"Charmed: Special Delivery." "Special" as in "education," I'm sure. I must admit, I was beset with an overwhelming sense of dread the second I realized this evening's teaser narration featured not The Velvety Voice Of The WB, but rather the "wacky" and "fun-loving" simp who normally introduces tedious and insulting Thursday-night crap like Off Centre and The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Were I not contractually obliged to watch what followed, I'd have switched off the television right then and there and fled my apartment for a beer. Or five. Just so you know.
Manor. Night. Raige drifts through the sun porch with a long knit scarf wound 'round her neck, opens the doors to that spacious garden set we haven't seen in over a year, and already I have a problem with this episode. What's with the panoramic view of the city in the background? A mere two weeks ago, we saw that the Manor lot backed up against an imposing wall of towering pine trees. Rrrgh. I don't know why I bother, and God knows there are plenty of other things in this episode just waiting to piss me off, so maybe I should just keep this moving, right? Right. Raige strolls down the flagstones to the end of the patio, where Piper and Phoebe have curled themselves up on a pair of deck chairs to marvel at the shimmering green aurora borealis overhead. Piper's clad in that shearling-lined denim jacket of hers over a sky-blue turtleneck, with her legs and pregnancy pad encased in a matching plaid wool blanket. Phoebe's sporting a stripey, fringed, red-white-and-rust poncho with a dumpy floral-appliquéd bucket hat. Sigh. "It's like magic and science and fairy tales all rolled up into one!" burbles the Feebs. Your outfit? Not hardly, you nitwit. Oh, my bad -- she's talking about the aurora. We get a glimpse of the phenomenon in question, and I've a sneaking suspicion they recycled this footage from that dreadful Dawson's Creek episode last season. "Actually," buzzkills Raige, glancing at the sky, "it's ions speeding into the Earth's magnetic field, and then they collide with air molecules." Piper smirks as Raige plants herself in the chair to Piper's right and idly wonders, "Do you guys think it's weird that the aurora borealis is happening the night before the Wiccan Festival of Lights?" No, Raige, but run this up your flagpole and see who barks like a dog: Wiccan Hanukkah falls on February 2nd in the northern hemisphere, and yet not only are you gals dressed more for an autumn garden party than a bitter mid-winter night, but every freaking flower in your improbable backyard is in bloom. Why? Go ahead -- riddle me that, Batgirl.