Sunday, November 11, 2018

REVIEW: 'Charmed' - Mel Makes a Huge Decision About Her Relationship with Niko in 'Other Women'

The CW's Charmed - Episode 1.05 "Other Women"

Mel is worried about Niko's safety, so she and Harry come up with a plan to protect her, but Mel will need her sisters' help. Maggie notices that Macy is upset about her situation with Galvin, so she offers to do some recon with her, but they discover that things might not be exactly what they seem. Maggie's sorority sister Lucy turns to her for some help, but Maggie struggles with telling her the truth because it could jeopardize her sorority future.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of The CW's Charmed.

"Other Women" was written by George Northy and directed by Amyn Kaderali

Many shows have warned viewers that someone going back in time to fix a mistake that they've made always leads to major unintended consequences. As such, it was inevitable that Mel's decision to erase her relationship with Niko in order to protect her would come at a great personal cost. Of course, that moment still has weight to it as well. The sisters are still learning how to wield magic. They are seeing what is possible in their lives now that they have these abilities. Moreover, Mel and Niko's relationship has been more grounded and central than the flirtations happening in Macy and Maggie's lives. They were already a couple at the start of the series. And now, it's all ripped away. It's Mel making the decision herself. Niko almost dies multiple times here because a shapeshifter has targeted her. It's all a part of the new story that is emerging with the overarching threat that the sisters will be facing this season. It mostly just amounts to Craig Parker getting to act sinister once more. That's at least something that he does well even though his character, Alastair Caine, remains an overall mystery. But it's also intriguing how the relationship between Mel and Niko is being targeted in order to hurt the Charmed Ones. It's enough to make the sisters believe that personal relationships are a thing they must now give up in order to protect the world from the sinister threats who wish it harm. That's so devastating for all of them. It's clear they want love in their lives. Right now, they may have to settle for the small family unit they have created alongside Harry. And yes, that does produce moments of pure excitement and moving emotions. But it's also just as devastating when Mel has to rationalize this extreme decision she has made for Niko. It's something she does completely by herself too. Yes, she needs her sisters' help to execute the spell. But it's not something that she consults Niko about. Niko doesn't know the full extent of the danger she is in because she is in Mel's life. She is just left completely confused about everything that is now going on around her. Her partnered was apparently a serial killer while it's clear that Mel is keeping secrets from her. Mel can't even say goodbye to her. She has to freeze time in order to express all of the emotions she has and how painful a decision this was for her. But she is radically changing the life of a person she cares about simply because it saves the immediate problem. This may not help Niko in the long run. Ellen Tamaki is still expected to be a series regular this season. So, she's bound to bump into Mel's life again somehow even though everyone believes that's unlikely to happen. Right now, it's much more costly to see that Mel no longer has a job at the university because Niko made sure she didn't sleep through her interview. As such, Mel's life is demonstrably different in ways that she wasn't expecting. Those consequences are real and immediate. But this hour really doesn't have the time to properly explore them. It has to spend time with Macy and Maggie investigating their new personal love interests as well. The show trying to make all of these stories equal does a genuine disservice to the one that actually becomes important in the end. As such, it mostly makes a crammed episode that is trying to do one too many things with Mel's life being the only one that is severely impacted because the sisters performed this history rewriting spell.