Season 8 Episode 4

Desperate Housewitches

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 16, 2005 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
514 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Wyatt's school play brings out the competitive nature in Piper when her hand-sewn costume & parenting abilities are criticized by another mother. However things go from bad to worse, because this Stepford-like mother is actually a demon in disguise bent on kidnapping Wyatt in a plot to resurrect the Source. Meanwhile, Paige spies Dex with another woman, and despite Phoebe's objections, butts in.moreless

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  • Desperate Housewitches

    Desperate Housewitches was a perfect episode of Charmed. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, engaging and entertaining. It was interesting to see Piper get competitive with another mother at Wyatt's school, though the woman is more than she seems. Paige interferes with Phoebe's love life after seeing they guy kiss another woman. It was awesome to see the Source return if only to be vanquished again. This episode shows just how the sister's cover identities affect them and their lives as well as how easily their cover can be blown. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The Source of All Butchery

    Desperate Housewitches-Wyatt's school play brings out the competitive nature in Piper when her hand-sewn costume & parenting abilities are criticized by another mother. However things go from bad to worse, because this Stepford-like mother is actually a demon in disguise bent on kidnapping Wyatt in a plot to resurrect the Source. Meanwhile, Paige spies Dex with another woman, and despite Phoebe's objections, butts in.

    Is it just me or did the writers suffer from some kind of selective memory loss this season!? Cause honestly how does a line like Paige asking Piper and Phoebe how they vanquished the Source make it into a script!!!? O_0 You're telling me in an episode where the writing references Cole, Richard, Tempus, Zankou and brings back the sisters' greatest villain but the writers can't seem to remember the simple fact that Paige was there and helped her sisters vanquish the Source back in Season 4!! What kinda stupidity is that?! And don't tell me that line was suppose to besarcasticcause Rose McGowan delivers that line as dull as dirt! Not only shame on the writers, but on Rose McGowan now speaking up and saying "Hey! That line makes absolutely no sense and a disastrous plothole!" To make matters worse, when the Source is resurrected, his vanquished again just as fast. Piper's excuse also makes no sense because it was Wyatt's power that brought back the Source, not the possessing demon!! *HEADDESK UNTIL HEAD TRAUMA!*

    The rest of the episode? Where do I begin?! Paige is offrunningPhoebe's love life by posing as Dex's ex-girlfriend, Phoebe continues obsessing over Dex, a guy who's about as interesting as this episode itself, Piper is stuck in an episode of "Desperate Housewives" and Billie and Leo masquerade as demons by wearing the tackiest, trashiest clothes that I've ever seen! What more is there to say? Typical Charmed! At this point, I swear the three leads are seeing this show a merely a job, a means of getting a paycheck as the writers give these women very..and I mean VERY little to work with each week. It's a shame the Source couldn't stick around as final villain for the sisters. Instead, what's to come is probably the most anti-climatic, laughable main villains I've ever seen. Season 8 in all it's lack ofqualitypeople!moreless
  • A demon possesses a mother who knows Wyatt to kidnap him. Why? To conjure the Source!

    I think this was the best episode since Imaginary Friends. Haha... people need to get over the fact that the Source was vanquished so easily. The Source had been conjured. It wasn't like facing him the first time. The way the sisters took care of him made complete sense. Phoebe and Paige actually have it backwards. Paige was right about Cole. Phoebe was ultimately right about Richard. So, they should stay IN each others' love lives, not out. Of course Dex ends up being a good guy. I guess that should be a relief. I am pretty unconcerned one way or the other. Paige has looked gorgeous these last two seasons. As much as I thought I loved the red hair, I think the dark hair makes her eyes seem even bigger than before.

    Anyway, Billie doesn't have a lot to do here other than be mischevious. Kind of bizarre that she could send her and Leo to Magic School just with a potion, but I guess it was essential to the plot. At any time they were there, Leo could have told Wyatt to orb them home, but I guess that would have ruined what was a very good scene when Leo stood his ground with the Source. Again, I had originally thought making Leo mortal was a big mistake, but actually, he has been an even tougher character without powers than he ever was with them, minus the couple episodes when he was frying Elders. As a whitelighter, he was pretty much useless except for orbing and healing, though those are pretty useful skills, granted.

    Anyway, the final scene when Piper, Leo and Chris attended Wyatt's school play was absolutely darling. It is always wonderful to see them together as a family considering everything they have gone through. Great scene.

    Now I am expecting this "secret identity" junk is going to end soon. From the beginning, what was ever the point of "living normal lives" if demons were still going to come after Wyatt and Chris? Pretty pointless, no? And it also suggests that their personal lives are more important than the greater good. If that were true, then what the hell have they been doing this whole time?moreless
  • The Source of all E-- oh, he's gone..

    The sheer scope of this episode is impressive (as is Kaley Cuoco's smokin' hot bod), but for all of its build-up (and, boy, does it keep building and building...), the payoff is extremely disappointing. Forget any sort of big bang, there's not so much as a whimper. (Barely even a mote of dust.)

    Brad knew going into this season that it would be Charmed's last, so kudos must be given to his staff for rummaging through Charmed's back catalogue of demons and plucking out their most powerful nemesis - the Source.

    On any other series, and I'm going to be recalling Buffy here for a second, the show-runners would have gladly made this plot line into a two-part episode. Buffy, however, decided to treat the fans to an arc that would recall every Big Bad Buffy ever faced. With Charmed, however, the Source of all EVIL, for cryin' out loud, is awarded 5 to 10 minutes of screen-time, give or take. And his vanquish is so pathetic, that when Paige asks for an explanation, it's tossed aside by Piper with a pithy sentence that makes no sense, since WYATT was the one who conjured him up. Ugh.

    Sloppy finish aside, 'Desperate Housewitches' continues with season 8's perky, affable storytelling, with each sister nabbing a side-story of their own, with mixed results.

    Paige thinks Dex is a cheat, so she disguises herself as his ex to find out. It's a storyline that goes nowhere, but I did enjoy Phoebe jumping on Paige. (What? Don't look at me like that!) It's hard to believe that Phoebe would ever go out with someone as lifeless as Dex, but then again, she did go out with Jason for two seasons. Piper, meanwhile, is having trouble adapting to being considered Wyatt's 'distant cousin' and not his mother; I enjoyed this storyline the most. It was surprisingly well thought-out, and it certainly connects well to the main plot, even if it all crumbles in the final act. And the ending is unbearably cute.

    Billie still hasn't started to bug me yet, which I'm finding a tad worrying. Her snappy comments are very much welcome, and when Piper tells her to 'SHUT IT,' I laughed. I also liked the way she casually told Leo he looked hot, and how he proceeded to brush his clothing down one more time, as if to say 'hey, the new hot witch thinks I'm hot'. There's plenty of nice throwbacks to earlier seasons, with brief mentions of Cole, Richard, Tempus and Zankou. It's an awful shame that the writers didn't plan to bring the Source back for the rest of the arc as the main threat. It would have added some much needed momentum to the season. (There's more salt added to the wound when we eventually find out who the Big Bad is...or should I say who the Big Bads are...)moreless

    Costume drama

    After a brief but refreshing break, it's demons as usual this week. Not for the first time, the plot sees a baddie try to lure Wyatt away from his parents. To do this, our demon-of-the-week first possesses one of his nursery school teachers then whisks him off to Magic School to summon the Source.

    While the point of the episode is to wind up Piper by portraying Mandy as the perfect mother, Mandy's sickly smiles do feel rather contrived. By contrast, the possessor demon is truly chilling and the actress is excellent. 'Nuff said about those costumes.

    The return of the Source is a bold move and a complete surprise. Unfortunately, his appearance is a total letdown. The build up is good but the action once he arrives is non-existent and the Source himself seems totally out of place. In fact that whole scene is weird. Leo, the Source and a demon dressed as a schoolteacher just don't work together. And that vanquish was way too easy. Why bring back someone so powerful only to have him disappear five minutes later? Surely they could have kept him on for a few episodes? Grrrrr!

    There is also a major subplot involving Paige, Phoebe and Dex. Annoying though it may be to see the writers spending yet MORE time on Phoebe's boring boyfriends, I have to admit this is far and away the best part of the episode. The scene where Paige glamours into Dex's ex girlfriend then gets busted by Phoebe is hilarious.

    I'm swiftly going off Billie. Her know-it-all attitude stinks (even more so because she doesn't know it all) and she's really rude to Leo in the opening scene. That said, I did enjoy seeing the two of them at Magic School. Demon Central indeed!

    Score: 8.6moreless
Elizabeth Greer

Elizabeth Greer

Possessor Demon

Guest Star

Michelle Stafford

Michelle Stafford


Guest Star

Philipp Karner

Philipp Karner


Guest Star

Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis

Dex Lawson

Recurring Role

Christina Ulloa

Christina Ulloa

Jo Bennett

Recurring Role

Jason Simmons

Jason Simmons

Wyatt Halliwell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • When Billie asks how to get out of Magic School, Leo tells her that Paige used to orb him in and out. The two of them then spend ages looking for a spell to help them escape. Why doesn't Leo just ask Billie to call for Paige?

    • Miss Diane allows Mandi to take Wyatt without getting permission first. That is a huge no no and she would lose her job for that! Orphaned or not a child can only leave with guardians and designated "emergency pick ups". A teacher would never just let another parent take a child home, no matter how well they know them, at least not if they wanna keep their job!

    • TRIVIA: This is the second time that Leo disguises himself with clothes of a knocked-out enemy to inflitrate an enemy base, and is figured out later. The first time it happened was in the episode Apocalypse, Not.

    • In season four, the Source seemed to be a powerful entity with its own personality wandering from host to host, as during that season it went from the half-faced demon to Cole, and then from Cole to Phoebe and Cole's unborn child. Technically, the last host of the Source was the unborn child. But when the posessor summons the Source from the Wasteland, the half-faced demon is summoned instead.

    • TRIVIA: This episode features a spell to resurrect the Source - "We call to you that away was torn, return, master of all evil born."

    • TRIVIA: In this episode the Source returns and is re-vanquished by Piper. He's connected to the demon that brought him back and when Piper blows her up he's vanquished as well because of that connection.

    • Paige asks Phoebe how they destroyed the Source the last time? She was there the last time - why does she have to ask?

    • Phoebe and the writers confuse "astronomy" with "astrology" in the opening sequence - Phoebe is using astrology (the Zodiac and it's influence) but refers to it as "astronomy" (the study of the stars).

    • TRIVIA: Peter Woodward returns as The Source in this episode, whom he previously portrayed in the episode "Charmed And Dangerous".

    • TRIVIA: Billie uses her first potion, which transports Leo and herself to Magic School.

    • TRIVIA: Baby Chris is shown on screen for the first time this season.

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Episode Titles: Italy: (Desperate Housewitches) Germany: Verzweifelte Haushexen (Desperate Housewitches) France: L'élu (The Chosen One)


    • Title: Desperate Housewitches

      This is a reference to Desperate Housewives, the wildly popular ABC series that features Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, and Eva Longoria as neighbors on Wisteria Lane. Ironically, Desperate Housewives, which began in 2004, airs immediately after Charmed, at 9pm. It's also a tribute to the show, showing how it would be with magic. The reason is that the whole storyline is the exact same storyline that was used in Desperate Housewives's season 1 episode Running to Stand Still. In that episode Lynette, gets angry with the perfect housewife, when she is saying that the costume that she made were not good enough to the children's show the same exact way that Piper did it in this episode.