Charmed

Season 3 Episode 17

Pre-Witched

2
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 22, 2001 on The WB
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
405 votes
14

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
While the sisters must deal with the possibility of being separated as the newlyweds plan to move out on their own, they recall a time before they knew they were the Charmed Ones, when the girls were coming to grips with the death of Grams and Phoebe's departure to New York.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Pre-Witched

    10
    Pre-Witched was a perfect episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because the story was entertaining, full of intrigue and character development. It was interesting to see the flash backs and learn more about the sisters history. I also liked seeing Grams and Patty again in this episode. There was some humor, touching moments and serious scenes. The story line about the familiar becoming a warlock was interesting. I liked the compromise the sisters made to accommodate Piper and Leo living in the Manor. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Pre-Charmed and the smell of vanquished warlock in the morning.

    9.0
    Okay, so what this superb episode firmly establishes for me is that Prue and Phoebe were once pretty much inconsiderate cads that didn't care a whole lot about their sister or their grandma.



    This episode masterfully intertwines a subplot regarding Piper and Leo moving out involving flashbacks to pre-Charmed days and a subplot including a warlock with 9 lives who actually wants the sisters to exhaust them all.



    Yes, the flashbacks are great, especially the ones involving Grams and the famous scene where Leo bumps into Piper long before they know each other. However, I found the warlock plot nearly as entertaining. The actor playing the warlock, though about as frightening as Chris Farley, has a little fun with the role and gets some great lines. I love the- "don't dance if you don't know the steps" and "I love the smell of defeated witch"... haha... great stuff. The writers did very well here to use Piper's indecision about moving out to show us how the sisters got to where they were at when the series started. It is somewhat hard to believe that Grams, superwitch, would ever consider binding the sisters' powers, but I guess she just loved them that much. Of course, with the Book of Shadows still around, I don't see how binding their powers would stop demons from ever coming after them. After all, Cole admitted just so many episodes that all demons want the book. When Prue and Phoebe were refusing to get together for a simple picture, I wanted Grams to knock them upside the head and tell them to Grow Up. They were in their 20s after all, not their teens. They were also brutal to Piper when they took off right after Gram's death. Apparently, being witches not only brought the sisters closer together, but also helped Prue and Phoebe get their acts together.moreless
  • Charmed: The Normal Years

    10
    Pre-witched-While the sisters must deal with the possibility of being separated as the newlyweds plan to move out on their own, they recall a time before they knew they were the Charmed Ones, when the girls were coming to grips with the death of Grams and Phoebe's departure to New York.



    A truly remarkable episode that captures all the 2 elements of what made Charmed such a great series: the sisterly bonding and dark storytelling. I love how the news of Piper and Leo moving up bring a lot of emotions between the sisters and makes them remember life before they were Charmed. The flashbacks, are without a doubt, the highlight of the episode as we get to see the sisters handling life as just regular women as Grams is alive and just trying to keep them to together. The flashbacks are just heartbreaking, especially when you see the sisters weren't exactly as close as they were before they discovered they're destiny. Prue was all concern about getting married to Roger, Piper was struggling to take care of Grams as her illness grew worse, and Phoebe was still a rebel at this stage in her life.



    Finola Hughes probably gives her best performance on Charmed as we see Grams struggle to be strong to keep her family together while slowly dieing from her illness. It comes as a shocking and sad development that Grams didn't believe her granddaughters could handle their destiny and planned to bind their powers for good. Grams' death scene is one of the saddest moments on Charmed and it's so hard to watch seeing the sisters lose the woma who has looked after them their whole life. It's especially sad watching all 3 sisters split apart as Phoebe goes off to New York which is moving development that shows the sisters have lost their reason to be a family. Another impressive development is how Piper and Leo literally bumped into each other as they unknowingly met before, which is a great forshadowing of their own personal destiny.



    The demon plot of the week is superbly written side by side with the flashbacks. Shadow, the warlock, is definately one of Charmed's most brilliant villains, mostly thanks to the flawless performance by "Scream" star W. Earl Brown. He's M.O. is well crafted and the scene where he kills a woman to get the Charmed Ones attention is suspenseful. The direction is also stunning throughout with the transistion with the flashbacks being beautifully shot. The special effects where also very good with Shadow's vanquishing seen being so well done. The episode ends with truly memorable moment for the sisters as Piper decides to say with her sisters and all 3 sisters embrace each other. It's one of the last moments between the original 3 sisters and it's really said that a few episodes later, these will end tragically. All and All, "Pre-Witched" is a perfect effort from Charmed with powerful sisterly moments and one of the most excellent demonn plots written.moreless
  • A warlock with many lives was secondry for me to the nice trip down memory lane.

    6.5
    Neither the best nor the worst episode I have seen. A warlock who refuses to die meant little to me alongside the storyline of the Halliwell sisters in their pre-witch days. It was nice to look back through their eyes, have some gaps filled in and see how good parts of their lives were before Destiny called them to be The Charmed Ones.



    It was good the see excellent cast interaction here as we knew well and truly by now that there was not a lot of loved lost between some members of the team. Kudos, therefore, to them for not making the disharmony obvious and putting out a watchable episode.moreless
  • Before They Were Famous

    10
    I love when we get to see more of the sister's past before they discovered they were witches and Pre-Witched has to be one of the best episodes of the season.



    Pre-Witched has Prue and Phoebe dealing with departure when Piper and Leo announce their plans to move out of the manor and remember back to 1996 when Grams died and Phoebe left for New York. Meanwhile, the sisters also have to deal with a familiar who turned back into his demon self and must be killed 9 times in order to become indestructible.



    W. Earl Brown (best known for his role as Kenny the Cameraman in the horror movie Scream) is brilliant as Shadow and he really brings the warlock to live, and you can't wait until the sisters finally vanquish him. The flashbacks are brilliant and it was a neat twist to see that Piper and Leo once ran into each other years ago. Pre-Witched is a very underrated episode which is probably one of the best in season three.moreless
Sherri Saum

Sherri Saum

Ariel

Guest Star

James Sie

James Sie

Shoe Salesman

Guest Star

Marc Bossley

Marc Bossley

Officer

Guest Star

Finola Hughes

Finola Hughes

Patty Halliwell

Recurring Role

Jennifer Rhodes

Jennifer Rhodes

Penny Halliwell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (16)

    • When the warlock stabs the woman at the cafe, it seems odd that Piper didn't just keep her frozen after they killed the warlock. That would have given them enough time to call Leo to heal her and save her life. Piper did this with Cole in Charmed Again Part 2 after the Source stabbed him.

    • When Piper says that she and Leo want to move out now that they are married, Phoebe has a fit and does everything she can to talk her out of it. However, in season 2, when Piper considered moving in with Dan who she had only been dating for a little over a month, Phoebe was supportive (though she admitted after that she didn't want her to). Granted, Dan only lived next door but Leo was only an orb away, so shouldn't she have been a little more supportive (or at least pretended)of Piper wanting to move with Leo her husband and their Whitelighter than of Dan, a new boyfriend who was clueless of the magic and would've been harder to explain constant absences to?

    • When Piper is telling Leo about finding the ingrediants that would have stripped her and her sisters powers, she says "that if Grams was willing to strip their powers to keep them together then...". Why would Piper assume that was the motive behind Grams decision? Aside from the fact that it was three years after that fact that she was discovering it, we are the ones who were seeing the past events, not them! And even if Piper was able to clearly remember the events, the reason behind Grams wanting to do that was not that she wanted to keep them togethor. It was because Grams felt the sisters were not close enough to handle the obligations and pressures of becoming the Charmed ones! Which should have been the only theory Piper came up with, since what she said made no sense!

    • When Phoebe kills the warlock in the kitchen after they agree not to, she apologizes and blames her self-preservational instincts and gut reaction. What she should have said was that when she kicked him over the counter he landed on a knife that she did not know was there, because that's what actually happened!

    • TRIVIA: When Piper and Leo tell Phoebe and Prue that they have managed things without Piper they mention Hawaii, which refers to the episode The Power of Two, and when she went away with Leo, which was for a month between season two and three.

    • In the past when Piper and Leo brush past each other Leo orbs out in the middle of street. Shouldn't he be worried about exposure?

    • In this episode, the girls refer to Kit the cat as a 'he', yet it's later stated in season 5 that Kit is a 'she'.

    • In a flashback when Grams is performing a seance for Patty, her ghost comes back - however, the fifth candle that Grams is trying to light doesn't, so how does Patty come back?

    • During one of the flashbacks, when Grams is in the attic she puts the Book of Shadows in the crate, which is to the right of the attic door. After leaving the attic she locks the door, falls down the stairs and dies. Yet in the first episode of the series "Something Wicca This Way Comes" when Phoebe goes into the attic, the crate with the Book is just below the window, in front of the door. No one had entered the attic until then, as Piper said that they hadn't been able to get into the attic since Grams died.

    • In the kitchen, after Phoebe kicked him across the table, the warlock died because he fell on a knife. When he disappears the knife is pointing straight up and there is only blood halfway down the blade. If he was lying flat on the ground wouldn't the blade be bloodier? Also warlocks aren't supposed to bleed.

    • TRIVIA: The spell used by the sisters to call the spirit of Ariel is the same one used by Phoebe in "Trial By Magic" to call the spirit of Angela, the murder victim. Instead of "unknown spirit" she used "spirit Angela".

    • Phoebe says that after finding out they were up against a familiar-turned-warlock that she'd never be able to look at Kit in the same way, or get undressed in front of him. Stating that Kit is a boy is just incorrect since in the season 1 episode Dream Sorcerer the attraction spell Phoebe and Piper cast gave Kit the attention of some male tom-cats and in the season 5 episode Cat House it was established that Kit is a girl and was their familiar, as she came back as a woman.

    • When the warlock appears to Piper by her car, wouldn't anyone in the public have seen Piper Levitate 6 ft In the air?

    • TRIVIA: Piper meets Leo for the first time during one of the flashbacks, when he bumps into her on the sidewalk.

    • TRIVIA: It is learned that Piper used to be a banker before she applied to be a chef at Quake.

    • A pesky wisp of hair on Piper's left side appears and disappears as she talks to Leo while sitting on the tailgate of the car.

  • QUOTES (31)

    • Grams: Who are we to decide that they're witches?
      Patty: Who are we decide that they're not?

    • (The Police show up at the front door with Phoebe)
      Officer: Penny Halliwell?
      Grams: Can I find out what she did before I answer that?

    • Phoebe: Here, they're just a little bit out of my budget.
      Salesman: But they're...
      Phoebe: Perfect! I know... and all of these would have been perfect too... (Hands the salesman a stack of other shoes she had tried on)

    • Phoebe: Hey! I hear spikes are making a comeback! (Throws a spike-heeled shoe at Shadow)

    • Piper: You're not mad at me are you?
      Leo: Not if we can hire movers to move this stuff back into the house.

    • Phoebe: Wait a minute...life altering plans cannot be discussed over pass-the-newspaper and who ate the Special K!

    • Flashback Phoebe: And why would I spend my time on a wimp who's got mother issues?
      Flashback Prue: I don't know. But why should I believe anything that you say? I mean, you don't even know the difference between what belongs to you and what belongs to, oh, let's say Macy's.
      Flaskback Piper: Alrighty then. Are we done?

    • Piper: No, have you seen the way out?
      Prue: I knocked, didn't I?
      Piper: But you didn't wait for an answer.
      Prue: Oh, right, God, I'm really sorry. Look at me. Look at me leaving. I'm leaving.

    • Piper: You know, this trunk would go great at the foot of our bed.
      Prue: Yeah, and my foot would look great on your butt. You are so not taking that, okay?

    • Warlock: I was beginning to think you were trying to avoid me.
      Prue: Wow, you've been thinking. That's a pretty big step for a warlock.

    • Ariel: When someone is taken from you so suddenly, there are no goodbyes.

    • Phoebe: Saved by the meow! You know, I don't think I'll ever be able to look at Kit in the same way or get undressed in front of him, for that matter.

    • Phoebe (about a warlock): That's not what I meant! Death isn't brief, it's permanent and he gets to cheat it, not once but nine times!
      Piper: Yeah! Cheaters aren't meant to prosper!

    • Phoebe: (Singing) I've been working on a vanquish!

    • Phoebe: So why bother us? Why not just jump in front of nine buses?

    • Phoebe: Well, if so I got the runt. Bad teeth, funky clothes and way easy to kill.
      Prue: Black hair?
      Piper: Bad breath?
      Phoebe: You know him?
      Prue: Uh, I think I killed him.
      A warlock appears.
      Warlock: Care to try again ?

    • Prue walks into Piper's bedroom and in on Piper & Leo.
      Piper: Heya, Prue, are you lost?
      Prue: Uh, no, but my keys are.

    • Shadow: Wait a minute; do you think I am an idiot? You have something up your sleeve.
      Phoebe: Hello, sleeveless!

    • Phoebe: We can't be together forever.
      Piper: Yeah, but it feels good that forever isn't today.

    • Prue: It'll be just like having your own place.
      Phoebe: Except with your sisters right down the hall!

    • Piper: When Prue, Phoebe, and I moved back in together, we became sisters again. And I don't think that it's time to test that.

    • Piper: Sharp painful implement?
      Prue: Check.
      Phoebe: Ooh! Nice choice.

    • Flashback Phoebe: I'm not sure what my future holds, but it's not in San Francisco. The only thing I add to this threesome is trouble.

    • Piper (after vanquishing a warlock): Was that for good?
      Prue: Well, if it wasn't he's really gonna miss his ear, 'cause it looks like part of it's dripping off the clock.
      Piper: Yuck.

    • Piper: So what is our level of confidence in this plan?
      Phoebe: Well, on a scale from one to ten, ten being we whoop ass, one being he laughs at us while we're on fire and naked...
      Piper: Maybe you should lie to me.

    • Phoebe: Oops. I think I just killed the warlock again.
      Prue scoffs.
      Piper: Phoebe!

    • Piper and Leo are in the shower together.
      Piper: See, we finally found a place where we can be alone.
      Leo: Yeah, this is perfect. Now all we have to do is move all our stuff in here and nobody will bother us.

    • Grams: Is it too much for an old lady to ask her granddaughters to retract their claws, stand still and look at me long enough to take one lousy picture?

    • Prue: Because we must be the only ones strong enough to kill him.
      Piper: And he knew where to find us. What are we in the Warlock's Guide to San Fransico?

    • Piper: Something to bring a bit of Grams to my place.
      Prue: Alright sweetie. Hey, can we contact the dead now?

    • Piper: You know, I don't wanna be one of those old married lepers that nobody thinks if fun anymore.
      Prue: You've never been fun, Piper.
      Piper: I've always been fun, Prue. I am just Mrs. Fun now.
      Prue: Oh, Mrs. Fun.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Phoebe (singing): I've been working on a vanquish!

      Phoebe is singing in the classical tune I've Been Working on a Railroad (All the live long day).

    • Title: Pre-Witched

      This is a reference to the television series (later turned into a film) Bewitched, which ran from 1964 to 1972.

    • Shadow: I love the smell of defeated witch in the evening.

      Paraphrase of the famous line "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" from the 1979 movie "Apocalypse Now".

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