In episode fourteen of season one, Prue is desperate to help a young boy who has been kidnapped and forced to use his powers for evil. Phoebe, on the other hand, gets quite the surprise when she learns Leo’s secret.
[OH, I SHOULD MENTION THAT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN CHARMED, FOR WHATEVER REASON, THEN YOU SHOULDN’T READ THESE ARTICLES BECAUSE THERE WILL BE SO MANY SPOILERS FOR THE EPISODE I’M TALKING ABOUT AND FUTURE PLOTLINES. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.]
THOUGHTS WHILE WATCHING THE EPISODE
- The episode starting with a child being kidnapped is such a dramatic change for the show.
- Okay, Prue using her powers to clean the attic is totally personal gain.
- The new chef at Quake is such a jerk.
- The reveal that Leo isn’t just a regular human handyman to Phoebe is great.
- It’s cool to see another witch with extraordinary abilities like the sisters.
- The introduction of Whitelighters!
- Wait, Leo at first refers to the Elders as “the founders”, what is that about? Had the writers not thought up Elders yet or was that originally gonna be what they were gonna be called, but someone nixed that idea and they became Elders? I need to know!
- “One day, I’m gonna figure out your secret Prue. Count on it.” Why does Andy make that sound like a threat and ominous?
- Phoebe, maybe you should find out what Piper and Leo are talking about before saying anything.
- I love how we get a taste of Leo’s powers in this episode and his purpose in the overall story of the sisters.
- I love how Piper and Prue don’t believe Phoebe when she breaks and tells them that Leo is a Whitelighter.
- “I do want kids. I think I’ll make a great mom.” UGH!! MY HEART!! Prue would have been a great mom and aunt!!
To me when it comes to this episode the parts that always stick out are Prue’s journey with the young boy, Max, and Phoebe finding out the truth about Leo being a Whitelighter. Piper doesn’t really have that big of a story except she’s kind of around, but the story isn’t really about her. I mean, if we’re honest if they took Piper out of this episode or just had her appear at the end for Leo to say “bye” to, it wouldn’t really change much.
So, to begin this review lets talk about Prue and Max. It was interesting and refreshing for the writers to not only introduce another witch but also make him male and young. Max is shown to be a normal boy who just so happens to have these extraordinary abilities, just like the sisters. I think it was also an interesting choice by the writers to have the villains be humans because it further shows the sisters that not every evil thing they encounter will be a “thing”, but could be everyday humans. I think the way this story connects Max with Prue in both a maternal and child-parent dynamic was great.
They had Prue at the beginning of the episode talking about how she didn’t want kids/didn’t think she’d be a good mom, so for her to be the one to connect and care for Max was great to watch. It was really enjoyable to see Prue connect and become protective of this boy who she didn’t know, but she let those maternal instincts take over and because of that she was able to better protect Max. The other part of the story that I don’t think they touched on as much and kind of wish they had, was the fact that Max and the sisters had another similarity: father issues.
Now, while Max’s father didn’t abandon him like the sister’s father, Victor did, Max’s father was still resistant to his magic. He makes it clear to Prue when she confronts him about Max that he wasn’t okay with Max being a witch and a lot of that had to do with ignorance and fear. Ignorance of what being a witch and having magic entailed, and fear over what that meant for his son’s safety. I feel like this would have been a perfect opportunity for the writers to have Prue think about Victor and maybe with Max’s dad have a better understanding of where Victor had been coming from. Sure, it doesn’t excuse Victor abandoning the sisters, but I think Max’s father could have helped Prue better understand her father. I think Prue going through this experience with not only Max but Max’s father helped her realize that she does want kids and made her see that she maybe could one day be a good mom.
Lastly, we have to talk about the big reveal in this episode: Leo the Whitelighter. The reveal to Phoebe that Leo is not an ordinary human handyman is great. Leo hovering in the living room and Phoebe freaking out, thinking he’s evil is just written and acted by Alyssa Milano and Brian Krause perfectly. Then the explanation about what Whitelighters are and the point of them is explained well, but not enough for the viewer to be sitting there thinking, “Oh yeah, I know everything I need to know”. The viewer is left, just like Phoebe is, with basic knowledge, but feeling curious to know more. Then when Leo explains about how witches and Whitelighters are forbidden from being together, it becomes sad because the show makes it clear that Piper and Leo can’t be together, which sucks because their love was just blossoming and now it’s being snuffed out.
I think the writers handled the Whitelighter introduction and Leo’s exit at the end well because while for Piper it feels like the end the viewers still have that hope that Leo could pop back up again because he made it known that the sisters are his “charges” and he’s supposed to watch over them. Also, Phoebe blurting out the truth about Leo is great for two reasons. One because it’s totally Phoebe’s character not to be able to hold a secret like that from her sisters and two because of Piper and Prue’s reaction. Them laughing it off and probably thinking Phoebe’s just being her normal goofy self is just great, but also makes you wonder if Phoebe was one of those kids that would tell her sister’s wild stories and Piper and Prue are just cautious of things Phoebe tells them now.
Overall, this was a good episode, not amazing, but it had a lot of great character development for Prue and did a great job of introducing Whitelighters into the mythology of Charmed. Also, it gave some good tension to Piper and Leo’s romance.
Hope you guys enjoyed my review of “Secrets and Guys” and I hope you check out the next review when it’s posted.