Season 4 Episode 20

Long Live the Queen

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 02, 2002 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (36)

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out of 10
533 votes
  • Courage, it couldn't come at a worse time.

    I absolutely love the ending to this episode. It's one of my all time favourite Charmed moments, and possibly one of my favourite television moments. From Cole's vanquish to Phoebe in floods of tears, it's perfect. While Charmed as a series can be described as schizophrenic, often guilty-pleasure viewing, the Phoebe/Cole arc has been, at the very least, consistent, and it's capped off with an electric finish with 'Long Live the Queen'. True, this hour is undermined by the law of diminishing returns, as Cole returns next season, but the hour remains one of the series' best offerings.

    The drama is amped up to 11 and everyone gives a fantastic performance. Alyssa really marvels at the chance to play phoebe with a splice of villainy to her, which is a lot of fun to watch; meanwhile, Holly Marie Combs is simply fantastic as hopeless Piper, and Julian McMahon gives his strongest performance yet. I did enjoy that Paige had to replace Piper as the level-headed sister, but I would have loved her to share a scene with Cole, a round two of what happened in the attic, only this time Paige is completely coherent. Still, her 'you son of a b!tch' moment was very welcomed.

    I really do think the writers should have allowed two episodes for Phoebe to embrace her dark side. The transition is too swift - it becomes jarring rather than gripping. I appreciate the writers' attempts at creating tension between the sisters, and not everything is so black and white, which is a series first, but things aren't allowed to play out, and so we have Phoebe fully evil, then not entirely sure of her standing, and eventually her turn-around all within one episode. It's a huge missed opportunity altogether, especially considering the episode that follows this one... Sigh.

    Regardless of its shortcomings, 'Long Live the Queen' boasts some stellar set-pieces (Piper's attack on Cole looks amazing); some very interesting plot-twists (Cole's kill) and a gut-wrenching end to the episode. This definitely felt like a season finale.
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