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.