Previously: Cole fell in a demon trap and no one connected the dots.
Marines: Prue is in the kitchen trying to telekinesis a fork off the counter. We hear the tinkle that usually follows her powers, but the fork won’t move. Phoebe walks in having some kind of a fashion meltdown, but since her Pocahontas-inspired handkerchief top is no worse than 99% of what she’s always wearing, IDK what the emergency is. When Phoebe realizes that Prue can’t move the fork, she worriedly asks if Prue’s lost her powers. Prue says you can’t lose what you never had and disappears.
Stephanie: Throughout this scene they talk about Belthazor being the most evil and dangerous of all evil and dangerous demons, yet all we’ve seen Cole do is come up with incredibly convoluted plans that never result in any actual death or harm. How dangerous can a demon be if he needs to date one of his targets in order to kill them?
On a completely unrelated note, Prue’s hair looks nice.
Mari: She’s being sensible and having a good hair day? Let’s see if she ruins this.
We cut to Prue driving. She’s stopped in front of a construction area by a traffic cop. A bus passes in front of her with a ad for seatbelt safety that reads “Save the innocent.” Cole wobble-appears and evil-dudes one of the directional signs to point in the other direction. (S: I take back what I said before. He is clearly very evil and very dangerous.) The traffic cop points Prue the wrong way (why would he do that?) and Cole looks satisfied.
Prue calls Phoebe and asks if she cast any “send me a sign” spells lately. Phoebe says no and also to stop paying attention to signs and go to a dentist. Prue makes it to another construction area, where a worker is holding a stop sign. Prue looks around and sees a business called Final Stop.
Outside the building, a very helpful and chatty construction worker explains that they are supposed to start demolition but there is someone still holed up inside the building. He hasn’t been outside in four years. Very specific information conveyed, construction worker sees himself out.
Prue goes up and somehow knows exactly which apartment belongs to Shut In. She tries the door and it’s only got the chain lock so it opens slightly. Prue calls out and the man inside tells her to GTFO. Prue telekinesises the door the rest of the way open and Shut In immediately starts freaking out, telling her that the pain is too much. Prue insists that she wants to help, but Shut In can feel her pain, even her tooth ache. Prue is shocked.
I AM THE SAHN.
After the credits, Piper and Leo are having their episodely fight about absolutely nothing, ending with Piper’s totally new and never-before-heard wish to have a normal life. (S: Make it stop.) Prue walks in with Cole, who happened to get there just as she did. Phoebe comes in, now wearing a different outfit which is less Pocahontas and more traffic cone, still with the same amount of exposed midriff. Anyway, Prue says that she wants to talk about the signs (she corrects that to “assignment” for Cole’s sake) and how it lead her to Shut In. Cole asks if there was a social worker there. Prue says nope. A deputy is coming later that night but Shut In has nowhere to go. Cole offers to make a call and Piper points him to the kitchen, where he can find their phone.
In the kitchen, Cole walks around a bit before his shadow detaches. He tells his shadow to stop because he thought they agreed that it wouldn’t go report to the Triad again until his plan succeeds. Phoebe walks in to grab some aspirin for Prue. Cole is giving his shadow such obvious OMG OMG eyes, it’s a wonder Phoebe doesn’t notice anything. Just kidding. These girls never notice anything.
Steph: The girls are waiting for a super duper evil demon to strike, so it’s no wonder they’re not suspicious of this doofus. If being ridiculous is part of his undercover plan, he’s doing a very good job.
Mari: Once Phoebe is gone, Cole convinces his shadow to sit tight since his plan appears to be working and Prue followed his signs. Back out in the living room, Leo tells the P’s that Shut In sounds like a “future empath,” a mortal who can feel what other people feel and will be super special when they die or something? Sorry, it’s just that right now, can you guys guess what I’m feeling? No? It’s pain because we just saw that Phoebe’s traffic cone off the shoulder top is paired with a floral pattern midi-skirt, fishnet tights and booties with neon yellowish socks. Ow.
Steph: It’s really disturbing. Makes me miss Prue’s tin foil boobs from the last episode.
Mari: Anyway, Leo says some more crap about how Shut In is rejecting his gift. Phoebe is more concerned about who could’ve possible sent Prue the signs and Piper says, “Cole,” but only because he’s walking back into the living room. He gives Prue a number to call for a housing agent who can help and Prue takes off to deal with her innocent. Cole says he and Phoebe are off to lunch and Leo jumps up and asks if they can come along because it would be nice and normal. Everyone is super not excited about this, except Leo who smiles and smiles.
Psychiatric hospital, somewhere. A man sees an article about Shut In being evicted and freaks out. He yells that he has to go to that building and save the innocent. He’s strong armed by nurses and orderlies because they think he’s crazy.
Steph: I imagine the direction to the extras in this scene must have been something like, “Okay everyone, do your best impression of someone in a psych ward.” The acting is hilariously awful.
BTW, that article man is Mayor Wilkins from Buffy! What a role downgrade.
Mari: So much so, I didn’t even recognize him…
Final Stop. A police officer is stationed outside, but Prue shows him Cole’s business card. She says Cole wants to help Shut In, but can only do so if they keep him out of jail. The officer gives Prue 3 minutes with Shut In. Upstairs, she telekinesises her way inside the apartment again. He’s calmer this time, but still not about going outside, even though he knows that if he gets arrested, he’ll die. Prue tries to pep-talk him about his speshul gifts and what a blessing they are, but it doesn’t work because he’s an empath and he can tell Prue is scared of the upcoming baddies in her life. Prue starts crying as Shut In keeps going on about how sorry and worried she is.
The Police Officer starts banging on the door and Prue telekinesises it shut. She holds him there while she grandiosely tells Shut In that she’s here to help. She gives him a couplet meant to release him of all his empathy feelings. Prue lets the door go and the police officer staggers in and wonders WTF is happening. Shut In wonders that too and Prue is all, “yep. Nailed it.” She leaves for some reason and that reason is so that she doesn’t see Shut In murder Police Officer’s face off (almost literally. He burns his face with a touch) because he has absolutely no feelings at all. So, I guess this means he’s a demon.
We cut to a very awkward lunch. Phoebe tries to make small talk about football, but it goes way over Cole’s head because he doesn’t watch football. Phoebe jokes that he isn’t human, and Cole chokes on his water because he’s trying to give these girls every possible opportunity to figure out he’s a demon. (S: The evilest of evils right here, you guys.) He calls for the check and that’s Phoebe and Piper’s cue to excuse themselves to the bathroom. On the way, Piper apologies for Leo crashing their lunch and Phoebe says that isn’t the problem. Cole is pulling away from her again.
Steph: AGAIN? Didn’t they just get together last episode?
Mari: Again since last commercial break I guess.
Back at the table, Leo has a “take care of Phoebe and don’t hurt her” chat with Cole who just gives him dead eyes and stink face. He also says “heaven forbid” while looking particularly murder-y. The girls return and Cole lies that Leo was just sharing investment advice. The check arrives next and Cole very obviously leans forward and tells Leo in a stage whisper that they should split the bill. Piper has to step in all, “oh, did you forget your wallet?” because being a tinkle-angel doesn’t pay. Cole gets a page and leaves them. Everyone exchanges awkward looks.
Mari: We have absolutely no indication of why Phoebe likes him. He’s basically been a moody jerk to everyone and one time he stole her books. Never forget.
Cole materializes at Shut In’s apartment. Shut In is creepily washing his hands (?) while he and Cole talk about how their plan totally worked and he’s passed his empathy on to Prue. Somehow, Cole predicted that faced with the issue of this shut in empath, Prue would say a spell on the fly that would rid him of his powers. Shut In exposits that since Prue is a mortal, all those emotions should crush her in a day. Cole says he’s going to go out of town because he doesn’t want to watch Piper and Phoebe lose their sister. Wow. He just really hates Prue, I guess.
Steph: To be fair, she did hurt him with crystals that one time.
Mari: Shut In says menacing things about how Cole is getting soft after so much time undercover, but Cole tells him to MYOB. It’s whatever, though, because Shut In wants to go find the empath that originally cursed him with feelings, Father Thomas. Cole stops him because he doesn’t want the 3P’s to get wind of Shut In’s evilness and connect the dots. Shut In claims he’s immune to the witches’ power, but Cole threatens him by saying he isn’t immune to Cole’s power. Shut In says he understands and Cole wobbly-airs away. Shut In gives the camera one more YEAH RIGHT look.
Prue is at the dentist’s office, trying to rebook her appointment. As she’s pleading her case with the receptionist, some weird couple is like canoodling in the background. Like, he grabs her ass in the waiting room of the dentist’s office and I just don’t know why. Prue feels the pinch on her own butt? Because she spins around and looks down at her butt? But that’s not really how empathy works, is it? The receptionist wonders WTF is wrong with her, and Prue blames her odd behavior on the tooth ache. Next, though, she starts laughing uncontrollably. In a nearby room, a woman is laughing because she’s had some laughing gas.
I’m so tired.
Steph: The way I read the scene was that all that canoodling empathy made Prue want to grab his butt, and she can’t control her empathetic horniness? Unclear on why the girlfriend is mad that her boyfriend was assaulted by a strange, laughing woman.
Mari: Manor. Phoebe asks Cole what’s up because he hasn’t said anything since they left the restaurant. Cole says he has a lot on his mind and Phoebe can smell the break-up a mile away. Cole gives his best “it’s not you,” promises it’ll all become clear to her soon, and sees himself out. Prue passes him on the way in and gasps because she gets a whiff of his “spiraling into infinity” falling in love feelings, the likes of which she hasn’t felt since Andy was alive. REMEMBER ANDY?
Steph: I do! I remember something!
Also… LOVE? Cole and Phoebe have known each other for like a month and they’re already in Andy love?
Mari: Shhh. It’s magic.
Phoebe think she’s crazy, but then Prue feels Phoebe’s heart jump and her own falling in love feelings and now Phoebe is a believer. In the kitchen, Phoebe explains to Piper and Leo that Prue got Shut In’s power. Piper wants proof so Phoebe pinches her, and Prue feels it. Piper pinches Phoebe back, and Prue feels it. Prue picks up on Leo’s fear and he explains that he’s worried about her. She wasn’t supposed to have these special gifts and she’s a lowly human. Prue thinks this is the power boost she was looking for to fight Belthazor, but she can still feel everyone’s doubts and it makes her explode the TV. Whoops. She figures she needs to find a way to control this new power.
Phoebe offers to go look in the Book of Shadows, but Prue tells her to go talk to Cole instead because misters-before-sisters on this show. (S: Hey, it’s this show’s one consistent theme.) Phoebe, needing very little encouragement, leaves. Prue says she’ll go research by herself because Piper and Leo’s couple issues are hurting her head. PRUE. SPEAK THE TRUTH.
Piper is totally shocked at the fact that they have couple issues AS IF they don’t have couple issues every. damn. episode. This time, it’s Leo feeling embarrassed about not being able to pay for meals and fit into Piper’s human life. Piper says she gets it and they’ll figure it all out. They start to kiss and from upstairs, Prue calls, “not now! My head hurts.” Har har har, but it saved us from more of Piper and Leo, so.
Cole is shirtless. There’s a knock on the door. It’s Phoebe. She kind of pushes her way in and kisses him. (S: Cole’s eyes are open AGAIN and then they roll back???? Why is their kissing so gross? I’m so upset.) Cole tells her she has no idea what she’s getting herself into and she says neither does he. Their kissing cuts to them in bed, in the morning. They revel in their magical, post-coital bliss, but then Phoebe notices that Cole has a suitcase packed. She asks if he’s planning on going somewhere, but he doesn’t know yet. The Sappy Soundtrack starts up as Phoebe tells Cole that if he’s in any kind of trouble, she can help. She’s got Very Useful Kicks, you know. Cole tells her she can’t help and then he has to go. Phoebe asks if she’s going to see him again and he gives a very vague “one way or another.” This roughly translates to “either in heavy demon makeup or not.”
Steph: This whole scene was freaking bizarre from both of them giggling at nothing to the weird baby voices they started talking in. I didn’t think we would get a worse pairing than Leo and Piper but if this weirdness is the alternative…
Mari: Things can always get worse.
Shut In pushes around a woman who works for a church, trying to get information on Father Thomas. She directs Shut In to the psychiatric hospital where Father Thomas has been for three years and gets demon boiled for her trouble.
Manor. Prue is in the basement in feelings overload. We hear a bunch of people yelling at each other in the neighborhood because apparently they all synched up to fight at this time, idk. Piper and Leo find Prue and ask wtf is going on. Prue explains that she’s hearing people in other houses in her head and she can feel them in her heart. She can’t concentrate and it hurts. Her emotional overload causes the ceiling to split and Leo leosplains (S: EXACTLY THE WORD WE NEEDED.) that as her empathic abilities get stronger, she’s also getting more powerful. Piper says they gotta return this “gift” asap.
Final Stop. Phoebe meets them there, wearing the same clothes as yesterday so Piper basically gives her a little eyebrow waggle. Anyhow, a dead body is being taken out of the apartment so our witches captain obvious that this looks bad. Upstairs, they guess that this is the work of a demon who was cursed with empathic abilities. Leo leosplains that this would’ve caused the demon to feel all the pain he’s caused. In Shut In’s apartment, Phoebe gets a vision. She sees Shut In demon boiling three people, the last being Father Thomas at the psychiatric hospital.
Post-vision, back in the hall, Piper asks how Phoebe got a vision without touching anything. Leo leosplains that the apartment must be dripping with psychic remnants. He also quickly jumps to the conclusion that Shut In must be on a mission to kill the empath that cursed him. They all decide to check out the scene of the last murder Phoebe saw in her vision.
Piper is waiting in the car, sweating and having a lot of emotions. Honestly, this could be a scene from my life but whatever.
Crest Hills. Piper freezes the receptionist so they can all go pay Father Thomas a visit. They find him pretty quickly and explain that they are witches, looking for the empath who cursed a demon. He is like, “oh, me” and tells them that Vincerus is an assassin. Father Thomas transferred his power to keep from getting killed and that cursed them both because now Father Thomas is facing eternity on Earth with no gift and no purpose. Piper says they can help with the purpose part. Father Thomas thinks they are talking about safely relocating the demon, but lol nope because they already messed that part up. When Father Thomas hears this, he starts yelling at Piper. Prue gets overwhelmed and things start shaking and flying around. In turn, all the patients all get extra emotional as well. And Leo and the other P’s just stand there and watch as Piper writhes around and causes earthquakes or whatever.
After a not!break, we’re back at the manor and Prue is back in the basement. Piper and Phoebe find Vincerus in the Book of Shadows and he’s got a pretty epic two page picture spread for some reason. Someone whipped out all the colored pencils to make this entry is all I’m saying.
They confirm that Vincerus is a hit man that won’t stop until he gets his mark. Father Thomas helpfully adds that they are all super dead, especially since witch’s spells don’t work on him. It only worked the first time because he allowed it to. Phoebe suggests helping Prue channel the power of all the feelings to become super powerful. That doesn’t really have anything to do with the fact that spells don’t work on this guy, but okay. Father Thomas says it can’t be done and Prue is going to die so Piper snaps and tells him shut up and help.
Father Thomas goes down to the basement and gives a long speech about how Prue has to embrace the emotions. Trust me, it’s long.
Steph: The “emotional” acting from Shannen Doherty is painful here. I like her better when she’s making blank faces and we have to guess what she’s supposed to be feeling.
Mari: Upstairs, Vincerus arrives. Piper tries to freeze him but he pulls out of it. She next hits him over the head with a vase but that doesn’t stop him either. He just throws Piper aside. Phoebe is up next with some Very Useful Kicks. She lands a bunch of them, but then Vincerus just throws her aside too. Piper freezes him again, to slow him down, and calls out for Leo to hurry.
Downstairs, dear god, Father Thomas is still helping Prue embrace the feelings.
Upstairs, Phoebe is getting choked because Vincerus has decide to repeatedly ask where Father Thomas is instead of looking for him. Prue comes in with Father Thomas and Leo behind her and is all, “if you want him, you have to come through me.” And, in a stunning turn of events, embracing all the feelings has made Prue some kind of Matrix-y fight master. This isn’t a joke. She’s doing mid-air multi-kicks and running across walls and… am I laughing or crying right now? I don’t know. I don’t know.
Steph: I’m laughing so much. It’s one of those delightful Charmed moments that happens just as you’re asking yourself, “why am I watching this?” This is why.
Mari: So Prue kicks him around a bunch and then she astral projects and her astral projection JUMPS INSIDE OF VINCERUS AND LIKE SWIMS AROUND IN THERE. WE CAN SEE HER LIKE PINGING AROUND HIS BODY WHAT IS THIS?
And I guess the projection took feelings with it? And all the human pain makes Vincerus explode? And now Prue isn’t an empath anymore? And it’s okay that Father Thomas is powerless because he can still help people?
Okay. Yeah. It’s fine. It’s almost over.
Steph: Can we just watch the end of each episode? It’s always the best part.
Mari: P^3. The girls wrap up the stupidity we just saw. Vincerus blew up from too many feelings, carried into his body by an astral Prue. Leo joins them having just gotten Father Thomas reinstated in the church. Prue asks about what’s going on with Phoebe and Cole, which is Phoebe’s cue to go find out what Cole’s doing.
At his apartment, Cole tells Phoebe that an associate of his didn’t do as he was told so now Cole still has work to do in town. He says this is both a good and bad thing and gives the camera creepy eyes as he hugs Phoebe into the end credits.
Steph: I’m happy they didn’t share another one of their unsettling kisses with us.
Mari: Every time I finish an episode of Charmed, I feel like I’ve just experienced a miracle in bad TV.
Next time on Charmed: Cole makes the sisters sister fight in S03 E07 – Power Outage.