By Maureen Lee Lenker
December 06, 2019 at 09:00 PM EST
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Warning: This article contains spoilers about Friday night’s winter finale of Charmed.

The winter finale brought a lot of ups and downs for Maggie Vera’s (Sarah Jeffery) longtime love, Parker Caine (Nick Hargrove). And he’s never led a Charmed life to begin with.

The half-demon, half-human heartthrob was all set to marry Maggie, potentially brokering a peace between warring demons and witches in his new position as Demon Overlord. But things quickly went awry when Parker ate the stolen fruit from the Sacred Grove. Not only did his use of the fruit break Maggie’s trust, but it also sends Parker into a type of demon mania, leading him to attempt to force her into a marriage she no longer wanted and then to break into a murderous rage against Jordan (Jordan Donica) for even being a vague romantic presence in Maggie’s life.

The fight with Jordan quickly turns deadly, as Maggie fights to protect the innocent Jordan and her sisters and Harry rush in to the rescue. After a brush with some magical black amber, Mel (Melonie Diaz) accidentally freezes Parker — but Parker is immune from magic altogether thanks to the power of the apples. All seems well, if not still tragic, when Abigael (Poppy Drayton) appears at the last second and stabs Parker, seemingly killing him. Maggie begs Harry (Rupert Evans) to save him, but magic still has no effect on Parker, leaving him to dissolve in a cloud of demon dust.

But all is never as it seems in this magical world, as we see a still very much alive Parker trapped in Abigael’s old jail cell. She’s faked his death and assumed his position as Demon Overlord, keeping Parker alive for what can only be further evil reasons. They face off and he promises to make her pay for what she’s done, but she simply turns the key to his cell and leaves him to sit with what his jealous rage might have cost him.

Following the winter finale, we called up Hargrove to find out what makes Parker tick (his human or demon side?), get some insight into that deadly fake-out, and more. So let’s all embrace our demonic sides, take a bite out of that sacred apple, and dive in.

Colin Bentley/The CW

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The biggest takeaway of this episode is that all of Parker’s family is awful. From Hunter to Alistair to Abigael, can you rank them in order of who is the most dangerous?
NICK HARGROVE: Yeah, that’s for sure. [Laughs] It’s a tough tie for number one between Alistair and Abigael. Because Alistair is pretty open with how evil he is and it’s pretty obvious, but I think maybe Abigail is a little more dangerous because she’s a little smarter and a little more manipulative. She’s been able to pretend as if she is good in order to cause some trouble. Hunter’s pretty bad too, but Hunter also cared a lot about his brother. I would probably have to rank it as Abigael being the worst or most dangerous, Alistair being number two, and then Hunter number three. 

Parker goes through a lot of ups and downs in this episode. Were you surprised by what a dark turn he ends up taking? 
Yeah, it was definitely tricky to figure out how to get into that headspace because I’ve always felt like Maggie and Parker, their relationship has always been the one thing that bonds him to his human side. This is a first time that Maggie is seeing him in his human side being demonic and evil. For me, the influence of the apples played a big part in his transition over to that more evil side. That gave him that little bit of a push.

Why does Parker accept the sacred fruit and decide to eat it? It feels like a darker choice than we’re used to seeing him make.
Parker’s flaw is that he relies too much on the people around him for advice and maybe is a little bit too easily influenced. Godric plays a big part in that, because he’s the only tie to his family that he has left. Godric [Nathan Witte] advises him to do this thing, which is eat the apple. Parker thinks that by doing that, he’s going to protect himself and he plans on giving one to Maggie, so he’s hoping she’ll be protected as well. A lot of demons and witches [are] going to be at this wedding, so he’s eating the apple as a way to protect himself and to help protect Maggie. But obviously, the apples don’t exactly have the intended effect on him.

This episode probably required you to be shirtless more than any other episode. Was that stressful or annoying for you? And did you appreciate having the opposite extreme of a cozy turtleneck in other scenes?
[Laughs] Well, I got used to it last year too a little bit. They had me shirtless a few times. I always wish they’d give me more heads-up. They’re usually like, “You’re going to be shirtless tomorrow.” Great. You get used to it, and it is The CW. There’s definitely some sex appeal to a lot of their shows, so when you sign on to a show, that’s a possibility that I might be shirtless. Definitely, it adds a little bit more of a vulnerability. You’re always feeling a bit vulnerable when you’re acting, so when you have your shirt off, it adds another dimension to that. But working with Sarah [Jeffery], she makes you super comfortable. Everybody on set is super relaxed and makes you feel super comfortable too. It always works out. And like you said, getting to wear a turtleneck you get the opposite [effect]. You get to hide in that turtleneck for a bit too.

When you were reading the script, did you think you really died for a few pages?
So, originally when I got the script, it was written as Parker was dying. It changed as the story progressed, and they added that scene at the end where it becomes a little more ambiguous what happens to him. When I came back for these first two episodes, I thought that was it, he was done. And then, things changed as we were shooting, and I had a little more hope for Parker. I definitely thought he was going to die. I was very surprised. 

We see by episode’s end that he is very much alive. What repercussions is that going to have in the demon world and how soon might they find out Abigael is lying?
In terms of how long it will take for them to find out he’s still alive, I don’t know how much I can say about that, but obviously they will find out at some point. In terms of the repercussions, it’s definitely dangerous that Parker is still alive for Abigael, because if the demon world finds out Abigael kept him alive they might not trust her as much. If Parker is still alive, he’s not going to be happy with what Abigael did to him so he’s probably going to be out for revenge too.

Also along those lines, is it safe to assume this won’t be Parker’s last encounter with the Charmed Ones then?
There’s a good chance that he will in some way be influencing their lives again.

How much are his feelings for Maggie going to continue to be a motivating factor?
They’re definitely a huge motivating factor for him. Godric is the one tied to his family. But Maggie has been the only rock in his life and has brought out the best in him. She’s the last and only thing he really cares about. His intentions are always good, and he wants the best for Maggie. Sometimes his judgment is a little bit clouded in whether or not he thinks what he’s doing is right or wrong. All he really cares about and all he wants is the best for Maggie, so she’s going to be a huge part of how he thinks about the world.

Maggie as an empath can almost have a connection with people across time and space. Is there some way she might be able to ascertain you’re not dead? 
Well, it is a magic world, so anything is possible. There was a moment last season where Maggie was able to cross some sort of dimension or enter some other plane and get in contact with Parker, so that could definitely be a possibility. 

Jordan is the new man in Maggie’s life — we see that Parker didn’t take that information very well. Can we expect that to evolve into a firmer love triangle presuming he escapes from his jailers?
Hey, anything is possible, right? I don’t think Parker is ready to let Maggie go.

Parker has consistently played both sides here. Ultimately, should we view him as an empathetic force of good or as a dangerous force of evil? 
Parker has both in him. It’s almost like he has some sort of split personality. It’s like a Jekyll and Hyde thing. At his best, he can be super empathetic and very sensitive and in tune with his emotions and be there for Maggie. But at his worst, he can clearly do some terrible things. I don’t know that he’s either good or evil. I think he lies more in between. Depending on where his life takes him, he’s either going to lean to one or the other. At some point he has to make a decision.

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