Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Charmed - Styx Feet Under 

In this week's rip-off episode (okay, so it was last week's - I'm a little behind), Charmed tackles Meet Joe Black, Death Takes a Holiday, Dead Like Me and various Twilight Zone type scenarios in which Death can't or won't do its job and the whole cosmic plan gets fouled because of all the Dead Men Walking.

Some half-demon (Sirk - FYI: In Death Takes a Holiday, Death takes on the persona of Prince Sirki while he's on vacation) is trying to shed his human half by means of killing every human to whom he's related. Paige casts a protection spell on the last scion, but all it does is keep the demon's Army officer cousin from dying even though he's got a giant hole through his midsection. Death then arrives on the scene in a snit, because in the latest version of the Charmed universe, he has to collect the souls IN THE ORDER THEY APPEAR ON HIS LIST!!!!! Until he collects Army Guy's soul, no one else can die. Well, they die, but not really.

By the way, Charisma Carpenter is the one guiding Sirk in his quest to shed his humanity. Very limited role this time, not very exciting.

Sirk convinces Death to work with him to their mutual benefit, and Death decides that desperate times call for desperate measures. Once Army Guy's soul has been Hoovered and escorted to the light, Death smacks down Piper. Literally. She face plants on the sidewalk. It cracked me up. And Paige just left her body lying there while she and Piper's now black-trenchcoated soul argued with Death in the middle of a public street. Agent Brody is standing nearby at the Army Guy's investigation scene, and witnesses Paige talking to no one while her dead sister lies there unattended.

So Death's gotten a bit behind what with the bottlenecking of souls, so has conscripted Piper to assist with the collecting. Which must be done IN THE ORDER THEY APPEAR ON HIS LIST!!!!!! Paige is assigned the duty of convincing Darryl to stave off Piper's autopsy long enough for her to finish up and pop back in.

You may be wondering why I've been emphasizing the whole ORDER thing. It's because it's a crappy plot point. The souls have to go in order, but when "circumstances" change, the order will change. For instance, Piper gets her list in time to see Phoebe's name suddenly appear a the head of the class. Circumstances changed, and Sirk's a-gunnin' for the Charmed Ones. Turns out he's also gunnin' for the newly discovered unborn child of his previously mislabeled last scion cousin. Did anyone not see that coming when the Dead Man Walking was saying goodbye to his wife outside a prominently labeled "Medical Office?"

But back to the crappy plot point - what about when Piper's ghost boyfriend from Chinatown was eluding the scary Chinese lost soul collector until his body was properly identified and buried? Was the scary lost soul collector just another manifestation of death? Why did he only get the lost souls? Ghost Boyfriend ended up going with the other soul collector, so who was that? And what about all the other people in the world who weren't dying while the Charmed Ones were running around helping Ghost Boy?

Back to this episode and its own unique twists - Phoebe and the mother to be head to the protective walls of Magic School, but Sirk can get in after he kills Paige (yes, he killed Paige) because of the various powers he's been collecting (not worth explaining). But they TRICK him, and hit him with a demon stripping potion, leaving him dead and human. But he's NOT ON THE LIST!!!!!!! So they strike a deal with Death, who exchages Paige's soul for Sirk, because you see the Charmed Ones changed the circumstances, but it didn't change the names on the list because... See what I mean? Sigh.

Paige's soul pops back into her recently dead body, which by the way is still on the ground in the garbage strewn alley where she died. Yep, they just left her there. She doesn't seem to mind, though, and just gets up and brushes herself off. I know she's already trying to think of how to get herself out of trouble for the post death confessions she made to Piper about various clothing items and accessories Paige stole from her.

Piper, meanwhile, pops back into her body at the morgue. She's been dead for at least a day or two at this point, but somehow doesn't seem to be stiff or in early decomposition or anything. But Agent Brody is waiting there for her, sitting on a chair in the corner of the darkened morgue, on the off chance that he can catch Piper returning from the dead. He then throws the whole you owe me, we're on the same side, bladdy-blah, and leaves.

I think Leo, Phoebe and Lesley might have been in there somewhere too, but I just don't care. I would have preferred Tru Calling over this piece of hooey.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:15 AM