Season 2 Episode 3

The Painted World

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 21, 1999 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
433 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Prue finds some mysterious words on an unusual painting at the auction house, she winds up trapped in the magical world inside the painting with a man who had been imprisoned there for decades. Meanwhile, after damaging Prue's car, Phoebe casts a smart spell in hopes to land a high-paying job to pay for the repairs.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Go Phoebe!

    I don't know what more I can say on top of some of the reviews below. I was glad it was Phoebe who got to save the day for once and it was solely her (even if it was the smart spell assisting). I honestly also see NO chemistry between Piper and Dan, honestly after the wine bottle scene in the opener, I thought Dan and Phoebe had good chemistry and would be better suited.

    Part of me likes that Phoebe hasn't had any real love interest so far, she obviously was a wild child and was the same in New York and now she's devout to witch craft and discovering herself as a person and took a break from guys, which I feel suits her character.

    Jenny can still just go disappear into a hole somewhere. Her character is annoying and pointless. And I'm sorry but 1. Dan asked Piper to help Jenny with her paper, but when Phoebe draws a rather pointless picture, Dan is all "let her do it herself". 2. Jenny knocks and Phoebe says she's busy so Jenny knocks again only to come in and say "I know about sex and just want to chill".... seriously.

    Think it sucks that when Piper is calling Phoebe smart, instead of Prue just asking "what do you mean" she automatically shuts it down and thinks it's a joke... way to talk Phoebe up?

    Also when the smart spell wore off just because she couldn't read latin anymore doesn't mean she can't recognise the words... I mean I don't read latin and know what it means but if I remembered the first word was 'Vervas' (or whatever it was) I'm sure I could at least find the word that sounds like that... Piper doesn't read latin but she was able to read a piece of paper.

    The warlocks had NO scare value, they were just pointless really.

    Fashion: All the girls look alright this episode I suppose, nothing special.

    Phoebe is still looking lovely as usual.moreless
  • The Painted World

    The Painted World was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because the story was fun, there was some action, intrigue, humor and drama. Phoebe had some good character development and it was fun watching her help her sisters. I liked the idea of the painting being a magical prison of sorts. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Verdas ermos Liberace!

    This is clearly a slower episode after the most excellent start of Season 2. I was fine with the idea of the guy stuck in the painting and then Prue joining him. The problem was the mix of boredom and silliness that followed once Prue got in there. What was with the fire spitting statues and booby traps? Wasn't being stuck in a painting enough? If they wanted there to be some danger to being trapped in the painting, then the writers could have done about 100 times better in creating it. The warlock was about equally frightening, meaning not at all, and the twist of finding out he was a bad had zero shock value. His witch girlfriend also had like zero play.

    Phoebe writes a spell here for one of the first times, and it makes complete sense that she would become the spell writing extraordinaire for the Charmed Ones. This blatant show of personal gain is a little odd following Morality Bites, and much of the humor that this subplot was intended for also came off as silly. Some of it worked. Some of it didn't. Jenny's role in that continued to irritate.

    A positive thing was the continuity shown with Piper needing her club to be remodeled before it could be opened. Very realistic. This also served to introduce Dan to Piper. Those two still continue to have zero chemistry between them, but we all know where this is going.

    Basically, what makes this as good as a 7 episode is the ending. This is a rare time when the fate of Prue and Piper all falls in the hands of Phoebe. All alone, Phoebe has to face a warlock and witch and save her sisters, and she pulls it off. Excellent ending.moreless
  • Prue Stuck in a Painting for 40 Minutes... Oooooohhhh!

    Why? Why did the writers think Prue getting stuck in a painting for 40 minutes would be entertaining? Shannen Doherty does her best with the material but... who cares? Even Phoebe getting a dose of smartness (for once) couldn't save this episode from being a complete disaster.

    The Painted World has Prue getting stuck inside a painting which was delivered to Buckland's. Whilst in the painting, Prue realizes she is stuck inside with a warlock. When Piper also gets sucked in, Phoebe must save the day and using a Smart Spell in the Book of Shadows, manages to save her sisters.

    This episode adds nothing to any ongoing storylines and Jenny continues her successful run of being the most annoyingly pointless character in Charmed history (well, until Billie pops up). This episode sees her asking for help with her sex ed class from Phoebe. If you need sex advice, just go to the resident neighborhood slut! At least Jenny did something intelligent for once!

    Despite that, Phoebe is the best thing in the episode and the Smart Spell at least gives her something to do. Piper and Dan have some nice chemistry but I still can't get over the fact that Dan is completely devout of any personality. Stick with Leo!

    This isn't a good episode at all and there's hardly anything redeeming about it. Instead of watching something about somebody getting stuck in a painting, why not just smash a painting over your head until you're in a coma, dreaming about more exciting things...

    Rating: D-moreless
  • Prue and Piper become trapped into a painting with a deadly warlock. While Phoebe casts a super-smart spell to increase her chances of getting a job

    A very underrated episode. The Painted World contains a fresh and intriguing storyline and even though it appears dull on paper, the episode makes up for it with the amazing setting of the castle, great twist in innocent Malcom, who turns out to be a warlock and a humorous subplot involving a super-smart Phoebe.

    What brings the episode down is the writers futile attempt in giving neighbour Jenny something to do. Today she isn't discussing tampons. But sex for a homework assignment. Who does she ask none other than Phoebe, wise choice! Phoebe will tell her everything she always does!

    The best acting comes from Shannen, she makes Prue's scenes in the castle very lively and hilarious, with her backchatting the seemingly innocent Malcolm who is very scathing to say the least. Malcolm is able to gain an escape out of the painting thanks to Phoebe who sent Kit and a return spell into the painting

    The realisation that Prue has been tricked is handled delicately and when Phoebe sends Malcolm and his warlock lover Jane into the painting after Jane torched the painting. A fight ensues in which Piper freezes the warlocks and the girls escape into the real world. I loved the way the flames appeared around the frozen warlocks. Some dame good looking special effects their

    I'm glad to see that Phoebe's own smarts enabled her to save the day. Which of course is shown again later in the series

    Overall an interesting episode that contains great plots, action and suspense!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • Why was Phoebe worried about getting sucked into the painting herself if she had the spell to escape? She could have just brought the words in and the three of them could have gotten out together.

    • Why didn't Phoebe, who was running out of time with the smart spell, just recast it as soon as seven o clock hit and buy herself more time?

    • TRIVIA: This episode features Collective Soul's song Needs.

    • Wouldn't people at Buckland's notice Piper walking out of the building with a painting? A place like that would have some form of security.

    • Piper gave Phoebe a set of keys to go meet Dan at the club. What car would she have taken? Prue's car is at the body shop and Piper would have taken her car.

    • TRIVIA: This is the second time that Phoebe needed to get a job for Prue's sake. The first time was to get Prue a birthday present, and this time it was to get Prue's car fixed.

    • When Prue's assistant was in her office the second time, Piper and the painting were both in there. Wouldn't he notice the painting was gone when he unfroze? You would think that when he saw the painting was gone that he would have reported it stolen.

    • When Malcolm was in the painting, he was bleeding when he met Prue. When he was freed from the painting, there was no sign of blood on his head.

    • How did Phoebe get the cat into the painting without being sucked in herself? Cats can't speak so it must have been Phoebe who said the curse, in which case she would have been sucked in too.

    • When the sisters realized Prue was missing, why did Piper send Phoebe to go see Dan at P3 instead of sending her to look for Prue? Piper was the one who needed to see Dan and Phoebe could have tried to get a premonition to find out what happened at Prue's office.

    • When Piper interrupts Phoebe in her bedroom, Phoebe hides the Book of Shadows under her blanket. She fails to cover the bookmark and it is lying in the middle of the bed. When Piper leaves the room, Phoebe pulls the book out but now the bookmark is not showing when she reaches for the book.

    • The game show Phoebe is watching and answering questions from is an episode of Win Ben Stein's Money.

    • The spell that frees people from the picture is "VERBAE OMNIS LIBERANT", which is Latin for 'Words free everyone'.

    • When Piper leaves Prue's office with the painting, the door is open, but when Prue's assistant unfreezes, the door is closed.

    • In the episode "They're Everywhere", Phoebe says that warlocks do not bleed while in this episode, Malcolm, who was a warlock was bleeding.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Prue: You know, I didn't want them to die. I just wanted them trapped in that house forever.
      Phoebe: Bright side, you won't have to worry about any complaints from the owner of the painting.
      Piper: And you'll never have to worry about anyone else getting a supernatural mayday from it.
      Phoebe: Yeah, well, thanks for getting ours, Phoebe.
      Piper: Hey, how did you get the collar from Malcolm?
      Phoebe: Oh, I used a very complex, very different kind of smarts.
      Prue: You picked his pocket.
      Phoebe: I picked his pocket.
      Piper: Phoebe.
      Phoebe: What? He was a warlock. Smartest thing I've ever done.

    • Prue: Even if Phoebe is alive, she may not be for long.
      Phoebe: Maybe she can figure out a way to save herself before he finds her.
      Prue: Yeah, well, she better do it quick, it's almost seven. Although, if anybody can do it, Phoebe can.
      Piper: Yeah, even without the smart spell. I mean, putting that message on Kit's collar, that's very Phoebe. I would have never thought of it.
      Prue: Neither would I. It was a great plan.
      Piper: If we get out of here, I'm gonna buy her a new pair of shoes.
      Prue: I'll buy her the purse to match.

    • Prue: So maybe we should take shifts waiting for Phoebe outside the bookcase. I mean, we've been pretty safe there so far.
      Malcolm: I'll take the first shift.
      Prue: I had a feeling you would.
      (Malcolm leaves the room.)
      Piper: What? What is it? What's wrong?
      Prue: I've been thinking about that witch who cursed Malcolm into the painting. I mean, it takes a lot of time and a high level of magic to create this world. Seems like an awfully big spell just to get revenge over a bad break up.
      Piper: I agree.
      Prue: And it was almost impossible for us, the Charmed Ones no less, to get that message on the window. Yet Malcolm, an art historian with absolutely no powers, was able to escape fireballs and those blades, to get his message on the window. I mean, I don't know, Piper, it just... Something weird about all of this.
      (They hear a noise outside and a cat meows.)

    • Phoebe: Come on, come on, there's got to be something. (Phoebe holds her hands above the Book and the pages start to flip. The doorbell rings.) Who is it?
      Jenny's Voice: It's Jenny.
      Phoebe: Uh, unless it's a huge 911, sweetie, you're gonna have to come back later.
      (The doorbell rings again and Phoebe hides the book under the table.)

    • Piper: I don't want to live forever. I don't want to spend the rest of my life trapped in a painting hanging on some wall, wearing a broken shoe.
      Prue: Well, neither do I, but there is a solution.
      Piper: You call that a solution, braving endless fireballs to get a message to Phoebe?
      Prue: Okay, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the situation is pretty bad.
      Piper: No, but it may just take a rocket scientist to get us out of here. Phoebe.
      Malcolm: Another witch sister?
      Piper: Not any witch. A super witch. She's a genius.
      Prue: Piper, I don't really think that you're helping the situation.
      Piper: No, I mean it. She's a walking brain trust. An Einstein with cleavage. She cast a spell on herself, Prue. A smart spell.
      Prue: What?
      Malcolm: Can she save us?
      Piper: Forget the details, Prue. Just know that if anybody can get us out of here, it's Phoebe. We need to get back to that living room, get Nell's name on that window...
      Prue: Piper, wait.
      Piper: No, no, no, we can't wait. It's only temporary. The spell ends at 7 tonight.
      Prue: Ooh.

    • Prue: Piper?
      (Prue flicks the fireball away with her power.)
      Piper: What the hell is happening? Where are we?
      Prue: All right, hurry. Just get to the bookcase fast.
      (Piper heads for the bookcase.)
      Prue: Watch out.
      (Piper screams. A fireball heads straight for her. She freezes it. They run into the bookcase.)
      Malcolm: Don't tell me she's the sister witch who was gonna save us.

    • Prue: I really wanted to get my name and Nell's on that window.
      Malcolm: And you can as soon as the painting's stopped moving. Just stay low.
      (Malcolm looks at Prue.)
      Prue: What?
      Malcolm: Nothing, I was just... Never mind.
      Prue: No, what?
      Malcolm: Well, I always hoped someone would get my SOS. I just never thought it would be a woman.
      Prue: What, a woman can't rescue a man?
      Malcolm: I'm still waiting.
      Prue: Yeah, well, keep waiting, pal. Bookcase!
      (They run over to the bookcase.)

    • Piper: Prue? (She looks around the room and sees her jacket and purse sitting on the table. She picks up the x-ray.) "Absolvo amitto amplus brevis."
      (Joe walks in.)
      Joe: Oh, hey, Piper. Joe Lyons? We met at a wine auction a few months ago?
      Piper: Oh.
      Joe: Uh, Prue around?
      Piper: She's... she's somewhere.
      Joe: I won't get in your way. I just need to pick up the painting.
      Piper: Oh, forgive me, Joe.
      Joe: For what?
      (She freezes him.)
      Piper: For that.

    • Phoebe: Dan, sorry to keep you waiting.
      Dan: I didn't realise you were late.
      Phoebe: Oh, 11 minutes, 23.4 seconds, to be exact. Those the code violations?
      Dan: That and the DBI's codebook of minimum safety requirements.
      Phoebe: Okay, then we're all set. I think you'll find me pretty knowledgeable about all areas of construction.
      Dan: What about Piper?
      Phoebe: Oh, something came up. She can't be here. Sorry, buddy.
      Dan: Oh.

    • Miss Franklin: At first, you see him... the man inside the painting. At least, you think you see him. But he just... he disappears so fast. And you start to think about it, but it doesn't make any sense. I mean, how could a man be inside a painting? Then you see him again. This time longer. And now you're sure.

    • Prue: I thought he was an innocent.
      Piper: I'm not talking to you. Forever!

    • Piper: If we get out of here alive, you owe me a new pair of shoes.
      Prue: If we get out of here alive, I'll buy you the purse to match.

    • (Talking about Phoebe being their only chance to get out of the painting)
      Piper: But it may just take a rocket scientist to get us out of here... Phoebe.
      Malcolm: Another witch sister?
      Piper: Not just any witch, a super witch, she's a genius!
      Prue: Piper, I don't really think that you're helping the situation...
      Piper: No, I mean it, she's a walking brain trust, an Einstein with cleavage. She cast a spell on herself, Prue, a smart spell.
      Prue: What?
      Malcolm: Can she save us?
      Piper: Forget the details, Prue. Just know that if anybody can get us out of here, it's Phoebe. We need to get back
      to that living room, get Nell's name on that window...
      Prue: Piper, wait!
      Piper: No! We can't wait... it's only temporary, the spell ends at seven tonight!

    • Dan: It's for a bio class, something with the human reproductive system.
      Piper: You mean sex?
      Dan: It's just way too awkward for me to talk with my niece about.
      Piper: Sure, not to worry, I have plenty of experience.
      Dan: Really!? With sex?
      Piper: No! I mean... talking about it. Yeah...

    • Prue: Well it's the 21st century - it's the woman's job to save the day!

    • Prue: Stop. You're obsessing.
      Piper: Well it runs in the family.
      Prue: I don't obsess. I think. Intensely.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Zakletý obraz (Cursed Painting) France: Le château hanté (Haunted castle) Italy: Il quadro incantato (The enchanted painting) Germany: Voll im Blid (In the painting)

    • This episode scored 6.4 million viewers.


    • Piper (referring to Phoebe): No, I'm serious, she's a regular genius, an Einstein with cleavage, she cast a spell on herself, Prue, a smart spell.

      This is a reference to Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955), a famous theoretical physicist who invented the Hydrogen Bomb. A pure genius in his time.

    • Prue says that it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that they are in a real bind. This is an allusion to a commonly used phrase about how some things are very simple to realize/understand.

    • Piper says she has the war and peace of code violations. This is an allusion to the book War and Peace which is a very long book by author Leo Tolstoy.

    • Phoebe mentions the good will huntings, which is an allusion to a 1997 movie starring Matt Damon. It is about a janitor who shows great talent in mathematics.

    • Piper: You were like

      "Rain Man" was a 1988 movie starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman as the title character. Hoffman's character suffered from autism, but was a savant with numbers and counting.

    • Title: The Painted World

      The painted desert is a plateau region in Arizona, and is also an allusion to a painting, a work of art and how to describe the different world shown in it.