Little Box of Horrors-The sisters scramble to recover Pandora's Box when it falls into the hands of a shapeshifting demon who intends to open it and fill the world with all of its sorrows. Meanwhile, Paige's Whitelighter side rises to the surface, when she begins hearing calls from the Elders, and Leo and Piper clash over parenting issues - namely raising magical children.
Probablyone of the most underrated episode throughout Charmed's 8 year run, "Little Box of Horrors" is an episode that's is pretty basic in terms of plot: The sisters are introduced to an innocent they have to protect from a powerful demon. Yet, thanks to Cameron Litvack, this episode is written rather tremendously with someunforeseentwists and some strong writing. I have to say, I loved the idea of the Guardians (Not to be confused with the Guardians from earlier this season). While it's a bit too reminiscent of Buffy (one girl chosen from each generation), it was written well enough that it doesn't bother me too much! Pandora's Box is yet another piece of mythology given the Charmed treatment and for once, it's done well. All the guest stars were in top form, Katya just had the right amount ofmenaceand charm, I really loved the fake-out of her being Nina, thepreviousGuardian. I loved how the opening fight between Katya and Nina ended soambiguously, which set up Katya's reveal so well. Speaking of Katya, she just had the right amount of menace and charm to her thanks to Michelle Hard. Unlike most demons on Charmed during this years, Katya really knew how set-up the sisters and well as the innocent she was after. Her manipulation of Hope when trying to get her to open the box was great, playing on her fears of the new world she has been introduced to and just wanting to go back to being normal. Brooke Nevin was also convincing as Hope, who is the next chosen in the line of Guardians. I loved how Hope's situation is contrasted with the first time the sisters' became witches. It's nice to be reminded of how the girls started out and them using that to help an innocent. Also, not to be forgotten in a minor but well acted role is Shani Pride as Darcy, Hope's best friend. I really loved the moment where she tells Hope about the final part of the legend of the box. Sure, it's unrealistic that Darcy suddenly is comfortable enough to contribute to what's happening given she was just kidnapped by demons, but the delivery was good on the actress' part.
Another thing I love about the episode is that it shows the sisters' acting smart for once, secretly coming up with their own plan when Katya tries to take Hope once again when she takes the form of Darcy. It'sespeciallysurprising when it's Phoebe who's the one who sees through Katya's guise and gets Paige to glamour into Hope to vanquish Katya. It was another awesome twist and Rose McGowan really kicked a$$ as Paige for once! Rose really was great not only with the Pandora's Box story but Paige's sub-plot with finding a future whitelighter. While the trapped elevator setting was cliche, it was a nice way to get some strong development for Paige since these days the character seems so dense! Paige really got to shine and I loved the moment where she gets everyone on the elevator to help when all hell breaks loose. Rose McGowan, like I said, can really give a great performance when the script calls for it and she puts in some genuine effort. The whole Paige becoming an whitelighter plot has been explored in the past, like in 'Sam I Am" from Season 5 but it's nice to see it being official here. Paige really hasn't had a decentstory-linesince she was a social worker and her becoming a whitelighter does in fact give the character a chance to evolve into her own and share her wisdom as a Charmed One to other witches and future whitelighters. All and All, "Little Box of Horrors" may seem like the standard Charmed plot at first but it's great episode with a solidamountof twists, character development and guest stars.