Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Charmed: The Torn Identity (8.18)

So Christy's machinations continue. Sure, if Marnette Patterson had a mustache, she'd be twirling it 24/7. And, sure, the sisters come off as bigger fools than normal by entirely missing the insidious evil hanging out in their own damn kitchen, but the story continues to be pretty absorbing. Everybody's behaving in an unbelievable manner purely to service the script (particularly the strangely-unmoved-by-her-parents'-horrible-murder Billie Jenkins, or maybe that's just the terrible acting), but it's nice to see that forward momentum surfacing again. The only issue is that the Charmed Ones are still wrapped up in their assy personal problems, leaving most of the interesting material in the hands of Patterson and her horribly vacant on-screen sis. Stupid show.

It's all sort of obvious, but I liked Christy becoming more overtly crazy, contriving that Piper is some haggy pyromaniac who wants her dead. Billie, she with the intelligence of a bag of dirt, instantly falls for her goop, but while I'm enjoying Christy's budding madness, Billie's anger at the Halliwells for ignoring her personal traumas and attacking her sister comes off as crazily irrational. Are we supposed to hate her by this point? At least Piper seems to have realized that she's a hideous monstrosity who needs to burn to death in a pool of acid and garbage. That is what she's thinking, right? Or am I just projecting?

As previously mentioned, Paige and Phoebe are distracted by two horrible subplots. Paige continues to be the most tired character on this show and has suddenly adopted an identity crisis, explained away with some vague statements about her personality being compromised by becoming somebody's wife. It's ridiculously nonsensical as a story, and quickly becomes yet another excuse for lazy body swaps of some kind. Sure, Paige is actually inside Henry's head here, but it's still an example of the writers plucking a relationship crisis out of nowhere, having wiccan wackiness ensue, followed by some last-minute 'lessons learned' monologue. They have entirely ran out of ideas.

Elsewhere, Phoebe is involved in her most tedious subplot yet. Coop, while rapidly falling in love with Feebs himself, is intent on setting her up with some newspaper asshole (presumably this show's moral being that it's better to slum it by dating some douche than daring to be gross and single), and what follows is a horrible Cyrano knock-off that is neither funny nor entertaining. Can't they just get together already, and spare us these hairbrained courtship storylines?

The assassination of Charmed is now complete, the writers making the Halliwell sisters the worst thing about their own series. Away from their increasingly hackneyed subplots, however, the Christy saga is weirdly fun... in a 'plothole-ridden, Billie-infested mess' kind of way. D+

Guest stars
Marnette Patterson (Christy Jenkins); John Rosenfeld (Pator); Brian Mulligan (Jondar); Ron Melendez (Michael); Ivan Sergei (Henry Mitchell); Victor Webster (Coop)
Writer Andy Reaser Director LeVar Burton


  1. It seems like the remaining 4 episodes won't be rated above a D+ at the rate the show is going. lol

  2. Heh, you might just be pleasantly surprised. I'm not talking A's or anything, but there's definitely some strong material around the corner... shocking, right?

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. I was wondering that same thing...

  4. I feel like Billie as a character was irrational, but I don't feel like it wasn't justified. She just lost her parents, was barely holding it together, and then her sister, who she only just got back, was attacked by Piper. Her grief wasn't obvious, but if the last person you have left family wise is almost killed, it can cause you to go a little crazy. I feel like Billie's so happy to have her sister back, she's ignoring the obvious warning signs (like how quickly Christy seems to be aware of different spells and powers, and aware of key parts of the history of magic)

    And I feel like love is something Phoebe's wanted, but she was with Cole on and off for 2 1/2 seasons when she was around 24 - 26, and after that she was in a relationship for about a Season with Jason. So after ending 2 relationships, badly, both breakups involving magic, I feel like its more then "Phoebe needs a boyfriend". I feel like Phoebe wants to have the happily ever story, fall in love, have a family, and that's something that has been mentioned consistently since Season 2 (the episode with the baby, and the episode with the first Cupid being notable examples)

    The Paige storyline.....meh. I feel like that was more an opportunity to have Ivan Sergei interact with Holly and Alyssa a bit which I'm ok with. Henry interacting with Phoebe and Piper basically never happened. Henry interacting with Wyatt in the Wedding Episode is a highlight for me Season wise.

  5. Man, JDH, your comments always make me feel like a huge douche! Heh. I'm always conscious about slamming this show too much, particularly if I ever let my personal issues bleed into my judgment over whether a character is behaving believably or not, like you wrote.

    It's really interesting reading such vastly different opinions, though, particularly from somebody who (I'm assuming) likes the show a hell of a lot more than I do.

    Thanks for writing!

    1. Haha I apologise for making you feel bad. I can tell you love the show, or at least you did, though your less accepting of the shows problems as I am. I'll admit, it does have some problems, but I try to read into what the characters don't get a chance to say as much as what they do. I always think that we only see like 22 examples of 40 minutes of their lives in a 365/366 day year. :) But yeah I feel like happily ever after is something that as people we strive to do. Seeing characters on tv helps us feel good about it. Besides after Season 1's finale where Andy died, Season 3's finale where Prue died, Season 5's finale where Leo disappeared, Season 6's finale where Chris "died", and Season 7's finale where they gave up their lives to get away from magic, I think a happy ending, for all of them was justified. I'm a big fan of your reviews though maxpower03. I find myself laughing at alot of things you write. :D I look forward to reaching the end :)

    2. Hah! Hey, I get it, absolutely. I think it's more of a problem that I have as a person, and not because of this show itself or anything. I think we put these insane pressures on women, especially in regards to what constitutes happiness for a woman, and a bunch of marriage and babies, to me, kind of promotes that.

      But, yeah, I am conscious that I rag on this show too much, particularly because it's so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and there were far more notable series that promoted that kind of message. Blah.

      And thanks for the compliments, like always, JDH.