I attend school but I still have managed to view it well over a dozen times and it is only getting better with each viewing. There was so much in it, so much emotion, so many loose ends tied up and oh so much of the Halliwell family to enjoy!
From the beginning, I thought the episode opened very strongly. It was good that we were right there in the aftermath of 8.21, Holly’s acting was tremendous, she looked and acted the part of somebody whose life had just been torn apart so well. I adored Piper and Leo together and we hadn’t seen them together for so long that having him there to clean her up and comfort her was so needed. I felt like having her be the one left standing, the one to fix everything was fitting of her personality and role on the show. Meanwhile Billie ran on back to Dumain, and I actually felt Kayley in that scene, her acting was solid and she appeared just as determined as Piper to get things back to how she wanted – and so started the merry-go-round through time with 101 loves, friends and family members!
First stop – Victor! I was so happy for Leo seeing his sons again but so sad for Victor loosing his daughters (I count Paige as kinda his). The Coop popped by and proved useful beyond just finding a date. Colour me shocked. At first I was hesitant about the time travel aspect but they actually had the means consistent – we had seen Coops ring time travel as Piper mentioned so I didn’t think it was just plucked out of thin air for convenience. Well done writers. And even if it was just for convenience who would care? I mean, we got Finola Hughs out of it! That woman just does not age, which was a bonus considering all the times we’ve visited her in the past. I loved seeing her, even more with Victor just because of what great chemistry the actors have. Victor and Patty seemed so perfect, made me rather sad that it all went south. And I loved the line “Paige? You mean we have another daughter?”/“Yes, mom, you do”. The statement that Piper/Patty/Penny equals a substitute Po3 didn’t seem overly logical but I bought it just to see Grams again and is it just me or is she feistier with every appearance?! Love her.
But first we saw Piper all gramsy which was a hoot! Even though we’ve seen the future before and it’s prone to change this one was seemed like the genuine deal, at least I hope so. “How do you spell Zankou? With a z or and x?” - demon scrabble was hilarious and having the aspirin ready for Piper was also a fine touch. The old Piper and Leo were brilliantly cast, with the same affection that our Piper and Leo have.
Anywho, hijinx’s aside, seeing our Grams was fabulous, her speech to little Piper was so sweet. Again Piper is deemed as the heart of the family and we got a little taste of Piper back when she was the shy little mediator ala season one. Cute. I’m also glad they had Grams faint at the sight of Patty. At least five years had passed since her death and Grams obviously hadn’t started communing with her ghost yet which makes Prue’s non-appearance a little more believable. And her reaction to finding out about her granddaughters being "The Charmed Ones" was just as proud and excited as it was in “That 70’s Episode”.
I was glad that the substitute Po3 thwarted the ultimate battle and that Phoebe and Paige were saved but when Leo was taken away again I thought for a microsecond they were going to end it with Piper choosing between her soul mate and her sisters! Then I remembered that this is Charmed and not even Brad Kern is that evil. Awesome exchange:
Phoebe: Okay, so because you guys altered a key moment in time by saving us…
Grams: …and the Manor
Phoebe: Right, because of all that what was supposed to happen after all of this won’t happen?
Patty: Exactly. Which kinda makes this the new present.
Paige: says the woman from the past.
Grams: Although a different past from mine.
Aaargh! That spiel would’ve totally made my head implode but I was promptly distracted by the arrival of Wyatt and Chris – officially making the family dynamic go from huge to busting. And cut to the Jenkins’ gals, as the new wisened-up (but still a tad daft) Billie talked sense into her nutso sister. I have a lot to say about these troublesome pair but I’m saving it for later. The next few scenes were some of my favourites – just the whole family getting comfortable and caught up on future goss. Grams seemed just as much a Grams to the boys as she did the girls telling them to watch their language and all! And Wyatt’s “uncle Coop” slip up? Priceless! What a goofball! Patty and Victors reunion was also a classic when she jumped right onto him! I love seeing them together with their grandkids; they missed pretty much all of the girls growing up so I was happy to see that. And finally, two thirds of the way through the episode, Henry shows up, and about dammed timed.
Grams: Don’t tell me she married a whitelighter too!?
Piper: Worse……….a mortal.
Grams: Good God! Didn’t I teach you girls anything?
Hehe. I love Grams and her anti-male stance; it’s refreshingly different from that of the girls.
Billie then showing up put the episode back onto more of a magic bound track. I’m glad she blurted out her apology and excuse and that it seemed 100% genuine. Crawling back for forgiveness suits her. And the Charmed Ones did the time warp agaaaaiiiin! Back into the past. Triad, dead, check. Christy, dead, check. Now, the way I see Billie killing Christy is that it was totally believable and excusable. I know that killing is obviously wrong but Christy was literally a killing machine and was raised in a cave, by demons, with wacky morals and a deadly grudge against the Charmed Ones. She was a victim of circumstance and killing her was really the only option. That’s why I had no problem with Cole’s S5 “character assassination”. I don’t think that people who have been evil all their life can change so I’m comfortable with them dying. Some people think that Charmed is too black and white when it comes to stuff like that but I think it is a black and white situation so I was happy with the resolution to the Jenkins’ arc, as much as I did love Christy and her delightfully manipulative ways.
The last 7 or so minutes were painfully sweet. The AoD returning Leo and everyone clapping Piper/Leo and Phoebe/Coops respective kisses was totally heartwarming! Tears were streaming – repeat – streaming down my face for them. Patty and Victor entering with the kids made for the entire Halliwell clan in the sunroom, sans Prue. Which brings me to Patty’s take on her death. Basically that it was destiny, the token Charmed “everything happens for a reason” mantra that has been since season one. “As one door closes another door opens”, the look between Paige and Patty was perfect. We haven’t seen nearly enough of their mother/daughter connection and I was happy that we got a bit of that now. Then hugs, kisses and smiles all around in the most satisfying family moment in television history (for me anyways). I was bawling throughout this sappiness. BAWLING.
Not time to recover though, cause it only got worse. The sisters sitting around the table with the Book of Shadows recording their experiences was genius and a fabulous way of giving us future insight in a compact and original form. Stupid me said that I never wanted voiceovers again in Chared after “Malice In Wonderland” but boy did I eat my own words or what! Loved each sisters dialogue.
Phoebe: Predictably she married Coop in a nifty, low key wedding. Awww, I’m not their biggest shipper but still, awww. I felt assured that they'd last cause apparently they're in love to the point that Phoebe can summon him with a thought! Convoluted? Yes. But strangely convenient and lame plot devices are a staple of this show. And she had her foreseen child at last!!!! Ugghh! They sure got their moneys worth out of that plot. Oh, and two other little sweethearts, her own little Po3. I was pleased to see Phoebe looking all corporate and still working, author of a book and everything. Ever since I saw her in Scry Hard doing her thing I hoped she would never retire and continue passionately with her career. So I was happy with the closure they gave to her character. My favourite character ever! I cannot stress that enough. Love Phoebe Halliwell.
Paige: A good chance to give Henry some more much needed screen time. And gosh are their kids cute or what! Another charmed trio! The twins and lil Henry were cute as cute can be. Oh and I loved Paige’s glasses! They’re exactly the kind of quirky thing that suits her. On top of that she manages to keep protecting the innocent even when the dust had settled. She seemed to be the most likely to keep on giving, she came to the game late and has always been the most enthusiastic about the craft (Phoebe too at times). She refused the AoD offer and was the only one drawn back to the witchy world when they got new identities. And hopefully this means that being a whitelighter was the “enlightenment” she’s been searching for since, oh, say, season five! She’s both embraced and rejected her WL and witch sides at separate times; she’s been everything from a fruit packer to a head mistress trying to find her calling so I pray that she at last found some kind of independent fulfillment with her whitelighterness at last.
Piper: Last but not least the Halliwell family Matriarch and her loyal man. As much as I hate Magic School I am partially glad it was reclaimed, Leo needs and outlet like that for all his knowledge and motivational taglines i.e. “You’re power comes from you’re emotions” or “trust in yourself”. Oh and the kid with tk orbing we saw was Piper and Leo’s first grandchild btw (so it says in spoilers), so that was neat. I was thrilled that he and Piper had their daughter (in sides as Melinda), I wonder whether that child is the same Melinda as in Morality Bites? If they were fated to have her then perhaps it doesn’t matter that she arrived insanely late. So now there is a power of three by three! My god this show had endless spin-off possibilities. Oh, and another awesome loose end that was tied is pipers dream of owning her own restraunt! Kinda a catch 22 as P3 was possibly shut down but I’m still really, really impressed that they covered this. And an even cooler fact! I think that the dish she was making was Roast Pork with Gratin of Florence Fennel and Penne with a Port Giblet Sauce!! That’s right! Her dish from her Quake interview in “Something Wicca This Way Comes”!!! Well, she added a dash of port to the sauce so I think that was a shout out to the first episode. Awesome.
And fade to the future where the tears went from streaming to gushing. “…and although we certainly had our struggles and hardships over the years we’re a family of survivors and will always be. Which is why we’ve truly been charmed.” So true. “After all it’ll be yours one day…”, made me so sad, but happy that their legacy was being passed on. As old Piper and Leo embarked the stairs I was a wreck. The final montage was absolutely powerful, the photo’s were impeccably chosen and incorporated everyone who meant anything to the show (bar Shannen of course). The music and images killed me with nostalgia, and the final photo of the girls was beautiful! Off that, the Charmed ones generation over and a new generation just beginning the door is tk’d closed for the final time. Sob. Weep. Moan. My satisfaction with life was just seriously injured.
Trying to look at it objectively (as if I even could!), I did find some small faults, but they didn’t detract from the episode. For instance the grand daughter tk’d her hand the wrong way which irked me ever so slightly; there wasn’t quite enough Henry, the effects of Christy’s vanquish could have been grander and there wasn’t a mention of Darryl! A personal favourite of mine and cast member of seven years was totally forgot in this episode which was a bloody shame. So in my mind it didn’t warrant a perfect 10, but a dam close 9.8 -9.9. As far as how much it impacted me emotionally it completely exceeded any number! One of my favourite episodes of the series, it wrapped everything up perfectly!
I will truly miss that manor and all it represents, the magic, the battles, the emotion and the experiences of four incredible women. I’m even gonna miss the piles of discontinuity ever-present in the show (even in the finale!). But more than anything I’ll miss the Halliwells. All four generations that we came to know and love like family, the three sisters that captivated me like nothing else for eight years and will continue to do so for another eighty. Thankyou to all the cast and crew over the past eight years, especially the leading ladies – Holly, Alyssa, Rose and Shannen. Forever Charmed!