Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Charmed: It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World Part 2 (6.23)

It's a welcome surprise to see a finale that proves occasionally affecting. I always disliked Chris, I was pretty bored by his story arc throughout the sixth season, and my feelings about Drew Fuller's acting have been made clear countless times already. But I would be a liar if I said I wasn't saddened by his death scene. It's a powerful moment of unrelenting grief, regardless of it being only one 'incarnation' of the character that has met his demise, and the following discussion between Phoebe and Paige only cements the sadness: "he just faded away?" I'm so used to Charmed being shallow and devoid of any real meaning, but that scene was pretty spectacular.

Part two of the finale is just as fractured as you would presume, but most of the Gideon arc is handled well. He's become a character you really want to die already, and while I'm not sure if that's intentional or not, it gives the episode a spark that the show has been crying out for. I don't think Billy Drago has ever been more of a ham, though. But his scenes are fascinating to watch, if only to make you wonder how the hell he gets employed by anybody.

I love how the Pleasantville-ish world is executed here, with Phoebe and Paige's general discomfort with nutty nurses and the casual discussion of limb removal and fatal hemorrhaging. The spell that Piper cast on her sisters was pretty terrible, though, and only there to pad this episode out to two hours. But the idea is so much fun that you can kind of excuse that.

Season six has been the worst season of this show so far, filled with lazy storytelling, vacuous characterization, phoned-in performances and a shocking lack of any new ideas. The entire show is beyond tired at this point, but I can't deny that this was a strong finale that managed to bring together the various themes of this annoying story arc and create something weirdly absorbing for once. B+

Guest stars Billy Drago (Barbas); Jim Abele (Dr. Roberts); Wes Ramsey (Wyatt Halliwell); Jenya Lano (Inspector Sheridan); J. Lamont Pope (Mike); John Todd (Elder); Kerry O'Malley (Nurse Ann); Gildart Jackson (Gideon)
Writer Curtis Kheel Director James L. Conway


  1. Agreed on all points. Really annoying season but saved by a well-executed finale. I do remember enjoying part 1 much more though and finding this a bit of a letdown. Nevertheless, after this season, any improvement was welcome!

  2. I remember when I fist saw this episode it was months after part 1, and after the start of the seventh season so I all of the shock was gone, with Gideon and Chris' deaths. I did love it though, and I loved it this time around as well.

    Great reviews, and well done on another season completed!

    I'm curious to read your thoughts on the Avatar arc next season. I'm gonna leave the majority of my own opinions 'till my reviews are up, but I'm interested to see what you made of the moral ambiguity of it. And of course, the idea of you tearing into season 8 is a very exciting prospect...

  3. I really liked the Avatar arc, and I get pretty praising during that middle stretch of season seven. Which surprised me...

  4. Funny, I wasn't saddened by the death scene at all - I was cheering! I guess I never believed a word Chris said, so when Leo left Wyatt behind with him, I was certain that Chris was going to FINALLY murder Wyatt! So I was *so* relieved when it was Chris who got murdered instead. But for LEO to become evil for a maniac who wasn't even his true son (Piper was giving birth to *his* son)... I was *so* hoping that what Gideon said - "You don't know what you're doing" (another favorite line) proved to be prophetic and was very disappointed when it wasn't.