What's my name again?
Wow! Much better than expected. After reading all the gripes and moans about Season Eight I was expecting something along the lines of "A Call to Arms" but this is excellent. Like my favourite season opener, "Charmed Again", the sisters are trying to piece their lives together following a family upheaval. Brad Kern hangs a number of clever subplots off this: Victor has taken ownership of the house and is targeted by demons, Paige complains to Grams that she has no life outside magic, Phoebe foresees her own wedding and a strange chick clad in PVC makes an appearance.
While I know Billie becomes something of a hate figure later in the season, you can't deny she is good value at this early stage. Is she a demon? Is she a witch? Intriguing stuff. It's also about time we had TK back as a power - four years without seeing weapons flying into someone's grasp is way too long on a supernatural show. I thought the outfit and the music were great fun, and added a little light relief to the story.
Considering the budget cuts we've all heard so much about, the effects are very good this week. A lot of effort has gone into the vanquishes, with some of the demons turning to bones through the flames. Neat touch! The scenes with the mirrors also work well, with no obvious goofs and some excellent editing. There are also some reasonable guest slots (this episode has more actors credited than any other). I've no idea who Janice Dickinson is so that was completely lost on me!
The fight scenes are well directed and have a pace which has been lacking lately - makes me realise how much we miss Phoebe's kicking and levitating. I particularly liked Piper disguising herself as Wyatt. Very cool idea and totally brilliant to watch. I'm also impressed they managed to get the little guy to do something other than stand there in silence - it probably took heaven knows how many attempts to get right but it really works.
For the first time in a while I really can't wait to see the next episode. Bring it on!