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!