Season 4 Episode 17

Saving Private Leo

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 28, 2002 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
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  • Saving good writing for later...

    Finally an episode that highlights Leo and HIS past... It is ABOUT time, and frankly, the timing here is beyond curious.

    This episode gets a 7 thanks to the acting of Brian Krause (if maybe some overacting in parts) and the subplot of Paige showing some of her whitelighter instincts as she basically pulls a Leo on Leo. Those two things along with the pleasing appearance of a sexy assistant for Cole and a feel good ending keep this episode above the 6 range reserved for the worst of Charmed.

    Unfortunately, the writing here is an epic fail, about as bad as anytime during the series. We all know that Leo is as close to an all good character as there is on the show. He is an angel afterall. However, the writer could have felt free to give Leo some human failing, when he actually was a human, for him to bonafide feel guilty about. Instead, we get a bunch of mularkey that makes no sense. His "friends" were killed by an artillery shell seconds after he left them. Leo leaving them had NOTHING to do with their death! If he would have stayed, he would merely have died too, along with everyone else that he later went on to save. So, these supposedly close "friends" of his, soldiers even, are mad at him for doing his JOB moments before an artillery shell killed them? Give me a break. Complete hogwash.

    And to make matters worse, Leo feels guilty about it? And not like minor guilt here, but like crushing guilt. For what? For his murderous, evil "friends" getting blown up by an artillery shell, which was apparently better than they deserved?

    That is the 2nd problem here. If you wanted to work the guilt angle on Leo, fine, but then you needed to make the ghosts somewhat sympathetic figures. We understand why Leo feels guilty because we can sympathize with the soldiers. Instead, these soldiers turn out to be two of the worst villians ever on the show, who apparently kill innocents both as a matter of convenience and for the sadistic pleasure of it. Ah, nice "friends" for a guy like Leo to have had in real life. Yeah, right. We all believe that. Lastly, the show again gives too much power to ghosts, who should be less empowered than demons, not more. If a ghost is capable of affecting the corporeal, then it stands to reason that the corporeal must also be able to affect THEM. This could have been great if it wasn't written with complete laziness.

    Did I mention the final scene where Leo meets the families of the men he saved is fantastic though? So, there is that.