After the talkiness of last week's two-hour season premiere, tonight's episode starts promisingly enough with the Halliwell SUV tearing through a random neighborhood somewhere in the city. Inside, Cole's at the wheel, Piper's playing navigator while riding shotgun, and Phoebe busies herself in the backseat by whooping and hooting and yodeling every time Cole turns a corner. "Turn left up here," Piper instructs, "and could you step on the gas?" Cole shoots her a dirty look, but complies. He nearly plows the SUV into a yellow cab in the process, eliciting more whooping, hooting, and yodeling from Feebs. "Off the gas! Off the gas!" she yells, batting Cole on his shoulder. He tells her to shut it and let him drive. Atta boy. Piper snaps something about "the demon" not waiting for them to arrive to "vanquish him." Phoebe gets fresh with the exposition. Piper's been "scrying" for demons all week, and while they've vanquished all the ones they've encountered thus far, this is primarily thanks to Cole and his dexterous delivery of Flaming Balls Of Death at the appropriate moments. "Two witches and a half a demon does not [sic] the Power of Three make," Phoebe reminds her. And Rose has been -- where? No, that's all right. Take your time getting to that explanation. I'm not going anywhere any time soon. Why, no -- I don't have a life. And screw you very much for asking.
Piper and Cole each get a hand down Exposition's pants to cop a feel. Piper explains that since the dark demonic forces sent from the flaming maw of Hell are going to target the sisters sooner or later anyway, it's best to be proactive. Cole reminds them both that The Source is now on their collective tail as well. Phoebe takes this opportunity to bleat a bit about the need to further Rose's education in the craft. Piper's all, "Screw Rose," which I take to be our explanation for Rose's absence on the recent demon hunts. Piper still has issues with the new sister, apparently. Don't worry -- those issues will be spelled out in excruciating detail before the evening is over. Cole snidely asides to Piper about whether she's gotten any better at distinguishing between blowing things up and freezing them. She shoots back something about "field practice" being the best way to refine her powers, and orders him to hang a right. Cole shoots down a ramp I recognize from one of the Naked Gun movies. You know, the one where John Houseman is a driving instructor: "All right, Stephanie, extend your left hand. Now extend your middle finger." My sentiments exactly. Anyway, back to the episode in progress. They barrel around a few more corners before screeching to a halt in an alleyway. Therein, they discover a bald-headed meanie with unfortunate facial hair menacing a doof in a flannel shirt, and no, the doof is not the Dolt. The trio leaps from the SUV as Piper cracks wise, drawing the meanie's attention. He releases the doof while turning to make a couple of threatening, panty grunts at her. His eyes roll back into his skull, and the whites bleed into a fire-engine red. This effect was put to better use last week, and they'd best be advised to use it more sparingly in the future, or I will smack them. Don't think I won't. Piper tosses her signature gesture his way. The meanie's skin glows red and puffy as smoke wafts out around his collar. "He's gonna blow," Cole shouts as he and Phoebe retreat to the car's interior. There's a shot of the meanie dissolving into an explosive spray of green goop. The camera cuts back to the SUV. Pause. SPLAT. Pause. Cole flips on the wipers. Snicker. Piper reenters the car with a toothy grin and a bright, "Next!" Cole and Phoebe goggle as we cut to the credits.
"I am the son, I am the heir." Yes, the song is back, but Shannen is nowhere to be found. They did insert a very pretty shot of the Golden Gate Bridge swathed in fog, though, so, you know, there's that. Not.