Friday, February 25, 2011

Charmed: Love Hurts (1.21)

In the rush to the season finale, we have an episode where a lot of interesting stuff happens, only none of it is given the considerable weight it probably should have deserved. Power switching? Cool. Piper desperate to save Leo? Romantic. Darklighter stalking? Internal affairs? It's all pretty great, but a little rushed when condensed into forty minutes. It's also annoying that the Piper and Leo story didn't really drive the episode. I don't know if the writers hadn't figured out how important their coupling would be to the entire series at this point, but it's disappointing to see such a huge chapter in their relationship get the screentime brush-off.

I appreciated the obvious parallelism between Leo and Piper and Alec and Daisy. Both relationships broke the rules, but the latter only resulted in jealousy and obsession. Sometimes it felt a little obscure in regards to what Alec actually wanted (did he want to kill her? Or just force her to be with him?), but the story worked, mostly by Prue and Phoebe's involvement. The power switch (which I'm sure the show did again at some point, unless I'm imagining it) was a lot of fun, especially Prue feeling everything in sight and attempting to get Phoebe angry whenever she wanted her to use her telekinesis.

It's a little ironic considering the events of the finale, but Andy's suddenly become far more interesting now that he's aware of the Halliwell's secret. It adds a layer to his relationship with Prue that's not entirely annoying for once, while the internal affairs investigation is to my recollection the only interesting cop-related subplot Charmed ever did in all one hundred-plus episodes.

A little rushed, Love Hurts was clearly a victim of bad plotting. Maybe if the show cut down on the number of awful filler episodes at the start of the season, they may have had a little more time to develop Andy's character beyond being generally moronic, and possibly showcase more of Piper and Leo as a couple. It's not perfect, but it's a decent attempt. B-

Crimes of Fashion Who walks around the house in a string bikini? Prue tries to explain the look away with some vague plan of being able to hit the beach right as she jumps off the plane, but it's so ludicrous it's not worth repeating. Own your sluttiness, Prudence Halliwell, don't drag out the lame excuses!

Guest stars Brian Krause (Leo Wyatt); Michael Trucco (Alec); Carlos Gomez (Inspector Rodriguez); Lisa Robin Kelly (Daisy)
Writers Chris Levinson, Zack Estrin, Javier Grillo-Marxuach Director James Whitmore


  1. Something that should be remembered is that originally Leo was not supposed to be part of future seasons - had Connie Burge had her way, this would've been the last we'd seen of him (Don't I wish...) Only because fans demanded his return did he suddenly show up again in Season Two with no real explanations as to why. It's the infamous "Beware of what you wish might get it." I'll always be one of those fans who wished this was indeed the last we'd seen of Leo and that we never heard the word "whitelighter" (since witches are only supposed to have them during their first year as a witch) again.

    I especially love the sacrifice Piper is willing to make in this episode - it is so the Piper I love best - she so should've given up her powers before having kids!

  2. It did seem more of a network mandate than anything, but I ended up not having a huge problem with Leo. He was ridiculously boring as a character, but I didn't actively dislike him like I did with Chris or Billie. Or Paige, eventually. Gosh, those three drove me batshit.