With Season 6, Charmed stumbles a little with trying to incorporate too many arcs and situations. While Season 5 had an episodic approach, Season 6 takes it to the next level and results in some low points. Yet for all of the confusion, it still becomes enjoyable due to the cast, writing and appeal of the show. Warning, spoilers will definitely follow in this review.
Piper(Holly Marie Combs) is raising Wyatt after Leo( Brian Krause) became an Elder and they separated. Strangely though, Piper has been unusually jovial as of late, which alarms Phoebe(Alyssa Milano) and Paige( Rose McGowan). Unbeknownst to the girls but known to the audience, Leo is not up in the heavens but trapped somewhere else. Chris( Drew Fuller), who arrived from the future scattered his orbs and he ended up in the mythical island of Valhalla. Chris is still very mysterious even though he tells the sisters that he is there to ensure that Wyatt is not turned evil, which was the case in his future. After Paige and Phoebe rescue Leo from Valhalla which is watched over by Valkyries, Piper emotions flood back and she vents her pain and torment at Leo leaving her. Leo had in fact used his magic to ease Piper’s pain after seeing how destructive it could be. The two eventually agree to part ways, with Leo still able to see his son. Meanwhile, Chris begins sending the sisters after various demons and teaching them various lessons in less than truthful ways. It transpires that Chris is not just a Whitelighter from the future, he is Piper and Leo’s son. He came back to ensure that his parents got back together and to stop the spread of evil in the future. One this is established, Piper and Leo, who still love one another, resume their relationship after much soul-searching and she becomes pregnant with baby Chris. Chris’s sense of timing begins to fit into place and all the things he has done begin to have more meaning. Phoebe, on the other hand, is getting more serious with boyfriend Jason. Yet she feels that she needs to tell him about her identity as a witch and demon fighter. Unfortunately, when Jason finds out accidentally, he can’t handle it and he parts ways with Phoebe. A vision of the future in which she has a child makes Phoebe determined yet a little selfish as she begins to neglect her duties as a witch in the hopes of finding Mr. Right . Add to that her inheritance of the power of empathy and things are going to get very complicated. Paige is doing a few temp jobs after seeing that she does need some life outside of her magical duties. Yet, everywhere she turns, magic seems to follow her. Even in her love life, magic is there in the form of Richard, who attempts not to use magic but becomes alarmingly addicted to it. Together, while battling the demons, the girls must figure out who is after Wyatt. It is in fact, though for a while it is disguised, an Elder named Gideon, consumed by evil but posing as good. Gideon wants to kill the boy as he has seen the huge amount of power he will yield. Family matters, fierce battles and conflicting emotions will all come to the forefront in the Charmed One’s attempts to save young Wyatt.
Season 6, out of all the seasons, is probably the most inconsistent. While certain plot arcs are interesting to explore, there is a sense of lurching from one idea to another without much thought. It returns Charmed to goofball territory, and while it has always been there, it was always kept under control and contained. Here it makes it almost frothy with soap opera overtones that don’t do the show justice. Episodes such as the one in which Paige and Phoebe conjure up a hunky Mr Right for Piper and the girls protecting Excalibur feel tacked on and don’t really serve much of a purpose in the grand design of things. And the other flaw is Paige’s love interest as Richard. I just don’t find him to be the most interesting guy and doesn’t really make an impact. The writers must have caught on to this as he was soon written out after Paige sees that his use of magic is no good.
What Charmed doesn’t lose is that sense of magic and love that makes it work so well, despite the flaws that sometimes intervene. My enthusiasm for Charmed will never be erased. This does lead to some highlights. The sight of the sisters posing as Valkyries, clad in Xena Warrior Princess style leather bra and mini skirts is supremely sexy. That scene certainly makes an impact filled opening to the season and an image which is unforgettable. A trio of trashy blonde witches steal the girls powers and identities, leaving the girls unknown until they fight back against the troika of trampy sisters. A vicious spider demon that cocoons its victims before consuming their life force targets them. And the epic finale makes up for a lot of the season’s flaws with the sisters facing evil doubles of themselves in a battle to ensure Wyatt’s safety and that Chris turns out fine, hoping to send him back to the right place without having repercussions. The whole Gideon trying to murder Wyatt story at least incorporates a welcome sense of darkness and danger into the mix. We are even introduced to Magic School, a protected place where people can learn about the craft without the pressures of the outside world and the demon attacks. Phoebe’s new power of empathy leads to some very funny moments, as she intercepts people’s emotions without them even realising it and often results in misunderstandings with her sisters. It might be a weak season in comparison with other seasons, but at least it has heart to it and the Chris story line is very entertaining as we figure it out. And not forgetting the scenes of future Chris fading away after being stabbed by Gideon, only to be born as baby Chris shortly after that are touchingly shot and bound to leave a lump in the throat.
Alyssa Milano continues to flesh out Phoebe, now showing us the side that doesn’t want to always be selfless and wants to have something of her own. Yet while some of her actions are a bit selfish, there is a heart in there and you do see where she is coming from in regards to having a life as well as magic. Phoebe has always been compassionate and she hasn’t lost any of that in her journey as a woman and a witch. We also don’t take a dislike to Phoebe because of her sometimes neglect of Wiccan duties ( she does have her powers revoked for a while by the powers that be for abuse of magic), partly due to Milano giving Phoebe a relatability and driven but sexy personality. Plus, this does lead to her beginning to question whether she is cut out for love and sends her on a personal journey, so it’s not all bad. Holly Marie Combs brings her familiar combination of inner vulnerability, outer steel and wry sarcasm to Piper once again, as she confronts her heart, her feelings for Leo and attempts to protect her son from any evil that comes his way. Piper is a force of nature as both a witch and a mother, who people really shouldn’t mess with. It was so good to see Piper and Leo reunite as they are a beautiful couple whose love transcends all. Rose McGowan shines as the independent Paige, immersing herself in the part of the youngest sister and the most stubborn. It’s a trait that I’ve always liked about Paige, she never gives up or gives in and will fight for what she wants. Add to that McGowan’s expressive face and knack for humour, and Paige is an amazing character. The chemistry between the three is another factor that keeps the show successful, it’s such a believable bond that is beautiful and full of strength. Drew Fuller is a great addition to the story, with his character of Chris being enigmatic, angry yet neurotic at the same time. The whole Chris coming back from the future to make sure it turns out differently is one that always piqued my interest and Fuller is most of the reason for that. It takes what could have been a forgettable season and gives it a jolt, despite many of the flaws present. Brian Krause brings the necessary earnestness to Leo as he reunites with Piper and attempts to rectify wrongs with Chris from the future. It’s great to see Dorian Gregory given more screen time this season as Darryl. It helps that his story is deepened as he is nearly killed due to magic and begins to pull away from the girls in the belief that he will be safe.
- Valhalley of the Dolls Part 1 – C
- Valhalley of the Dolls Part 2 – C+
- Forget Me Not – B
- The Power of Three Blondes – B+
- Love’s a Witch – C
- My Three Witches – D
- Soul Survivor – C+
- Sword and the City – E
- Little Monsters – B+
- Chris-Crossed – B
- Witchstock – D-
- Prince Charmed – F
- Used Karma – B-
- The Legend of Sleepy Halliwell – C-
- I Dream of Phoebe – B+
- The Courtship of Wyatt’s Father – B
- Hyde School Reunion – E
- Spin City – B+
- Crimes and Witch-Demeanors – C-
- A Wrong Day’s Journey Into Right – B
- Witch Wars – B
- It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World Part 1 – A
- It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World Part 2 – A+
So it may be flawed and not as consistent and previous seasons, but Charmed Season 6 never loses its heart or sense of magic.