Throw-Back Thursday: Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Charmed.”

It’s Throw-Back Thursday TV Fans!  For today, I am going to be counting down the top 5 episodes from Charmed Out of the 178 episodes of the series, it was extremely difficult to narrow this list down to just 5 episodes.  Over my many re-watches of the show, these episodes have stood the test of time.  As I re-watch the series each time, I find myself looking forward to them because they truly make an impact with me.  There have been different points in my life where many episodes of Charmed have gotten me through some really tough times and that just goes to show you how amazing this show is.  It’s not just about witchcraft and magic.  It’s about family, loyalty, and how to deal with the everyday demons in our lives, not just the supernatural.  The entire series is filled with great episodes, all connecting to create a believable story and providing us with some great entertainment, while keeping our favorite characters real, empathetic, funny, and significant in the process.  It’s hard not to feel like part of the Halliwell family when you invest so much time watching these powerful and amazing women.  These stand-out episodes below take it a step further, however; surpassing our expectations as fans and surprising us with unforgettable moments.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Charmed are:

5

“From Fear to Eternity.” (Season 1, episode 13)

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“Prue.  Prue. You must face your fears, Prue.  You must trust in the greatest of all powers.  Love.” (Patty Halliwell)

So for me this episode has to be the one that hooked me onto Charmed for good.  This episode was in the middle of the first season and really elevated the show to an entirely new level.  It’s Friday the 13th and we are first introduced to one of the greatest villains on the show, Barbas, the Demon of Fear.  I have to say that it was very clever to have episode 13 be the Friday the 13th one, which really made this episode that much more haunting.  The Demon of Fear has to murder 13 witches before midnight so that he can be freed, which is alarming enough for those of you who are superstitious.  What makes Barbas so frightening is that he brings a victim’s greatest fear to the surface.  The victim appears to die from a heart attack and their hair turns bright white from fright, which gets the police involved, but there is something so bone-chilling about this.  Just imagining this happening makes my skin crawl, which is why Barbas was such a genius villain and so difficult for the sisters to face.  This episode stood out to me as well because the sisters could not just rely on their magical powers to defeat him.  Phoebe is held captive by him and he lures Prue to the scene to get two witches for the price of one.  We learn in the episode that Prue is very fearful of drowning, as Barbas initially attacks her in the shower.  When Prue is in the pool, the spirit of her mother, Patty appears before her and tells her to trust in the power of love.  Prue is able to overcome her fear, which banishes Barbas.  It took Prue conquering her inner demons to be able to defeat this one and it finally allows her to open up to her sisters and let them into her heart, while still having plenty of room to remember and love her mother.

4

“Chick Flick.” (Season 2, episode 18)

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“You’re my hero Billy.”

“And I think you’re swell, Sally Mae.”

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “Chick Flick.”  I typically refer to this episode as “Kill It Before It Dies,” which is the old movie that Phoebe is obsessed with, currently playing down at the local theater.  In this episode, the Demon of Illusion flees from the Charmed ones and hides right in the movie.  The demon is not afraid to change the script and even recruits other psycho killers from different movies to attack the sisters.  Phoebe’s dream man, Billy, comes out of the movie and is still in black-and-white.  Phoebe is beyond thrilled and bonds with Billy.  I mean how many times have we thought about hanging out with one of our favorite characters?  Phoebe actually gets to do this which is beyond cool.  The sisters team up with Billy to fight the Demon of Illusion, but not before they get trapped in the film.  The Demon of Illusion explains that if they are stuck in there when the movie ends, they will never get out.  Luckily, Prue is quite the photographer and is able to rewind the film and vanquish the Demon of Illusion by leaving his frame under the light for too long.  Phoebe is forced to say goodbye to Billy, but is thrilled when she gets her own copy of the movie.  “Kill It Before it Dies” actually appears in three episodes of Charmed and even Cole tries to give her a message through the movie.  I mean you can’t knock him for lack of effort.  Either way, this episode is absolutely hilarious and fun.  If you’re having a bad day, I strongly recommend you grab your popcorn and watch this one.  And whatever you do…don’t hide from a psycho killer in the shower like poor Piper.

3

“The Seven Year Witch.” (Season 7, episode 16)

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“Leo and Piper’s love, it’s epic, it’s massive.  It’s Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Brad and Jennifer.”   (Drake)

There are a few reasons why I absolutely adore this episode.  First off, my absolute favorite character, Cole Turner is back.  Well not back to the land of the living, but he does act as a sort of mentor and guide for Piper who is currently trapped in limbo.  Meanwhile, the elders decide to test Leo and strip him of his memory and leave him out on an abandoned highway so that he can choose his path once and for all.  The path is not so clear-cut, however; as the elders do try to manipulate him by focusing on his love to help others.  Cole finally gets through to Piper and she realizes that she must let go and die and call out to Leo in order to reach him and the plan is a success.  While Drake should have probably picked couples in history that actually ended up together…or ended up surviving, the intent is there.  When I think about epic couples, Piper and Leo always come to mind and it’s because of moments like this.  Piper and Leo’s love transcends everything else around them and they are able to fight for each other and support each other through it all.  At the end of the episode, Drake’s life ends at midnight when he says, “Alas…pumpkin time.”  Fans learn that Cole sent him there to help Phoebe believe in love again, which is absolutely swoon-worthy.  Even though Cole can’t be with Phoebe, her happiness is all that keeps him going in the other plane and he will forever love her.  Phoebe even feels his presence in the house, which proves that they are still connected on some level.  Now that’s romantic.

2

“Centennial Charmed.” (Season 5, episode 12)

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“We’ve been through so much together…haven’t we?  Our love’s so strong, nothing can destroy it, not even this.  We’re meant to be together.” (Cole)

So even though Phoebe says, “I don’t think so,” it’s hard to fully believe this can be true.  I absolutely believe that Phoebe and Cole were meant to be together, but unlike Piper and Leo, they are unable to defeat everything that gets in their way.  Cole’s path toward self-destruction is beyond difficult to control and Phoebe will always choose her family over her love for him simply because she is selfless.  It’s a sacrifice and something that will always be with her, but it’s hard to agree that their love was not meant to be.  While I do think that her love with Coop later on in the series is a healthy and stable relationship for her, it comes as a close second to her passionate and messy romance with Cole.  This episode is the 100th episode of the show and I think that they really hit home with it.  Cole has been vanquished before, but he always finds some way back.  However, this time is different.  Cole reveals that it is his birthday but all he wants is a chance at love and happiness, which is heart-breaking and empathetic.   The Avatars approach Cole, which prove to be a greater threat later down the road with Leo, and Cole decides to use his new powers to cast a spell to alter reality so that he can win Phoebe back.  Only this has unforeseen consequences, as Phoebe does not love him in this reality anymore than she does now.  Cole’s plan back-fires when Paige sneezes and orbs out when the spell is cast, as he had anticipated her being dead in this reality.  Paige is able to convince Piper to help her, which is no easy task and the power of 3 is alive again.  Cole is not indestructible in this reality and when he is vanquished, it’s for good this time.  The end of the episode is bitter sweet, as Cole’s place is found empty and abandoned, revealing that he’s not coming back anytime soon.  Paige wishes him a happy birthday before she exits, which always brings me to tears.  The sisters did not want to vanquish Cole, but he made it impossible for them to live in a world with him.  Perhaps his path could have been different or perhaps it would end just the same, but it’s clear that he impacted more than just Phoebe, which makes his departure from the show that much more heart-breaking.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Charmed are:

  • “The Wendigo”
  • “Is There a Woogy in the House?”
  • “Déjà Vu All Over Again”
  • “P3 H20”
  • “Ms. Hellfire”
  • “Awakened”
  • “The Good, The Bad, and the Cursed”
  • “Just Harried”
  • “All Hell Breaks Loose”
  • “Brain Drain”
  • “A Paige from the Past”
  • “Charmed and Dangerous”
  • “Marry-Go-Round”
  • “Long Live the Queen”
  • “The Day the Magic Died”
  • “Sense and Sense Ability”
  • “Witchstock”
  • “The Courtship of Wyatt’s Father”
  • “Hyde School Reunion”
  • “Witch Wars”
  • “Charmageddon”
  • “Show Ghouls”
  • “The Torn Identity”
  • “Kill Billy: Volume 2”

1

“Forever Charmed.” (Season 8, episode 22)

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“And although we certainly had our struggles and heart aches over the years we’re a family of survivors and we always will be.  Which is why we’ve truly been Charmed.” (Piper Halliwell)

So I absolutely have to give the series finale of the show the number one spot.  Mostly because it truly sums up everything the way I would have liked.  I would say that the only thing missing was the presence of Prue but they did mention her.  The episode focuses on Piper using Coop’s ring to travel through time to save her sisters, which allows some of our favorite characters from the past and future to get involved to help save the day.  When the threat is over, we get a glimpse into the future of the lives of our favorite Halliwell sisters and everything is as it should be.  Piper’s words to her future grand-daughter remind us what the show is all about.  While the Halliwell sisters are powerful witches, they are much more than that.  They are survivors and they are a family that sticks together no matter what.  It’s hard not to fall in love with this show and every time I watch the series finale, it inspires hope and love.  While it’s always hard to say goodbye to the Charmed ones, you can always start the series over again, but knowing that they obtained the future that they deserved provides us with closure and satisfaction.  “The power of 3 will set us free!”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your own favorite episodes from Charmed below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Throw-back Sunday: “Lost” ranking the top 5 ships/couples of the series

Happy Sunday TV fans!  As I woke up this morning, the wind is out of control and I have the urge to sit back, relax, and watch some more of ABC’s Lost.  My dog, Honey, approves as well, insisting she reserve the comfiest part of the couch per usual.  I wrote about characters last week and I realized that Lost is about more than the characters, it’s about their connections to one another.  While some characters are linked through friendship, rivalry, and family; many of the heart-warming bonds are romantic.  This got me really thinking about my favorite ships or couples from the series.  I just recently learned what “ships” actually are so I thought I would incorporate it in here.  🙂 Like my top characters list, this one has also shifted for me over the years with each re-watch.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  My top five ships/couples from Lost for 2017 are:

5) Kate & Sawyer aka Skate.  So the first time I watched the series, I adored the relationship between Kate and Sawyer.  I know that many fans of the show either prefer Kate and Sawyer or Juliet and Sawyer, but not both.  I think that Sawyer was in a different place in his life for each relationship.  With Kate, he is still trying to discover who he is and come to terms with what happened to his family and for murdering an innocent man in cold blood before he got on Flight 815.  If Juliet were to come into Sawyer’s life at this time, there would be no relationship.  He wasn’t ready for it yet.  Kate, like Sawyer, was also dealing with guilt of her own, running from it at each chance she got.  When she thinks she is talking to the ghost of her father, Wayne, she tells him that “every time she feels something for Sawyer she thinks of him and it makes her sick.”  They both needed each other to help them grow and although it may not have been true love, they had a fiery passion that could not be easily replicated.  Kate is also able to deal with Sawyer more than the other Losties and is able to convince him to help on more than one occasion.  One of my favorite moments with them is when they play “I Never” while drinking which reveals just how alike they are.  Kate is also the one to realize that Sawyer wrote the letter he carries around and sees right through his tough guy act.  When they are trapped by the others in the cages, Kate will do anything to save his life which shows that although she may not realize her love for him yet, she does truly care for him.  In another one of my favorite scenes, they kiss and Sawyer tells Kate she “tastes like strawberries” and her reply is that he “tastes like fish biscuits.”  Ultimately, Sawyer is not ready to be with Kate or Freckles as he likes to call her just yet.  He jumps off the chopper so that she can make it to the freighter.  Years later when Kate returns, he explains that he wasn’t fit to be her boyfriend then similar to not being fit to raise his own daughter.  He has changed so much over the years but circumstances are different now and Juliet is in the equation.

4) Charlie & Claire.  One of my favorite scenes of the entire series is when Charlie brings back imaginary peanut butter and the two of them share this on the beach.  Charlie is dealing with his heroin addiction when he crashes on the island and displays a lot of selfish and foolish behavior along the way.  However, his love for Claire is pure and beautiful.  There is a teenage dream like quality when they are together.  Although I don’t see the passion like with Kate and Sawyer, their connection transcends this.  When Desmond later tells Charlie that he is going to die, Charlie writes down his “greatest hits” and insists that Desmond give it to Claire when he is gone.  His top moment of his life is the day he met Claire which may sound cliche on the surface, but it is so representative of the bond between these two.  What’s so beautiful about their love is that Charlie also fully accepts Aaron as his family too.  He may go off the deep end with this several times, but ultimately he considers him to be his son and leaves the family DS ring to him.  In the last episode of the series, many characters are re-united and when Charlie and Claire are brought together again, it brings tears to my eyes.

3) Juliet & Sawyer aka Suliet.  As I mentioned earlier, I do think that both relationships are epic in their own way.  When Sawyer is left on the island, he transforms as a character.  He understands and accepts that he needs to take on leadership and help others.  In embracing the best part of himself, he is now truly ready to open his heart to someone else and finds love with Juliet.  When it was first revealed that Sawyer and Juliet were together, many fans reacted against this ship.  After watching the series so many times, I understand and appreciate their love.  Sawyer demonstrated signs of selflessness with Kate, but he was still running from himself at the same time.  When he is with Juliet, he now understands what it means to care for someone else and to be loyal to them until the end.  Perhaps I did not realize how much Sawyer and Juliet care for one another until I watched “The Incident,” season 5 finale.  Juliet’s death is one of the most tragic ones in the entire series for me mostly because of the impact it has on Sawyer.  Like with Charlie and Claire, when Sawyer and Juliet are re-united together in the vending machine scene, I lose it and the tears keep on coming.

2) Desmond & Penny.  After watching the series many times, this couple has always been present somewhere in my top five.  One of my favorite moments of the show is in the season 2 finale when Desmond opens the book, Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens.  Desmond has previously revealed that he was saving the book for when he died as he wanted it to be the last thing he read before leaving this world.  Penny knows and understands Desmond so well, that she leaves a note for him in the book.  She knows that he will only open the book in a moment of great despair and writes:  “Please don’t give up, Des. Because all we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us. And you have her. I will wait for you. Always. I Love you, Pen.”  This is not just a sentiment.  Penny truly means this and the end of season 2 reveals that she is still looking for Desmond even though he has been gone for over three years.  She tells him that “with enough money and determination, you can find anyone.”  As if this couldn’t get any more epic and destined enough, in the episode “The Constant,” Desmond is flashing back and forth through different times and tells Penny that he is not going to call her for eight years and she cannot change her number.  When Desmond is calling from the freighter, my heart was beating uncontrollably wondering if she would pick up.  To fans delight, she does answer and saves Desmond once again.  The love between Desmond and Penny is so powerful and it goes to show that having someone like in that your life who never gives up on you is greater than anything else that gets in the way.

1) Sun & Jin.  For me, Sun and Jin have a love that is very different from the other characters.  Out of all of the ships/couples, their love is the most real.  Their love isn’t perfect and there are times where they do temporarily give up on one another and forget about why they fell in love in the first place.  But this is what makes their love so important.  Real love isn’t out of a fairy-tale; although I’m sure we would like it to be.  Real love is about compromise and accepting that we will make mistakes along the way.  Sun has an affair with another man and even contemplates leaving Jin and running away at the airport.  However, Jin shows her that he is holding a small white flower, just like when they first met and she changes her mind.  It breaks Jin’s heart when he finds out that Sun speaks English, representing another lie she kept from him for so long.   Both Sun and Jin are looking to prove themselves to the other, only to later realize that their love is enough.  The fact that they are able to forgive each other for mistakes they made before, shows the viewer what the island is all about.  It makes perfect sense to me why Jacob chose them as candidates.  While other characters have discovered who they were along the way, Sun and Jin truly find themselves together as a couple.  Their death is one of the saddest for me to watch and the image of them holding hands under water leaves us with a reminder that they will never be apart again.

 

I hope you enjoyed my list and feel free to post your own comments and thoughts about the ships on Lost.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic