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Season 2 Episode 20

Astral Monkey

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 04, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
347 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The doctor that treated Piper when she was critically ill discovers, and gains, the Haliwells' powers. After being twisted by the magic now within him, he goes on a sadistic organ-harvesting spree, targeting criminals in the streets.

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  • music

    what was the band that played at the end of Astral Monkey?
  • Astral Monkey

    Astral Monkey was a perfect episode of Charmed and I enjoyed watching because the story was well written, engaging and full of character development. It was fun to see monkeys with the power of the Charmed Ones and interesting to see how the sisters' blood affected Dr. Williamson. Leo's presence around the house is felt by all and it was fun to see Phoebe dealing with it. The sisters are not able to save Dr. Williamson and Piper has feelings of guilt and it was touching to see Leo comfort her at the end. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The Repo Doctor and his Triad of Primates...

    This is another highly original episode that is Charmed's special blend of lighthearted goof and dark melodrama. This is also probably the best episode down the stretch for Season 2, from which we saw diminishing returns.

    First of all, as he was in Awakened, Matthew Glave is excellent here as the doctor whose obsession leads him on a descent into madness. His sister's need for a kidney smartly set up his sudden transformation into gruesome repo man. He made a very imposing antagonist for the sisters coupled with the moral ambiguity of dealing with a once innocent human. The final showdown with him was also well done, even if a bit fortunate.

    The lighthearted moments mainly came from some interaction between Phoebe and Leo, including a priceless scene when Leo accidently asked Phoebe if she wanted to do it on a cloud. Haha... Phoebe's issues with Leo here are somewhat out of character for her, considering how close her and Leo always seem to be. Of course, she gets over it for the end.

    There is also some tomfoolery involving a trio of chimps. I normally don't care for monkeys being involved with the proceedings, but it actually works alright here. The writers didn't try too hard to wring comedy from the primates. I find it hard to believe that mystic powers would be carried through blood, but I can accept it as part of this story. The truly different aspect of this episode is the moral dilemma presented with killing the doctor, and the guilt that builds on Piper as she realizes where this all started and where it is all going to inevitably end up. The guilt is a little off base since the doctor's own obsession led to his demise, and actually, the guilt could have been much worse if the doctor would have killed some actual innocents instead of fortunately picking on criminals. On the other hand, Charmed is more about Piper's growth than any other character, and we see clearly the young Piper here: unhappy with her powers and unwilling to accept that dark world that comes with them. Piper would become a much tougher character by the end.moreless
  • Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. So say the three wise monkeys!

    I personally found this one a big let down after the excellence of the one in which Piper was critically ill and had her life saved by the very same doctor who now seems to have completely lost it and turned not only into a serial killer, but insane as well.

    The poor old doctor (well, not so old doctor) seems to find it necessary to harvest organs from as many people in as short a time as possible. Clearly, he is not in his right mind and Piper feels a great need to help him after all that he did for her. The trouble is, he is not the same chap and not QUITE so easy to reason with.

    This one could have been much better, but the actor playing the role of the doctor did an excellent job. A fine performance.moreless
  • I Mock You with My Monkey Pants!

    One thing I loved about early Charmed was the amazing ability the writer's had to blend potentially corny humor into the same episode which features a man killing people and harvesting their organs. The undeniable lameness of the monkey storyline in this episode (which is, admittedly, sorta fun) strikes a really weird contrast to the heavily dark proceedings in the A-plot, making Astral Monkey one of the best episodes from season two and a series-best writing effort from creator Constance M Burge.

    In the episode, we discover that Dr Curtis Williamson has been investigating Piper's miraculous recovery from Aroya fever and has been injecting Halliwell blood into monkeys, giving them the sister's powers. When Williamson is injected with Halliwell blood and gets hold of the Charmed Ones' powers, he goes on a rampage through San Francisco harvesting organs to help two of his family members, who are both in a bad shape.

    The principal storyline in this episode is really dark and features an excellent performance from Matthew Glave as the tortured Dr Williamson. His character went through so many different emotional stages in his mini-arc on Charmed, from the caring doctor we saw in Awakened to the psychopath he turns into in Astral Monkey.

    The episode also featured a powerful performance from Holly Marie Combs. Never overplaying her grief over Dr Williamson's death, she excellently puts across the guilt she feels after her doctor dies, believing she was the one that inadvertently caused all of what happened.

    Astral Monkey has a slightly pointless subplot involving the media's intrusion of the Halliwell manor after a paparazzo photographs Prue with a famous movie star. It's a tacky knock-off of the Julia Roberts movie Notting Hill and didn't really end up having much of a point.

    Probably one of the best season two episodes, Astral Monkey, despite the title, spends very little time on the actual monkeys and if you get past all that, it's a dark, thoughtful episode which can't be missed.

    Director: Craig Zisk

    Teleplay: Constance M Burge, David Simkins

    Story: Constance M Burge

    Rating: Amoreless
Matthew Glave

Matthew Glave

Dr. Curtis Williamson

Guest Star

Milt Tarver

Milt Tarver

Dr. Jeffries

Guest Star

Jack Maxwell

Jack Maxwell


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (20)

    • After the sisters freeze and enter the Records room, trying to find Dr. Williamson, Prue prints a copy of the information that she saw on the computer. The printer shouldn't work because when Piper freezes someone/something it ceases to function because it is completely frozen in time. For example, when Piper pricks Dan in the Season 2 episode They're Everywhere to test if he's a warlock, he doesn't bleed until she unfreezes him.

    • In the season 1 episode Wendigo Piper reveals her blood type is AB negative which she states is very rare, and Andy is the only other known character to have that blood type, so Dr. Williamson would have died from blood mismatching as it is unlikely he had the same blood type and Prue and Phoebe have a different blood group to Piper anyway.

    • Leo explains that Dr. Williamson is quickly going mad because mortals are unable to handle having witches' powers. However, in the season 7 episode Ordinary Witches, the neighbors receive the sisters' powers and while they certainly get a little caught up in the personal gain aspect they do not go crazy. While they only received one power each, unlike Dr. Williamson who received all three, Leo never specified he only said powers.

    • TRIVIA: There are no demons in this episode.

    • Piper said that they had the elixir and Phoebe said that Dr. Williamson trashed it. Wouldn't Piper have known this since she looked right at the smashed bottle when she was laying on the ground?

    • When Piper was reading the list at the hospital she said Dr. C. Williamson but the list at the hospital did not say that - the one at the house did.

    • The list of victims that Piper pulls out of her pocket, when Darryl leaves the house, is not the same one that they printed off at the hospital.

    • When Piper comes downstairs at the end of the episode, her watch is on her left hand and she has a black bracelet on her right hand. When she is upstairs crying, they are on opposite hands.

    • When the press cover the Halliwell's front garden, a view of them all there is shown, but it is not the real outside of the Manor. It's not even the outside of the set, it looks as if it's plastic - especially the windows.

    • Through the entire episode the simians Dr. Jeffries experimented on are called monkeys, when they are actually chimpanzees.

    • TRIVIA: This is a follow-up to an earlier episode in the same season Awakened, which took place 90 days before the events of this episode.

    • At the beginning of the episode, when Dr. Williamson is on the phone with his superior, it sounds as if he mispronounces Piper's name, calling her "Pipper" Halliwell.

    • Why was Piper so excessively upset over Dr. Williamson's death? In previous episodes, the losses of people presumably more important to her, such as Andy (a friend since childhood) and Aunt Gail (a close family-friend), have left Piper much less broken up.

    • You could clearly see Dr. Jeffries moving even though he was supposed to be frozen.

    • TRIVIA: In the scene when Piper grieves in her room because she couldn't avoid Dr. Williamson's death, the song playing is "Letting the Cables Sleep" performed by Bush. This episode also features Smash Mouth's song "Then The Morning Comes".

    • In this episode Phoebe tells Prue that Evan Stone is her perfect man, but she previously said in the earlier season 2 episode "Chick Flick" that Billy Appleby, a movie character, is.

    • TRIVIA: The Doctor who treated Piper also used 3 chimps to test the sisters' blood and each one had the same name & power as each sister: Prue chimp had telekinesis, Piper chimp had the freezing power, and Phoebe chimp had premonitions.

    • The Charmed Ones' powers did not make the chimps sick and/or insane most likely because they only received one power each. This theory can be supported by he fact that in the Season 8 episode Ordinary Witches, some of the Halliwells' neighbors receive their powers and do not feel any ill effects.

    • It's taken the Charmed Ones years to learn how to use their powers. So how did Dr. Williamson master them in a few days?

    • Leo says that the awakening spell changed everything so their powers could be passed on through their blood. In the season 2 episode "Awakened" they reversed the spell and made everything go back to the way it was.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Darryl: Tell me again I'm not hunting down some demonic son of a bitch.
      Piper: Darryl, I told you when I called. He's a human being.
      Darryl: With a supernatural talent for butchery. In the past 4 hours, this Doctor Williamson has drop off two more coolers at hospitals, and he's not bothering to stitch up his victims anymore.
      Piper: He's killing people?
      Darryl: Yes. Tell me where to find him.
      Piper: I don't know.
      Darryl>: We've staked out all the hospitals, but somehow he's getting in, dropping off his gifts and getting out without anybody seeing him. He's using your powers, isn't he?
      Piper: … Yes, but we found a way to stop him.
      Darryl: Not if I stop him first.
      Piper: Darryl, don't kill him.
      Darryl: Have you been listening to me? He may not give me a choice.

    • Piper (about Dr Williamson): His first name was Curtis. He never married because he was working all the time. Saving lives was more important to him than having a life of his own. Now his life is over and I can't help but feel responsible for that.
      Phoebe: We tried to save him.
      Piper: But we didn't.
      Prue: Because we couldn't.
      Piper: I couldn't.

    • Piper: Leo doesn't live here.
      Phoebe: He eats breakfast here.
      Piper: Uh huh.
      Phoebe: A lot.
      Piper: Maybe he just likes cereal.

    • Piper: (about Leo) You really think he's here that much?
      Phoebe: He's like the big brother I never wanted... uh... I mean, had.

    • Leo orbs in on Phoebe who is kneeling in Piper's closet but Leo thinks it's Piper.
      Leo: Ever done it on a cloud?
      Phoebe: Does a featherbed count?

    • Prue: A monkey astral projected onto the set today.
      Phoebe: A monkey?
      Piper: Astral projected?
      Prue: Yeah, and it waved at me, like it knew me or something. I think it wanted my help.
      Phoebe: Honey, I think you're working way too hard.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Astrální projekce (Astral Projection) France: Médecine occulte (occult medecine) Italy: Le tre scimmie (The three monkeys) Germany: Hexenblut (Witch blood)

    • This is the last episode written by Constance M. Burge.


    • Prue: I appreciate the whole "wax on, wax off" approach...

      "Wax on, wax off" was one of Mr. Miyagi's training methods in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid starring Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita and Elizabeth Shue.

    • Phoebe: How much do I hate you right now? Unless of course the tabloid rumours are true. In which case I really hate you.

      It is widely rumored that Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty did not get along, and this statement could have a double meaning.

    • Phoebe (to the monkeys): You guys, what do you think of evil?
      (The first monkey covers its eyes, the second covers its ears and the third covers its mouth)

      What the monkeys convey is that they "See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil". This is a reference to the popular saying which is believed to be originated from the Three Wise Monkeys.

    • Phoebe: I'll take premontion for 500, Alex.

      This is a reference to the game show "Jeopardy" where the contestants ask the host, Alex Trebek, for one of the questions in a category for a certain amount of money.

    • Title: Astral Monkey

      This is most likely a reference to Prue's power Astral Projection and what the sisters call her when using this power Astral Prue. Also because the monkey first seen was the one with Prue's power.