Fade up on two before-and-after photos of Piper Halliwell. The after is the Piper we all know and tolerate. The before, from her days at Baker High ten years ago, is supposed to be truly hideous: tacky headband holding back limp, apparently unwashed hair, large round tortoiseshell glasses, a mouthful of braces, a pink fuzzy sweater, too much lip gloss, and acne. It sounds awful, doesn't it? But remember, this is Holly Marie Combs we're talking about here. They can try to geek her up, but the bone structure is still there, and that acne looks painfully fake. In other words, I'm not buying it. The camera cuts to Prue and Leo, evaluating the two photos, which are part of a larger grouping of before-and-afters of the Baker High class of 1990. Prue is telling Leo to cut Piper a little slack if she seems to be overly neurotic about her high-school reunion, as high school was "hard" for Piper. "Really hard," Prue emphasizes as we get an extreme close-up of Piper the Geek. Prue whips her head around to face Leo, telling him Piper was "kind of like Jan Brady. You know, the middle sister. Not quite sure where she fits in." Leo: "Jan who?" Didn't see that coming, did ya, kids?
"Ready or not, here I come!" Piper calls down from upstairs, and Prue hustles Leo over to the foot of the staircase, reminding him to be supportive, no matter what Piper ends up looking like. Piper scuttles down to the landing, and she looks -- wait for it -- awful. The camera pans up from her black ankle-strap pumps to take in the knee-length, tight, spaghetti-strapped, marabou-trimmed black lace-and-satin sheath Piper has squeezed herself into. The dress looks like a novelty lampshade from the 1950s. The accessories consist of a chunky bracelet, a thin jeweled choker, and dangly cubic zirconium earrings. The hair's a little big, as well. Prue smarms out an insincere "you look great" through gritted teeth, which Leo modifies with "really really really great." Piper, not buying it, tells Leo two "reallys" would have sufficed. More of Prue and Leo lying to Piper about her appearance, which leads Piper to snit that she'll end up winning the prize for "most likely to frighten people away at the door" at that evening's reunion. Piper, hon, you don't look that bad. You should just think twice before raiding Phoebe's closet in the future.
Piper pouts her way over to the hall mirror, with Leo limply trailing behind her, flaccidly offering words of reassurance and reminding her that reunions are supposed to be fun. Piper wheels on him, asking him if by any chance he was popular in high school. The Dolt hems and haws until he finally realizes there is "no right answer" to that question as far as Piper is concerned. Piper whines about her geek status ten years ago, claiming she was a nobody at school. Prue moves over to disabuse Piper of that notion, but Piper's not having it, reminding her sister that Prue was class president, and therefore has no idea what it was like "on the other side." Get over it, Piper. In my high school, only the biggest of tools participated in student government. Piper moans some more about wanting to show up the snotty bitches at the reunion, but instead she'll be showing up as a "big-haired freak." Prue tries to calm her a bit, telling her she just doesn't look like herself in her current get-up. Piper replies that if she could attend the reunion as herself, she wouldn't be having a problem at the moment, and storms off into the parlor. The Dolt takes this opportunity to ask Piper if it's a "costume party." Prue shoves him from behind at this. Unfortunately, she doesn't shove him hard enough to cause the sort of skull-crushing injury he deserves.