Charmed

Season 2 Episode 1

Witch Trial

5
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 30, 1999 on The WB
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
470 votes
22

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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On their first anniversary of becoming witches, the sisters face a cloven-hoofed demon called Abraxas, that steals the Book of Shadows and undoes the spells they've cast, releasing old vanquished enemies of the Charmed Ones. If the demon undoes the spell that granted them their powers, they will come back to living normal lives.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Witch Trial

    8.0
    Witch Trial was a great second season premier of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because it was a good mix of what makes the show fun. The story was interesting and the character development along with plot development was also good. There was magic and mischief and new discoveries as well. I thought there would have been a little more intensity in the episode but I was definitely satisfied. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!moreless
  • The Book of Shadows takes a trip to the Astral Plane, and suddenly all that was done is threatened with being undone.

    8.5
    Season 2 is off to a rolling start in highly original fashion. In Abraxas we actually have a demon that looks every bit like a demon, in fact, maybe more like a devil. His modus operandi of undoing the magic of the past brings several already defeated enemies back into the sisters' lives.



    Obviously, the sisters have a much easier time with all of them this time around. This is a Prue and Phoebe centered episode, which seems pretty standard for Seasons 1 and 2 when Leo isn't around. Piper has little role other than to hitch along with the magical evangelist, Phoebe, and make out with some random guy. This is explained by Leo being gone for a whole "couple weeks." Seriously? Is Piper the horniest 20-something in San Fran? She can't go a whole couple weeks of her supposed true love being gone without making out with someone else? This insanity unfortunately would continue all through the series whenever Leo isn't around. Ironically, the goddess of love herself, Phoebe, hasn't had a boyfriend the entire duration of the show so far. And yet, she continues to bash Piper about being "due." Idiotic. But I'm trying to keep an open mind.



    The introduction of the neighbors is mostly annoying to me, and their inclusion in the cast credits is certainly a reason for alarm. But again, I'm going to try to approach the whole Dan story arc with an open mind. At least so far, he seems more tolerable than the little girl, whose reason for being on the show obviously is not revealed in this episode. I'm hoping it isn't to talk about tampons.



    Prue is mostly trying to get over the loss of Andy this episode. Even if a little overplayed, it is still understandable. She, surprisingly, becomes our first sister to want to not be a witch any more. This is, of course, repeated several times with all the sisters falling victim at some point in the series. I always find it irritating. Considering all the lives the sisters save and the good that they do, giving up would be the most selfish thing imaginable. It would be almost evil. However, I do admit it can be realistic at times, and in this episode here, we have one of our more realistic manifestations of the conflict. The scene with Darryl is a very good one, and it is great that he is still around. I would think the sisters owe him the true story of what happened to Andy. I was disappointed we didn't get that yet.



    Decent vanquish at the end, though it was an awfully quick jump to the front of the book, but the show is only an hour afterall. And any time Grams is involved, it is a good thing. Its not Charmed Again, but it is a strong start to Season 2.moreless
  • I love this show.

    10
    This episode contained everything needed to make a great episode of Charmed - crying, tantrums, sisterly chats, humour, and of course, an evil being that can't just be vanquished by a rhyming couplet, they actually have to work hard. I felt extremely sorry for Prue when she started crying over Andy but not too sorry for any of them - how can they all look that amazing when they have just rolled out of bed? I know its television, but it's still not fair.moreless
  • Pointless Nudity Alert!

    8.2
    This is an excellent start to the second season and sees the writers relying on old storylines to good effect, unlike the latest episodes, which just re-use old ideas and don't add anything original to it.



    Witch Trial sees the sisters celebrating their one-year anniversary of being witches. Prue isn't over Andy's death and this has begun restricting her powers, as she believes moving on will be forgetting her true love. Meanwhile, a demon steals the Book of Shadows and begins reading it backwards, bringing back demons from the past including the Woogyman and Jeremy.



    Usually I hate episodes with boring new characters, gratuitous nudity and unoriginal ideas but I really enjoyed this. There are tons of sisterly moments and the realization that "the power of one" hinted at in the book actually meant the sisters acting as one was a good twist, immediately making those who dislike Prue's slightly "me me me" attitude sit down in shame. It was really cool seeing old bad guys get resurrected but it was annoying that Nicholas was played by a different actor. Couldn't they have brought back a demon whose actor was actually available?



    The only bad point about this episode was the introduction of Dan and Jenny Gordon. At least Dan served a point, kinda, but Jenny was just completely pointless. She suddenly popped up, got into the opening credits, asked for tampons, asked for sex advice and then just vanished. I'm grasping for a "why?" here. Complete waste of time.



    Shannen Doherty was the standout actress of the episode and her breakdown over Andy's death was truly heartbreaking to watch. Holly was also good, especially seeing her blatant embarrassment about stripping off in the park for the wiccan ceremony. Alyssa also acted well but her painfully obvious capped teeth annoyed the hell out of me...



    This is probably the best season premiere Charmed ever had. It successfully opened up a ton of new storylines whilst still remembered those left over from season one.



    Rating: B+moreless
  • They have been witches now for one year.

    8.2
    It's good to see that the fashion for the show has increased in a good way because season one was dreadful. There is still room for improvement though. Why were Piper and Phoebe mad at Prue because just because she is the eldest doesn't mean that vanquishing this demon is all down to her.
Greg Cromer

Greg Cromer

Rob

Guest Star

Janet Wood

Janet Wood

Mrs. Milton

Guest Star

Rick Cramer

Rick Cramer

Nicholas

Guest Star

Jennifer Rhodes

Jennifer Rhodes

Penny 'Grams' Halliwell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (20)

    • In this episode, Nicholas has a deformed demonic voice. However in the episode That '70s Episode where he was introduced, he spoke with a normal voice.

    • TRIVIA: The sisters vanquish four different Demons in this episode. The warlock Jeremy, the Woogyman, the warlock Nicolas and Abraxus. This will also mark the first episode that shows the sisters vanquishing more than one demon at a time with separate powers of three spells.

    • TRIVIA: This episode features Luscious Jackson's song Ladyfingers.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first time one of the sisters said they wanted to stop being a witch.

    • TRIVIA: This is the fourth time that a sister has been in the hospital and it's the second time for Prue.

    • TRIVIA: This is the second time that a sister has been in the hospital in the season premiere. Phoebe was in the hospital in the first season premiere.

    • When Piper and Phoebe get naked, Piper is shown pulling something up, like a strapless bra or bodysuit.

    • In the beginning when Piper freezes the loan guy, his mouth is open. In the next shot his mouth is closed and then open again.

    • TRIVIA: This episode takes place one year after the first episode Something Wicca This Way Comes and one month after the season 1 finale Déjà Vu All Over Again.

    • In the season 1 episode Is There A Woogy in the House it's stated that Phoebe has not forgotten the spell to get rid of the Woogy-man. How come she forgot it now in this episode?

    • TRIVIA: This episode is the final episode any of the cast refer the shadow as the "Woogy". It is later referred to as a more mature, and easier name "The Shadow".

    • TRIVIA: The first spell Abraxas erases from the Book of Shadows is the love spell that Piper and Phoebe cast in the season 1 episode "Dream Sorcerer".

    • When Abraxus revives Jeremy the Power of Three spell is identified as the Warlock Spell.

    • TRIVIA: This is the second Aaron Spelling TV show that actor Greg Vaughan, has been on, the first was in a few season 7 episodes of Beverly Hills 90210.

    • TRIVIA: This is Grams' first appearance as a ghost.

    • The sisters are in the attic, ready to defeat Abraxas, he sends them sliding across the attic floor. There is a side view of them sliding and it's visible that they are being pulled by some back wires.

    • TRIVIA: Only three of the Charmed Ones' old rivals return: Jeremy (from "Something Wicca This Ways Comes"), Nicholas (from "That 70's Episode", but is portrayed by a different actor) and the Woogyman (from "Is There a Woogy in the House?").

    • TRIVIA: In this episode, Piper decides to open a club, and coincidentally the club is listed by SWA Properties, where Phoebe worked briefly in the season 1episode "From Fear To Eternity".

    • At the end in the attic, Prue has an obvious tear in her shirt on the left shoulder. In addition, after Grams says "I love you," a shot of Phoebe smiling is shown and Prue's shoulder is visible in the shot - and the hole is also visible. Immediately after during another shot of Prue, the hole looks like it's been repaired.

    • At the beginning of this episode, when Jeremy attacked Piper at the building that will later be the club, she picked up the phone and called Phoebe and Prue. If she doesn't own the club yet and the club is empty. How is there phone service?

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Piper: No, I understand. Okay, bye.
      (She hangs up. Phoebe walks in.)
      Phoebe: Who was that?
      Piper: Rob, the banker. Or rather, his assistant. Telling me that my loan has been denied.
      Phoebe: Oh, honey, I'm so sorry.
      Piper: That's okay. Just wasn't meant to be, I guess. Really glad I never slept with him, though. What was I thinking?
      Phoebe: About Leo, maybe?
      Piper: Ugh.
      Phoebe: Wine?
      (She holds up the bottle of wine.)

    • Nicholas: You remember the feeling, don't you?
      (Prue falls to the floor.)
      Prue: "Lavender, mimosa, holy thistle, cleanse this evil from our midst scatter..."
      Nicholas: You're overheating. Your brain cells are frying. It's over.
      Prue: "Scatter its cells throughout time. Let this Nick no more exist."
      (Nicholas is vanquished. Prue collapses on the floor.)

    • Prue: Hello?
      Piper: Prue, thank god you're there. Jeremy...
      Prue: Piper, calm down...
      Piper: Just attacked me.
      Prue: Jeremy? That is impossible. We vanquished him a year ago.

    • Grams' Voice: The Power of Three.
      (Piper pulls away.)
      Piper: Did you hear that?
      Grams' Voice: The Power of Three.
      Rob: Hear what?
      (Piper looks around.)
      Piper: Grams?
      (Jeremy appears and knocks Rob unconscious. Piper screams and backs away.)
      Jeremy: You're dead, witch.
      (Piper freezes him.)
      Piper: Oh my God. Jeremy?

    • Abraxas: Were you vanquished by the Charmed Ones?
      Jeremy: Yeah. Why?
      Abraxas: I'm giving you a second chance.

    • Prue: Mrs. Milton. Hi. I'm sorry to keep you waiting.
      Mrs. Milton: Oh, no problem. I was just looking around.
      Prue: Well, I think that we'll have a great turnout for the preview. We've been getting an excellent response to your husband's collection.
      Mrs. Milton: I'm not surprised.
      Prue: Now, the opening bid prices may look a little low, but don't worry. It should attract a lot of buyers, which should result in a bidding war. It's the best way to sell inventory like this at top dollar. Is that all right with you?
      Mrs. Milton: I guess I'm having a little more trouble letting go of John's things than I thought.
      Prue: That's only natural. It's not easy.
      Mrs. Milton: I suppose that you deal with death quite a bit in your line of work, don't you? I mean, like this, auctioning off some poor widow's inheritance.
      Prue: This? Unfortunately, yes.
      Mrs. Milton: I just keep going over and over in my mind the last time I saw him before the accident. And I keep thinking if only I'd done something or said something to stop him from getting in the car, maybe he'd still be alive.

    • Piper: Did you find anything?
      Phoebe: Nothing. But whatever it was literally came out of nowhere and disappeared into nowhere.
      Piper: Well, it took the Book of Shadows somewhere. And he's powerful too. No other demon's been able to steal the book.
      Prue: But if he's so powerful, why didn't he kill us?
      Phoebe: He probably didn't want to go up against you.
      Prue: Me? What do you mean?
      Phoebe: That's what the Book of Shadows says. "Fight it with the Power of One." That's gotta mean your power. It's the strongest.
      Prue: Says who?
      Phoebe: Says every demon or warlock we've ever gone up against.
      Piper: She's right, Prue. The power of one's gotta mean you, otherwise it would've said the Power of Three. The only question is how are we gonna find this demon. We don't know anything about him.
      Phoebe: Well, we better think of something fast because without the Book of Shadows, we're not the Charmed Ones anymore.
      (The doorbell rings.)

    • Phoebe: Prue! Piper!
      (Prue and Piper come in.)
      Prue: What's going on?
      Phoebe: Uh, I don't know.
      Piper: Why does the book do that? How does the book do that?
      (They go over to the Book and look at the page it opens up to.)
      Phoebe: "Rite of passage. Fight it with the Power of one or else..."
      (A vortex opens in the wall and a gust of wind blows through the attic. A demon is sitting in the vortex. Prue hesitates to use her power and the demon steals the Book. The vortex closes.)
      Piper: What the hell was that?
      Phoebe: The Book Of Shadows. Where's the Book of Shadows?
      Piper: So much for being demon-free.

    • Phoebe: Then Prue can kick some astral ass with the power of one!

    • Phoebe (after vanquishing Abraxas): And we didn't even have to get naked!

    • Piper: The paramedic said you almost died.
      Prue: Yeah, what else is new?

    • Piper: Phoebe are you there?
      Phoebe: AT&T Power of Three.

    • (The Book of Shadows flips some pages)
      Piper: Why does the book do that? How does the book do that?

    • Piper: It's not...it's not what you think... We were...we were just kissing that's all!

    • (The doctor has just asked if Prue's temperature ever spontaneously rose)
      Doctor: Has that ever happened to you before?
      Phoebe (giggling): It's happened to us all before.

    • Piper (after talking about next door neighbor Dan): Demons now, drooling later.

    • Phoebe (to Piper after catching her making out with a guy on the couch): Last I heard you were meeting a banker friend about the loan...(she looks over at the handsome man sitting on the couch) Is this the credit check?

    • (After the sisters first see new neighbor Dan as he walks into their home following his niece)
      Prue, Piper & Phoebe: Whoa!

    • Phoebe: What have we got to lose, okay?
      (Piper and Phoebe notice all the other women have taken off their clothes.)
      Piper: Well, apparently we've got our clothes to lose.
      Phoebe: I see that.
      (Phoebe starts taking off her clothes.)
      Piper: No. Whoa, whoa. Wait. What are you doing?
      Phoebe: When in Rome...
      Piper: No! No! No! We're not in Rome, Phoebe. We're in California and it's illegal here!

    • Prue, Piper & Phoebe: Hear now the words of the witches, the secrets we hid in the night. The oldest of Gods are invoked here, the great work of magic is sought. In this night, and in this hour we call upon the ancient power.

    • (Piper has just drawn the triquetra symbol on the wall with chalk.)
      Phoebe: You really think that's the window?
      Piper: You said yourself the triquetra's the key, our connection. And besides, we keep hearing grams say The Power of Three. This is what that stands for. Either that or I just screwed up this wall for no reason.

    • Grams: All things are possible, my dear. It's just simply a matter of your being able to do them.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)