Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Charmed: From Fear to Eternity (1.13)

The strongest episodes of Charmed usually contrast a ridiculous demon/warlock/witch storyline with a human 'issue' that the sisters are experiencing. From Fear to Eternity, another surprisingly decent season one hour, explores the long-lasting after-effects of a tragedy. In the case of the Halliwell sisters, it's the demise of their mother. Prue not only faces her greatest fear, but also finally tells her sisters that she loves them. It's not the most complex of problems, but it makes for an intriguing episode grounded in a kind of emotion that the show deserted later on.

Billy Drago is hideously awful as Barbas. But the show clearly loved him, bringing him back again and again and again. He's also likely the instigator for the scenery-chewing villains that quickly became Charmed's trademark, actors being generally shrill and intense until they're blue in the face. Barbas' M.O., like the rest of the episode, isn't complex, but I liked that the show used the "face your fears" idea to explore heavier issues.

Both subplots were fun. Holly Marie Combs was again great in the comedic scenes (I loved her reaction to putting her hand in that steaming pot at the restaurant), while I liked the whole 'superstition' angle to her story. Equally fun was Phoebe's short-lived secretary job. Whatever people think of Phoebe as a character, she undoubtedly has a conscience, and the scene where her boss' husband thanked her for not lying to him was surprisingly effective.

From Fear to Eternity again sees the show shifting gears and gradually hitting that difficult balance between campy nemesis-of-the-week schtick and earnest sisterly interaction. It's still flawed as an episode (the finale is a little too neat, and Andy's presence still highlights how ridiculous Prue's involvement in all these murders are), but it is consistently entertaining. B-

Guest stars Billy Drago (Barbas); Kimberley Kates (Tanjella); Steve Wilder (Lucas Devane); Jodie Hanson (Zoe); Allen Cutler (Doug)
Writers Tony Blake, Paul Jackson Director Les Sheldon


  1. Hey, read a lot of your Charmed reviews back in 05-06 on when I was watching the first couple of seasons. Recently stared season 7 and went back to to read your reviews after I watched an episode. Usually I agree with everything you say.

    Glad I stumbled across this blog, keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks a lot! Pretty much all of my old Charmed reviews are universally awful, though. Written when I was 12 or something...

    I'm re-writing all of them right now, and posting them here. It's a lot of work but at the same time a lot of fun so far.

    Thanks for dropping by :)