Previously: Prodigal fathers and an ice cream truck.
Blinded by the Whitelighter
Stephanie: Morning in the Halliwell kitchen. Piper makes breakfast while Prue ruins the breakfasty mood with a stinky potion she’s brewing for Phoebe’s meeting with a DA investigator.
Leo comes in for our regular dose of relationship dramz and argues with Piper about being late for dinner the night before. His defense is that he’s an angel with angelic duties to take care of. Sometimes he has to disappear and can’t talk about why. Piper channels her anger into her breakfast chopping and cuts her finger. Leo, once again, ignores the rule about only using his powers on wounds inflicted by evil and heals her.
Phoebe comes in, nervous about her investigation meeting. Prue offers her a solution: a potion that she can pour into the DA investigator’s (Reece) coffee to find out if he’s a demon. If he is, the potion will make his throat constrict. That sounds like a good way to accidentally kill a regular dude.
Marines: He’s either a demon or you are a murderer so I can see how this potion is v useful.
Stephanie: Phoebe’s more nervous about her demon boyfriend being investigated than the investigator being a demon himself. Prue advises her to just make sure she doesn’t blurt out, “I killed Cole.” The light-hearted tone she uses when she says this seems pretty insensitive considering she thinks her sister’s boyfriend is dead. Leo suggests practicing saying that Cole is alive and well as far as she knows. She does and makes shifty eyes. Prue asks if she’s sure there’s nothing for the investigator to find and Phoebe is like, “nope, bye.”
San Fran’s hottest hangout spot, an abandoned alley. A woman runs, pursued by a low budget street magician. He tosses a magic flame at her and she deflects it with her own magic. When he speaks, I immediately recognize him as the voice of my video game boyfriend Alistair from Dragon Age. My fondness for this character is conflicting with whatever is happening on my screen right now. On the bright side, I’ve got all kinds of Alistair gifs saved for such an occasion.
Me too, Al. Me too.
Mari: I’ve never played Dragon Age before, but I’m kind of in love with Geralt, so I know the voice actor/fictional character struggle.
Stephanie: Huh. I cannot imagine Geralt’s voice coming out of that man. He looks like a pleasant next-door neighbor and not at all like a gruff monster hunter. Voice actors, please start dressing like your characters so there’s less confusion. Thank you.
ANYWAY, The witch says that Alistair can’t hurt her because she’s real good at magical deflection. Alistair gets cocky and throws in another fireball, which she magics back at him, causing him to burn away. The witch is relieved for about 2 seconds before Alistair reappears behind her and holds a knife to her turtleneck. He’s picked up this cloning power from another witch he’s killed. He stabs her and absorbs her power too. A White Lighter orbs in to assist, but it’s too late. Alistair says he’ll see her later and disappears with the most bizarre clanging sound effect. Kind of sounds like someone banging a pipe against a piece of metal. Weird.
I AM THE SAHN.
Back at the manor, Piper fills Leo in on her plans for the day. For some reason, a newspaper wants to do a story on her boring club. She also has a meeting with dot-com start-up guys who want to do an internet thingie. Those are her exact words. Piper tries to squeeze some information out of Leo about his day, but he won’t budge. She launches into a rant about being sick of all of the rules and finishes by saying she thinks the Powers won’t ever let them get married. Leo leans in for a comfort kiss, but they’re interrupted when the lady White Lighter from earlier orbs in behind them with a dagger.
Prue comes in, notices the dagger, and prepares to leap over the table and attack while yelling “ATHAME! ATHAME!” I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, but the whole thing is comically out of character for Prue.
The White Lighter alert is news to Leo since he missed the mandatory morning meeting. He uses needing to heal Piper’s finger as an excuse. (M: Any excuse to get out of a Monday morning staff meeting hello.) Lady Lighter reminds him that healing is restricted to demon inflicted injuries. THANK YOU!
They start arguing at each other by clucking their tongues frantically. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
Phoebe has her meeting with Reece at a diner. As he orders a bagel for her, she slips a few drops of the demon detecting potion into his coffee. When he drinks it, he starts to cough, but it’s just his allergies. He notes that Phoebe picking a crowded place to meet suggests that she’s afraid of something. She insists that she isn’t afraid of Cole. Reece explains that she should be since Cole’s a fraud who only exists on paper. Plus, he had a Cabinet of Evil in his apartment and blood on his carpet. Phoebe insists again that she doesn’t know anything and gets up to leave. Reece warns that she and her sisters could be in danger if Cole’s still alive. Phoebe gives him a dirty look as if he’s the one being an asshole for doing his job. Ugh.
Mari: Why did they have this meeting and why did she attend if she was going to order a bagel, get up and walk away? That’s not any less suspicious than taking a call or something.
Stephanie: And why do they think this guy might be a demon? As usual, I don’t understand anything.
Manor. Prue and Piper read up about deflection powers. They learn that deflection in a warlock’s hands will act as a shield against witches. Leo and Lady Lighter speculate on how he was able to take this power, finishing each other’s sentences, and eventually coming to the conclusion that he can clone himself. Piper is visibly irritated by this.
Prue then searches for warlocks with cloning abilities and lands on the entry for Alistair. In addition to the stolen cloning, he can shape-shift. Prue says that his witch killing pattern shows that he probably has a master plan. Piper uselessly adds in that stopping him is a matter of finding out what that plan is. No shit. Good problem solving.
Lady Lighter tries to kick Prue and Piper out so that she and Leo can privately discuss how to handle the situation. Piper’s irritation reaches max level and she freezes Lady Lighter to complain about how bossy she is. Leo thinks organizational influence from one of the top White Lighters isn’t such a bad idea. Besides, she’s just being cautious because she lost her charge. Piper storms out of the room and unfreezes Lady Lighter with an attitude. Leo follows so that they can argue more. Prue excitedly informs Lady Lighter that Piper froze her. What is up with Prue today?
Mari: Buy a dildo, Piper, and stop stealing time from your boyfriend, jeez.
Stephanie: For reals.
Piper explains that she’s jealous that this woman gets to see all the parts of his life that she can’t. There are too many rules that exclude her and wah wah wah. She finishes her whining by saying that the one thing she’s learned from being a Halliwell is that you don’t keep secrets. Of course, master keeper of secrets, Phoebe, chooses to come in at that moment. She asks to speak with Leo, but he tells her to go meet Lady Lighter first. Phoebe notes the awkward relationship tension and leaves.
In the other room, Prue waves a crystal over a map to find the warlock. The crystal falls, locating the Alistair in the industrial district. Phoebe comes in and has a vision of Alistair killing a He-Witch. Prue is ready to head on over, confident that they can take him and his clone on, but Lady Lighter insists that they can’t just go running in with a half-assed plan. They need to consult with The Powers That Be first. It’s cute that she thinks this isn’t how they plan things all the time. Lady Lighter brings up that Alistair’s master plan might be to steal all of their useful powers. I mean, imagine if he got his hands on Phoebe’s hovering ability. I shiver at the thought.
Prue concedes, and Lady Lighter orbs out. When she’s gone, Prue says she only did that to get rid of her. Leo begins to protest, but Piper guilts him into being on their side. What a wonderful and healthy relationship they have.
Warehouse. Alistair is chanting and the P-Mobile comes screeching in. They all hop out and attempt to use their powers but he deflects and disappears. Piper announces, “he’s deflecting!” Thanks for that. They wonder where the he-witch from Phoebe’s vision is when a dude orbs in. Leo is like, “oh shit, it’s a Dark Lighter!” Dark Lighter pulls out a crossbow to shoot Leo, but he orbs away. Phoebe kicks him and Piper freezes him. Alistair pops up and sets the Dark Lighter on fire, then takes the crossbow and disappears again.
The P’s return home and Leo is confused when they tell him that Alistair killed a Dark Lighter instead of attacking them. Lady Lighter orbs in to tell them not to go after Phoebe’s vision because the he-witch is bad. They tell her that’s because he’s a Dark Lighter. Lady Lighter scolds them for going off and being reckless. She reminds them of their obligation to serving the greater good. The tinkly call of TBTB plays and Leo tells the girls to lay low while they go answer. He and Lady Lighter disappear holding hands. Piper is like, WTF? (M: Does Leo need help crossing the street…?)
Completely ignoring all the warnings not to do anything, they discuss their next move. Phoebe volunteers for book duty, while Prue offers to make a flowchart (LOL). Piper says she’ll help with the flowchart, but only because she wants to get rid of Lady Lighter. Yes, that’s what’s important right now.
Phoebe starts her book duty by flipping to the entry on Darth Cole. Good grief.
Up in the heavens, all the White Lighters are clicking away and wearing white jogging outfits. Lady Lighter is concerned by Leo’s casual attitude and the fact that he’s kept his jeans on. She’s also concerned that his love for the P’s, particularly one P, is clouding his judgment and making him blind to how sloppy and emotional they are. He says that’s what makes them so great. If you say so, Leo. (M: I’d like to argue but they do always defeat the bad guy easily in the last 10 minutes.) Lady Lighter admits that she’s paying attention to his relationships because TPTB want to know whether or not they’re getting in the way of him doing his job. Leo orbs away when he hears Phoebe’s voice calling. The reception up there is great.
Leo arrives back at the manor and Phoebe sits him down after confirming that their conversation will be 100% confidential. She finally confesses that she didn’t vanquish Cole because, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, her heart knew he wouldn’t try to kill them. She expects Leo to understand because he knows a thing or two about forbidden love. Leo’s actor is trying so hard to convey just how appalling this situation is supposed to be and it’s hilarious.
Leo is pissed that Phoebe would even try to compare their situations and starts yelling about how she has no idea whether or not Cole will show up again and try to kill them. He asks Phoebe why she even bothered to tell him this and she gets choked up when she says she was hoping for guidance and support. Leo says that’s what got them into this mess in the first place and walks out.
Mari: I can’t really tell who we are supposed to side with because Leo is stupid but also Phoebe did let a killer go free so.
Stephanie: I choose to side with no one because I don’t like anybody.
As Leo walks down the hall, something causes him to double over in pain. Everyone comes out to see what’s going on and he says he can feel a witch being hurt.
We then transition to Alistair stabbing a witch, but not killing her. He says that he’s not after her powers. Instead, he’s using her to lure her White Lighter to him.
Transition back to pained Leo. I guess Prue’s flowchart did its job because she has somehow pieced everything together. She explains that Alistair killed a Dark Lighter so that he could get the crossbow and kill a White Lighter. Lady Lighter orbs in to confirm that the injured witch is indeed a trap. Alistair wants to steal the orbing power so he can travel to the heavens and kill all the White Lighters, leaving the witches vulnerable. The heavens have gone into total lockdown and Lady Lighter and Leo are the only ones with permission to keep orbing to help fight.
Back with the injured witch-bait, Alistair sits about bored and disappointed that her White Lighter doesn’t seem to give a shit about her. Witch-Bait says that they’re on to him. Alistair is pleased to hear this because it means they’ll send witches after him, and with witches come White Lighters. Bad news for Witch-Bait though, since he no longer needs her. He delivers a killing stab and we switch back over to Leo overwhelmed by his Witch Feels. He announces that she’s dead.
Later, the P’s discuss the situation in the kitchen over coffee. It always amuses me how casual they are about people dying. Oh, we have to stop a Very Bad Warlock? Hold on, let’s brew some coffee first. Prue says they need to be working on a vanquishing potion. Piper is most concerned that her boyfriend is now one of the main targets. This woman. (M: Almost impressive how she does that, really.) They join Lady Lighter and Leo, and Leo announces that Lady Lighter will be taking over his duties because he’s too full of feelings to be a good guide.
Phoebe starts to interject, thinking this is her fault, and everyone turns to stare at her. Leo stops her before she can say more. As usual, no one says anything about Phoebe’s weirdo behavior. Leo takes Piper aside and tells her that he’s going to go on heavenly lock down and to follow Lady Lighter. Piper huffs and rolls her eyes like an adult baby. I wonder if Leo just thinks this is normal behavior for a woman in her late 20s because he’s so much older than her. Anyway, Leo rudely orbs away mid-kissing.
Lady Lighter tells the girls to channel their anger at the warlock and stop focusing so much on themselves. Wow. Is this show being a tiny bit self aware? She says they need to prepare and that includes getting some fighting outfits that don’t include tacky 90’s halters.
This transitions us to the P’s wearing workout clothes and doing stretches. Piper says she’s only following along because she wants to be able to get married. Holy shit, I hate Piper so much. Lady Lighter gets all up in their faces like a bootcamp instructor and explains their primary goal: get the White Lighter killing crossbow. They talk through how they’ll use their powers to fight Alistair with Lady Lighter shooting down all of their ideas. During all of this, the girls are being annoying by laughing and not taking anything seriously.
Rant time. This scene highlights why these characters irritate me so much. If this were a show about 3 young girls in high school, then their immature behavior would make more sense. I could get over them not wanting to follow a boring White Lighter or wanting to date instead of risking their lives every day. But it just doesn’t work with grown women. They’ve already accepted that demon fighting is part of their lives, so why are they acting like this?
Mari: It highlights a core problem of the show for me and that is the utter lack of friction, tension or believable problems. They are flippant because they easily best everything that comes their way with little to no long-lasting consequences. Even when people die, they don’t care. And it makes the times and things they do care about (boys) seem utterly ridiculous. Lady Lighter comes in here to be like, “uh, maybe you guys should be better at your jobs” and she’s seen as the unreasonable/boring one. I don’t get it. And whoever thought that this was a display of girl power? Wow.
Stephanie: Anyhow, all of this leads into the most bizarre montage of the P’s training. This includes Prue running up a wall (???), Phoebe floating and spinning around, and Piper doing cartwheels while freezing magic balls. Why are the cartwheels necessary?!
P^3. The girls work on their spells for vanquishing Alistair, even though they’d rather vanquish Lady Lighter. Phoebe is annoyed that Lady Lighter needs to approve their spells and implies that what she really needs is to get laid. Sigh. (M: WHO WROTE THIS.)
Dead Witch Point. The P’s huddle in some shrubbery and Lady Lighter orbs in and crouches by the dead witch. Alistair pops in with his weird clanking sound effect and makes his move.
The girls come out and Prue magics the crossbow away. Alistair disappears. Piper grabs the crossbow and they leave, concerned about how easily the fight went down.
The P’s return to the manor with the crossbow and hand it off to Lady Lighter. As she worries about how they didn’t see Alistair anywhere after obtaining the crossbow, the crossbow morphs into smoke and then into Alistair. I was wondering when that shape-shifting ability would come up. The P’s try to fight him with magic but he deflects it all. He stabs Lady Lighter with a crossbow bolt and disappears with her.
The girls call out for Leo and he orbs in, explaining that he watched everything so he knows that they followed the rules and the plan still went sideways. He has a new plan, but it involves breaking the rules. (M: What a twist.)
Alleyway. Alistair tries to get Lady Lighter to die faster with a little death pep talk. After a bit of this, he absorbs her powers and orbs into the heavens. He spots three robed figures and shoots his crossbow. It’s Prue. She turns and pushes the bolt away and Piper freezes it. Phoebe’s powers are useless, so she kicks him into the arrow. Not only did Alistair absorb the White Lighter power, but he’s also got White Lighter vulnerability. The poison will kill him, but the girls don’t have time for that and want to put their vanquishing spell to use. Phoebe is especially excited about her line, “I’m rejectin’ your deflection.” See, moments like this are cute. When they’re whining and acting bratty? Not so much.
Leo comes over proud and not all that bummed about losing his White Lighter bestie. He says going out for the greater good is what she wanted. (M: WHY DON’T THEY CARE ABOUT DEAD PEOPLE?) Prue wants a heavenly tour, but Leo says they need to get out before they get into more trouble.
Long performance at P^3 with much leather legs. Reece left Phoebe a message and she asks if it was urgent but then drops it when her sisters get suspicious. How is Piper feeling about this? Concerned about her boyfriend, of course. He’s been stuck in heaven, possibly getting lectured even after they’ve saved everyone.
Piper gets up to work and Prue asks if there’s something on Phoebe’s mind. She struggles for words and then just says she was worried about Leo too. Leo comes in and Prue gets up to bring Piper back. These characters juggle around too much to make these conversations happen. Leo sits with Phoebe and they both apologize about their discussion earlier. With that settled, Prue and Piper rejoin and Leo breaks the big news: TBTB have lifted their probation and they’re officially engaged. Hooray. Everyone hugs and celebrates. All of this is in slow motion for some reason. I dunno, maybe the episode needed to be five seconds longer?
Mari: Did it really though?
Next time on Charmed: Something with an ex-boyfriend and a wrestling ring in hell? in Charmed S03 E12 – Wrestling with Demons.