggie spots Harry, Macy, and Mel, begging them for help, but Alistair threatens Maggie’s life if they intervene. While Fiona performs the powerful spell to light the Sacred Flame, it backfires because Macy had previously stripped her of her immortality. Dying, she reveals her master plan to kill Parker and destroy magic, to the surprise of Alistair. Fiona asks Harry to heal her but he refuses, apologizing for failing her as a Whitelighter, and lets her die.

Despite Fiona’s death, the Sacred Flame ignites as Parker arrives. His human side bursting through, he vows to save Maggie. But his dad presents him with two options: let the flames kill Maggie or step into the ring and take on the Source, which Maggie begs him not to do.

Sensing an alternative option, Macy channels her demon side and summons the Origin Dagger out from inside Parker and stabs herself. Telling her sisters and Harry she can control the darkness, Macy steps into the flame, taking on the Source and allowing Maggie to reunite with Harry and Mel.

Seeing his vision come true, Alistair bows before Macy, who mercilessly kills him — burning him inside out. Maggie goes to Parker but he warns her off, telling her the demon is still inside of him and doesn’t think he can control it for much longer and disappears, leaving her heartbroken.

With her newfound powers as the Source, Macy orbs her sisters and Harry back home, telling them she’s already wiped the minds of everyone in town related to the virus and has cured Niko. While Harry, Mel, and Maggie want to talk about these newfound powers from the Source, Macy has no time for that as she has a final task to complete, saying there’s “nothing to discuss.”

Definitely not seeming as in-control as she purports herself to be, Macy vows to “fix everything” and revives Galvin. With season-long Big Bads vanquished in the penultimate episode, it seems we’re setting up a finale in which Harry, Mel, and Maggie need to save Macy from herself.

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