Season 1 Episode 9

The Witch Is Back

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 16, 1998 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • TRIVIA: Featured music in this episode -
      -In The Air Tonight by Holly McNarland
      -Around Here by Counting Crows

    • TRIVIA: The spell to invoke Melinda Warren is as follows "Melinda Warren, blood of our blood, our great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, we summon thee..."

    • Although it's quite a nice scene when Leo quotes Shakespeare and Melinda finishes the sentence, it's unlikely that she would know who Shakespeare was at the time she lived in and died. Although he was writing at that time, his work was performed almost exclusively in London and Stratford and his work didn't spread abroad until the 18th and 19th centuries.

    • Assuming that he never left, Leo was at the house the whole time the chaos was going on downstairs. Wouldn't they be worried about Leo seeing or hearing things?

    • Melinda said that Matthew must have copied blinking from another witch. Why would that be necessarily true when it is said in a later episode that most warlocks blink to get around. However, Matthew gained his blinking power in the 17th century, and it is likely that the composition of warlock powers may have changed over the last 300 years.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first episode to show someone blinking.

    • How did Andy and the rest of the S.F.P.D. know that Mr. Tate killed that lawyer? It had just happened, and he used his teleportation power to both enter and exit, so no one could have seen him.

    • TRIVIA: When Phoebe learns that her premonition power has developed so she can see the past, she says that she always thought she would get to fly. Ironically, in the season two episode "Careful What You Witch For" the genie gives her the ability to fly. Then in season three she gets the power of levitation.

    • TRIVIA: Melinda Warren reveals that her daughter was also named Prudence.

    • TRIVIA: Phoebe becomes the first sister to have her powers expand, she can now use her premonitions to see the past events.

    • After Prue gets out from behind the chair in her office, right after Matthew copies her power, she's talking to him with her right hand bent in front of her with her hand on her stomach. Yet, when the camera is shot from behind her, both of her arms are at her sides.

    • Melinda has no idea what plumbing is? It's not like indoor plumbing was common in 17th century America, but plumbing in one form or another has been around for thousands of years. It seems unlikely that she would have never heard of it.

    • After the warlock copied Prue's powers he jumps out of the office window and breaks the glass, but no broken glass hits the ground before or after the warlock.

    • No witches were ever burned in Salem, the opening flashback sequence set in Salem, 1692 to the contrary. However, all female witches killed at Salem were hung but there was one male with named Giles Corey who was crushed to death by having large stones placed on him one at a time.

    • The potion for the vanquish spell, the one that Melinda used in Salem 300 years previously, requires a feather from an endangered spotted owl, which makes it difficult for the sisters to make the potion. There weren't any spotted owls, endangered or otherwise, on the East Coast where Melinda came from so how'd she do it in the first place?

    • Melinda claims if she'd user her powers to escape Salem, it would have endangered her daughter Prudence. So why wouldn't she just escape with Prudence?

    • When the sisters chant, for some reason Phoebe and Prue say six "greats" before grandmother - Piper slips in the seventh on her lonesome.

    • The establishing shot shown of the lawyer's office was the same shot of the waitress' apartment in the episode "The Dream Sorcerer".

  • Quotes

    • Prue: Rex?
      Rex: Ah, good morning, Prue. I've, uh, left a few things for you to catalog. A marvelous shipment from an estate back east.
      Prue: I'll get right on it.
      Rex: Thanks.
      (Rex leaves. Prue sees the locket and picks it up. She opens it. The door slams shut and Matthew comes out of it.)
      Matthew: At last, freedom. The world has changed. What time is this?
      Prue: Excuse me?
      Matthew: Where am I?
      Prue: Who are you?
      Matthew: Matthew Tate, and if you freed me from that locket you are descendant of Melinda Warren. (He walks closer to her and she uses her power and he flies across the room.) Thank you.
      Prue: For what?
      Matthew: I tricked you into using your power on me. Now, I have it. (He uses her power and a chair pushes her against the wall. He then disappears, she runs in the middle of the room and he appears behind her.) Behind you, witch.
      Prue: How did you do that?
      Matthew: I can share your power but you can't share mine.
      Prue: What do you want?
      Matthew: I want what Melinda took from me. I want all three powers back. (He grabs her.) Defend yourself. Stop time.
      Prue: I can't.
      Matthew: Ah, so you're not alone. There are others. (He disappears and appears in front of the desk.) And the family name is now Halliwell.
      Rex: (from outside) Prue, are you okay in there?
      (Matthew uses Prue's power to break the glass on the window. He jumps out the window and floats down to the ground, landing on his feet. He walks away.)

    • Melinda: Matthew.
      Matthew: Hello, Melinda.
      Melinda: Why? Why did you betray me?
      Matthew: You got what you deserve.
      Melinda: So you've never loved me? All the passion, all the heat?
      Matthew: I had to make you trust me. It was the only way to share your powers.
      Melinda: And so now you have them. So why would you turn me in? You know I'll burn.
      Matthew: I had to keep my secret.
      Melinda: Well, you can keep your trinkets too.
      (She pulls off a locket that was around her neck and throws it at him.)
      Matthew: I'll find another witch to give it to.
      (He opens the locket.)
      Melinda: Maybe not.
      (He takes out a little piece of paper and it catches on fire. He throws it on the ground.)
      Matthew: What magic is this?
      Melinda: I'm taking back the powers you stole from me. "Outside of time, outside of gain, know only sorrow, know only pain."
      (It gets really windy and Matthew gets sucked into the locket.)

    • Piper: Am I the only one having second thoughts?
      Phoebe: Yes.
      Prue: We don't really have any others options.
      Piper: But aren't we, like, raising the dead? What if she's all..
      Phoebe: I read The Book of Shadows very carefully. She will come back as a real live person, flesh and blood. She will have her powers too, our powers. (Phoebe picks up a knife.)
      Piper: What's that for?
      Phoebe: Well, the spell works by blood calling blood, so it shouldn't hurt.. much. (Phoebe cuts her finger.) I lied, I lied. Okay, come on guys. It'll be just like the summer by the lake. Remember when we made a blood oath to be friends forever, not just sisters? (Prue takes the knife.)
      Piper: I remember my finger got infected.
      Prue: (Prue cuts her finger.) Ow. Yeah, but the oath worked.
      Piper: And I couldn't go in the water for three weeks. (Prue holds out the knife.) Don't hand me that knife.
      Prue: How are you gonna cut yourself?
      Piper: I'm not.
      Phoebe: Piper.
      Piper: I can't stand the sight of blood.
      Prue: Evil beings have blown up in our attic..
      Phoebe: ..Disintegrated to dust right before our very eyes..
      Prue: And you're afraid of a little drop of blood?

    • Phoebe (to Piper about Leo): Stop hinting around and ask him out already. Give him some of your crab.

    • Melinda: No, don't...don't rip the dress to make it fit me.
      Phoebe: Oh, no, no, I'm not ripping it. It's called a zipper, see?
      (Phoebe zips up the dress)
      Melinda: Oh, a wise witch made this.
      (Melinda takes the dress off of Phoebe and plays with the zipper)
      Phoebe: Yeah, and wise witches in this century keep a low profile. You slip this dress on, you'll blend right in.

    • Prue: Great, so I'm being hunted by a warlock and the San Francisco P.D.

    • Leo: I earn what I eat, get what I wear.
      Melinda: Owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness.
      Leo & Melinda: Shakespeare.

    • Phoebe: You've never asked a guy out before?
      Piper: Not on a real date, no.
      Phoebe: I don't understand. Am I the only person in this family who's inherited the 'take a chance' gene?
      Piper: Probably, 'cause if I remember my biology correctly it's attached to the 'can't mind my own business' gene.

    • Melinda (talking about short skirts): How do you keep your legs warm?
      Prue: We drink coffee.

    • Melinda: What sheep has wool this soft?
      Phoebe: A synthetic one

    • Piper: Leo?
      Phoebe: Frozen. Quick, have your way with him!

  • Notes

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Návrat čarodějky (Return of a Sorceress) France: La sorcière de Salem (the witch from Salem) Italy: Il ciondolo antico (The Ancient Pendant) Germany: Rückkehr aus dem Jenseits (Back from Heaven)

    • For this first 9 episodes, the show was nominated for the 1999 IHG (International Horror Guild) Award for Best Television. Plus, Jay Gruska and Tim Truman (the music composers) won the 1999 ASCAP Award for Top TV Series

    • This episode scored 6.0 million viewers.

  • Allusions

    • Leo: I am a true labourer:
      I earn that I eat, get that I wear,
      Melinda: Owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness.

      This is a quote of Corin in the play "As You Like It", by William Shakespeare in Act III, Scene II.

    • Title: The Witch Is Back

      This is a reference to the Elton John song "The Bitch Is Back".