Season 1 Episode 4

Dead Man Dating

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 28, 1998 on The WB

Episode Recap

It starts with a shot of the manor. The doorbell rings, Prue answers, and it is Andy. Andy offers to take her to the Calistoga Spa for the weekend of her birthday. After some mild debate she agrees to consider it.

Mark Chao, standing in his yard with a large balloon that says, "Happy Birthday," and his mother are having a discussion about evil spirits. She offers him an amulet of protection which he kindly replaces right outside the door. Handing her the balloon he sets off. Mark is traveling through Chinatown when he is surrounded by a gang, while cutting through an alley. The leader of the gang shoots him, killing him instantly. He falls to the ground, and his spirit stands up. The gang proceeds to pour gasoline over his body and much to the silent and void protest of Mark, they set his body aflame and scamper off.

Back at the manor, Piper is working her way around the kitchen and stuffing envelopes with invitations to Prue's surprise birthday party, when Phoebe comes in and tells her to hide the invitations because Prue is coming downstairs. They begin to discuss Prue's birthday and gifts. Prue walks in and informs the sisters of Andy's invitation. Phoebe then goes to a hotel trying to get a job as a psychic. After some demonstration of her abilities, Frankie the hotel manager agrees to let her have the job. Meanwhile, Piper is trying to convince Prue to go to the Calistoga Spa, but to wait until Saturday.

Back at the hotel, Phoebe gives a psychic reading to a woman who is none too excited about the reading. Piper comes in, and they argue over the personal gain clause. Mark, the ghost, appears to them and is surprised they can both see him. Piper leaves, followed by Mark, who tries to convince her to help him. Mark tries explaining that he was murdered and Piper does not believe him until she sees a car pass right through him. The sight shocks her into realizing that since only she and her sisters can see him, they have to help him.

At Quake, Prue looks for Andy and finds him with another woman who turns out to be his ex-wife. Prue stalks off with Andy in tow, but not before using her powers and surreptitiously sliding a dessert cart his way.

Mark and Piper walk along the alley where he was killed. Mark is explaining to her why someone must find his body, the Chinese "myth" of Thowhoi. Thowhoi is where the gates of Hell are opened and if Yama, the gatekeeper, collects Mark's soul before his body is properly buried, Yama will take Mark's soul to hell forever. They find Mark's burned corpse and Yama appears to collect Mark's soul. Piper freezes Yama and they run away.

Piper and Mark arrive back at the manor to find Phoebe banging on the bathroom door while Prue is inside. They reveal to Piper that the surprise has been take out of the surprise party. Then Piper explains Mark's situation to them. Later, the sisters try to decide if and how they should help Mark. Phoebe gets a call and has to go to work. The interruption provides a change of topic so Prue tells Piper about the events at Quake and learning of Andy's ex-wife. Meanwhile back at the hotel, Phoebe gets a premonition of a man being hit by a car. Piper and Mark have a heart-to-heart in the living room of the manor where they find they share a common interest in cooking.

Phoebe confronts the man from the vision who turns out to be the husband of the previous unhappy customer. After trying to warn the couple, they thank her by threatening to call security. Andy comes to offer an apology and an explanation featuring a bouquet of flowers. Piper goes to Mark's mother, and through Mark's help, speaks fluent Chinese to find out if she will expedite Mark's funeral, only to learn that she knows nothing of Mark's location. Mark fears the worst.

Phoebe enters the kitchen of the manor to find Prue cleaning. She joins her and tells Prue about the premonition, and how the man thinks she is stalking him. This forces her to spill the beans about working as a psychic in the hotel. She is amazed when Prue doesn't give her a long lecture. Mark and Piper enter and turn on the television to see that the police have discovered his body and have identified him as Tony Wong. Mark is sure that Tony Wong is actually the man who killed him. Phoebe gets a premonition seeing Wong alive. The sisters decide Wong killed Mark to fake his own death. From Phoebe's premonition they are able to pinpoint Tony Wong's location. The next morning, Piper and Mark go to the warehouse, where she freezes Tony Wong and his gang and takes a photo of him holding a newspaper announcing his death. She and Mark quickly run out, followed closely by Wong and his gang. They manage to get away but not before Wong records her license plate number. Piper drops off the photo at the police station for Andy. Andy comes up to find her talking to herself, at least as far as he can tell. He tries to prod Piper for advice about Prue. Mark offers to take her to his apartment.

Phoebe confronts the man at the hotel again and inadvertently threatens him while actually trying to warn him. The man rushes out into the street and is about to be hit by a car as in Phoebe's premonition.

At Mark's apartment he gives Piper his family's secret recipés on the condition that she'll use them at Prue's birthday party. Phoebe comes home to find Prue channel-surfing and informs her that she saved the guy from the premonition.

Mark and Piper return to the manor, where they have a tearful heart-to-heart that is interrupted by Tony Wong's crew smashing in the door and kidnap Piper. Mark and the sisters take chase. Wong takes her to the warehouse where he threatens her and wants to know who else knows that he's still alive. Prue, Phoebe and Mark come to Piper's rescue. Meanwhile, Andy discovers the photo Piper left for him and organizes a team to capture Wong. Andy catches up with Wong as he is leaving the warehouse and is gunned down. Wong's spirit rises up and follows Mark and the sisters. Yama shows up to collect Tony's soul, and the sisters stand up for Mark protecting him from Yama.

The sisters are present at Mark's funeral. Standing over his own coffin, Mark thanks his mom, who is unable to hear him. He then walks over to the sisters and has a tearful goodbye, especially with Piper. The spirit of Mark's father appears behind them. Mark walks over to join him and they disappear.

The sister's return to the manor where Prue decides to allow them to have a party after all, which she is unaware is already prepared and awaiting her in the family room.