Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Charmed: Engaged and Confused (8.16)

I had forgotten how little the Triad factors into season eight, their deaths immediately thrusting Christy center stage for the final battle. Of course, this is also the episode in which Billie is revealed as 'the ultimate power', an enormous slap in the face to everybody who has watched this show for the last eight years. What I find strange is that the writers knew the fan reaction to Billie at this point, and yet still insisted on having her monopolize the season like a bad case of crabs. Kaley Cuoco has never appeared totally comfortable with this material, and it's insane that everybody involved didn't slowly diminish her screentime over the course of the year.

Despite being the source of this episode's title, Paige's marital hijinks were pretty slight. There's something 'off' about the whole thing, anyway, starting with her initial frustration at being engaged, and then the personal gain alert! wedding ceremony. It feels like the show rapidly sped up this entire relationship, and everything feels a little phony as a result. Ivan Sergei is still wonderful, but "meh" all round.

Because everything in the world revolves around Phoebe, the Elders have sent Cupid her way to set her love life back on track. I have no idea why the Elders deem Phoebe the most screwed-over Charmed One when Piper is weeping in a corner over her one-time Elder, full-time frozen husband, but I haven't got enough booze in my system to sustain my will to whine anymore. Gah. Ooh, but I ought to mention that hilariously horrible moment where Billie crucifies Phoebe for not immediately jumping the bones of the handsome stranger she literally just bumped into. Stay classy, show.

Elsewhere, we once again had random demons wanting to "kill the Charmed Ones" in order to "tip the balance between good and evil". It's ridiculous how repetitive this all is. On a similar note, the grand battle at the end of the episode felt a little anticlimactic, especially coming straight after twenty minutes of the sisters panicking over their deadly new enemies. In the end, two members of the Triad are casually blown up, and the day is saved. Boring. D

Guest stars
Ivan Sergei (Henry Mitchell); Larry Cedar (Xar); J.D. Cullum (Minion); Leland Crooke (Candor); Steven J. Oliver (Asmodeus); Soren Oliver (Baliel); Marnette Patterson (Christy Jenkins); Victor Webster (Coop)
Writer Jeannine Renshaw Director Stuart Gillard


  1. I feel like Paige's relationship with Henry wasn't meant to be sped up, but it became obvious by half way through the Season, that as an 8 Season show (with 2 networks merging into 1) that they'd probably not be in the top tv shows to get picked up, and they'd have to wrap things up a little quickly.

    Same thing with Phoebe and Coop. And I have to disagree with the opinion on Phoebe's storyline. I believe you yourself were making note of Phoebe's seeming lack of sensibility in regards to babies, love and all that earlier in the season? I feel like Billie wasn't encouraging her to "jump his bones" in regard to Coop, but was just picking up on Phoebe's seeming disinterest in something she'd spent so long trying to get. Besides the idea of the Elders of all people trying to help Phoebe find love was hilarious for all the reason it sounds (and as Phoebe so hilarious questioned) "How insulting is that!"

  2. In regards to what you wrote about Paige, the vagueness in my review is actually about *mild spoilers* the show's desperation to have all the sisters married with babies by the time the show wraps. They didn't need to speed the story up at all, but the misogynist writers seemingly believe that a woman only reaches her peak with the arrival of a husband and a bunch of kids, and that a series finale without that wouldn't feel right. It's just a whole ton of regressive thinking that leaves me cold.

    My issues with Phoebe's story feed into that, too. Why are babies and husbands so much more important than anything else at this point on the show? Gah.

    Thanks for commenting, by the way.

  3. I think the relationship stuff was a little sudden, but giving all 3 a happy ending, even if that did leave to them getting married, is a much more positive resolution then what we could have gotten. Besides for me personally I feel Henry & Coop had more chemestry with Paige & Phoebe, then Kyle, Glen, Richard, Lesley, Dex & that guy they killed in Season 7's finale all had combined. So that worked for me. :)

  4. I think it's just a matter of personal preference, especially in regards to the finale and how we last see the sisters. I always prefer something a little less obvious than a bunch of people getting married or whatever. It feels, to me, like a generic pattern.