Season 3 Episode 20

Exit Strategy

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 03, 2001 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

Write A Review
out of 10
291 votes
  • 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.
  • 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!!!!!!!!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cole goes into the Brotherhood of the Thorn to retrieve information. The Charmed Ones feel he may betray them. Piper gets a new power. Starring: Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause, Julian McMahon.

    This episode marked exactly what i had been waiting for in the series, Piper (Holly Marie Combs) getting a new power, molecular combustion. YES! This episode had a lot of drama between Cole (Julian McMahon) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) with the possible turn to evil. However, comedic elements were also thrown into this episode as Piper and Leo (Brian Krause) attempt to go on their Honeymoon to Hawaii the real way, without any orbing. This leads to several small arguements and the trigger of Piper's new power. However, Prue (Shannen Doherty) is supposed to be the strongest of the sisters, correct? Well, with Piper's new power, i think that she easily became stronger than Prue, and could easily defeat her in a fight.
  • The Last Temptation of Cole

    Easily the most underrated episode of the series so far. This is a wonderful blend of darkness, action, emotion, comedy and suspense.

    The story picks up where last week left off. Cole is captured by the Brotherhood of the Thorn, who realise they must destroy Phoebe's love for him if they are to win him back. To do this they use emotional blackmail to force him to kill a witch. Their plan works to perfection and poor Cole is stitched up good and proper. It's very cleverly plotted and you can see exactly how the Charmed Ones have been hoodwinked. I know it's only fiction but it really hurts to see someone so wronged.

    As if this weren't enough, Piper gets her blasting power in this episode. This is about as strong a subplot as you could ask for and it provides some much needed relief from the heavy storyline. I like that it's triggered in the same way as her freezing power and it's hilarious the way Prue keeps pulling her hands down. Charmed will never be the same again! The scene where Piper and Leo are having their debate about forging the passport is beautifully done and they feed off each other brilliantly.

    The action in the final ten minutes is awesome. First Piper blows up Tarkin in the hall then Raynor appears, blasts Leo mid-orb and coerces Cole into vanquishing the witch. Phoebe then declares she no longer loves Cole so he goes off and knifes Raynor. It's very well directed and the lack of light in the attic really fits the mood.

    Julian's acting is simply superb, even by his high standards. Ok, so I admit I'm a huge fan but I challenge anyone not to be moved by his performance at the end. He looks like he's literally going through hell as he realises Phoebe doesn't believe him. If you watch nothing else, watch the last ten minutes. Please!
  • Cole kills a witch but did he do it of his own will?

    Piper and Leo were so incredible. It was nice to see them having all of the newlywed arguments. They were actually kind of cute. It was nice to see them just arguing about how they were going to get to Paris for their honeymoon. It was cute that Piper just wanted to fly there like any normal couple, but it was nice to hear Leo trying to talk her into orbing there. I loved watching Piper trying to forge Leo's birth certificate and him yelling at her about all the charges they could receive. It was a very cute scene.

    Everything with Cole and Phoebe was just incredibly annoying! I hated seeing Phoebe all worried about Cole and seeing Prue come to the mausoleum to find Phoebe. It was so stupid to watch Raynar constantly testing Cole's loyalty. If he thought Cole was really on team good he should have just killed him and been done with it not sit around and play games. I hated that he just cleaned up the mess Cole made by not killing the witch. Just the fact that Cole didn't kill the witch should have proved that he wasn't working for evil anymore. It was stupid that he made Cole kill the second witch too because all that did was make Cole kill him.

    It was nice to see that the reason Cole was working for the Triad in the beginning was closed. He wanted his father's soul and that's what he finally got so it was good. I liked that in order to get to the return of evil that Raynar wanted Phoebe had to lose faith in Cole. I liked that Phoebe came to the conclusion that Cole still just wanted the book of shadows, and that he wanted to lose his demon half so he could be considered good and be able to touch it.

    It was sad that two witches died though. And it was sad to see Piper, Prue, and Phoebe lighting the candles for their loss of Cole and the two witches.
  • Piper has a new power !!

    Cole is still unconscious and being held by the Brotherhood. Rainer, a head demon and Cole's old mentor, reads his mind and comes up with a plan to bring out Cole's evil side. Cole wakes up and Rainer says he thought Cole was an intruder and apologizes for blasting him, he then orders Cole to steal a witch's amulet. Cole shimmers away, but he tells Phoebe about the assignment and that he won't kill the witch, he urges her to keep working on the potion to get rid of his demon powers. Piper and Leo are standing in line for his passport, when Piper develops her new power to explode things. Cole steals the amulet from the witch and leaves her unharmed, but Rainer comes back and kills her. Phoebe and Prue find the witch, but are too late. At the Manor, Piper is experimenting with her new power, while Phoebe and Prue talk to Leo and find out that there are two amulets. If the amulets are combined the wearer becomes invincible, but this power doesn't work for Demons. Cole returns with the amulet and Rainer sends him to get the other amulet. Rainer tells him if he kills the witch, his reward will be his father's soul. Cole shimmers out and tells Phoebe to help him before he kills anyone. The girls find the witch with the other amulet and defeat Cole and his demon friend. They take the witch back to the Manor and she helps them to finish the potion for Cole. Cole arrives at the Manor and he's taken to the attic, downstairs a demon invades the house and the girls vanquish him. Rainer appears in the attic, barricades the door and knocks Leo and the witch out. The amulet falls off her neck and Rainer forces Cole to kill her. Phoebe tries to push the door open, but it only cracks open and she watches as Cole kills the witch. Rainer disappears and Prue blasts the door open. Phoebe tells Cole that he chose to be evil and she doesn't love him anymore, she takes the potion and smashes it at his feet. Cole shimmers away. Rainer gives Cole his father's soul and Cole kills him for destroying Phoebe's love for him. As he's dying, Rainer says that he's won and that Cole is back to being the evil Belthazor.
  • Cole evil???

    A week has gone by & Cole still hasn't shown up, everyone's worried about him, including Prue. Cole is being held captive by the Brotherhood & Reiner wants him to become evil again so he sets Cole up so that he can lose the one thing that's making him good ... Pheobes love.

    Piper wants to go on a normal honeymoon to Paris with Leo, on a plane, and he needs a passport. While she's standing in line she accidently blows up a clock, but hasn't realised yet that her power has evolved & now she can blow things up as well as freeze them, and she doesn't know how to control it either, which makes this episode pretty funny with her sisters telling her to keep her hands down.

    This episode was really good, Cole becomming evil again & losing Pheobe's love.
  • The Mole is Cole

    A good episode which is far better than the first part. This episode isn't as Cole-centric as confusing as The Demon Who Came in From the Cold and there was a right mix of drama and comedy.

    In Exit Strategy, Raynor wants Cole to prove that he has returned to evil by killing two witches and stealing their amulets, which, when put together, can protect anybody who wears it. Piper also discovers a new power: the ability to speed up molecules aka blowing up a hell of a lot of stuff!

    The Cole storyline is very dark and you genuinely feel for Cole and the dilemma he is in. It is slightly annoying that he returns to evil at the end of the episode as it means more long conversations about good and evil with Phoebe. Boring! It was a shame that witch Janna was killed off so soon, as she was a really cool character. She seemed to know more about magic and potions than the Charmed Ones did themselves and she really knew what her magical duty was.

    It was good that Piper got a new power. We've already seen Prue and Phoebe get magical boosts and it's about time that Piper got one too. Blowing stuff up is one cool power! It was fun seeing her learn to master her new skill but I couldn't help bursting out laughing when she blew the cabinet of it's hinges and it fell right on Prue's head, knocking her out. It was just so funny and it just looked really corny.

    Besides a couple of annoyances, Exit Strategy is a really emotional episode with loads for each sister to do.
  • Cole returns to evil and Piper gets a new power. A fine episode but they've done better.

    The plot of the episode was good but unfortunately they did not present it well. It was not one of their finer pieces, but still an ok episode. It seemed to drag on with no real climaxing points. Still it was nice to see Piper get a new power and then we see Cole turn back to evil. This episode need just a bit more action and a little less talk.