Charmed

Season 2 Episode 21

Apocalypse Not

1
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 11, 2000 on The WB
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
373 votes
14

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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When a vanquishing spell goes awry while the Halliwells try to destroy the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Prue and one of the Horsemen become trapped in a vortex. Piper and Phoebe enlist the help of the three remaining Horsemen to free Prue and the fourth Horseman before the vortex closes, and both are killed.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Apocalypse, Not

    9.5
    "Apocalypse, Not" was a superb episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because the sisters encounter the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. It was interesting to see how they operated in modern times incorporating technology and the ancient art of war. Their command center with the Omega symbol was pretty great. The sisters and Leo scramble for a way to find out what is going on and how to stop the world from ending. There was action, drama, and lots of character and plot development. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • Apocalypse Not Good...

    7.0
    This is the famous, or infamous, episode with the running clock. Remember the MASH episode with the running clock? That was really good. This, unfortunately, is not.



    I give credit here that nearly everything in this episode is done dramatically. In many ways, it has the budget and feel of a season finale. That makes sense since the fate of the entire world is at stake here. First of all, the 4 Horsemen, for being the very bringers of doom foretold in Revelations, are completely unimpressive and inspire zero dread, and it isn't the actors' fault, as they are actually pretty good, especially Strife. No, the problem is the characters themselves. What was with the War Room with the 4 pictures of the Horsemen posted up on a board? Hahaha... That was ridiculous. And was the world anywhere NEAR the actual apocalypse? It sure didn't appear so. If the apocalypse was supposed to happen at 7pm, then it didn't appear that the world got the memo. Frankly, an end of the world type of conflict needed more than an hour to get set up. They might have been able to pull it off in a 2 part episode. Maybe, but not here.



    I really appreciate that Brian Krause got more to do here, but Leo was completely out of character this entire episode. He comes back from the Elders to pass along the advice that the sisters work with evil, and then he spends the rest of the episode trying to convince the sisters that they shouldn't follow that very advice. Leo and the sisters work with evil several times later on. No problem. He also punches out a mortal to steal his outfit. Hahaha... I did like that part though. Yes, in the end Leo was just representing the underlying theme to the episode: that the sisters had grown so close that they were losing sight of the greater good. It isn't about THEM. It is bigger than them. All in all, this is just a flawed rehash of Awakening, where once again the sisters have to choose between a sister and innocents. Really, this is no real decision at all considering everyone would die in the apocalypse; so what would be the point of saving Prue then?



    Perhaps the best part of the episode is the foreshadowing of Phoebe's attraction to demons, similar to what we saw in Pardon My Past. It is getting pretty obvious that writers already have Cole in mind by this point.moreless
  • Apocalypse Why?

    0.8
    Easily one of the worst episodes from the Shannen seasons, Apocalypse Not is a case of a basic idea which could have become an entertaining episode, but gets ruined by predictable story developments and a poor script.



    Apocalypse Not has the sisters battling the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When one of the horsemen and Prue are sucked into a vortex, Piper and Phoebe must team up with the three remaining horsemen to save their sister.



    This is one of only a few Charmed episodes that I have never fully sat through. It remains today an extremely boring hour with the writers trying to be all creative and adult when they're really about as good as your average Sabrina, The Teenage Witch writer. The lair of the Horsemen is also lame, with them operating hundreds of world disasters from this office space in a skyscraper. Very stupid.



    Shannen Doherty hardly appears in the episode and her lack of presence definitely hurts the episode. If the writing was good and the script was actually changed a little, Holly and Alyssa could easily keep the episode afloat. Sadly, Apocalypse Not suffers from a script which would find it hard to compete with a snail in a race. Everything is dragged out so slowly and the Horsemen look extremely lame dressed in their "wacky" robes and riding on their horses in San Francisco.



    This is an extremely boring episode which could have easily been a classic with a very apocalyptic storyline. Ignore the eye-catching title, avoid this hour.



    Rating: Fmoreless
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are on the scene to bring about the end of the world. Can Leo and the girls stop them before it's too late?

    7.5
    This should, theoretically, have been the ultimate stand-off between Good and Evil as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse go up against The Charmed Ones and their ever-present Whitelighter in a battle for victory.



    When Prue and one of the horsemen get caught in an evil vortex, Leo has to go undercover to see what he can find out while Piper and Phoebe try and find a way to save their sister before 7pm comes and the world ends.



    Of course, the outcome is predictable, Prue is saved and the evil doers are vanished. On another note, it was good to see Leo actually having something to do in this one rather than behaving like a piece of the furniture. Not a bad episode, even if it was a tiny bit predictable in places. Certainly worth a look.moreless
  • Saving Prue

    7.6
    Apocalypse, Not-When a vanquishing spell goes awry while the Halliwells try to destroy the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Prue and one of the Horsemen become trapped in a vortex. Piper and Phoebe enlist the help of the three remaining Horsemen to free Prue and the fourth Horseman before the vortex closes, and both are killed. Although not as epic as it ambitious title, "Apocalyse, Not" is still an okay(ish) episode that brings a great dilemma for Piper and Phoebe as well as the writers trying to re-invent the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse mythology. I love that Piper and Phoebe were left with such a burden as they must make one of the most diffcult choices a human person can be asked to do: save their sibling or save the world. It brings some great drama for the 2 sisters and both Holly and Alyssa do a great job of conveying that. I liked them working with the horsemen as the idea of good and evil working together has never been explored up to this point in the series:



    Piper: This is where we were supposed to come, right?

    Phoebe: Right.

    Piper: And it's not a trap, right, please tell me we're doing the right thing.

    (The horsemen appear)

    Phoebe: Or we're making the biggest mistake in the world.

    Strife: Thank you for coming. And you are?

    Piper: Anxious to get this over with, let's go.

    Strife: Are you in a hurry?

    Phoebe: You stalling?

    Strife: You want your sister back?

    Piper: Do you want your friend back?

    Strife: Let's do business.



    While the horsemen plot could have been better developed and their actions could have been more epic, I love that Piper and Phoebe ultimately chose the world. It's great development as both sisters are developed and realize in the end that saving other lives are more important than saving your loved sometimes. Of course Prue comes back, but not at the expense of realizing that her sisters had to do what they had to do and it actually brings all 3 of them closer in the end. "Apocalypse, Not" isn't the most flashy and darkest episode, but it has enough well written morality to make for a decent episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (17)

    • When Leo orbs out in front of the Horsemen, one of them asks what is he. Isn't it odd that considering how high up on the chain of evil they are, they wouldn't know what a Whitelighter is? The following season all Cole had to do was shake Leo's hand and he knew who he was!

    • Doesn't it seem unlikely, that since the Horsemen were so high up on the chain of evil hierarchy, that they wouldn't know who the Charmed Ones were?

    • The four Horsemen are immune to the sisters powers and this is explained that it is because they are the annointed ones of the source and only he can kill him. However as we see in season 4 the sisters' powers do work against the Source so wouldn't that make the Horsemen more powerful than the Source?

    • Up until this episode, Leo has frozen with the rest of the surrounding area when Piper uses her power. In this episode, when she freezes the riot, he carries on as normal, where she would usually 'unfreeze' him.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first time one of Phoebe's premonitions has appeared in colour.

    • There is a great amount of foreshadowing in this episode not to mention insight into the past. Leo warns Phoebe about getting into bed with evil. One of the horsemen asks Phoebe if she has ever been a demon.Not only does this point to her past life when she was involved with the warlock Anton it points towards the next season when Phoebe falls in love with a demon - Cole Turner. Additionally, Piper and Phoebe think they have vanquished Prue, and in the next season, their sister dies. Leo and Piper talk about his place in her heart, as he feels that he is competing with her sisters. This is played out more in the third season.

    • Paula Cole sings the song "Be Somebody" and "Amen" from her album "Amen". The episode also features Everything But The Girl's song "Compression".

    • TRIVIA: According to Phoebe's research (when she was trying to figure out where Prue and War were) there are 11 planes of existence. An 11-planar existence is one mirrored by current theories in physics, which have suggested that the universe exists in eleven dimensions, only four of which we perceive.

    • TRIVIA: Brian Thompson later appears as the Titan, Cronus, in the two part season 5 finale: "Oh My Goddess".

    • The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are War, Famine, Strife, and Death; Death meaning the Angel of Death as said by the Bible. If Death is one of the Horsemen, where was the Angel of Death? This of course could just be another alteration of Myth's such as the season three Banshee which in Irish folklore is only a being who foretells death with her scream, not causes it.

    • When Piper froze the car crash riot, she saw the man who didn't freeze and ran after him, leaving a fully frozen street behind her. Isn't that a huge risk of exposure, if someone had driven into that scene from another street, and seen the whole place frozen?

    • This episode describes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as War, Famine, Strife and Death. However, it has never been suggested that this is correct. The bible calls the four: War, Famine, Pestilence and Death, and the other intepretation is War, Famine, Strife and Pestilence.

    • When Leo told the sisters about the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse it is bright sunlight outside. However, next shot, which only seems like 5 minutes later, it's dark outside.

    • When Prue moves the pointer on the spirit board, it points to the letter, but isn't it supposed to go over top so one can see the letter under the pointer's viewer?

    • TRIVIA: This is Dorian Gregory's 25th episode on the show.

    • While Leo's assertion that the Gregorian calendar is erroneous is correct, he was wrong on the direction. Most historians peg Jesus' birth at between 3-5 BC, meaning the end of the millennium was actually between 1995-1997.

    • When Phoebe and Piper are figuring out where they were standing along with the other horsemen, they place several objects on the table. The pyramid and candle change places twice.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Piper: She's gone.
      Phoebe: We don't know that.
      Piper: Phoebe, we killed Prue.
      Phoebe: Piper, stop it, OK? I don't want to hear that.
      Piper: You think I want to say it? I'm the one who made the potion, Phoebe. It's my fault.
      Phoebe: OK, how about having a little faith? All right, our magic has never let us down before.
      Piper: Well there's a first time for everything, isn't there?
      Phoebe: She's not dead.
      Piper: How do you know that?
      Phoebe: Because, Piper, I have no choice but to believe … in us. And in our magic.

    • Prue (about Phoebe's Sociology class): The big question is how did you stay awake through his class?
      Phoebe: Not only did I stay awake, but I actually enjoyed it. Which is why I bought this book. It's filled with really deep, profound questions. It would actually make a good bar game at P3.
      Piper: Oh, great, solve the problems of the world while doing Jell-O shots.

    • Piper: This is where we were supposed to come, right?
      Phoebe: Right.
      Piper: And it's not a trap, right, please tell me we're doing the right thing.
      (The horsemen appear)
      Phoebe: Or we're making the biggest mistake in the world.
      Strife: Thank you for coming. And you are?
      Piper: Anxious to get this over with, let's go.
      Strife: Are you in a hurry?
      Phoebe: You stalling?
      Strife: You want your sister back?
      Piper: Do you want your friend back?
      Strife: Let's do business.
      (He holds out his hand. Piper hesitates for a moment but then shakes his hand. A crack of thunder is heard)

    • P3 Worker: Everyone has to vote on this. What if the building was on fire? Do you save five strangers or one sibling?
      Piper, Phoebe & Prue (simultaneously): Five strangers.

    • Strife: Perhaps it was the combination of our chants that opened this vortex.
      Phoebe: What language were you chanting in?
      Strife: Actually, it's a dead language that we sometimes use for ceremonial purposes.
      Piper: How festive.
      Strife: I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

    • Leo: Phoebe, you can't get into a bed with evil. It could be a trap!

    • Prue (about her sisters' search for the demon): So how is it going?
      Piper: In big, fat circles.

    • Phoebe: Are you telling me evil called good and good answered?

    • Phoebe: What just happened?
      Piper: I think we just vanquished our sister.

    • Prue: I thought you were going to dinner.
      Piper: We did and for dessert we did a little demon hunting.

    • Death: Pentagram, our lucky sign.
      Phoebe: Actually, a pentagram is a sign of good energy until your side stole it.

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Ne Apokalypsu (Not Apocalypse)
      France: Les cavaliers de l'Apocalypse (The Horsemen of the Apocalypse)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Title: Apocalypse Not

      This is a reference to the 1979 movie: Apocalypse Now starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall.

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