Season 2 Episode 6

That Old Black Magic

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 11, 1999 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
350 votes

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Episode Summary

The sisters must find and train the Chosen One to vanquish a powerful evil witch that could destroy them.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Ah dan and jenny, annoying as ever.

    Disclaimer - I do love this show, do strongly dislike Shannen Doherty, but I love this show. But I feel the good is obvious, so I mention the things that bother me and I want to rant about and question loudly!

    I agree again (as usual) with Iltarion below, I like that they had a bad female. I do somewhat dislike how powerful she was, but at the same time her magic wasn't even HER. It was her taking away powers (that I'm sure other baddies could do they just weren't trained to) and her setting her snake on people. We didn't actually see her powers specifically I found.

    Prue's arrogance is showing once again with the whole "No I can defeat Tuatha". But honestly, it gets old really fast how untrustworthy they are of Leo as a whitelighter and how little they seem to care about his job. He comes in with an important 'mission' and they're all 'nope not going anywhere' 'nope we got time to chat' 'nope we'll ignore the man who's done this for 60 years because we who have been witches for one year must be right'. And it's an ongoing theme. Once the elders do become a bit douchy I get there rebellion but Leo is doing a job, and they have absolutely zero respect for that.

    And WHY is Jenny just waltzing into the house? She has next to no real interactions with the sisters, surely she has friends. On top of that, considering they're witches I'm sure if Jenny had just walked in before they would've told her off for it knowing how dangerous it is to just have people wondering in.

    I like the introduction of Kyle, the butt of everyone's jokes, the nerdy kid who never gets picked for anything is for once the most important person (we can all relate - well I can). But he was a doorknob and painful to watch.

    But the attitude from the sisters "It's nothing personal Leo it's just business", actually if it were proper business, you'd do like Leo is trying and discuss it, and not just go in arrogant after someone with NO plan, no spell, no potion and there is a prophecy about her and Kyle... They walked in half cocked, Piper and Phoebe just run in and instead of freezing her, they announce themselves, and Prue just runs to them. Then the sisters come back, talk him out of it basically and then get mad at Leo because he needs to try and give Kyle some courage. Honestly do not get why Piper is THIS mad at Leo.

    Did enjoy Phoebe taking charge and telling Dan, Jack and Leo what to do. Dan being pissy at Leo is a bit pathetic, you know nothing about the man, nor their history, Dan just hating on Leo gets old. Especially with the eventual background checks. And that whole calling him "Leon" thing... that is beyond pathetic!

    And seriously. If you left your child in someones care how would you feel that he let your 15 year old child get out of the car late at night, in the dark, to hang with a guy you've never met and HOPE she'll be home at a certain time.

    That pep talk too from Jenny - just no.

    Fashion: Jenny is a no. And what's with the 15 year old wearing red lipstick all the time.

    Tuatha - the dress did suit her for her time I guess (don't know much about clothes from 200 years ago). And love the hair style! Wish I could get curls like that.

    Phoebe - loving the flowers in her hair.

    Piper - interesting hair style, still dressing quite functional.

    Spells - introduction of Scrying yay, becomes very useful in later seasons. Mainly Paige's. I like that in seasons 4-8 they actually reuse spells and feels more connected.

    "From the bottom of my heart I thank you for yours" <3moreless
  • That Old Black Magic

    That Old Black Magic was a perfect episode of Charmed for so many reasons. Let me count the ways; the acting was outstanding and deserves a standing ovation, the story was well crafted and formulated, the intricacies and intrigues added value and depth to the characters. There were also some very important lessons to be learned about the power of belief. It was cool how Prue used a "courage" potion on Kyle and also how she interacted with Jack who wanted to buy the wand. Piper was caught between Leo and Dan though in the end she made it very clear who she was interested in. Phoebe didn't have much going on except to help her sisters. Tuatha was great and played by a beloved actress. I liked the darkness and the light of the story and the characters. This was a very entertaining episode and I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Piper's foolish heart and the chosen nerd.

    Unlike most, I really dig this episode. For me, this is the episode along with P3H20 that leverages the Leo/Piper/Dan love triangle and gets the most out of it.

    I always approve of a hot female bad, and we got that here with the flame-haired Tuantha in her wonderful dress. Yes, Brigid Branagh plays arrogant better than evil, but I enjoy her turn here. It is possible viewers weren't so happy about a witch being more powerful than the Charmed Ones, since it goes against basic Charmed mythology, but the writers did a good job of showing that Tuantha's experience in the craft was her main advantage. Yes, the young actor playing Kyle was mostly wooden throughout, but he did seem to get into it more as the episode progressed and the tension built. The pep talk by Jenny was ridiculous, really, but I guess it gave her one last thing to do. In the end, I thought the final showdown was very riveting and the conclusion satisfying. Ultimately, Kyle made a great underdog that you were glad to see triumph.

    Jack is introduced here, and he immediately adds to the episode. He is an excellent character played by a very entertaining actor. The only problem is that he is a terrible match for Prue. Fortunately, he isn't around long, and in this episode, we haven't gotten there yet. I love the shot where Jack talks to Prue about her "assets" and she gives him an absolutely smoldering look. That is one of my favorite Shannen moments. This episode also introduces scrying and the spell to take a witch's powers away. We will see both again. Clearly, the highlight of the episode is the love triangle, which is actually born at the end of it. The writers manage to get both humor and drama out of it. Brian is great throughout, as usual, and also as usual, he is best in the dramatic scenes with Piper, most notably the scene in the kitchen, which is an all time great Leo/Piper scene. I had originally come into this with great foreboding, but Dan's presence gives us a moody, regret-filled Piper and a ticked off Leo and that rarity is wonderful drama on its own. Piper's request that they take her heart because it gets her in trouble is a wonderful line and classic Piper. No matter how snappish, and sometimes unfair, Piper is, you always want to pull for her.

    Leo, of course, opens the door for Piper and Dan by going the self-sacrificing route at the end. Fortunately, we all know it won't last long. Very enjoyable episode that is one of my favorites from Season 2.moreless
  • Blair witch on the loose!

    Another interesting demon! Tuatha is an apparent invincible witch who, after being locked away in a lost cave for two-hundred years, seeks revenge on the person(s) who imprisoned her.

    I absolutely hate the whole 'chosen one' subplot, all that seventh son of the seventh son was bullsh*t. The actor who plays Kyle is untalented and he spends the hour whining and feeling sorry for himself. He does himself no favours and annoys me more because it seems all he's after is pity and attention. It would have been a lot better if the girls had had a big battle with Tuatha with some cool explosions!

    Shannen is great in this episode and I love the scene in which she comments on Jack's package. The scene in which Prue throws Tuatha through the door is fantastic - I'm not sure why but I always flip back to watch it again.

    This episode, for me is when Dan starts to ruin the show. The whole love triangle thing starts in this episode and becomes old before it even starts. We also meet Jack Sheriden who goes on to become Prue's new love interest. I always liked Jack and it's a shame he left as quickly as he did.

    A pretty average episode but I think would've been a lot better without Kyle.moreless
  • Find The Chosen One, break up with Leo, start a thing with Neighbour Dan - quite a busy- and very boring - week.

    The main plot of this episode; the fact that Leo and the girls have to find a young man known as The Chosen One to help them vanquish an evil with is just about completely secondary to the fact that Piper decides that now is the time for her to end her relationship with Whitelighter Leo and start seeing Neighbour Dan, a character who was brought into the show for obviously this purpose only and no other.

    It's a shame that the writers didn't just leave things as they were. I have never been greatly enthused by Leo at all but Dan and his niece, Jenny, were just plain annoying and that was even worse. It doesn't really thrill me watching the whole Piper/Dan relationship unfold as I am certain that the writers could come up with something far more interesting.moreless
Brigid Brannagh

Brigid Brannagh


Guest Star

Jay Michael Ferguson

Jay Michael Ferguson

Kyle Gwydion

Guest Star

John Johnston

John Johnston


Guest Star

Brian Krause (I)

Brian Krause (I)

Leo Wyatt

Recurring Role

Lochlyn Munro

Lochlyn Munro

Jack Sheridan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • So how is it that Betty's disappearance never brought any suspicion to Prue or Jack? Surely someone must've eventually reported her missing! Since the two of them were seen battling over who should get the wand on national TV, then they each wound up with the wand. It seems strange that neither of them ever had to talk to police at some point!

    • Jack tells Prue that he has had a standing job offer with Bucklands for over a year. How could any job offer from Bucklands still be standing? First of all a year earlier Rex and Hannah were running the Auction house and they were imposters. Even if the job offer was from the real Rex prior to that the Auction house has changed hands since then several times and it seems unlikely that anyone would even remember a job offer the original owner had made!

    • TRIVIA: This episode marks the first time the sister's scry for someone. They use this method frequently throughout the series and this episode introduces it.

    • During the scene when Tuatha finds the other two searchers for the two extra hearts she needs for her spell, she asks if they are looking for the Blair Witch. The shot immediately afterwards shows a camera angle upwards into their scared faces and nostrils, which is almost a direct copy of the famous scene from the Blair Witch Project film itself.

    • When Jack puts the piece of paper, with Betty's address and phone number on it, in his pocket, it is folded once by Betty and then Jack sort of folded it before he put it in his pocket. When Prue telekenetically, pickpocketed Jack, it was perfectly folded twice.

    • TRIVIA: This episode marks the first appearance of Lochlyn Munro in his recurring role of Jack Sheridan.

    • The three guys in search of the witch in the woods get lost after a couple of days, but the sisters are there within only a few minutes. How big can the area be that they get lost and can't find a way out?

    • As Tuatha says "Now this is a sleeping potion" there is a shot of her throwing the potion. Then the camera cuts to her face as she finishes speaking but her lips aren't moving.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first time the sisters scry for something, a magic they will use very often in future episodes.

    • TRIVIA: This is the last episode to feature Karis Paige Bryant as Jenny Gordon. She was written out of the show as the writers realised she served no real purpose.

    • During the scene when Prue, Piper, and Phoebe returned from their encounter with Tuatha, Leo notices that Piper is bleeding on the right side of her forehead. When Piper walks into the kitchen, the mark is now on the left side of her forehead.

    • When Jenny sees Kyle walking down the street, the car that she and Dan are in is moving the wrong way if they are trying to get home (which they probably are because he told her when to be home and such, implying that they were not going anywhere). Their house and the manor is the opposite direction, as proven by where Kyle is coming from and which way he goes when he turns back to help the girls.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Phoebe: We should be getting close. Hey, there it is.
      (They walk up to the cave.)
      Piper: Kinda creepy in there and dark.
      Prue: Alright, I'll go in first since she only knows about me. You guys just wait a couple of seconds then follow.
      (Prue walks inside the cave.)

    • Phoebe: Here it is. A scrying spell.
      Piper: Scrying? What's that?
      Phoebe: It's what witches use to magically find something or someone. It says that we need a map, a piece of string and a crystal. Okay.

    • Tuatha: There you are. (She opens it up and you can see spells written in it. She turns to a spell.) "To disempower a witch." Fresh, human heart.

    • Prue: Leo, he is just a kid. Besides, you haven't seen Tuatha's power. I mean, she made a woman disappear literally.
      Leo: It's his destiny to defeat Tuatha, Prue.
      Prue: Then why did I get the wand?
      Leo: To make sure it got to him. It's part of the law. If you guys were meant to defeat Tuatha there would be a spell in the Book Of Shadows and there isn't.
      Piper: He's right, we checked.
      Leo: Which means we need to spend what little time we have teaching Kyle how to use the wand.
      Prue: Look, Leo, I know that you've never guided us down the wrong path before, but please at least let us try to defeat Tuatha. If we fail, then fine, we'll help you with Kyle.
      Leo: She'll kill you.
      Prue: Don't bet on it. Alright, we need to start by finding out where Tuatha is before she finds us. (Phoebe and Prue start walking towards the door.) Piper, are you with us?
      (Piper stares at Leo.)
      Piper: Yep.

    • Prue: Betty.
      (She uses her power to open the door. You see Tuatha using her wand and Betty disappears. Prue uses her power and Tuatha flies across the room and she drops the wand. Prue picks it up and runs outside. Tuatha stands up.)
      Tuatha: No, it's alright. We don't have to follow her. (She picks up her snake.) She's a good witch. She'll come back to us.

    • Betty: Oh! Oh! Help me! Somebody! (She picks up the wand.) Help me! (Tuatha appears.)
      Tuatha: (to the snake) Well done. (to Betty) That's my wand. (The wand flies over to Tuatha. The amber at the top of the wand starts glowing.)
      Betty: My God, who are you?
      Tuatha: The last being you will ever see.
      (Betty screams.)

    • Piper: It's not that it isn't great to see you, Leo, because it is. But you can't just orb in whenever it's convenient.
      Leo: It's never been a problem before.
      Piper: Yeah, well, things have changed.
      Leo: I can see that.
      Piper: Leo ...
      Leo: Sorry, wasn't fair. Where's Prue?
      Piper: At work.
      Leo: Fine. Then we'll have to start without her and your friend Dan has to leave now.
      Piper: Oh, really? Why?
      Leo: Because you and your sisters have a very big problem. A magical problem. Look, this isn't personal, it's business.
      Piper: What else is new?

    • Phoebe: It's about freakin' time. (Leo orbs in.) Oh! Leo, whatever happened to knocking?
      Leo: I'm sorry, Phoebe, but there's no time. Where's Prue and Piper? We have to talk.
      Phoebe: Uh, you know, now's not really a good time. Okay, I know, how about you orb back in say an hour. Okay, that would be great, bye, bye.
      Leo: I can't. The worst thing imaginable just happened.
      (The door opens and Dan and Piper walk in laughing. They see Leo. Leo looks upset.)

    • Phoebe: Isn't it sort of our business?
      Prue: Okay, Phoebe, Piper can not just sit around for the rest of her life waiting for Leo. She's trying to move on.

    • Phoebe: Prue, Dan's truck just pulled up outside.
      Prue: Dan's truck? So?
      Phoebe: So, Piper is with him and they're kissing. And I'm not talking about 'thanks for lunch' peck on the cheek kinda kiss. They mean business. (Phoebe turns away disgusted.)
      Prue: Okay, what is the problem? They like each other, this is a good thing.
      Phoebe: No, I know, I'm just worried that she's moving too fast. Like she's too in a hurry to get involved with someone else.

    • Leo: Snake!
      Piper: Oh, I'm the snake, but you're the one who...
      Leo (indicates Tuatha's pet snake): Snake!

    • Phoebe: Well, I did find one spell, but it requires a human heart and unfortunately, we're still using ours.
      Piper: Well, take mine. All it does is get me in trouble anyway.

    • Phoebe: You know what? Dan, Piper will call you back later. (to Jack) You, whoever you are, sorry no wand. Leo, keep working with Kyle just in case. Us, out the back door, out the back door!

    • Piper: Hi, Dan.
      (Leo appears in the foyer)
      Leo: Piper, wait.
      Dan: Is he still here?
      Leo: Never left actually.

    • Jack: Can I have my wand back please? See, Betty never called and I couldn't contact her because her address mysteriously fell out of my pocket somehow. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?
      Prue: You're blaming me for something that you lost? Isn't that a little juvenile? I mean what's next? A shoving match under the jungle gym, a war over juice cups?

    • Phoebe: What was that crash? What happened in here?
      Leo: A little training, that's all.
      Prue: That's all? (looking at the broken window) Do you have any idea how much that's going to cost to fix?
      Piper: Well, I know who's going to be fixing it. Leo, what if somebody saw you?
      Leo: Someone like neighbor Dan?

    • Prue: I suppose you just have one thousand dollars cash in your pocket.
      Jack: Would you like to find out yourself?
      Prue: No need. I can tell there's not much there just by looking.

    • Leo: Two hundred years ago, a good witch turned evil, started using her craft against innocents. Fortunately, she was tricked into a cave and entombed. But unfortunately, this morning, Tuatha escaped.
      Phoebe: Tuatha? Who wouldn't go bad with a name like that?

    • Prue: Look, Piper's a big girl, and really, I mean, it's none of our business, right? Right?
      Phoebe (watching through the window at Piper and Dan kissing): Isn't it sort of our business?

    • Kyle: So, did you guys kick some butt or what?
      Phoebe: Or what.

    • Dan: Don't you have some other house to repair?
      Leo: No.

    • Piper (to Dan): Dan, it's over. Oh no, I don't mean you and me. I meant him and me.

    • Phoebe: Do we look like we should be the all-powerful Charmed Ones?

    • Leo (referring to Dan): He'll never understand. Your secret, what you're all about, not like I can.
      Piper: Maybe not, but at least I can count on him to be there for me when I need.

  • NOTES (3)


    • The wand that is sought by Tuatha and used by Kyle is surprisingly similar to the wand used by Marnie and her siblings in the first movie of the series Halloweentown.

    • Kyle: Look, give it up, Obi-Wan.

      This is a reference to the Star Wars series of films. Obi-Wan Kenobi was a Jedi Master who was desperately trying to train his 10-year-old Padawan Anakin.

    • Many musicians have performed "That Old Black Magic," which is where the episode title comes from. The song was written by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen.

    • Tuatha: Looking for the Blair witch?

      This is a reference to the film "The Blair Witch Project".