Previously on Charmed, The Change occurred, but the Best Demon Ever had "planted a seed" of discord; Brody toyed with an unusually evocative snow globe; Uniqua sporked Brody, but not before he unleashed the last deadly vial of tendrilly Avatar doom, which killed her in return; and Raige was oddly okay with her bulging boyfriend's violent death. Meanwhile, the Dolt got a new temporary nickname, and was oddly perturbed. About Raige's attitude, I mean, not the new temporary nickname.
Currently on Charmed, we fade up on an overhead shot of a four-way intersection, through which cars glide in a seemingly flawless and perfectly choreographed flow, their drivers apparently no longer needing the guidance of stoplights. Pity, then, about the scene waiting to unfold that contradicts what this opening shot implies. Maybe I'll just ignore the screw-up when the time comes. After all, this is the best of all possible worlds, isn't it? Even though I still hate Phoebe. Bitch. The shot cuts to take in two lines of school kids high-fiving each other as the lines pass through a crosswalk to opposite sides of the street. Over at a nearby bus stop, three mildly smiling extras page through magazines as I'm Not Candy ambles through the background of the frame, followed by No Name and Dolta. I'm Not Candy and No Name blather a bit about the universal lightening of humanity's mood wrought by The Change as the three men continue down the sidewalk, and we get another supposed example of this when eight or nine passersby stoop to gather up the bagful of oranges a woman's spilled on the pavement opposite. I'm Not Candy reminds Dolta that "conflict" is "the one thing [Utopia] cannot abide." Dolta, by the way, looks like a complete jackass, as he's decided to imitate his new best buds' fashion sense by turning up the collar of his overcoat and buttoning the thing all the way up to his neck, turning it into a very long Nehru jacket. Moron. In any event, Dolta's still disturbed by the Glamorous Ladies' collectively listless reaction to Brody's death, and so harbors some lingering doubts regarding this brave new world. I'm Not Candy and No Name too jovially brush off Dolta's concerns, but I'm Not Candy does encourage Dolta to return to the Manor to confirm that the Ps are "better off" now. "It's all good, [Dolta]," I'm Not Candy soothes with that creepy-ass grin of his spreading across his face. "It's all...genuine." "Once you're satisfied," No Name chimes in, "it is important you return to us." "Why?" Dolta buhs. "The Collective has been drained of power," No Name reminds him. "The sooner you're reassured -- satisfied," I'm Not Candy continues, "the sooner you can join us and help us maintain all of this. We have much work to do, [Dolta]." "What kind of work?" Dolta suspiciously side-eyes. I'm Not Candy takes the briefest of ominous pauses before freshening his "smile" and answering, "You'll see." "When you're ready," I'm Not Candy concludes, "you'll sense where to find us." And with that, I'm Not Candy and No Name part to let Dolta shuffle past them down the sidewalk and out of the frame.
As Dolta vanishes, the sounds of a heated argument reach I'm Not Candy and No Name from across the street. Some mouthy Angry White Male is loudly disputing a traffic ticket he's about to receive from a cop as his much put-upon wife whines for him to calm down and get back in the car. Angry White Male's complaint? "The light was yellow." So, you know, if they're still using traffic lights, I have no idea what was up with that bit of automotive choreography at the top of the hour. The automotive choreography was sort of cool, though, so the stupid crack monkeys should have had this tool, I don't know, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, or something. God, I hate this show. Angry White Male gets audibly mouthier as works himself into a lather, demanding the cop's name and badge number and whatnot. The cop, incidentally, remains preternaturally calm throughout, rather than beating the lippy bastard to a bloody pulp with his nightstick, as I would be wont to do were I in a similar situation. I'm Not Candy shoots a troubled glance at No Name before the two refocus their attention on the Angry White Male, who promptly disappears. As in, he dematerializes completely from the street. You know, like a vanquish, only without the smoke and the sparks and the flame and the ungodly caterwauling and all. A sharp musical cue involving a brief blare of discordant horns hits the soundtrack as I'm Not Candy and No Name descend a set of stairs into the opening credits.