Previously: Prue destroyed a demon with lots of feelings.
Stephanie: The episode begins with Cole and Phoebe kissing in bed, so I already don’t like it. Phoebe says that she feels like Cole pulls away whenever they get close, and he responds by literally pulling away and turning from her. (M: Wow. Phoebe is good at picking up on these things.) Phoebe presses a bit more for some truth and Cole transforms into his demon form and attacks her while going “RAWRRR.” Just kidding! It’s a nightmare.
Real Cole wakes up and one of the Triad Dudes is his bedroom. He tells Cole that he’s there to remind him of his inner nature, because frankly, he’s doing a shit job at killing witches by sleeping with them. Cole says that the sex was a mistake. Don’t you just hate it when you accidentally fall into bed naked with someone and then sex happens? (M: *big sigh*) Triad Dude makes a knife appear in Cole’s hand and tells him to find some demon help and get the job done or he dies.
I AM THE SAHN.
P^3. The P’s are doing a great job at being club owners by sitting together and discussing Belthazor. Why don’t they have these important talks at home? Prue says they need to practice their counterattacks so they can get some demon flesh from Belthazor to use in a vanquishing potion. Phoebe isn’t really paying attention because Cole is 45 minutes late, and how dare he since they slept together and now they’re bonded by time and space or something.
Marines: It’s really his own fault since he’s supposed to be killing sisters, not dating someone with sisters.
Stephanie: When Phoebe finally has Cole alone, he says he has to go. He makes an excuse about having an epiphany for a case he’s working on and skidaddles. Outside, Cole tells his shadow to inform the Triad that he’s come up with a way to defeat the Charmed Ones. What? Make them have sisterly arguments until they die? (M: Did you just have a premonition?)
Manor. Phoebe asks for advice on whether Cole is blowing her off after getting her into bed. Piper points out that Prue sensed True Andy-Love in him while she was an empath, so probably not. Andy-Love aside, Phoebe still feels like he’s avoiding her.
Belthazor, probably sick of the relationship drama, storms into the kitchen. Phoebe floats into the air and kicks him in the face. Belthazor throws a magic sphere which Piper freezes, while Prue’s astral projection astral-kicks him. She also flips in the air off a table. Why does she know how to do this? (M: From that one time she had lots of feelings? She got rid of the feelings and kept the ninja skills??) Piper slices Belthazor with a knife and he tinkle-transforms into Leo because it’s all just part of the earthquake drill. Prue critiques their technique, and asks if they should have another go, but Piper would like her boyfriend not dead. Everyone gets ready to go off and do their boring daily tasks, and Piper gets stuck with the task of getting food for the homeowners meeting. Riveting plot.
Cole’s apartment. Cole is interviewing a dude for the position of sister killing. He has a demon resume and everything. Demon Interviewee says that he can infect people by turning their anger into rage until they become violent. This sounds like another convoluted Cole plan. It would probably be easier to hire a serial killer to murder them all in their sleep at this point. When Cole brings up that he needs Demon Interviewee to infect the Charmed Ones, Demon Interviewee is like, woah hold up, you never mentioned witches. Cole explains that he believes breaking their sisterly bond will destroy their defenses. This seems to be enough to convince the Interviewee. Cole tells him to start with Phoebe.
Campus. Phoebe rushes to get Prue’s car back to her and finds Cole leaning against it. He tells her he made dinner reservations to make up for his rudeness the other night. Phoebe insists that she needs to get the car back to Prue, but Cole convinces her to change her plans with a kiss. Phoebe says that Piper can handle the homeowners meeting on her own. She’ll be angry, but she’ll take it out on her later. Cole agrees to pick Phoebe up in an hour and she squeezes his face and growls at him. Cole gives a little growl back. They’re so weird. Phoebe gets into the car and Cole does a little magic flick of his fingers and a drippy cord comes out? I know nothing about cars.
Mari: To be fair, it was a cord and it was drippy so.
Stephanie: I dunno! Could have been an obvious car thing I was missing.
Manor. There’s a bunch of randos in the house for the homeowner’s meeting. Piper’s annoyed that she somehow got roped into snack duty. Leo points out that she could have prepared simpler snacks, but Piper used to be a chef, so she doesn’t do simple. She couldn’t have said no either because with sisters, a no turns into an argument about stolen Barbies. Prue comes out and Piper starts yelling at her about mineral water. Leo takes this as his cue to to escape and get that for her.
Piper serves snacks to the guests who are arguing about property problems. She catches Phoebe trying to sneak in and freezes the room. Phoebe begs Piper to cover so she can have important relationship chats with Cole, which is way more important than all the doctor’s appointments Piper has had to cancel. Besides, Leo used to be a doctor anyway. Piper agrees like the worn down sister that she is. Leo appears and Piper says he’s gonna have to help out, but his tinkle phone rings and he orbs away leaving her with nothing but the mineral water. Piper unfreezes the neighbors and they continue arguing. Why are they hosting this if they hate it so much? Surely it’s not mandatory. And why would they schedule the meeting when they all have shit they need to do that day?
Mari: Those are real cute questions.
Stephanie: I don’t know why I keep asking them. I never get any answers.
Outside the manor, Cole pulls up in his car and Demon Interviewee (Andras) appears in the passenger seat. Cole lays out the plan. Andras will hang around and infect Piper and Prue with anger, and when he brings Phoebe home after dinner, they’ll blame her for everything. And presumably murder her, I guess? Andras notices that Cole doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about his Very Evil Plan. Cole tells him to just do his job. The man playing Andras has a very interesting (bad) acting style. Like they’ve tricked the poor guy into thinking he’s in a local theatre production of a Shakespeare play. (M: A+)
Inside, Piper is mediating the homeowner arguments. Phoebe rushes out for her date, all dressed up in some bizarre senorita getup. Piper calls after her noticing that Phoebe is wearing her earrings. Andras peeks in through the window and uses a magical ball to give Piper an anger infection. She yells at the neighbors about how all their fence and flower problems are stupid, throws her tray of snacks at them, and kicks them out of the house. Andras admires his work and disappears.
Meanwhile, Cole and Phoebe seem to be having their date at a Latin dance club, so I guess that explains the outfit. Gotta match the place where you have dinner. The man singing on stage is gyrating in leather pants and it’s very, very 90s. Cole and Phoebe are laughing and enjoying themselves. I think the reason that their scenes together seem so weird is because their chemistry feels really forced, like maybe the actors don’t really like each other or something? I don’t know. They make me uncomfortable. Anyway, Phoebe gets up and does a penguin imitation to illustrate a job she had as a teenager and Cole laughs like it’s the funniest thing he’s ever seen.
Mari: But it feels like Cole is fake laughing? Just adding onto your observation that they have no chemistry, I honestly thought that Cole was fake laughing his way through this but I think they are trying to convince us that these two are really enjoying each others’ company. Hokay.
Stephanie: Tons of forced laughter from both of them. It’s super awkward.
Phoebe’s been talking about herself all this time and now it’s Cole’s turn. Cole deflects, saying his past isn’t very interesting and he lost his family a long time ago. They bond a bit about family losing, and Phoebe says she doesn’t know what she would do without her sisters. Cole’s face is like, “fuuuuuuuck.” Cole says that he has to tell Phoebe something, like he’s about to open up about the whole trying to murder her thing, but instead says he can’t dance. Phoebe can tell that wasn’t what he wanted to say, but takes it as an opportunity to pull him up for a slow dance anyway. It’s hilarious because Cole is super tall and has to bend awkwardly so they can embrace-dance. He also looks like he’s going to puke the whole time. I’m unsure if the pained face is from the weird bendy position, or the bad things he’s going to do to the woman he Andy-loves.
Mari: Andy-love is this recap’s leosplanation and I Andy-love it.
Stephanie: Manor. Prue is on the phone trying to reschedule her photoshoot that she missed because there was no gas in her car. Oh, was that what Cole was doing with the cord and the liquid? I still don’t know anything about cars. Piper stops angrily cleaning up her snacks to hang up Prue’s call, telling her she should get her own club to have photo shoots in. Prue tells her she needs a midol because this show hates women. Piper throws Prue’s photography equipment onto the floor and Andras appears again to give Prue her anger infection. Prue’s anger manifests with her throwing Piper’s food processor onto the floor. This is a pathetic display of rage.
Cole and Phoebe pull up outside all glowy from their date. Phoebe blurts out that Cole’s secret must be that he’s married with a cute secret family and cute secret pets. He gets to deflecting again by playing along, and I guess that convinces Phoebe that that’s not his secret? I mean, it’s not, but still. She asks if he regrets their night of passion. He doesn’t, and neither does she depending on what happens next. They both make obvious jokes about how at least Phoebe can’t tell the future, har har. They have another one of their weirdo kisses and Cole’s eyes are freaking open AGAIN. Please don’t let this man kiss anymore, it’s terrifying. Cole breaks off the kiss when he spots Andras disapproving of their display. (M: Or of his open eyes. I imagine not even demons approve of this.) He says goodbye to Phoebe all final-like, and angstily watches her return to the manor before driving away.
Phoebe enters the manor where Piper and Prue are still arguing. Andras throws his anger infection at Phoebe so she can join the fun. They all argue about the things they find annoying. Prue is super boring with working all the time, and Phoebe is a mooch who is going to college again like a big dum-dum. How dare she better herself. Piper is left pretty much unscathed. I’m surprised no one yelled at her for being constantly self-absorbed. Piper rips her earring from Phoebe’s ear and they all start fighting and magicking stuff at each other. It’s a really pathetic fight, especially considering they usually seem to gain martial arts abilities when facing demons.
Leo tinkles into the living room while Piper and Prue cleanup the mess from their fight. He knew something was going on because The Powers That Be felt the P’s bond being severed. He proves it by dropping and glass bowl and telling Piper to freeze it.
Dude, at least drop something unbreakable and inexpensive. A throw pillow maybe. (M: He better tinkle-clean that or something.) Prue confesses that they had a fight comparable to Pearl Harbor. Yes, that sad fight that led to a frame falling off the wall was just as bad as an attack that killed thousands of people.
Prue says that the little things that led to the fight shouldn’t have been enough to make them throw objects and use their powers against each other. This leads to a convenient Leosplanation. Since the P’s powers are rooted in their bond, using them against each other severed that bond. Okay, sure. Now they’re vulnerable, so they need to get Phoebe ASAP and fix their relationship. They tell Leo that Phoebe’s gone and all look really sad about it, which is kind of weird because it’s not like they killed her?
Meanwhile, Cole is chanting in his Darth Maul face.
Phoebe knocks on the door and Cole looks like he’s about to answer as Belthazor, but when the door fully opens and the camera dramatically spins on him, he’s just his regular self in a tank top. He looks at Phoebe like he’s got serious stomach problems and I don’t understand how Phoebe has not picked up on how weird he is. Cole let’s Phoebe inside and she sobs into his arms about the fight. Cole comforts her and stares intensely at his glowing cupboard of evil.
Back at the manor, Piper and Prue try to find Phoebe’s location on a map with a dangly crystal, but they can’t even do basic magic things anymore. I mean, they could just make an educated guess of where she could possibly be since she hasn’t shut up about Cole. Just saying. Leo finds the page in the BoS on Andras, the spirit of Rage. They quickly put together that he took advantage of their annoyance with each other.
At Cole’s, Phoebe is still weeping. Honestly, it really wasn’t that bad. Leo made more of a mess when he dropped that crystal bowl. (M: 100% have had worse fights with my sisters without this much drama.) Cole continues his comforting by slowly creeping up behind Phoebe and spinning her around for a hug like he’s in a damn telenovela. He sits her on the coach and tells her he’ll get her a tissue but heads for his cupboard for a dagger instead. Cole’s demon cupboard is a really tacky purple with a horizontal stripe design and a zigzag split door like something I would have liked in my bedroom when I was 10 in 1998. You’d think he’d get something less conspicuous to hide his evil stuff in.
Mari: On the other hand, he’s been giving I’MMA KILL YOU eyes to Phoebe for many episodes and she hasn’t noticed that so, he’ll probably be fine.
Stephanie: Anyway, Cole sits on the couch with his dagger and goes in for another gross kiss with his eyes open and rolly. Maybe Phoebe’s lips are like a drug for demons. That’s the only way to explain why he looks like that. He gets the dagger ready for stabbing but their weird kisses are just too good for him, I guess, and he tucks the knife away again. He pulls away making his indigestion faces and tells Phoebe she needs to go home because she’s vulnerable. Phoebe agrees and they kiss again as she heads out.
Andras appears and he’s real pissed about the kissing he just witnessed. He mocks Cole for falling for a witch. Cole transforms into Darth Cole and threatens him with his evil dagger. Cole’s anger is good for Andras though because now he can use his top secret power to possess him. Andras transforms into bad special effects and goes inside of Cole. He checks out his new bod and tells his reflection it’s time to finish what he started.
Mari: But like why if he didn’t want to go after the sisters in the first place? Why not just go take your new bod out for a spin and some good times?
Stephanie: Good point, but once again we’re looking for logic where there is none.
Manor. Prue and Piper try to get in contact with Phoebe. Prue says that she called all of Phoebe’s friends, which is funny because we only see them ever talk to each other. Piper is worried that something happened to Phoebe because bad things always happen to the people in their family. Phoebe comes in before they can worry too much and Piper heads in for a hug. Phoebe tells them that she cried all over Cole and then he sent her back home to make things right. They explain to Phoebe that Belthazor used Andras to enrage them and now they have no powers. I’m not entirely sure how they even know Belthazor is the one who set this up. Leo tells them that they need to repair their sisterly bond and leaves them with the BoS.
They start repairing by apologizing for the mean things they said to each other. It’s still funny that they don’t have much to say on Piper, probably because her whole personality is based on her relationship with Leo. Phoebe wonders if that’s enough to get them their powers back as Andrasazor bursts in. The little heart to heart didn’t work and they still have no powers. Leo sneaks up behind Andrasazor and tries to take him out with a chair, but Andrasazor backslaps him aside. The chair does not survive the attack. There goes Leo, breaking more of their stuff. Phoebe says they need to do this together and as they join hands, the corners of the triquetra come back together. That was easy. As usual, Cole’s plan is a huge waste of time.
With their powers back, Prue magics the dagger out of Andrasazor’s hand. He responds by throwing a magic ball which Prue deflects back at him, causing Andras to be knocked out of Belthazor’s body. Belthazor is real mad and vanquishes Andras with cartoon electricity. The girls just sort of stand there and watch as this goes down instead of making any move on him while he’s distracted.
Remember that electricity power Belthazor just used to poof away a demon? Well it’s gone because he’s decided to take on the P’s with his little dagger. He heads for them and Phoebe floats into the air and kicks him in the head, but it doesn’t do much. Prue astral-kicks him and Belthazor tosses his knife at Piper. She freezes it, uses it to slice him, and Prue magics him out the window. Injured Belthazor transforms back into Cole and disappears before the girls can see who he is. Piper’s little swipe with the dagger managed to take off a big chunk of flesh, so they can finally work on their vanquishing spell.
That leads us to Cole being transported to the Triad. The Triad are mad that Cole’s a dirty witch sympathizer who betrayed them and the source. I feel like I am supposed to know what the source is, but I do not. One of the Triad dudes conjures up a fireball and tells Cole that he’s allowed one final statement. Cole says he has nothing to say and then he quickly dispatches each of them using his dagger and electricity power. Really? Could he not have done something like that the moment he met the P’s instead of dating one of them and coming up with a zillion awful murder plots? Whatever. The camera pans up and away as Cole looks up and screams. I don’t even know.
I honestly came into this show thinking that I would hate Cole, but now I mostly just think he’s a huge weirdo.
Mari: Who is really, really bad at his job.
Next time on Charmed: The sisters figure out what Cole is in S03 E08 – Sleuthing with the Enemy.