Charmed

Season 2 Episode 11

Reckless Abandon

1
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 27, 2000 on The WB
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
318 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
The sisters must find a way to vanquish a ghost who is intent on killing all of the men in a family line, including the last male, a baby.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Reckless Abandon

    9.0
    Reckless Abandon was a superb episode of Charmed and the story was pretty fun and engaging too. I liked watching the sisters care for an abandoned baby each showing their motherly natures. There was some good character and minor plot development. Prue has a hard time balancing work and her personal life, and the new boss doesn't hesitate to point this out to her. Jack does what he can to help her and in the end wins the day only to be blown off for baby problems. It was nice the sisters were able to help baby Matthew. I like the consistent interaction of Morris and the sisters and I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!moreless
  • Recklessly Abandon this one to TV's dustbin and move on to an episode that has Leo back.

    7.0
    UGH... Javier Grillo-Marxuach, what happened? We've seen a decided drop in the quality of the show with no Leo around. It is difficult after all to have an effective Piper/Leo/Dan triangle when Leo isn't even on the show. And this one all but takes a drop off of a cliff.



    First of all, a baby is at the center of all things here, and of all the cute babies in the world, this is not one of them. Secondly, I don't think they had to try so hard to convince us that none of the sisters are ready for a baby. Apparently, this is one of the most difficult babies in history. Then, to top if off, we have Dan in his too perfect role. This guy is so unrealistic. Leo at least has a good reason for his being too good to be true- he's an angel. There are some really disastrous scenes here, led by the scene where Alexandra first finds out her only child, her baby, has been left with the police. Her reaction is SO unrealistic it is painful to watch. Then we have a ghost who can shoot lightning out of his fingertips. How is that exactly? Apparently, he is making his way through the men of this family without anyone calling ghostbusters or even doing the simple thing of staying OUT of the house!



    On the plus side, the matriach killing herself and then sending the ghost to hell is a good vanquish. Too bad she didn't think of that before her entire family was wiped out. Lastly, at least this is the last episode before Awakened, so it has that going for it.moreless
  • A ghost in love with a woman decides to seek his revenge on her and her family by killing all the male members of the line.

    4.5
    I have nothing personal against Stephanie Beacham, but whenever she is acting, it seems to me as though she really overdoes the dramatics and I find that very off-putting. The episode itself was, to say the least, not the most stellar of the season and the plot was very predictable from start to finish as a highly annoying ghost haunts and kills the family of a woman upon whom he wishes to seek revenge for past wrongs.



    To punish her for what she has done to him, he begins by killing those she loves the most and haunting her and her family as often as he chooses. She gets a type of revenge on him in the end when she takes her own life but by the time the episode got that far, I found myself very uninterested.moreless
  • Pointless Has-Been Guest Spot #1: Stephanie Beacham

    5.6
    An episode seemingly entirely constructed around Stephanie "Aaron Spelling's bestest favorite-ist actress ever!" Beacham, Reckless Abandon is also memorable for seeing our three leads taking care of a tiny baby so it's unsurprising that there are a ton of scenes centering around diapers, pee, cutesy biological clock crap and the like.



    The episode sees Phoebe getting a premonition of a ghost killing a man when she holds an abandoned baby. Taking the baby home, she and her sisters discover that the baby is the last in the line of Van Lewen men, all of which are being killed by an evil ghost. Whilst Prue takes care of baby Van Lewen, Piper and Phoebe consult Martha Van Lewen, the matriarch of the family, for answers.



    Strangely, the baby plot is the most successful storyline of the episode. Seeing the sisters struggling to deal with everything is fun to watch and the scene where Piper freezes baby Matthew's pee in mid-air is completely ridiculous but undeniably funny. The only annoying aspect of the storyline is the Baby Boom-esque score which accompanies the baby humor. It's used to death throughout the episode and just really grates on you.



    The ghost storyline is completely tedious. As well as featuring really bad performances from most of the guest stars, including the aforementioned Beacham (who appears like she still thinks she's on Dynasty), the script drags on and on and the writers don't seem to have realized that stories centered on other families never work. Look at The Wedding From Hell, for instance.



    Reckless Abandon is a slightly average episode where the subplots easily overshadow the main demonic storyline. One you could easily skip over whilst watching it on DVD.



    Director: Craig Zisk

    Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach

    Rating: Cmoreless
  • Baby Bummer

    8.0
    Reckless Abandon-The sisters must find a way to vanquish a ghost who is intent on killing all of the men in a family line, including the last male, a baby.



    Part light-hearted humor/part a dark(ish) episode, "Reckless Abandon" has the sisters loong after an abandon baby, while also trying to stop the deadly ghost after him. I have to admit, the baby storyline was pretty funny, especially watching all 3 sisters having a difficult time taking care of little Matthew. It's quite hilarious watching them fall apart and be overwhelming by taking care of a baby, one scene in particular that sticks out is when while Prue and Piper are changing Matthew, Piper freezes Matthew's pee before it hits both of them. It's so ridiculous, yet the scene played out well. The situation actually brings some nice family moments as the sisters learn how to be better mothers and develop some real concern over Matthew.



    As for the demon plot, I liked it a lot and J. Kenneth Campbell was great as Elias Lundy. He made for a cold hearted, ruthless villain and his M.O. as well as his backstory was well written. I just wish I could say the about the other guest stars, especially Stephanie Beacham (Martha van Lewen). I'm guessing Aaron Spelling forgot to tell her she wasn't on Dynasty anymore before he casted her as her performance is too over-the-top at times. The special effects are quite good with Prue using her power to bring back Elias' body and Elias throwing lightning as Prue and Phoebe afterwards. All and All, "Reckless Abandon" is has both an entertaining sub-plot and a pretty cool main plot which makes for solid episode.moreless
Stephanie Beacham

Stephanie Beacham

Martha van Lewen

Guest Star

J. Kenneth Campbell

J. Kenneth Campbell

Elias Lundy

Guest Star

Rick Coy

Rick Coy

Gilbert

Guest Star

Lochlyn Munro

Lochlyn Munro

Jack Sheridan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (13)

    • When Prue and Piper are changing Matthew's diaper in the kitchen and Prue starts talking about how the diaper does not fit; if you look at her hand you can clearly see that part of the top half of the diaper is folded under to make it look smaller. If it were unfolded it would easily fit.

    • Originally Prue says that the presentation was at three and that the plane was leaving at nine a.m. However, Jack then is able to reschedule the presentation for noon the following day. How is that possible? If the plane was already gone what would be the point, meaning the business trip had begun? Considering that Prue's boss was originally gonna send Jack alone because of his annoyance at yet another family emergency, it seems unlikely he would be willing to postpone an entire business trip? It seems more likely he would either choose someone else or send Jack on schedule based on what he had already.

    • Why would the sisters even tell Martha about her death being one of the options? If it was not something they were willing to do, why would they tell her at all? She would obviously feel inclined to protect her last living relative,so wouldn't that just put pressure and guilt on a woman they believed to be their innocent? And at the very least shouldn't they have tried to find Elias bones again before springing all that on her?

    • TRIVIA: This episode features the song Human Touch by Pocket Size and I Love You by Martina McBride.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first time that Darryl mentions anything about his family when he tells the sisters that he is a father.

    • TRIVIA: This is the second time that the name Matthew is used in the series. It was previously used in the episode The Witch Is Back for Matthew Tate, the warlock. Then later in season 4 their other sister's name is Paige Matthews, and in season 5 Piper and Leo name their son Wyatt Matthew Halliwell - after Paige's last name.

    • When Prue and Piper are changing Matthew's diaper and the camera is on them, you can see Matthew's foot and it is clearly a doll, but when the camera shows Matthew, we see an actual baby.

    • Elias' ghost looks really old and zombie-like, while Martha's ghost looks just like she looked when she was alive. They should look like their bodies the way they are now, except Elias' body had already decayed to a skeleton. It is possible he died looking like that because he got shot.

    • Phoebe says that the only two ways to vanquish a ghost is to either pour the potion onto its bones or destroy the object key to its wrath. What about the spell that she and Prue used on Jackson Ward in the season 1 episode "The Power of Two" or that Grams used in the season 5 episode "Necromancing the Stone" - "Ashes to ashes, spirit to spirit. Take his soul, banish this evil"?

    • When Prue is working on her slides and the baby throws up on them, someone in the background is heard saying "puke out" before the ruined report is shown.

    • Prue exhibits an awful lot more control over her powers in this episode than ever before or ever again after, moving the multiple purse contents without using her hands or eyes, and working the sink sprayer while her hands are full and she can't see it, as it's behind the baby.

    • The ghost Elias was human while he was alive so why does he possess magic now and how does he know about witches?

    • When Prue and Phoebe dug up Elias' bones, why didn't they just dump the potion right away instead of breaking his bones with the shovels? Were they that angry with him?

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Piper: Wow, you're like MacGyver with estrogen.
      Dan: Thanks...I think. Actually, cloth diapers are more environmentally friendly but harder to use. (Dan picks up the baby) There, such a good boy.
      Prue: (to Piper, pointedly) Yes, he is.

    • Prue: You wouldn't happen to know anything about diapers, would you?
      Jack: Me? Noo. That would involve knowing something about babies which I know absolutely zero about.

    • Prue (about Dan): You know, I just hate guys who aren't afraid to commit. They are so atypical.

    • Phoebe: Who would bring a baby to a police station?
      Darryl: It was abandoned. Now look Phoebe...
      Phoebe: Abandoned! That's awful.
      Darryl: That's why they call it a crime.

    • Phoebe: Piper, you'll be fine, don't be afraid.
      Prue: Yeh, Just think of it as a test run.
      Piper: I don't need a test run. I remember when Phoebe was a baby, and it was hard on Mom, and endless, and with you dropping her all the time!
      Phoebe: What?!
      Prue: Oh, moving on!

    • (Piper had been knitting for a friend's baby shower)
      Prue: So I guess this is really good practice for you huh?
      Piper: What are you talking about?
      Prue: You... Dan... little Dan?

    • Phoebe: So how many kids do you think I'll have?
      Prue: I'd say at least 5.
      Piper: Maybe even 6.
      Phoebe: Ouch.

    • Prue: You have no idea how expensive having a baby is. So I'll tell you. $312.46 to be exact.
      Piper: No way.
      Dan: Well, your timing's perfect. Cousin Matthew needs to change.
      Prue: Okay. (Prue gets a blanket out of one of the bags and lays it out on the table.) Alright, there we go. (Dan puts Matthew on the blanket and Prue starts taking his diaper off.) Oh!
      Piper: Ohh, that is ripe!
      Prue: What does this kid live on? Wheat grass?

    • Darryl: Time's up, ladies. Social services called. They wanna know where the baby is.
      Phoebe: Tell them he's with us.
      Darryl: Three witches and a baby. I don't think that's gonna fly.

    • Piper: Do you know the jiggle?
      Darryl: I'm a father. Of course I know the jiggle.

    • Prue is shopping for baby items, and spots Jack racing a boy on a scooter.
      Prue: Jack! What are you doing here?
      Jack: Getting my ass kicked by a five-year-old.

    • Piper: So what are we supposed to do with him now? Raise him in the ways of witchcraft?

    • Prue: We have a baby?
      Piper: Phoebe picked it up at the police station.
      Prue: Okay, I thought you were going to request a job, not a kid.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Title: Reckless Abandon

      Reckless Abandon is a song by David Bromberg.

    • Piper: You're like MacGyver with estrogen.

      MacGyver is a television show starring Richard Dean Anderson that ran from 1985 to 1992. MacGyver was an average guy who could make unconventional and incredible devices out of ordinary things.

    • Phoebe: We better not mention where the baby is in case Casper's still around.

      This is a reference to the 1995 movie "Casper" which is about a friendly ghost and is based upon the original comic book series, and later adapted into an animated series.

    • Darryl: Three witches and a baby.

      This is a a reference to the movie "Three Men and A Baby" in which three men take in a baby and look after it not knowing which one of them is the father. It starred Ted Danson, Tom Selleck & Steve Guttenberg, and a sequel film was also made.

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