Alright. These are my top ten best episodes. Not to be confused with my top 10 favorites list , mind you, which is moderately different. These are the ones that I think rise above mainly from an overall production stand point
10. Charmed and Dangerous
A high stakes episode that never lets up. (Even some of the best episodes have lulls.) Cool effects like the explode/freeze one. Love the scenes between Piper and Leo after he’s shot by the arrow. I’ve cooled a bit on this one over the years but it’s still a good episode on rewatch.
09. Déjà vu All Over Again
Just a well done finale all around. Checks off some of your typical finale boxes (the good guys eliminate a threat, character dies, etc) but done in a way that is satisfying and engaging. And this can’t be said enough, Prue’s vanquish of Rodriguez is so bad ass and I love it every time.
08. Chick Flick
Simply put, a great comedic episode. This is what can happen in a lighter episode with great cast chemistry with everyone playing off of one another. And some of the lines are great: (“Hello? Privacy!” “Hello? Ax Murderer!”) Even the B plot has some moments (Don’t mind me. I’m just wandering through your house.”).
07. Extreme Makeover/Charmageddon
Not necessarily a high bar for this series but for my money it’s by far the best two parter they pulled off. Good payoff to the Avatar arc and the effects, writing, and just overall production really stand above a lot of things they did over the course of the series.
06. Power Outage
It’s not flashy but this one is low key great. The entire episode revolves around the Halliwell’s relationship as sisters. The irritations and passive aggression, the giant fight, the remorse, the reconciliation. Also, love the Cole/Phoebe date (they’re so natural with each other and they do work well together). In all honesty, the ladies probably get their powers back a little too easily but the rest of the episode is so good I’ll allow it.
05. Sense and Sense Ability
I’m almost at a loss to describe how entertaining the hijinks in this episode are. I could almost do a top ten comedic moments/lines from this episode alone. And I think Alyssa Milano is a better dramatic actress than she got credit for but her time to shine really was doing stuff like this.
04. Long Live the Queen
Never a personal favorite but it belongs here as a satisfying conclusion to a long arc and has a number of really great moments. (Drunk Piper, Paige being awesome, Cole faking out the ladies and killing the innocent). And soup to nuts the final act is extremely well acted and produced.
03. Sin Francisco
I think the show was usually better with lighter episodes because you had this charismatic cast who, when at their best, just looked like they were enjoying themselves and that makes you as the viewer just go along with it. Sin Francisco might be the peak of that. There are so many great interactions with Prue acting as the straight man due to her pride and calling everyone out on how absurd they are. There’s too much for me to transcribe all here but it’s just fun moment after fun moment.
02. All Hell Breaks Loose
There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said. The above ground stuff is stellar. The tension at the house, Piper getting shot, Piper dying, “The End”, HMC’s acting, SD’s direction etc. I want to make this my number one but unfortunately the underworld stuff can’t be completely discounted. Having said that, it still features two of my personal top 3 all series moments and still gives me chills after all these years.
01. Morality Bites
Pound for pound, I’d give the a slight edge to this one over AHBL. The highs aren’t quite as high, but it’s a consistently better episode throughout. It’s not a funny episode but there are definitely moments of levity, it’s sad, it’s a little haunting (she burns alive, people!), and all three leads bring it. It’s an honest to goodness really good hour of television.