Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Charmed: Ordinary Witches (7.11)

Ordinary Witches straddles two storylines that are both entirely necessary, but both feel somewhat padded out to fill time. What remains absorbing is the Avatar arc and the inevitable questions it brings. Who are the Avatars to decide what actually is good or evil? Like Piper said, is burnt toast something bad enough to be removed from existence in this utopian paradise? The entire story arc itself is riddled with plotholes, and for once the characters are actually acknowledging that fact. It's a ridiculously strong premise.

Brody and Paige's trip to the past was fine, if a little underwhelming. It would have been interesting if the Avatars had killed his parents, as that would have opened up a whole new can of worms, but I guess it's as interesting that it was simply a couple of demons that did it. So is Brody just crazy? Regardless of his history? Eh. What is pretty notable is Jon Hamm's little guest spot, which ranks up there with Amy Adams' season two role among this show's random day players who are now huge stars. Hate that haircut, though. Ugh.

The 'misplaced powers' thing is major standalone material. While it had a couple of amusing moments, it felt like the show biding time for next week's big Avatar episode. It's understandable, but power swaps and 'wacky wiccan hijinks' like that are crazily tired by now.

This is nowhere near as strong as the last couple of episodes, but the major themes of the season are still in play, and it's that sense of ambition that's keeping the show afloat, regardless of magic-of-the-week subplots remaining pretty dull. C+

Guest stars Oded Fehr (Zankou); Max Perlich (Laygan); Joel Swetow (Alpha); Patrice Fisher (Beta); Jon Hamm (Jack Brody); Jessica Steen (Ruth Brody); Brian Howe (Ronny); Anne Dudek (Denise); Bruce Gray (Kheel); Elizabeth Dennehy (Sandra); T Lopez (Allison); Peter Woodward (Aku); Kerr Smith (Kyle Brody)
Writer Mark Wilding Director Jonathan West

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