Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charmed: Pardon My Past (2.14)

This is an interesting episode, filled with some intriguing commentary on past lives and the seductive quality of evil. It has a lot of momentum for the first half, with some beautifully shot flashback sequences and some memorable performances from both Alyssa Milano and the guest stars. But it's also completely annoying that the episode falls apart in the last fifteen minutes. Anton and evil-Pheebs are vanquished without any trouble, no real explanation is given to why Phoebe Russell's cousins were so determined to kill her and not try and 'save her soul' instead, and I wish we had learned a little more about the lives of the Russell's in general. It's a major anti-climax.

Anyhoo, besides the ending, Pardon My Past is pretty great. The 1920's flapper-era makes for a wonderful location for a lot of the episode, with the repeated use of If You Were the Only Girl in the World, the brass band and all the wacky outfits. As previously mentioned, I would have loved to have seen more of this, but I'll take what I got.

Great work by Jeanette Miller, too. I'm assuming that the Christina we see early in the episode was actually Anton, but it was pretty creepy either way. She's like this weird old-lady/child, the mannerisms and dialogue of a little girl but stuck in the body of an old woman. Her hatred of Phoebe for breaking her doll and the continued bitterness over it was pretty ingenious.

The Leo/Piper/Dan love triangle is becoming more obnoxious by the episode. Leo's repeated insistence that Piper is making a terrible mistake with Dan and his snarky comments about her past life, soulmates and 'writing wrongs' are all just pathetic. And then there's poor, strung-along Dan, who's now investigating Leo's past and sure that there's something off about him. Ugh. And, yes, I get that it's a cheap gag, but Piper calling Leo an 'angel' right in front of Dan is just not fair on her actual boyfriend. This whole storyline is a clusterfuck of annoyance.

Not as great as it should have been, but you have to at least admire the script's ambition. Great acting all round, and wonderful set design for the 1920's Manor. B

Guest stars Tyler Christopher (Anton); Jeanette Miller (Christina Larson)
Writer Michael Gleason Director Jon Paré


  1. I wish I could agree with you, but "Pardon My Past" was filled with so many plot and character inconsistencies that in the end, I merely rolled my eyes in disgust at it.

  2. Heh. I can only imagine your reaction to Charmed's later episodes if Pardon My Past got that reaction out of you. Nymphs? Leprechauns? That's where suicidal thoughts set in for me, at least.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. So prior to the show, Leo was in love with ancestor Piper in the 20s and died in the 40s at the same age he was in the 20s?
    Then there's Witchstock...
    Do you think by that point they HATED their audience?
    I literally cannot watch that train wreck of an episode, it makes me physically angry.

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    2. I have dyscalculia, so when I catch someone else's math error in, like 3 seconds, you know it's a particularly egregious error.

      So, Leo was 25ish in 1924 and then 25ish when he died in his next life in 1942 or 1943, 18 or 19 years later? Doesn't add up.

  4. Ugh. I know. Early continuity at least made a little sense.

  5. Same here. Issues with Leo's age. If he was born in 1924, after 'soulmate Leo' died, then he would have been only 18 in 1942 when Leo died and became a whitelighter. But Leo was married and a doctor. Pretty impressive for a 18 year old. Plus, he never looked like 18 from the beginning so I reckon it is more likely that he was born 10 years earlier which doesn't make sense. I guess the writers should have invested more time in the whole family tree math. Also it would have been cool to learn more about the three cousins and their backgrounds. But I liked the 20s atmosphere of the episode.