2000's, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause, Charmed, Charmed Season 8, Holly Marie Combs, Kaley Cuoco, Marnette Patterson, Rose McGowan
And here it is, the final season of Charmed. After eight years of battling demons and evil, it’s time for the sisters to take a bow in style. Some of the early stuff this season may be a bit flawed, but once it hits its stride it emerges as an excellent and emotional final season of a truly magical show. Major spoilers will follow in my review.
After the events of Season 7 when the girls were presumed dead after battling Zankou, Piper(Holly Marie Combs), Phoebe(Alyssa Milano) and Paige(Rose McGowan) along with Leo(Brian Krause) have taken on new identities and have decided to lead a demon-free life that they have always wanted. Yet no matter how hard they try, there is still their calling and events that show them that they can’t run from destiny, it is what they were born to do. After much discussion, the girls change back to themselves again, with the help of a friendly Homeland Security agent named Agent Murphy who covers for them by saying they faked their deaths as they were working for the government. Murphy occasionally asks the girls for help in strange cases that come his way. Now with the demon fighting back, the girls are busier than ever stopping the spread of evil, but this time they have help. A young feisty witch Billie Jenkins(Kaley Cuoco), becomes Paige’s charge and trains as a witch under the girls, often getting into trouble because of her free spirit and rebellious attitude. Each sister has their dramas to deal with as well as collectively, as this season gets very eventful. Piper has to face the fact that with Leo now a mortal, she may well lose him. Her deepest fear comes true when the Angel of Death comes after him. Rather than just let him be taken, Piper and her sisters make a deal with the Angel of Destiny to freeze Leo until they succeed in a forthcoming battle that is ominously mentioned with intent. Phoebe is continuing her search for love, yet can’t seem to find it anywhere. She, while still in magical disguise, thinks she has found the one in Dex, an artist. But she feels like she can’t be herself around him with the disguise and she ends the relationship. She finally finds love later in the form of Coop, who is in fact a Cupid sent by the Elders. Paige, who is embracing many of her Whitelighter duties with having Billie as a charge, also finds love with cop Henry. Paige marries Henry and does inform him of her supernatural abilities, which he accepts after hesitation. Billie also has her own arc which concerns the kidnapping of her sister years before. With the help of the sisters, Billie finds Christy(Marnette Patterson) in the underworld, afraid and barely able to function. Yet this is a facade as Christy, after all her years in captivity has now become consumed by evil forces that have altered her sense of right and wrong. It is Christy who is in fact the threat that faces the sisters. The introduction of Christy brings the threads and hints of a battle full circle. Working alongside the newly reconstituted Triad, she poisons Billie against the sisters and draws the battle lines. With both sets of sisters against each other, it’s a devastating battle that leads to a moving time-travelling finale. Join me as I relive the many moments of Season 8 as our favourite witches sign off from the screen with a mix of drama, adventure and emotion.
I’ve heard many fans say that Charmed should have ended with Season 7, but I for one thought there was still more story to tell. I mean, the Season 7 finale was epic but it did leave the door open to more plot. The whole identity changing plot is alright but for me doesn’t really add that much to the show. Identity and the girls wanting normal lives has been explored before and should have really just been left. Once the girls are back to themselves, the season picks up a lot and gains more assertiveness and pace. It helps that the sisters are closer together now than they have ever been and while their lives are separate, their always linked somehow or someway. This is where the strength of Charmed comes from, the bond between them. It is a powerful tool that has kept the show going because we can relate to the girls and their feelings. Sisterhood also plays a key part with Billie and Christy, especially when Billie sides with her and it’s a battle of sisters.
I’ve heard people describe Season 8 as disjointed, but I personally find it very well done and crafted. There is the humour which is great for some one-liners, the romances of the girls and the dangerous threat of darkness they must face. So I really can’t see much of a problem with the season, except maybe a few of the opening episodes are a bit weak and Phoebe’s brief romance with Dex isn’t really that good. but do pick up as the show goes on. I can’t say that it is the best season but it certainly wraps things up nicely and has a whole lot of entertaining and emotional moments along the way. Highlights of this season are the heartbreaking goodbye between Piper and Leo when he is marked for death, Paige’s beautiful wedding in the Manor and the last two episodes of the show that I will go into detail about below.
The penultimate episode really kicks things up with an explosive showdown. Both sets of sisters invoke the powerful essence of The Hollow, a magical entity that consumes power and possesses the person with superhuman strength. After the pre-battle niceties, it’s down to business as rage burns. Because of the power that the both sides have, it causes the Manor to implode. Piper and Billie survive, but the other sisters die. It is around this time that Leo is brought back to help. The battle is one intense sequence and filled with outstanding special effects. The emotional fallout is even greater and leads us to the final ever episode, which ranks as one of Charmed’s finest hours. This episode is an emotional ride that involves Piper journeying to the past to prevent the battle and save her sisters. But by shifting in time, she goes through various events that bring family members from the past and future into the forefront. Grams, Patty, future Chris and Wyatt from the future, all play their parts in this amazing last hour. There is still the matter of Christy, but this time Billie can now see that there is no saving her sister and is forced to kill her in self-defence and join the Charmed Ones as a loyal friend. There’s just something so beautiful and moving about the final episode as it wraps things up, respectfully tips its hat to old episodes and lets us watch as Piper, Phoebe and Paige finally fulfill their long destiny. I love seeing the futures of the girls, with Piper and Leo growing old together, Phoebe married to Coop with children and Paige also having children with husband Henry and finding her identity while each reflecting through narration their respective journeys as witches and women and all that it has taught them. Trust me, if you don’t feel moved by the finale, you don’t have a heart.
The acting for this season is of a high standard, especially from the central trio. I can’t praise the chemistry between them enough, it’s so convincing and beautiful to put into words. The growth of each of the sisters is also worthy of praise as they have evolved throughout the years. Holly Marie Combs is sarcastic but loving as Piper, who is the beating heart and glue of the family. Combs just brings the warmth out in Piper and the kick ass side when battling demonic activity. Alyssa Milano is beautiful and full of passion as Phoebe, discovering that destiny does in fact lead in the right direction when love is concerned. I must say I’m not the biggest fan of Coop, but I was happy to see Phoebe finally settle down with someone she truly loved. Rose McGowan brings the vivacious and understanding nature of Paige out, as she accepts her Whitelighter duties once more and manages to balance her life. I loved Paige’s marriage to Henry, as he was a mortal who understood her magic and may have not always agreed with it, but still loved her. As I said earlier, the three leading ladies have embodied these characters so well for so long that you can see they have incorporated parts of themselves into the characters and have also grown in the process. These are indelible characters that I will never forget for as long as I live. Brian Krause may be absent for half of the season, but when he’s on the screen he makes up for it with the earnestness and love that he invests Leo with. Kaley Cuoco plays Billie as perky, bratty and sassy and does lighten the show a bit. In some of the emotional scenes she doesn’t quite convince, but she’s a pleasing enough character. Marnette Patterson makes for an angered presence of being consumed by evil and brings out the devious side of Christy that is determined to take down the sisters.
- Still Charmed and Kicking – C
- Malice in Wonderland – D
- Run, Piper, Run – B+
- Desperate Housewitches – D-
- Rewitched – B
- Kill Billie Vol 1 – B-
- The Lost Picture Show – C
- Battle of the Hexes – D
- Hulkus Pocus – B
- Vaya Con Leos – A
- Mr and Mrs Witch – C
- Payback’s a Witch – B+
- Repo Manor – B+
- 12 Angry Zen – B
- The Last Temptation of Christy – C+
- Engaged and Confused – B+
- Generation Hex – C-
- The Torn Identity – B+
- The Jung and the Restless – A
- Gone with the Witches – A
- Kill Billie Vol 2 – A+
- Forever Charmed – A+
So aside from a few flaws which are ironed out later, Season 8 of Charmed is a stunning send off to Piper, Phoebe and Paige and one that ensures the show will remain in my heart forever. I hope everyone has enjoyed reading my reviews of Charmed, as I most certainly have enjoyed revisiting this magical show once more.