Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Charmed: Soul Survivor (6.7)

Paige's obnoxious temp jobs have driven at least one fugly subplot in every episode this season, but the story that unfolds here more resembles the quality of Love's a Witch than, say, the dog-walker thing. It's a story that lacks any of the originality or depth of the Montana/Callaway feud, but it's an absorbing diversion nonetheless. Being Charmed season six, the writers cop out instead of exploring the idea of free-will and whether the souls should be interfered with at all, but at least the first twenty minutes of the story work.

It's just really unfortunate that the sisterly conflict and the heavier themes that are briefly hinted at aren't elaborated upon. All of the slaves in Zahn's auction are there because of their own actions, and now have to reap the side-effects of instant rewards as part of their Faustian deal. With that in mind, it's interesting to see Paige so determined to save them. It clashes with her conservative 'one-strike-and-you're-out' attitude about Cole in season four, but continuity clearly isn't Charmed's strong suit. I wish the show had explored that angle more, though. It could have made this particular storyline far more ambitious.

While the Paige story is interesting but heavily flawed, everything else in Soul Survivor is stinky monkey shit. Phoebe's subplot is universally shrill and makes zero sense. Why would Phoebe, who has supposedly become a major San Francisco celebrity, be forced to work with this creep? She brings up not wanting to use Jason as leverage, but surely she can use her leverage as a famous (gah) respected (gah!) columnist instead? It's just too dumb, leading to scenes that entirely duplicate Spencer Rick's last appearance on the show.

Similarly ridiculous is Piper's round of dates. Ignoring the fact that all these bland-looking model-types run away in terror whenever Wyatt's eyes sparkle (wouldn't you, in reality, just assume your mind was playing tricks on you?), this entire story arc feels contrived since Leo's always hanging around anyway. Oh My Goddess! led us to believe that he'd be up in Elderville for huge stretches of time, yet he's dropping by just as often as he always did. These writers are morons.

Finally, there's the asinine Chris/Leo subplot. I liked that they finally settled their differences (at least it spares us any more screentime for the two least-charismatic cyborgs to ever appear on this show), but their adventures in that old Roswell set and then some Civil War time period both felt hollow and redundant with a total lack of resolution, the two of them just showing up at the end with no explanation for how they stumbled out of their various eras. It's profoundly weak writing.

Soul Survivor has an interesting A-plot that falls to pieces under its own potential, as well as a whole bunch of flat subplots that are just as worthless as they are boring. So you could skip this thing all-together, generally. D+

Guest stars Balthazar Getty (Richard Montana); Johnny Sneed (Larry Henderson); Googy Gress (Spencer Ricks); Alla Korot (Margaret Henderson); Robert Farrior (Ryan); Brian Wedlake (Brett); Keith Szarabajka (Zahn); Steadman (Themselves)
Writer Curtis Kheel Director Mel Damski


  1. I think we're on the same wavelength with this one for the most part.

    Specifically what you said about Leo's constant presence. In one of my reviews (I'm honestly not sure which one) I bang on about how much of a contrivance and a slap in the face the whole separation plot was.

  2. Absolutely. Either run with the idea of Leo's absence, or don't write it in at all. It was ridiculously lazy and made little sense.