Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Charmed: How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans (2.17)

There's some welcome ambiguity to this episode, especially when it concerns the three old women and their motives for stealing the sister's powers. All of them are lonely and aging, in a world where older people are shuffled off to be amongst their own and rarely acknowledged. But, at the same time, their behavior is pretty reprehensible. They've been digging up and skinning corpses, and they're happy to drug and manipulate three young women. Heh. They're some wacko old ladies! But there's sadness there, which gives the story some weight.

I always thought it was pretty funny that the sisters aren't at all suspicious of Gail's behavior. Her shuffling, the insistence that the sisters drink more and more 'special-blend' tea, how vague the women are about the skinnings and Gail's own knowledge of the Charmed Ones. Have these girls never seen a creepy old woman in a horror movie? Yeesh!

The storyline depicted here is fine. It becomes a little contrived and annoying when the sisters actually battle Cryto (while Gail's death occurs far too early in the story to have much effect), but it's mostly fun. I always like episodes which take the sisters away from their surroundings of the Manor and P3, so I appreciated the location shooting here.

Elsewhere, Piper was whining about wanting a normal life, a story that is repeated, oh, about a thousand times over the course of the series. She also broke up with Dan, which is good for everybody. I laughed when Piper said it only feels like yesterday that Dan moved next door. Not for the audience. It feels like this storyline has been stinking up the joint for decades... B

Credits
Guest stars Anne Haney (Gail Altman); Pamela Gordon (Amanda); Lucy Lee Flippin (Helen); Cameron Bancroft (Cryto)
Teleplay Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Robert Masello Story Javier Grillo-Marxuach Director Kevin Inch

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