|Phoebe Halliwell's Past Life|
|Cause of Death||
|Magical Attributes and Characteristics|
Pearl Russell, simply referred to as P. Russell was Phoebe Halliwell's Past Life. She was born on July 2nd, 1894 and was vanquished on February 17th, 1924. Pearl was the daughter of Philippa Warren and Gordon Russell, a niece of Brianna Warren & Charlotte Warren, and a powerful Warren witch with the power of Flame Throwing. Under the influence of her warlock lover, Anton, Pearl chose to use her powers for evil and was convinced to kill her cousins - Priscilla Baxter and Phoebe Bowen - to steal their powers. Their plan failed, and she was cursed and killed by strangulation. She was one of the Charmed Ones' "great-aunts" (actually their first cousin-thrice removed).
Pearl's main power was the power of Pyrokinesis. Strangely, Pyrokinesis is not one of the traditional powers of the Warren family, but neither was Phoebe Bowen's power of Cryokinesis. Leo described the power of flame-throwing as an upper-level demonic ability, however, many good witches such as Serena Fredrick and Aviva had the power to generate flames. It is possible that this and other powers such as those of Cryokinesis, Pyrokinesis, Levitation, and Shielding have trickled down the Warren line through evolution of other powers, spells, or otherwise.
Forename[edit | edit source]
We know from episode 1x17 "That 70's Episode" that Patty Halliwell, mother of the Charmed Ones, named Phoebe after her favorite "aunt". P. Russell (Past-Phoebe) couldn't have been around the time Patty was born, since she had already been killed by her cousins, leaving either P. Baxter or P. Bowen as the favorite "Aunt Phoebe". We know, however, that Patty's grandmother is P. Baxter (Past-Piper) and she was the only one of the cousins who has a child (Penny/Grams) who in turn had Patty. She would hence have referred to Baxter as Grandma and Bowen as "Aunt" short for "Great Aunt", which would be her given title in relation to Patty (although actually her first cousin-twice removed). Hence P. Bowen's forename must've been Phoebe and hence P. Russell must have been Pearl, since she is the only possible "aunt", great or otherwise, who's name began with a "P".
Of course some may claim that an argument against P. Russell being "Aunt Pearl" lies in her evil nature. Why would P. Bowen or P. Baxter keep anything of hers in the Manor after the ordeal of killing their cousin? Conversely, she was only a cousin and so they probably weren't very close. And besides, why would they throw out a perfectly good couch? Especially being the practical, calculating and (in Bowen's case) cold (yet good) witches that they were.
Therefore, with all arguments considered, P. Russell's forename must have definitely been Pearl and P. Bowen's was Phoebe.
Powers & Abilities[edit | edit source]
P. Russell had only one known power, the power of pyrokinesis. However, the only times she was seen using it is after the power was tripled through the use of a potion made by the warlock Anton, who gave her the potion in order to make her strong enough to fight P. Bowen's power of Cryokinesis. It is unknown whether this enhanced pyrokinetic ability was her original power, or if she possessed a lesser fire-based ability like thermokinesis or fireball throwing that evolved into pyrokinesis after drinking Anton's potion.
Russell also had a crystal ball at her worktop desk which she probably used for fortunetelling. However, crystal gazing is something which requires a magical power in order to see the future through it, which implies that she could have shared the power of premonition with her future self, or, like mentioned above, she had the power of divination through crystal gazing as an evolution of Premonition, thanks to her not being a direct decendant of Melinda Warren.
Lastly, she also possessed the basic powers of all magical witches. She operated a "witch for hire" service for the patrons of the speakeasy Priscilla ran in the manor. She seemed to be a fairly gifted potion maker and spellwriter, as Phoebe is in the present. Unlike in modern times, the use of magic did not seem to be hidden at all, at least to those who frequented the speakeasy. Though as magic has always been protected from exposure, it is possible that the manor doubled as a getaway for witches.
She also had a powerful protection amulet that made her immune to the powers of other witches. Whenever another person is in contact with her, the protection extends to that person as well.
The Vanquishing Spell[edit | edit source]
Bowen and Baxter thought that Anton and Pearl were soulmates, and would be too much for their descendants to handle if they ever got together again in the future. With this in mind, they placed a powerful curse on Pearl's soul, one that would kill an evil witch in her present and all her future lives at the same age each time.
- Evil witch in my sight
- Vanquish thyself
- Vanquish thy might
- In this and every future life.
Phoebe nearly died due to this curse, and was only saved by the amulet Anton originally gave Pearl.
It is unknown, however, whether or not Phoebe's loophole around the curse broke it altogether for her and her future lives, or if it could still potentially endanger or become a problem for her in the future.
Life Force Switching Spell[edit | edit source]
To switch Life Forces with Pearl Russell, Phoebe recited a make-shift spell causing her Life Force to swap with that of Pearl's. The spell created read thus:
- In this time and in the place,
- Take the spirit I displace.
- Bring it forth, while I go back
- To inhabit a soul so black.
To Reverse Life Force Spell[edit | edit source]
To travel back to her own body, Phoebe recited this make-shift spell:
- In this time and in this place,
- Take the spirit I displaced.
- Bring me forth, while she goes back
- To her soul so black.
True Nature[edit | edit source]
P. Russell's true nature is questionable and definitely up for debate. Phoebe said that when she was inside P. Russell's body, she knew that P. Russell was evil--as she put it, "I was bad. Very, very bad."
However, possibly living in Halliwell Manor with her cousins and seen with the Book of Shadows upon her workspace next to a Crystal Ball makes one wonder was she truly evil. Was the Good within her overshadowed by Anton's influence? Was the potion he gave her more than an elixir to triple her powers, if all that was wanted were the cousins' powers why not use a potion to disempower them? Ultimately, it is said the Book of Shadows is protected from evil beings and has always been possessed by Good witches. If Pearl was able to use the Book, touch it, etc it must have recognized there was some good in her. Did Bowen and Baxter allow her to use the Book or was she the owner of the Book at that time? Since she was killed this is something we will never know.
Cole said there's no such thing as evil love, only gratification. Anton knew the cousins were bonded through blood and powers; was he truly in love with Pearl or was she a victim of a more devious plan to have her kill her cousins leaving her vulnerable to evil threats, like himself? Ultimately, was she doomed either way? If she killed her cousins, was she next on Anton's list? In the end it was either kill or be killed, by her sisters or by Anton. Anton was Immortal and so a very high level warlock. Russell may have anticipated that she'd have an easier time killing Anton than her cousins and combined with her love for him killing her cousins was the only choice. As seen in the present time, Anton heard Phoebe reciting the spell to return to the present time to her own body and parted hands with Russell, in a way trying to save himself.
As seen in Pardon My Past, there was still good within her as she was reluctant to attack her cousins, hesitating to drink the potion to triple her powers; the fear in her eyes was visible. They talk and she questions the plan but of course he manipulates her:
- Anton: Feels good to be bad, doesn’t it?
- P. Russell: Sometimes.
- Anton: Second thoughts?
- P. Russell: They’re my cousins, Anton.
- Anton: They’re good witches, my love, which is why I gave you this amulet to wear. (He points to the necklace.) It protects you from their witchcraft so they can never harm you. (She looks like she’s think about not doing it.) Hey, killing them is the only way for me to get their powers, and once I have them…together…we will be unstoppable. (They kiss passionately.) First thing’s first. Are you ready? (She nods.) Good. Now remember, wait until after I lure your cousin away from her piano man before you make your move.
It can be argued that at some point, P. Russell completely gave in to evil--presumably when P. Bowen's first attempt to freeze her to death had no effect on her. She seemed to be overjoyed that her cousins were powerless against her. Further supporting this view is the fact she had no qualms about attacking her great-nieces in the future.
Ultimately, as a member of the Warren line, P. Russell was born a good witch; it's just she was swayed to use her powers for evil. This is reflective of her future self Phoebe who was tempted several times by the lure of the darkside, however unlike Phoebe, P. Russell didn't have a familial bond or anyone to help her fight the lure of Anton. As a Warren, P. Russell would always be a witch, just one who made the mistake of using her powers for evil.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- While Pearl is the oldest of three cousins, Phoebe is the youngest of three sisters.
- Pearl's relationship with Anton can be seen as a precursor to Phoebe's later relationship with Cole Turner. The only difference is that after becoming The Source, Cole was never able to turn Phoebe completely evil.
- Phoebe said Pearl was her age when she died, however, she miscalculated. Pearl was 6 years older.
- As seen when entering the manor, Russell was very popular amongst the crowd due to being a "witch for hire"--a breach of The Wiccan Rede.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Pearl Russel appeared in a total of 2 episode throughout the course of the series.
- Season 2
- Pardon My Past
- Season 8
- Generation Hex - (through flashback)