First off, huge mega-props to Demian, for consistently putting up with the craptastic nature of this show for so long in order to turn out such side-splitting recaps. And by "craptastic nature of this show," I don't just mean "Phoebe." We're talking assy nimrods, stoopid magikal kreatures, Not!Warts...well, I could go on and on, but I don't want to thank him by bringing up too many traumatic experiences, so let's just say he rocks, because he? Rocks.
Hey, not only is this episode from the relative virtuosity of Season One, it's Dolt-free! Score! Hello, episode grade! (I really did just tick it up. Stupid Dolt.)
We open with a shot of the full anvil. Piper stands next to her SUV in what I'm going to call Golden Gate Park until they give me a reason not to. Piper, on her cell phone, whines to Phoebe that she knows what a jack is, she just doesn't know how to use it. Three seconds in, and I've already gotten my weekly fill of meta-commentary. But the conversation's nowhere near over, as Phoebe, who's sitting with the Not-Yet-Late-Lamented Prue at the bar of [72virg=ins], tells Piper that she'll walk her through it, as she used to date a mechanic. Hey, I know I'm new around here, but you don't have to make the jokes that accessible. Phoebe uses the words "ratchet" and "easy" in the same sentence, and even gives a demonstrative hand gesture. If there was any question as to whether I am easily amused, I can tell you definitively that it has now been settled. Piper can't find the handle with which to "ratchet" (hee) the jack, and tries to use a long wooden spoon instead, which Phoebe doesn't need the power of premonition to tell her is going to break. Incidentally, if I can go off on the first of what I'm sure will be many tangents in this recap, this little scene illustrates why, in the first season, I actually liked Phoebe better than Piper. I found Piper too helpless-little-girl for my tastes, and while Phoebe was a slut, that's not anything I have a problem with in and of itself. Of course, I can't look at Season One Phoebe now without knowing what a brainless, selfish, horrid, skeletal crone she's going to turn into, so it's hard to be objective here. But if I seem nasty to Piper, that's why. That, and the fact that her hair hadn't quite taken on the glossy sheen of later seasons.