Charmed
Love's A Witch

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Never Was There A Tale Of More Woe!

We fade up on what appears to be a converted warehouse, and linger for a moment on all six stories of the façade before heading inside. A-ha! It's home to Raige's fucked-up temp agency, and the place is even worse than I imagined. Okay, I didn't imagine it at all, honestly, but had I wasted time and brain space fashioning Raige's place of serial employment in my head, this reality would be worse. The place is full of tatty furniture and overflowing file cabinets with nary a computer in sight. You can tell the people responsible for this show haven't set foot in an employment agency in twenty years. A pasty, doughy fortysomething whose reading glasses threaten to slide off the end of his nose flips through a huge Rolodex of possible assignments, rattling off a string of job titles like "bagger" and "checkout clerk" that would send any Berkeley alumna whose name is not Raige Matthews screaming out the door to find another goddamned agency. Not that there's anything wrong with working nights at the Piggly-Wiggly to pay the rent, mind you, but she was a social worker, right? So find something commensurate with her education, talents, and skill set, you jackass. Whatever. I have to stop screaming at the people on the TV, because they never listen, and it just makes me hoarse.

Raige settles into a chair and wonders if the Doughboy has noticed anything "unusual" about her recent assignments. He hasn't, naturally, so Raige elaborates, asking if he finds it odd that things go "wonky" at her assignments shortly after she arrives. You can tell she's leaving an opening for the Doughboy to admit that he's some sort of Stoopid Magikal Kreature who's been surreptitiously guiding her to those locations where her bitchcraft would be of most use. Which forces me to say, Raige, honey, you're not in Maryland, the Doughboy is not God, and this show is not pulling in anything near twelve million viewers a week, so just give it up. Raige finally sighs and pleads for any assignment Doughboy sees fit to give her, as long as it's "normal." The Doughboy flips through the cards for a bit before yanking out a blue one with, "I have the perfect thing for you."

Cut to a rubber-gloved Raige flushing the contents of a bedpan down the toilet. "This is not what I had in mind," she grimaces, placing the stainless steel piss pot on an expensive-looking marble-topped sideboard in the hallway outside the bathroom. As she strips off her gloves, she shoots a suspicious side-eye down the hall. The camera cuts to her point of view, and we see white-haired Christine Healy sneaking a peek at Raige's hand of cards, which had been lying face-down on a baize-covered table next to a window. Granny Healy perches on a plush motorized wheelchair, by the way, so I'm assuming she's responsible for the foulness Raige just sent into the sewer. Though, you know, the hell? Did she do her business right there on the wheelchair while they were playing pinochle? 'Cause that's disgusting. And it can't be terribly comfortable, either. Anyway, Raige gently busts Granny Healy with a light, "Wasn't someone supposed to call a trump?" Granny Healy flutters and claims she was waiting for Raige to return from dealing with her wretched waste matter. Or something like that. As Raige takes her seat with her back to the window, Granny Healy marvels that Raige even knows how to play the game, as pinochle's a lost art as far as those rotten kids today are concerned. For good reason, Grandma. Anything more complicated than hearts bores me to tears, and I can't imagine many in my cohort feeling otherwise. Raige smiles fondly and admits that she used to play it with her non-Grams Grams all the time. "Lucky me," Granny Healy whoops in that too-bright way televised old ladies have of speaking. "No," Raige says, still smiling. "Lucky me." "Babysitting a sick old lady?" Granny Healy pshaws with a knowing glint in her eye. "How is that lucky for you?" Raige awkwardly dodges this query by blurting, "I think it's time for your medicine!" and slapping her cards down on the table. She rises and turns towards the window just as Granny Healy spots a Flaming Ball Of Death hurtling across the front yard. "Watch out!" she cries, but it's too late. The FBOD crashes through the glass to smack hapless Raige to the carpet, where she does not erupt in a veil of fire to howl and wail and merrily blaze her way down to Hell. Hmmm. So, it's not a Flaming Ball Of Death, but rather a Flaming Ball Of Smacking Hapless Raige To The Carpet. Interesting.

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Charmed

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