Charmed
The Three Faces Of Phoebe

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Phoeby! Phoebi! Phoebé!

If I told you I was watching a glistening, half-naked man with a long, blunt weapon approaching a Benedictine monk from the rear while the closed captioning read, "[grunts]," "[breathing heavily]," and "[man chanting in a foreign language]," you'd think I was watching some bizarre European gay bondage video, right? Oh, admit it. You would. And you'd be wrong. It's simply the opening shot of tonight's episode. Cole porn for the masses, if you will. Well, Cole porn, if Cole were a set of identical twins who do man-on-man S&M videos for the rent money. So Cole, half-naked, glistening, grunting, breathing heavily, and wagging a big old sword around, enters a chamber half-lit by an unseen source of red light. Gripping that sword of his with both hands, he silently approaches a cowled, chanting figure. Just as Cole prepares to plunge the weapon into the monk, the monk calls, "Wait!" Because, you see, the task at hand would be so much easier if the monk removed his robes first. The monk turns around and lowers the hood of his cowl, and it's Cole again, all sharp bone structure and pouty lips. "You don't really want to hurt me, do you?" simpers Cole The Second. Well, I suppose that depends on what's meant by "hurt" in this context. "But how?" pants Cole The First. The Second's answer is a mighty bitch-slap that sends The First tumbling backwards through the air to land on the sandy floor on his back. Two tops, battling for dominance. So sad. You think they'd be a little more versatile. "We're one now," The Second states, slowly approaching the prone First. "I'm reborn within you." Kinky. And narcissistic. "I'll fight it -- I'll kill us both if I have to," promises The First, being coy in that porn way where the gym bunny claims he doesn't want it until the point where he really, really does want it after all. Or something like that. Cole The First continues, "I won't let you hurt Phoebe." Who? Sorry, it's just that Cole has more chemistry with himself than he ever does with her. "You won't have a choice," notes The Second, plunging the sword into The First's body at some point well south of his navel. Cole The First screams, and...

...wakes up in his own bed in the Bimbo Boudoir. He's still sweaty, shirtless, and panting, only this time Phoebe's snoozing away at his side. He gasps a few more times before flinging the covers off of his legs into a wipe that takes us to the opening credits.

"Chaderm DEMARCH MARCHED RACHMED ACHDERM HARDMED ARCHEMD RACHEDM EDCHEMA CHMARED CHAREMD CHARMED." Yep. Still the same. What? It was a short pre-credits sequence. I was bored.

Oven-cam. Piper lugs a baking tray of some breakfast treats out of the oven and totes them into the dining room, bellowing for Phoebe and Raige. The Dolt, of course, is already at the table, ready to eat the food he neither paid for nor prepared. In answer to Piper's summons, Raige flies down through the ceiling from the second level of the Manor in a cloud of orbs. She materializes fully just in time to slam into Piper, sending both women to the floor. The Dolt continues to eat. Piper's surprised, not by her husband's gluttonous, free-loading ways, but rather by Raige's newfound talent. "Did you orb in from a different room?" she asks, impressed. Actually, the closed captioning has her asking Raige if she "warp[ed]," but, you know, screw the deaf. Raige confirms this while admitting she still needs to iron out the kinks. Raige then spots the alarming array of food on the table and darts to a chair to tuck in. Seriously, Piper is such a martyr. She's prepared a full-scale breakfast for five, complete with place settings and serving platters and pitchers of milk and orange juice and whatnot. Get a hobby, sweetheart. Or a life. The Dolt starts talking through a mouthful of half-chewed food, which only makes me hate him more. He mumbles that orbing burns a lot of calories, thereby explaining Raige's unusual craving for solid food. "Why do you think I married a chef?" he adds, winking. Oh, stow it, you boorish, sexist lout. Piper deems the expansion of Raige's powers "another reason to celebrate" while Raige and the Dolt shove frittatas into their gaping maws. Seems Piper intended this breakfast banquet to be a celebration of sorts for vanquishing The Source. A week ago. She couldn't have done this on Sunday? Raige apologizes for her lack of table manners, insisting that she would take longer to eat did she not want to arrive at THE BLACK HOLE OF SOCIAL SERVICES on time for a change.

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Charmed

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