The CW's upcoming Charmed reboot is about to start the Charmed Ones' journey all over again, which is enough to make any Halliwell fan nostalgic for the good old days of the original WB series, from its highest highs to its lowest lows.
Charmed came of age in those magical years when the late 1990s melded into the early aughts, and the women were kickass, the fashion was, um, interesting, and the aspect ratio was much, much wonkier. And every single moment of it was magical! Sure, the series cranked out some duds occasionally, but over the course of its eight seasons, Charmed also aired some of the greatest episodes of television ever.
In an attempt to remind everyone what big shoes the new reboot has to fill, and in honor of the show turning 20 on Sunday, TV Guide compiled the best of the best Charmed episodes from the original series.
10. "From Fear to Eternity" (Season 1, Episode 13)
I wonder if the Charmed writers realized what an awesome villain they'd created when they first dreamed up Barbas, the demon of fear. A demon that simply uses your own fears to kill you (whether it be drowning, earthquakes or just losing a loved one) provided an awesome opportunity for character development early on in the series, as well as an opportunity for Charmed fans to endlessly debate which fear Barbas would use against them.
9. "Chick Flick" (Season 2, Episode 18)
"Chick Flick" was another scare-tastic episode: iconic movie villains hopped off the screen (with the help of a demon, of course) to hunt down the sisters. Bloody Mary, an ax murderer and even a horror heartthrob chased the Charmed Ones through the Halliwell house, turning something that could have been horrifying into a quirky episode that really helped the show define its tone and style in its second season.
8. "Seven Year Witch" (Season 7, Episode 16)
Fans of Cole Turner (Julian McMahon) were thrilled when, years after his death, Cole returned to help Piper (Holly Marie Combs) find her way out of limbo and back into Leo's (Brian Krause) arms. Cole took a pretty evil turn during his final episodes as a main character, and he was even killed by his own wife, Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), which was an upsetting ending for a fan favorite. This episode allowed Cole to come back and right some wrongs and prove just how eternal his love for Phoebe really was.
7. "Cat House" (Season 5, Episode 18)
OK, so this one is a little silly, I admit. The idea that a demon was hunting Kit (the Charmed Ones' cat and familiar from the early seasons) was a little bit off the rails, but it did allow us to get an entire episode of flashbacks featuring the highlights of big Charmed episodes. It had the added bonus of making Phoebe and Paige (Rose McGowen) spectators to their own lives, which always creates some fun commentary.
6. "Sleuthing with the Enemy" (Season 3, Episode 8)
How could we not include the episode where Cole's identity as Balthazar is revealed? His entire opening arc on Charmed was one of the best the series ever created, and it all culminated in a moment in which Phoebe had to realize who and what Cole was, and then choose whether to vanquish him or believe that his feelings for her were real. Excuse me while I swoon.
5. "The Painted World" (Season 2, Episode 3)
While the idea of accidentally getting sucked into a painting is a cool premise, the real masterpiece of this episode was Phoebe's smart spell. Sure, it let her read Latin and have perfect recall, but it also illuminated the fact that one of Phoebe's best traits was her ingenuity, which she never needed a smart spell for at all. Plus, how cool is it to imagine that secret worlds exist inside all the paintings hanging on our walls?
4. "Chris-Crossed" (Season 6, Episode 10)
Chris Halliwell didn't get a lot of credit for the sacrifices he made (and he often didn't get much screen time either), but "Chris-Crossed" was the exception. In this episode, we finally got to see the horrible future he was trying to overwrite, and it also revealed that Wyatt was, in fact, the big bad all along! The time-travel element and the realization that Chris was part-witch as well as part-whitelighter made this episode a minefield of huge twists.
3. "We All Scream for Ice Cream" (Season 3, Episode 10)
As far as Prue (Shannen Doherty) episodes go, this one has got to be one of the best. We got to see her struggle with her rough history with her dad and come to terms with the reasons he left. It also created some seriously creepy villains in the form of demonic children who were practically unstoppable — if you don't count the demon-catching ice cream truck that lures them into their own vanquish. So silly, and yet so good.
2. "Morality Bites" (Season 2, Episode 2)
Sending the sisters forward in time to see what their lives would be like 10 years down the road was a really cool concept, especially when you look back and realize the show almost caught up to itself by the end of its run. While some of the revelations found in this future were awesome (stronger powers and adorable children), some were terrible, like the fact that the witch trials had returned, and Phoebe was set to be burned at the stake!
1. "That '70s Episode" (Season 1, Episode 17)
If you're sensing a them with this list, it's not just you — when in doubt, time travel wins. Charmed was at its best when it was playing with time, which is not always the case when it comes to TV. Sending the sisters back to the '70s had the potential to be ridiculous, but instead, the episode focused on the family dynamics of their younger selves and the unexpected shock of seeing their long-dead mother again. "That '70s Episode" definitely goes down in Charmed history as the best of the best.
The complete series of Charmed is streaming on Netflix. The Charmed reboot premieres Oct. 14 at 9/8c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)