Season 1 Episode 4

Dead Man Dating

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 28, 1998 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
595 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Piper falls for the ghost of a recently murdered man who needs her help. Meanwhile, Phoebe works as a psychic to help others and make money for Prue's birthday present, and Prue discovers a devastating betrayal.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Dead Man Dating

    Dead Man Dating was another perfect and very entertaining episode of Charmed. I enjoyed watching because the story was well written and had layered the character development throughout the story in an appealing way. I liked the exploration of Chinese Mythology and the magic was fun to watch in action. The sisters are caught up in their own worlds while the main theme is Prue's birthday. This episode seemed like it might be referenced later on in the series in subtle ways and I look forward to watching more episodes!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Here is where America's love affair with Piper begins and where Charmed begins to take off.

    After 3 episodes that gave us back story and laid the groundwork for the rest of the series, this episode is where Charmed first showed where its lasting power would come from: from the strength of its characters and the actors that played them. This is a Piper-centric episode and Holly Marie Combs, the least known of the 3 main actresses, steals the show and begins to steal the series. A plot that could have easily turned into a corny rip off of Ghost is instead delivered as an emotional and inspiring story mostly thanks to tremendous writing and the great acting of Holly and John Cho. That's right John Cho. The guy who coined the now ubiquitous acronym "Milf" in American Pie. He proves here that hormonal comedy isn't the only thing he is good at. He actually has amazing chemistry with Holly, and their scenes together gain in heartfelt intensity as the end and their final parting nears. The funeral scene and their final parting is one of the more emotional scenes of the entire series. Only one episode after Leo is introduced, this episode sets the stage for what is to come after. It is ironic to those of us who knew ahead of time that ultimately Piper will end up with a man who has died.

    Phoebe's subplot is half exploration of her character and half comedy. Phoebe here is all energy and shows the same kind of intrepid desire to save innocents at all costs that will be hijacked even more forcefully by Paige after she becomes the youngest sister. Once again, Phoebe appears to be the only sister actually enjoying her power, and strangely enough, she is sort of the magical driving force behind the sisters early on.

    Prue's subplot does little but reinforce the already established overly cautious and protective nature of the eldest sister. Shannon's acting was the rock of the series for the first couple episodes, but we are already seeing Holly and Alyssa begin to settle comfortably into their roles. As they do, Shannon simply holds steady. She is a beautiful actress but the Prue character is nearly too motherly to be liked. I'll take Paige's wackiness and Piper as the too blunt elder sister any day.

    Anyway, the first truly great episode of Charmed, carried by a greatly written impossible love story, an important message about life and family, and an actress and actor with the talent and chemistry to pull it off in just one hour.moreless
  • "A loveless world is a dead world."

    Okay, there are basically 3 sub plots and the main one here. Mark and Piper's relationship, Andy and Prue's relationship, Phoebe's fortune-telling, and Prue's birthday.

    Andy and Prue's relationship is just a basic will she, won't she. Nothing really needed to be resolved in this plot, as it's a seasonal arc, unlike with Piper and Mark.

    Phoebe's is a basic save-the-innocent story. Although, I assume the point here was to strengthen the relationship between Prue and Phoebe, which, for all intents and purposes, it achieved.

    The birthday plot seemed to exist solely to keep Prue from going away with Andy. I don't see why they didn't just drop the going away plot and come up with some other way to further their relationship.

    I absolutely loved the relationship between Mark and Piper, it was very well done. Some of the exchanges they had were beautiful. It was interesting watching their relationship develop as the episode went along. I liked the mock-kiss scene, and I thought it was a lot more meaningful than if they'd just kissed normally. Another reason I think the birthday storyline should have been dropped is because it completely ruined and negated how upset they showed Piper at Mark's funeral when she had to say goodbye.

    The other minor issue I have is the bad direction outside the Police Department, cutting from person to person so fast it's dizzying.

    Overall I really liked this episode, mainly due to the relationship between Piper and Mark. If only they gave Phoebe's relationships-of-the-week, that we've become accustomed to from Season Five and up, this much depth and emotion.moreless
  • Love hurts

    I love this episode. This was a true tear jerker. I love Piper in this episode. She finds what could be her true love and he is a ghost. We all know that Leo is her soul mate but if we didn't know that this guy would have been so good with Piper. I also loved the fact that Pheobe and Pru finally started to get along. I felt bad for Pru when she found out and how she found out that Andy was married before. Piper is so innocent in the first season or two. I thought it to be very funny when she was talking to her ghost and nobody else could see him. These are the episodes that snatched my heart ad keeps me coming back.moreless
  • Love lives beyond death...

    I loved this episode alot. Mainly because of how it ended. Mark and Piper\'s short, but sweet romance made this episode what it was. I thought it was really sad at the end when Mark finally accepted his death and walked off with his father forever, leaving the sisters with his last words. Piper\'s \"almost-kiss\" with Mark\'s ghost was really cool. It wasn\'t going overboard at all and it showed that they liked eacother even if they would be together for a short time. Some of the more lighter and comical points of the episode was when I saw Phoebe trying to get a job and ended up as a psychic in this hilarious pink outfit that those psychics wear. Also kind of funny was when Prue almost got shot right when Piper freed her hands so she could freeze time just in time to stop the bullet from reaching Prue. Overall this was a great episode and I loved it.moreless
Shannen Doherty

Shannen Doherty

Prudence 'Prue' Halliwell

Holly Marie Combs

Holly Marie Combs

Piper Halliwell

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano

Phoebe Halliwell

Ted King

Ted King

Inspector Andy Trudeau

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • This is the first episode in which a character celebrates a birthday.

    • Goof: Wong grabs the back of Piper's hair with his left arm and he is holding his gun pointing down in his other hand. In the next shot his arm and the gun are aimed at Piper.

    • Goof: In one shot Piper picks up the invitations to Prue's birthday party, then in the next shot she picks up the same invitations again.

    • Goof: Phoebe's premonitions are not in color, so there was no way she could have known that the car was pink.

    • Goof: Mark takes Piper to his apartment to give her the recipes. But how did she get in? He might have had a key in his pocket, but that would now be as ethereal as the rest of him and she doesn't have Prue's powers to move things.

    • Goof: When Mark gets shot in the alley, there are two garbage cans and he falls on one of them. When they show his spirit climbing out of his body, the garbage can he fell on is gone and there is only one.

    • Goof: When Piper and Mark are at the police station and Piper opens the door for Mark the car shakes when Mark gets in the car. If he was a ghost he would not have been able to move the car.

    • Goof: When Piper gets kidnapped, Prue and Phoebe come downstairs wearing different clothes than what they had on in the scene just before, when they were upstairs.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first of very few times that Phoebe has premonitions that are not shown. They happened when she was talking to the hotel manager, and when she was talking to her angry customer, but no visions were shown.

    • Mark bumps into his door loudly right after his mother goes back into the house. Wouldn't his mother try to find out what was going on?

    • TRIVIA: This is the first time that a ghost appears on the show, and it's said that every witch can see them.

    • Goof: When Piper rescues Mark from Wong's, one can clearly hear two car doors closing - although Mark is said to be a ghost, who can walk through doors and walls.

    • Goof: Mark bumps into a handrail as he and Phoebe are leaving the hotel where she is a bar psychic. Mark can't bump into it because he is a ghost.

    • When Prue meets Andy and his wife in the restaurant, why did she ask if she was his sister? Prue grew up with Andy, surely she would know if he had any siblings.

    • When Piper went to see Tony Wong he had an amulet on the door and she threw it away so Mark could go in. Why couldn't she do that at Mark's mom's house?

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Mark: Give me a break, mum.
      Mrs. Chao: There are a lot of hungry spirits out there, Mark.
      Mark: You're like the Chinese Shirley MacLaine, you know that?
      Mrs. Chao: Better safe than sorry.
      Mark: I'll risk it.
      Mrs. Chao: You should have more respect for ghosts, Mark. If your grandmother were here...
      Mark: She'd warn me about all the evil spirits walking the streets in Chinatown, I know, I know.
      (Mrs. Chao takes an amulet off a hook next to the door.)
      Mrs. Chao: You should take this for protection.
      (He hooks it back up.)
      Mark: Maybe the ghosts need protection from me.
      (He kisses her on the cheek.)
      Mark: I'll be okay, mum. I'm 23 now. I can take care of myself, okay.
      (He hands her the balloon.)
      Mark: I gotta go.
      Mrs. Chao: Happy Birthday, Mark.
      Mark: Thanks.
      (He walks off.)

    • Piper: Well, I can talk about food all night long.
      Mark: Yeah? Well, I can talk about it forever.

    • Piper: Stupid question: Do ghosts sleep?
      Mark: I don't even get cold anymore...

    • (Yama appears on a horse heading towards them)
      Mark: Yama!
      Piper: Yama? Run.
      Mark: It's too late, you better go. Run! (Piper freezes Yama) What happened?
      Piper: I'm a good witch, remember?
      Mark: But how?
      Piper: I don't know. I panic, I put up both hands and bad things tend to freeze.
      Mark: For how long?
      Piper: Not very, let's go.

    • Mark the ghost (gazing at Prue who is wrapped in a towel and dripping wet): Of all the days to be a dead man...

    • Piper: I've never seen anybody killed before.
      Phoebe: Jeremy.
      Prue: Javna.
      Piper: I mean humans.

    • Phoebe: We're The Charmed Ones, Prue, not The Doomed Ones.

    • Piper: I snuck the photograph into Andy's interoffice mail.
      Mark: My afterlife's in the hands of a cop named Andy.

    • Prue: Phoebe, you have to save him. You can't let him out of your sight.
      Phoebe: Oh, don't worry. I waited until he went to sleep, and then I broke a key off in his door to lock him in. He's safe 'til morning. (silence) Hey, wait. That's it? You're not going to get mad at me?
      Prue: You were trying to do something good… and now you're going to get to do something… wonderful. I couldn't ask for a better birthday present than that.

    • Phoebe: I am so busted, aren't I?
      Piper: Are you out of your mind again?
      Phoebe: No. I'm the Amazing Phoebe.
      Piper: This is not funny. Our powers are supposed to be a secret, not a marketable job skill.

    • Prue: Andy. Hi.
      Andy: I was ... nowhere near the neighborhood. Thought I'd stop by.

    • Piper: Leave it to me to fall for a dead guy.
      Phoebe: It's an improvement. At least he wasn't a warlock.

    • Piper: At least tell me you've managed to buy Prue something other than your traditional birthday gift?
      Phoebe: What's my traditional gift?
      Piper: A card, three days late.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles: Spain: Cita Con El Hombre Muerto Czech Republic: Rande s duchem (Date with a Ghost) France: Histoire de fantôme chinois (The story of a Chinese ghost) Italy: Un amore ultraterreno (A Love of the Afterlife) Germany: Rendezvous mit einem Geist (Appointment with a Ghost)

    • Music:
      Secret Smile by Semicsonic
      Hush Hush Hush by Paula Cole
      Sand And Water by Beth Nielsen Chapman