And if I never have to dredge up that many links for a single paragraph again, I'll be a happy, happy Demian. ["Thank you for not making a happy, happy Sars do it. Good show." -- Sars]
Down in the center parlor, Raige annoys everyone on the planet while the Psycho gets red in the face with the screaming and the crying and such. Phoebe bounces through the room briefly from above, then storms into the kitchen to confront Piper. "The Avatars didn't tell us everything up front," she blurts. "Pain, grief, mourning -- these are all things we're supposed to feel when we lose someone we love, like [the Dolt]." "He's moved on to a better place," Piper frosts by way of response -- AAAUAUAAAAAAAAGH! -- "and if you don't mind, I'd rather not dwell on such a painful memory." "Listen to me!" Phoebe cries, in an attempt to smack Piper out of it verbally. "[The Dolt] is dead! The Avatars killed him!" "What's gotten into you?" Piper puzzles, still not getting it. "This is what [the Dolt] was trying to show us," Phoebe argues. "[The Dolt] allowed the Avatars to kill him so that we could understand what's going on here." Piper's placid expression begins to crack and her face falls a bit, but she pushes Phoebe's argument aside anyway and turns to exit the room. "Listen to your boys!" Phoebe urges, chasing after her. "That's pain, and that's real." Piper, increasingly addled, flutters around near the doorway and begs Phoebe to stop. "How can you not see this?" Phoebe demands. "The only reason you're okay with this," she continues, referring to Utopia, "is because you wanted to be with [the Dolt], and now they've taken him away?" And Holly Marie Combs gets in the best bit of acting she's done in about a year as Piper's eyes suddenly, unexpectedly become nearly crazed with an overwhelming, walloping grief. Her face crumples as she shakes her head repeatedly and clutches at her temples before pressing her hands against her ears in a failed attempt to block out both Phoebe's words and her children's wails. Finally regaining her voice as her eyes flood with tears, she half-whispers, half-hisses, "But why?" "Why would they do that?" she splutters, her voice hitching with sobs. "Because [the Dolt] caused conflict," Phoebe softly replies, "and this is the only way they could keep Utopia going." Piper gasps, and a cold fury begins to break into her expression. Goddamn, this show is so much better when they stop phoning it in.