Charmed (Reboot) – Season 3 Finale (I Dreamed A Dream…)
The job of a season finale is to close off the season’s story arcs and establish new ones for the next season. This finale did its job perfectly.
The stakes were actually raised with this finale with Madeleine Mantock’s (Macy) departure. Full disclosure, I became aware of Mantock’s departure from the show and the fact that Macy was going to be killed off, however I didn’t know how she was killed off. So I was both excited and sad to see how Macy’s death would happen and how that would affect the writing of the finale.
The episode kicks off with Macy in the Cave of Ancients collecting a lichen sample to make a vanquishing potion for the Whispering Evil, only for the Whispering Evil to attack her. Macy swallows the lichen and manages to vanquish the Whispering Evil. However it severely weakens her, Macy manages to open the portal and go back to the Command Centre, but collapses upon arrival, with Harry finding her on the floor unconscious.
Harry and Jordan bring Macy back to the Manor. They can’t do anything in this moment but put her in her bed, as there is no antidote to the lichen. Mel and Maggie cast a “lifeline” spell that Josefina added to the recreated Book of Shadows. The spell is not a physical but an emotional one to prolong a person’s life. When Mel and Maggie cast it, they find themselves incepted into Macy’s “dreams”. Meanwhile, Harry goes to Celeste to have her give him his powers back, so he can heal her before it’s too late.
The first dream that Mel and Maggie find themselves in with Macy is at a carnival. The three of them go on a carousel ride, with Macy revealing she always wanted sisters to grow up with so they could do things together, like going on a carousel ride. Mel and Maggie then find themselves on a skydiving plane, as Macy has always wanted to go skydiving. Meanwhile, Harry asks Jordan to kill him as he can only become a whitelighter by dying at the hands of a mortal. Harry has Celeste poison him with a magical neurotoxin that will instantly kill him but not cause cellular damage to his body. Jordan brings along a defibrillator due to the small chance that the toxin may not work.
The sisters then find themselves on a picnic, only for a storm to brew when Macy starts falling asleep, symbolising that she is dying. Mel and Maggie wake Macy up, this time finding themselves in a car on a road trip, another thing Macy has always wanted to do. Macy drifts off to sleep again, about to hit a hooded woman with her car. Just when they are about to hit the woman, Macy and Mel find themselves back in the Manor and Macy in a wedding dress, nervous about marrying Harry. Mel and Maggie see Macy and Harry being married by the Guardian, and recognise her as the hooded woman on the road, and the pilot of the skydiving plane. This is when they realise that something is not quite right, but nonetheless find the wedding wonderful. We are then shown Harry and Macy with their kids and the Guardian standing in the backyard. Macy goes outside to talk to the Guardian, but we don’t hear what they’re saying.
Meanwhile we see that Celeste’s spell to revive Harry isn’t working, so Jordan uses his defibrillator to no avail. Celeste ends up increasing the power in the defibrillator, which shocks Harry back to life, but also sends Jordan flying across the Command Centre. When Macy wakes up, and Mel and Maggie arrive back in the Manor, Harry arrives with his powers and tries to heal her, but it doesn’t work completely as she’s dying. She reveals to him in private that the lichen isn’t killing her, but vanquishing the Whispering Evil is, as it damaged every cell in her body before he healed her.
Mel tries to find a way to heal Macy and prevent her from dying, but both Harry and Maggie stop her. Mel and Maggie take Macy to the Sacred Tree where it’s revealed that the Guardian was constantly present in Macy’s dreams as she intends on making Macy a Guardian.
Afterwards, Mel and Maggie go back to the Manor to find Future Mel waiting for them. Future Mel takes her baby back from Present Mel. Future Mel acknowledges that this was the worst day of their lives but thanks her for saving their future. Jordan also visits, comforting Maggie, unknowingly healing a cut on her finger, revealing he has somehow become a whitelighter.
The final moments of the episode and the season have Mel and Maggie go to the Sacred Tree to find Harry still sitting there. Maggie asks him what happens with the Power of Three and whether it’s over. The Guardian appears and tells them that there is another Charmed One out there for them to find.
I have so many thoughts on this finale and Macy’s death. For one, this series follows in its predecessor’s footsteps by having the oldest sister killed off in the third season finale, however Mantock’s departure was more amicable than Doherty’s departure from the original series. We also get closure with Macy’s death as we don’t see her breathe her final breath, rather we see her soul separate from her body and become a Guardian. This choice by the writers allows Mantock to guest star if she wishes, and if it fits in with any future stories.
In regards to Macy’s death in itself, I was surprised she wasn’t killed off in a massive battle scene, however as the sisters had their massive battle scene with the Whispering Evil in the previous episode (even though they weren’t successful in vanquishing it), having Macy die in a somewhat peaceful manner actually made sense. Dying in a somewhat peaceful manner made Macy’s final scenes and death poignant, Macy told Harry that the Charmed life was one of sacrifice, and she died willingly making a sacrifice for herself, her sisters and the greater good.
Macy’s dreams were both incredibly insightful and heartbreaking. The dreams provided an insight into her character and also reminded the audience that she missed out on her dream of having sisters when she was a child. The dreams also reminded us on the life she didn’t get to live both with herself and with Harry. The writers spent the season building up Harry and Macy’s love story, only to pull the rug out from underneath us with her unfair and unexpected death. While this was necessary due to Mantock’s decision to exit the show, I do question how much notice the writers were given of her departure and whether this was always the intended outcome, (especially Harry becoming a whitelighter again as most of the season revolved around his mortality journey, and Harry getting his powers back, even though it was for a good reason, undermines his story arc completely), or whether they had little notice and had to scramble to write the necessary ending. As unfair and unexpected as Macy’s death was, it was really the only way they could have Macy realistically depart the show. Macy would never just decide not to be a witch anymore.
In regards to the Guardian’s reveal that there is another Charmed One out there, I didn’t find it surprising based on the reveal earlier in the season that the Vera-Vaughn sisters are not the only Charmed Ones in existence. While I wasn’t a fan of this reveal as I felt it undermined the entire premise of the series and its predecessor, it does enable the writers to bring in another character to organically take Mantock’s place. I really hope they don’t go down the path of a long-lost sister, because Macy was already that long-lost sister and this was established in the pilot, so they can’t really pull that off again. I’ve read online that Australian actress, Lucy Barrett, has been cast to replace Mantock, but there is no information on her character and where she will fit into the universe, and with Mel and Maggie. In all honesty, I was surprised that the writers didn’t go with Josefina as the replacement Charmed One as that would make much more sense as she is part of the family, is a witch, and with her combining Brujeria with traditional witchcraft, she would bring an edge to the Power of Three.
On smaller notes, it will be interesting to find out whether Jordan has become a whitelighter for assisting Harry in getting his powers back, or whether he has actually died. I felt like he died and this was implied, but not actually made clear. It will be interesting to see where Harry goes next with regaining his powers and Macy’s death, which is really heartbreaking when you think about it as his mortality journey was for nothing, and he didn’t get the life with Macy he dreamed of and deserved. I also appreciated the behind-the-scenes choice to show a montage of Mantock’s performances as Macy, she was fantastic over the course of the three seasons and should be proud of her portrayal as a strong, independent, successful STEM woman and powerful witch.
As for the season as a whole, I did feel like it was a little all over the place, however I also feel that this couldn’t be helped. The writing and production would have been majorly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is beyond anyone’s control. The season started off concluding the Faction story arc due to production shut downs, but they did conclude it smoothly. The conclusion of the Faction story arc then led to the beginning of the magical allergy story arc, which ended on anti-climactic note with Macy’s potion containing Mel’s foetal cells, with no explanation as to why that was the cure. I also felt that Mel’s temporary pregnancy didn’t really add anything to the season, other than create an easy way to write Diaz’s pregnancy into the show. I also enjoyed having mortal characters help the sisters out with their magical troubles, as it gave the show a major distinction from its predecessor series, which barely had mortals help them magically. While I felt that the Whispering Evil story arc did drag on too long, I felt it ended in an appropriate way.
I’m not sure when season 4 will air or be made available in Australia (where I’m based – seasons 2 and 3 only became available on streaming services within the last few months, hence the major delay in my reviews of those seasons, in comparison to my reviews of season 1) but I will continue to review the show.
I would like to end my review by saying thank you to the cast and crew for their hard work during these troubling times, and thank you to Madeleine Mantock for her fantastic performances over the last three years, you will be greatly missed.