Currently on Charmed, the most tedious, pointless, and generally stupid pre-credits sequence I have ever had the misfortune to endure on this show, and yes, that includes the KQSF BEACH BASH!! and no, I'm not saying that just because it features no one aside from The Retarded Bimbo and the Dolt. It's because the entire minute and a half is devoted to the dim Dolt lecturing The Retarded Bimbo on the origins of Not!warts -- which no one has ever cared about or ever will care about, EVER -- while The Retarded Bimbo ignores him completely to focus on telekinetically whipping around a set of nunchucks until she sends them crashing through the nonexistent attic's front window, presumably to decapitate some hapless passerby on the sidewalk below. Seriously. That's it. And they renewed this crap...why, exactly?
Back from the credits, we fade up and linger on the Manor façade for the briefest of moments before heading indoors towards the dining room, where we find the table littered with various astronomy texts and photos of Vex Pexter. Yes, "astronomy texts," for Phoebe is such an idiot, she mistakes the actual, honest-to-God science of astronomy for that astrological bullshit in which these ladies are supposedly so well-versed. The camera slides past all of that junk to land on Piper, who's seated in front of a rather large and fairly old sewing machine, attempting to stitch together several yards of gold lamé fabric in a manner suspiciously reminiscent of first-season Lynette Scavo on Desperate Housewives. Much like first-season Lynette -- pre-Ritalin, of course -- Piper's failing miserably. And in a preemptive strike, I'm going to paraphrase Jessica's fabulous recap of that episode and note that if, during the course of the evening, it sounds like I'm skimming over Piper's plotline, guess what? I am. It's boring. If I wanted to watch PTA drama, I would join the PTA. This interests me only if Piper's entire PTA somehow winds up nailed to the ceiling of the school's auditorium with bloody, foot-wide gashes gaping across their torsos before collectively bursting into flame. And if Phoebe and The Retarded Bimbo join them up there? So much the better.
Unfortunately, none of that will be happening tonight. (Ooops. Spoiler!) Instead, Muggy McGowan kicks things off by twitching fitfully down the stairs to enter the dining room clad in a light, summery dress which -- after all of the scurrilous and tawdry gossip surrounding her expulsion from a Los Angeles nightclub this past week -- I can only describe as being "snow white." Raige has arrived on the main floor to bitch about her missing jewelry and her coffee date that morning and NO ONE CARES, RAIGE, before she crosses to the sun porch to annoy the dead-eyed Psycho, who's doing something horrible on the floor with what I'm assuming are the mangled remains of his poor, neglected, and ultimately doomed younger brother. Then again, I didn't look that closely, so maybe the bemulleted one was just banging some toys together. Piper blathers something expository about the Psycho's impending school play, for which she is currently trying to stitch together a costume, and if they're seriously just going to lift an entire subplot directly out of a year-old episode of a far more popular program and dump it into the middle of all this garbage, then they can all rot in Hell. In any event, Raige has parked herself in front of a small mirror so her glamoured Amazonian identity might wonder if it's best to apply a shade of lipstick that complements Raige's actual skin tone or to go with a color better suited for the person the rest of the world can see, and I swear to God, all that Bolivian marching powder has destroyed every last brain cell that was left in that spastic little head of hers, hasn't it? No matter, for it's all just some typewriting crackmonkey's excuse to have Piper rise from her task and stand behind Raige in the reflection so we might catch sight of the new glamour she's chosen for herself after last week's unpleasantness with the police. Piper's new identity is far closer to her actual age, from the brief glimpse we get of her here, and actually resembles Raige's glamour closely enough for the two to pass as sisters. Not that any of you care, I realize. I'm simply trying to be thorough.