Featuring what could be the best Charmed performance by Rose McGowan, A Paige From the Past is the first episode to really get under the skin of Charmed's newest sister, whose back-story hadn't really been evolved on previously.
The episode sees Paige and Leo journeying to the past when Paige freezes in front of a car accident. Back in the past, Paige must relive the painful deaths of her parents, who were killed in a car crash. Meanwhile, in the present, Phoebe and Cole are possessed by ghostly lovers.
Though the revelation that Paige was an "outsider" in her teen years and the overdone "outsider" bedroom and the "outsider" clothing amount to nothing but clichés, this episode helps you finally sympathize with her and her emotions. Writer Daniel Cerone creates a character who deeply regrets how she treated her family back in the early 90's and in a very un-Charmed way, Paige realizes she can't save her parents from imminent death. Compared to many other Charmed hours, death is handled in a mature, believable way in this episode, and it makes it all the more dramatic and saddening.
The subplot involving Frankie and Lulu is less successful, mainly due to the fact that the characters feel a lot like filler material. It also doesn't help that the storyline is neither dramatic or funny and both Alyssa Milano and Julian McMahon seem bored throughout.
Despite the pointless subplot, A Paige From the Past is one of season four's first really excellent episodes, featuring a powerful performance from Rose McGowan and some poignant writing.
Director: James L Conway
Writer: Daniel Cerone