If there's one thing we've learned about alternate Charmed universes, it's that the inhabitants have always had a penchant for leather. Once you get past the brass knuckles, hammy acting and ridiculous costumes (Leo in particular has never looked more stupid), the first part of this finale is pretty interesting. The arcs that have driven season six, elaborate in theory but weirdly stagnant in execution, have dragged on for so long now that it's welcome to see everything finally coming to a head.
I enjoyed the concept of both realities being one and the same as well as vastly different. It's most evident in the sister-on-sister fight sequence, where both sets of Halliwells discuss the same tactics and kick the exact same amount of ass. It's circumstances like these that can only be resolved by working together, since fighting is entirely futile. I liked that whole approach. Similarly, the idea of a mirror universe is pretty inventive, especially all the little details like Barbas as the Demon of Hope, and the stripper paradise that is alterna-P3.
Of course, the story is awash with plotholes, and I kept flashing back to the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine discuss the Bizarro world in Superman, Elaine asking obvious questions like "is [Bizarro Superman] black?" and "does he live underwater?" Heh. But that's all a minor thing and nothing too distracting here.
One moment of interest is Darryl's beat-down at the hands of Bizarro Chris and Leo. Here's a guy that's just been horribly assaulted in an alleyway, and Paige and Phoebe remain only concerned for themselves. It's another indication of how alienating they've become, since neither is sitting down and allowing Darryl to open up about his own issues, instead worrying about how losing Darryl as an ally will affect them. Ugh.
Regardless, this is mostly a fun episode. The season has ran for way too long and with that came a ton of padding, but here we're at that point where Charmed has clearly gotten back that surge of energy, the writers knowing exactly where they're going. Great cliffhanger, too, besides Rose McGowan's weak proclamations of 'someone help me!' made even more glaring by the fact Shannen Doherty did such a better job with a similar scene back in All Hell Breaks Loose. Damn woman. B
Guest stars Billy Drago (Barbas); Sandra Prosper (Sheila Morris); Jenya Lano (Inspector Sheridan); Betsy Randle (Mrs. Winterbourne); Gildart Jackson (Gideon)
Writer Jeannine Renshaw Director Jon Paré