It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World, Part II

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The Passion Of The Chris, Part II

The Only Hospital In San Francisco. Piper's not doing so well, but both she and her doctor remain unnaturally optimistic. He exits to order another ultrasound, giving spectral Barbas an opportunity to flicker into the room and fuck with Piper's mind. As her greatest fear now involves losing her sisters, and yes, that was Phoebe's greatest fear the first time he showed up, and no, I don't remember what Piper's previous fears were, but you know what? Neither do the writers, so who cares? Now, where was I? Oh, yeah: Barbas conjures a hallucination in which Phoebe and Raige storm into the room to insist that Snidely's evil and must therefore be destroyed. A trio of ever-useless Elders immediately orbs in from above to raise their arms and incinerate Phoebe and Raige with streams of fire they shoot from their hands. As the hallucination blinks out, Barbas leans in close to whisper into Piper's ear, "You have to help them conform -- save them from themselves before it's too late and you lose them forever." Piper considers her options, then reaches for a notepad as Barbas flickers out with a grin on his face. Piper scribbles out the following, which she reads aloud:

Call now the powers Blessed Be
To make my sisters happy!

Cut to the nonexistent Manor attic, where Big Gay Chris is still scrying for Snidely as the Dolt paces impotently back and forth on the carpet. Raige and Phoebe orb in from Not!warts and beeline towards the Book of Shadows for a little abuse. The boys join them at the stand as they quickly relate the circumstances of their chat with their Bizarro counterparts. Before they can elaborate on the proposed course of action, however, a pinkish glow suffuses their bodies as Piper's spell takes effect. "What just happened?" Big Chris side-eyes in the Dolt's direction. "Dunno," replies the Dolt. Typical. Phoebe and Raige, looking a bit drunk, beam beatifically as Chris urges them to get back to their plan. "The plan?" Phoebe breathes. "It's just to go see Piper in the hospital!" "That's a really good plan!" Raige squeals, and now they're acting like they're stoned off their fricking gourds. The gals snicker and doof as Chris bites, "Uh oh." The perplexity of the Dolt dominates the screen for an instant before The Clarion Clarinet Of What's With The Wacky Hijinks When My Poor Pretty Husband's About To Die? tootles us into the commercial break.

The camera pans up the Manor façade from the front steps to take in a CGI skywriter painting a massive smiley face in the air before we head back inside, where Phoebe and Raige sail down the attic stairs as the Psycho-laden Dolt protests, "This is crazy. You can't leave like this!" "Well, we can't very well ignore Chris's birth!" Raige sings in response, never breaking her stride towards the main stairs. "We have to celebrate!" Big Gay Chris, bringing up the rear of this little parade through the second floor, exasperates, "I'm the baby! I give you permission not to!" Heh. The scene cuts down to the foyer, where Raige waxes enthusiastic about seeing Tiny Gay Chris for the first time and picking out a name for the infant. "But I already have a name," Big Chris bleats. "Well, now would be the perfect time to change!" Raige zings as they reach the main floor. By the way, the toddler playing the Psycho pretty much blew this take by forgetting his direction to remain dead-eyed and impassive and enthusiastically pointing towards one of the fake family portraits on the wall. Brian Krause rather amusingly tries to distract the kid without dropping character himself as he hustles out of the frame as fast as he can. Hee. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah: Phoebe brightly wonders how Big Gay Chris came by his name in the first place, and we learn -- finally -- that he was named for the Dolt's father. The altered gals think that's really sweet. There's a bit more bubbly and inane chatter before the gals vanish into the kitchen, leaving Big Gay Chris and the Dolt alone to muddle through whatever the hell it was that just happened. The Dolt soon enough realizes that Snidely must have somehow manipulated Piper into casting a spell on her sisters, as Piper's the only person powerful enough to do so. Okay. We'll go with that. I mean, Snidely could have cast the spell too, right? Sigh. And the first half of this evening's presentation was so good. Anyway, long story short, the newly affected gals emerge from the kitchen, and it becomes clear they no longer remember the events of the last hour and a half. They also coddle and coo at Big Gay Chris, who's totally not having it. Neither am I. I'll admit that this peppy crap was sort of amusing the first time through, and to be completely honest with you, it's clear the actors are having a hell of a time playing it. That collective enthusiasm adds a great deal to these sequences' entertainment value, but let's be frank here: It's filler. It's padding to bloat the finale to a two-hour length, and it's making me weary, dammit.

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