Ms. Hellfire

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Ms. Hellfire

Halliwell Manor. Morning. "Faster" Prue "ssycat, Kill! Kill!" Halliwell struts into the parlor with a coffee mug in one hand and her cell phone in the other, blathering with her assistant about her busy schedule. Phoebe "Latchkey Adult" Halliwell eyes her while she chomps down a bowl of cereal and tries to decipher the back of the box. Although she has her mouth full (natch) she interrupts Prue to remind her that the last Tae Bo class "is at seven." Prue whispers okay and continues to boss around her minion on the phone, finding out that she might just have enough enough time to make it to "kickboxing class." Hello, we all know what Tae Bo is. And that it’s so five months ago. But Prue’s lackey reminds her about a six o’clock appointment, so their plans go awry. Phoebe pouts while holding up her product-placement box of cereal, which will not be named until General Mills sends MBTV an advertising fee. The cell phone in Prue’s purse rings, and Phoebe jumps up to get it. Prue thanks her because "it’s probably Jack." Phoebe the English doctoral candidate admonishes her sister, "You don’t have time for Jack -- literally." Because there’s SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE between "having time for someone" figuratively and "having time for someone" literally. Not. Phoebe tells Prue her new boss is on the phone, reminding her about the eight-thirty "emergency meeting -- be there or be fired." Prue gets confirmation from her minion about this, and the lazy Ps hang up their cell phones simultaneously, after which Phoebe adds, "Bye" to the turned-off device because, well, she’s a moron. Then Pheebs whines in the baby voice she stole from Jennie Garth’s trailer on the Spelling Productions lot, "Oy am vewy tired an’ oy nee’ a nap." Prue whines that she needs "another me" because she doesn’t even have time "to have fun anymore." I hear ya, sister.

Just then Piper "Lured Off To Dan’s" Halliwell slinks into the room, fresh from her short walk of shame from Gordon Manor to her house. The lazy Ps give her grief about not being able to recognize her or remember her name, because she "fell into lust with the next-door neighbor" and they never see her anymore. I add that they all seem to have forgotten that they own a nightclub, too. Did one of them remember to lock it when they abandoned it two months ago? Piper: "Blah blah for once my life is normal blah blah don’t even care that it’s Friday the thir --" Phoebe shushes her, but Piper finishes with "thirteenth. I said it. Nothing happened."

Ruh roh! The parlor is suddenly strafed by machine-gun fire. Phoebe and Prue duck behind the sofa while Piper hides behind a table. The lazy Ps demand that Piper run through the gunfire to join them, I guess to make their last stand, er, breast thrust before meeting their doom. Piper rushes toward them, and freezes the bullets as the total F/X budget for this episode is blown early in an attempt to rip-off The Matrix. More bullets are fired around the room. Prue makes it all about her and complains that she doesn’t "need this today." Phoebe wonders why demons would use bullets. Piper proposes that the shooter is not a demon. Prue wonders who would want to kill them. Phoebe quips that Prue was "a little sharp to the postman the other day, and we know how testy they can be." Sure -- back when that zinger was topical, six years ago. The Ps hear a noise at the front door and make plans to fight back. But just then, behind them, a woman clad in form-fitting black latex and a pageboy wig appears with a machine gun. Oh my God! It’s Julia Roberts from the first reel of Pretty Woman, come to gun down Prue for single-handedly ending the "hooker-wear chic" fashion trend Julia started ten years ago! No, wait. It’s Gina Gershon from the "biker lesbian" floor show in Showgirls, come to ice Prue for attempting to steal Gina’s vampy sexpot schtick. Oh, wait. It’s just some nobody walk-on actress who doesn’t even get to say a line and earn her SAG card before the bullets she fires at the Halliwells are frozen by Piper and redirected into her torso by Prue. The woman falls back into the kitchen, dead. The Ps look at her. Shannen Doherty says in her famous "they’re paying me to say this line but not to mean it" monotone: "Oh my god she’s not a demon."

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