Season 3 Episode 20

Exit Strategy

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 03, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
290 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The evil Brotherhood plots to sabotage Cole's relationship with Phoebe in an attempt to turn him back to evil. Meanwhile, Piper's power develops with some explosive results.

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  • Not the worst

    While I absolutely love this episode for Piper's power, and the faking of the documents and the office scene.

    Like others, I have to ask the question: why the hell would they automatically believe he wants his powers stripped so he can use the amulets? Sure, it is not an implausible plan/theory, but it hardly fits the facts better than the truth... you are witches, you know about demons and magic and spells and possession but you conveniently don't think of any of that here?

    Secondly, once it's done, ok all you saw was him killing a woman, be angry about that, but why not let him take the potion? God, why would you let that demon who is apparently all evil and scary and able to get through amulets, allowed back out on the streets WITH his powers? I'd rather hate someone AND have them mortal, than hate someone AND them be able to come back and kill me if he is truly evil.

    I thought the death was a bit tedious, like someone else said, if Piper can't vanquish Cole with her powers why then his 'brother', we established they're blood connected, and one vanquish potion can work for them all. Maybe this guy wasn't a fully fledged brother then I don't know.

    Not the worst, not the best. And it is hardly evil to kill a manipulative high ranking demon.moreless
  • Exit Strategy

    Exit Strategy was another perfectly entertaining episode of Charmed and I really liked watching all of the character development, magical action, and intriguing drama. Cole was being forced to turn back to evil and embrace his true self as Belthazor by his former mentor. I liked how they backed him into a corner and in the end reaped what they sowed. It was great watching the sisters interact and deal with the circumstances as innocent witches were being targeted. Every aspect of the episode was well produced. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Cole blows it...

    Finally, Piper's explosive power makes its first appearance, and Charmed and the demon population will never be the same.

    By this time, everyone is well aware that Prue is on the way out. As such, Piper is given a much needed power boost to help fill the void. The sudden appearance of this new power and the comedy around it is clearly the highlight of the episode and enough to make this episode a tad better than the last.

    Unfortunately, much of the rest of the episode is a mess. New bad, Raynor, mysteriously is determined to win Belthazor back by converting him back to evil or at least convincing Phoebe that he has. This all seems like a lot of work rather than simply vanquishing Belthazor and being done with it, especially when you consider that prior episodes have already made it clear that the Source wants Belthazor dead. Raynor's plan to accomplish this involves an amulet or a couple amulets that a pair of unfortunate witches have possession of. Whether or not Raynor can actually use this amulet is never completely established. In the end, a rather preposterous theory is advanced that Cole wanted his powers bound just so he could use the amulet. Whuh?

    Should Piper be able to vanquish Tarkin with just her blow-up power? She can't vanquish Belthazor that way, and they are brothers. Anyway...

    To cap everything off, Belthazor vanquishes Raynor when he conveniently walks right up to him. Raynor strangely insists this means Belthazor has fully turned. Sorry, vanquishing his evil @ss hardly makes someone evil. And the sisters have been under spells enough times to rush to judgement about Cole. After two episodes of the same, Cole is back in the Underworld. Fortunately, his reunion with evil will be short lived.moreless
  • Hands of Death

    Exit Strategy-The evil Brotherhood plots to sabotage Cole's relationship with Phoebe in an attempt to turn him back to evil. Meanwhile, Piper's power develops with some explosive results. A super follow-up to the events of last episode as Cole is trapped working for the Brotherhood and Phoebe, as well as her sisters, must find out a way to get him out of there while also dealing with Piper's new power! The writers are definately starting to enjoy exploring the dark side of the series as next season will prove to be the series' darkest and this episode is no exception. Raynor, is a great villain, and excellently played by Ian Buchanan. He's deep, grim delivery and menacing mannerism are done so well. He's plan to turn Cole away from Phoebe was well played through, especially with him taking the amulets and attacking Phoebe knowing how much it hurts him.

    Rachel Luttrell (Janna) is great as well as the character she plays. It was nice to see another witch from another coven, especially as Janna being very resourceful. She made for a great ally and it's a shame she didn't survive by episode end. The climax is pretty heartbreaking as the sisters have all turned on Cole after the fact he killed a witch. The pain in Phoebe's eyes is really moving as she has lost all trust in Cole as well as Cole slowly shimmering away in pain at the fact his lost the only person in the world who ever loved him. In hilarious sub-plot news, Piper's new power was probably the best any sister has ever developed. The power to speed up molecules aka blow stuff up is cool as hell and watching Piper learning to control is was beyond hilarious throughout. The highlight of the episode is without a doubt when Piper blows up the shelf and it falls on Prue, knocking her out during a demon attack. I swear I laughed for hours after that, lol. Both "The Demon That Came..." and "Exit Strategy" are rather underrated episodes in the 3rd season as it's full of some many classic episodes it's easy to forget. But they're a dark and impressive duo of episodes with this being the darker and most entertaining of the 2.moreless
  • Cole goes back to The Dark Side and Piper has a few surprises of her own.

    Surprise, surprise, Cole has turned into a bad boy again and is once more staring his evil side in the face and enjoying every second of it.

    Piper, however, is a little too busy to worry about Cole and she has developed an alarming new power. Whenever she gets stressed and throws up her hands, instead of things freezing, they are being blown up! It is rather amusing to watch her try and control it, but even more so, watching Leo and the others try to keep her calm so that she doesn't start a major catastrophic event.

    Not a bad episode, and the introduction of the new power was a good idea, but it wasn't a stellar one either, particularly as it's near the end of the season.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • In this episode, Leo is learning French. Shouldn't he know it since it's revealed in Siren Song that he speaks whatever language his charges are?

    • When Janna makes the salve for Phoebe she spreads a thick layer on her arm. The scene goes on and Phoebe's arm goes from the thick amount of salve to no salve (when she hugs Janna) to a thin layer when she goes to grab her keys to leave.

    • When Phoebe is telling Cole that she can't save him, she smashes the power-stripping potion on the floor. It's dramatic and all, but why would she break a really nice goblet and make a big mess on their attic floor? Why not pour it down the drain?

    • It is finally revealed that it is his father's soul that Cole has been seeking to regain since he first arrived to try and kill the sisters. Why, if the almighty and evil demon Balthezor was so driven to obtain his father's soul with the intention of freeing it, would The Source, Triad or anyone else be surprised that his humanity won out? It would seem that any demon wanting to set the soul of his father free, would have to be pretty in touch with his human half!

    • TRIVIA: When Piper vanquishes Tarkin at the Manor, he becomes both the first victim of her new power and the one hundredth evil being to be vanquished on the show.

    • The demon Raynor addresses Belthazor as "Balthazar" throughout the episode. Balthazar was, of course, the name of one of the three wise men in the nativity story.

    • At the end of the episode Leo shows Piper he has a passport, yet in order to get one the birth certificate and legal papers need to be sent out and checked. This process takes 6-8 weeks and after that the passport is available. Leo couldn't get it in a matter of one day.

    • TRIVIA: In this episode Piper vanquishes the demon Tarkin with her new power but by accident - she was aiming to freeze him, but instead blew him up.

    • TRIVIA: This episode accidently aired on Brazil TV before the previous episode "The Demon Who Came In From The Cold".

    • Leo said that he didn't need a passport to honeymoon in Paris since he could orb, but due to the Interpol system in Europe a passport is required to check into a hotel.

    • TRIVIA: Piper's powers advance in this episode allowing her to not only slow down molecules (freeze things) but also accelerate them (blow things up). This is the second time this season one of the Charmed Ones has received a new power - the first being Phoebe's levitation in the first episode of the season.

    • Piper wants to go to Paris by plane (not by orbing) but in the season 1 episode "From Fear To Eternity" flying was Piper's greatest fear.

    • When Prue falls down, after Piper blew up a cabinet, she falls on her side (her back is facing Piper). When the camera returns, she is lying on her stomach.

    • After Piper blows up the watermelon in the kitchen, watch Phoebe. The towel she's holding keeps bouncing back and forth between being over her head and not.

    • Whatever happened to Cole's father's soul after he got it?

  • QUOTES (14)

    • (Leo gets a call from the Elders and has to go)
      Piper: Pretend you're not in.
      Leo: I can't do that!

    • Piper: No, no, no you can't leave! We've been in this line for two freaking hours! (Piper points violently at the clock on the wall and it suddenly explodes)

    • Phoebe: Okay, Piper, slowly put your hands down, and no one will get hurt.

    • Leo (to Piper): There's nothing wrong with your powers. They're advancing. It turns out your powers work by slowing down molecules, and now you can speed them up as well.

    • Leo: Où est le Tour Eiffel? That is 'Where is the Eiffel Tower?'
      Piper: In my dreams if we don't get you a passport.

    • Piper: I don't know what is up with me everytime I try to freeze, I flame!

    • Piper: I would rather fly Air France than Air Leo!

    • Leo: Well, I don't have news but I do have a passport.
      Piper: Are you sure?
      Leo: Anything that it takes to get you on a plane to Paris.
      Piper: Ah, you know what? I think we should wait on that. I wouldn't want to sneeze at 40,000 feet and have a whole bunch of people explode, that would be bad.

    • (Piper is repotting a plant, when Prue walks in)
      Piper: Sorry about knocking you out. Nothing personal.
      (Prue picks up some books)
      Prue: Yeah, well, at least you didn't blow me up.

    • Phoebe and Cole walk in.
      Phoebe: Hey.
      Cole sits in a chair.
      Prue: You look like hell.
      Cole: You have no idea.

    • (Prue and Phoebe walk into the kitchen. Jenna is mixing ingredients in a bowl)
      Piper: Check her out. Whipping it up like it's Tollhouse Cookies. Maybe after she fixes Phoebe she can fix me.
      Prue: Piper, you don't need fixing.
      Piper: Uh, if it's taking the Elders this long to tell Leo what's wrong with me, then I definitely need fixing.

    • Jenna: I'm just thrilled to meet you. I mean, I've heard of the Charmed Ones, of course, but I just thought I'd never dream I'd...
      Prue: Nearly die with us? Yes, well, welcome to our lives.

    • They hear a loud noise coming from the kitchen. Cut to the kitchen. Piper is there covered in pieces of watermelon. Prue, Phoebe and Leo walk in.
      Phoebe: Piper?
      Prue: Uh, okay, was it a demon?
      Piper: No, it was watermelon!
      Phoebe: Honey, why did you vanquish watermelon?
      Piper: I didn't vanquish watermelon. I threw it up in the air and I tried to freeze it and it exploded.

    • Piper: Leo should have been back by now. It must mean my powers are screwed forever. They're punishing me.
      Jenna: You're a fulfillment of a great prophecy. Why punish you?
      Piper: Oh, forgery. Wanting to have a normal life. Getting pissed off. By next week I'll be walking around like Carrie at the prom.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Uniková strategie (Escape Strategy) France: Le retour de Balthazar (The return of Belthazor) Italy: Strategia finale (Final strategy) Germany: Freund oder Feind? (Friend or foe?)

    • This episode scored 4.1 million viewers.


    • Prue: Piper, you should be happy. You finally got a new power. I mean, you've been bitching about it long enough.
      Piper: Yeah, well, be careful what you bitch for.

      What Piper says "Be careful what you bitch for" this could be either a reference to the phrase "Be careful what you wish for" or a reference to the title of the season 2 finale "Be Careful What You Witch For".

    • Piper: By next week I'll be walking around like Carrie at the prom.

      Carrie is a novel by Stephen King about a not so popular girl that has telekinetic abilities. When she's humiliated at her prom she snaps and starts killing everyone present, including herself. It was made into a movie in 1976 by director Brian de Palma, starring Sissy Spacek.

    • Title: Exit Strategy

      A military term referring to the plan for evacuating a location once a mission has been accomplished.