I'd like to start by saying that I think this might be the best episode Charmed has ever produced. I'd like to continue by saying that it's also quite good, which would, with many shows, follow logically from my first statement. This one? Not so much. But really, I have very little to say against this ep -- it's tight, both on the story and editing fronts, the pacing is excellent, it's dramatically satisfying, and did I mention there's no Dolt? I think the only episode I've seen that's on a par with this one is "All Hell Breaks Loose", but given that the story for that ep is sorta kinda completely ripped off from this one...hey, I've got myself a poll question! Anyway, let's get to it.
Streetcar. Oh, look, I lied. WE KNOW WHAT CITY THEY'RE IN. Establishing shot of a building wherein the now-exposed-as-a-demon-like-there-was-ever-any-doubt Inspector Rodriguez is poring over...pictures of the Charmed ones. There's no time to be bored, however, as the fireplace in the middle of the room flares up and a hooded figure materializes from it. Rodriguez gets on his knees, and if you think of it in terms of relative acting ability, the action's entirely appropriate. Anyway, it turns out the hooded figure is not the Source, which you might think at first if you came to the show late, but "Tempus," mentioned in later episodes, but here revealed to be David Carradine. Rather pretty coup for the show in retrospect, or rather embarrassing IMDb entry for Dave? You decide. Rodriguez is shocked that Tempus is there, and the meta-commentary is obvious, but he explains that Rodriguez wasn't worthy until now, and impatiently and amusingly beckons him to his feet. He goes on that he's been sent to Rodriguez "as a gift," and no offense, but I wouldn't want to read any fan fiction spawned by that line. Tempus punctuates that by grandly tossing off his cape, but the gesture is somewhat diminished by what he's wearing underneath, which makes him look like a Romulan on Star Trek: TNG who just decided that red and black was working a lot better for him than grey that day. Rodriguez asks who sent him, and Tempus answers, "I think you know who." Jennie Garth? Well, it seemed like a good guess at the time. Anyway, Rodriguez gets all shirty with Tempus, saying he can defeat the Charmed ones on his own. Tempus manages to convey "Prue would eat your eyeballs for breakfast and wear your guts for garters to boot" with a single smirk. I told you he was good. Tempus asks for a little backstory for those members of the audience who think the show is set in Las Vegas. (Never. Again.) Rodriguez supplies it, and then smirks that Tempus must already know it all, as the story is what makes him so worthy. Carradine's not much for second-rate smirking, however, as he sharply smacks Rodriquez down for his insolence. Looking at his pocket watch, Tempus exposits that the next day is Wednesday, and he wants Rodriguez to get all the sisters together in one place before midnight, and to give them his best shot. He goes on that should Rodriguez fail, he'll be there to help him learn from his failures. Hee. He clearly thinks Rodriguez is a bumbling fool, but he's under orders to help him. He asks Rodriguez how he plans to get them together, and the other smirks, "Trudeau." Stop with the smirking, ass.