Season 5 Episode 8

A Witch in Time

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 10, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
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333 votes

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Episode Summary


When Phoebe must constantly save the life of her new boyfriend, a warlock shows up from the future, claiming that future Cole sent him in order to kill the boyfriend before Phoebe dies instead. However, present Cole cannot allow this and tries to help the sisters protect Miles, but when the warlock decides to work on his own agenda, by stealing the Book of Shadows, it results in the death of two of the Halliwell sisters. The survivor must decide whether going back to change the past is the right thing to do.


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  • Yeaah ok.

    While I see where Phoebe is coming from, the idea of letting someone die should be followed with a LOT of evidence. But her being all "It's all about Cole" is kinda crap to me. Cole gave you a warning and has done nothing else and yet you still condemn and blame him!

    I actually liked this episode, and enjoyed the ending. Probably longest boyfriend arc on this show besides Jack and Dan. 2 episodes!

    I mean I think it sucks an innocent had to do die, but when it's your time it is your time. And my god what was with the fourth vision. ALL she sees is Cole above her bed but she automatically decides he's there to kill.

    Can anyone really blame him for giving up?! (Sorry for the constant Cole rants. I guess you've all gotten what I do and don't like about the situation. Not long now though).

    I do agree that I'm surprised magic advanced so much but I guess writing spells takes minutes, and evil has probably been researching how to do this for years so I can see both arguments.

    "death wants him, death will get him" "says you" .. really Cole has done nothing murderous at all! God get over yourself.

    I thought it was very big of Cole to offer to protect the man the love of his life is shacking up with.

    While I've always liked Leo's pep talks I feel they all just changed their minds too suddenly. Like Phoebe at least had a look of realisation on her face, but Paige sat there miserable then all of a sudden was "oh but wait", to me it was just too sudden.

    Finally, for such smart bad guys, Bacarra was extremely stupid in not thinking their whitelighter would show up to orb them away. And if he was there from the start probably could've orbed all of them.moreless
  • A hitch in time ...

    Hand sdown the worst episode of Charmed I have ever had the misfortune to see. Unwatchable would be an understatemement, I prefer to pretend it does not exist. The episode is plagued by plot-holes, not least being the fat that, had the warlock killed Phoebe in the past, it would cease to exist in that time period as Cole would have had no reason to send him bakc. Therefore, none of the events would have happened. Secondly, why is it so powerful, more powerful than the Source? The excuse of the 'future (uh ... 15 years in the future, to be exact) is ridiculous, seeing as magic has not evolved like that in thousands of years, not even in centuries, let alone 15 years. Bad could NEVER reach the Book of Shadows throughout history - why was a spell suddenly possible? (Spells using the most bizarre mumblings I have ever heard, sound This episode makes no sense and should therefore not be considered part of the canon. There is no way magic has evolved so much in 15 years. Think about 1. how slowly it evolved in the past. 2. How the future generations are weaker than the Charmed Ones (no power of three, diffused abilities between them), yet handle evil no bother. If magic had advanced as much as this, they would all have been killed. We know ths not to be the case. In short: terrible episode thta makes no sense. Don't watch.moreless
  • A Witch in Time

    A Witch in Time was a superb episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character and plot development. The story was engaging and intriguing with lots of action, drama and humor. There were many lessons learned and the sisters definitely seemed stronger by the end of this episode. I was very entertained and certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!!
  • A warlock walks through...

    Coming right at the heels of the great Sympathy for a Demon is another of Charmed's best. The main power of this episode is three fold: its bad guy, its creative plot, and its shocking conclusion.

    The bad is among the best we ever see on Charmed. We finally have another warlock, and we also finally have a warlock who not only absorbs powers but also uses spells! Imagine that! Bacarra is cooly played by James Brooks, and his plethora of spells and abilities enables him to do what every other demon and bad have been trying to do through 5 seasons: steal the BOS and kill a couple of the Charmed Ones. It is unfortunate that Cole and Bacarra only have one scene together. It is a great one. This is essentially the last episode where Cole is a good guy, though we are given a clear glimpse into the near future when Bacarra shows up. After that great scene with Bacarra, Cole is somewhat poorly used, but his invincibility could have ruined the conclusion so he is effectively removed from the action.

    This is a dark episode highlighted by Bacarra removing the heart of a living witch. Sure, its a repeat of a scene from That Old Black Magic, but it was a darker scene whereas that one was heavy on parody. Strangely, the identical spell as used in that episode requires two less hearts this time around. I guess that is better than in Season 7, when Zankou needs NO hearts to make it work. Once again the sisters are overcome with despair after losing the book and talked off the ledge by He of Many Speeches, Leo. Too bad that scene was then made useless as Bacarra and his present self overcome the COs in about 3 seconds flat. Paige getting incinerated is one of the most shocking moments in Charmed. Pretty difficult for the show to still stun me into a 5th season, but that did. Piper and Leo's quest to go back in time to save Paige and Phoebe is actually a foreshadowing of Forever Charmed. The entire conclusion is brilliant and concisely done. Ultimately, the bad is never vanquished and the innocent ends up dying. Great episode with just a few hiccups.moreless
  • Time After Time

    A Witch In Time-When Phoebe must constantly save the life of her new boyfriend, a warlock shows up from the future, claiming that future Cole sent him in order to kill the boyfriend before Phoebe dies instead. However, present Cole cannot allow this and tries to help the sisters protect Miles, but when the warlock decides to work on his own agenda, by stealing the Book of Shadows, it results in the death of two of the Halliwell sisters. The survivor must decide whether going back to change the past is the right thing to do.

    The past 2 episodes and this one are definately what Season 5 should have been all along: dark episodes with meaty storylines and some decent character development. "A Witch In Time" is so refreshing considering you can tell the writers were putting a lot of thought into the plot. There's some great storytelling elements and each plot development is better than the last. Every plot point just seemed to come together so well: Phoebe's premonitions, Cole's involvement, the Angel of Death, even Miles' introduction last episode had some sort of a payoff. I gotta say I loved Bacara! He's probably my favorite villain after Shax and The Source. He's certainly one of the most powerful warlocks the sisters have ever faced and I loved his cool warlock dialect when he would say his spells. Once again, the stakes are high and it actually feels like the sisters have no chance of winning. It all leads to a shocking sequence where Paige and Phoebe are turned to ashes. You'd thinkwatching the sisters die at this point would become tiresome but thanks to somegreat direction and acting by Holly and Brian, it was a worthy "holy sh!t" moment!

    The only weak aspects was the slightly far fetched period between the present and Bacara's future. 6 months? Maybe a year or two would have been more believeable considering Bacara's future seemd too advanced for just a couple of months. Then there's Phoebe's Cole bashing again, at this point everythime his name is mentioned, she turns into an uncontrollable b!tch. I'm almost praying Cole throws an energy ball right in her mouth. The episode concludes with an intense pace and I love brief scene between the two Pipers. Holly's comedic timing was perfect and it's genuinely heart-breaking watching Phoebe cry over Miles. All and All, a wonderful surprise from Season 5, a rare episode with great action, nice tension, dark moments and a strong story.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (33)

    • In the alley after Piper freezes everything, Phoebe removes the gun from that guy's hand without gloves. Wouldn't she be worried about fingerprints on the gun?

    • When Piper goes back in time and is talking to herself in the car, when she tells present Piper that she is from the future, present Piper says "not that far in the future, I just got that top." Her having just bought the top future Piper is wearing has nothing to do with how far in the future she came from, and this sentence makes no sense.

    • Before Miles left the manor, Phoebe told him not to forget about their lunch date and he asked if she wanted to meet at his office or at the Bistro. She told him she would meet him at his office and they would just walk. When he stands up after she saves him why was he surprised to see her? Why did he leave his work without her?

    • When Miles enters the mansion for dinner he has an unobscured view of the dining table but only seems to notice the rest of the family sitting there after Piper clears her throat.

    • When Piper and Phoebe come to save Miles the first time and Phoebe's running inside Miles' office building, she is wearing black high-heel boots. Then a minute later she comes out wearing Ugg Boots. She is also wearing the Ugg Boots as they are running to save Miles. When they get to Miles Phoebe is back to wearing the black high-heel boots. When Piper goes back in time to save her sisters, it's the same. Phoebe's wearing high heel shoes into the office, then ugg boots out of the office and running to save Miles, then high heeled shoes when they reach him.

    • When Piper and Paige are talking in the kitchen, there is a shot where Piper gives her back to the camera, when she turns around to look at Phoebe in the conservatory with Miles, she looks twice at the camera.

    • When Piper and Paige are going to talk with Phoebe about Miles, they knock and barely two seconds later Miles opens the door. How it is possible that he opened the door so quick?

    • When Piper and Phoebe are running, a man and a women are shown talking near to a post wall, but in the next shot only the man is there and not the woman.

    • When there are two Pipers in the car, the Piper with the green clothes has different hair between shots.

    • As Piper is going back in time she can see lots of people on the street but don't any of those people see a strange woman coming out of a wall?

    • When Bacarra blinks to the street, he sees Piper and Leo. He seems concerned that they are there but since he just arrived how did he even have time to react?

    • Piper tries to freeze the warlock but he doesn't freeze, so seconds later she tries to blow him up. Shouldn't Piper know by now that if a demon does not freeze he is not gonna blow up? Technically her blowing up power is the same as her freezing one. So why did she try?

    • Bacarra told Cole that he sent him because if he had come his rivals would have stolen his place. But that doesn't make sense, time does not move forward that way. Besides changing the past would change the reality so Cole would not have been worried about that. It is ridiculous that he would come back to the same exact reality if his plan was to change it.

    • When Phoebe moves the bullets while time is frozen, the smoke that follows the bullet goes away just after moving the bullet. That makes no sense at all, the smoke should stay frozen because the only thing that is being moved is the bullet.

    • At the very beginning, Phoebe and Miles are standing near the Manor's door. But the floor seems too large and there are no stairs visible at all. It doesn't look like the inside of the Manor that was always shown.

    • When Phoebe asks Piper which direction to go, when they are chasing after Miles, a close up of Phoebe is shown and a man and a woman are walking behind her. Then when the camera moves to Piper, the same man and woman walk behind her too.

    • Why didn't the potions work on Bacarra? They were already made before the sisters' powers were stripped, so they should have worked.

    • In this episode, when Piper changes the past, she is hiding behind the wall, and she fades away. But in the episode "Forever Charmed", when Piper went back to change the past, once she fixed it, her future self got pulled into her past self.

    • Piper, Paige, and Leo are eating breakfast. In the wide shot Leo has both hands on his coffee mug, but in the next shot of just him, he is holding it with only one hand.

    • When the gunman shot at Miles, only one shot is heard being fired, but when the scene is frozen, there are two bullets about to hit Miles.

    • When Bacarra killed Phoebe and Paige he changed destiny. And when he was talking to his past self he said to claim his throne in the underworld. If he had succeeded, wouldn't his future self have felt more powerful? And if he didn't succeed, he would have realized that he wasn't more powerful and stayed and helped?

    • When future Bacarra attacks at dinner, Piper tries to freeze him, and it doesn't work. She tells Paige, instead of trying to blow him up. Wouldn't, after having her power of blowing up stuff for over a year, she know to blow him up before she says he doesn't freeze.

    • In the season 2 episode "That Old Black Magic" the evil witch Tuatha needed a fresh human heart for each of the three sisters in order to disempower all of the sisters. Bacarra however only had one, so logically only one of the sisters should have been disempowered.

    • TRIVIA: The spell the two Bacarra's used to disempower a witch, which need a fresh human heart, was previously used by the wicked witch Tuatha in the season 2 episode That Old Black Magic.

    • Leo should have been in awful pain the second Paige died, because that always happens when one of his charges is hurt or killed. Instead, he orbs up to the attic after Piper calls for him and he's shocked to see two of the sisters dead.

    • The inside of the elevator in Miles' apartment building looks an awful lot like the elevator from Cole's penthouse.

    • When Paige and Piper bring the "comfort food" to Phoebe, the plate of cookies jumps from Piper's left hand to right hand in a very short camera cut.

    • When Bacarra and his younger self stole the Book of Shadows, why didn't Paige just summon it?

    • A dozen dozen is called a gross, or 144 units. Anybody who has ever worked in retail or in ordering knows that very basic fact. Piper, a former chef, restaurant manager and current club owner, asking Leo how much a dozen dozen was is unbelievable.

    • All of the lilac and wisteria around the Manor's porch/soundstage at the beginning of the episode is surprisingly robust for San Francisco in November. Most of it apparently shrivels up by the next morning when they use an outside shot.

    • The brief shot we see of Phoebe's newspaper letter column consists of two-sentence opinions on different subjects and there's no indication of any letters from readers or anything.

    • The gangbanger's hand moves noticeably as the extra tries to hold the gun up and pretend to be "frozen."

    • This has been used before, but technically Paige's orbing is not a witch-power at all and should not have been stripped. It has been stated clearly that her power is telekenesis and her natural ability is orbing out, as she is half whitelighter.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Piper: (about Phoebe) Miles is not her type, and she would see that if she wasn't on the rebound.
      Leo: Yeah, I don't think so. I think he's a nice guy.
      Piper: He just got divorced.
      Leo: So did she.
      Piper: He's wearing cologne.
      Leo: Oh, and that's a bad thing.
      Piper: And he's a computer programmer? He works with numbers all day. You know how Phoebe is with math. They have absolutely nothing in common.
      Leo: You're right. We…we should just vanquish him.

    • Piper: If it's Miles' time to go, there is nothing we can do… I told Phoebe rebounds never work.

    • Miles (right after Phoebe saved him from the shootout): You saved my life!
      Phoebe: Oh, it was nothin'.
      Miles: It was my life!
      Phoebe: Yeah.
      Miles: I should be dead right now.
      Phoebe: Yeah, but you're not. That's good.
      Miles: You saved my life!
      Phoebe: I think we've been over that part.

    • Cole: Is Phoebe okay?
      Piper: Oh. No you don't! She's having dinner. With a guy. She's fine.
      Cole: Well, listen to me. I got a visit from a warlock, and he is after her... guy.
      Piper: Okay. Well, thanks for the tip. We'll handle it.
      Cole: Well, I'll stay here on stakeout to help.
      Piper: No, you can't! Look. Warlocks we can handle. Demonic ex-husbands we cannot. You have to get out of here before she sees you.
      Cole: Wait. Did she get a premonition today? Did she save some guy's life?
      (Piper looks at the dining room to make sure Phoebe does not see Cole)
      Phoebe (approaching the kitchen from the dining room): Okay. Dessert.
      Piper: Hurry. She's coming. Go!
      (Cole disappears)

    • Piper: I had a little premonition of my own! (Paige & Phoebe both follow her)

    • Bacarra (to Cole): You're the future of evil, man.

    • Piper (to Phoebe): You know as well as I do that you can't cheat death.

    • Piper: Honey?
      Leo: Yeah?
      Piper: Zip it.

    • Phoebe: Okay, something really freaky happened last night when I was with Miles.
      Piper (sarcastically): You guys are already getting freaky?

    • Piper: Oh no, they're going upstairs! Should I stop them?
      Paige: No, unless you want to make a total ass of yourself - but that's up to you.

    • Piper: Too many spells and potions to remember, let alone defend against.
      Phoebe: We're dead.
      Piper: Again.
      Paige: And again.

    • Phoebe: How long have you guys been standing there?
      Paige: Long enough to know you've got some serious 80's dance moves!

    • (Piper sees Paige and her date, Max, making out on the couch after just walking in while Phoebe and Miles were about to kiss on the porch.)
      Piper: What is this?! A brothel?
      Max (to Paige): You didn't mention that. I'm a little short on cash.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Co se má stát, stane se (What Is Supposed to Happen Is Going to Happen) France: Le maudit (The cursed one) Italy: Il tunnel del tempo (The time portal) Germany: Tödliche Visionen (Deadly visions)

    • The WB used the promo title "Firestarters" for this episode.