Season 2 Episode 9

Ms. Hellfire

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 13, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
421 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

An assassination attempt on the sisters' lives forces Prue to go undercover as the woman who tried to kill them, known as Ms. Hellfire. While undercover, she becomes romantically involved with the man who hired the original Ms. Hellfire.

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  • So out of character.

    Straight off the bat I have to question why an assassin who KNOWS what their powers are chooses to go up against someone that can freeze and someone that can move things with their mind - with a GUN. A thing that fires projectiles that can be stopped by both these women. Why confront them at all, an explosive under the car would be both undetected and less likely to be stopped. It just seemed utterly ridiculous someone would pay this woman to do this. And like others said being irresponsible enough to leave clues on her person about her identity and her profession.

    I am very glad Darryl finds out so early on, he'd been involved for a while and had come to trust the girls in the previous episodes without knowing their secret, so when he did find out I liked how he was freaked but calm too, like everything just perfectly made sense all of a sudden.

    Marcy was just beyond annoying! And how does she not understand the meaning of secrecy.

    Not going to lie, I hated Prue getting her new power here. And being the first to get it for so long. As others have mentioned Prue is constantly shoved down our throats as being the best and most powerful witch, even though she doesn't care about it and Phoebe spends all her time devoted to it really but whatever. Her power is quite handy in a fight yes, but ah well. Her getting a new power, that she manages to master and use often is just irritating. Why not give Phoebe her new power first, at least she'd have an active power even if it is still mostly passive. But that's my anti-Prue rant over (sorry guys). I hate Prue, but I don't like just starting a show midway through and miss out on all the Phoebe and Piper and Cole and Leo growth.

    Overall I'm not entirely against this episode, like Iltarion, I actually like Barbas, and I like how he went about getting these witches, you usually don't expect a 'trained' assassin to be coming after you. But Bane was just too 2D, his henchman was just weird and annoying, and the whole love affair which comes back later is just - WHY.

    But on top of it all, I'm sorry the amount that Prue has booked herself up is ridiculous, you can't have serious meetings if you only schedule in 20 minutes. And you can't organise a last minute meeting, not tell everyone and then fire them.

    I also don't get why when they go to inspect the hotel room, Prue insists on going to the flowers. Like ok I get maybe trying clothes on, nobody is coming for them and if you love em you love em, but when Piper says there's flowers why she went to them, to smell them like they're for her. I mean realistically you'd just say "oh interesting" maybe read the card on your way out or something. Not go and smell them and inspect them like they're for you.

    And forcing Prue to astral project was annoying. Like she's on the phone, Bane wouldn't just start talking to her and maybe Jack would be acting this way if his job is on the line but it was all just to get her to keep showing off how powerful again super-witch is now.

    The biggest thing I love as I think I mentioned before, is Phoebe taking martial arts classes. And being so dedicated to it and it's something we see throughout all seasons. She knows she's the weakest link ability wise but she becomes one of the strongest fighters and it always shows.

    Fashion: Once again Prue's attire is hardly professional, but it is a bit better than last episode. Unlike most I hated the whole black leather (hardly new for her) and making her seem like she's irresistible.moreless
  • Prue is on FIRE!!!

    A vastly entertaining episode that shows how dark and sinister Charmed can be, we are introduced to a new power Astral Projection which is bestowed upon Prue, and I am absolutely digging it, the scene where she discovers her new gift has to be one of my favourite Prue moments and Piper's reaction when Prue projected to her was timeless.

    The hitwoman plot was interesting enough, there was some good special effects were Piper froze the hitwoman's bullets in midair and Prue repelled the bullets. Prue going undercover as the hitwoman was a neat twist and Shannen seems to have a blast with the material given and also lack of leather material worn (tee hee!). I actually find myself liking the interactions between Prue and the dark, brooding Bane, some good chemistry there.

    The only slight downpoint is the return of Barbas, the actor still is insanely OTT but does appear slightly more deadly here, how he managed to turn Prue against his sisters is a mystery as he never had that power in his previous appearance nevertheless it brought on a fantastic scene in which Piper and Phoebe have to remind Prue that they are her sisters when she attacks them with her powers, as usual it is the powerful sisterly bond the three share which snaps Prue out of her commando trance, the disposal of Barbas was great and comical, his flailing arms and screaming had me in stitches. seeing Piper get a power advancement as well was perfect, she can now unfreeze an entity whilst leaving others frozen.

    A special mention to out favourite copper, Darryl he finally learns the sisters magical truth and about time to, as I was getting tired of the "I know that you know that I know you have a secret" talks between Darryl and Prue.

    Overall I give this episode a 9/10 rating as it is near perfect with only a couple annoyances; Barbas and what was with that dreadful witch chick that Phoebe saves ???moreless
  • Ms. Hellfire

    Ms. Hellfire was a perfectly entertaining episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing and full of action, suspense and some surprises. It was great to see Prue's new power and the new boss at Buckland's Auction House. When Morris is investigating another case which involves the sisters they finally tell him the truth about them being witches. He handled it pretty well and I'm glad it didn't take to long for this to happen. It was awesome to see Prue acting as a hit woman. A demon from the past is back and tries to have the sisters killed. In the end they defeat him, and the sisters all have their own success in some form or another. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Prue enters the Matrix.

    This somewhat preposterous episode has four redeeming characteristics from my point of view: Shannen in black leather, astral projection, Darryl learning the truth, and Barbas.

    I continue to be at odds with many reviewers who are not fans of Billy Drago as Barbas. I dig this demon, always have, with his seething whisper and his icy stare. His confrontation with Prue is a great scene, and I love how he turns her against her sisters. Great idea that will be partially repeated when he turns Phoebe against Paige in Season 5. Barbas by himself is pretty much enough to ensure this episode of a 7.5.

    As I have said before, I appreciate how the writers decided to not mess around with Darryl. The sisters tell him straight away what is going on, and he absorbs it about as well as he can. I think the entire thing is handled very realistically. I'm not sure why Prue gets the new power when the writers have probably over-established her as the most powerful witch already, but a new power is always a good thing.

    I thought the whole Prue with Bane relationship was ridiculous. They are in love but have never met? And he is like the wimpiest bad guy in history, I think. Cool when Prue goes up against her sisters. Quick thinking by Piper this time to get Shannen to Astral Project. Of course, once again, the power of talk and their sisterly bond save the day. Good scene in the beginning with the hit woman shooting up the manor, but in the middle of the day? Whuh?

    Dan coming around in the middle of the night carrying plywood is just pathetic. I started with as open a mind as possible, but can we just get rid of this guy already?!! UGH!!!moreless
  • I've seen probably 80% to 90% of the eps of Charmed. This one ranks up there as one of the worst. It still beats any episode of Gilligan's Island, but only because that is a rather easy yardstick to measure by.moreless

    Charmed is fantasy. We know that. This episode isn't fantasy, it's absurdity.

    As a matter of fact, to steal a riff from Joe Pesci, it's an absurdity wrapped around an improbabilty stuffed with inanity... blanketed with a heapin' helpin' of horse manure. (OK, OK, that last is vaguely stolen from Buddy Ebsen and the Beverly Hillbillies...)

    To start with, the Manor gets shot up with a full auto machine gun. Then some woman comes roaring in from the back entrance, and tries to shoot the girls with the same gun. Pru sends the bullets back at her and she is killed. Some investigation of what she was carrying with her suggests this was a hitwoman, hired to kill Pru, her sisters, and 10 other witches, of whom only the sisters and one other is still alive.

    Right about now, your bogon flux meter should be pegging out. Hired assassins, one would presume (granted, I have no actual experience with them), would tend to be fairly low key about their hits -- subtlety would be a hallmark -- they wouldn't usually use a drive-by style of attack as a format for making a hit (unless, perhaps, the situation warranted it, such as on a rap star)... I would personally expect that an assassin who performed a drive-by type hit in the middle of a WASP suburban neighborhood would not be in business for long.

    Bending the needle on that bogon flux meter about now: They probably don't keep copious written notes about things, either... like "Hit on XXX, plastique, 10am" along with a crossed off list of recent kills, all wrapped up in a nice day planner. Successful assassins are likely anal, but not in the written sense of things, only in the meticulous sense of the term.

    I grant you that assassins probably use explosives to blow up their victim's car (this does seem to be one type you do hear about), but using them to blow up a shop they own seems, once more, likely to draw the ire of various officials even more so than the drive-by thing. It's also not particularly good at precision, since one really can't be too sure they got the intended victim and not some innocent bystander... and it's not like they wouldn't appear rather overly suspicious poking around the coroner's office asking about the person who was killed.

    About now the needle breaks off the BFM, putting out one of your eyes: I don't see it as likely that too many assassins get romantically involved with the person who hired them... or that assassins often get romantically pursued by the one who hires them...

    But despite these perposterous unlikelihoods, we find herein all the above as salient plot points.

    Apparently the only assassin actually involved with this episode's production was a mass murderer of bogon flux meters.

    About the only thing this episode does of any importance is a quick throwaway about Buckland's new management (Seems like a much bigger and more widespread firm now than when Pru got hired -- the SF office is now a "regional office" of an apparent chain, not the home base of a single "Christies" type house of high repute), and a slightly introduced point about Pru's new power of astral projection.

    Other than the above two minor developments, for the most part, this ep need only be watched for continuity and completeness reasons. It's otherwise something to bypass.moreless
Courtney Gains

Courtney Gains

Marcy Steadwell

Guest Star

Hynden Walch

Hynden Walch

Ms. Hellfire

Guest Star

Carlo Castronovo

Carlo Castronovo


Guest Star

Lochlyn Munro

Lochlyn Munro

Jack Sheridan

Recurring Role

Billy Drago

Billy Drago


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (29)

    • If you look carefully, you can see DJ walk up behind Bane as he and Prue start to make out. Then when they zoom out to show the whole room, you see DJ walk up to Prue and Bane again and tap on Bane's shoulder. Then when they zoom in, you see DJ tap on his shoulder again!

    • When Prue tells Bane that she wants to talk to Barbas, Bane replies by saying "Well like I said, the night is young." however Prue told Bane that the night was young, not the other way around.

    • Dan asks Piper to move in with her and said her sisters can move in too, at least until the windows are installed in the conservatory. She replies by saying not all of them wear pajamas. However, in the episode P3 H2O, the morning after the girls go to the camp for the first time, Leo orbs to the house and all three sisters are wearing pajamas.

    • Antonio Sabàto Jr. (Baine) and Greg Vaughan(Dan) have both appeared on the daytime series General Hospital as Jagger Cates and Lucky Spencer.

    • Just before the scene where Prue goes into Barbas' office, Piper and Dan are seen kissing. Take a look at Dan's digital watch. While it seems to be night outside, Dan's watch clearly reads 15:27.

    • In From Fear To Eternity it was stated that Barbas could only come out every 1300 years unless he kills 13 witches. Yet he has come back only one year later even though he didn't kill 13 witches last time.

    • When Jack tells Prue they are partners she asks like she still does not like him. However, she had began dating him in the previous episode when she asked him to Dinner after finding out he covered for her and specifically said that they would be mixing business with Pleasure, so why did she act annoyed that they were being partnered up?

    • After Hellfire is killed, Prue says that she hasw never killed a mortal before. However, that is not exactly true. In the season one episode Dream Sorcerer, Prue kills Whittacker while dreaming in self defense. While he definitely had a talent for stalking people's dreams, it was said then he was in fact mortal and just a scientific genius.

    • TRIVIA: In this episode it's revealed that brain washing is one of Barbas' powers. Previously, his powers shown were his ability to read fears, bring them to life and change his voice. In following episodes he will also project himself psychically (the form of astro projection Rex used in season 1) into his victims.

    • Why would Bane, who was obviously a professional in soliciting hits, hire Hellfire for Barbas anyway? He had no prior connection, nor did he seem to be afraid. So how is it that Barbas who living in Demon Purgatory could not possibly have access to money and apparently did not use intimidation manage to successfully hire Bane in the first place?

    • TRIVIA: This episode featured the song
      Still After You by Earth To Andy and the song Find My Baby by Moby.

    • When Bane is asking Prue about the Marcy being dead, he asks her about the last name on the list. Marcy wasn't the last name on the list - her name was above P. Halliwell.

    • When Piper freezes Marcy, she is standing next to the piano, but when she unfreezes she is standing next to the couch.

    • TRIVIA: Dan reveals that Jenny has now moved back in with her parents.

    • TRIVIA: Prue was the first sister to get a second power or a developed one.

    • When Prue reflects the bullets back to the hitwoman, the hitwoman is shown as falling back from the bullets. Later when Darryl sees her dead he says "she is riddled with bullets", but there are no bullets seen in the hitwoman.

    • Why would Piper stand where she was when she unfroze just Bane? She was practically right next to Barbas, and she stated she'd never tried unfreezing one person before, so it might have unfrozen Barbas as well!

    • TRIVIA: It seems odd that Barbas has to hire a hitman in the first plac, since he's a demon and could easily kill 13 witches before midnight himself. However, last year he tried to kill 13 witches himself and was thwarted by the Charmed Ones. He probably thought using mortal weapons and a human assassin would allow him to finish them off for good, since they are accustomed to being attacked by demons, not guns.

    • TRIVIA: In this episode it's stated that it was Phoebe who taught Prue how to french-kiss in high school.

    • It's reasonable that Bane doesn't know what the hitwoman, Ms. Hellfire, looks like, but shouldn't he know what the Halliwells (especially Prue) look like? Since he wants them dead and should then recognize or at least check on her when she pretends to be Ms. Hellfire.

    • At first when Ms. Hellfire starts shooting, the cereal bowl breaks. Later when Piper starts to run to Prue and Phoebe the bowl seems to break again.

    • TRIVIA: This episode marks the second appearance and vanquish of Barbas, the Demon of Fear.

    • TRIVIA: Darryl learns that the Halliwell sisters are witches.

    • TRIVIA: In this episode Prue gets a new power - Astral Projection.

    • When Marcy is doing her protection spell her arms are up when Piper freezes her but when she is unfrozen, her arms are level with her body.

    • Phoebe and Piper see Prue walking up the driveway from the kitchen like she's going to come into the house from the back, but she then walks in the front door.

    • Barbas knows that he needs 13 dead witches by midnight and he also knows that Marcy isn't dead so why doesn't he arrange for her to be killed? It's no good having the Halliwells dead if she's not.

    • To avoid a police investigation, Morris helps the sisters to make it look like Ms. Hellfire died because of the explosion in her 13th victim's store. Shouldn't a medical examiner have discovered that she had a bunch of bullets in her body and been a bit suspicious?

    • Although it's convenient for the Halliwells that the hitwoman carried a purse with ALL her info in it, it's not very realistic. Most of that stuff would be left at her place; the purse and anything else would stay in the car. No respectable hitwoman would sneak around - about to make a hit - with a purse flung over her shoulder!

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Barbas (to Willis): Your greatest fear is that Bane will be double crossed, and will come to kill you...
      (Bane bursts through the door with an automatic gun and fires at Willis, who screams and falls over, Bane leaves the room, and Willis gets up, relatively unharmed)

    • (Reading Ms Hellfire's notebook - Prue: Telekinises, Piper: Freeze, Phoebe: Negligible)
      Phoebe: Negligible!?

    • (Trying to decide on a plan to stop the hitman)
      Piper: Freeze?
      Phoebe: Kick?
      Prue: Send flying?
      Piper: Okay.

    • (The sisters are hiding behind the couch, while being shot at)
      Phoebe: Since when do demons use bullets!?
      Piper: Maybe it's not a demon?
      Prue: Who else would want to kill us?
      Phoebe: You know you were a little sharp to the mailman yesterday and we all know how testy they can be.

    • Phoebe (about Barbas): I never get tired of kicking his butt.

    • Phoebe: Where's Prue?
      Piper: Way overdue. She's assumed the identity of the hitwoman.
      Phoebe: What?!
      Piper: Yeah, and guess what. She's got a new power. She can astral project now.
      Phoebe: Are you kidding me?
      Piper: Nope.
      Phoebe: Are you kidding me?
      Piper: No.
      Phoebe: I hate her.
      Piper: I know.

    • Prue unrolls lipstick and a blade points upwards.
      Prue: Mmm. Not exactly Avon calling.

    • Darryl: I don't want to know if you own a damn broom, a skillet, a cauldron, a dust buster. I don't give a damn.

    • Piper: I don't even care that it's Friday...
      Phoebe: Shh! Don't even say it.
      Piper: The 13th. See, I said it and nothing happened.
      Someone starts shooting through the windows of the house. They scream and run past the dining room, into the living room. Prue and Phoebe dive behind the couch and Piper stays on the other side of the room.
      Phoebe: I told you not to say it!
      Piper: Oh, so this is my fault?!

    • Phoebe (after she hangs up Prue's phone): I am very tired and now I need a nap.

    • Prue: Emergency staff meeting? When this morning?
      Phoebe: 9:30. Be there or be fired.
      Prue: I'm on my way.

    • Piper (walking into the solarium): Morning.
      Phoebe: Hi. (to Prue) Do you recognize that person?
      Prue: I don't know, she looks vaguely familiar. Kind of like a sister we used to have. What was her name? Pi... Pipp..
      Phoebe: Pi... Pippy?
      Prue: Pipper?
      Phoebe: Whatever happened to her?
      Prue: I don't know. She fell in lust with the next door neighbor, started spending all her time there.

    • Prue (while she, Phoebe and Piper are being shot at): Oh, like I need this today.

    • Prue: Phoebe, I'm working.
      Phoebe: More like you're working it!

    • Phoebe: Who knew perky could be so annoying?

    • Piper: Are you happy?
      Phoebe: I'm delirious.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Prue: Mmm. Not exactly Avon calling.

      This is a reference to the well known beauty & makeup company, Avon and the common greeting from its salespeople - "Avon calling".

    • Title: Ms. Hellfire

      This is a reference to the film "Mrs. Doubtfire", starring Robin Williams.

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