Season 4 Episode 11

Trial By Magic

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 24, 2002 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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out of 10
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  • Truth, Justice and Phoebe's Way

    Trial By Magic sees Phoebe being called up for jury duty and serving on the case of a man accused of murdering his girlfriend. Phoebe gets a premonition revealing that the man is innocent, and she must convince the rest of the jurors of his innocence, without exposing magic in the process. Meanwhile, Glenn visits and turns himself into Mr Fantastic for 20 minutes. Cue hilarity. Or maybe not.

    The jury duty storyline is, unsurprisingly, garbage. Alyssa Milano doesn't convince when going on and on about how difficult her situation is and the constant bathroom orbing sessions get annoying after a while. It would have been interesting to see Phoebe prove magic exists in a more practical way, instead of just warbling on about premonitions and psychics like some crazy homeless woman on a street-corner.

    The whole "memory dust" thing is also a cheap excuse for a conclusion to the storyline. Why have we never been told of this before? It would have helped a lot when the sisters were exposed last season for instance. This is another example of why I hate Charmed. The writers think its okay to just create random get-out-of-jail-free-cards to bring the story to a climax, never thinking of the ridiculousness of it all.

    Paige's subplot is also pretty pointless. Glenn is an extremely boring character and his sub-Mr Fantastic powers in this episode just don't work. Though it's neat to see Paige telling somebody about her witchy-ness, the storyline also makes Piper out to be a controlling bitch who should just can it more often. Her determination to keep Glenn out of the fold just doesn't make sense, seeing as he's known Paige since kindergarten.

    The jury duty story is unexpectedly drawn to a close sorta quickly, leaving the fourth act with Glenn getting kidnapped by the demons responsible for the murder Phoebe is working on. It stinks of heavy re-writing and feels as if there wasn't enough material for a whole hour, so they just tagged on another mini-adventure involving the sisters battling a random demon-of-the-week to make it longer. Either way, it's still annoying.

    Probably the weakest episode story-wise from season four, Trial By Magic is mind-numbingly tedious from beginning to end, with a lame A-story and a corny subplot. Avoid.

    Rating: F
  • As lame as it gets

    This is actualy one of the few episodes over 5 seasons that i actually loathe. It is a sorry excuse of the remake of a great classic called 12 angry men. The TV series 'the Pretender' also did a remake of 12 angry man and did a much better job of it.

    This is too much about Phoebe running to the bathroom and orbing. Too many lose ends and the 'end conclusion' is nothing less then extremely sloppy. This is worse then disappointing, as combined, the three could have made a remake into a marvelous classic.

    This could and should have gone a lot better.
  • Stretch Lad and The Army of Rat Demons

    Trial of Magic-While Phoebe performs jury duty in a murder case, she is hit with a premonition about the real killer, and must convince the rest of the jury that the defendant is not guilty without exposing magic. Meanwhile, Piper, Paige and Leo try to help Phoebe find the real murderer, but they stumble upon a gang of demons involved and they must solve the crime and keep Paige's friend out of danger before Phoebe gets thrown off the jury. One of the worst episodes this seasons with some of the most ridiculous storylines and scenes that drag to no end, "Trial By Magic" is one of the poorest hours from Charmed. The Phoebe's whole storyline feels forced and her scenes with her trying to force her others juries to believe in magic were never-ending and it got to the point where you even believed she was crazy. I mean of all the things the writers could have come up with? Why couldn't they just have Phoebe levitate and save half an episode of lame writing!? I actually felt bad for the guest stars playing the other juries as they got pad to do nothing. The whole "finding the real killer" plot was mediorce at first but then when the whole rat demons came into play it became really bad! Even when the writers make jokes about it in the dialogue it still doesn't take away from how awful it is.

    Then there's Paige's annoying sub-plot with Glenn, who she let's stay in the house and find out that she as well as her sisters her witches. It's very reckless of Paige and I was on Piper's side on this one, also the whole Glenn having stretch powers made me sick with it being played for cheap gags, not mention when he get involved in the whole rat demon dilemma it's not even in the less bit interesting, let alone suspenseful. Hmmmm...I'm trying to think of something good this episode did? Piper was awesome as usual...yup...pretty much it! All and All, "Trial by Magic" is guilty!...of being a complete suckfest, nothing more!
  • Yeeaah what everyone else said really.

    Just to copy and paste what the person below said:

    Then there's Paige's annoying sub-plot with Glenn, who she let's stay in the house and find out that she as well as her sisters her witches. It's very reckless of Paige and I was on Piper's side on this one, also the whole Glenn having stretch powers made me sick with it being played for cheap gags, not mention when he get involved in the whole rat demon dilemma it's not even in the less bit interesting, let alone suspenseful. trying to think of something good this episode did? Piper was awesome as much it! All and All, "Trial by Magic" is being a complete suckfest, nothing more!

    I'm not opposed to the storyline with the Jurors though. I liked what they WANTED to do, and the idea of Phoebe being on a jury and this whole situation but yeah the way it was handled was just badly.
  • Demons are running around everywhere and Phoebe gets called up for Jury Duty.

    It is the moral obligation of every citizen who is able to do so to make themselves available for jury duty. When Phoebe gets called up, she finds herself one of the twelve who get to sit in judgement on a man accused of murder. Everything is fine until she has premonitions of the real killer and realises that the person on trial is innocent.

    The problems begin to arise when she realises that she must prove that the man is innocent and that it's going to be necessary to use magic in order to convince the other jurors. Not exactly an easy task!

    There were a nasty group of demons involved in this one as well, but they were a bit boring and the jury part was far more interesting than anything they did.
  • Good but it was too draged out.

    While serving on a jury in case of a stage magician accused of murdering his wife, Phoebe has a premonition that the defendant is not the real killer. Phoebe now realizes his claims to have had a premonition which allowed him to lead the police his wives' body was real and not just a ploy to get away with murder. Unable to convince her fellow jurors that the man was framed, she must prove that magic really exists in order to win them over, which leads to why? when? and where? for the jury. Meanwhile Piper becomes irritated when Paige invites her friend Glen to stay at the Manor while in town.
  • Trial by Tedium...

    Ugh... If a list of worst Charmed episodes were to be made, then this would definitely be a consideration.

    I would perhaps put this a notch above the worst episodes of Seasons 1-3 simply because Rose McGowan is involved, even if her character, Paige, is acting completely idiotic. This is one of those episodes where one character is acting completely insane, and this time it is Paige, who gets her share of such episodes. The exposure issue isn't the obvious biggest issue with Glenn. What should be far more evident and important is the fact that Glenn can be KILLED by staying at the manor if demons attack. This very obvious and real danger seems to completely escape Paige until being directly faced with the real possibility at the end, which by the way is the one good part of this episode.

    Piper is very much the hardcase in this episode, but as she says, that is part of her charm. Except for the ending when Phoebe tells the accused to embrace his gift, the entire Phoebe, jury storyline is about as painful to watch as any in Charmed's history. STUPID. Also, there was probably just too much going on with the whole rat demons being behind it and then there being demons behind them. I guess it was necessary to get us to the cool part where Glenn's life was in the balance, finally teaching Paige apparently an important lesson.

    It was also something different that Glenn was allowed to know about the sisters. Of course, there are plenty of innocents that know the same, right?
  • Trial By Magic

    Trial By Magic was a great episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because the story was entertaining, the character development was intriguing and the magical happenings were interesting. I liked how Phoebe stood up to the other members of the jury but find it hard to believe she and her sisters would resort to showing them magic is real. It was great and I did like the reactions so it was still fun. I also liked how the rats were demons and the sisters went to the leadership who retracted their member and his spell harming Paige's friend. I liked how the sisters bonded. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
  • Good episode.

    Pheobe is on jury duty and thinks the defendant is guilty of killing his wife, until she gets a premonition. All the jurors want to vote guilty but pheobe wants to buy some time so that her sisters can find the demon behind the murder. She has to convince them that magic is real without exposing magic.

    It was funny watching Pheobe stalling and running to the bathroom so Leo can orb her out

    I would have thought that she out of all people would believe that he had premonitions as well, and not waited till she got on of her own.

    Paige's friend Glenn is back & she lets him stay at the manor where he finds the book of shadows & Paige is forced to tell him about being a witch. And then casts a spell on him that backfires & makes him stretchy.
  • Rubber band boy

    Doesn't seem to have been too popular with the reviewers, this one. Hardly a surprise, of course - episodes which focus on someone other than the sisters never score well - but a real shame as it contains a lot of good stuff.

    First up, it's great to see Glen back. He's such a refreshing character - totally down to earth and scarily true to life. Still loving that sexy voice. As soon as Paige said he could stay at the Manor it was obvious he would find the BoS but it was interesting to see how it panned out. What we get is a whole new take on the exposure issue. While Piper is busy lecturing Paige on not revealing their secret, Phoebe realises she must expose magic to save her innocent. It's good to see them thinking about it calmly for once, even if it is one set of rules for Glen and one for everybody else.

    The jury scenes did drag, particularly when Phoebe started wittering on about ancient magic. The reactions of the jurors were spot on; her endless stalling was highly annoying and I cringed when she mentioned Cupid. If she wanted to prove magic existed why didn't she just levitate or cast a spell? Not clever writing.

    I don't see why the murder had to be demonic. It strung out the plot unnecessarily in my view. And to answer Paige's question: yes, you do hunt killers who aren't demons. Dead Man Dating, Ms Hellfire and Enter the Demon all come to mind.

    The effects looked good this week; the best was the demon blasting through the door. And the stretch spell was brilliant - such a shame they didn't make more of it. More random spells please!