Zankou is proving to be one of the most charismatic villains since Cole. Oded Fehr is brilliantly underplaying the character, being snidely and menacing without being melodramatic, making Zankou a real threat in the process. It's also interesting to see a bad guy who has an actual plan with real levels, instead of a 'crush-kill-destroy' method that can only lead to death-by-Charmed One. Once again, the season continues to surprise with its crazy levels of ambition, the Avatar story allowing for profound conversations about cause and effect and the importance of moral duality. Yes, this is the same show that brought us Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun.
Surprisingly, the paranoia spell isn't overplayed by the show, merely allowing the sisters to ask the questions that they probably should have asked already. The story is unfolding intriguingly, everybody so caught up in the glorious promises that the Avatars are making that they're not trying to understand the minutiae of what's actually happening. Like Phoebe asked, what did happen to all the airplanes in the sky? And, like always, the answers she's given are pretty vague.
Brody perished, and while his death wasn't entirely affecting, he was a strong character. In the end, he was just too driven by revenge, and even his trip to the past last week couldn't change that. I wish we knew a little more about his so-called 'evidence' of the Avatar's evilness, though. If it even exists, I mean.
In a lot of ways, this episode really felt like part one of a two-hour story, so there's not a whole lot to really talk about right now. But it's Charmed experimenting for once, reaching a tone of uncomfortable intensity where everything feels a little 'off' but nobody's confident enough to really talk about it just yet. I should also briefly comment on the awesome scope of the hour, especially those impressive shots of San Francisco collectively falling asleep during 'the Change'. B+
Guest stars Oded Fehr (Zankou); Max Perlich (Laygan); Joel Swetow (Alpha); Patrice Fisher (Beta); Ian Anthony Dale (Gamma); Rebecca Balding (Elise Rothman); Kerr Smith (Kyle Brody)
Writer Cameron Litvack Director LeVar Burton