Something Wicca This Way Comes
|"Something Wicca This Way Comes"|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||John T. Kretchmer|
|Written by||Constance M. Burge|
|Original air date||October 7, 1998|
|Running time||43 min.|
|List of Charmed episodes|
"Something Wicca This Way Comes" is the first episode of the drama series, Charmed, which was broadcast on The WB network. This is the series premiere of Charmed and the second (and only aired) pilot for the series. The original pilot never aired. The unaired pilot was shot in the actual manor that is shown on the show. After replacing Lori Rom, the show moved to a sound studio. Lori Rom left Charmed because of personal reasons. Executive producer Aaron Spelling asked Alyssa Milano, whom he knew from Melrose Place, to replace Rom as Phoebe and she accepted. Alyssa Milano played Phoebe all eight seasons of the successful long run of the series.
The name of this episode is a play on words from Shakespeare's Macbeth. There are three witches, known as the Charmed Ones. The line is: "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."
This is the highest rated episode of Charmed in the entire series. The episode scored a 3.7/10 in adults 18–49.
Charmed focuses on the lives of three sisters, Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell as they deal with their grandmother's death, and learn that they inherited a little more than the house they grew up in. All three of them have inherited magic powers; Prue has telekinesis, Piper has the power to freeze, and Phoebe has premonition. Together they try to live everyday normal lives, while battling demons and warlocks, while trying to keep their secret safe.
The show opens with a taxicab pulling up under a hotel awning during a rainstorm. In an apartment, a blond woman dressed as witch is sitting down at an altar after feeding her white cat. She begins magically igniting candles with the tips of her fingers. The scene switches to a figure descending the fire escape and standing outside her window. She begins chanting a ritual incantation with hand gestures, and apparent magical intent. She then hears something behind her, turns around and is initially startled by someone who is not identified. She then reacts as if she knows him and there is nothing to fear around him. Then we see that he has a knife poised to stab her in the stomach. The scene switches to a view from outside the window and we hear her scream and see her crumple to the floor.
We then see a person with an umbrella hastening through the rain into an old-style manor house. This ancestral manor is where two sisters, Piper and Prue, currently live. There is some friction and "history" between the bossy, confident Piper, who enters the living room, apologizing to Prudence for being late.She explains that she had to pick up a crucial ingredient, a bottle of Port, for the meal that she was going to be preparing for her interview the next day
Piper sees an old Spirit board that Prue found in the basement while she was looking for a circuit tester. She turns it over to see the inscription on the back.
Piper then makes a comment to Prue, "We never did figure out what this inscription meant." Prue makes a sarcastic comment that it should be given to Phoebe since her life is so in the dark maybe some light would help. The two sisters then begin to have a discussion about Phoebe. Piper becomes upset that Prue is so hard on Phoebe and ultimately Prue becomes upset and leaves the living room. Piper also leaves and as she does the Spirit board pointer begins to move and the opening credits roll.
After the credits we see the police investigating the murder of the blonde woman shown at the beginning of the episode. A police detective is shown entering the scene and joining another. The Police detectives, the first one white and the second black, are discussing the case, and the white policeman seems to believe the woman was a "witch" saying she was stabbed with an athame which is the same weapon used to kill two other women who were apparently practicing witchcraft. The black policeman ridicules this and tells him not to do any more investigating without consulting with him first. Just then, a reporter comes to speak to them, and the first cop simply says another woman has been killed. The reporter states that this is the third one in the last couple of weeks.
(The unrevealed situation here is that the second cop is Darryl Morris, who later becomes a strong ally of the sisters while later in this episode the first cop, Andy, dates Prue. )
Inside the Manor, Piper suggests to Prue that they should have another roommate (knowing that Phoebe would show up at any minute). Prue's mounting suspicion leads Piper to break the news that Phoebe is moving back from New York to live with them. As Prue asks when Phoebe will arrive, Phoebe opens the door with the "spare key" that she found outside. Piper gives Phoebe a hug but Prue greets her coldly. While Piper tries to be pleasant, the other two sisters have an argument which causes them both to angrily leave the room.
Phoebe is listening to the news about the murder when Piper brings her dinner on a tray. They talk about Prue's lack of welcome, and we find out that the news reporter is Piper's boyfriend Jeremy. They talk about just letting Prue have time to get used to the return of Phoebe, and we segue again to the two policemen talking. Morris' partner is still trying to tell him about witches, and Morris is still unbelieving. The other policeman finds a white cat in the room, and notices that there is an odd three-cornered symbol on his collar (the Triquetra).
Phoebe and Piper are playing with the Spirit board while Piper tells Phoebe how she met Jeremy. As Piper goes into the kitchen the pointer on the Spirit board starts making out a word. Phoebe freaks out and calls in Piper and then Prue to see what the pointer is doing but it doesn't move while all three are watching. She tries to convince both sisters that the pointer is moving and making out a word but they do not believe her since Phoebe is known to have moved the pointer in the past. Piper then sees the pointer move briefly and then the Spirit board finally spells out the word "attic" as Phoebe writes it down on paper.
As the storm continues, the power goes out. Piper and Prue head off for the fuse panel, but Phoebe follows the spirit board's prompt and heads to the attic. She struggles to open the door, but as she gives up and walks away, the door opens to let her in. Phoebe slowly walks in the attic with her flashlight looking around. Suddenly the moon emerges from behind the clouds, a beam of its light illuminating an old wooden chest. Phoebe cautiously approaches the old chest, wondering if she is being directed by someone beyond the grave. Opening the chest, she discovers a large, apparently ancient book. As she pulls out the book it is bathed in moonlight revealing in dark letters "The Book of Shadows". On the book is the same figure the policeman noticed on the cat's collar.
Unaware of the powers involved, but overcome with curiosity, she reads a page aloud, inadvertently bestowing herself and her sisters with their destined powers: Phoebe with premonitions, Piper with molecular immobilization, and Prue with telekinesis. A cut shows the chandelier bathed in light and vibrating. A picture of the sisters with the two outer figures magically moving closer to the one in the middle is also seen .
The other two girls enter just as she finishes, and she is explaining to them what she was doing, and telling them what she read in the Book about powers. Prue is angry and contemptuously calls it a "book of witchcraft". But as the sisters are descending the stairs, the hooded figure who killed the first witch is seen outside the house. He walks down the sidewalk as the sisters look around and say "look, nothing has changed" as the camera shows the changed picture .
The next morning, Phoebe is sitting on the front steps as Piper walks outside. She has spent the night reading the Book of Shadows, and tells Piper about their ancestor Melinda Warren, who handed down the powers and predicted the advent of the Charmed Ones. Piper disagrees with all she is told, and tells Phoebe that they are not witches.
The scene changes to Prue at work. Her boss is changing the setup of the job, and demotes Prue and puts himself in her place. Roger is not only her boss but her ex-fiancé and is using his position to get revenge for her breaking up with him. Although she is not aware of it, her anger makes her use her power to make a pen leak in his pocket. When he pulls the pen out to look at it, the pen sprays his face. Prue has already turned her back to him and walks out, oblivious to what happened behind her.
Later, she comes in as he is claiming her accomplishments as his own while he is talking on the phone. She is furious and immediately quits. As she leaves, he insults her, and she again unknowingly uses her unacknowledged power and tightens his tie until it chokes him. She again has her back to him and is unaware of it.
Piper learns of her power when she gets frustrated and accidentally freezes the chef of the restaurant where she is interviewing; although she is surprised, she takes advantage of it and quickly puts the last ingredient, the port she had purchased earlier, onto her special recipe. Of course he loves the dish and she immediately gets the job.
Phoebe is riding her bike when she has her first premonition: two boys on skates getting hit by a car. She yells out when she sees them but they don't hear so she skids her bike in front of the car to stop them and she falls down. Over next to the accident is the other witch's cat, with the triquetra around its neck.
While Phoebe is in the hospital, Prue meets up with an old friend, Andy, who is now a police detective. (This is the policeman who thinks the murders are someone killing witches.) They chat over a cup of coffee and it is intimated that they will have a closer relationship later in the series. Later, after finishing up at the hospital, Phoebe and Prue go out together and talk about being witches. Prue is having difficulty swallowing the idea of being a witch, but when she keeps accidentally using her power, it gets harder to ignore. Phoebe reminds her that they were born witches and need to learn how to deal with it. Prue emptying the shelves of the drugstore while thinking of their father convinces her she really is a witch and has a power she needs to learn to control.
Meanwhile, Piper is on a date with Jeremy, who is actually a warlock, an evil male witch, who steals the powers of good witches. Just before he stabs her with an athame, Piper freezes him and, even though he unfreezes and grabs her ankle, manages to escape and goes to the manor. The cat is shown in the house, as Piper bursts through the door, asking for a spell to get rid of a warlock. Although together the sisters cast a spell to get rid of Jeremy from Piper's life, Phoebe has a premonition that he has been wounded but not defeated.
Moments later he bursts into the house and threatens them with his dark magic. At this point, the sisters race back to the Book of Shadows, and find the one thing that will save them, the Power of Three Spell. They realize that they must recite the incantation from the back of the book. 'The power of three will set us free'. They chant the incantation as Jeremy threatens them and a storm appears in the attic, but eventually he explodes and is gone. The next day, Andy shows up to ask Prue out, and she is a little hesitant, not because of him, but because of becoming a witch. She doesn't know he believes in witches, and puts him off. She speaks to her sisters, and together the three realize that they won't be able to get rid of their destiny, but have to embrace it. B
- Shannen Doherty as Prue Halliwell
- Holly Marie Combs as Piper Halliwell
- Alyssa Milano as Phoebe Halliwell
- "Something Wicca This Way Comes" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Something Wicca This Way Comes" at TV.com