Charmed: between demons and angels

streghe leo cole

“Hear now the words of the witches, the secrets we hid in the night.

The oldest of Gods are invoked here, the great work of Magic is sought.

In this night and in this hour, I call upon the Ancient Power.

Bring your powers to we sisters threee!

We want the power! Give us the power!”

The power of the trio returns between us, giving life to this new article on those witches who so enchanted our adolescence. The time has come, however, to give space also to the male figures who have seasoned this show with their pepper.

I’m talking about Leo, the white angel par excellence, dedicated to Good and submissive to the extreme to the will of the Elders; and Cole Turner, better known as Balthazar, servant of Evil and Lord of Demons.

The vision of the male role

It seemed clear from the very first episodes that Charmed was born to be the pedestal from which to raise femininity from different points of view. The courageous strength of the protagonists made them the champions who will always remain in our hearts. And therefore, the figure of the male characters takes a back seat and is mainly proposed in two distinct versions: the goodness of Leo and the shadowy nature of Cole.

In all the witches’ suitors, we find instead the nuances of the human soul; and in the demons, we find arrogance and aggression which are the worst side of the coin.

From this, we can deduce that the male roles have not found a real space within this TV series; it rather orbited around the lives of the protagonists, demonstrating once again how independent women can be, and able to live their lives following their principles.

Leo, a super angel but absent father

brian krause in charmed streghe
brian Krause in charmed © IMDb

Leo’s devotion to the impositions of the Elders is what sets his character, yet he can’t help but transgress when he falls in love with Piper. Their story is full of ups and downs, forced to keep their relationship a secret to continue fighting Evil together.

And when they finally manage to become a family and join their love forever, Leo is forced to become an Elder and walk away from Piper, leaving her alone with two children. This is where Piper’s long single mom life begins because Leo’s sporadic visits aren’t enough to fill his role as a father.

So the female strength shows up once again in Piper’s ability to face life with her head held high, taking care of her children, and demonstrating to many girls that thanks to sacrifice and quickness of spirit, anything can be managed.

Leo will realize what kind of father he was, only when he meets his son Christopher who is from the future. It is in his surly and distant character that one can perceive how much he has suffered from the lack of a father figure; an angry condemnation towards all parents who are unable to assume their responsibilities, and allow external commitments to distance them from the family, neglecting so what is important.

Cole, a wrong love

Julian McMahon in Charmed (1998)
Julian McMahon in Charmed (1998)© IMDb

The character of Cole Turner is perhaps one of the most complexes of this show. He is the demon Balthazar, but he is also the man who falls in love with Phoebe. In this sort of doubling of his personality that we are witnessing, we can recognize the struggle between Good and Evil, an inner debate that afflicts many people, especially when it comes to violent men and wrong loves.

Therefore, in the structure of Cole’s spirit, one can hypothesize a similarity with all those men who are unable to keep anger under control and struggle to understand love. Balthazar represents violence, the uncontrolled volition to do evil; Cole man represents fragility, that confused suffering that never really manages to keep the demon at bay.

And Phoebe, despite being in love with him, after several mistakes and failed attempts not to indulge her feelings, manages to get away from him. In this decision of hers, one can grasp the contradiction that a woman feels when she is forced to see in the man she loves – that person who has been so sweet, so caring – even the being who mistreats her, who is unpredictable and unreliable, who has a violent nature.

Phoebe gathers her courage to step back and say no. And no matter how much pain she will feel, and no matter how much she is in love, she knows that there is something more important than all this: her life, her physical and mental well-being. An example for all women: the wrong loves, the toxic ones, which do more harm than good, must be forgotten. You have to tear off the patch hard before it’s too late.

Always current

In conclusion, Charmed is a television series that is still very current today; it prompts you to reflect and reminds you not to be discouraged, but to learn to face difficulties with determination, confidence and courage. Once again, our favourite witches fought their battles and survived, turning fear and pain into strength.

Let us never forget, as Barbas – Demon of Hope in the Parallel World – reminds us that “hope springs eternal”, and if we can help it with a pinch of magic, why not take advantage of it ?!

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