Lame, contrived cowboy ep, reminding me of when Trek went Wild West. (Which Trek really doesn't matter, does it?)
Plot: Incomprehensible visit to a ghost town--I think Phoebe's dad wanted to develop it or something--leads to a sympathetic bond between Phoebe and an Indian who is doomed to die, but is meanwhile stuck in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over, courtesy of a curse that his tribal elders cast, for no reason they ever bother to explain.
Yeah. We've all seen that one before.
Nadir: We get a close birds-eye-view shot as the camera angles down on the doors of an abandoned church--they swing open in slo-mo, and out strides our sacrificial, long-haired, noble Indian lad, arms gently oustretched like Jesus as white doves break and flutter around him. Sounds pretty, you say? I swear to god, it was like seeing Mrs. Betty Ann Furness trying to replicate the Mona Lisa in macaroni. The pain just goes on and on....
Coleisms: Cole in cowboy wear, with a crotch-framing set of chaps designed so that no one over the age of puberty could miss the bulls-eye on his basket. Cole unshouldering a shotgun with due speed and getting the bad-ass drop on his opponent. Facing off with Prue in a gob-smacking shot where they've deliberately--oh so deliberately--framed McMahon in silhoutte so that the thick, heavy, stiff, loose end of his belt looks like an erect prick. (They lingered on that one. And then returned to it, just in case you missed it the first time. And somehow I don't think they told Doherty what they were doing.) Cole fireballing a demon and then laughing his ass off in delight, only to turn around and drop face with an oh-shit wince as he realizes Prue caught him.
Surprise: The last minute and a half, which would have made Spuffyites green and ga-ga with jealousy. The adventure is over: sisters, dad, and Leo are heading into the dining room for dinner. Cole awkwardly makes noises about going. Prue says coldly, "That'd be a good idea." En masse snub as they all filter out. But as he's about to leave, Phoebe makes a complete 180 from her earlier rejection of him (after confessing her love for him, in his absence, as she thought she was dying), melts into a huge, happy smile for her demon lover and says softly: "No. You're not going anywhere. You're staying right here." Kisses him for a long, sizzling moment, then gently leads him into dinner as he gazes at her, pulled along with moon-struck awe.
Sounds pretty, you say? Well, yeah, but it would have been prettier had it been Spike and Buffy. Sigh. Still, Julian McMahon is a stubbly, hunky demon man. An ersatz, cheez-flavored JM. I'm not sure he's worth the torture I'm inflicting on myself--and oh, believe you me, it is torture of the most repellent kind--but I guess I'll hang on for a while longer.
Lamest Attempt at Being Arty: Aside from the Noble Indian Sacrifice, we had gratuitous use of a black crow in an attempt to be symbolic and shit. I think the moral was that crows are eerie and dangerous and can curse you with time loops. Beware.
TWoP Quote: I wonder what the Native American term for "Groundhog Day" is.