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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Charmed - The Complete Fifth Season
Charmed - The Complete Fifth Season
Paramount // Unrated // June 6, 2006
List Price: $49.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted June 2, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Fifth Season

Charmed is a television series about the three Halliwell sisters, who in their mid-twenties discovered they are witches with magical powers. As an added bonus, they find out that they are good witches and they are supposed to use their powers only for noble altruistic acts. And in no case should they use it for personal gain (which they have tried to on a few occasions in past seasons and there are always important lessons and repercussions to be learned). In the first season, we learn that they are a staple against evil, and highly covenanted by dark forces. Their powers hold great potential for evil warlocks and demons. The sisters for the first three season were made up of Prue (Shannen Doherty), the older sister with the ability to move physical matter with her mind, Piper (Holly Marie Combs), the middle child with the ability to freeze time within a confined space, and finally the youngest sister Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), who has the power of second sight--she can see past, present, future by coming into contact with an object or a person. And in season four, a new cast member Rose McGowan as Paige replaced Doherty. For more details about this series and its characters, please refer to my reviews of season one, season two, season three, and season four.

Like season four, I found season five to be a lot of fun. However I enjoyed season four a lot more because of the story arcs revolving around the source, Phoebe's twisted relationship with Cole, and Paige coming into her own were a lot more intriguing. Still season five packed a punch with some action, drama, and plenty of stories to drawn you in wanting more. This season is notable because it features some big changes for the series. This is the final season for Cole Turner, a new character Chris is introduced, Piper and Leo's baby is born, and Leo finds himself with a new role in the ordering of things.

In the first half of season five one of the major story arcs deals with Phoebe and Cole's relationship. In the past season, Cole became the source of all evil and made Phoebe his evil queen. The sisters were able to vanquish him in the end, but his love for Phoebe eventually brought him back into the real world. When Cole returned, he came with unspeakable powers which he used to manipulate Phoebe and those around her into getting her back. In the end, his obsession to win Phoebe back is his demise. The story is intriguing, but not nearly as strong as when Cole was turning into the source. I always liked this character and was sorry to see him go. There was also an interesting side story with Cole ascending into a higher power, which could have made a very exciting story if covered in more detail.

Another fairly big story arc in the early portion of the season is Piper and Leo's holy pregnancy. Their unborn baby is a source of utter power with magic the world has never seen before. As the baby grows inside of Piper, her powers get stronger and stronger. Eventually he is born and becomes the center of attention for many demons who want the baby's power. Throughout the season it is hinted at that the baby is very important to the overall battle of good and evil. The pregnancy is also interesting for the characters because Piper's condition require Paige to take a more active role in the demon hunting. Paige even quits her job (after getting promoted to a full fledged social worker) to pick up the slack for Piper. Eventually, the two butt heads because they both want to take point as the lead witch. Some other interesting things happen in this season, which includes Darryl getting promoted to lieutenant, Phoebe's job as an advice columnist really start to bloom and take her places, some interesting details about Grams' past love life are revealed, Paige is given her first charge as a whitelighter, and Phoebe dates her new boss Jason.

For individual episodes, there are plenty to keep you intrigued. The season premiere episode "A Witch's Tail" guest stars Jamie Pressly as a mermaid looking for love. Pressly makes a deal with a sea hag to give her immortality to the hag in return for making her human to find a soul mate above ground. Of course the sea hag has an alternative agenda that is messed up when the sisters get involved. And things start to really go wrong when Phoebe turns into a mermaid herself. "Witches in Tights" is a somewhat goofy story. In this episode the girls meet a young boy who has the ability to make his drawings come to life. A demon forces him to use his superhero to kill and Elder, but the Charmed Ones get in the way when the boy uses his gift to turn them into super heroines. Hence the title since super heroes are renowned for their spandex like outfits. "Y Tu Mummy Tambien" guest stars Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series). I was glad to see Paul, but disappointed to see him as a bad guy. He played Jeric, a demon who is looking to find a host body for his love Isis. Think about The Mummy.

"Centennial Charmed" is a somewhat sad episode for those who like Cole Turner. It is his final appearance in the series. "The Day The Magic Died" is when Piper and Leo's baby Wyatt is born. In this episode, the witches find themselves in the unimaginable. A group of demons and warlocks want to have a peace summit with the Charmed Ones after magic disappears from both sides lose their magic. "Sense And Sense Ability" is an episode where the Charmed Ones fall victim to speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil. An old crone looking to steal baby Wyatt uses a magical monkey to cause Piper lose her sight, Phoebe her hearing, and Paige her voice. Without their basic senses, they have o adapt and overcome the crone's attacks to disoriented them and steal the baby. This is a somewhat interesting episode because they have to rely on very different techniques to save their butts.

The two-part season finale "On My Goddess!" introduces a lot of changes for the cast and a lot of drama to keep you wanting to see what happens in season six. In the early portion of the episode, the Titans Chronos, Demetrius, and Meta are freed from an icy prison the Elders confined them in. Wanting revenge the Titans intend to wage war against the heavens and bring total destruction and pain to the world by removing all the "good". As former Gods, they hold powers unrivaled by anyone. Chronos and Demetrius start their reign of terror by killing most of the Elders. Meanwhile a new character, Chris Perry (Drew Fuller), enters the show (for the finale and season six). He is a whitelighter who traveled back in time to help the Charmed Ones shape a future where the Titans did not control the heavens.

Chris advises Leo to take control of the heavens and grant the sisters with the powers of the Gods. Piper is turned into the Goddess of Earth, Phoebe into the Goddess of Love, and Paige into the Goddess of War. With Chris's aid (and without Leo) the girls must use their new powers as Gods to destroy the Titans. What really makes this episode so intriguing is not the story so much, but the ramifications the events bring to the series in general. Leo is promoted from a whitelighter to an Elder, which dramatically changes his relationship with Piper. The addition of Chris gives the series a subtle level of interest, because he is a mysterious guy you aren't exactly sure if you are supposed to like or dislike.

Overall I didn't feel the same momentum with the storylines in season five as I did with season four, but it was still quite exciting. What I did like about season five was how the storylines were still fairly inventive and entertaining. There were several story arcs that proved to be gripping and the way season five ended left me wanting more. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the various changes for the cast turn out in season five. In the end, fans of the series should appreciate another season of Charmed on DVD.

Episode Guide
1. A Witch's Tail Part 1
2. A Witch's Tail Part 2
3. Happily Ever After
4. Siren Song
5. Witches in Tights
6. The Eyes Have It
7. Sympathy For The Demon
8. A Witch In Time
9. Sam, I Am
10. Y Tu Mummy Tambien
11. The Importance Of Being Phoebev 12. Centennial Charmed
13. House Call
14. Sand Francisco Dreamin'
15. The Day The Magic Died
16. Baby's First Demon
17. Lucky Charmed
18. Cat House
19. Nymphs Just Want To Have Fun
20. Sense And Sense Ability
21. Necromancing The Stone
22. Oh My Goddess! Part 1
23. Oh My Goddess! Part 2

The DVD

Video:
This DVD release is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality is viewable. Most viewers will not be troubled with the quality, but some may notice that it has its faults. The image has a noticeable grain that is really noticeable during dark scenes. There are also a few occurrences of compression artifacts in the picture.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is in English and French 2.0 Dolby digital stereo. The audio in this release comes off fairly flat. However as with most TV on DVD releases it's not necessarily bad, as the majority of the audio is spoken dialogue. The sound quality is good, providing an audible and clean audio track. Music comes off fairly rich and sound effects tend to take advantage of the right and left channels. This release comes equipped with closed captioning.

Extras:
There are no extras included with this DVD release.

Final Thoughts:
Charmed is a television series I started to get into with season three. Since, I have found the show to be a lot of fun with lots of drama, action, and science fiction. Season five presents viewers with a lot of changes for the cast and several intricate story arcs to keep you glued to your seat. While not as strong as season four, there is still enough content to keep you wanting more. This season set comes recommended.

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