Tuesday, January 12, 2010

(4.01 - 4.02) "CHARMED AGAIN" - Retrospective

(4.01 - 4.02) "CHARMED AGAIN" - Retrospective

I just watched the two-part Season 4 premiere, "Charmed Again". I rather liked the first half, which culminated with Paige becoming a Charmed One and the sisters vanquishing Shax. I found the second half of the story to be . . . well, rather badly written. But to give you a picture of my feelings about this episode, I made a list of what I deem as "problems":

1) Why had Grams, Patty and Sam believed that it was necessary to hide Paige's identity from the Elders? Okay, I understand that Sam would not want to find himself in trouble with his superiors. But did all of them actually believe that the Elders would kill an infant, whose only crime was being the progeny of an adulterous affair between a whitelighter and his married charge? Or that they would take Paige away from them? The Elders have no right to do such a thing. At least not to Paige. The worst they could have done was clip Sam's wings. Did maintaining Paige's future as a witch or Charmed spare was more important to Patty and Grams than her being a part of the family?

2) Why would seeing the ghosts of Patty and Grams in the manor's attic lead Inspector Cortez to believe that Piper, Phoebe, Leo and Cole had murdered Prue and Doctor Griffiths? What on earth could the sight of two ghosts lead Cortez to believe that the manor's inhabitants had committed murder?

3) Once the Source (disguised as Shane) was alone with Paige in her apartment, why did he not kill her when he had the chance? Why bother going through the trouble of coercing Paige to choose a path of evil? Come to think of it, why did he not kill Piper and Phoebe at the church? Or all three of them at the Manor? In his final scene with the sisters, he TKs Piper against the staircase, and practically flings Phoebe aside. The only person he really tries to kill is Inspector Cortez. It is obvious that he was more powerful than the Power of Three. In order to kill him, the sisters had to rely on the Power of Three and the spirits of their ancestors. That only tells me that he could have easily kill them and Cole. But he did not bother. Why? Because he wanted Phoebe around to witness Cole's death? Was the Source that much of a moron . . . or what?

4) When the Source wounded Cole, he left the latter at a non-remote roadside for a long time. Yet no one noticed him. Why?

5) Here is something I found confusing. The Source was not able to go into the church due to the warding gargoyle. Yet, the evil warlocks in the episode "When Bad Warlocks Turn Good" were able to walk freely in and out the church. Granted, the church in the S1 episode may not have been protected by gargoyles. But the church in the two episodes looked the same. And when the Source had possession of Cole's body, he was able to enter a church.

6) I also spotted a blooper. When Piper and Phoebe are talking to Paige in P3, at the end of Part 2, Piper is not wearing any earrings. But when they go home she is wearing long black earrings.

7) "The 48-Hour Window of Opportunity" - According to both Leo and Cole, there is a period - "window of opportunity" - in agreed upon by both good (the Whitelighters) and evil (the Demons) where a witch can decide her alliance. Personally, I think this is the dumbest idea ever created by Brad Kern. I find it hard to believe that due to an agreement between the Source's Council and the Elders Council, a new witch is given the free will to choose between good and evil. That witch should have possessed the free will to choose whatever path he or she wants without some damn agreement between whitelighters and demons. And it even harder to believe that once that witch makes his or her choice, he/she will remain either good or evil until death? What utter crap! This "window of opportunity" sounds like something from a fairy tale for children. Apparently, Mr. Kern had failed to remember a certain law of nature - that life is UNCERTAIN and/or there is no real absolute that one can depend upon. There is no certainty that a person will remain on a certain path chosen earlier in his or her life. Even if Paige had chosen evil, her remaining evil would have never been absolute or certain. This where Kern's black-and-white morality really failed him.

8) How is it that Phoebe had failed to see the evil within Leo with those glasses she had created for that particular purpose? Leo had darkness within him, like everyone else. Which is why he ended up being infected by the "Deadly Sins" in the Season 3 episode, "Sin Francisco", like the Halliwells. Two seasons later, Leo will end up committing an act of evil with his murder of Elder Gideon. Phoebe should have seen his inner darkness, as well as Cole's. After all, there is such a concept as "the fallen angel".

Well, that's it. Granted, some of the episodes from Seasons 1-3 were not that hot. But I do believe that "Charmed Again" signaled the moment when the show's writing threatened to start becoming less than mediocre.

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