P. Russell was a witch descended from Melinda Warren. She was born as a good magical witch to Gordon and Agnes, and possessed the power of pyrokinesis. Later on, she became known for her talents in potion making and divination. However, Russell was seduced into turning evil by Anton, a warlock, and was subsequently killed and cursed during a misguided fight.
P. Russell was born in 1894 to Gordon and Agnes as their first and only child. Through her mother, she was a descendant of Melinda Warren, but did not inherit one of the traditional Warren powers of telekinesis, or molecular immobilization, or premonition, and instead possessed pyrokinesis.
Russell was a good witch, and after the death of her mother, moved into the Victorian manor that her aunt and uncle had built, where her cousin, P. Baxter, lived with Gordon Johnson, her husband. Russell's other cousin, the photographer P. Bowen, also moved in.
Working at the Speakeasy
- Friend: "Well, I was wondering where you went off to."
- Russell: "I had to get some herbs. I can’t very well make my potions without them. Would you like me to curse anyone for you?"
- Friend: "Maybe later."
- — Russell speaking with a friend of hers.[src]
Baxter and Gordon held a speakeasy at the house, during which Bowen took portraits, and Russell would foretell the future, make potions, and even offer to curse people for a price. She used the family's Book of Shadows in her workings.
Due to her talents in potion-making and divination, Russell was popular and respected among those who came to the speakeasy, and even befriended a socialite.
At an unknown time, Russell met and fell in love with Anton, an immortal warlock. Because of this, she soon turned to the side of evil. She concealed her lover's true identity from her cousins, and Anton later convinced her that they had to kill them in order to take their powers and become unstoppable.
Confronting Her Cousins
- Anton: "Come with me. Drink this."
- Russell: "What is it?"
- Anton: "A potion to triple your power. In case your cousins are ready for us. It's the only way for us to succeed. You do want that, don't you? That's my girl. Go ahead. Test it. Feels good to be bad, doesn't it?"
- Russell: "Sometimes."
- Anton: "Second thoughts?"
- Russell: "They're my cousins, Anton."
- — Russell drinking the potion and showing second thoughts.[src]
On February 17, 1924, to prepare themselves for their confrontation with her cousins, Anton gave Russell a power-tripling potion that transformed her power of pyrokinesis into fire-throwing, and a protection amulet that rendered her immune to her cousins' witchcraft. Though she was initially hesitant, he managed to convince her otherwise.
As part of the plan, Anton shape-shifted into Baxter's ex-boyfriend, and lured her away so Russell could take Bowen upstairs and kill her. However, Baxter managed to escape, Anton and Russell and Bowen fought downstairs instead, scaring away the customers. The amulet protected Russell from Bowen's cryokinesis, but Bowen was not done yet. She flashed her camera and did a jump kick, knocking Russell onto the floor anyway. Baxter then came in from the other room and began to strangle her with a curtain rope. However, Phoebe Halliwell, Russell's future-life (and P. Baxter's great-granddaughter) switched their souls, and Russell was transported into Phoebe's body in the year 2000.
In the Future and Death
- "Hello, cousins. Or is it sisters, now?"
- —Russell confronting the sisters.[src]
Russell awoke in Phoebe's body and, upon awaking, saw Anton with her, placing the protection amulet around her neck. She was confused, and Anton told her that she was in her future body and that her cousins were now her sisters. To get revenge, the two went to the manor.
In the manor, a brief battle ensued. However, after Russell sent a stream of fire at the sisters, Prue Halliwell (Bowen's future-life) telekinetically deflected it at Anton, vanquishing him. Russell, distracted by her true love's death, was then knocked out cold by Piper Halliwell (Baxter's future life), and the amulet was removed from her, allowing Phoebe to switch their souls back.
In 1924, in her normal body, Russell was killed and cursed by her cousins. It is unknown what happened to her body.
Powers and Abilities
- Basic Powers
- Spell Casting: The ability to cast spells and perform rituals.
- Potion Making: The ability to brew potions. Russell was renowned for her potion-brewing abilities among the speakeasy's customers, with one of them commenting that her love-potion "worked wonders".
- Scrying: The ability to locate a person or object by the use of a scrying crystal and a map.
- Mediumship: The ability to see and commune with spirits of the dead.
- Active Powers
- Pyrokinesis: The ability to create and manipulate fire with the mind.
- Divination: The ability to predict the future. Given how Russell was shown to own a crystal ball, she presumably possessed some kind of divination ability. It was believed that this skill might have developed into the power of premonitions that Russell's future incarnation (Phoebe Halliwell) possessed.
- Other Powers
- High Resistance: The ability to be highly resistant to otherwise-lethal powers.
- Immunity: The ability to be immune to the powers of witches. P. Russell gained this power through her protection amulet.
- Russell was portrayed by Alyssa Milano in "Pardon My Past". She only appeared as Phoebe because she recognized her own soul.
- It is possible that Russell's first name was Pearl, due to Phoebe mentioning an Aunt Pearl in "Sense and Sense Ability".
- According to the family tree, Russell was born July 2nd, 1894. However, as Phoebe (aged 24) said that she was the same age as her when she died. If she is taken literal, this date would be incorrect, meaning Russell was born in 1899. However, it is also possible Phoebe meant Russell was around the same age.
- Her 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 of All Evil, Cole was never able to turn Phoebe completely evil.
- The short stories, Old Friend and Old Family Recipe, from The Warren Witches provided a little more background on Russell's descent into evil. Apparently, she had already started on the path to evil during the holiday season of 1923, and she was fond of playing tricks on people through different hexes. However, as with all novels, this information is not considered canon.
P. Russell appeared in a total of 1 episode over the course of the series.
- Season 2
- Pardon My Past