P. Russell was a witch descended from Melinda Warren. Born to Gordon and Agnes, she was a good witch of the Warren line who possessed the active power of Pyrokinesis, along with the basic powers of a witch, and became known for her talents in Potion Making and Divination. However, Russell fell in love with Anton, a warlock who seduced her and turned her evil.
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 Warren powers of molecular immobilization, telekinesis, 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 would take portraits and Russell would tell the future, make potions, and even offered to curse people for a price. She used the family's Book of Shadows in her workings.
Russell was popular and respected among those who came to the speakeasy and befriended a socialite. Russell once offered to curse someone for her, to which her friend glanced at a man and answered with "maybe later" before they both laughed impishly.
At an unknown time, Russell met and fell in love with Anton, an immortal warlock. The two of them fell in love and Russell was soon turned evil. She concealed her lover's true identity from her cousins, and Anton told 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, Anton gave Russell a power-tripling potion, which would transform her power of pyrokinesis into fire throwing, and told her to confront her cousins. She was, initially, resistant, but he managed to persuade her. He also gave her his Protection Amulet to protect her from their powers.
As part of the plan, Anton shapeshifted 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 wasn't 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]
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.
- 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 physical and magical harm.
- 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 novel The Warren Witches provide a little more background. Most noticeably, Russell had already started on the path to evil during the Holiday season of 1923, and she liked to play tricks on people through different hexes. However, as 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