The camera fades up on the Manor façade. Deep within the center parlor, Piper paces in front of the sun porch's doorway as she shrieks, "Okay, people, we gotta get a grip, here, otherwise what are we doing? We might as well just go back to fighting demons again!" "Even if they think we're dead?" Raige snits from a nearby armchair. "It was a rhetorical question!" Piper stupidly rages, because her IQ has for some reason dropped a hundred points during the summer hiatus. "No," Raige duhs for me, "it wasn't." "I think," the Dolt interjects with his usual amount of uselessness, "the point is we need to take it slow, you know. Be patient." "Tell that to my premonition," hoots Phoebe the selfish hag. "And my stoopid charge," Raige adds, and I suddenly find myself falling in love with Rose McGowan of all people, despite the fact that I happened to pause the tape at the precise moment wherein her manic mugging has transformed her into a seventy-eight-year-old stroke victim. Piper whistles again, and oh, shit. I'd completely forgotten about this part. Well, I forced myself to forget about this part, because it is so mind-bendingly asinine, I'd have ended up in an asylum by lunchtime on Monday had I not put it out of my head. Piper's "going to be late" for the cleansing day of beauty she'd scheduled for herself just because she and Phoebe were watching their third-season Sex And The City DVDs, and you can tell Holly Marie Combs herself detests that aggressively harebrained plot point. Phoebe snatches up the DVDs in question from their exceedingly unlikely yet handy place on the center parlor's coffee table and whines something annoying about Carrie Bradshaw never having to marry guys she didn't know. "Why can't we live our lives like they did?" Phoebe sighs. Oooh! Oooh! I know this one! Because you're not on HBO and you have a writing staff even shittier than theirs was! Am I right? Huh? I am so totally right, aren't I?
"Didn't one of them sleep around a lot?" Raige snorts dismissively, and for one thing, LOOK WHO'S TALKING, RAIGE, and for another, trampy Phoebe would care about that...why, exactly? And also: "One of them"? God, I hate this show. ANY-way, Piper cuts through this amazing pile of bullshit with yet another one of her shrill whistles in order to pass out this evening's marching orders for her sisters. Raige has to "get that [stoopid] charge off [her] mind." How? "Do what Grams said," comes the reply. "Get out there! Ignore the signs of your old life and look for signs that lead you to your new life. Try anything." I get the feeling I'm going to regret you telling her that, Piper, but then again, when the hell did you do me any favors? "And you," Piper continues, wheeling on Phoebe, "you're all about signs -- isn't that what a vision is, anyway?" Piper then goes on endlessly about Phoebe's stupid fucking premonition regarding Phoebe's supposed future daughter, and Piper of all people should know that future daughters have a pesky habit of vanishing permanently for any of a variety of reasons -- like, oh, say, when you sabotage the Utopia that seemed to be a precondition for said future daughter's existence -- and didn't they devote an entire episode to Big Gay Chris nearly disappearing because he'd fucked with the timeline too much, and God, but this show sucks, and where the hell was I? Oh, yeah: Piper encouraging Phoebe to bone Vex Lexter in the elevator at All The News That's Fit To Fuck Me so Phoebe'll get knocked up and shut the hell up about this whole stupid subplot already. In so many words. Piper, having set her sisters on their separate annoying courses for this evening's festivities, books it to her cleansing day of beauty as Raige and the Dolt climb the stairs to the second floor, leaving Phoebe alone in the center parlor to launch herself into -- get this -- the first of tonight's many, many Carrie Bradshaw-esque voice-overs, complete with the breathy, girlish delivery and OH MY GOD WHY DID THEY NOT CANCEL THIS AWFUL, EVIL SHOW LAST MAY? "Maybe Piper's right," muses the Phoebe VO. "I mean, if there's one thing we learned, it's that we're being guided, and signs always lead the way. The question is, where do you start looking for them?" Uh, a far more entertaining second-season episode that already covered this very territory six goddamned years ago, maybe? Just a thought. Also, shut the fuck up, PVO.
Not!warts, and tonight's Nefarious Demonic Plot For World Domination, which is doomed to fail, so why are they even bothering? Whatever. Long story short, Haas and his henchdemons have already set in motion some sort of plan to flush the Charmed Ones out of hiding. "We've lured three teenagers so far," Little Miss Notoriety explains, "turned them all, and yet no sign of the witches!" "They won't be able to ignore the cries for long," Haas insists. "If the sisters are alive, they'll come to the rescue -- it's in their blood." "Unless your plan is too obscure for them," Little Miss Notoriety counters. "Maybe you give them too much credit." I think she just called the Manor Morons idiots. If so: Hee. "Demons have used mortal fairy tales to trap them before," Haas reminds her, and while that bit's true, the part about how "'Cinderella' turned the Charmed Ones into pumpkins" most certainly is not, so shut up, Haas. And Alice In Wonderland is a traditional mortal fairy tale the way this goddamned show is a traditional mortal fairy tale, which is to say not at all, EVER, so this entire Nefarious Demonic Plot For World Domination can blow me, and everyone involved in it needs to die. Especially The Retarded Bimbo. Ooops! Spoiler! "What if they don't take the bait?" Little Miss Notoriety wonders. "What if they live no more?" "Well, then, we mess up a few kids," Haas shrugs before giggling, "and that's fun all by itself, isn't it?" I'll be the judge of that, Bucky. "Time to find our next Alice," Haas croons.