How far we've come from Something Wicca This Way Comes. In this episode, Piper gets all of her confidence back. The final faceoff between Piper, a very good Little Red Riding Hood by the way, and the evil witch, and the screen-grabbing presence of Grams, are good enough on their own to make this a strong episode of Charmed.
Fairy tales are somewhat dark and morbid themselves, and so this episode is hardly the silly fluff that most might expect. The sisters find themselves in some serious trouble, and the danger continues to escalate until only Cole and Piper's blow-up power stand between them and the brink.
Grams improves any episode she is in, and Jennifer Rhodes is at her best here. The scenes between her and Paige are especially well done and well-written. Paige continues to be the most interesting sister on the show, and it is unfortunate that an apple knocks her out of action for a while.
Phoebe's subplot is about as bad as in the first 2 episodes. Her paranoia towards Cole is still mostly unexplained though at least she tells us about a nightmare she had that she is afraid may be a premonition. I didn't care that they tried to bring another guy into the mix. The entire subplot was onerous to me, but Julian, of course, tried his best to save it. The subplot of Phoebe ranting against Cole and then Cole saving her in the end is getting old. Once again, the final two scenes are the best scenes. Cole back in the manor, leaning on the stairs? That is like old times. Strange to think that the last time that was the case he was the Source.
Piper goes from losing nearly all her confidence to getting that back and her mojo by the end. The confident Piper has some great lines, including "Back off, Grams, I just saved your ass." And the even better, "I saw the wolf eat you."- "Yeah, I didn't agree with him." I really dug that when the evil witch walked towards the mirror, you could see the empty dias with the table in the background. Then, when she turned around, Piper was standing on the dias leaning against the table. Excellent. After the clunker to start, Season 5 has turned it around and will continue to get better, climaxing in Centennial Charmed.