Along with the show's rapid denigration of the concept of death, continuity is also getting brutally beaten every week, and I don't think it's a coincidence that the most glaring mistakes occur whenever Grams appears. Just as in Witchstock, here we have a Grams episode undermined by a ton of errors. She's aware of Gideon, yet didn't know that Piper just had a baby? She had a 'witch talk' with the sisters when they were teens? What? TV series always have a 'show bible' that helps prevent insanity like this, and I have no idea why Charmed isn't using it.
The rest of Cheaper by the Coven is wildly uneven, but its heart is in the right place. The main thrust of the hour involves the sisters turning back into teenagers, and while there are definite shades of that season three abortion Once Upon a Time, it's nowhere near as embarrassing and I liked the relatable teenage drama that the show explored, with the sisters mournfully overhearing Grams and Victor fighting in another room, and that wonderful scene between Grams and a weepy Piper, even if the latter does feature one of the errors I mentioned before.
The whole 'evil Leo doppelganger' thing isn't a total wash-out thanks to the divine presence of Charisma Carpenter (who doesn't get a lot to do, but is reliably entertaining), but the show really needs to stop using Wyatt as a plot device. I'm so tired of seeing demons stood over his crib, the sisters rushing in and the demon flaming out or whatever. Gah. It's the same story over and over again.
Regardless, Cheaper by the Coven is frequently fun, with some decent humor (I actually kind of liked Alyssa's bleary-eyed acceptance speech) and surprising depth every once in a while. I just wish Rose McGowan gave a little more effort. Her subplot is weak, sure, but she seems so distant right now. B-
Guest stars Nick Lachey (Leslie St. Claire); James Read (Victor Bennett); Jennifer Rhodes (Penny 'Grams' Halliwell); Finola Hughes (Patty Halliwell); Tac Fitzgerald (Ben); Charisma Carpenter (Kira)
Writer Mark Wilding Director Derek Johansen