Wow. This is only the second 10 I've ever scored an episode of Charmed. The first being for "Its a Bad, Bad, Bad World" and the next likely being for "Forever Charmed." It is rare indeed when something called "the Ultimate Battle" actually lives up to that billing. This episode is tense from the beginning with the sisters on the run in the Underworld.
The somewhat uncomfortable scene at The Bay Mirror could have be cut to leave time for a longer scene at the end, but it is possible that they wanted to give Alise one last scene in the series. The dark demon with the accent is an excellent actor and very effective in all of his scenes. His speech about the old guard of the Underworld being wiped out and the new guard not being ready to attack the sisters again until the next generation is a brilliant move by Brad Kern. In one short speech the perfect ending for Charmed, and the life the sisters wanted, is in sight and made possible, and it didn't take something irrational or spectacular to get there. All it took apparently was killing enough demons. Haha... Great touch with Leo appearing to Piper to help guide her. The subtle manner in which it was done was perfect.
The scene in the beginning when Coop appears in the attic with Christie and Billy there is excellent. Billie nows believes killing the Charmed Ones is for the greater good. I don't see how, but at least she's there so we can get to the battle now. I love it when Victor goes off on Coop and tells him to buzz off. Good stuff. Very understandable.
All the scenes involving the summoning of the Hollow are fantastic, some of my favorite scenes in the series, starting when Dumain appears with Wyatt and is talking to Billie. I love it when the camera flashes to the doorway where we see Christie come slinking in through the shadows. Christie is so sexy and evil with her perpetual pout, dark eyes, and obnoxiously shiny lip gloss. Using Wyatt to help kill his mother is a move that even Billie has a hard time accepting, but Christie is actually right on this time. They've gone too far to turn back now. "If we don't do what we have to do, they're gonna kill us." True dat. All the women once possessed by the Hollow are fantastically evil. I absolutely love the scene with Billie and Christie where they take Wyatt's powers. Billie looks even more evil than Christie, and I think this is the only time in the season when Billie actually looks hot. I love the lustful looks she throws Dumain before Christie tries to zap him. Great stuff!!
Then, of course, we flash back to the sisters. Not sure what the Triad was thinking considering they last like 2 seconds against the power of the Hollow. I guess they couldn't "handle them" afterall.
Finally, of course, we have the shocking and explosive final scene. Great faceoff with a few words for each actress, and then the power exchange with wind whipping up their hair, ending with the explosion that destroys the manor.
Holly is as usual amazing in the emotional scene at the end. What a shocking and painful twist that must have been to those viewers of the original airing of this episode, with Paige and even Phoebe apparently dead. It was not as impactful on me since I already knew the plot of Forever Charmed before watching this episode. I knew Piper would go back in time to save her sisters for the finale. It is still a powerful and sad scene though. Like everyone else, I loved when Piper started beating up Billie.
And Holly might have actually been outdone by Brian Krause in his return. Incredible acting, maybe his best of the entire series. He takes in the apocalyptic scene around him and the devastation and shock are immediately written on his face. Obviously it would have made more sense if they took a moment to look for Paige or explain why they didn't, but I can let it pass. It isn't like Paige wasn't mentioned since Piper thought Billie was her.
Amazing episode that would have served as a great finale on its own. Fortunately, an even BETTER finale is yet in store.