Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Charmed: 12 Angry Zen (8.14)

This cribs elements from both Enter the Demon and Sword and the City, but remains mildly entertaining. It's a story that rests on obvious familiarity (possessed sisters, a mythical trinket of some kind), and despite a bunch of errors and gaps in logic throughout the script, I kind of liked this one. Maybe it's just Piper being center stage that piques my interest, being the only sister that appears invested in anything anymore. Even before they were possessed, both Phoebe and Paige seem so driven by their own personal investments and couldn't care less about their powers or their responsibilities. Considering they're the only sisters who haven't got a popsicle of a husband waiting in the wings, it makes them look even worse by comparison.

I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, but I hate Billie's new power. It's the biggest magic advancement we've ever seen on this show, and I dislike that it's been handed to this crone. Then again, it would suck regardless of whoever got their hands on it. Where's the drama in having somebody just think really hard and making whatever happen? -- "Demons? Sure, I'll just think and make them explode". Blah.

The show also seems to be struggling with Paige and Henry, even if they have a ton of chemistry together. This is the latest episode to have them wrapped up in some mundane subplot, and while Ivan Sergei is the most charismatic actor to recur on this show in an age, there's a 'blah'-ness to his side stories. To be fair, I loved their cute scene with Paige drawing the cop/demon caricatures, but everything else tired me out.

I should also mention that I really like Phoebe's new apartment, purely because it's a new set. I'm so tired of this show's dwindling budget meaning that all we see is the Manor, Magic School, the top of the Golden Gate Bridge and the two yards of studio backlot. New digs just open the show up a little. It felt pretty claustrophobic when everything was restrained to the same locales time and time again.

There's nothing particularly new or exciting about 12 Angry Zen, but it wasn't a total crock. At this point, I am pretty eager for the show to wrap up, though. Or at least break out of this mid-season funk. C

Guest stars
Ivan Sergei (Henry Mitchell); Julian Ovenden (Novak); Clyde Kusatsu (Lo Pan); Tony Lee (Dog); Mark Adair-Rios (Magnus)
Writer Cameron Litvack Director Jon Paré

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