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Charmed – 10th Anniversary Special – Season 8 Review: “That's Why the Show Will Always Be Charmed”


CHARMED: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington


On May 21, 2006, Charmed ended its spectacular eight-year run on The WB, and for fans of the show, it's been an agonising ten years since this magical show died. Relive all eight seasons every Saturday on SpoilerTV in the run-up to the 10-year anniversary of the series finale.

SEASON FIVE | SEASON SIX | SEASON SEVEN | SEASON EIGHT


Today is the day. Happy 10th anniversary to the end of Charmed - the airing of the final ever episode of the show on May 21st, 2006. I know we have been building to this over the last 7 weeks with the previous 7 anniversary articles, but now the day is here, it hasn't quite sunk in. As much as Charmed might have deteriorated over the last few years, for me, I still love this show with every fibre of my being!

Season 8 - a rather polarising season for a lot of people. It's the final season, so for me, I have a bit of a soft spot for it, even if I can recognise the dip of quality from, say, season 3. I don't blame the show all that much though, because it was pretty well known that the budget for the last season of Charmed was cut so much by the WB - I blame the network! It meant that there were a lot of recycled ideas and the demons and monsters were very weak compared to other seasons too. Despite these budget issues, they still managed to bring in a couple of new characters that surely cost them some money, but again, due to the WB.

Billie and Christy. Now, a lot of people hate the both of them. Some only hate Christy. But I'll throw my hands up and say I liked Billie (Kaley Cuoco), but I was rather impartial to Christy. Following the more complex and greater villains of Seasons 6 and 7, I really wanted the biggest bad the show had ever seen for its last season. We got Christy. While I did enjoy some parts of her storyline and the way it sort of spiralled out of control for the girls, I will admit that I am rather disappointed by a lot of what happened in season 8. I didn't think this 10 years ago when I first watched season 8 - I was just devastated it was ending - but 10 years reflection has allowed me to see things with new eyes.



EPISODE GUIDE
SEPTEMBER 25, 2005 - MAY 21, 2006
22 EPISODES

The final time we will watch the opening credits, and I found the one with the original theme song instead of the instrumental that you can hear playing on the DVD versions and Netflix due to the licensing expiring.



8.01 - "STILL CHARMED AND KICKING"
Original airdate: September 25, 2005

Following their presumed death in the season 7 finale, the girls are milking the fake deaths to lead a demon-free life. There is way more urgency and way more to like about this premiere than "A Call to Arms", and I like how this one didn't rely on the gimmicks that 5 and 6 did. I loved the wake for the girls at the Halliwell Manor, including Paige disguising herself as Janice Dickinson! I loved Agent Murphy too, he was so cute, and I would have liked him to continue on the show beyond his brief appearances. He would have been a good replacement for poor Daryl, who is now gone from the show forever (though we find out he moved to a different state in 2 episodes time). But the bigger event of the episode is the introduction of Billie. She's introduced vanquishing demons, dressed all in black, not really being able to see her properly. The black hair made me wish it was Prue (how amazing would it have been to have her back for the entire final season!), but we find out it's a college student named Billie, who is a witch. I liked the plan the girls had to scare the demons away from the Manor by disguising as Victor and Wyatt. I liked this premiere a lot, a good way to start the last season.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

I call upon the Ancient Powers,
To mask us now and in future hours.
Hide us well and thoroughly,
But not from those we call family.

8.02 - "MALICE IN WONDERLAND"
Original airdate: October 2, 2005

This is a sort of part two to the premiere, with the main demon Haas still causing trouble, and Billie still needs to be introduced properly to the girls. I liked the idea behind the episode, the Alice in Wonderland inspired kidnappings of girls to lure the Charmed Ones out of hiding. As much as it would have been nice for the girls to catch a break, it's rather clear by now that they cannot. Paige also decides she wants to become a cop, which would be a great career for her, but that's never fully developed. She goes to the Academy in this episode, and flips a guy over which is, of course, the bad-ass Paige we all know and love. She decides to not go for it, which is a shame, but never mind. She tracks Billie down regardless (seemingly the only Charmed One to do any work these days), and finds out what she can, leading to Billie offering to fight demons for them in exchange for training. I haven't really been mentioning Dex yet, but the less said about him and his storyline with Phoebe, the better.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

Paul Haas: "They won't be able to ignore the cries for long. If the sisters are alive, they will come to the rescue. It's in their blood."

8.03 - "RUN, PIPER, RUN"
Original airdate: October 9, 2005

This is probably my favourite episode of the three so far, even if it is the first episode of many this season to recycle an idea from a previous season. But, I admit, the idea was inspired by Billie from events from "Ex Libris", and it managed to save the day. So Piper's new identity turns out to be a fugitive accused of murdering her boyfriend, but it turns out her former lover did it, and the girls seek to clear her name and save Piper from jail. I did love how the girls saved Maya from her ex-lover and how they got their own back in making him confess to murder. Billie does a good job in this episode and I start to like her from this moment onwards. I felt she was a good addition to the cast, and fused some new blood into a near-anaemic show. Phoebe, meanwhile, spends most of her time with Dex, as his art show is threatened by an earthquake. Nobody really cares about that, do they? Oh Phoebe, comparing you from the first season to the last season makes me really sad.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Piper: " They think I'm somebody else."
Phoebe: "Well, you are somebody else."
Piper: "I know, but I'm not a fugitive. That's not the alias that I picked, at least not intentionally."

8.04 - "DESPERATE HOUSEWITCHES"
Original airdate: October 16, 2005

The Source of All Evil is back - that should make this one of the best episodes of the season! Wrong. So much potential, such poor execution. I really did not like this episode. I kind of did when I first watched it, but my mind quickly changed. I loved the idea - Mandi, a "room mom", wants Wyatt to bring back the Source and create the perfect little demon family. It all sounded great and well until the Source actually came back. Great moment, but the thing I hate his how easily and quickly he was vanquished again. In his own words, it was very anti-climactic. It might have been better if he never came back at all, and they failed before they could do so, otherwise it made the Source of All Evil look extremely weak. I did like Piper really trying to be one of those moms at school who makes costumes and supports the school play - nice to see her playing regular mom. Paige and Phoebe have their romantic lives to deal with in this episode, and Phoebe's obsession with Dex and him being "the one" is now getting rather too much. Biggest episode of the season so far in terms of ideas, but worst so far in execution.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Leo: "You wanted a normal life, remember?"
Piper: "Yes, but that was before I realized our son was going to be humiliated in front of his entire class!"
Billie: "Oh, that happened to me all the time. Only made me stronger."
Piper: "And shut it!"

8.05 - "REWITCHED"
Original airdate: October 23, 2005

I might have been a little harsh on Desperate Housewitches, but when I compare it to this episode, I have my reasons. For one, this episode really drives the main plot forward with the girls' identity issues - they finally come out of hiding!! And in a great way too by strutting their stuff at Homeland Security, all three of them looking fantastic. So much regret for their new identities in this episode and you can tell it has taken its toll on the girls - they just want to be Piper, Phoebe and Paige again. We want them to be Piper, Phoebe and Paige again! So glad this is the last episode with the identity thing, fortunately they didn't drag it out any longer. Meanwhile, Billie cast a spell to help Phoebe and Dex but it backfires and she goes away with him to get married, but doesn't remember what happened when he carries her through the threshold. Paige goes on a speed-dating thing at P3 but it doesn't really get her anywhere. Better episode than ones so far.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Phoebe.

Hear these words, hear my rhyme,
Bless these two in this time.
Bring them both into the fold,
Help them now cross love's threshold.

8.06 - "KILL BILLIE VOL. 1"
Original airdate: October 30, 2005

The first Halloween episode since season 3! Not as good as 'All Halliwell's Eve', but a great Halloween episode nonetheless. It's not as holiday-themed as season 3's, but there are moments that are actually quite frightening. For instance, the Dogan kidnapping Christy, for instance, is terrifying! Also, when Paige turns into a ghost to scare someone, she terrifies me too. A lot of scares to be had here. Back to the Dogan storyline, Billie tries to go after him but the childhood memory of her sister's kidnapping causes her to freeze up. The kidnapping proves important to the rest of the season, and in this episode it looks like a big, promising storyline. Reporters are also on the girls' backs, and want to see the life behind Halliwell Manor, only for them to get a mundane version of it. Phoebe is up to her old tricks with Dex, as in pointless fawning with fake pregnancy tests that only distracts from the goodness of the episode. Besides that, a great episode.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

After this cruel memory,
is seen and said.
Erase these thoughts,
From my heart and my head.

8.07 - "THE LOST PICTURE SHOW"
Original airdate: November 6, 2005

It is nice to see Sam back on the show after 3 years (and then 3 years before that), and I always love his scenes with his daughter Paige. He comes to her asking for help when his old charge, who he lost 50 years ago, resurfaces without ageing a day. I like the concept of being trapped in a photo collage (almost like being trapped in a painting season 2 style), and the demon has a good technique of taking a photo and trapping people in the photo collage. Loved when Paige called for Sam by saying "Dad" when he got trapped, freeing him. Those family moments get me in the feels. Piper and Leo are having marital issues (nothing new), and we have a 'Siren Song'-like moment where they swap bodies (rather than powers), which helps them to see the other's perspective. See the recycling of ideas coming through this season so far? Not a bad episode though, despite the repetitiveness, and Sam coming back helped keep Paige's heart open to her father.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

Paige: "If anything turns up, I'll call you."
Sam: "The magical way?"
Paige: "No Sam, the normal way. Pick up the phone if it rings ok?"

8.08 - "BATTLE OF THE HEXES"
Original airdate: November 13, 2005

A little bit of a cringe episode, in my honest opinion, but I'll talk about the good first. I love that Paige went back to her social worker instincts in helping her charges, including the guy she looks after in this episode, and it also introduced Henry Mitchell, who Paige would go on to marry. I do like Henry, even if he is rushed into the show last minute to give Paige someone to spend her life with. There are also some great moments between Piper and Phoebe that show their sisterly bond, which also keeps Phoebe from using her vagina as a compass to find the next available man. But I wish I could have loved the "girl power" plot of Billie putting on the belt and being all superhero-ish. It came across all wrong and badly executed, I think, and the line "there's no wrath like a woman scorned" just makes me cringe so hard. I love Kaley Cuoco (especially now in The Big Bang Theory), but this was probably too heavy an episode for her to really carry. Had this been better written, I could have been on board with the whole power of the female sex, but instead it came across as conflicting and a jumbled mess. I prefer the episode when it isn't dealing with the main plot, which is probably a bad thing.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Phoebe.

Phoebe: "He's got a case files for us."
Paige: "A case? What are we, Charlie's Witches? We don't work for him."

8.09 - "HULKUS POCUS"
Original airdate: November 20, 2005

I loved the more focused aspect on the sisters in this episode, rather than Billie taking care of everything (or at least being the only one who seems to have a passion for the craft). A virus is taking the witch-world by storm and it turns witches into awful-looking demonic-like beings. Loved when Billie turned and they had to fight her a little (with Phoebe telling Piper not to blow her up until Billie flips a table, then she changes her mind). I also loved how the girls mutated too, and the way they attacked Leo and then went after the demons as the demonic Charmed Ones. They save the day, of course, and with Billie down for the count, a lot of faith is restored to the Charmed Ones for their powers. Even Phoebe has another premonition where her future self confronts her and tells her to have faith. Phoebe shouldn't have been forcefully trying to find "the one", it never works that way, and so Phoebe decides to let love find her. About time, it took a season and a half to think of that. Also Agent Murphy's last episode, which is sad, because he's cute, and Henry asks Paige to look after a baby, which isn't as exciting. To me, a great episode that really got the Power of Three to work together at last.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Phoebe.

Phoebe: "We're going to save you. We're gonna save magic while we're at it."
Billie: "How can you save magic when you don't believe in your own anymore?"

8.10 - "VAYA CON LEOS"
Original airdate: November 27, 2005

The best episode from the first half of season 8, for sure, so they ended the mid-season with a bang. Fun fact, this is Rose McGowan's 100th episode, so happy 100th Rose! But to discuss the plot, it's that time where the budget didn't allow Leo to remain for a full season, so they had to write him out in a rather dramatic way. What I love about this episode is that you can feel the passion behind the characters and the actors, so when Leo goes, it's so hard on everyone - especially Piper. I always love seeing the Angel of Death, and this time he's come for Leo, so Piper casts a spell to make everyone look like Leo, but it doesn't really work, as the Angel finds him in a taxi. I didn't expect to see the truck come straight into it, so that shocked me for several minutes when I first watched it. I love the drama. Nice touch to have the Angel of Destiny too, who saves Leo and promises his return only when the sisters fulfil their destiny.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Angel of Destiny: "There's one more battle on the horizon for you three. One unlike you've ever faced before, one you won't see coming, and one you may not survive."

8.11 - "MR. AND MRS. WITCH"
Original airdate: January 8, 2006

Still hard to process Leo not being in the show right now, not when he's almost always been there as a prominent presence. Billie was the star of the show in this episode, as it deals with her newfound powers of Projection (so awesome) where she accidentally turns her parents into cold-blooded assassins (hence the title). I didn't take to this episode as much as other ones, but fortunately I didn't hate it or anything, I just didn't care much for it. It makes for some exciting sequences though, especially at the press conference, which leads to the girls having to clear their name when the projection ends. Phoebe also has writer's block and decides to move out of the Halliwell Manor - after years of them trying to live apart and it never working, I was really wary of this endeavour. Paige is also having issues with Henry as both realise they are keeping secrets from one another, but it leads to a nice heart to heart where we learn a bit more about Henry. An okay episode but one I'd happily skip.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Phoebe: "Piper what did you put in their food?"
Piper: "Food was in the food. Thank you."
Phoebe: "How do you explain this?"
Piper: "Well don't look at me, she's the one who said assassin."
Billie: "It's a figure of speech!"

8.12 - "PAYBACK'S A WITCH"
Original airdate: January 15, 2006

Before Jimmy Edwards and Carolyn Bigsby held hostages in One Tree Hill and Desperate Housewives respectively (both in 2006 also), Charmed had its own little hostage involving our Paige and Henry. It makes for an exciting episode, as it all happens in a bank and Paige cannot use her powers with so many mortals around. It gets even worse when Henry gets shot and she has to heal him. It is great that she finally healed somebody on her own and show's the progression of her powers. She's all grown up now! The hostage was a bit of a distraction, but due to the budget, I guess they wanted any opportunity to incorporate as little magic into this episode as possible. Billie making a potion out of the things she had in her bag was weird too, no logic. On the Phoebe and Piper side, they are having a party for Wyatt when Phoebe casts a spell that turns his toys into humans (though they turn out to be parts of Wyatt later on). I like the focus on Wyatt as the kids are sometimes forgotten about, though it was rather hard to watch Phoebe hitting on a toy. She really can't get lower than that. A good episode but one that you can tell is victim to the budget.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

Billie: "Do you want me to call for his guns?"
Paige: "No, no! You can't use magic. There are cameras everywhere. We can't risk exposure."

8.13 - "REPO MANOR"
Original airdate: January 22, 2006

Sometimes I can't get past another recycled idea in the form of shrinking the girls (season 4) and putting them in the Halliwell Manor dollhouse (season 7). The Charmed Ones are being replaced by evil demons who are after the Slave King, and each time one is replaced they are put inside the dollhouse. Still not a bad episode, and there are a few good points about it. I like how Paige used several mythical creatures to help Henry that were introduced on the show previously, including a muse and a leprechaun. I like how she also told Henry she is a witch, and he takes it extremely well (it took Andy a little bit of convincing to get his head around it when Prue eventually revealed it to him). I also love when Phoebe moves out of the Manor and Piper gives her a tearful farewell. I like the feeling of progressing in their lives in this season, which is something usually overlooked, but it helps that this episode continues that.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

Piper: "Oh, don't tell me we're stuck in the doll house again."
Phoebe: "Yeah, this seems to be an annual event for you."

8.14 - "12 ANGRY ZEN"
Original airdate: February 12, 2006

Usually looking back on this episode, I feel a twang of boredom. But actually, it's really not. I actually do like the Buddhist aspect of the episode and the Chinese Zodiac elements (reminds me a little of 'Dead Man Dating'). I like it more that time has gone on. It still feels rather filler, with Piper trying to find ways of understanding who the big bad will be that the Angel of Destiny warned about. Not an awful lot I can really remember from this episode, which is a shame, but I do remember Paige trying to convince Henry more of her magic, and Phoebe didn't even really do much either. However, the ending was great, as Billie uses her new projection power to find Christy, and thus, the beginning of the end begins. Dead or alive, I was glad Billie found her, and how dramatic to find Christy's cell at the very end of this episode!

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Piper: "Forget it Jenkins, it's Chinatown."

8.15 - "THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRISTY"
Original airdate: February 19, 2006

The big one, the turning point, and finally Christy is home. But how the hell did Billie rescue her? I felt like we jumped an episode, kind of like how I felt after 'All Hell Breaks Loose' with 'Charmed Again'. So that felt weird, but I did kind of like how they incorporated Christy back into life. She is definitely f*cked up, and it's seriously affecting her and her trust issues. After being kidnapped for that long amount of time, it's no wonder she has gone a bit loopy. She still ends up vanquishing the demons in the end, even if she does set her own sister on fire. At this point, I wasn't entirely sure what to think of Christy but I had to sympathise with her. Paige has some dilemma with a potential magic suitor who challenges Henry to duels and fights and it gets a bit heated between them, but fortunately Paige goes for the best choice, Henry, and he proposes in the most amazingly romantic way on the top of the Golden Gate Bridge. Even if the engagement is so rushed, and far too quick, I can't help but fall for Henry a little. Piper wonders if she should find a new man and move on from Leo (big no-no) and Phoebe really is lost without love, which is rather sad.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

Henry: "I mean, I faced demons and fireballs, magical suitors, orbing... I mean, I think I passed the test, right?"
Paige: "What test?"
Henry: "You love me, don't you?"
Paige: "Yes, love I you."
Henry: "Cause... Paige, will you marry me?"
Paige: "Yes."

8.16 - "ENGAGED AND CONFUSED"
Original airdate: February 26, 2006

The moment for the last Charmed One to get married finally happens, and to be honest, I am so over the moon for her. It's the final season, and it's really nice to see Paige finally happy with someone constant in her life, since she hasn't had a big true love like the others have had. Timing is fast, but we have seen Paige grow up for 5 years and she deserves this. The rest of the episode is good too, as we actually discover the extent of Christy's betrayal to her sister and the Charmed Ones, as she is working with the Triad. Bitch. Someone impersonates them and Piper vanquishes some of them, thinking it will bring Leo back, but to no avail. It's not that easy Piper. Phoebe also meets Coop, who will be the final man in her life (thank God), and I like how weird he seemed at first, since he had a key to fit Phoebe's lock for her apartment. And can I just say, I love the look of Phoebe's apartment, it's really, really nice.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

Coop: "You always say that, and that is exactly why I'm here. You always think that you never have time for love. You know, that's why the Elders sent me. They feel guilty, you know, about how everything got all messed up after they enlisted you. So they sent me down to help you get things back on track."

8.17 - "GENERATION HEX"
Original airdate: April 16, 2006

While this isn't one of my favourite episodes, it's one that I really remember for some reason. It sticks out a little in my memory due to Leo's protégées coming to the Halliwell Manor for help. The Noxon Demons were good too, and I enjoyed the episode despite it not being one of the season's best (in my opinion). But the stakes do get so much higher in this episode and from this episode onwards towards the Ultimate Battle. Billie's and Christy's parents are killed (really shocking actually) by the demons after they leave them alone when they think Piper called them, but she didn't. It leads to Christy punching her hand through a demon and passing the final test, which was an intense moment. Phoebe, who has more to do now a man is in her life, is shown her past loves by the new Coop, who is, I admit, extremely gorgeous. I've fallen for him a bit too, but that's besides the point. We get to see Dex, and Drake, and Anton, and even Cole when he takes her through time with his ring. Paige isn't very present due to her honeymoon with Henry.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Phoebe.

Demon of Fire, Demon of Pain,
We banish you to the Astral Plane.

8.18 - "THE TORN IDENTITY"
Original airdate: April 23, 2006

Things are really starting to heat up with the conflict between the Charmed Ones and Billie and Christy, who we come to learn to be the Ultimate Power. I really like this episode and how the conflict comes about. Christy is going a little out of control and, when she accompanies Piper and Paige when they want to talk to the Scavenger Demon to get information, but Christy tries to vanquish him, causing Piper to lightly blast her to get her to stop. Bad move in the long-run Piper, but I loved you for it! It helps Christy somewhat convince Billie that the Charmed Ones cannot be trusted since they have to avenge the death of their parents. It leads to a fantastic scene where the Jenkins girls try to vanquish the Noxon and the Charmed Ones try to stop them but the Jenkins girls end up winning, leading them to realise Billie and Christy are the Ultimate Power. Coop also places Paige inside of Henry's head just to help them through some of their problems (always using magic to resolve marital problems on this show), while Coop tries to set Phoebe up with a mortal. Great episode to continue the main arc.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Paige: "Okay. Did they just vanquish a demon that can't be vanquished?"
Phoebe: "What does that mean?"
Piper: "I think that means we just found the ultimate power."

8.19 - "THE JUNG AND THE RESTLESS"
Original airdate: April 30, 2006

What I like about Billie is that, even though she was kind of against the Charmed Ones in the episode prior, it takes a bit more convincing to truly turn her against them. This leads to the main conflict of the episode - Christy has to convince her, and she does this by placing the girls in a dreamlike state where their "selfish" desires are shown to Billie, that they will put themselves above anyone else. Kind of true, but at the same time, we know these women, and we know they put family first, but also do what they can to save innocents. I didn't like Billie for this, but at the same time I could appreciate that she was on her sister's side, making it more complicated. I liked the dreams aspects of the episode, and that Billie allowed Paige to wake up to save a whitelighter in trouble. This episode did make me want to slap Christy and shake Billie, but it was a good episode leading up to the finale. In fact, I really enjoy the last few episodes of the season.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Paige.

Phoebe: "We're gonna stop 'em, before they stop us."

8.20 - "GONE WITH THE WITCHES"
Original airdate: May 7, 2006

This episode, as a fun fact, aired on my 14th birthday! And it helps that I really love this episode too. There is way more urgency now, and things keep escalating that continues into the next 2 episodes. I don't like Billie's logic at all, but it did have to happen to drive the plot forward, so she and Christy try to ruin the Charmed Ones' reputation to the magical world which forces them to go into hiding. I love that plan, it's a good plan. I hate when the good beings turn against them and go to Billie and Christy (and the demon Dumaine whom I also hate) for help. It's so unfair to the Charmed Ones when all they've done for years is help them. The magical community is so mean! I know a lot of people don't like this episode for how rushed it is and for bringing back the magical community that was set up in the past due to their silliness of leprechauns and whatnot, but I like how they retained their continuity and brought them back. Nice touch to almost end the show with.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Piper: "Twist everything around and make us look like the bad guys."
Paige: "That's crazy. They would never believe that."
Piper: "Sure they would. Think about our track record with them lately."
Phoebe: "But what purpose would that serve? I mean, why bother?"
Piper: "I don't know. To isolate us, make sure that we have a little less back-up in our time of need."

8.21 - "KILL BILLIE VOL. 2"
Original airdate: May 14, 2006

The time has come - the Ultimate Battle, and I was never disappointed with this outcome. I loved how dramatic and amazing the blowing up of Halliwell Manor was - I remember when I first saw it and I was just crying and in awe and I couldn't believe it! I re-watched that moment again and again and again. It felt very Harry Potter, when the Charmed Ones went against the Jenkins Sisters, but I loved the dialogue before it, and it's something I can remember off by heart. During the episode, there's a lot of build-up, which is fantastic, and the bringing back of the Hollow was a good part of the episode too. Billie and Christy using Wyatt was so bad, yet so dramatic. I loved when the Charmed Ones orbed in and vanquished the Triad just before the Ultimate Battle too, really showing how bad-ass they are with the newfound Hollow powers. Loved the urgency throughout, and I think this is one of the best episodes of the season, and probably in my top 20 of all-time, maybe. Was so happy when Leo turned up in the end, though I was devastated to see Piper cradle Phoebe's dead body.

Winner of the Charmed One Award: Piper.

Billie: "We've been waiting for you."
Paige: "Well, the wait is over."
Piper: "No potions, huh?"
Christy: "We don't need any potions."
Phoebe: "Funny. Neither do we."
Piper: "I knew we shouldn't have trusted you."
Christy: "Well you should have followed your instincts."
Piper: "Next time."
Billie: "There won't be a next time."

8.22 - "FOREVER CHARMED"
Original airdate: May 21, 2006

Aw man. This is it. The last ever episode. The best way they could have ended, really, was to surround the finale with family - one of the main reasons people fell in love with the show. Phoebe and Paige are dead after the Ultimate Battle, and Piper must use Coop's ring to travel through time, visiting relatives to try and bring her sisters back to life. So amazing to see Grams and Patty and Chris return for this. Of course, there is one huge miss in this episode, and that's Prue. It will always kill me that she never appeared, or even had her photo on the wall. Breaks my heart every time. I understand why, but I doesn't make me hate that any less. But not dwelling on that, I can hand on heart say I love this finale, despite any flaws that may be present. Every time I watch it, I cry during the end montage when the girls say their final entries in the Book of Shadows. The music that plays in the background, man, it's too much. It reminded me why I love Piper, Phoebe and Paige and the crazy Halliwell family, and I love that a lot of focus was on Piper who was the original, but I would have loved it if Phoebe and Paige had a bit more. Nonetheless, with what they had, could they have really had a better ending?

Winner of the Charmed One Award: The Power of Three.

So much has happened over the last eight years. So much has been gained and lost. Still in some ways, I feel like my life is really just beginning. And it was. For though I had loved before, I’d never really known love until I met Coop. A man who I shared this special little girl… I had long ago foreseen, but feared I might never have. Along with two other special little girls I had not foreseen. I was suddenly so blessed to have a new family of my own. And old friends to share it with. And though I kept working and giving advice to those who asked, I was more interested in helping them find love, since finally having been loved...

Phoebe had become somewhat of an expert on the subject. As for me... life without demons opened up similar avenues. Henry of course continued to look after his parolees, even if they didn’t want to be looked after. But still making time to help me with little Henry and the twins. Which allowed me time to finally embrace my inner whitelighter. And to help the next generation of witches come into their own...

So that Paige could pass on all that she’d learned, not just to her own children or to mine, or to Phoebe’s but to other future witches and whitelighters as well. Which filled the time between when we were doing the fighting, and when our kids were old enough to take over. Allowing me time to get back to my roots and cook something other than potions for once. And open the restaurant I’d always dreamed of owning. As for Leo after we reclaimed Magic School, he went back to teaching. Which he continued to do, until it was time to retire. And although we certainly had our struggles and heartaches over the years, we’re a family of survivors and we will always be. Which is why we’ve truly been Charmed.


SEASON VERDICT

I blame budget more than anything else for the reason season 8 felt less magical than most of the previous seasons. It makes me respect this season a little more too, that they really tried to work with what they could, and still managed to deliver 22 episodes of hit-and-misses, but for me, a lot of it was good. Some stand-out episodes that I love, while a lot were rather forgettable. I could have talked way more about some of the episodes, but had to control myself. I can see why people have a problem with this season, but to me, it's rather good, and it's a season I loved more when it first aired rather than 10 years later.

Winner of the Charmed One of Season Eight Award: For the final season, Phoebe couldn't really pull it around, and came in third place with 5 wins. A very close runner-up is Paige, who wins 9 of the awards, while Piper comes out victorious with a very deserved 10 wins.

TOP 5 EPISODES
1. Forever Charmed
Season 8, Episode 22
2. Kill Billie Vol. 2
Season 8, Episode 21
3. Vaya Con Leos
Season 8, Episode 10
4. Kill Billie Vol. 1
Season 8, Episode 6
5. Gone With the Witches
Season 8, Episode 20

Most of the episodes I enjoyed happened to be in the second half of the season, while I think the first half had some stinkers. The series finale, of course, topped my top 5 and I love it so much - one of the most emotional series finales that I've seen. The episode leading into it comes second, with the dramatic blowing up of Halliwell Manor a true highlight. The mid-season finale and the first Kill Billie episode also feature as the only 2 episodes from the first half. I really wasn't the biggest fan of Battle of the Sexes, and Desperate Housewitches let me down so much.

TOP 5 SPELLS
1. To Erase Painful Memories ('Kill Billie Vol. 1')
Season 8, Episode 6
2. To Make a Lover's Dream Come True ('Bewitched')
Season 8, Episode 5
3. To Change One's Appearance ('Still Charmed and Kicking')
Season 8, Episode 1
4. Hollow Summoning Spell ('Kill Billie Vol. 2')
Season 8, Episode 21
5. To Banish the Hollow ('Forever Charmed')
Season 8, Episode 22

A really poor season for spells, to be honest, but it helps that the top spell, To Erase Painful Memories, is one of my all-time favourite spells. But the entire season, as a whole, really didn't bring it in the witchcraft department, another let-down when it comes to recollecting memories of the season.

TOP 5 VILLAINS
1. Christy Jenkins
Season 8, Episodes 15-22
2. The Triad
Season 8, Episodes 15-21
3. Dogan
Season 8, Episode 6
4. Hulked-Up Charmed Ones
Season 8, Episode 9
5. Noxon Demons
Season 8, Episodes 17-18

Christy only tops the list because she made the biggest impact, despite me not liking her, she was the biggest villain of the season. I was going to compare her to Gideon and his complex views on good and bad, but Christy was just not smart at all. The Triad were good to have back, though, and I liked the Dogan and found him rather frightening. Otherwise, the budget again affected the quality of the demons and how they looked.

QUESTIONS FOR THE FANS

You don't have to answer these questions, but they'd be a good starting point in discussing the final season of the show. Tell me what you thought of season eight!

1. What was your favourite episode(s) of the season?
2. Did you have a least favourite episode of the season?
3. Billie and Christy had a lukewarm reception originally, how do you feel about them now?
4. Who was your favourite Charmed One this season?
5. Have a favourite villain?
6. What was your favourite moment(s) of the season?






REFLECTING ON CHARMED

I love Charmed. I love it so, so much. Writing these 8 articles now has helped me open my eyes to new thoughts and feelings on the show. Some seasons I realised I enjoyed more than others, some I ended up disliking a little more than I used to, but one thing never changed while writing - my love for this show. In 10 years time, I will still love this show just as much as I do now, and as much as I did when I first discovered the show.

Charmed lost its way a little in the end, and the magic began to fade long before it ended, but I think, as Charmed is my favourite show of all-time, I'm still going to watch the later seasons and still enjoy it for what it is. There's a lot I would change if I could, but I can't. This show had the best run it could have asked for, and I miss and love the characters deeply. It's been 15 years since we said goodbye to Prue, and 10 years since we said goodbye to Piper, Phoebe and Paige, and it never gets easier.

Charmed may live on in the comics, but the show ended 10 years today, and re-watching the show always manages to keep it alive for us. It's never truly over for us, but in the meantime, happy anniversary, my darlings.

TOP 5 EPISODES VOTED BY THE READERS

All of the following poll results are correct as of May 21, 2016, upon publication of the article. The results may change as more people vote when they discover the articles in the future.

SEASON ONE (1998-99)
1. Déjà Vu All Over Again - 16%
2. That '70s Episode - 13%
3. Something Wicca This Way Comes - 13%
4. The Wendigo - 9%
5. Is There a Woogy in the House? - 8%

SEASON TWO (1999-00)
1. Morality Bites - 19%
2. Pardon My Past - 16%
3. Awakened - 10%
4. P3 H2O - 10%
5. Chick Flick - 8%

SEASON THREE (2000-01)
1. All Hell Breaks Loose - 21%
2. All Halliwell's Eve - 14%
3. Just Harried - 9%
4. Look Who's Barking - 7%
5. The Good, the Bad and the Cursed - 6%

SEASON FOUR (2001-02)
1. Charmed Again, Part One - 17%
2. Charmed and Dangerous - 13%
3. Hell Hath No Fury - 12%
4. Long Live the Queen - 10%
5. Brain Drain - 7%

SEASON FIVE (2002-03)
1. Centennial Charmed - 15%
2. The Day the Magic Died - 13%
3. Sense and Sense Ability - 12%
4. Oh My Goddess, Part Two - 11%
5. Cat House - 7%

SEASON SIX (2003-04)
1. Chris-Crossed - 21%
2. It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World, Part Two - 13%
3. Spin City - 10%
4. It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World, Part One - 7%
5. The Power of Three Blondes - 6%

SEASON SEVEN (2004-05)
1. Something Wicca This Way Goes...? - 25%
2. Death Becomes Them - 10%
3. Witchness Protection - 7%
4. Imaginary Fiends - 7%
5. Charmed Noir - 7%

As a side note, season 2 was the only season where my top 5 episodes are the top 5 voted for by the readers. Seasons 4 and 5 are the only two seasons where my number-one favourite episode didn't become the top-voted episode by readers.





That's it. That's the final Charmed anniversary article on SpoilerTV. What did you guys think of the eighth season of our favourite show? What were your favourite (and not-so-favourite) episodes? Do you look back on the series as a whole with fond memories now, 10 years later? Release your inner Charmed geek and let me know all your thoughts and feelings on the final season of Charmed in the comments!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Empire and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. Gavin also writes special anniversary articles, most recently for Charmed. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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