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Recap / Charmed S1E15 Is There A Woogy In The House?

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Season 01, Episode 15:

Is There A Woogy In The House?

An earthquake frees an evil shadow living under the Manor. The shadow possesses Phoebe, who starts exhibiting evil powers and then evicts her sisters.

An aftershock rattles the manor and knocks a portrait of Grams to one side; Phoebe sets it right. The sisters suspect a gas leak and call a repairman. Claire has talked Prue into holding a dinner party at the manor, which they can't do with a gas leak. The gasman arrives and enters the basement. Piper and Prue tease Phoebe about her childhood fear of the "woogyman". Meanwhile, the gasman discovers a crack in the basement floor and probes it with a screwdriver, a murky black fog emerges — the Woogyman. It tells the gasman that he has freed it and begins to pulsate and expand, surrounding and completely engulfing the gasman.

Later, the gas man enters the kitchen, looking expressionless and speaking in an oddly flat tone. He tells the sisters that the problem is bad but he will have it fixed by tonight. Back in the basement, the enslaved gasman turns to his shadow and asks it, "Which one do you want?" The shadow points and says, "Phoebe."

Professor Whittlesey meets Prue at Buckland's. She tells Prue that the original house was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and that the manor is built over a spiritual nexus.

Piper is in a wine shop when Prue calls, announcing that there is one more guest. She bumps into Josh, who has the store's last bottle of Clara Jensen '93 wine in his hand. She wants that bottle for herself, but he won't hand it over. She freezes him and plans to take the bottle, then thinks better of it.

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Phoebe finds the portrait of Grams crooked a second time. The gasman calls for help from the basement claiming to have sprained his ankle; Phoebe is frightened but starts to enter the basement. She touches a childhood picture of herself and her sisters, and has a vision of Grams banishing the Woogyman. The gasman calls again and Phoebe enters the basement. The gasman, unhurt after all, blocks her exit and the Woogyman enters Phoebe.

Piper enters the manor and finds Kit yowling and frantically running out the door. The gasman attacks Piper, who calls for Phoebe. Phoebe runs in. A baseball bat appears in her hands and she knocks the gasman out. They call 911. Andy and Darryl discover the gasman has a clean record. Phoebe is less than enthusiastic about her apparent new power, much to Piper and Prue's surprise; Phoebe had been craving an active power for some time. She also becomes unusually snappish, further worrying her sisters. The woogyman orders Phoebe to use her powers against her sisters.

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Electrical appliances and plumbing malfunction. The guests arrive but Piper has not finished cooking dinner due to the problems in her kitchen. One of the guests is Josh, and he has the bottle of wine. A strange-acting Phoebe greets them at the door. Phoebe and Prue present "duck medallions" to the guests, but the dish proves to be a live duck. As more strange malfunctions beset Piper, Phoebe conjures a knife and almost stabs Piper, but Josh enters just in time.

Phoebe instead gives Professor Whittlesey a tour of the house, leading her into the basement as Prue and Piper try to cut the evening short, offering dinner at Quake on the house. The professor returns, acting as strangely as Phoebe. As the guests leave, Phoebe tells Prue and Piper they don't live there anymore—but that "he" does. Prue tries to get back in, but is repelled. She then closes the door in their faces with a flick of her hand. Piper and Prue sleep outside. Piper tries to throw a brick through the window and it too is repelled. Phoebe sets fire to the portrait of Grams.

Piper and Prue find Professor Whittlesey being arrested. Josh says that the professor was in the middle of a lecture when she attacked him without warning. Josh tells the two sisters about spiritual nexuses; they are equidistant from the five elements, water, fire, wood, metal and earth. The two find that the manor is equidistant from the bay (water), the natural hot springs (fire), a Kenwood Park, named after the trees that once grew there (wood), Twin Peaks (earth) and a place where they panned for gold as kids (metal). When they connect the dots, they discover that the manor was built in the center of a pentagram—apparently it's in the middle of a Wiccan nexus as well as a spiritual one. Prue and Piper think that their family built the manor on that spot to reclaim the spot for good—and evil is trying to take it back.

Andy enters the manor and Phoebe leads him into the basement. Darryl is across the street breaking up a fight, started by a man who had been in the Halliwell manor. Piper and Prue see Andy coming out of the manor and Piper freezes him, as this was a moment when the manor would let them pass. When they come in, they see Phoebe is frozen as well—meaning she has somehow been turned evil. Prue and Piper begin to suspect the Woogyman and remember the story that Grams had told about it. Andy walks up behind Darryl with his gun drawn, but Darryl subdues him.

Prue and Piper search the Book of Shadows, to no avail. Just then, Phoebe enters, throws Piper out of the attic and conjures a huge razor. Prue tries to talk her down, in vain. Prue flings Phoebe back and she and Piper run. They cannot pass the door, however.

Phoebe calls for help from the basement. The other sisters suspect a trap, but Prue develops a plan to get Grams's story out of Phoebe. Piper remembers something about a shadow in the story. The two enter the basement, a flashlight in Prue's hand. The Woogyman appears. Phoebe appears at the top of the stairs and conjures a knife. As it tries to possess Prue and Piper, they beg her to remember the story. Phoebe has her vision of Grams and at last remembers the spell. She banishes the woogyman and now the damage to the house is restored, including the portrait of Grams.

Piper meets Josh at his office. He is now covering Professor Wittlesey's classes until she can face the board for her behavior. He offers her a bottle of Clara Jensen '93 wine. Andy is suspended for two weeks.

Phoebe adds for the first time to the book, telling how to banish the Woogyman.


Tropes

  • Adult Fear: Phoebe was left terrified for life when at age five she witnessed Grams banishing a demon.
  • Batter Up!: Phoebe gets a new power and conjures up a baseball bat to rescue Piper from the possessed plumber.
  • Brick Joke: The duck that Phoebe conjures at dinner interrupts a bit between Prue and Claire five minutes later.
  • Butt-Monkey: Piper suffers repeated indignities while trying to throw together dinner.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The premonition Phoebe receives of Grams when she touches the photo beside the basement door. She touches it again in the climax, which gives her the same premonition, and helps her fight the Shadow's influence.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Beth's talk about the spiritual nexus of the house becomes important to the Halliwell mythology.
  • Demonic Possession: Phoebe gets possessed by the Shadow.
  • Eldritch Abomination: At the time the Woogy was one of the most alien villains on Charmed. It's an entity of pure evil that can possess anyone and take control of the house. Phoebe is very easily possessed by it, and it gives her new powers. It's also immune to both Piper's freezing and Prue's telekinesis. At first it can only be banished rather than vanquished.
  • Elements of Nature: Prue and Piper figure out that the Manor is located on a spiritual Nexus by noticing that it is equidistant from five elements: water, fire, wood, metal and earth.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Shadow has a deep pitched down voice.
  • Freudian Excuse: Phoebe twice.
    • She is afraid to go into the basement because of her childhood fear. It's revealed she walked in on Grams banishing the Shadow.
    • The manor was built on a battleground between good and evil. Phoebe was born in the house, which gives her a stronger connection to the place and is suggested to be why she could be turned.
  • Hate Plague: Once in control of Phoebe, the Shadow proceeds to do this to mortals that enter the basement. Everyone is overcome with the urge to commit violence and can't account for their actions when they're snapped out of it.
  • Idiot Ball: Grams knew of the possibility of the Shadow getting out again, but rather than write the spell in the Book of Shadows (as Phoebe does at the end of the episode), she simply told the sisters it as a bedtime story. This, of course, prevents the sisters from having an easy out, but it looks bad since Prue and Piper waste time checking the book and can barely remember what they were told as children.
  • Innocuously Important Episode
    • Phoebe will be struggling with her dark side for years to come. A later episode even reveals a past life that was good but turned bad.
    • The idea that Halliwell witches born in the manor are more prone to becoming evil due to their stronger connection to the nexus implicitly returns in a big way with Piper's first child.
  • Irony: Phoebe faces her fears and goes down into the basement to help the repairman...and gets possessed because she walked into a trap.
  • Lady in Red: Phoebe adopts a red dress for the dinner party after she's been possessed by the Shadow.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Piper gets zapped:
    Piper: F...lour.
  • Oh, Crap!: Prue when she sees Phoebe frozen by Piper's power.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Phoebe turns the dinner back into a live duck, Prue covers up by laughing and pretending it was a magic trick.
  • Status Quo Is God: Subverted. When the Shadow is banished, despite everyone being freed from its influence, their actions aren't erased. So Beth is going to be under psych evaluation for a while, and Andy has been suspended for two weeks.
  • Troll: The Shadow appears to mess up the dinner party just to drive the sisters crazy.
  • Villain Ball: Averted. Evil!Phoebe is affected by Piper's freezing power, so she throws her out of the attic and locks the door before facing Prue.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Inverted at first, as Phoebe is the one most vulnerable to being possessed by the Shadow. But it's ultimately played straight in the climax, when she banishes the demon.
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