If you look close enough, you can just about spot Shannen Doherty's soul dying as she crawls around on the floor acting like a six year-old. Once Upon a Time is bad. Like really bad. For some reason, Alyssa Milano believes she needs to put on a slurring, lisping voice and awkwardly stamp around like she's stuck in a perpetual tantrum when playing her younger self. Seriously, the scenes where Phoebe and Prue become children all over again are hideously embarrassing. The rest of the episode is just as heinous, with strangely awful special effects, painful acting from the guest stars, and a storyline that makes you want to ingest battery acid.
Charmed became more reliant on it in its later seasons, but this was the first episode to really involve 'magical woodland creatures' of some kind, and it's an element of the Charmed mythology that I was always uncomfortable with. Maybe it's the most annoying aspect of my masculinity speaking, but all the 'magical fairies' junk always came off more than a little juvenile and... sorry about this... girly. It's like the show is making episodes just for the couple of six year-old girls that are tuning in, filling scripts with random crap about fairytales and little girl fairies in oversized pink dresses. Ugh. It's just not for me.
Elsewhere, Piper continues to whine about Leo's abduction of sorts last episode. Like always, I don't understand the logic in the Elders taking Leo away. Are they really so stupid to assume that removing Leo from Piper's life will make her more reliable as a demon-vanquisher? Meh. This whole story is stupid. Great acting from Holly Marie Combs, but her performance was mostly drowned out by the suck everywhere else.
I admit that there are some interesting ideas here (especially the one about only seeing fairies when you're young and innocent), but in general this is a pretty big clusterfuck of doom. Gah. Probably the worst episode so far, since it doesn't even have the unintentional comedy of, say, The Wedding from Hell. F
Crimes of Fashion Phoebe's pink hangover of a silk shirt, complete with heinous flower print on front and back, as well as that kicky jewel emblazing. Is she blind?
Guest stars Rachel David (Kate); Boti Ann Bliss (Abbey)
Writer Krista Vernoff Director Joel J. Feigenbaum