Given how absolutely ridiculous and absurd ‘I Dream of Phoebe’ is, it’s bizarre that it’s one of the strongest episodes in a while, at least by season 6’s standards. There’re a number of plot holes that take some effort to overlook, but once you get past it, there’s a lot to like. Though I wasn’t a fan of a genie being season finale material back in season two, I did like the idea of it being a bit of mid-season bit of fun, and it’s nice that one of the show’s attempts to recreate a past storyline actually resulted in some decent material.
All of the silliness here is given the appropriate amount of attention, and though certain attempts to address stupidity in past episodes don’t necessarily excuse the episode’s faults, it works in this instance. From Piper’s hilarious reaction to Phoebe’s costume, to the transformation of Ginny the Genie into a bitchy-antagonistic hag, it was all so over-the-top, but fit in well with the episode’s vibe. I even dug the magic carpet in a weird way.
But since it’s season six, and going along with preconceived magical facts is too much effort, there’s a considerable amount of rules being altered to suit this episode’s events. Whether it was Chris being able to control Phoebe, Leo healing Piper accidentally, or Phoebe and Paige not dying instantly, it’s all a little lazy, but the zaniness of the episode seems to make up for such short-comings, at least momentarily.
Elsewhere, Paige continues to struggle to control Richard. I mentioned a few reviews ago that there was a decent opportunity to pull Richard down the magical-overload path, and turn him into a cautionary tale for over-reliance on the dark arts, maybe even turning him into some sort of villain, Rosenberg style. Even though they over looked such plot, I did appreciate his low-key exit, and the reasoning behind his break-up with Paige; she will bring the one thing into his life that he can’t live with anymore. It also ends the useless separation storyline that’s been largely ignored for the past few weeks. Hurrah!
I Dream of Phoebe is an example of the show actually working with its lighter atmosphere that was established last season. It’s one of only a handful of such episodes, but it’s a relief to see that this season doesn’t entirely suck.