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- The fifth episode of the primary season of Charmed launched a human villain known as the “Dream Sorcerer,” which was a departure from the standard supernatural villains.
- The episode obtained unfavorable critiques and was the lowest-rated episode of the primary season with solely 4.91 million viewers.
- The episode’s plot involving Piper and Phoebe utilizing their powers for private achieve raised moral considerations and pushed the present in a special path shifting ahead.
The unique Charmed, which aired from 1998 to 2006, adopted the lives of the Halliwell sisters — Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs), Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), and Paige (Rose McGowan) — as they fulfilled their future as probably the most highly effective witches the world had ever seen. All through all eight seasons of the hit drama, the women battled in opposition to demons (each decrease and higher degree), warlocks, evil witches, and other evil entities with distinctive talents that always challenged their very own powers.
On uncommon event, nevertheless, the Charmed Ones would face off in opposition to people, proudly owning their roles as protectors of the harmless in numerous ways in which often didn’t embrace utilizing their powers (a lot). One in every of these situations occurred extremely early on within the present, within the fifth episode of the primary season. In “Dream Sorcerer,” a human man assaults girls of their goals and units his sights on Prue. For a lot of causes, this episode is, arguably, the collection’ worst episode ever, however it occurred early sufficient that it modified the trajectory of the present shifting ahead.
Three Halliwell sisters uncover that they’re descendants of a line of excellent feminine witches and are destined to combat in opposition to the forces of evil, utilizing their mixed energy of witchcraft generally known as the “Energy of Three.”
- Launch Date
- October 7, 1998
“Dream Sorcerer” Explored a New Sort of Villain for ‘Charmed’
With eight, 22-episode seasons, there have been positively some missteps alongside the way in which with the mythology and the villains that the Charmed Ones went up in opposition to. The early episodes of Charmed Season 1, specifically, experimented fairly a bit with what labored, what didn’t work, and what viewers needed to see extra of. There are warlocks, shapeshifters, demons, and a ghost within the first six episodes alone. So, it’s solely pure that the collection explored a human villain, too, and whereas the idea was intriguing at first, the episode actually didn’t work. The villain that calls himself the “Dream Sorcerer” is a disabled man who brutally kills girls who reject him of their goals. He units his sights on Prue, unaware that she’s a witch, and makes an attempt to kill her a number of instances till he’s bested and killed by her, utilizing his personal strategies, on the finish of the episode.
How does he do it? Properly, regardless of this episode airing all the way in which again in November 1998, there’s nonetheless no official reply. The episode confirms he’s a human and, contemplating the docs and nurses round him within the lab when he enters others’ goals, it’s clear this capacity is the results of some weird science. As such, that is the collection’ first foray into science fiction (as the opposite episodes rely closely on the fantasy elements) — and it’s an utter catastrophe. If not for Doherty’s uncanny ability to pull off any wild story, your entire episode would have fallen aside, because the Dream Sorcerer (performed by Matt Schulze) wasn’t compelling within the least along with his creepily sultry voice and victimization complicated.
One thing Charmed is understood for is its capacity to remain pretty grounded, even with the wild supernatural plots, however that was misplaced with this villain, as the collection tried to keep away from any rationalization for a way these occasions might have performed out with a human villain. Followers have speculated that perhaps there was some magic inside him, someplace, perhaps from generations prior, however that’s only a concept to clarify the collection’ failure to deal with it.
The Episode’s Different Plot Additionally Doesn’t Work Both
In the meantime, as Prue offers together with her stalker and would-be killer (totally on her personal), the Charmed episode additionally goes in a brand new path with Piper and Phoebe. For the primary time, they use their powers for their very own private achieve by casting a spell to draw males with the qualities they need. (Like being well-endowed… I imply, employed.) This results in the collection exploring some questionable territory with what these girls are capable of do with their magic. The lads haven’t any say of their attraction for the ladies, which Piper factors out in a dialog together with her love curiosity, as there’s nothing she will say that may flip him off.
It’s not simply these males which are into them both; as Piper talks together with her date at Quake, there are a number of different males inside vary which are taken together with her. They haven’t any selection however to be drawn to her, and so they solely share her views on romance due to the spell. Then, the infatuation slowly turns to obsession, as Phoebe’s love curiosity reveals up in a violent rage at their home earlier than the women reverse the spell. Then, the lads neglect all the pieces, together with the truth that one in every of them slept with Phoebe. Finally, it feels flawed and is in murky waters relating to consent and what the women are capable of do with their magic.
Season 8 will get a variety of negativity, however it’s a return to and enchancment of all the pieces nice concerning the present.
Reception to the Episode Pushed ‘Charmed’ in a Completely different Course
In brief, “Dream Sorcerer” is arguably the worst episode of your entire present. Followers on the time actually appeared to agree, too. In keeping with this clipping from The Los Angeles Times, the episode was the lowest-rated episode of the primary season with solely 4.91 million viewers when it aired on November 4, 1998. To match, per different clippings from the Los Angeles Instances, the collection premiere was watched by 7.7 million viewers. Fairly a drop-off for less than 4 episodes later. And, different episodes all through the season steadied with round 5.5 to six.7 million viewers.
Fortunately, although, the collection realized from this error and by no means pursued tales fairly like this once more. Charmed took a more durable stance on private achieve and the road between good and evil, avoiding a scenario like this (with Phoebe and Piper) by introducing extra rapid penalties when their magic is misused. Likewise, whereas not the final human villain we ever noticed the women face off once more, the collection leaned extra into the fantastical and supernatural components of the present and away from such a strictly sci-fi, horror-esque story that blurred the strains between the human and supernatural worlds. This was for the perfect. Demons became much more engaging villains to discover on a weekly foundation. Plus, the human-focused tales — with human villains, which regularly included pal and police officer Darryl Morris (Dorian Gregory) — led to way more emotional, grounded, and impactful moments for the sisters and the viewers.
Charmed is on the market to stream on Peacock within the U.S.