Season 4 Episode 8

Black As Cole

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 15, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
470 votes

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Episode Summary

Cole must face his true demonic nature when he is faced with another demon who is mistaken as the murderer of local witches who belong to the same coven. Meanwhile, Cole proposes to Phoebe, and Piper and Leo consider their future involving children.

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  • This is where the anti-cole side of Paige goes downhill for me.

    So while I don't really have anything against this episode, Blinksterboy says exactly what I'm thinking:

    "Paige was really annoying in this episode. I can understand why seeing Belthazor might have shocked her but did she have to go on about it all day? In the six weeks she's known Cole he's not done anything remotely evil. Granted, it was an important part of the plot but I felt it was over the

    On top of that because she finally learns about what he USED to be, she starts being all weird. On the phone 'morphed into any demons lately?', treating him like he's guilty.

    Yes he's done a lot of crap in his life, but he was a demon doing it, an evil being who knew no better, he's finally learning better, realising there is a reason to live for good, and I think that makes him quite special as a 'person' and deserving of more respect than the little he got in this episode, not just from Paige.

    The woman wanting revenge was extremely over the top for me and done quite badly. While I get it, you lost your husband, this is another human being fully aware of the existence of demons, why is nobody killing her to silence her? And I hated how she acted so selfish in the park and in the house. I get she wants revenge, but you can't just devote yourself to magic, you aren't magic, you might know his MO but knowing EXACTLY when and where he'd be without scrying or anything is total crap.

    I thought the whole protige thing was interesting, it'd make sense that he would've had someone that he trained in his life that was of his 'species'.

    Piper saying "honey we can't have a demon in the family" I thought was quite selfish and rude.. Phoebe risked eternal pain or torment to bless Piper and Leo's wedding, but she wants to marry a man she loves and is trying to be good and Piper shuts down in what she believes is a humorous way.

    Either way, this is where Paige goes downhill for me for a while. At least the anti-cole Paige. She has NO reason to distrust Cole yet she does from the moment she saw him in the book. This wasn't her 'sensing' he's evil like she sensed the creepy house was evil. Cole IS NOT evil yet, he hasn't done anything yet, and hasn't yet by the time Paige goes on a complete crusade against him.

    I hate identifying a demon by an 'energy ball'. It was Cole's because of an energy ball? I'm sorry A LOT of demons have energy balls and they all look identical.moreless
  • Black As Cole

    Black As Cole was a perfect and hilarious episode of Charmed and it also had some good serious moments as well. I really enjoyed watching as the story unfolded because there was a lot of intrigue, drama and magic. It was fun watching Piper and Leo care for a mechanical crying baby to test out having a child of their own. It was awesome to see a Demon impersonating Belthazor to frame Cole for murdering innocent witches. I liked the character conflicts which arose because of this. Piper was funny in dealing with the baby and Paige is really fitting in well. What Phoebe did in the end for Cole was great and I look forward to seeing how things play out!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The Cole Shoulder

    Black As Cole-Cole must face his true demonic nature when he is faced with another demon who is mistaken as the murderer of local witches who belong to the same coven. Meanwhile, Cole proposes to Phoebe, and Piper and Leo consider their future involving children.

    A superb episode that sees the writers continuing to develop Cole when he becomes the main suspect in a string of murders involving witches. Of course the whole "being framed by a copy cat killer" has been done so many times, but it's used very well here, especially in developing Cole. Julian McMahon is wonderful throughout as Cole must face his dark side head on and comes to terms with the monster he was in his past. The bedroom scene between Cole and Phoebe is a beautiful as Cole confesses to Phoebe exactly what he was and still is. Alyssa Milano is also wonderful when playing Phoebe as Cole's guide and support system. No matter what Cole has done in the past, Phoebe always finds some way to find the good in him and it's nice seeing Phoebe so determined in this hour.

    All the guest stars are great including Heather Dawn as Emma, the vengeful widow after the demon who killed her husband. She makes Emma's storyline very real and convincing, especially when talking to Phoebe about losing a loved one to evil. Aaron Brumfield is also good as Sykes and I loved his M.O. about beeing Belthazar's prodigy. Also, the make-up team did a stunning job of making Sykes look like reversed colored Belthazar with his skin being all black and red lining on his face. The climax is very suspenseful when Emma throws a potion at Cole and you think his vanquished, only for Cole to still be alive afterwards. It's a shocking development with Cole turing human and it makes for some interesting issues ahead for Cole and Phoebe. Also, the sub-plot with Paige giving Piper and Leo a fake baby so they can pretend to be parents was hilarious, especially when the baby gets fryed during a demon attack. All and All, "Black As Cole" is a superb character study of Cole by developing the character in significant ways.moreless
  • Goodbye Belthazor, goodbye cool powers... bummer...

    This is a somewhat seminal episode as the series says goodbye to Belthazor and Cole becomes temporarily mortal.

    There are a lot of good elements and scenes in this episode. Phoebe and Cole have some excellent scenes together, including the scene where Cole convinces Phoebe to get his vanquishing potion and their penultimate scene up in the attic. Sykes as Belthazor's protege is fairly effective, though I think a younger man might have made a better protege. It is a little odd seeing two demons fight it out like gorillas instead of using their powers, but the huge actors did add an epic dimension to their clashes. The vengeful woman, I thought, was a little overplayed and somewhat annoying. Her obsession made her a very unsympathetic character, and it was a little disappointing that the sisters wouldn't defend Cole with a little more vigor. After all, how many times has he saved their lives now? I understand now that the writers were continuing to set up Paige as the anti-Cole, which gives us the epic pay off in Centennial Charmed, but Cole even saved her life when Shax was after her. Maybe she should remember that.

    On the other hand, I do admit this plot line does bring up a very confounding moral dilemma for the sisters. Yes, Cole is helping them now, and he has saved their lives. However, does that balance over 100 years of committing evil acts? Impossible to say. It seems to depend on what side of the ledger you are on. For the Charmed Ones, absolutely Cole has been a powerful ally that they should defend for their own well-being. However, for the woman who lost her loved one to Belthazor, there likely is no act that would redeem him. The ending gave us a rather convenient solution to the dilemma. The woman gets her revenge on Belthazor while the Charmed Ones get to keep Cole around. I initially thought it was a terrible idea to strip Cole of his powers. Fortunately, that condition doesn't last for long.

    Strong and important episode as Season 4 maintains its high quality.moreless
  • Cole has a lookalike and it's confusing for everyone, even him.

    For Phoebe's sake, it seems that Cole is trying to 'go straight' but all that could be put in jeopardy when a demon who bears a striking resemblance to Belthazor turns up in the San Francisco area and starts killing witches who belong to the same coven. As Cole fights daily to keep his demon self in check, it becomes obvious that he is going to have to look his own evil straight in the eye in order to try and sort out what is taking place, and perhaps even look at how feels about who he is and what he has become?

    A very interesting episode. Great work by Julian McMahon as he battles Cole's demons.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (18)

    • In the beginning of the episode, Cole says that lower level demons bleed green and upper level demons bleed red. However, in season 3 episode 8, when Phoebe finds out the Cole is a demon, he tells her that the fact that he bleeds red proves that he's half human...

    • TRIVIA: The Halliwells' manor is at Prescott and Pine corner, according to Emma's scrying.

    • When Phoebe announces that Cole has proposed to her, Piper tells her she can't marry him as it wouldn't go down well with the elders. Since when has Piper cared what the elders think? In the season 3 episode Magic Hour, didn't she try to marry Leo behind their backs?

    • When the sisters got a piece of Belthazor flesh, Cole was severely injured and bleeding. Why wasn't Sykes injured when they got his flesh?

    • TRIVIA: This is the only episode of the series with Cole's name in the title.

    • How is Emma able to scry using the athame, since she is not a witch or any magical being?

    • TRIVIA: In this episode, Paige discovers that Cole can turn into Belthazor, which is something that Piper and Phoebe knew about since season 3. This is the start of Paige's mistrust in Cole.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first time that Holly Marie Combs' tattoos on her wrists are shown on screen.

    • When Cole startles Phoebe, she tries to kick him. From her point of view, he's holding her ankle up high, but from his point of view, he's holding her ankle about waist level.

    • Leo can't repair the damaged doll and Piper and Paige have to pay for it. Yet Leo has used his powers in the past, and will again in the future, to heal inanimate objects.

    • If the sisters can vanquish upper-level demons by stabbing them, then why don't they just do that instead of going to the trouble of getting the flesh and making a potion?

    • TRIVIA: Cole proposes to Phoebe in this episode.

    • When Phoebe explains her vision, she says she sees an old amphitheatre, yet when the vision is shown, the only thing visible is the attacker and trees. This proves the show films realtime then adds the visions either in the process or during editing, there is no premeditation of the actual vision, just a hunch based on the script.

    • Paige's old apartment building where Leo takes Martika is the same building in the season 3 episode "Primose Empath" where Prue helps free the demon Vinceres from the empath curse.

    • In the season 3 episode Exit Strategythe power stripping potion had to cool & turn blood red, but the one Phoebe has now is light pink. Also, she spilled it all on the floor in that episode, so she must have made a new batch, instead of having "saved some" as she states. Also, in the season three episode it was stated that the potion was intended for Cole to drink. So how is it that it still worked?

    • TRIVIA: In this episode, Cole's powers are stripped when he is hit with the power-stripping potion. He is still, however, half-demon which is how he is able to accept the hollow and then the Source's powers without them driving him literally insane and killing him (like the doctor that had the Charmed Ones powers in the season 2 episode "Astral Monkey").

    • At the beginning of the episode, Paige is reading Belthazor's description from the book, but the words don't match what's in the book. Also Phoebe had written personal notes about Cole on that page, yet they're no longer there.

    • After Cole explains he might not be able to regain control after embracing his demonic-half, he tells Phoebe she should have the Belthazor vanquish potion ready just in case. In the season 3 episode "Look Who's Barking", Piper tried using that potion on Cole and it didn't work because he had his blood changed by an alchemist.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Paige (whispering to Leo and Cole about Piper): Am I the only one who thinks she's bumped her head?
      (Cole laughs)

    • Cole: Speaking of unanswered questions...
      Phoebe: There is a demon on the loose, Cole, we don't have time for this.
      Cole: Shouldn't we make time for it?
      Phoebe: No, not now, we shouldn't.
      Piper: What are you guys talking about?
      Phoebe: Nothing.
      Cole: Nothing.

    • (Baby cries in the background, causing Emma to look toward the dining room)
      Piper: Ignore that...
      Paige (urging): Piper!

    • Piper: No, the only way to vanquish an upper level demon is with the potion of his own flesh.
      Paige: Sounds like you've done this before.
      Phoebe: Once. On my fiancé.
      Paige: Your fiancé?
      Phoebe: Yeah, I just wanted to hear how it sounded.
      Piper: And?
      Phoebe: Kinda weird.
      Piper: Yeah.

    • Piper: That's not what I mean. What happened between you and Cole?
      Phoebe: Oh, yeah, that. Um…I'm not exactly sure. He asked me to marry him.
      Piper: What? He-he did what? He did?
      Phoebe: More or less.
      Piper: Well, what did you say?
      Phoebe: I didn't know what to say. I was too surprised. I mean, with all my power of premonition and I never saw that one coming.
      Piper: Uh, wow, I-I don't think a witch is allowed to marry a demon. Honey, we can't have a demon in the family.

    • Paige: You know, it's not like having a baby isn't hard enough even without demons attacking. But for what it's worth, there are ways of seeing what it's like before you actually have one.
      Piper: Mm-hmm, great. Well, the next time you pass a baby rental, pick one up for Leo.
      Paige: Maybe I will.

    • Piper: Wow, looks like you two got a juicy one.
      Phoebe: Yeah, but unfortunately not the one that kills witches.
      Piper: How do you know?
      Cole: Because upper level demons have a human form, and they bleed, red,
      not green. (Phoebe heads up the stairs) Where are you going?
      Phoebe: I'm going up to take a shower first, and then I'm going to check the Book of Shadows. I wanna I.D. this demon that I'm wearing, try to find some answers.
      Cole: Speaking of unanswered questions...

    • Phoebe: Is that a baby crying?
      Paige: You told me to rent one, so I did.
      Piper: Well, I didn't think that you could. Where did you get it?
      Paige: The clinic.
      Piper: Great. Take it back.

    • Phoebe: Okay, let's review. I play decoy, demon attacks. Piper freezes, you slice and dice until we get the demon sushi. And then we get out of there. Everybody ready?

    • Paige: Hey Phoebe. How's Cole? Morphed into any demons lately?

    • Paige: A demon who likes to kill witches? Well, that narrows it down to about every page in the book.

    • Piper: Okay, we just need the pigs feet over there by the mandrake root.

      Paige: Poor piggy, piggy. Their sensitive creatures you know. Smart too.

      Piper: Yeah, not that one.

    • Emma: She has a baby?
      Paige: Actually, she's not sure yet.

    • Piper (to Leo): Go away and drop Robokid off at the manor.

    • Piper(to Phoebe): Honey did you two have a fight?

    • Cole: Marry me.
      Phoebe: What?

    • Paige(to Piper): So I hear you and Leo are thinking of having a baby.

    • Sykes: Belthazor, we meet at last.
      Belthazor: But not for long.

    • Paige (to Cole): You were a demon and a lawyer? Insert joke here.

    • Phoebe: What do you want?
      Sykes: The same thing you do, only I call him Belthazor.

    • Phoebe (to Cole): Well, just because you're not a demon anymore doesn't mean we can't live in sin.

  • NOTES (2)