Out on the sidewalk, Darryl issues a couple of orders from the depths of his bulletproof vest before heading to the front door, but I'm too distracted by the baby 'fro/wispy goatee thing he's working to note what those orders are.
Inside the apartment, Adrian Paul (Hewitt) arranges the dead blonde on the sofa and rises to his feet as Darryl and his posse storm the apartment building. "Saqqara tiet ushebti," (Hewitt) murmurs. I believe that phrase translates as, "Gaze upon my mighty nostrils and weep." The damn things are dead center on my television screen, and they're scaring the crap out of me. Adrian Paul (Hewitt) wiggles his hands over the dead blonde, and she's instantly mauled by a marauding horde of hungry CGI bandages that quickly encase her body. Mr. (Hewitt) flares his terrifying nostrils. A lapis scarab materializes on the mummified blonde's chest. Just as Darryl boots in the apartment door, The Dickless Highlander purses his lips and explodes into a whirling cloud of sand that settles into a tidy pile on the rug beside the sofa. While various members of the posse fan out through the apartment and shout things like, "All clear in the bathroom," Darryl lumbers over to the mummy and the sand and heaves a beleaguered sigh. He snaps open his cell phone and groans, "Phoebe Halliwell, please. Tell her it's Inspector Morris." He glances once more at the mummified corpse and grunts, "Tell her it's important," before getting whacked in the 'fro by the opening credits.
Um. When did the captions start rendering the theme song's lyrics as "I am the sun and the air"? That's wrong, right?
The opening travelogue bounces around the Bay Area before landing on Pier 39 and cross-fading to the interior of a purportedly upscale maternity store. Raige impatiently taps her nails on a rack outside a row of dressing rooms, calling for Piper to hurry the hell up. "Come on," she insists, "it can't be that bad." No, Raige. It's worse. Much, much worse. Piper emerges from one of the rooms in a pair of cornea-blistering white paisley-patterned satin pants and a fluffy, ruffly Empire-waist top in pale pink. The estrogen level in my apartment just shot up thirty-six hundred percent. If Piper wears this hideous outfit for longer than one scene, I'm going to start lactating. Piper grumps her way over to a full-length mirror and bitches about how "bright and cheery and ruffly" everything is. With her nose wrinkled up in disgust, she plucks at the hem of her top and snits, "This thing makes me look..." "A-dor-able!" croons a suddenly appearing salesgirl. The gentlefolk on the boards have identified the actress as that bleach blonde shrew from the "Dell Interns" commercials. I didn't recognize the wretch, mainly because I've been cutting off Dell ads by changing the channel ever since I decided that Spokesmodel Steve is not, in fact, doable, and really needs to be beaten repeatedly with a tire iron. Actually, the only thing I thought when this woman appeared on screen to harass Piper was, "You're twelve years old, you obnoxious little sow. Shut. UP!" The shrieking shrew annoys me for a good five hours before Piper sends her to find something more tasteful in your basic black or charcoal grey. Before the shrew leaves, though, she coos, "Oh, motherhood!" while stroking Piper's stomach. Somehow, she manages to escape this encounter without Piper's foot in her ass. The exchange leads to an angry diatribe from the expectant mother over how her belly's become public property since she started showing, what with random strangers copping feels for good luck or something. The forum regulars who have actually reproduced confirm that this sort of invasion of privacy is one of the many unpleasant side effects of pregnancy, so I'll give the clueless amongst you a little PSA on the matter: Keep your filthy fucking hands off the pregnant ladies, okay?
Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Raige pretty much ignores the ranting noises coming from her bloated half-sister in favor of massaging a "cramp" in her neck. Seems the overtime she's been pulling while mastering The Craft has resulted in a series of physical complaints, not the least of which is an irritating tension through her neck and shoulders. Piper counsels pampering at the hands of a licensed professional, but Raige pffts at this suggestion, claiming she has to pick up the slack left by the slovenly Feebs, who apparently spent the holiday hiatus lounging around the Manor in her scanties, and isn't that a disturbing image? Raige ups the ick factor by noting, "I can understand [Phoebe] wanting to take a break from guys, but she's gonna wear out the batteries." Piper and I vomit a little into our mouths. Fortunately, Raige's cell phone chirps at this moment. It's the mistress of the Magic Wand herself, summoning them back to the Manor for a conference with Detective Darryl.