Thursday, May 19, 2011

Charmed: Give Me a Sign (2.15)

There was always something a little low-rent about Charmed's demons, and it's especially noticeable in seasons three and four, with various scenery-chewing actors gesticulating wildly in badly lit caves and crypts, clearly located on a sound-stage in L.A. somewhere. I bring this up because Give Me a Sign is really the first episode to feature that. Litvack is the first of numerous ordinary-looking demons wearing some kind of cape or robe, able to fling fireballs or whatever. I don't think it's a coincidence that this episode is also the first to reference The Source, Charmed's biggest Big Bad. While the character is interesting (I think, if I remember correctly), it marked a visually underwhelming evolution in Charmed's history, where demons and their headquarters were all universally fug...

Bane Jessup, Rent-a-Hunk, isn't the most scintillating of characters. You can sort of understand why the show brought him back (Antonio Sabato Jr. being Charmed's version of a 'big-name guest star'... chortle), but it doesn't make for a hugely powerful storyline. We have some chemistry-free banter between Bane and Prue, some gags about nudity, and a completely non-absorbing demon plot. Meh.

Elsewhere, Piper smugly chooses Leo, but decides to drag out her relationship with Dan just for kicks anyway. There was potential for fun in the 'signs' spell, but it feels so much like a re-run of the 'finding something lost' spell, or the one where they could hear thoughts. And it doesn't help that the subplot is full of annoyance (like the Mariners/Angels reference). Double meh.

Give Me a Sign suffers, for me, because its weighed down by an uninspiring mission-of-the-week and one of the worst story arcs in the show's history. You can't really escape the suck, which is unfortunate. C-

Guest stars Keith Brunsmann (Assistant); Steve Railsback (Litvack); Antonio Sabato Jr. (Bane Jessup)
Writer Sheryl J. Anderson Director James A. Contner

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