While this is pretty good, it would be foolish to not acknowledge that Death Becomes Them could have been a hell of a lot better. The central conceit for the hour revolves around innocents that were lost, and the guilt that manifests in the Charmed Ones when Zankou brings them back from the dead. The sucky thing being that two of the three zombies are introduced literally twenty minutes before they're zombified, while season three 'lost innocent' Inspector Davidson was more a victim of Prue's decision making, and not so much Phoebe's. It's just a little annoying that behind-the-scenes sniping prevented somebody like Shannen Doherty returning, since that would have made a ton more sense from a storytelling perspective. Then again, Andy or some illusion of Chris could have made interesting zombies, even Charisma Carpenter's Seer. Eh. The whole thing feels like a missed opportunity in that regard.
However, the ideas are there. And that's something positive. The sister's selfish behavior has been one of those things that has really frustrated me over the years, and it's nice to see them feeling guilty for once. The problem is that the show doesn't really allow the sisters to be portrayed too negatively in the A-plot, since Tim's death is accidental and Joanna was forcibly prevented from screaming for Paige. The episode could have been better if somehow the sisters were called out on their everyday selfishness, like their obnoxious treatment of Darryl (sample dialogue: "What do you mean he won't drop everything to help us??") or Phoebe's way of making Tim's murder all about her own bad luck with men. Ugh. Hell, kill Darryl all-together. That would have probably created something juicy and actually personal for the sisters.
If I'm having too much of a downer on this episode, I should say that, for what it was, it sort of worked. Zankou's machinations here are far more absorbing than the weak filler material they gave him back in Scry Hard, and I love that his devious plans are far more elaborate and complicated than everyday antagonists on this show. Oded Fehr is also irresistibly smooth and charming in the part, and you totally buy that he'd always get the upper hand. Obviously his enemies are three jiggly morons, but you get what I mean. C+
Guest stars Oded Fehr (Zankou); Jenya Lano (Inspector Sheridan); John Kassir (Alchemist); Sandra Prosper (Sheila Morris); Keith Diamond (Reece Davidson); Colin Egglesfield (Tim Cross); Laura Regan (Joanna)
Writer Curtis Kheel Director John Kretchmer