Fade up on the title of this evening's episode as it blazes onto the screen, the two Ws smashing together in a fiery explosion that morphs into the words themselves as an athame flares out through the roiling red smoke in the background to settle in the center. "Welcome back to Witch Wars," an announcer voice-overs as various stills of tonight's action (and, honestly, the action of three weeks ago) scroll past. "Tonight, on a very special episode," he continues, "you'll see the Game Masters themselves take on not just any witches, but the legendary Charmed Ones." That athame wipes from left to right to reveal a demonic television studio set, upon which the announcer presently squiggles. He looks like one of the more attractive, younger mobsters on The Sopranos who always end up getting whacked after a couple of episodes, because someone apparently decided Michael Imperioli would represent the pinnacle of regularly scheduled male beauty on that show. And that someone should be shot. ["Or given a raise, because it's totally working on me. Hey, you've got your Chris, I've got mine." -- Sars] In any event, our host adds, "It'll be winner takes all," as he steps towards the camera and addresses the audience directly. "And we will take all -- their lives, their powers, and last but not least, their progeny." I'm sure I'd be worried about that particular threat were this gentleman in the opening credits, but he's not, so whatever. The screen fades to black for a moment until the phrase "12 hours earlier" flames into view for a bit in Gothic script; then we cross-fade to Piper toddling into the Not!warts library with Big Gay Chris at her side and joining her sisters at the table for a "family meeting." Snidely's sleeve dominates the foreground of the shot. Shit.
The Dolt's absence from this meeting is due to the fact that "he's on the witch killer trail," as Snidely explains, and that really should be "witch killer's trail," as the existing version makes it sound as if the Dolt's some sort of mystical and zenlike witch-killer apprentice. Stupid Snidely. Snidely snits that the gals should follow the Dolt on said trail instead of loafing around Not!warts, polluting the air with their incessant babbling. Phoebe snots something back at him about having larger issues to deal with, namely that whole who's-gonna-turn-the-Psycho-evil thing they've been fretting about since Big Gay Chris dropped that particular bomb a few months back. To that end, Phoebe, who's wearing a small purple flower in her "hair" (mood: whorishly self-centered, like you had to ask), has been doing a little research, and has reached the conclusion that the nefarious baddie they seek might not necessarily be demonic in origin. Snidely scowls at her, unnoticed by the Manor Morons. The "statistics" Phoebe references in her little spiel here have told her that "fifty percent of violent crimes are perpetrated by someone the victim knew [sic]," and as I don't have time to research that suspicious-sounding figure myself, let's just go ahead and assume it's incorrect, and that the writing staff is blowing crack out of its collective ass once again, okay? Snidely, who's scorching his own bushy eyebrows with the all that ferocious glaring and such, scoffs at the idea that a "mortal" might be involved. Phoebe persists, revealing that the crime reporter at All The News That's Fit To Fuck Me is of the opinion that "it's usually someone you least expect." Piper gets tense as Snidely gets even more insistently dismissive. "This theory," he says, crossing to the table, "might make some sense in the lives of normal people, but you are not normal people." Were that coming from anyone else, I'd applaud, for our gals are so stupid they need to be reminded of that fact every goddamned week. Unfortunately, it's coming from the too-smug Snidely, and so I am forced to tell him to shove it. Damn you, Snidely! Damn you to Hell!