Season 3 Episode 3

Once Upon a Time

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 19, 2000 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

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out of 10
337 votes
  • I don't mind the story line. But don't like the production.

    Ok straight off, why call Phoebe to tell her about the dream when she was all of 5 minutes away from home... Just ask her how far away she is? Seems like a conversation to have face to face anyway.

    I found the dream sequence with Piper kinda sad. I liked that Leo did what he could to say goodbye though and I found her 'protest' quite well written and acted. She does her overly emotional scenes well.

    I didn't like how much Piper was willing to not believe though (you're witches who fight demons but it's ridiculous to believe in fairies?). And the first time they lose their keys is because of the fairies in this instance, even though they're helping the girl with their princess so why not help them?

    I don't mind having fairies, I mean they deal with the supernatural, so even if people think it's too 'childish' and not like Supernatural where they deal with dark creatures, I like that they're willing to expand to all forms of the supernatural. Later on it can get a bit ridiculous but I found this story ok.

    I do agree with others though, I hated the Prue and Phoebe childish scene. Especially the baby voices. If they had of done all they did with their normal voices it would've been alright, they would be acting like kids. But just talking like you're talking to a baby isn't really the same...

    I like Cole's story line. I think we found out a bit too soon personally that he's supernatural, but i like that he isn't doing anything over the top to warrant attention and that they're taking their time with him. If you're going to plant a mole, you wouldn't just get him to blow his cover on day one.
  • Once Upon a Time

    Once Upon a Time was a perfect episode of Charmed and I really liked watching this episode because it had fairies, trolls and a big scary demon, oh my! The story was fun and brought back memories of the magic of childhood. There was some great character development and plot progression as Cole works his way into the Halliwell residence and we see his true demon face. Piper is discontent after Leo disappears for over a week while Prue and Phoebe reconnect with their inner child in order to see what a little girl they are helping sees. There was suspense, intrigue and magic of course and a few good laughs as well as some scary scenes. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Piper shows no respect to her Elders and the little girl with the troll problem...

    Unlike most things in Charmed, Season 3 actually took its time getting Cole close enough to the sisters, and Phoebe, before launching into his story line as Belthazar.

    With that still developing, the second and third episodes of the season focus more on Piper's continued frustrations with Leo and the rules that keep them apart, coupled, of course, with your weekly supernatural bad to be dealt with.

    Last episode the conflict revolved around a story ripped from Ladyhawk. This episode involves a conflict at least partially ripped from Cat's Eye, where once again we have a young girl terrorized by diminutive trolls. In the movie, the troll was after the little girl, who was protected by a cat; here the troll is after a fairy who is protected by the little girl. In the midst of this, some fairy dust gets involved, and we have Phoebe and Prue momentarily converted, at least mentally, into their grammar school selves, as again Charmed mixes comedy with horror elements. The trolls v. fairies is a somewhat convoluted subplot that frankly I'm not sure I cared enough about to follow along properly. Fortunately, Holly absolutely carried this episode with her boiling point frustration over the loss of Leo. The opening dream sequence and the tremendous scene in the parking lot where she demanded Leo be returned to her make this episode worth seeing. In fact, her snappy dourness is very reminiscent, or pre-niscent if you will, of her mood once Leo is taken from her again in the latter half of Season 8. I was surprised they brought back Leo so quickly, basically ending that conflict, but again, this is Charmed, where few conflicts last long before being wrapped up.
  • The Kids Aren't Alright...

    The general consensus regarding season three is that it's one of the stronger season's from this witchly series, an example of the show in its prime. Hmm. Three episodes in and I'm already finding the standards to be appalling, embarrassing even. While similar shows like Buffy have shaky beginnings, there's always a hint of the arc to come and, of course, all of the givens that come with the supernatural show (strong acting, writing, directing); but with Charmed it seems as though the big-wigs believe their target audience happen to be lil' toddlers and so we have yet another offering tailored for such an audience, ghastly stuff!

    Of course the three leading ladies give it their all despite a script only a mother could love. And while Piper has some good moments, they're so jarring when juxtaposed to Phoebe and Prue's shenanigans that you can't take anything that occurs within this hour seriously.

    Final Vanquish: Ya know what's worse than working with kids & animals? Watching 30-something actors pretend they're children....although Alyssa has a lot more fun with the premise in season 7. Skip it unless you're in desperate need of a Charmed fix, in which case I urge you to get help.
  • Never Act with Animals or Kids #4

    And they wonder why Shannen called Charmed childish after she left the show?? I found it difficult to watch this episode as it was probably the most mind-numbingly awful episode EVER!

    Once Upon a Time has Prue and Phoebe turning themselves into their child selves so they can rescue a young girl and her pet fairy princess from a group of demonic trolls.

    The most embarrassing moments from this episode are when Phoebe and Prue start acting like children, which Alyssa and Shannen believe they can put across by putting on lame, phoney accents and acting like they've just been pumped full of novocaine. The whole troll storyline is pathetic. Alyssa Milano is particularly irritating throughout the episode, putting on a baby-talk voice even more extreme than normal, something which makes you want to take a shower with a toaster oven.

    Like Magic Hour, do the writers think we would be interested about some 8 year old at the mercy of some bad special effects trolls? Piper's storyline is the only thing keeping Charmed alive. You really feel sorry for her and Holly Marie Combs works wonders with some awful material.

    Director: Joel J Feigenbaum
    Writer: Krista Vernoff
    Rating: F
  • Teehee - I laughed a lot

    I thought this episode was so funny - because Piper is moody throughout it's an amazing example of her dry humor and then you have Phoebe and Prue acting like kids makes it perfect.
    And it even manages a deep moment when Piper is shouting at the sky which is actually kind of heart breaking.
    Prue's amazing intuition in the episode was quite amazing and the only thing i would have faulted.
    Cole played an exellent part in this too, adding even more humour so it was really just one of those funny episodes. It seems every charmed epsiode all about a child is good and this one was brilliant.
  • So many different layers!

    Once Upon a Time is a lot better than it sounds. A lot of charmed episodes go problem -- think -- solve--done. This one, just when you think they have solved it, there is more to the story. It was a bit weird though, how they seemed to have so much trouble vanquishing trolls!

    The episode consists of Phoebe and prue trying to save a little girl and her fairy being attacked by trolls. Fairy dust turns Prue and Phoebe into little kids which I found quite funny, especially seeing Shannon Doherty like that as Alyssa gets a lot more chances to use her baby voice in the future. Piper's plot was mainly her being upset that Leo was gone and getting over it.

    Watch this episode and find a lot of hidden plot points. Eg creepy look barmaid gives, Cole. *Never watch the season is the wrong order ;P
  • Die, Fairies, DIE!

    Once Upon A Time-With Piper growing more concerned that Leo will never return, Prue and Phoebe try to save a little girl and a fairy princess from evil Trolls. When Prue and Phoebe need Piper's help, her concern with Leo causes a spell to backfire, placing the girl in danger. Phoebe (to Piper): You are being a big, big, big, extra, extra, double big jerk right now!

    Why oh Why!? It has been known that Brad Kern took over as show runner with Constance Burge remaining as a creative consultant for the 3rd and 4th seasons of Charmed. You can tell Kern was having a field day as he began to destory the beautiful concept she created with another suckfest right after the crapfest of "Magic Hour". Of all the mythical creatures to introduce to Charmed, why did it have to be those d@** fairies!? They have to be the most annoying characters of the series (again I say, before BILLIE!) They're so corny and cheesy, you actually forget this was once a serious drama series. I had no interest in Kate's problems or her little pink fairy...actually I was cheering on the trolls to shut her up!

    Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano gives probably the worst performances of their careers when Prue and Phoebe are hit by fairy dust and act like 2 little annoyances for half an hour. Alyssa was especially grating and her baby voice made my ears hurt! I felt really bad for Shannen Doherty, as this probably was the episode where she started reconsidering being on this series as who wouldn't be embarrassed acting like a irritating brat for an front of other people...while being attacked by's a storyline even Disney would find childish! Holly Marie Combs is, yet again, the only saving grace for these run of episodes as she conveys such convincing pain and anger over losing Leo to the Elders. She steals the whole show in one scene when she demands the Elders to bring Leo back outside the P3. But even that scene couldn't save this episode, not even in the least, "Once Upon A Time" is one of the worst hours from Charmed of the early years and should be avoided!
  • I DO believe in fairies!

    While Piper is pre-occupied with the fact that Leo has yet to return, Phoebe and Prue get caught up helping a little girl who is being victimized by evil Trolls and who is trying to free the Fairie Princess, who has been imprisoned.

    This might all sound totally ridiculous, but the acting skills of Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty made it work beautifully as a spell which Piper helped them with backfires and the girls become young again. Young enough to see the trolls and the fairies - and to act like four-year-olds!

    The highlight of the episode for me was when the two childlike sisters took to the stage and did a little bit of singing to entertain the patrons - dare I say it? It was magical stuff and very entertaining and, of course, like all good stories of this nature, it had a happy ending.
  • Fairies & Trolls

    Piper has a nightmare with Leo and tells Prue that The Powers That Be have ordered Leo to disappear from her life. Meanwhile Phoebe meets Kate, a young girl that claims that she saved a fairy princess named Thistle and now the trolls come in the "tween time" to scare her and capture the fairy. Prue and Phoebe use magic fairy powder and revert to little girls to see Thistle. Cole Turner visits Phoebe in her house and tries to steal the Book of Shadows disclosing his true appearance, of the demon Balthazor. In the end, Leo returns to Piper telling that The Powers That Be have given a second chance to them.
  • One for the under twelves

    I spent most of this episode praying no-one would catch me watching it.

    It starts off alright. Piper wakes up from a dream about Leo and Phoebe almost hits a runaway girl in her car. But then they mention the F word and it all goes downhill.

    Had they done it in a more grown up way it might have been alright but the whole fairy dust thing was so cringy I didn't know where to look. Don't get me wrong, Alyssa and Shannen do a fine job acting as children, but how annoying were their characters?

    Piper's refusal to join in keeps the episode watchable. Her disgust at the way her sisters are acting is kind of how I was feeling about the writers. Holly really is great at playing the deadpan role. Scene of the week has to be when she freezes a troll six inches from her face. Very cool.

    Cole is getting more and more interesting. How many powers does this bloke have? So far, we have seen him teleport, create fire, orb objects and send his own shadow to the underworld. And now we see him in his demonic form (not sure about the face paint).

    The problem is, this episode doesn't know what it wants to be. In one shot we have uber demon Cole trying to steal the Book of Shadows and in the next we have the sisters trying to save a girl from ten inch trolls!

    And is it just me or are Leo and Pipers' storylines happening way too quickly at the moment? Last week, Leo was whisked away to be punished for trying to marry Piper and now he's back home and all is forgiven. Sort it out!
  • The one with the fairies

    This episode was both very good and very bad at the same time! And most of the good was just the bad being so incredibly funny!

    The storyline with Piper and Leo was so incredibly touching. It hurt to watch Piper looking so sad and so close to giving up. It almost broke your heart to watch her having that dream about Leo in the beginning. It was nice to see Piper all against doing anything magical because of what happened with Leo. It was nice to see her telling Prue and Phoebe that Kate and her fairies and trolls weren't real.

    Prue and Phoebe going to Kate's and telling her that they believed her stories about fairies and trolls and then having Kate hit them with the pixie dust so they could see the fairy was lame. It was good that they both wanted to help the little girl with her troll problems but the ways they went about doing it were not right. When Phoebe and Prue were all innocent again they were so annoying. I will admit that hearing them acting drunk on stage at P3 was incredibly humorous though. They didn't seem like they were for real and their voices sounded like ones you would use when talking to a little baby, not ones that a little kid would have. They just seemed like they were really drunk or something or just not for real. I loved Piper's reaction to the pair as well it was so funny! I loved that she called them a cab because she thought if anyone saw them driving they'd think the pair was drunk!

    I loved that when they actually needed Piper's help she was willing but she wasn't all there and that's why the spell didn't work. It was nice to see that they helped save Kate in the end, but the road getting there was very bumpy! I hated Cole stopping by and then appearing as his demon self in the attic. I really wanted to yell at Phoebe and Prue to open their eyes and see that Cole is your demon!

    I loved that in the end Leo got to come back that was so incredibly touching and beautiful I absolutely loved that part!
  • Awesome episode

    I loved this episode. The parts when Prue and Phoebe were like little girls was hilarious. I also like the whole Piper/Leo thing going on which caused the spell to backfire because she was missing him. Cole/Belthazar trying to steal the book of shadows. It was an amazing episode. Keep out of the 'tween places.
  • It was quite funny and an ok episode.

    Phoebe comes across a young girl, Kate, that is being terrorized by trolls because she is protecting a fairy they seek to harm. Although Prue and Phoebe believe the young girl needs the help of the Charmed Ones, Piper goes on strike from helping innocents until the The Elders allow her and Leo to be together again. While Prue and Phoebe try to save Kate and the fairy from the trolls, Cole attempts to gain access to the Halliwell Manor to get the Book of Shadows.
  • I love this episode, maybe because i'm a kid at heart but i love the thought of trolls and fairies.

    Phoebe almost runs over a little girl who is running from trolls. Phoebe believes her and has to convince piper and pure that fairies and trolls exist. Phoebe finds a drawing of Pures of fairies and trolls from when she was little to convice Pure that fairies and trolls exsist. Pure and phoebe go over to the little girls and she uses fairy dust so that they can see the trolls. Then Phoebe and Pure act like little kids and go to P3. Then they get on stage and sing kid songs until piper comes and yells at them. Then they attacked at the manor and the trolls steal the key. And u have to watch the episode to see how it ends. I love this episode!!!
  • Not very imaginative- They seem to be running out of ideas! Trolls, fairys, children in one?

    This episode was a little dull in my opinion.. Phoebe and Prue together don't have a very good chemistry about them, and I thought it was easy to tell they don't get along.

    I thought Piper was her usual self though, and I did love the scene where she demands Leo back from the Elders.

    How they vanquished the trolls wasn't all that thrilling either. Yawn.

    This wasn't the best of the season, obviously.. But I've seen worse.
  • I don't like trolls and fairies almost as much as I don't like owls and wolves. It seems like the writers kind of ran out of ideas or something around here. Not terrible...but could have been a lot better.

    Phoebe and Cole almost have a date set up...even though Cole "accidently" forgot that he was supposed to meet Phoebe at P3 instead of coming to the manor, and she was under the affects of fairy dust at the time and couldn't really got out anyway.

    Piper is becoming more and more depressed with the fact that Leo isn't around. She had a dream and in it, Leo came to P3 while she was there and said goodbye because they had broken the rules and he wasn't allowed to see her again. She is definitely defeated. It's sad, cause they are meant to be together. They deserve just a LIL bit of happiness if you ask me.

    Kate, a little girl down the street, is being attacked by trolls who want her to give up the princess of the fairies which she saved from their cave. Phoebe and Prue are more willing to help her...Piper tied up in her own tears at the moment.

    In the end, Leo gets to come back to the sisters and to Piper after Piper admits that saving innocents come before her relationship and after she proved that she is capable of balancing witchly callings with Leo. Leo and Piper are now on probation.
  • I thought there won't be worse episode that Magic Hour, but I forget about this one...

    I write a while ago that the episode Magic Hour was painful to watch, but if you believe that episode was the worst of the season, I completely forget about this episode. There's nothing good about this episode, the way they defeat the gnomes or whatever they are, is very silly and very boring, I bought Season 3 of Charmed and I swear to all Charmed fans that I ain't going to watch neither this episode nor Magic Hour, because they just don't seem... exciting at all! At least the next episodes are much better!
  • This season just keeps getting better & better.

    This season just keeps getting better & better.

    I loved this episode. Piper is mad & upset because she thinks Leo isn't comming back and that she'll never see him again. Prue & Pheobe try to keep her mind off Leo by trying to get her to help them save a girl & her fairy friend from the trolls, but Piper doesn't believe they exist.

    And the best part of this episode was Cole turning into a demon in the manor & Prue & Pheobe finding him in the attic trying to get to the book of shadows. They still don't know that the demon & Cole are one & the same.

    I love how each episode until now ends with Cole.
  • it was ok...

    it was ok... it was cool that phoebe and prue turned into kids in the inside. and piper didnt till the end (i think), it was cool how she froze the trolls and unfroze them in the fire! lol. i liked that part! it was cool when they did turn into the kids. that was cool!
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