Previously: Cole made the girls fight and it took away their powers.
Sleuthing with the Enemy
Marines: We start in the Halliwell kitchen with Prue and Piper working on a potion to vanquish Belthazor. Piper’s getting a little squeamish about the ingredients, but this mostly serves as an opportunity to exposit that they got a slice of Belthazor flesh last episode and should be able to vanquish him now.
Prue calls for Phoebe, but Piper says their little sister is not in a vanquishing mood because she’s worried about Cole. She hasn’t heard from him in a week. HMMM. SUSPICIOUS TIMING. Prue’s good with it because she doesn’t like Cole and she doesn’t trust him and she swears it has nothing to do with him being a greasy lawyer.
Phoebe walks in but just heard the “greasy” part. Prue covers by saying their potion has a greasy layer. Anyhow, it’s time to say the incantation for the potion. Phoebe makes sure to tell us she wants to get rid of Belthazor before Cole comes back. Her sisters give shifty eyes because she’s making this so awkward right now. They say their couplet but nothing happens. Prue remembers that they didn’t put Belthazor’s flesh in the spell, which I guess is what happens when you get distracted talking about boys while in the middle of a potion to vanquish incredible evil. Whoops!
Piper grabs the flesh from the fridge (ew) (S: In a tupperware container that I hope they throw out.) and drops it in the potion. It kind of explodes and the force knocks Piper back. She’s okay though and we know this because she’s still able to deliver a couple of cheesy lines before the end of the scene.
Funeral. This is the largest collection of POC we’ve ever seen on this show, ever. Cumulative. Probably ever on the WB. They are just sitting there crying at a funeral, but they exist. Wow. We pan elsewhere in the cemetery and there is Darth Cole stumbling around from his flesh wound. He manages to make it over to a mausoleum, but he leaves a blood print on a headstone. Someone appears next to the headstone to sniff the blood and growl.
This someone follows Darth Cole into the mausoleum and starts villain gloating about how there’s no way that Belthazor can escape from him. Belthazor is wounded and powerless! And then Belthazor manages to escape anyway because he runs for the door and is not powerless because he shoots out some lightening that slows Bounty Hunter down.
Stephanie: This show doesn’t even try with its demons. The bounty hunter just looks like a sitcom dad.
Mari: Cue laugh track.
Outside the mausoleum, Darth Cole tries really hard and manages to get his Cole face on and keep it on. Wait, I just thought about the fact that Phoebe said it’s been a week since she’s seen Cole so has Darth Cole been stumbling around the streets for a week? What’s going on?
Steph: I thought he was hurt because they added the flesh to the potion, but if he’s been struggling with that wound since last episode, that’s hilarious.
Mari: Bounty Hunter exits the mausoleum at a casual stroll, as overly confident villains are wont to do. He looks around and doesn’t see Belthazor. Cole, meanwhile, asks a random mourner if he can hitch a ride. This lady just assumes he’s going to the wake and takes him along. WTF lady. I don’t care if this is a funeral!
Steph: I watched this entire scene wrong. I thought perhaps he was at a funeral and then the wound started acting up. Does he not know this lady? My brain is making up context to fill in the confusion.
Mari: That’s kind of amazing. I mean, I may have missed something, but given that Bounty Hunter later says that demons hide in cemeteries, I’m not sure he just happened to be attending a funeral…
I AM THE SAHN.
After the credits, Phoebe is getting ready to leave. Prue stops her because she’s done rewriting a spell that will summon Belthazor. Phoebe’s like, “..but… but…” because she wants to go stalk Cole some more, this time at his job. Prue tries to talk some sense into Phoebe but it’s not happening. Instead, Prue tells her little sister to definitely go stalk Cole instead of sticking around to help her sisters vanquish the supposedly most evil devil of all time. Definitely seems like a good plan. And then Phoebe has the gall to tell her sister to stop whispering and keeping secrets because she can’t stand it. And then she leaves.
Alley. Cole is still stumbling along. He takes off his shirt and shows us that apparently Piper cut all the way to his intestines EW EW EW EW. (S: Can he not go to the hospital in human form and get that shit fixed? Gross.) He lets his Cole glamour go and rips his shirt I guess to stuff up his wound. He doesn’t get the chance, though, because a homeless guy comes into the alley. Darth Cole runs away. Yummy guy takes Cole’s discarded jacket. (S: Can’t tell if that’s a typo or if you actually think that guy is yummy. No judgement.) (M: OMG. Definitely a typo. I think I was going for “bummy…” #awkward)
Manor. Prue and Piper prepare to vanquish the most evil demon by tipping over a table. They crouch down behind it and start the summoning spell. There is a swirl of Magical Indoor Wind. The girls throw their potion at it, but nothing happens because it isn’t Balthazar. It’s Bounty Hunter.
Steph: What’s up with that shimmery, fuchsia vanquishing potion? It looks like one of my nail polishes.
Mari: Bounty Hunter calls them stupid witches and sends some lightening at them, but it hits the table. Prue gets pissed because it’s an antique table, so she flings him with her telekinesis. Piper freezes him midair, though, because he was heading toward their antique clock and they can’t afford to keep fixing it. The girls wonder why their spell summoned this guy and not Belthazor. Prue suggests unfreezing only his head so that they can ask him. Piper wonders why not and goes for it. It works and the girls are very amused.
Bounty Hunter gets all growly about being mostly frozen midair. Prue asks him who he even is, and he says that he’s someone who is going to butcher them if they don’t unfreeze him. Piper’s like, “okay,” and unfreezes him so he flies right into the antique clock. Prue gives her a look, but she says it was worth it.
Was this little exchange kind of cute or has my bar just sunk really low?
Steph: Low bar. I am not amused.
Mari: First Yummy and now this.
Anyhow, the girls run over to Bounty Hunter. Prue kicks him and puts her foot on his chest, demanding to know who he is. He says he’s Krell, a Zotar. Prue replies, “hi, I’m Prue. A Scorpio.” Is she about to die soon? Because she’s been reasonable and sassy and the only one trying to actually stop demons for like 3 episodes now and that can only mean the end is nigh for her.
Steph: She does eventually get replaced by Rose McGowan at some point. Seems a shame for her to go when she finally stops being boring.
Mari: Prue asks where Belthazor is and Krell pushes her off and gets to his feet, but tells them not to attack. He explains that he’s a bounty hunter who tracks fugitive demons and they are both after the same one.
DA’s office. Phoebe lets herself into Cole’s office, but someone is already there. She thinks it’s Cole, but it’s actually another black man like did they decide to just pack this episode with all of them so they only have to worry about Darrell moving forward? I wouldn’t put it past them.
Steph: “The Black Quota has been met. We’re good for the next three seasons.” – Charmed casting, probably.
Mari: The guy introduces himself as Reece Davidson from the DA Bureau of Investigation. He’s trying to figure out what happened to Cole because no one has heard from him since Monday. (See! Hurt for a week…) Phoebe tells Reece she hasn’t either. He had a suitcase packed a few weeks ago, but then he said his plans had changed. Reece says that’s funny because he hasn’t worked on a case for months. All he’s done is file extensions. Reece gives Phoebe his card in case she hears from him and goes back to going through Cole’s desk.
Manor. Bounty Hunter says he underestimated Belthazor and thought because his shimmer powers weren’t working, his others weren’t either. Bounty Hunter doesn’t have the power to vanquish Belthazor, which is why he intercepted the witches’ summoning spell. I mean, he could’ve also let the summoning spell work and then the witches would’ve vanquished him BUT OKAY.
Prue asks how they don’t know Bounty was also sent by the Triad to kill them. Bounty Hunter scoffs and says that their Whitelighter must be an idiot (mostly says that. I embellished a little) because he should’ve told them that Belthazor killed the Triad, which is why he’s on the run. Bounty Hunter suggests working together because he can track Belthazor and they can vanquish him. And by track, Bounty means “sniff his blood but only if he is in his human form lol.” That’s a lot of ifs, sir, but Prue seems to be considering the team up.
Piper calls her over to pow-wow. She tells Prue that working with demons is so not a good idea. Prue tells Bounty Hunter that they’ll let him know about working together. He yells at them but Prue narrows her eyes a bit so he backs off. He tells them to think fast because Belthazor won’t stop hunting them. Only the heads of the Charmed Ones may convince the Source to spare him. Bounty Hunter even does a little head choppy motion with his hand so we know this is serious. He disappears and after a beat, Prue and Piper both call out to Leo.
Stalker Mission. Phoebe is now at Cole’s apartment, knocking on his door and yelling ARE YOU IN THERE? Cole’s next door neighbor comes out to give Phoebe a, “girl, stop” look. (S: They’ve just started dating and she’s already this clingy. Look at all the red flags, Cole.) Phoebe starts to leave but then notices a little blood trail that leads into his apartment. She tries the knob and it’s unlocked so she lets herself in. We see Darth Cole hiding in the bathroom, but by the time Phoebe gets there, he’s put his Cole face on, even though it’s a sweaty and disheveled Cole face. Phoebe sees his wound and gets very worried and not at all suspicious because it’s the same wound Belthazor would have.
After a not!break, Phoebe is helping Cole into bed. She wants to take him to the hospital, but he says it’s not safe. Someone is looking for him. Phoebe tells him about the guy in his office, and he almost asks if it was a demon, but catches himself in time. Phoebe says she’s going to get help and that involves taking two steps away and furiously whispering LEO. It doesn’t work, so she tells Cole that she’s going back to the house to get Leo who is a doctor and can heal him. Cole says okay. After Phoebe is gone, he briefly phases into Darth Cole and back.
Steph: The P’s don’t even need a vanquishing potion since Cole’s missing flesh chunk seems to be taking him out for them. You’d think a notoriously badass demon such as himself would be able to handle more than this.
Mari: You would think.
Manor, attic. Piper is yelling at Leo for not knowing the Triad is dead. He says they’d heard rumors, but nothing substantiated. Prue steps in to say that everything in the Book of Shadows about Zotars confirms what Bounty Hunter told them, which makes her think that the other stuff he said is true too. Piper is hesitant about working with a demon, but Leo is on Prue’s side. He thinks they need to take this opportunity.
Downstairs, the girls use the Belthazor summoning spell to call Bounty Hunter. Phoebe arrives just as the Magical Indoor Wind starts up and not knowing what is happening, levels Bounty with a Very Useful Kick. The girls have to give her the Cliff Notes version of the last 22 minutes, but I’ll spare you. Phoebe is on board but also needs to talk to Leo. Bounty Hunter hilariously asks how these witches ever get anything done. They need to go now because he can sniff out Belthazor. He suggests splitting up because Belthazor might be hiding in the cemetery? But I thought he just said he had Belthazor’s scent? So why would they need to just go look in the cemetery?
It’s whatever because the point is to get Phoebe and Leo alone so she can tell him about Cole and not tell her sisters about Cole. Phoebe takes Leo to Cole’s apartment and they argue because healing mortals is against the rules, unless they were wounded by evil. (S: They totally just made that wounded by evil thing up this episode, didn’t they?) Leo doesn’t want to break the rules, but Phoebe kind of guilts him into doing it anyway. Inside, Cole is passed out on the floor. Leo peels off his bandage and tries to heal him, but his wound starts sparking. Leo keeps trying and eventually gets blown back for his trouble. The wound doesn’t get totally healed, but it is closed up now. Leo looks at Cole suspiciously. Phoebe doesn’t seem to suspect a thing because she’s oblivious.
Here, have a gifset with the gross wound:
Mari: It’s an old show. I gotta work with what I got.
After another not!break, Phoebe brings Cole water. Cole says he owes Dr. Leo one and I’m not sure how they explained this to him since his wound is closed with no stitches. But okay. Leo asks to speak to Phoebe out in the hall.
Steph: Dontcha know, all the best doctors work without tools and create skin where there wasn’t any before.
Mari: Out there, Leo tries to confront Phoebe with the truth, namely that he couldn’t heal Cole meaning that he isn’t a mortal, and that Belthazor’s wound was in the same place as Cole’s. Phoebe is like, “NO. IT CAN’T BE. TWOO LURVE.” or whatever because she’s oblivious. She sends Leo away.
Steph: Remember how I insisted that Phoebe wasn’t as bad as everyone says she is? I changed my mind.
Mari: It was only a matter of time.
Back in the apartment, Cole is weirdly hiding behind the front door like a creep.
Alley. Bounty Hunter thinks he’s sniffed out Cole, but in fact, it’s just the not-yummy homeless man from earlier. Bounty tries to torture him, but Prue won’t let him. They have a whole I’m bad, you’re good showdown, in case we forgot that demons are bad and witches are good. (S: The homeless man runs off making funny noises while they argue. My favorite performance so far.) Piper is still examining the coat, and Prue suggests bringing to Phoebe for a premonition. On second look, though, Prue realizes that it looks exactly like the coat Cole wears. She asks Bounty how long ago the Triad sent Belthazor after them. It’s been two months.
Steph: Okay, I get that Cole being a demon has been super obvious from the start, but putting it together from a coat that could be worn by any random man is ridiculous. And who the heck remembers the boring clothes of a guy they see every few weeks?
Mari: Caught in a demon trap? Didn’t tip them off. A COAT?
Cole is washing up and Phoebe is being suspicious now. Cole is making rather unsubtle evil remarks about Leo while Phoebe goes through his stuff. All his drawers are empty, a sign of sure evil. Cole catches her doing this and she pretends to be looking for a piece of paper. When he heads back into the bathroom, Phoebe grabs her potion and the music swells as if this is a big moment and not our girl being a million years late to the party.
Prue, Piper and Bounty arrive at Cole’s place. Prue knows they need to vanquish Cole and Piper knows this is going to cause sister problems. Leo tinkles in with his news, but the girls already know about Cole. Bounty Hunter is like, “tell me you didn’t heal Cole…” and Leo says he didn’t know! Phoebe begged him! Piper tells him to stay there while the big kids go take care of the demon.
In the apartment, Phoebe and Cole dance around confronting each other. Phoebe has the potion but doesn’t use it. They are interrupted when the others arrive. Cole becomes Belthazor. Bounty Hunter gets ready to electrocute, but Prue stops him so Phoebe won’t get caught in the crossfire. Belthazor shimmers away with Phoebe.
Mari: It’s a classic piece of acting.
Bounty growls at the girls some more, this time for letting Belthazor get away. Piper doesn’t think Cole will hurt Phoebe because he hasn’t done it yet. Bounty can’t believe how useless Cole has been at killing the Charmed Ones. Prue thinks it must’ve all been some grand plan instead of gross incompetence, so that’s cute.
Bounty Hunter asks the girls for the potion because he can track Belthazor and save Phoebe faster by himself. Prue remembers that Bounty already said that he can’t track Belthazor if he can shimmer. Bounty’s like, “but he can’t shimmer well.” Leo only healed his human half. The whole half human/half demon thing is news to the witches. That’s why Belthazor got sent in the first place because he can ~*understand*~ them.
Prue hands over the potion, but she doesn’t trust him so she says they are off to where demons hide.
Cemetery. Phoebe yells at Darth Cole to stop shimmering all over the place because she’s gonna vomit. She takes the down time to also beat Darth Cole up. She prepares to vanquish Darth Cole, but he puts his Cole face on. Cole says he won’t hurt Phoebe, but she thinks it’s a little late for that. They’ve been dating for weeks now! WEEKS! He’s put her through so much! SO MUCH!
Cole swears that he couldn’t kill Phoebe. I mean, sure, at first he was definitely trying to kill them and they thwarted his attempts but THEN he couldn’t kill her. He loves her, even though everything else is a lie. He’s half human and she’s reminded him what it means to ~*feel*~.
Steph: Yeah. Let’s just forget the part where he held a knife to her throat to make an escape just moments ago. I can only hope to experience a deep and meaningful love half as good as this.
Mari: Relationship questions: how would you feel about using me as a bodily shield?
Bounty Hunter shows up to break up this feels fest. He hits Cole with some lightening. Phoebe runs to Cole and helps him up and back into the mausoleum from earlier. Bounty Hunter follows them, but Phoebe beats him up, right up until he shimmers away from and behind her. He gets ready to electrocute her but Cole is like “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” and hits Bounty with his powers. Bounty is vanquished and Cole is like, “see I love you!” Phoebe is like “yay! You do!” and they kiss.
Piper and Prue arrive at the cemetery, calling for Phoebe. Cole says he should go, but Phoebe knows that they won’t stop looking for him. She thinks quickly and grabs Cole’s jacket. She cuts his hand and drips some blood on the jacket. Then she vanquishes the jacket and apparently now everyone will think he’s dead. Phoebe and Cole kiss one more time before he shimmers away.
Steph: BYE! Just kidding. I’m sure this relationship drama will torment us for the rest of the series.
Mari: Piper and Prue enter the mausoleum and see that Phoebe is okay and a jacket has been vanquished. They assume Cole is gone. Prue tells Phoebe that she did what she had to, and Phoebe agrees that she did.
Manor. Phoebe is brooding on the couch with Cole’s big ass knife. (S: It’s really freaking weird, and even weirder that no one brings up that she’s getting comfort from a knife. WTF.) Her sisters come in to try and cheer her up, but Phoebe says this is all her fault. Prue says she did nothing wrong, but Phoebe thinks she did. At least now it’s over, until the next demon attacks. The girls leave Phoebe alone to brood with a knife in peace.
Next time on Charmed: Piper gets possessed in S03 E09 – Coyote Piper.