Charmed
Wrestling With Demons

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Wrestling with the Nielsens

First off: no, I do not really believe the leaders of the Chicago chapter of the Brian Krause Fan Club broke into my apartment Thursday afternoon. Unless the leaders of the Chicago chapter of the Brian Krause Fan Club are a couple of crackheads looking for quick cash. Insert your own "then again, now that I think about it" joke here.

Fade up on a desk in a police interrogation room. An Asian man wearing a white t-shirt sits at the table, running his hand through his hair. "I don't get it," he says as Detective Darryl places a paper cup of coffee in front of him. "Who would want to kill me?" Darryl tells the man -- "Mr. Chang" -- that police sources have given the department reason to believe his life is in danger. Darryl points to a copy of that day's Metro section from the newspaper. Chang is featured in an above-the-fold photo, planting trees. Darryl notes there have been four murders in the city in the last week, murders whose victims had appeared in the Metro section the day they were killed. Chang snippily replies that the mayor is in the Metro section nearly every day, and wants to know if the police have been "harassing" him as well. Darryl sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose as Chang rants a bit more. He has no money, he has no enemies. Why are the police detaining him?

Cut to the likely reasons, waiting out in the main hall. Prue, perched on a desk, asks Piper and Phoebe, "So what do we do if Darryl can't convince him to lay low?" Phoebe, leaning against the wall, perks, "Well, we follow him, and if a demon attacks, we kick some Wiccan ass!" I thought they kicked demonic ass. Have I been wrong all these months? Phoebe looks awful, in a way that almost beggars description. Her black knit cap is embroidered with red and purple flowers and pulled down low over her ears. From beneath it, her apparently unwashed hair trails down the sides of her head in a series of greasy, braided, twisted tendrils. Her top is a knit pink poncho thing with fringe, and her pants are black -- and likely leather. She looks like Stevie Nicks. And I hate Stevie Nicks. Her go-get-'em attitude is greeted with surprise by Piper and Prue, as Phoebe's been in that Cole-induced funk of hers for what seems like the last goddamned year. Piper: "Look who's back, and badder than ever." Phoebe notes that "it feels good to be back," and that focusing on her witchy duties is "the best way to put that Cole thing" behind her. "Bad guys beware," she announces. Piper remarks that they have no idea who the current "bad guy" is, as Phoebe eyes Chang emerging from the interrogation room to shrug himself into his motorcycle jacket. "We know who his next victim is," she reminds her sisters. Darryl joins them at this point, telling them the only thing he managed to get from Chang was "a migraine." Piper can't believe Darryl is letting Chang walk out of there. Darryl tells them he has no other option, as Chang "declined protection." Darryl asks Phoebe if she's certain Chang is the man she saw murdered in her premonition. Phoebe asserts that he is, and says that Chang was murdered at night, so they'd better do something to protect him. Prue decides that the four will split up into teams of two each to follow Chang. "The first one that sees a demon yells 'vanquish,'" she says, and the four make their way out of the station.

Cut to -- wait for it -- a forbidding and darkened alley. Chang, who's apparently a delivery man, exits a Chinese restaurant into said alley, toting a large brown paper bag. He makes his way over to his motorcycle as Prue and Darryl enter the alley behind him. Prue sighs in frustration. "Innocents and alleys. Don't they ever learn?" Shout-out? Or irritating meta-comment on one of the conceits of this show? You decide. Darryl grunts in agreement, and the two start to head over to the bike. A Latino who looks a hell of a lot like Benjamin Bratt enters from the opposite end of the alley. What is this, minority night on Charmed? Mr. Julia Roberts spots Chang and hurls a Flaming Ball Of Death in his direction. Prue TKs the Flaming Ball Of Death against the wall. Chang makes some "what the hell?" noises as Darryl tackles him to the ground. Prue rushes past them to TK Mr. Roberts backwards into a pile of trash. Chang makes some irritated noises as Darryl urges him to "keep [his] head down." Prue approaches Mr. Roberts as he rises from the trash, and prepares to toss some more TK his way. She stops herself, though, apparently recognizing him from his stint on Law & Order. Mr. Roberts takes this opportunity to scuttle on out of the alley. Darryl runs up to Prue's side and asks her why she let Mr. Roberts go. "I…know that demon," she tells him. Then, more emphatically: "I dated that demon." Definitely been there, Prue. Not with a Benjamin Bratt look-alike, unfortunately, but still. Darryl looks confused as Prue mutters a pondering "huh" to herself.

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