Another episode that isn't actually as terrible as I had remembered it being. Love's a Witch opens as a shallow Romeo and Juliet pastiche, but slowly becomes something heavier and more exciting. The episode has a distinctly soapy sensibility with the dueling families, potty-mouth grandma and a vengeful dead wife, but it's played in a way that feels kind of genuine and real. And unlike the season one trainwreck The Wedding from Hell, which had a similar tone, the sisters play an active part in the saga, and the guest stars don't bug.
This is the writing debut of Angel vet Jeannine Renshaw, and while I was never hugely enamored with her over on that show, she adds a lot of depth to Olivia Callaway's story, giving her a purpose and drive that we can actually understand on a human level. I also loved her plan to entomb Richard in her own coffin. That was all pretty cool. The story veers into traditional Charmed territory when Paige is possessed by her spirit, but Rose McGowan is always pretty convincing when playing these seductive femme fatales, so it didn't frustrate me this time around.
What unfortunately drags the episode downhill is everything else. Phoebe's empathy continues to be one of the most annoying things in the show's history, granting her more opportunities to thrust herself center stage and whine about everybody around her. Chris and Leo's subplot is still boring me to tears, and I have no idea why Piper is dating already. Especially dating some tool with frosted highlights. Ugh. But generally Love's a Witch is pretty absorbing, if you skip through the garbage elsewhere. B-
Guest stars Balthazar Getty (Richard Montana); Rachelle Lefevre (Olivia Callaway); James Sutorius (James Callaway); Michael Muhney (Seth); Daniel Hagen (Carl); Marjorie Lovett (Grandma Callaway); Christine Healy (Rosaline Montana); Mako (Alchemist)
Writer Jeannine Renshaw Director Stuart Gillard