No Cole again this week, so the "secret word" will be not a word, but a patriotic visual cue. You'll know them when you read them. Don't strain your vocal cords.
The opening travelogue is oddly somber in tone, and it's not because it starts with a distant view of the reportedly-imperiled Golden Gate Bridge. Rather than giving us the usual shots of landmarks like the Coit Tower or the Transamerica Pyramid, they've chosen to pan slowly across a tightly-packed array of anonymous skyscrapers under leaden skies as a lone ovary warbles to the tune of a single acoustic guitar. The effect is morbid -- almost as if we're gazing down on an overcrowded cemetery than a city. Over in the gals' part of town, however, Halliwell Manor basks in the sunlight. Up in The Boudoir Of Death, Piper crosses to the bed, whereupon several personal items of the late lamented are artfully arranged. Piper considers a vanity necklace for a moment, then carefully lifts a satin-lined black leather jacket from the comforter. She slowly eases herself into it before crossing to the door. She pauses to examine the room once more, then shuts the door behind her.
Cross-fade to Piper stirring the contents of a mug emblazoned "God Bless America." They're Wiccans. Shouldn't that read "Goddess"? Phoebe enters to spoil the contemplative mood. "Look at me!" she pouts, apparently fresh from the shower. "I look like a drowned rat!" Actually, she wears the wet look well, but this isn't about my opinion, is it? Phoebe wants her hair dryer and she wants it right now. Piper instructs her to suck it up. Phoebe whines that they can't function without electricity. "It's medieval," claims Phoebe. Get it? Medieval? Aren't they clever? Shut up, Phoebe. Piper tries to put a bright face on the situation, noting that at the very least, the gals "are conserving energy." Last year's issue, honey. We finally discover what's been going on when Phoebe blares out something about a "Shocker Demon" who's been plaguing the ladies of late. Piper reminds Phoebe that the Power of Three is necessary for the Shocker Demon vanquish, and with Raige ensconced in her swinging bachelorette pad across town, there's not much the Manor Ps can do about it. Phoebe stomps over to the phone to call Raige. Piper shouts a warning about using the cordless, but it's too late. Bluish sparks leap from the phone. Phoebe drops it, and a stream of lousy CGI effects shoots across the floor, rising eventually into a humanoid form. You remember the crappy "naiad trio" effect from TLC's "Waterfalls" video a few years back? Same thing, only with electricity instead of water. The Crappy CGI Guy leaps onto the center island as Piper darts to Phoebe's side. Crappy CGI Guy vanquishes half a dozen coffee mugs and a spice rack with a spear of energy. Another spear strikes Piper and Phoebe, who are flung backwards through the air. Piper takes out some tchotchkes, while Phoebe's ass vanquishes the low counter and shelves they use for the phone. Piper flings her hands into the air, though it's unclear what effect this has on Crappy CGI Guy other than to force a retreat into a light socket.