'Charmed' Season 2: For a 'woke' show, here's why Harry and Abigael's romance leaves behind a bad taste
Harry and Abigael's kiss is the start of a disturbing trend that has continued between the two characters -- where Abigael keeps pressuring him for sex, sometimes, even extorting him
Spoiler alert for 'Charmed' Season 2!
Abigael Jameson-Caine (Poppy Drayton) has gone through more changes in her character on 'Charmed' through the season than we would have guessed or liked. She was only introduced in the first half of the season and has gone from friend to foe to friend to foe and to whatever she is at the moment.
When we first saw her, she was simply a witch on the run from demons who were attacking her. Then we learned that Abigael was a half-demon, half-witch like Macy Vaughn (Madeleine Mantock). It was only later that we learn that she was the daughter of Alistair Caine (Craig Parker), the demon who is the major villain in the first season.
Later we find out that Abigael is the demon overlord -- however, her brother Parker Caine (Nick Hargrove) had taken over the role in her absence. Then Abigael pretends to work with the Charmed ones again, only to take over the role of the demon overlord again.
During all this time, viewers see the growing flirtation between Abigael and Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans), the Charmed Ones' Whitelighter. This finally culminated in a kiss in the eighth episode. However, this kiss is the start of a disturbing trend that has continued between the two characters. Abigael kisses Harry telling him that she has a debt to collect from him. On its own, this scene may have not warranted a second thought.
However, in the following episodes, Abigael continues to seduce Harry. In last week's episode, this went so far as to Abigael blackmailing Harry for one night with him in return for her help to catch his Darklighter.
Many fans have expressed their disappointment with this plotline. One fan tweeted, "Is there a reason Charmed has Abigael sexually harassing Harry every episode? Can it end?" Another wrote, "Seriously though, Abigael is disgusting. Coercing Harry to sleep with her would be rape. We are 9mins in and this ep is making me nervous. I know men who have been sexually assaulted. Please don’t go there #charmed."
So why is it that a show that promised its reboot would be "feminist" and "updated" so casually treating a sexual assault story? Why is it pushed off as sexy or funny, when in reality, it is as disturbing as it can get? A gender-reversed telling of this story would not be accepted and for a show that has in the past told powerful stories of sexual assault (think back to the Medusa episode in Season 1), Harry's and Abigael's "romance" is certainly in bad taste.
There are viewers who theorize that Abigael is intent on sleeping with Harry so she could have a child that is part-demon, part-witch, and part-Whitelighter. If that is the endgame, the writers could have certainly gone about it differently.
Harry is clearly attracted to Abigael but he is shown to be refraining himself because he is "good" and Abigael is "bad". Should Harry want to get it on with a villain might make him look bad by proxy, but hey, that plays out better than his character being repeatedly sexually assaulted.
So as many fans have asked, can this end? There are better ways to go about it and we can't see a Season 1 'Charmed' committing the same errors.
'Charmed' airs on Friday nights at 9/8c on The CW.