I was so conflicted with this episode I had to watch it twice to actually understand how I felt about it. On one hand, I find the whole Kappa thing extremely annoying and was rejoicing when Maggie got kicked out, but on the other hand it would’ve been squandering potential storylines to have it end so abruptly without taking a spin through the trope-filled world of supernatural sororities and the exploration of “sisterhood” in its many forms.
Enter Brenda, the sorority sister from hell that dresses like an ’80s reject with her pink and blue eyeshadow. This is where the show teeters to the wrong side of a fine line having a mean girl trope come off as cheesy and failing to be nearly as interesting as such iconic things like The Craft, Heathers, or even Jaw Breaker. And introducing a vengeful sorority ghost instead of introducing evil witches or a bullshit seance gone wrong with a possessed sister, just creates this corny throwaway plot? Regardless, they like, totally, want you to know that Brenda is from the past.
In the present is where things go exceedingly right with the show. Remember how the ladies have only been witches a few weeks? Mel and Maggie struggle to identify just what kind of spirit Brenda is and get easily distracted during their look-into the past spell when they see their mother in the flashback talking about something feeling “wrong” about her pregnancy with Macy. The junior witches miss a million signs and categorize Brenda as a banshee?! And you took a picture of the book of shadows!?!? I was pulling my hair out at the whole thing, but on my second rewatch, I appreciated how honest it all played out.
When they rush to Kappa to confront her, on initiation night mind you, they find some sorority girls tied up as hostages while Brenda has Lucy out looking for revenge. The Princess Diaries-style ridiculous asides add the needed humor here (the Kapa that says she thinks she peed herself). So the next step is to interview the kappa alumn they thought bullied Brenda, which reveals that they only got a glimpse of the story — can you imagine that? They realize Jenna isn’t Brenda’s target, Lucy is [the new Brenda, who also took out her anger of being cheated on out on the pledge responsible].
So apparently Lucy, in all her meditating on her anger towards Maggie, -manifested- the ghost who, SURPRISE isn’t a banshee, and the girls change their analysis to a wrathful revenant. This is more likely, but because of how she was manifested a simple vanquish won’t cut it, they have to get through to Lucy. This becomes problematic when they find Brenda has Lucy on the roof drunk off wine coolers and convinces her to jump. Mel freezes her but it becomes a standoff until Harry is called in to snatch her from mid-air. The episode reaches full camp as Maggie talks Lucy out of choking her to death and the retro ghost Brenda is vanquished into tv static and a comical pop. We were so annoyed with this until the show brought itself back from the brink and became well rounded.
Through all of this, Macy was on her own quest to figure out Galvin’s mark. She awkwardly attends his birthday party with Harry and finds out his grandmother was Haitian and practiced Yoruba traditions. Macy recognizes his grandmother’s cowrie shell necklace in a picture as similar to his mark and deduces that Galvin’s family had placed the protection mark on him as a baby. However, this doesn’t explain why neither Harry not Maggie can see it, so Macy consults a priestess she finds online.
This is where things get interesting, the psychic tells Macy to leave Gavin alone as she is the one activating his ward and that’s why she can see it because she has darkness inside her. After slamming more money down the psychic elaborate and as Macy is leaving she gives her a cryptic message “the pillar of your path holds the key to your darkness.” Of course, she only shares the darkness part and her sisters clam up as to what they saw in their glimpse of the past, so prepare for a trust-issue storyline. Most importantly, in the final scen,e after they do a campy charmed-one’s initiation to calm Maggie, we see Macy go outside and find a key in one of their house’s porch pillars.
This season keeps getting better with more twists, and while we question it’s potential longevity, we highly recommend you at least give the series a chance for it’s self-aware humor.