And we're back. Piper and the Dolt try to defuse the situation with kind words and soothing tones, but CRAY-ZEEE Brody's too far gone. Kerr Smith launches into a little speech that he chews through as best as he knows how, but unfortunately, it's so poorly written that I just end up rolling my eyes. Don't believe me? Read: "Your kind is responsible for a nightmare that won't go away -- for all those nights, waking up in a sweat, begging that the flashbacks were just a dream. It's not a dream, though, is it? You Avatars are as real as the air that we breathe and just as vacant! [Huh?] My parents were viciously murdered by them, so if I were you, [Dolt], I'd do what I say." It was about this point that I started wondering why Piper doesn't just freeze this insane freak and deal with his Issues later. And, naturally, it was about this point that I stopped paying any attention whatsoever to this scene because Piper doesn't just freeze this insane freak and deal with his Issues later, like so:
Charmed: Avatar-killing potion! Gun at Phoebe's head!
Demian: FREEZE HIM. FREEZE KERR SMITH.
Charmed: Soothing words from the Dolt countered by threats to the Dolt's well-being!
Demian: FREEZE HIM! FREEZE HIM! FREEZEHIMFREEZEHIMFREEZEHIM!
Charmed: Tense standoff countdown! Icy stares! Growing panic!
Demian: FUCKING FREEZE THE FUCKING LUNATIC ALREADY, YOU STUPID FUCKING BITCH.
Charmed: Phoebe's life in danger!
Demian: FREEZE HI--oh, wait a minute. Let him blow Phoebe's head off, THEN FUCKING FREEZE THE INSANE LUNATIC PERSON WITH THE INSANE LUNATIC PERSON GUN ON YOUR FUCKING SUN PORCH, YOU STUPID FUCKING BITCH.
See? Totally took me out of the moment. And this episode was going so well. Sigh. As Brody reaches the end of his standoff countdown, both Piper and Phoebe sense that the Dolt's about to do something drastic. Piper lunges to grab the ex-husband's hands as Phoebe dives towards the floor. The scene downshifts into slow motion as the Dolt shoots a sporking stream of electricity straight through Li'l Bulging Brody's chest, and this next bit was cause for some debate on the forum boards immediately after the episode aired. Some claimed that Brody had fired the gun the instant he counted, "Three." However, slow-forwarding through the slow motion shows that the gun doesn't go off until long after Brody loses control of his body because of the death ray he's taking in his chest. His left hand, which had been clasping the alabaster potion bottle, involuntarily snaps open first, releasing the bottle to the floor. As the death ray's force increases to lift Brody off his feet and propel him through the air towards the wall, his right hand involuntarily fires the gun. The bullet misses Phoebe's head by inches. Also? Don't pull slow-motion sequences like this one if you're using stunt doubles, idiots, because these people in the bullet-time bullet shot? Are not Alyssa Milano and Kerr Smith. As Phoebe and Li'l Bulging Brody's corpse hit differing points on the floor at roughly the same time, the alabaster bottle shatters into hundreds of pieces to release a tentacled cloud of inky black smoke. The tentacles meander searchingly for a second before shooting straight up into the Dolt's face, where they dive into his body through his nostrils and his by-now gaping mouth. The Dolt drops immediately onto his back, and Piper, for some reason bursting into instant tears, hovers over him as Brian Krause unleashes his patented Constipated Chimpanzee Face Of Unbearable Anguish And Torment -- Now In Green!
"It wasn't supposed to happen like this," he gasps, dying. Piper dissolves into heaving sobs as Phoebe rises gingerly from the floor to glance over at Li'l Bulging Brody, who lies dead with open, glazed eyes on the far side of the porch. They don't often have open-eyed corpses on this show, and I have to admit, it's a little creepy seeing something like that in this context. Just as Phoebe angles her torso back to take in the Dolt's death, she grinds to a supernatural halt that also overtakes Piper and, presumably, the rest of the planet. I'm Not Candy and Uniqua flare onto the sun porch to say, basically, "Neener neener neener! We told you this would happen, you big stupid!" Only they quite seriously take two minutes to do so. I'm Not Candy finally informs the Dolt that he still has the power to reverse time to the point just prior to his revelation in the nonexistent attic, thereby erasing entirely all recent unfortunate events. The Dolt, with little choice otherwise, closes his eyes, and the floor melts beneath him before he flares orange. The camera shudders in reverse back up to the attic as snippets of this evening's dialogue rewind themselves on the soundtrack, and it was either better the first time around, or I'm just sick of this episode already. Piper's frozen in the attic, in the midst of dropping some ingredients into the vanquish, as the Dolt snaps to and realizes I'm Not Candy's wacky plan actually worked. I'm Not Candy and Uniqua bemoan the fact that the day's events have sorely drained the collective's power, and it no longer possesses enough to "end the duality." The Dolt frets at this news and wonders if the Charmed Ones' abilities might make up for the loss, which, you know, the Avatars have been waiting to hear all along. I'm Not Candy confirms this, and he and Uniqua offer a few more words of warning before vanishing. Piper unfreezes and...