“CHARMED” – Things That Make Me Go . . . Hmmm?

The following is a list of questions regarding storylines that have been featured in past episodes of “CHARMED”. If you have an answer to any of my questions, please feel free to reply.

“CHARMED” – Things That Make Me Go . . . Hmmm?

1. In Season 7’s “A Call to Arms”, how did Inspector Sheridan and nearly everyone else know about Chris’ death in the Season 6 finale, “It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World II”, when just about everyone – except for Leo and the Halliwells – had lost their memories of that alternate dimension, following Gideon’s death?

 
2. Why did Vinceres tell Prue that her powers were no good, when she was using martial arts and not magic, against him in Season 3’s “Primrose Path”?

 
3. Why did Cole in S7’s “The Seven Year Witch” confess to deliberately impregnating Phoebe in late Season 4, when he was actually possessed by the Source at that time?

 

 

4. Why did warlocks in Season 1 morph into vampiric game faces? Are they not suppose to be witches (who are mortals) that had simply gone bad?

 
5. Speaking of warlocks, why were they portrayed as immortals? Was Constance Burge, Brad Kern and their writers trying to hint that when witches become warlocks, they become immortals?

 
6. Why do the Charmed Ones keep referring to their witch ancestors as the “Halliwell women” or the “Halliwell line” in their conversations and spells? According to family tree depicted in Season 2’s “Pardon My Past”, their mother, Patty, was the first in their family to be born as a Halliwell.

 

 

7. And why did Grams remind Prue and Piper in S3’s “Just Harried” that the women in their family kept their maiden names after marriage? She used the name of Halliwell, which belonged to her first husband. And her maiden name was Johnson.

 
8. And what was the first name of the Charmed One’s maternal grandfather – Jack (S2’s “Pardon My Past”) or Allen (S6’s“Witchstock”)?

 
9. Why did Leo claim in S3’s “Exit Strategy” that he was born in 1924? Does this mean that he was attending medical school at the age of 17, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941?

 

 

10. Why would the BAY-MIRROR’s editor-in-chief, Elise Rothman, leave Phoebe, an advice columnist, in charge of the newspaper for a whole day in order to teach the witch a lesson in S7’s “Scry Hard”? Was she crazy?

 
11. Why did Leo tell Victor that the sisters were NOT mortals, when nearly every demon on the show has referred to them and other witches as mortals?

 
12. Both Cole and Vinceres had discussed that mortals (witches included) who were not natural empaths, could not handle an overload of emotions in “Primrose Path”. Yet, Prue had claimed demons could not handle such a large amount of emotions, despite the fact that Vinceres had carried Father Thomas’ empathy power for at least two years. Did the writer(s) of “Primrose Path” create a contradiction?

 

 

13. Why was the Source so contemptuous of Phoebe’s psychic abilities in Season 4’s “Charmed and Dangerous”, when he had relied so heavily upon seers like the Oracle and the Seer?

 
14. Why did Darryl take orders from Inspector Sheridan, when as a police lieutenant, he ranked higher?

 
15. How did Cole get his job back at Jackman, Carter and Kline at the beginning of Season 5?

 
16. Why are other witches on the show portrayed as helpless or semi-helpless?

 

 

17. Why did Leo assumed that Cole was automatically “good”, when the latter had lost his powers in S4’s “Black As Cole” and S7’s“Sympathy For the Demon”? Had he forgotten the evil humans that the sisters had confronted in the past?

 
18. Why did Phoebe assume that she would die on the same date that her past self had died, back in 1924 in “Pardon My Past”? She made this assumption before acquiring any real proof.

 
19. And why did Phoebe say in the above episode that she was the same age in February 2000, as her past self – P. Russell – was in February 1924? Phoebe was 24 years and 3 months old at the time. Her past self was 29½ years old at the time of her death.

 
20. Why did the Charmed Ones and Leo had automatically assumed that using the Hollow made Cole the Source? He had the old Source’s powers when the sisters killed the latter. And possessing Piper and Paige’s powers did not make the Source two-thirds of the Charmed Ones.

 

 

21. Why didn’t the Source simply kill the Charmed Ones after he had failed to turn Paige in “Charmed Again II”?

 
22. Why did Cole have such difficulty fighting the Halliwells in S3’s “Power Outage”, when had had managed to kill the more formidable Triad so easily?

 
23. Why are whitelighters (guardian angels) given authority over witches?

 

 

24. Why does the show feature witches engaged in demon hunting/slaying ONLY?

 
25. Once they had discovered that Cole was the Source in late S4, why didn’t the Charmed Ones bother to investigate on how he had become the Source in the first place?

 
26. How did Darryl explain Andy’s death inside the Halliwell manor in Season 1’s “Déjà vu All Over Again” to his supervisor?

 

 

27. Why didn’t Paige simply orb the gun out of Rick’s hand in S6’s “Hyde School Reunion”?

 
28. When Phoebe was taken over by the spirit (karma) of Mata Hari in S6’s “Used Karma”, why was she speaking with a French accent, when the former spy had been born in Java to Dutch parents?

 
29. Why did Phoebe become hostile toward Cole between the S4 finale, “Witch Way Is Now” and the S5 premiere, “A Witch’s Tail” after he had saved her life from the witch hunter, F.B.I. Agent Jackman?

 

 

30. Why would the supernatural world depend ONLY upon the Charmed Ones to fight demonic activity? What about other witches and demon hunters who were around long before the sisters had first retrieved their powers in the S1 premiere, “Something Wicca Comes This Way”?

 
31. Why is pyrokinesis (fire power) regarded by Leo and the Charmed Ones as evil in most of the episodes, and neutral in S4’s “Lost and Bound”?

 
32. Why did Cole have to become increasingly demonic in order to kill another half-demon in S4’s “Black As Cole”, when he did not have to do so in order to form an energy ball strong enough to kill the Source in “Brain Drain”?

 
33. Why would the Vampire Queen’s death enable Paige to avoid remaining a vampire in S4’s “Bite Me”? This does not make sense. Surely she should have remained a vampire, once she had been bitten.

 

 

34. How can the Charmed Ones travel to or exist in the past and their powers cannot, especially since their powers are supposed to be a part of themselves?

 
35. How can the Charmed Ones be witches, when they have never taken oaths or taken part in an initiation ceremony to become one?
36. According to the show, a witch becomes a warlock in the first place when he/she breaks his/her oath as a witch. So, why are warlocks described as immortals on the show?

 
37. Why does the Halliwell Museum of Witchcraft in “Chris-Crossed” featured the outfit Phoebe wore as a mermaid and the outfits the sisters wore in “Witches in Tights” (shudder!) on display? All outfits should have no longer existed, since Phoebe reverted back to being a human and the superheroine outfits were figments of that kid’s imagination.

 

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Top Ten Favorite TIME TRAVEL Television Episodes

Below is a list of my top favorite television episodes that feature time travel:

 

TOP TEN FAVORITE TIME TRAVEL TELEVISION EPISODES

1. “Future’s End” (“Star Trek Voyager”; 1996) – A 29th century timeship causes a time paradox when it accidentally sends itself and Voyager to two different periods in 20th century Earth.

2. “Tempus Fugitive” (“Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”; 1995) – Lois Lane and Clark Kent are brought back to the past by H. G. Wells, in an attempt to stop the time-travelling villain Tempus from killing the infant Superman.

3. “Endgame” (“Star Trek Voyager; 2001) – Admiral Kathryn Janeway comes from the future to try and shorten Voyager’s trip home.

4. “War Without End” (Babylon Five; 1996) – Former Babylon 5 commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, returns with a mission vital to the survival of the station – travelling back in time to steal Babylon 4.

5. “LaFleur” (“Lost”; 2009) – The remaining survivors of Flight 815 and the freighter find themselves permanently in the 1970s and become part of the Dharma Initiative, following John Locke’s disappearance.

6. “The City on the Edge of Forever” (“Star Trek”; 1967) – After accidentally overdosing on a powerful stimulant, Dr. McCoy acts erratically and disappears through the Guardian of Forever, a newly-discovered time portal on a remote planet. Captain Kirk and Commander Spock follow after learning that McCoy somehow changed history. Arriving in the 1930s, the duo meet Edith Keeler, a New York social worker who gives them a place to stay. As the days pass, and McCoy is nowhere to be seen, Kirk finds himself falling in love with Keeler… but Spock discovers that Keeler must die to restore the timeline.

7. “Déjà Vu All Over Again” (“Charmed”; 1999) – As a demon makes plans for his attempt to kill the Charmed Ones, he receives a visit from another demon named Tempus, who will turn back time until the demon succeeds in killing all the sisters.

8. “Babylon Squared” (“Babylon Five”; 1994) – A previous station, Babylon 4, reappears at the same place it disappeared four years before; and Jeffrey Sinclair and Michael Garibaldi lead an expedition to evacuate its crew.

9. “Chris-Crossed” (“Charmed”; 2003) – A mysterious woman from the future named Bianca arrives to take Chris Halliwell’s powers and bring him back forcefully to the future.

10. “D.O.A.” (“Timecop”; 1998) – After Jack Logan and his boss, Gene Matuzek are murdered, Claire Hemmings takes an unauthorized trip back to the past to warn Logan.

“CHARMED” RETROSPECT: “Phoebe Halliwell and the Nexus Theory

 

“CHARMED” RETROSPECT:  “PHOEBE HALLIWELL AND THE NEXUS THEORY”

Recently, I watched the ”CHARMED” Season One episode called (1.15) “Is There a Woogy in the House?”. In this episode, Phoebe Halliwell’s childhood fear of a boogeyman in the basement called the ”Woogeyman” proves to be true and it ends up taking possession of her and a few others – including her sister Prue’s ex-boyfriend, Andy Trudeau. Following this experience with the Woogeyman, Phoebe came to a conclusion regarding her moral compass.

The episode began with an aftershock from a previous earthquake. The aftershock not only revealed Phoebe’s childhood fear of something called the “Woogyman”, it has an ongoing source of amusement for her two sisters. That is, until a violent earthquake unleashes a long-dormant shadow demon on the day Prue has plans to hold a dinner party for her boss and a Bucklands’ customer. The latter first takes possession of a repairman, summoned to investigate a strange odor from the manor’s basement. After Prue and Piper leave the manor, the Woogeyman uses the repairman to summon Phoebe to the basement and she also becomes possessed. Phoebe’s strange behavior not only manages to ruin the dinner party, she also summons the Buckland’s client – a Professor Whittlesbey, who knows a good deal about the manor’s history – to the basement and the Woogeyman. Professor Whittlesbey becomes possessed. After Prue and Piper find themselves locked out of the manor by Phoebe, the two set out to discover what Professor Whittlesbey was hinting about the manor, when the dinner party first began. Unfortunately, the possessed professor ends up being arrested after she had physically attacked her assistant, Josh. Prue and Piper learn more details about the Halliwell manor from Josh:

Josh: You know, I’ve met people like that. (He looks at Piper.) A spiritual nexus is a point of incredible energy.

Prue: Equidistant from the five spiritual elements.

Josh: That’s right. The place or thing that could be swayed either way.

Piper: Either way?

Josh: Yeah. Either to be a source of undeniable good or undeniable evil. Uh, look ladies, I’m gonna follow her and make sure she’s okay. Feel free to browse around our office if you think it will help.

In other words, Prue and Piper came to some conclusion that because the manor was situated in the center of this Nexus – shaped as pentagram – it was the source of great power that can be a source of good or evil. Once Phoebe managed to banish the Woogeyman, she came to a conclusion about the Nexus and her moral compass:

Phoebe: I’m beginning to wonder if I have a good one [dark side]. (Prue and Piper stare at her.) Well, I am. I mean, up until now, I didn’t even think I had a dark side. I mean, not any more so than anyone else.

Prue: Yeah, well the important thing is the good side won out.

Phoebe: Yeah, but I must have been more susceptible than either one of you, otherwise he wouldn’t of chosen me, right? Right?

Piper: You were the only one that was born in the house, that makes you more connected to it. That spiritual nexus thing.

Phoebe: That’s exactly my point. I could go either way. Good or evil. Kinda freaky.

What in the hell was Constance Burge thinking? What on earth made her think that someone would be stupid enough to buy such a theory straight out of Sunday school for eight year-olds? Phoebe could easily turn good or evil, because she was born above the Nexus? That was Burge’s idea of characterization?

It was bad enough that Prue got the elements mentioned in the episode wrong:

Prue: Okay, to find a way back in, we have to know what we’re up against. The professor said that a true spiritual nexus sits equidistant from the five basal elements. So, that’s earth, fire, water, wood and metal.

Then she added:

Prue: Looks like it’s not just on a spiritual nexus, but a wiccan one as well. Which means it’s a battleground for good and evil.

The spiritual nexus beneath the manor was definitely not a Wiccan one. Wiccans are associated with the following five elements –earth, fire, water, air and spirit. The five elements mentioned by Prue in the episode are the following – earth, fire, water, wood and metal. These elements are associated with Chinese philosophy, not Wiccans.

But it got worse. At least for me. By the end of the episode, Phoebe claimed that because she was born in the manor (in other words, above the nexus), she was more susceptible to being possessed by the Woogeyman than her sisters. What . . . a . . . load . . . of . . . crap! If for this reason Phoebe was more susceptible toward evil, then one might as well say the same about the others that ended up possessed by the Woogeyman – the repairman, Professor Whittlesey, one of the Halliwell neighbors . . . and Andy Trudeau. And I am certain that not one of them was born inside the manor. If Piper or Prue had been inside that manor alone instead of Phoebe, the Woogeyman could have easily possessed either of them.

Why do I find this Nexus Theory about Phoebe hard to swallow? It does not make any sense to me. That is not good characterization. I do not even know what to call it. Phoebe was more prone to evil . . . and therefore more prone to be possessed by the Woogeyman? Had it ever occurred to Constance Burge or the episode’s writers, Chris Levinson and Zack Estrin, that Phoebe ended up possessed, because she had the bad luck to be in the manor alone with the repairman?

First of all, the series has managed to prove that all four sisters had personality quirks that made them easily prone to evil. Prue’s anger, pride and arrogance made her very susceptible to evil. Probably more so than the other three sisters, due to her anger issues. Piper’s inability to deal with loss and her selfishness made her easily susceptible to evil. Phoebe’s selfishness and willingness to use shortcuts in life made her easily susceptible to evil. And Paige’s self-righteousness and sadistic nature made her susceptible. Everyone – whether in real life or in fiction have personality traits that makes them susceptible to evil. Why Constance Burge could not accept this and instead, used this Nexus Theory to describe Phoebe’s flaws eludes me. Perhaps Burge wanted an easier plot device to describe Phoebe’s personality . . . instead of good old-fashioned, well-written characterization.

I cannot deny that I have always enjoyed “Is There a Woogeyman in the House?”. It has always been one of my favorite episodes from Season One. But this theory about the Nexus and Phoebe’s moral compass nearly ruined it for me. It is a crap theory, supported by bad writing. Instead of recognizing that just about anyone – namely any sentient being can choose a path of good or evil, given the right circumstances or emotional button pushed. But Constance Burge and this episode’s writers decided to resort to easy and sloppy characterization by feeding the viewers this black-and-morality crap that the Nexus would explain Phoebe’s occasional delinquent behavior. It seemed like a bad ending to a pretty good episode.

Top Five Favorite Episodes of “CHARMED” (Season One)

Below is a list of my top five (5) favorite episodes from Season One (1998-1999) of “CHARMED”. Developed for television by Constance Burge, the series starred Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano:

 

TOP FIVE FAVORITE EPISODES OF “CHARMED” (Season One)

1. (1.04) “Dead Man Dating” – In one of my favorite episodes of the series, the Charmed Ones helpthe ghost of a recently murdered young man, who needs their help to settle a score with the gangster that murdered him, before an ancient spirit can harvest his soul.

2. (1.12) “The Wendigo” – While changing a flat tire, Piper is attacked by a werewolf-like beast called the Wendigo and the sisters are forced to hunt it down before she becomes a full-fledged one herself.

3. (1.10) “Wicca Envy” – The warlock Rex Buckland uses astral projection to trick Prue into stealing a tiara from the Buckland auction house, in order to blackmail the sisters into giving up their powers. Sadly, this episode marked the last for warlocks Rex Buckland and Hannah Webster.

4. (1.15) “Is There a Woogy in the House?” – Despite the slightly disappointing ending, I really enjoyed this entertaining episode about Phoebe being possessed by a demon called “the woogeyman”, trapped beneath the manor’s basement.

5. (1.17) “That 70s Episode” – In this poignant episode, the Halliwell sisters go back in time to 1975 in order to prevent their mother from making a pact with a powerful warlock – a pact that involved their mother’s protection in exchange for their powers.

“CHARMED” RETROSPECT: (1.22) “Déjà Vu All Over Again”

“CHARMED” RETROSPECT: (1.22) “Déjà Vu All Over Again”

When I first saw (1.22) “Déjà Vu All Over Again”, the Season One finale for “CHARMED”, I promised myself that I would never watch another episode of the series again. Never. Yet four months later, I broke my promise and resumed watching the series for another three-and-a-half seasons. 

One would assume that I harbor some very negative feelings about “Déjà Vu All Over Again”. And that person would be wrong. From an artistic point-of-view, the episode was first-rate. Not only do I consider “Déjà Vu All Over Again” to be one of the best Season One episodes, I believe it is one of the best episodes of the series. And yet . . . after watching it, I was ready to give up the series. The ending upset me very much.

Directed by Les Sheldon and written by Constance Burge and Brad Kern, “Déjà Vu All Over Again” began with Phoebe Halliwell experiencing a premonition of the most deadly kind. She saw a demonic attack result in the death of her oldest sister’s former boyfriend, Andy Trudeau of the San Francisco Police Department. And the demon in question happened to be one Inspector Rodriguez, who was established as a member of the police department’s Internal Affairs in previous episodes investigating Andy’s connection to the Halliwell sisters. Determined to prevent Andy’s death, Prue warns Andy that Rodriguez is a demon who has plans to kill her and her sisters – the Charmed Ones. As Rodriguez makes plans, he receives a visit from Tempus, a high-level demon for evil’s causes. As the demon makes plans for his attempt to kill the Charmed Ones, he receives a visit from a demon named Tempus. According to him, Tempus has the ability to turn back time and was sent by The Source to help Rodriguez kill the Halliwells.

Mind you, “Déjà Vu All Over Again” had its flaws. In one conversation between Rodriguez and Tempus, the latter instructed the younger demon to make sure that all three Halliwells were gathered in the same place before killing them. Frankly, this sounds rather stupid to me. Surely, anyone with intelligence would know that the Halliwells were at their strongest when they were together. For me, it makes better sense to kill the Halliwells one by one. After all, the sisters cannot stay in each other’s company, 24/7, unless they want to forgo a life. Why did Rodriguez even bother to appear at the Halliwells’ front door in the first place? He could have simply teleported inside the manor and kill the sisters a lot faster. According to (1.03) “Thank You For Not Morphing, Piper was born three years before Phoebe. And according to (1.17) “That 70s Episode”, Phoebe was born in late 1975, making Piper’s birth year 1972. Phoebe remembered that Piper’s old classmate, Joanne Hertz, had graduated from their high school in 1972, making her birth year 1974 or 1973. Why would Piper recall someone who graduated two years after her?

Aside from Tempus’ suggestion that Rodriguez gather all three Halliwell sisters in one place before killing them, the flaws in “Déjà Vu All Over Again” seemed minor to me. In other words, the virtues outweighed the flaws. Burge and Kern nearly outdid themselves in an episode that served as the end of the first stage in the Halliwells’ lives as the Charmed Ones. The episode also marked the end of what I consider to be the best romance featured in the entire series – that between Prue Halliwell and Andy Trudeau. Another interesting aspect about this episode is that it marked one of the rare occasions when one of Phoebe’s premonitions tragically came true. Rodriguez made three attempts to kill the Charmed Ones, thanks to Tempus’ time changing ability. If it had not been for Tempus, Rodriguez would have been dead after his first try. And so would Phoebe. After his second try, Rodriguez ended up dead again, thanks to Prue’s telekinesis. But he ended up killing both Phoebe and Piper before his death. On his third try . . . Phoebe’s premonition came true, when Rodriguez killed Andy. Is it any wonder that this episode depressed me? By this time, the sisters figured out that someone was rewinding time and they cast a spell to break Tempus’ time loop. Unfortunately, this act left Andy permanently dead. I supposed I should have foreseen this when I first saw “Déjà Vu All Over Again” all those years ago due to the scenes that featured Prue meeting Andy in a park to warn him about Rodriguez. Although their first meeting came off as slightly businesslike, their second and third scenes grew increasingly poignant and romantic. Both Shannen Doherty and T.W. King were excellent in these scenes.

Not only did this episode featured first-rate performances from Doherty and King, I was also impressed by the rest of the cast. All of them gave solid performances. Although I found him a tad over-the-top at times,
Carlos Gomez was appropriately intimidating as the demonic assassin out to kill the Charmed Ones. But it was David Carradine who gave the best performance as the time manipulator, Tempus. He was witty, elegant and menacing. It seemed a pity that he never made a second or third appearance on the show. Even worse, his character was mentioned before killed off-screen in the Season Three finale, (3.22) “All Hell Breaks Loose”.

I am certain that my brief apathy toward “CHARMED” must have been figured out by now. This episode marked the last appearance of T.W. King as Andy Trudeau and it took me a long time to recover from this – over a year, to be exact. I had first became a fan of King, when I saw him in the short-lived series, “TIME COP”. His portrayal of the sharp and no-nonsense Andy only solidify my admiration of him. Unlike Julian McMahon, of whom I also became a great fan, King’s last episode proved to be first-rate and probably one of the best in the series. It seems a pity that it also proved to be one of the saddest for me.

“CHARMED” RETROSPECT: (3.22) “All Hell Breaks Loose”

May 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of when the “CHARMED” Season Three finale episode called (3.22) “All Hell Breaks Loose” first aired. Not only did Shannen Doherty direct the episode, it also marked her last appearance as Prue Halliwell. Below is an article I had written about the events that in the episode: 

“CHARMED” RETROSPECT: (3.22) “All Hell Breaks Loose”

Many fans seemed to be of the opinion that the youngest Halliwell sister, Phoebe, was to blame for the death of the oldest sister Prue, in the Season Three episode, (3.22) “All Hell Breaks Loose”. It almost seems as if many wanted to use her as some kind of scapegoat. I am sorry, but I find this idea extremely hard to accept. I wonder if any fan of“CHARMED” has ever stopped to consider that Prue bore most of the responsibility for her own death? I wonder if many fans had forgotten how the whole mess in “All Hell Breaks Loose” had started in the first place?

It had all started because Prue forgot the very lesson that the sisters had learned in the Season One episode, (1.16) “Which Prue Is it, Anyway?” – the best offense is defense. The episode “All Hell Breaks Loose” started with the sisters being attacked by a demonic assassin, Shax, while they were protecting a Dr. Griffiths from him. Although Shax managed to seriously wounded both Prue and Piper, Phoebe used a spell that vanquished Shax . . . temporarily. And Leo healed Prue and Piper in time.

Unfortunately, the sisters were uncertain that Phoebe had vanquished Shax. Even worse, Prue forgot the lesson of“Which Prue Is It, Anyway?” and insisted that she and Piper leave the manor to track down Shax. The sisters could have remained at the manor and prepared themselves for another attack by Shax. Instead, Prue dragged Piper out of the manor and when they encountered Shax again and vanquished him – well, Piper vanquished him with her second power, their actions were videotaped by the media. This turned out to be the very incident that set in motion the events that led to Prue’s death – not Phoebe’s decision to find and save her half-demonic love, Cole Turner aka Belthazor:

Prue: Maybe the spell needs more than one witch to have it’s full impact. Okay, come on.

(Prue gets up and then helps Piper up.)

Piper: Come on? Where?

Prue: To find him so we can finish him off while he’s still hurt. (to Phoebe) Look, you just stay here with Griffiths, alright. If Shax comes back, say the spell to fend him off, okay? Ow. Come on.

(Prue and Piper go outside. Leo looks at the Doctor, who’s in shock.)

———-

[Cut outside. Prue and Piper are running down the street.]

Piper: Maybe Phoebe hurt him worse than we thought.

Prue: No, he’s gotta be around here somewhere, he wouldn’t leave without getting what he came for.

Piper: Do you really think he’d attack us in broad day light? Evil is usually more insidious than that.

(They stop.)

Prue: Ah, okay, shh.

Piper: What? (The tornado comes up behind them. They turn around and gasp. The tornado dies down and Shax appears. He throws an energy ball at them, and Prue deflects it back with her power. It hits him but doesn’t harm him.) Blow this! (Piper holds out her hands and blows up Shax. He disappears.) Okay, is he dead?

Prue: Well, we didn’t really say the spell.

Piper: Well, maybe we won’t have to. We don’t always. We’re lucky nobody saw us.

Prue: Alright, let’s just get back to Phoebe. Come on.

(They walk back towards the manor.)

———

[Cut to down the street. A female reporter and a camera man are watching Prue and Piper. She turns back to the camera.]

Reporter: Back to me, back to me, back to me. (The camera man points his camera at her.) Okay, um, I’m not exactly sure what just happened, but whatever it was, you saw it here… live.

In the following scene, Phoebe announced her intentions to help Cole. Prue and Piper’s protests against the idea seemed to be more about her getting emotionally involved with Cole, rather any demands that she hang around in case Shax was not dead. In fact, Piper seemed to believe that she had killed Shax:

Leo: How’d it go?

Piper: We dodged another bullet.

Prue: Yeah, with him maybe.

Leo: What do you mean?

Prue: I don’t know, I mean, something still bothers me about the way that we vanquished Shax. Like, I’m not so sure we really did.

Piper: What do you mean? He screamed, he went poof, just like they all do. Third demon in a row, by the way, that I vanquished with my new power, but who’s counting?

(Phoebe walks back in.)

Prue: Right, but if that’s all that we needed, then why was there a vanquishing spell in the book? I mean, hasn’t that always meant that our individual powers weren’t enough?

Leo: Except the book was written by witches with less powers than you guys have. They needed the spells.

Phoebe: Plus, I think if he was still alive, he probably would’ve attacked us again by now.

Prue: Ah, you know, Leo, can you just check to make sure, please? With the Elders?
Leo: No problem.

(Leo orbs out.)

Piper: If you ask me, I think you’re being paranoid. We kicked Shax’s behind. We bad.

Prue: Yes, you’re probably right.

Phoebe: Then I’m hoping you won’t need me around here for a while. I wanna try a new potion on Cole. One that’ll reverse the spell that turned him bad in the first place.

Piper: Phoebe…

Phoebe: I’m not looking for your approval, Piper, just your support.

Prue: Well, Phoebe, it’s sort of hard to give you support when you’re just setting yourself up to get hurt again.

Phoebe: Cole is good inside, I know it. And if dark magic did this to him, then how come white magic can’t save him? I can’t just turn my back, I have to try.

Piper: What do you want us to do?

Phoebe: I want you to use the magic-to-magic spell to send me down there. I reworded it to make it work.

(Phoebe hands Piper a piece of paper.)

Piper: Uh, Phoebe, that’s awfully dangerous. If something goes wrong we won’t be able to contact each other.

Phoebe: I’ll be safe, I’ll be with Cole. And he’ll bring me back, so don’t worry about that.

Prue: You’re banking a lot on that little potion of yours, you know.

Phoebe: No, I’m not. I’m banking on Cole.

Yes, it seemed quite obvious that Phoebe was determined to go to the Source’s Realm and find Cole. But regardless of her determination, there was no way she could have went after him, without her sisters’ help in using a “magic-to-magic spell” to teleport her to the Source’s Realm.

In the following scene, Prue still wanted verification that they or Piper had vanquished Shax. The subject of Phoebe was brought up. Piper expressed concerned that Cole might hurt Phoebe. Prue did not share her concerns:

[Scene: Outside the manor. Prue and Piper are on the sidewalk. Prue is crouching down looking at the ground.]

Piper: What did you expect to find?

(Prue stands up.)

Prue: I don’t know, something though.

Piper: Well, demons don’t usually leave footprints, remember?

Prue: No, but sometimes they leave a residue when they’ve been vanquished. Something otherwise innocuous. Look, I just don’t understand how we could vanquish such a powerful demon without a spell.

Piper: But frankly I’m more worried about Phoebe than Shax. We shouldn’t have let her go.

Prue: Phoebe can take care of herself, Dr. Griffiths can’t. (They start walking up the street.) Look, Piper, I’ve had a bad feeling about this. I’ve had one all day. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a witch, is to trust those feelings. 

By this time, Piper and Prue had been exposed on television. And their friend in the San Francisco Police Department, Inspector Darryl Morris, had been ordered by his captain to question the sisters about “killing” Shax. Although Prue believed that they had done the right thing by leaving the house to go after Shax, Piper did not:

Piper: Isn’t that illegal? Can’t you do something about that?

Darryl: Hey, killing somebody on live TV is pretty illegal too, you know.

Prue: Okay, it wasn’t somebody, Darryl, it was a demon. And we’re pretty sure we didn’t kill him anyway.

Darryl: Do you wanna try telling them that?

Prue: Ugh…

Darryl: Look, I’ve called for backup, but that’s not gonna help for long. This thing’s gonna get ugly fast.

Piper: We shouldn’t have followed Shax into the street.

Prue: We didn’t have a choice, Piper.

Piper: Didn’t we?

Prue: Sure, we could’ve let him kill our innocent. That would’ve been better, you think? Alright, you know what? Let’s not let this thing get between us, okay? We have enough problems as it is, please. 

Following this scene, Prue and Piper went to Dr. Griffiths at the hospital to make certain that Shax was not after the man, in case they had not vanquished him. Sure enough, Shax appeared outside of the hospital. And Prue and Piper“vanquished” him . . . in front of television cameras again. They were informed by Leo that the Elders wanted them to contact the demon Tempus to set back time. Prue ordered Leo to contact Cole, so that he could make a deal with the Source and Tempus. And then the following happened:

Piper: I don’t know why we’re bothering to do this.

Prue: In case time doesn’t reset itself.

(Prue puts a chair against the door.)

Piper: If time doesn’t reset itself, this table against that door is not gonna help much.

Prue: Yeah, well, then we better start thinking about what would, okay? Because if Leo doesn’t succeed, we’re gonna have to figure out what we’re gonna do.

(They walk into the living room.)

Piper: We’re gonna do talk shows and book signings and movie deals, (Prue picks up the Book of Shadows) and then taken by the CIA and dissected.

Prue: Yeah, how can you be joking about this, Piper?

Piper: Who’s joking?

Prue: Well, I’m not. Alright, I’m scared. And you should be too. Okay, our lives, Piper, everything that we’ve worked for could be completely destroyed with-with one stupid mistake. Our entire future, our entire destiny could be wiped out just like that. (Prue clicks her fingers and a gunshot goes off. Piper gasps.) What was that? (Piper looks down and sees blood on her shirt. Her hands are shaking.) Piper? Piper. (Prue drops the Book of Shadows and grabs Piper before she falls. Prue looks at her hand and it has Piper’s blood on it.) Oh!

One stupid mistake. And that one mistake? I believe that Prue’s decision to leave the manor and track down Shax was that mistake. Piper certainly thought so.

Prue’s decision to leave the house and go after Shax led to the following:

• An erroneous belief that they had succeeded
• Exposure by the media
• Phoebe’s decision to go after Cole after Piper had mistakenly expressed the belief that they had succeeded
• Being exposed for the second time by the media
• Piper getting shot
• The deal with the Source and Tempus, which led to Phoebe being trapped in the Source’s Realm
• Time being reset, which led to a second attack by Shax
• Dr. Griffith and Prue’s deaths

I will not claim that Prue was solely responsible for her death. The other major characters also managed to add their two cents to the situation. The Source’s determination to destroy the Charmed Ones led him to assign Shax to commit the deed. Shax eventually did kill Prue. The media provided nothing but trouble for the Charmed Ones, after they had exposed the two older sisters. Phoebe’s determination to find Cole at all costs, led her to be missing at a time when her presence could have saved Prue’s life. Their whitelighter and Piper’s husband, Leo Wyatt, did not help with his insistence that Piper had succeeded in killing Shax, when the media first caught her and Prue on tape. Cole’s decision to cover his tracks with the Source and the Brotherhood of the Thorn at the end of (3.19) “The Demon Who Came in From the Cold” led to his eventual capture by his fellow demons and a brief estrangement from Phoebe. Piper certainly did not help matters. Granted, she did oppose both Phoebe’s trip to the Source’s Realm, but also Prue’s decision to leave the manor to track down Shax. But instead of maintaining her opposition, she allowed herself to become a pushover by caving in to her sisters’ wishes and opinions.

However, in my opinion, Prue Halliwell bored most of the blame for her death. The episode, (3.18) “Sin Francisco” made it clear that one of her biggest flaws happened to be her pride. Her inability to overcome that pride forced Leo to rescue her from the demon featured in that episode. And in “All Hell Breaks Loose”,it was Prue’s pride that led her to believe that no problem would arise in her and Piper leaving the manor – the one place that the Charmed Ones were at their strongest – to hunt down Shax. Unfortunately for Prue, the end of the episode would prove her wrong.

“CHARMED” RETROSPECTIVE: ”The Death of Dr. Williamson”

“CHARMED” RETROSPECTIVE: ”The Death of Dr. Williamson”

I just recently finished watching the Season Two episode from ”CHARMED”, (2.20) “Astral Monkey” . There were some things that were said in this episode that really pissed me off. And all of my complaints centered upon the character, Dr. Curtis Williamson.

Curtis Williamson first appeared in an earlier episode, (2.12) ”Awakened”. In this episode, Piper became infected with a deadly disease called Arroyo Fever, after eating some South American fruit she had purchased to serve at her club, P3. After her sisters and later Leo had both cured her using magic, Williamson became obsessed in discovering the reason behind Piper’s miraculous recovery from a disease that had no cure.

In ”Astral Monkey”, Williamson’s obsession not led him to continuously contact Piper by letter, but use the Halliwells’ blood drawn by the doctor in ”Awakened” to experiment on a trio of monkeys kept in his lab. Eventually, the Halliwells and Leo learned about Dr. Williamson’s experiments when the monkey with Prue’s abilities, astral projected to the manor. Piper, Prue and Phoebe went to the hospital to examine Dr. Williamson’s laboratory and Leo consulted the Elders . . . after they discovered that the Charmed Ones’ blood had been accidentally injected into Dr. Williamson and he ended up with their abilities. The following is what Leo had to say on the matter:

Piper: So what’s the bad news?

Leo: Well, simply put, Dr. Williamson is cosmically screwed. He’s got your powers in his mortal body. It took generations to prepare you for that, you can handle it, he can’t.

Mortal body? Once again, the audience are led to believe that the Halliwells are not mortals. And yet, the series has proven over again that they were mortals. This point was specifically made in the Season Three episode, (3.22) “All Hell Breaks Loose”, when Piper died from a gunshot wound in the first timeline before the demon Tempus changed it on behalf of the Source and the whitelighter Elders.

However, the following comment made by Leo really pissed me off:

Phoebe: Wait, are you saying that out powers are in our blood and he injected himself with it?

Leo: That blood, yeah. See, the spell that you cast to cure Piper changed everything and now it’s changing Dr. Williamson. See, your magic is meant for doing good but in the wrong person, somebody not ready for it, that need to do good things…

Piper: Could go bad?

Leo: Real bad. Piper, it’s nobody’s fault. Dr. Williamson chose his own path. This is not the consequence of anybody’s actions except his own. Still, you have to find a way to stop him before things get worse.

One, Leo had claimed that the spell Prue and Phoebe had cast to cure Piper in ”Awakened” was partly responsible for the Halliwells’ abilities affecting Dr. Williamson. But it got worse. Then he further claimed that none of them – Piper, Prue and Phoebe, and he – were not responsible for Williamson’s abuse of their abilities and the latter’s effect upon him. Only Williamson was to blame.

Leo . . . Let me take a deep breath, here. Constance Burge, who wrote ”Astral Monkey”, really got the whitelighter’s character down pat in this episode. It seemed quite obvious – at least to me – that Leo’s feelings for Piper have constantly led him to spout stupid lies in order to placate any negative feelings she might be experiencing. In ”Astral Monkey”, she felt guilt for failing to respond to his letters about her recovery from Arroyo Fever . . . and because he was a mortal that she and her sisters had to kill.

After listening to Leo’s attempt to solely blame Williamson over the entire incident, I still find it amazing how fans continue to condemn Brad Kern for some of the series’ bad writing, when Burge was also responsible for the crap that popped up during her tenure as executive producer of ”CHARMED”. And I am condemning Burge for an act that Kern consistently committed in the series’ future – namely give the Halliwells slack for some of their questionable actions in both ”Awakened” and ”Astral Monkey”.

I am quite certain that Curtis Williamson had been partially responsible for what happened. After all, he became obsessed with finding the source of Piper’s “miraculous” cure from Arroyo Fever in “Awakened”. Even the hospital’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Jeffries, warned him to allow the matter to drop. But the Halliwells and Leo should have accepted some of the blame over the entire situation. And Burge refused to allow this to happen in her script. Back in ”Awakened”, Prue and Phoebe used magic to cure Piper’s fever, when they should not have done so in the first place. After the pair reversed the spell and Piper fell ill for the second time, Leo stepped in and cured her . . . when he should not have done so. Because of Prue, Phoebe and Leo’s actions, Piper managed to avoid facing the consequences of her actions. And it was Piper who had started this whole mess in motion when she became greedy and decided to purchase South American fruit that had not been inspected by U.S. Customs.

It had been bad enough when Vivian and Valerie Mayhew’s script for ”Awakened” had failed to allow Piper face any legal ramifications from the U.S. government for her act of greed. After all, the episode never mentioned any legal fines and P3 had only been closed for a day . . . before Leo cured her. But in the story for ”Astral Monkey”, Constance Burge had failed to bring up all of the Halliwells and Leo’s past transgressions. Instead, she decided to lay all of the blame on Williamson’s shoulders. Prue and Phoebe did not even seem the worse for wear following Williamson’s death at the end of the episode. As for Piper, she only felt guilty for not being able to save Williamson and for failing to respond to his letters in the first place. Not once did the episode’s script allow Piper to express any guilt for allowing her greed in ”Awakened” to set everything in motion.

For two episodes considered to among the best by the series’ fans, I find it interesting that both managed to fill me with disgust from its portrayals of the main characters. Even worse, the only character who ended up facing consequences from questionable choices happened to be one portrayed by a guest star. And I find it ironic that I have Constance Burge, and not the much maligned Brad Kern, to blame.