Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Charmed: The Fourth Sister (1.7)

Season two saw the introduction of Jenny Gordon, a neighborhood girl who (in her brief tenure on the show) asked about tampons and sex and threw herself into dangerous situations. Then she vanished. It was never explained what the writers had intended for her, or why anybody thought she would be an asset to the series. Watching The Fourth Sister, I can almost see what the show may have had in mind. Here we have a lonely teenage girl, desperate for some kind of acceptance, turning to the Halliwells for wicca-related guidance. While the character bugs at times, her presence isn't entirely reprehensible, and I'm a little surprised that they never asked Danielle Harris back. Which leads me to thinking that maybe Jenny was supposed to be a new incarnation of the same character?

I was actually surprised at how decent The Fourth Sister is. It's one of those ridiculously forgettable Charmed hours that nobody ever talks about, and it's probably because it's entirely un-showy. It's not the most dramatic episode ever, nor the most action-driven. But it has enough character moments to make it fun.

Aviva, in principal, is irritating. She's one of those annoyingly miserable Gen-X teenagers from every other 1990's TV show, but there are elements of her character that work. I liked that she was a little nutty in her loneliness, and pretty unpredictable. Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I'm just subconsciously comparing her to the dozens of other teenage witches the show introduced at some point down the line -- compared to the likes of that tumor in the eighth season who shall not be named, she's a walk in the park. I also loved the ending with Phoebe smashing the mirror. Badass.

Great sisterly interaction here, too. The whole 'attempting-to-derail-your-love-rival-through-slander' thing has been done countless times before, but it's pretty reliable for humor. Especially the gay and lesbian support group line, and the addressing of the HoYay between Phoebe and the sexually ambiguous goth girl sharing her bed. Heh. Fun episode. B

Guest stars Danielle Harris (Aviva); Brian Krause (Leo Wyatt); Rebekah Carlton (Kali); Rebecca Balding (Aunt Jackie)
Writer Edithe Swensen Director Gil Adler

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