Look Who's Barking

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Demian: B- | Grade It Now!
Look Who's Barking

Cut to an open area lit by -- natch -- the full moon. Yeah, they blew this joke by rerunning the punch line endlessly in the previews, but still. Phoebe and Piper stand side-by-side, their faces settled in grim dismay. Phoebe, anxious: “This is worse than I thought.” Piper, exasperated: “I never imagined anything like this could ever happen to us.” Phoebe, determined: “All I know is this can’t go on much longer.” Piper, hopeless: “So what are we going to do?” Phoebe sighs, then perks, “Rock-paper-scissors?” “No way. You already lost.” Piper flips a garbage bag into Phoebe’s phiz as L.B. Prue shamefacedly rounds a bush. Well, as shamefaced as a malamute can get. Phoebe splutters, “This is so humiliating,” as she covers her hands with the bag to retrieve L.B. Prue’s shit. I know. Doggy potty humor. It should be beneath me, but it’s not. This isn’t on the gross-out level of TV Funhouse, but I’m snickering nevertheless. A crescendo of barking in the background saves Phoebe from her gruesome task. L.B. Prue joins in the yowling, then dashes off out of the park with Piper and Phoebe hot on her heels. Or hind paws. Your choice.

The StalkerCam kicks in as we enter the alley from the premonition. The “teenager” from said vision is revealed to be a runaway. She places a desperate collect call to her parents, begging them to allow her back home. Just as the “teenager” tells her father she’s “somewhere in San Francisco,” the banshee leaps atop a Dumpster, screaming full-throttle. The glass in the phone booth shatters. The banshee hops to the ground, amping up the volume of the shriek as she goes. Before every blood vessel in the “teenager’s” body bursts, however, L.B. Prue storms in and pounces on the banshee. The banshee goes down faster than a French prizefighter. Piper rushes to the “teenager’s” aid, ordering her to get out of the alley as fast as she can. Banshee/Halliwell smackdown. L.B. Prue remains off to one side, barking constantly. The banshee flips up over Phoebe’s head to kick her from behind. She then hurls Piper into a pile of those convenient shipping pallets that seem to plague the alleys of San Francisco. The banshee howls again, stalking Phoebe, who backs away warily on the ground. Piper tosses her hands up into freeze/destroy position. Her aim is off, however, and she vanquishes the Dumpster instead. The force of the explosion sends the banshee flying to the far side of the alley. She rises to her feet, reevaluates the situation, and scampers off. Piper collects Phoebe as L.B. Prue chases after the banshee.

Out in the street, Banshee leaps first to the hood of a car. Then, in a crappy blue-screen effect, she hurtles across the road to land on a car on the opposite side. L.B. Prue, proving to be a dimwitted as her Figurative self, runs out into traffic. BAM! A car driven by one Matt Battaglia, who eschewed a career in the N.F.L. to study acting with Burt Reynolds -- and no, I am so not making that up -- has smacked into L.B. Prue. Matty’s wearing something that’s as close to a puka-shell necklace as you can get without it being made of actual, you know, puka shells. Not a good look. He’s horrified he hit a dog, and I silently sympathize. He cradles L.B. Prue’s furry white head in his lap as he shouts for help.

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