Charmed
We All Scream For Ice Cream

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We All Scream For Ice Cream

Phoebe and Prue, lunching al fresco, with Prue describing the story idea she pitched that morning at the magazine. Phoebe interrupts with, "You're dodging." Phoebe means, of course, that Prue is dodging the issue of their father's rumored return to San Francisco. The conversation that follows is so drawn out and dull that I repeatedly check the backs of my hands to make sure liver spots aren't forming. Parental-issues chatter. Prue insists her feelings about Victor abandoning the family are firmly in the past where they belong. Phoebe doesn't believe her. Before I turn my laptop into a pillow for my weary, weary head, Prue hears the Molester Theme again. She leaps to her feet to search out the source as a confused Phoebe follows behind. They find a brunette moppet idly humming the tune on the other side of the fountain as she absent-mindedly toys with the creepy silver head protruding from the fountain wall. Prue gently asks the girl where she heard the song, and the child points to the conveniently-passing Ice-Cream Truck of Pedophilia and Demonic Doom. Phoebe attempts to turn the conversation back to the father issue as the girl scampers off after the truck. Prue finds this a little suspicious, given the cold weather and the total lack of parental supervision, and takes off after the girl.

Phoebe chases after Prue, wondering what the hell is wrong with her sister. Prue remarks that the whole situation strikes her as being off, and that she feels a "déjà vu" coming on. They continue their pursuit as we cut to the child approaching the truck's window. Phoebe and Prue approach just as the Molester yanks the screaming girl in through the window. Phoebe and Prue grab the child's legs and haul her back out. The three crash to the ground, and as they stagger to their feet, the Molester pops his head out through the dry-ice fog. He eyes them briefly, then disappears back into the truck. Prue, Phoebe, and the child are then sucked into the truck, and we cut to commercial.

Back from the break, there's a brief establishing shot of the truck exterior, and then we're in Molesterland with Phoebe and Prue. If it looks a bit familiar, it's because it's the same world from Prue's earlier nightmare: ice-encrusted swingsets, snow-laden pine trees, flurries drifting down from the sky. A cold wind howls through from time to time. This and all other scenes in this alternate dimension are shot through a distorting blue filter and then overexposed for added "effect." Prue and Phoebe quickly evaluate their situation, noting they've somehow lost the girl with whom they entered this world. They hear a menacing roar, and there's a series of quick jump-cuts as they wheel around, looking for the source of the noise. Just as Prue notes that "if there's a way in, there's definitely a way out," the Molester howls up behind them, demanding that they tell him who they are. Remember that. Prue attempts to TK him, but the two Ps realize they've lost their powers in Molesterland. The Molester eyes a swirling black disturbance developing in the sky above, and runs off. The wind picks up as Phoebe guesses that the Molester was not fleeing from the sisters. They make to scamper away themselves, but are stopped by a boy who pleads for help. The boy, who I'm calling Old Navy because of his sleeveless black performance fleece, tells Phoebe and Prue he's trying to get away from "The Nothing." Phoebe asks him if he means the Molester. Old Navy tells them The Nothing is a mysterious and unpredictable force that comes out of, well, nowhere, and snatches its victims to, um, somewhere, leaving "nothing" where the victim had been standing. The writers are getting terribly sloppy with their cosmology here.

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Charmed

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