In this first half of a two-part season premiere,the Charmed ones are finally trying to relax and lead semi-normal lives after the dark events of last season.However,as is typical on this series,the normalcy is not to last. Phoebe is contacted by a mermaid as she is coming out of work.The mermaid needs the help of the Charmed ones to escape from an evil sea hag who wants her immortality.In order to help her,they must get her human lover,Craig,to confess his love for her and make her human permanently.Meanwhile,Piper has developed a sudden paralyzing fear of battles and Phoebe's life is disrrupted by the reappearance of Cole.Cole claims to be good now and starts doing good deeds to try and prove that to Phoebe and the others.By the end of the episode,the Charmed ones have saved the mermaid from death and defeated the sea hag.However,Phoebe who is now a mermaid as the result of a spell and insists that she wants to be one permanently.The episode ends in a cliff-hanger with Phoebe gone and Piper still crippled by her fears. This episode along with part two is one of my all-time favorite Charmed episodes.The writing is good,the actors do spelndidly,and the episode opens up many good storylines for the rest of the season.Cole's reappearance is a real blessing in my opinion as he is one of the greatest characters the show has ever had.His and Phoebe's relationship(or lack thereof) plays out excellently in this episode and they have some of the greatest chemistry of any two characters,couple or otherwise. The effects in this episode were very well-executed for this show.The shots of the storm were spectacular as were
the effects of the sea hag appearing out of the puddle and the water layer appearing over Paige. The only major thing in this episode that bothered me was the Piper storyline.Piper's fear issues were a bit annoying.I found them to be a real down-side to the story.They came off a bit to overdramatic for my tastes and I didn't really think it likely that after all she had been through that she would get quite that flustered all of a sudden. Overall,though this is an excellent episode and definitely a great example of why Charmed is such an entertaining show.