The Witch Is Back is the 9th episode of the first season and the 9th overall episode of Charmed.


For a complete plot of The Witch is Back, go here.
To read the full script of The Witch is Back, go here.

Prue is attacked by a powerful 300-year warlock who is furious about having been trapped in a locket by an ancestor of the Halliwell sisters. The vengeful warlock can copy others' powers and The Charmed Ones must stop him.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]



Magical Notes[]

Book of Shadows[]

Melinda Warren's Warlock Curse[]

This Warlock Curse was created by Melinda Warren to trap Matthew Tate into her locket. It is believed that only Melinda herself is able to perform the curse.

(To Curse Matthew Tate into Melinda's locket)

Ingredients needed:
assorted herbs,
a Spotted Owl Feather,
a leather bag
and a locket.
Combine the herbs and make it into a fine powder.
Put the powder into the leather bag and add the owl feather.
Put the bag into fire and let it burn while chanting the spell
and holding the locket open, pointed to the to-be-cursed warlock
Outside of Time!
Outside of Gain!
Know only Sorrow!
Know only Pain!

The ritual from the Book of Shadows (unseen on this episode)

To Call Blood to Blood[]


The scan of the page from the Book of Shadows

The To Call Blood to Blood ritual was cast by The Charmed Ones to summon their ancestor Melinda Warren, to help them defeat a Matthew Tate powerful, ancient warlock].

(To Summon Melinda Warren from the dead)

3 sprigs Rosemary for remembrance
2 tablespoons chopped Ground Holly
for spirit calling
A pinch of Cypress for longevity
1 shredded Yarrow Root
for contacting relatives
Let the herbs be prepared while the name of
the love one is repeated by the preparer.
Place the herbs in a silver bowl.
Lay in a treasure of the loved one,
should one be available.
With a knife, prick the left finger,
so the blood will flow straight from the heart.
Add the blood to the bowl, calling the name
of the loved one and saying, "Blood of our
blood, we summon thee." The loved one
will be summoned in full wholeness and
freshness of life.

Reversal Spell[]

Say the name of the ancestor, followed by:
"Blood of our blood, we release you."


  • Telekinesis: Used by Prue against Matthew Tate several times, to throw a chair twice, to activate an airbag. Used by Matthew multiple times.
  • Molecular Immobilization: Used by Piper to freeze ice tea falling on Leo and later freeze Matthew.
  • Premonition: Used by Phoebe to see Melinda curse Matthew and to see Matthew attacking Melinda, Matthew to see his demise and by Melinda Warren to see the future generations of her daughters.
  • Power Mimicry: Used by Matthew to gain Prue's telekinesis, Phoebe's premonition and Piper's molecular immobilization (though he never gets the chance to use the latter).
  • Blinking: Teleportation method used by Matthew.


Notes and Trivia[]

  • This is the first time Phoebe sees a vision of the past, which is a power advancement, the first for the sisters that didn't occur under the influence of evil magic.
  • This is the first episode of many to have the word 'witch' in the title.
  • Phoebe makes a joke that she believed her future power was the power of flight. She does temporarily develop the power to fly in the season 2 finale Be Careful What You Witch For. Later in the season 3 premiere The Honeymoon's Over, she develops the power of levitation.
  • Upon being summoned to the present, Melinda's first words to the Charmed Ones were "Blessed be!", a traditional Wiccan greeting.
  • Melinda Warren assumes that Matthew must have copied the power of Blinking from another witch, although it is later established that Blinking is a Warlock power. However it is also believed that Blinking was originally a Witch power and that it evolved to be a Warlock power.
  • The photos that Rex Buckland gives Matthew will be used again in Deja Vu All Over Again and again in Something Wicca This Way Goes...?. Prue's photo doesn't appear because Shannen didn't want her face shown on the show after she left.
  • Even though Phoebe's power is passive, Matthew was still able to obtain a premonition when he touched Phoebe, causing her to have a vision and allowing him to obtain it.
  • Melinda did not use her powers to escape her execution in order to protect her daughter from the same fate.
  • Prue shares her name with Melinda's daughter, Prudence Warren.
  • Before Melinda departs, Phoebe triggers a premonition in her, allowing her to see a future of "many more generations of my beautiful daughters". Phoebe is later revealed to be the only sister who only has daughters, although Paige also only gives birth to girls. Prue never had children, Piper has two boys and a girl, while Paige also adopts a boy.
  • Phoebe and Piper say they'll miss Melinda, and Prue says that they can always bring her back, but they have never done so in future episodes. Melinda makes an appearance in one episode of season 3 as a baby and in season 9, when Patty and Penny summon her and all the Warren Witches to help The Charmed Ones defeat Neena.
  • This episode starts the trend of an element of the past coming back before the New Year, which happens next in Season 2 (P3 H2O), 3 (Coyote Piper), and 5 (Sam, I Am). Seasons 4 (A Paige from the Past) and 6 (Witchstock) both have episodes about the past as the first episodes of the New Year.
  • This is Tyler Layton's last TV role.
  • This episode scored six million viewers.
  • This is the first episode making mention of the Source, though not by name.

Cultural References[]

  • When Leo and Melinda meet, he says: "I am a true labourer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear." Melinda replies: "Owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness." This is a quote of Corin in the play "As You Like It", by William Shakespeare in Act III, Scene II.
  • The title of this episode is The Witch Is Back. This is a reference to the Elton John's song "The Bitch Is Back".

Continuity Errors[]

  • In the beginning when Prue lets Matthew out of the locket, her hand keeps moving from her side to her stomach. In shots from behind, her hand is at her side; in shots from the front, her hand is on her abdomen.
  • When Matthew is cursed back into the locket at the end of the episode, the sisters' heads move at the wrong time whilst he is being sucked to the locket.
  • Matthew broke Prue's window, but in the over head shots the glass wasn't there.
  • At the end of the episode when the girls are saying goodbye to Melinda, Phoebe is shown saying "Why can't you stay here and have the life that you should have haved" when really she should have said "should have had".
  • We see Melinda Warren imprisoned in Salem in 1692, however, in the pilot episode Something Wicca This Way Comes the date listed in the front of the Book of Shadows is 1693. Assuming that she was never released from prison and did not create the book while in prison one of these dates is a glitch.


  • In The Air Tonight by Holly McNarland.
  • Around Here by Counting Crows.


Episode Stills[]


Prue: Who are you?
Matthew: Matthew Tate, and if you freed me from that locket you are a descendant of Melinda Warren. (He walks closer to her and she throws him across the room.) Thank you.
Prue: For what?
Matthew: I tricked you into using your power on me. Now, I have it. (He slams her against the wall with a chair. He then blinks, she runs in the middle of the room and he reappears behind her.) Behind you, witch.
Prue: How did you do that?
Matthew: I can share your power but you can't share mine.

Phoebe: You've never asked a guy out before?
Piper: Not on a real date, no.
Phoebe: I don't understand. Am I the only person in this family who's inherited the take-a-chance gene?
Piper: Probably. ‘Cause if I remember my biology correctly, it's attached to the can't-mind-my-own-business gene.
Phoebe: Ooh! Go.

Prue: Great, so now I'm being hunted by a warlock and the San Francisco P.D.
Phoebe: Nobody ever said you led a boring life, Prue.
Piper: Maybe Andy can help.
Prue: Oh, yeah. You want to have that conversation with him? "Hey Andy, I hate to bother you but this seventeenth century warlock is trying to kill me and my sisters." Any thoughts?
Piper: Okay, it was a bad idea. But the point is we need help.

Piper: Oh, wow, Melinda, you look great.
Melinda: Thank you. Oh, but how do you keep your legs warm?
Prue: We drink coffee.

Melinda: To work with one's hands is a great gift.
Leo: Well, I am a true labourer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear.
Melinda: Owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness.
Leo & Melinda: Shakespeare.
(Melinda giggles.)
Prue: Wasn't that fun? Okay, let's go now.
(They walk out of the room and Leo walks in.)
Melinda: (to Piper) He is a treasure, Piper.
Piper: Why you telling me?

Matthew: They returned Melinda Warren back from the dead to do it.
Hannah: They did what?!

Piper: Leo! You're here! Why are you here?
Leo: I thought I could work on the plumbing in the downstairs bathroom.

International Titles[]

  • French: La sorcière de Salem (The Witch of Salem)
  • Finnish: Vieras menneisyydestä (A Visitor From the Past)
  • Polish: Czarownica wróciła (The Witch Came Back)
  • Czech: Návrat čarodějky (Return of the Witch)
  • Slovak: Bosorkin návrat (Witch's Return)
  • Italian: Il ciondolo antico (The Old Pendant)
  • Spanish (Spain): La bruja ha vuelto (The Witch is Back)
  • Spanish (Latin America): El regreso de la abuela (The Return of the Grandmother)
  • Hungarian: Az ük-ük-ük-üknagyanyánk (Our Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother)
  • Portuguese (Portugal): O Feiticeiro Voltou (The Warlock Came Back)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): A Bruxa Voltou (The Witch Came Back)
  • Russian: Возвращение ведьмы [Vozvraščenie ved′my] (Return of the Witch)
  • Russian: Ведьма вернулась [Ved′ma vernulas′] (The Witch Has Returned)
  • Finnish: Vieras menneisyydestä (Visitor from the Past)
  • German: Rückkehr aus dem Jenseits (Return from the Afterlife)
  • Serbian: Veštica se vratila (The Witch Came Back)
Previous Episode:
The Truth Is Out There And It Hurts
Next Episode:
Wicca Envy
Episodes: Season 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8
Comics: 9 - 10