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Sunday, July 24, 2011

On Charmed, Season 6

This is from I post from January of 2007 about Charmed Season 6.

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I have a whole boatload of TV DVDs. For the past few weeks, I have been going through the Charmed Seasons 1-6. I am currently on the second to last disc of Season 6; the episode Spin City to eb exact; and thought now would be the opportune time to put down some thoughts that have been running through my head.

Season 6 is one of my favorite seasons of Charmed. Unlike most Charmed fans, I liked seasons 4-8 more than I liked 1-3. Of course, part of that is that the first episode I ever saw was "We're off to see the Wizard" as a repeat on TNT and the first episode I ever saw on first airing was "A Witch's Tail" Parts 1 and 2. So I got used to the whole Piper-Phoebe-Paige dynamic and enjoy it more than the Prue-Piper-Phoebe dynamic. Also, I don't like Shannen Doherty, so that is a part of it too.

Anyway, the reason I liked Season 6 so much was that at the seasons core was a story about time-traveling. Of course, Drew Fuller; who plays the time-traveling Chris; is very cute and that doesn't hurt, but time-traveling ahs always fascinated me. I loved watching Star Trek:TNG and DS9, exspecially the time-traveling/time paradox episodes. I love figuring out the idea of time-travel in the Terminator movies. In fact, when I was in 11th grade, I had to write a paper for AP European History about what would have happened if Martin Luther hadn't started the Reformation. Most people just wrote papers about how it would be different. I actually wrote my paper as if it were a part of a book from that alternate history. My teacher loved it so much that he read it to the whole class.

If you are not familiar with Charmed, here is a real quick summary of Charmed S1-S5. Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell are three sisters who turn out to be witches with magical abilities. Prue has telekinesis and eventually recieves the power of astral projection, Piper can slow down or speed up molecules, and Phoebe has premonitions of the past, present, and future, and eventually gains the abilities of levitation and empathy. Piper marries their Whitelighter; a guardian angel for witches; Leo and Phoebe starts to date and eventually marry a half-demon/half-human Cole Turner; called Belthazor in his demonic form. Prue is killed at the end of S3 and Piper and Phoebe discover that they have a half-sister; from their mom and HER Whitelighter Sam; who can orb (sorta like teleportation) and using orbing to achieve similar results to telekinesis. They destroy the Source of All Evil and his powers are transferred to Cole who become the new Source and Phoebe becomes his Queen. They destroy Source Cole and are given the opportunity to relinquish their witchly powers and destiny. They decide not to and the Angel of Destiny; who offered them the choice; reveals that Piper; who had thought that she could not get pregnant; would have a child. They all think it will be a girl, but the child ends up being a boy who is born on a sacred and holy night. As a result, Wyatt Matthew Halliwell is an immensely powerful magic being. He has witch and whitelighter powers in addition to numerous other magical gifts. Then at the end of S5, a demon frees the Titans; yes, the Titans from Greek myths; who go after the Elders. The Elders are the people in charge of Whitelighters and good magic. Most of the Elders are killed and the rest scatter. A young Whitelighter from the future named Chris persuades Leo to turn the sisters into goddesses in order to protect the remaining Elders from the Titans. They do and the result is that Leo becomes an Elder. Piper loses her mind and starts to ravage the earth in retalitation. Once she is calmed down, Leo makes her start to forget about him to make the transition easier. Leo confronts Chris and warns him that he will be watching. As Leo leaves; and incidently tells Chris that Chris will be the new Whitelighter of the Charmed Ones; Chris waves his hand and telekinetically sends Leo off somewhere. Then, he enters the house and once again uses telekinesis to shut the door. This is very odd, because telekinesis is a witch power, and not a whitelighter power. This is where S5 ends.

And yes, that was as short as I could make it. Sorry if it seemed a bit long, but I'd like to see you summarize 5 seasons in less space. :-)

As Season 6 opens, we discover that Chris came back from the future to ensure that some demon does not hurt Wyatt. As the season progresses, we see Chris use dubious means in order to protect Wyatt and the sisters. We eventually find out that the evil Chris is trying to protect Wyatt from is in fact, Wyatt. Something turns him evil. Then a few episodes later, we discover that Chris is Wyatt's younger brother; in fact he is the son of Leo and Piper, which is important to know because the two fo them had in fact split and Piper had starting dating other men. In the middle of the season, we are introduced to the Elder Gideon; Leo's mentor. We find out that Gideon is in fact the reason Wyatt turns evil. Gideon captures Wyatt and attempts to neutralize what Gideon sees as a threat to the cosmic balance. In attempting to help the cosmic balance, Gideon actually creates the force that he fears the most. And this is why Chris came back; although Chris never knew who turned Wyatt.

Here is what I find most fascinating. Charmed S6 at its core is about a good; however misguided; individual who in attempting to end one evil, actually creates the very evil he is looking to stop. Gideon is not evil nor is he bad, he is simply trying to do what he sees is right, even though as I said, he is severely misguided. Poor Chris is constantly walking a tight rope. If he reveals too much, he might change the future in ways he does not want to. If he says too little, he risks not changing what he needs to change. So he is forced to lie and shade the truth in order to manipulate the sisters into doing what is neccessary. As a result, they nearly kick him out on a couple of occasions.

Chris is also in possession of knowledge such as Piper's death. So, he treats her somewhat coldly so as not to get attached to her now and risk broken-hearted in the future. He eventually is persuaded to allow her in anyway, and calls her "Mom" on several occasions.

I just see this season as being a very interesting and very effective use of time travel as a part of a larger arc. It is not wholly implausible and it is also fun to watch; particularly when you know what is going to happen and see the clues dropped early in the season about Chris.

Have fun, and I hope to at least have a delay tomorrow.