[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Charmed Season 4 Episode 2 “You Can’t Go Home Again.”]
Kaela (Lucy Barrett), the newest Charmed One, may not want anything to do with Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) at the beginning of the latest episode, but by the end, she changes her mind.
After Kaela’s targeted for using magic around humans — she’s still trying to gain control of her abilities — her best friend ends up nearly paying the ultimate price. But after Kaela gets a grip on her manifesting ability to save Harry (Rupert Evans) and Jordan (Jordan Donica) from a bomb and together the men save her friend’s life, she decides to stick around.
Showrunners Jeffrey Lieber, Joey Falco and Nicki Renna tease what’s ahead.
How did you want to go about bringing Kaela into the fold?
Joey Falco: Obviously we’re doing something a little different this season and than the original show did, which is since Kaela’s identity is such a mystery and her connection to the other two, what makes her part of the sisterhood, is such a mystery, something we’ll be playing out through the whole season, it creates this really different dynamic where they have to decide, how do we all fit together? How do we work together as a team when we do not even know if we’re sisters? That’s the emotional story we’re playing with. Mel is more welcoming [since] she’s come a long way over the last four years after learning her relationship with Macy, but Maggie misses her sister so much.
What can you say about who Kaela is and how she’s connected to them?
Jeffrey Lieber: We’re gonna go down all the roads. There are a bunch of different possibilities, including something tied to Marisol, something tied to either of the fathers. That is the significant mystery of the first nine episodes. We will slowly unpack the possibilities and then turn them inside out, and with each dead end or with each twist, it changes the relationship between the three of them. We wanted to really do, as Joey said, something different from both the original show and from the first three seasons. They thought they had a family and they understood and now they have a new one. This is the other way around: They really need this third person to complete them, because they’re coming back from tragedy. Solving this mystery is the first big step towards moving forward.
Can you rule out that she’s from another time or place?
Lieber: We’re not gonna rule anything out. That’s the fun.
The Tallyman and that nursery rhyme are both creepy. What can you tease about what we’ll see from him and when the Charmed Ones will come face-to-face with or be more directly affected by him?
Nicki Renna: One of the great things about the Tallyman is he’s unlike any other villain we’ve really dealt with. Not only are his tactics unusually cruel and he seems to be preying upon people in the magical world, but he’s really starting to raise questions about the nature of good and bad, and good and evil. The things he’s gonna do are really going to push us to the limits of not only what it means to be a hero, but also what it means to be a Charmed One and a witch and a magical person and even a person of the human world.
Maggie’s avoiding her grief by hunting demon. When will that backfire on her and then affect the others?
Falco: Yeah, as you can probably guess it’s not necessarily the most healthy coping mechanism she’s using. It’s gonna backfire quickly. By Episodes 3 and 4, she is gonna get a little bit of a comeuppance, and we’re gonna take Maggie to a really dark emotional place. People will be shocked to see what happens to Maggie by Episode 3.
Similarly, we saw Mel doing the same with her hookups. But she did choose to stay with Kaela at the end of this episode instead of go meet Hot Elf Girl. Will she be finding a better way to cope?
Lieber: One of the mysteries we want to play is the interplay between Mel melting down and starting this hookup culture for herself and what happened with Ruby. One of her arcs over the course of the entire season is to clean up her serial monogamy over the first three seasons, which then runs into this promiscuousness in this season. Her real arc for the whole season is to finally come to some sort of integration between those two things and move forward. So by the end of the season, Mel really does have an interest we think is healthy and possible and forward looking, but it requires her to solve the sets of relationships she’s had over the first three and a half seasons.
Harry’s grief is heartbreaking, and Jordan notes he hears him say Macy’s name for the first time since she died. How’s Harry going to be coping moving forward?
Renna: Harry’s journey is really emotional and heartbreaking, but ultimately, he’s gonna do the work on himself to come to a better place by the end. The journey is really what’s gonna be so compelling for him. We’re really pushing each of our characters to go to places we’ve never seen them go and things you really wouldn’t expect, reactions you wouldn’t really expect them to have because they’re really facing their own demons and they’re figuring out how to move through their trauma and their grief, which comes up in all different ways. Sometimes it’s two steps forward, and three steps back. Harry’s going to specifically end up going down a different path I don’t think anyone would ever expect him to go and they’ll be pretty surprised what he does, the things he’s going to give up and the things he’s going to take on in order to find his purpose.
Lieber: Between seasons, we said to Rupert, “Hey, grow a beard,” ’cause we thought we’ll have him have a beard [to represent] his grief, and then we’ll shave it off at the end of the first episode. Then two things happened. One, he was really sexy in his beard, and so we decided not to shave it off. And two, the beard became a symbol of his being overwhelmed by grief and then moving on from it. So there’s a very specific moment in the season — he doesn’t move on ever, you don’t ever move on from losing somebody you love — where he goes from the backward-looking beard Harry to the forward-looking shaven Harry. But we will admit he looks so good with the beard that we sort of did it reluctantly.
Falco: Actually Rupert came to us because he did a little stint on Bridgerton, and he called us and said, “I had to grow all this crazy facial hair for Bridgerton, is there anything we can do with that?” And so we decided to work that into his character and his arc.
What’s going on with Jordan’s whitelighter powers?
Falco: Because he didn’t become a whitelighter the old fashioned way, he didn’t go through the traditional process, his powers aren’t quite the same. As you learn in 402, he can’t orb. He’s just a healer which means he’s not really a whitelighter, but then in that case, what is he, and how does he find his place in the magical universe? That’s his journey for this season: “I didn’t become a whitelighter the old fashioned way, that outdated subservient way like Harry. And so I have freedom in the way he didn’t, I’m not beholden to the elders. I’m not beholden to this old system. And so how do I use these powers in a way that’s gonna make a difference? And what does it say about who I am as a person?”
How much will Harry and Jordan working together continue?
Renna: A lot. We actually were really intentional about putting those two guys together. They’re just magic together onscreen and everybody loves them. But we also wanted to embrace, in the same way our girls have a sisterhood, they really have a brotherhood and we wanted to really explore what that meant for different sides of male friendship, a healthy male friendship, where they show up for each other. They get in arguments, they have conflict, they forgive, they’re drawn apart. We send them on a really cool, kind of beautiful, inspiring journey, of these two men and their friendship.
Jordan talked about relishing every second he has with Maggie if he didn’t die. What’s coming up with them?
Lieber: It’s a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. This came out of watching the actors and their chemistry. It’s been incredibly fun to watch what is a growing, lurching, changing, forward, backward relationship between the two of them that feels a little bit like a real relationship. A lot of times TV reduces relationships to on or off. We realized there’s some real value in watching relationships that are neither on or off. They spend a lot of the season trying to figure out how to make it work in the shadow of what’s happened, specifically because they get together between two seasons, which means they get together in the shadow of Macy’s death. They have to figure out how to make that relationship work outside that shadow.