Death Takes A Halliwell

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Demian: B | Grade It Now!
Death Takes A Tango Lesson

Fade up on the waters of the Pacific rippling onshore as seen through the lens of a still camera. The autofocus is off, which is about the most exciting element of the shot. Cut to Prue, lowering the camera from her face as Phoebe babytalks to herself off-screen. Prue turns her attention to her sister, who sits spread-legged behind a rather rudimentary sand castle. "I hereby proclaim this tower of sand Kingdom Phoebeville!" Feebs perks from beneath her pigtails as I roll my eyes into the back of my skull and claw at my ears. Prue kneels to get an astoundingly dull shot of the seashell Phoebe has placed on the top of the castle. As Phoebe beams girlishly, a wave rolls up, splashing Prue's ankles before chewing away at one of the castle's walls. Prue rises and bounds over to Phoebe. Prue's headlights are on, which is appropriate, given that she's barefoot on a beach in Northern California in mid-March, clad only in a t-shirt and a sarong. I can feel the pneumonia coming on just looking at her. "I don't get it," Prue states, as I tell her to join the club. "You just spent an hour of your life building something that is just going to be completely destroyed in five seconds." Given what happens in this episode, I recognize that they're trying to get all metaphorically existential on the audience's collective ass with that line, but they're failing miserably nevertheless. Feebs bounds to her feet, and the two stroll down the beach as Feebs blathers something about "Phoebeville" living on in the minds of those who had grown to love it. Oy, the tsuris. Phoebe asks Prue why she's so opposed to freezing, mid-March beach non-fun. Prue exposits that they're only there to give Piper and the Dolt a little privacy back at the manor, given that the newlyweds have chosen to delay their honeymoon. Phoebe, still with the babytalk, asks Prue if there isn't some deeper problem she has with the outing. Prue natters on about how beaches give her the creeps, as Grams took the sisters to the beach after their mother's funeral to try to get their minds off her death. "Something about the sand and the ocean makes me angry," she allows, as if she needs an excuse to be a bitch. She asks Phoebe if their mother's death doesn't anger her as well. Phoebe replies that it makes her feel "sad," not angry. Prue doesn't "do sad," and reminds Phoebe that she didn't even cry at their mother's memorial service. Phoebe deduces that seeing their mother at Piper's recent wedding set off Prue's current lousy mood, and decides to abandon the beach non-fun in favor of a couple of lattes. Only she does this by pouting out some drivel about "Princess Prue" and "Queen Phoebe" decreeing that "Phoebeville" will be moved inland or something. Don't make me rewind the dialogue again. I've already punctured both eardrums with the blade of my Swiss Army knife, and we're not even two minutes into this episode. Shut up, Phoebe. Please.

Prue thinks the lattes are an excellent idea. As Phoebe runs back to gather up their belongings and Prue turns to photograph a seagull, the shot shifts to another through-the-camera-lens POV. Someone is photographing Prue photographing the birds. That someone is revealed to be Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A Ruth Bader Ginsburg decades younger than the Supreme Court justice we all know and love, but still. Ruth looks fabulous, albeit a little JAPpy, with a tasteful, flowing scarf tied around her neck, tasteful, dangling faux-pearl earrings, and tasteful sunglasses perched on top of her head. Prue inexplicably turns to focus her camera directly on Ruth, and fires off a couple of shots. A ghostly greyish-black smear appears in the frame next to Ruth. Prue lowers her camera to call out to Ruth, but Ruth spins on her heels and scampers off, the smear trailing along behind her. Phoebe bounds over, wondering what's wrong. Prue tells her what she saw, describing the smear as a "demonic shadow." Phoebe asks if the shadow was "like a Woogy." Prue notes the smear was "way spookier" than the Woogyman. I beg to differ, having seen the Woogyman in the second-season premiere, but my protest falls on deaf ears. Prue tells Phoebe she's pretty sure she got a picture of the smear. Phoebe supposes the lattes are off, and announces to no one in particular, "Looks like there's a new demon in town."

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