Saving Private Leo

Episode Reviews (18)

Great
357 votes
8.6
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  • 7.0

    Saving good writing for later...

    By iltarion, Apr 06, 2011

    Finally an episode that highlights Leo and HIS past... It is ABOUT time, and frankly, the timing here is beyond curious.



    This episode gets a 7 thanks to the acting of Brian Krause (if maybe some overacting in parts) and the subplot of Paige showing some of her whitelighter instincts as she basically pulls a Leo on Leo. Those two things along with the pleasing appearance of a sexy assistant for Cole and a feel good ending keep this episode above the 6 range reserved for the worst of Charmed.



    Unfortunately, the writing here is an epic fail, about as bad as anytime during the series. We all know that Leo is as close to an all good character as there is on the show. He is an angel afterall. However, the writer could have felt free to give Leo some human failing, when he actually was a human, for him to bonafide feel guilty about. Instead, we get a bunch of mularkey that makes no sense. His "friends" were killed by an artillery shell seconds after he left them. Leo leaving them had NOTHING to do with their death! If he would have stayed, he would merely have died too, along with everyone else that he later went on to save. So, these supposedly close "friends" of his, soldiers even, are mad at him for doing his JOB moments before an artillery shell killed them? Give me a break. Complete hogwash.



    And to make matters worse, Leo feels guilty about it? And not like minor guilt here, but like crushing guilt. For what? For his murderous, evil "friends" getting blown up by an artillery shell, which was apparently better than they deserved?



    That is the 2nd problem here. If you wanted to work the guilt angle on Leo, fine, but then you needed to make the ghosts somewhat sympathetic figures. We understand why Leo feels guilty because we can sympathize with the soldiers. Instead, these soldiers turn out to be two of the worst villians ever on the show, who apparently kill innocents both as a matter of convenience and for the sadistic pleasure of it. Ah, nice "friends" for a guy like Leo to have had in real life. Yeah, right. We all believe that. Lastly, the show again gives too much power to ghosts, who should be less empowered than demons, not more. If a ghost is capable of affecting the corporeal, then it stands to reason that the corporeal must also be able to affect THEM. This could have been great if it wasn't written with complete laziness.



    Did I mention the final scene where Leo meets the families of the men he saved is fantastic though? So, there is that.moreless

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  • 7.0

    The ghosts of Leo's past.

    By Lady_Lancaster, Mar 08, 2011

    Leo is usually the sensible one, but sometimes, he doesn't make some very smart decisions. This is one of those occasions when two ghosts from long ago in his past arrive in the present and try to make his life as difficult as possible for a variety of reasons.



    In other news, Cole wants to get Phoebe away from the protection of her sisters and, therefore, "The Power of Three". He suggests that, as newlyweds, it would be nice if they had a home of their own. The reaction to this statement is varying, to say the least, but you'll have to watch to see what eventually happens because this is a good one and definitely worth having a look at.moreless

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  • 5.0

    The Brothers Grimm

    By MovieMark, Feb 12, 2010

    This isn't necessarily a bad episode of Charmed (although it does have its fair share of cringe-worthy moments); it simply suffers quite a bit due to its placing within the season. Had this story been told during the first half of the season, I would have allowed it more rope, but given that it's clonked between two arc-heavy storylines, effectively terminating the momentum gained by the last few episodes, there's no forgiving the script's shortcomings.



    Phoebe and Cole are relegated to sub-plots this week and not very interesting ones either. I did enjoy Cole's assistant taking charge and mimicking Cole while he was away, but it was the only memorable moment in an otherwise dull and predictable story. You can always tell when a writer likes or dislikes Phoebe and scribe Daniel Cerone evidently despises her – she's a whiny, bordering on obnoxious character throughout, with all of her trademark witticisms tossed to the side to make way for more whining. Who works in a kitchen, which they know is busy EVERY morning, only to complain about the noise level and lack of peace?! Shoddy writing!



    Leo is finally given something to do. Sorta. While I really loved the flashback – very, very cool – the whole storyline about two old pals coming back to torment Leo because he chose to save the lives of many instead of his friends, felt extremely forced. It highlights Charmed's major weakness with regards to planting plot seeds for them to grow later on in the season. Cole's arc aside, this series has a woeful track record. We're suddenly shown all of these pictures of Leo in the war, all of his merits just because the story calls for it. Had these props appeared in earlier episodes, it would have leant weight to such a flimsily strung together tale.



    The writers do aim for dark – these ghosts are nastier than your usual demon-of-the-week. They kill a charge Leo saved minutes beforehand, only to hold Leo down and force him to watch her die. Likewise, they kill Piper, but before they do, one of the brothers reaches into Piper's chest and grabs hold of her heart just to feel its final beat. Unfortunately, the drama is overplayed, and overacted by Brian. The script called for him to be a broken shell, but Brian just can't rein it in and offers up some woeful daytime TV hands-in-face teary moments that you can't help but snicker at, much like the majority of the episode.moreless

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  • 7.9

    Past Imperfect

    By lenzinoH20, Jun 19, 2008

    Saving Private Leo-When two ghosts from Leo's past return to seek revenge, Leo faces his demons by submitting, causing Piper's life to be threatened,leaving Paige to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Cole tries to convince Phoebe they need a home of their own.



    After 4 seasons, Leo has pretty much been a fairly limited supporting character. Besides his high profile romance with Piper and being the Charmed Ones' whitelighter, we have never really gotten any insight into Leo's past or his own personal struggles with the life he once lived. "Saving Private Leo" sees the writers finally delving into Leo's past and having him face his own demons for the first time. Brian Krause gives probably his finest performance on Charmed as Leo and I loved his breakdown scene with Paige. Knwoing that Leo has felt so guilty all these years and feels his been living a lie is heartbreaking. Louis Mandylor (Nathan Lang) and Costas Mandylor (Rick Lang) are both convincing as Leo's former friends turned vengeful spirits out to kill Leo for betraying them.



    Cole's sub-plot was also entertaining with him trying to get Phoebe out of the manor. I even loved the introduction of Deborah Kellner as Julie, Cole's sexy demonic secretary. She makes for another impressive villainess for the sisters and I love she tries to seduce Cole but he just rejects with clever remarks. Also, the sister dilemma with Phoebe moving out brings some nice scenes between the leads. Phoebe actually moving in with Cole is great development as it cause friction between the sisters and Cole is starting influence Phoebe convincingly. "Saving Private Leo" is seen my most fans as a boring and dull episode, but I was found it very enjoyable with a great performance from Brian Krause and a solid sub-plot.moreless

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  • 10

    Two ghosts from Leo's past return to seek revenge.

    By ParkPlace2623, May 28, 2008

    I loved this episode so much. It was so enjoyable. This episode was very fun to watch. It was just so cleverly plotted. It was just so entertaining to follow through. It's like you know something unexpected is going to happen. I can not believe that Piper died. Luckily, she was revived. This episode was so dramatic. It was very exciting. It was very above average. In my opinion, this was a very special episode. It was very nerve wracking. This episode was yet another great installment to this amazing series. This episode is a good example to why I watch this series.moreless

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  • 9.2

    1942 and all that

    By Blinksterboy, Mar 22, 2008

    A Leo based episode at last. It's about time! Since getting married, he's been little more than a teleporting house husband.



    The main plot involves two revenge-seeking ghosts from Leo's past. Turns out they were his best mates during the war but he left them to die in a hospital tent (you can see why they might be upset). Thanks to them, our favourite whitelighter loses a charge, forgets how to use his powers and almost loses Piper. Despite some glaring inconsistencies with other episodes, it's an enjoyable hour and makes a refreshing change from the usual demon bashing.



    The story gives Brian a rare opportunity to act and he puts in a heartfelt performance. I do wish they'd give him more scripts like this; he's so good at these emotional scenes. Such a waste! The two brothers playing the two brothers were pretty dreadful but they did look good in their combats so I'll forgive them. I'd say Nathan was the fitter of the two.



    For the first time in a few weeks, Cole and Phoebe are shoved to the sidelines. This actually works rather well, and the Source's plan to get Phoebe to move out of the Manor provides an intriguing (and almost lighthearted) subplot. Once again, Julian comes up with the goods, and it's nice to see the Source able to do something without the Seer holding his hand. I did like the shapeshifting office assistant but I can't see her lasting. She's way too leggy for this show.



    How annoying was Phoebe? If you want a bit of peace and quiet don't set up shop in the kitchen at eight o'clock in the morning and certainly don't then moan at everyone else for having their breakfast. Dear God!moreless

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  • 5.1

    Boring again another episode that is dragged out.

    By charmed1102, Apr 24, 2007

    The girls encounter two ghosts from Leo's past that return to seek revenge because they believe he left them to die during the war. Confronted with the memory of letting down his former friends, Leo winds up losing his powers, when the ghosts kill one of his charges. Cole enlisted the help of a sexy demon to make Phoebe's life unhappy at the Manor in order to get her to move away from her sisters.

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  • 10

    Two ghosts from Leo's past return to seek revenge.

    By Alias2001, Feb 09, 2007

    I loved this episode so much. It was so enjoyable. This episode was very fun to watch. It was just so cleverly plotted. It was just so entertaining to follow through. It's like you know something unexpected is going to happen. I can not believe that Piper died. Luckily, she was revived. This episode was so dramatic. It was very exciting. It was very above average. In my opinion, this was a very special episode. It was very nerve wracking. This episode was yet another great installment to this amazing series. This episode is a good example to why I watch this series.moreless

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  • 6.0

    An episode that you might as well forget again. The whole storyline around Leo is uninspired, and Cole's plan to get Phoebe away from her sisters doesn't quite fit in.

    By Ramona87, Jan 02, 2007

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think this was the worst episode ever. It's just that I've seen better ones. Leo is surprisingly weak in this episode, which might be explained by the fact that he's been suppressing his guilt, but I just didn't buy it. It's hard to believe that all of a sudden Leo's self-esteem is so low that anyone can destroy him within hours. And since when can Leo bring back the dead? When Piper vanquished the two ghosts, she was one too, which means she had already died - yet Leo was able to heal her? A little absurd to me...



    Phoebe and Cole's storyline was okay, but it deserved more. Throughout the whole episode, Phoebe was complaining about things she could easily change: why doesn't she work in her room or go to her office? A little strange that a few setbacks can make her want to leave her sisters' house...this was just too easy for Cole. Maybe if the two storylines had been interchanged - making the Phoebe/Cole one the main story of the episode, the whole story would have been more interesting.



    After so much criticism, a little praise: Paige and Cole were just amazing once again. Paige acted very mature and didn't hesitate at all when Leo was in trouble and she had to try out her whitelighter side all on her own, plus, she was really nice to Cole, which shows she is able to try (even though I still think her sisters were totally wrong when they expected her to like Cole even when she just couldn't). Cole on the other side was wonderfully evil because he acted very subtly. His demonic side is so much better when he's hiding it a little...he was all charming the whole time, which proves he is even more dangerous than you might think.



    To sum up, the episode was okay, but not one of Charmed's best. I give it a 6.0 rating because of Paige and Cole, Piper, Phoebe and Leo on the other hand take four points off the highest possible score.moreless

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