Season 3 Episode 8

Sleuthing With the Enemy

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 14, 2000 on The WB

Episode Recap

Things are at a simmer in the Halliwell kitchen, though in all her days as a professional chef, Piper never cooked up something like this. Roots, shells, animal parts, dead bugs, petals and some kind of fungus that would give a drug sniffing dog a bad case of the growls. Separately, they're not much, but together they are the ingredients needed to rid them of Belthazor once and for all. Of course, every time she scoops up something into the pot, there's a burst of flames. Piper wonders if the fire department will be needed before this is all over. Prue's not concerned about that... at least not that much. First they need to finish the vanquishing potion, and then they find Belthazor. She asks for cockles. Piper gives her a confused look. Prue meant cockle shells, next to the crickets. After putting in some shells, she notices the next to last item: pig's feet. She gives out a "Yechh!" and then vows to become a vegetarian. Prue muses about how easily her middle sister could carve up demonic flesh but have a problem with pork. She forks over some into the pot and it lets off another spark. Poor piggy.

The talk then changes to Phoebe. Ever since Cole disappeared a week or so ago, she's been fretting about his safety. Prue doesn't give a care about him, at least as much as Phoebe. She has some suspicions about the man and doesn't want her youngest to mess with some greasy lawyer. Phoebe comes in and wonders what's greasy. The two quickly talk about how there's a greasy layer on the potion, maybe too much mandrake into the mix. It's time to recite the incantation. Phoebe's eager for it. The sooner it's done and Belthazor's in pieces, the sooner she can get back to Cole... wherever he is. They do the chant and nothing happens. Piper forgot the key ingredient, the piece of Belthazor's flesh she gutted from his side. Taunts of slacker fill the air and Piper's not amused. She grabs the Tupperware container where she kept the purple mass and drops it in... and a roar of fire and smoke comes out like a volcano exploding. The force pushes her off her feet and the two remaining sisters scramble to her aid. Piper's all right, muttering about ducking next time. "It's the attack of the killer pig's feet", she jokes. The humor's well timed. It's been a trying day all ready.

At a nearby cemetery, a funeral processes. The mourners observe reverence and respect to the diseased while the priest gives the usual eulogy of great hardships on earth and great rewards in the hereafter. If only they knew about the great hardship coming from the hereafter, they might be paying more attention to the good father's sermons and actually follow their holy book. Belthazor is in the cemetery, finally free from The Triad and their abode. He's still wounded from Piper's attack and the Triad, and being pursued by the various bounty hunters from the Source of All Evil hasn't helped the healing process. He's bleeding badly. After resting for a moment, he scrambles to a nearby crypt. Perhaps there, he'll recover his wits. It's no good, for a moment later a hand touches the bloodstain on the tombstone, and its owner catches its scent. This is Krell, a Zotar. A hunter of renegade demons who turned on their masters and have gone rogue. The Source, though appreciative of discord on earth, cannot tolerate the same in his own troops. Krell follows the trail to the crypt. He knows Belthazor is there. He tells him that's he's cornered and that he's powerless, without shimmer to escape or energy bolts to fight. Belthazor should feel honored that the Source himself determined the bounty, owing to his service to evil and his betrayal. Best he dies a legend for others to remember by than a coward pleading for his life. Belthazor makes a run for it and Krell makes his move. He throws an energy bolt and misses. Belthazor summons what's left of his strength and throws one back in kind. It takes out a column and crumbles underneath the demon hunter. It didn't kill him, but it will slow him down long enough for a quick exit. As Krell scrambles to his feet, Belthazor morphs into his Cole persona and hitches a ride with the funeral party as it goes to the wake. He's tired, hungry, and sapped of his strength. His wound still bleeds red.

Phoebe has other concerns to deal with as the potion is finally completed and poured into several vials. She has a class to attend and she wants to check Cole's office to see if he's returned. Prue needs her more for a modified spell to get Belthazor to them for the final battle. It's a spell that bought back Melinda from the past, but especially made for a darker purpose. Prue knows about Phoebe's concern for her lover since the last time she went to Cole's apartment complex, she got a parking ticket. Phoebe promises to pay for it, but that's not the issue. Prue just doesn't like the guy, hadn't trusted him since day one. Phoebe pleads with her for some support and understanding. After all, she didn't like any of Prue's boyfriends either. Prue knows this and understands her sister's plight, but she wanted to be honest about her feelings. There's already been one time penned up feelings had ended in a split and they can ill afford another. After some consideration, she decided to let Phoebe follow her instincts. The summoning doesn't need the Power of Three anyway, and they have the potion. It should be simple enough. Phoebe thanks her and takes a bottle along in case she runs into Belthazor. All she asks is for no more whispering behind her back. She had enough secrets dealing with Cole than having to deal with unannounced sibling intervention.

Cole pauses from his run in an alleyway. He's so drained from being a fugitive from Krell; he needs to go back to demon form to tear strips from his shirt to make a fresh bandage. He barely wraps the wound up when he sees a homeless man. He runs away, not wanting to risk detection by killing him. His discarded coat is eager retrieved by the gentleman, wanting something warm to protect him from the chilly night's air. The jacket is very warm indeed. Perhaps this is his lucky day. Perhaps not.

Piper and Prue upturn a table for their own protection as they prepare for the summoning. It's going to be a messy affair, which is why they scotch guard. Still, Piper wonders why they don't do this in the basement. True, it's a bad place to get trapped in, but having some of the more pricey antiques replaced on a regular basis is draining of the funds. No matter. The pair recite the spell and the air shimmers with power. A form materializes and they throw the potions. There's no boom... because the demon they summoned is not Belthazor but Krell. Annoyed by the stupid witches' attack, Krell tosses a bolt and blows a chunk off the antique table. Prue uses her telekinesis to 'push' the cretin hard to the wall and Piper freezes him in mid air before he could run into the grandfather clock. She reminds Prue that they can't keep on replacing that thing. Realizing it's not the demonic hit man, Prue suggests unfreezing their assailant's head so they can get some answers. Piper tries it out and succeeds. Krell's a little upset and demands to be released, unless they want to face his wraith. Piper, feeling very bugged by his insolence, unfreezes him and sends him flying into the clock. Krell's now on the floor with pieces of grandfather clock in his hair and body. After some discussion and introductions, a truce is established. It seems they have something in common: the hunt for the demon Belthazor.

Phoebe finds out someone else is hunting for him, but in his role as Cole Logan Assistant District Attorney. She runs into Reese Davison of the D.A.'s Bureau of Investigations. It seems he hasn't shown up for work since Monday with any outstanding cases or sudden plans to draw his attention. In fact, he's been only submitting extensions for a couple of months now. The Bureau has some suspicions and Mr. Davison had hoped Phoebe would know something about what happened or if Cole mentioned about some important appointments. She told him about his packed suitcase some time back, but that he still had some work to do. This information doesn't help much, but it's a start. Mr. Davison leaves his card with her in case something does come up. Suddenly, Phoebe's uneasy.

Krell's upset about how difficult his contract on Belthazor is coming so far. He had thought him powerless since he couldn't shimmer anymore, but the master demon assassin had other tricks up his sleeve. He had intercepted Prue's summoning as a possible lead. To find out it's not what he had expected has been... frustrating. Piper then suggests that she freezes him and kicks him in the... but Prue stops her mid-sentence and asks if Krell is here to kill them. He tells her about his job to hunt down fugitive demons and that he's only after Belthazor. Annoying witches are not in the cards, for the moment. He tells them about how he killed The Triad and is amazed by their shocked expressions. He wonders if their Whitelighter's been sleeping on the job. Piper takes some issue with that, but again Prue cuts her off. Krell reasons since Belthazor's weakened state cannot permit him to teleport; he saves him from their summoning trap. Because of this, Krell decides on a drastic measure. It turns his stomach, but he suggests that he and the Charmed Ones pool their resources to hunt down the former assassin. The Halliwells have the potion and Krell's contract requires only the blood of Belthazor, not the Witches. Piper doesn't like the idea from the start while Prue's considering it. Krell then tells them about his ability to track his scent as long as he's in demonic form. He can hide from the bounty hunter in human form, but only for a short period. Such transformations are draining and he must revert back to his original form to rest. Piper reminds Prue in private about the last time they had an alliance with demons, in particular the Horsemen. It didn't work then, so why would it work now? Krell then throws a bombshell: Belthazor's contract on their lives is still in effect. The only way the Source will ever forgive him is if he brings back their heads on a silver platter. Either they throw their lot on Krell and take out the assassin or... Krell teleports out of the manor to give the ladies time to decide. They've already decided on a second opinion. They call out "Leo!"

Phoebe knocks on Cole's apartment door, loud enough to disturb one of the neighbors. She's deeply troubled by his absence and finding blood drops close to his door only heightens her fear. She manages to unlock the door and walk. She calls out his name, not knowing that Belthazor's in the bathroom overwhelmed by pain and fear. The demon just wants to go to sleep for a while, but the woman's persistent. So, he morphs into his Cole shell and meets up with her. He tells her she shouldn't be there. She immediately rushes him to bed and tries to attend to his wound. In spite of her insistence, Cole keeps her off it. He wants no trouble and no trips to the hospital. Someone's after one, some demo... he stops himself before changing it to someone from the DA. Phoebe tells him about the investigator and tries to summon Leo while Cole's not looking Leo's busy with other matters. She decides to go to the Manor and bring him to the wounded man, hoping he can help. She worries about leaving Cole alone in his apartment, but he assures her whoever it was that's after him already checked his apartment. They won't be coming back any time soon.

What Leo tells Prue and Piper about why the Higher Powers hadn't heard about The Triad's demise isn't encouraging. They've been some talk and rumors, but nothing solid to go on. Piper's amazed by their ignorance and wonders if Leo had been sleeping on their job. Prue asks forgiveness for her sister's behavior. She's been cranky of late. The Book of Shadow confirms Krell's story about being a bounty hunter, so this convinces her to accept his aid. They have little time. Belthazor could regain his strength at any moment. If he does, they'll have to look over their shoulders again and she's had enough of it. It's time to end this now and forever. Piper and Prue make the summons again, and Krell appears. Only this time, Phoebe shows up and greets the demon bounty hunter with a kick in the face. He falls to the floor, taking out a table. Krell wonders why in the Hell are things going against him? After a hurried explanation, Phoebe decides to go with the plan. She needs to talk to Leo first about another important matter. Krell is incensed! Talk, talk, talk! How do the Witches get anything done? The group decides to split up: Krell, Prue, and Piper go to follow Belthazor's trail while Leo and Phoebe go to the cemetery to seek him out in case he's gone into hiding. A cemetery attracts evil and hides their scent well. They all agree. Prue asks about how Phoebe's search was going and she lies about not finding Cole yet. There's no need to worry her about his wound. There's enough to go around over Belthazor.

Phoebe and Leo arrive at Cole's. She asks the Whitelighter to heal her boyfriend. Leo doesn't like the idea. He's only allowed to heal those hurt by unnatural evil. It's against the rules to interfere with the natural process of life. Phoebe reminds him that he had bent the rules once before. This puts him on a bad spot, but she's insistent. He's her last hope. He reluctantly agrees. They find Cole on the floor and near death. Leo works his healing hands onto the wound. For some strange reason, he can't get at it properly. Something repelling him with sparks of netherworld energy. Unnatural forces eventually throw him over a chair and onto the floor. Phoebe scrambles to his side. He's okay. They then check Cole's wound. It's closed and he feels... fine. He's a little flushed as Phoebe gets him a glass of water, but he's recovering nicely. He thanks Leo for the help. Leo has a bad feeling about the healing session. Something didn't felt right about it. Something evil was in that room. He asks Phoebe to follow him outside for a moment. In the hall, he tells her to leave the building now. He now knows what went wrong. His powers are supposed to heal mortals completely. Cole's only halfway done. He's not human. He's probably demonic--maybe even the very one Krell's after. Phoebe's disturbed by the accusation. Can the man she loves be Belthazor? Leo is adamant. He tells her about the coincidences: that both are wounded and on the run and how Cole's wound looks suspiciously like the one Piper inflicted on Belthazor. Phoebe doesn't want to believe it. She wants Leo to leave and let her decide for herself. If she gets into trouble, she has the potion in her purse. Leo reluctantly orbs away, leaving a seed of doubt deep in the youngest Halliwell's heart. She returns to the apartment. Cole asks if everything's okay. Her distant reply masks a perplexed soul.

Prue, Piper, and Krell arrive at the end of the trail, the girls wondering why in God's name did they ever agree to his 'suggestion' to ally with him? No doubt Krell feels the same thing, but he finds his 'man.' He demands the girls throw their potions. Prue suspects something about this guy, that maybe he's not Belthazor since he looks more hungry and beaten than a driven animal. Krell doesn't want to wait, grabbing Piper's vial and throwing it at the homeless man. Nothing happens. They check out the coat and find some blood on it, definitely Belthazor or at least his human form. Krell gets very pushy with the poor man, flicking energy bolts around his face. Stomaching as much cruelty as she can stand, Prue kicks the feet under the demon hunter and he falls to the ground. Krell's outraged! He wants to tear off her head for that. Prue firmly reminds him about their differing methods: how doing this morally on the straight and narrow will get them better results than torture. Krell might like inflicting pain on the innocent, but maybe Phoebe can get a reading on the coat through her premonition skills. Suddenly, the girls have a memory flash. Prue ask Krell when the Triad sent Belthazor. It was two months ago. Prue remembers Cole having the same coat. A chill races down her spine. Belthazor is Cole! And guess who's been dating him all this time?

Phoebe's doubts about her lover begin to gnaw at her. While Cole freshens up in the bathroom and asks how he can properly repay Leo for his services, Phoebe searches his briefcase. Nothing. She wonders if he should take it easy since it was a bad wound. Perhaps some bed rest would be in order. Cole tells her he wants to find the guys who did it to him right away, being evasive about how he gets injured in the first place. Phoebe then searches the desk and finds only a pencil. She startled by Cole. He wonders what she's doing and she wants to write a note to herself. She wanted to find some paper. Cole shows the pad near the phone and she sets off to scribble while Cole goes back to the bathroom. She drops the pad and pencil and reaches for her purse... and the vial.

Krell, Piper, and Prue arrive at the apartment building with vengeance at hand. Piper's a little worried about how the vanquishing will affect Phoebe since it's her boyfriend getting his ass kicked. Krell's his usual impatient self, wanting to collect the bounty on the wayward demon and maybe even get a bonus by finishing what Belthazor failed to accomplish. Prue's kicking herself, wondering why she didn't leave the creep Cole in the demon trap she set some time ago. Leo orbs in, telling them about where Cole's apartment is and that he healed him. Krell goes insane. The ignorant Whitelighter! He and Prue races off. Piper has her fiancé to stay put. No telling what Krell might do once he takes out Belthazor.

Phoebe's now at a crossroads. She's unsure about what or who Cole is anymore. She conceals the potion in her hands, hoping against hope she's wrong. If she is, she'll gladly surrender to whatever he decides... even if it's ending the relationship. She asks him about what had gone on the last couple of weeks. Cole doesn't like the tone of the questions, but he's now resigned to them. Her eyes tell him the story. His secrets are catching up on him and she's unsure of everything. He apologizes for what happened, but not about some of them. Phoebe asks him point blank who he really was. Cole doesn't want to lie to her anymore. He's about to tell... .

... When the door breaks down. Prue, Krell, and Piper show up. Cole notices the demon hunter right away and morphs into Belthazor. The transformation stuns Phoebe, enough to leave her defenses down for him to take her by the throat with his dagger. Her worst nightmare is coming true. Krell fires an energy bolt, but Prue deflects it enough to strike Cole's altar. He and Phoebe briefly shimmer and disappear. Things have officially gone to Hell!

Krell is completely furious. He had a clean shot and this wench screwed it up. Prue told him off about not harming Phoebe. He counters that she's dead anyway. Her use as a shield would be over the minute he materializes in safety. Piper wonders why Phoebe wasn't already dead when they got there. Krell figures she was being used by Belthazor to lure the Charmed Ones and take them all out in one sitting. But... why didn't he fulfill the mission? While Prue reasons it was a ploy, Piper thinks he's in love with Phoebe. Utter nonsense, the demon hunter snorts. Course, he thinks he can save the woman if he reaches her in time... if only to kill Belthazor anyway. He needs the potion to vanquish his prey. When Prue reminds him that Belthazor could shimmer now, Krell counters that he's still wounded and needs time to recharge. Leo only cured his human half, so he's still vulnerable. After all, a full-blooded demon couldn't get as close as he did. The Triad needs a specialized demon for their dirty work, so... Prue gives the hunter the vial, warning him that if Phoebe gets hurt or killed, he's gonna be hunted down himself. Krell shimmers out. Prue doesn't trust him any more than she could trust Cole, so she and Piper go off to the one place that might harbor a fugitive demon with his hostage.

Phoebe and Belthazor materialize at the cemetery. She warns the demon assassin to stop shimmering or she'll get sick. She fakes a collapse long ago to subdue him, knocking the dagger out of his hand and readies her pitching arm. Belthazor returns to his Cole form, wanting his lover to see him for what he truly is. Phoebe's near tears, shocked by his overtures and in no mood for any more games. Cole makes a full confession: Despite the many attempts at killing the Charmed Ones through time travel and his wayward operatives like Andras and Troxa, he couldn't help but fall in love with Phoebe. He is half-human on his father's side and she reawakened his human capacity for love, thought long dead. The Cole she sees is not a mask. He may have lied about much and inflicted many wrongs, but his love of her is true. True enough to accept what judgment she feels fit to pass. He offers no resistance, merely raises his hands to the side and gives Phoebe a clear shot. The shot is taken... but by Krell instead. His energy bolt wounds Cole badly. Phoebe manages to pick him and they race to the crypt, dodging bolts all the way. This only pisses the hunter off further. The two loves scramble for a safe place, losing Phoebe's vial of potion. Krell shows up with murder in his eye and his own potion in hand. Phoebe tries her best to keep him at bay. Her martial arts smashes Krell's vial and briefly stop him, but when she tries to deliver a knockout he merely shimmers and she drops to the floor. He rematerializes behind Cole, determined to swat this little gnat once and for all. The only bug that gets squashed is Krell himself. Cole uses his own energy bolts to kill the hunter, vaporizing him into dust. Phoebe's now convinced of his undying love. They kiss passionately.

The moment is brief. She hears Piper and Prue calling her name. If they find him now, there's no way they'll believe her without breaking the Power of Three. And there're the other bounty hunters to consider. So, she decides to deceive them. She takes Cole's shirt and cuts his hand with his dagger, dripping some blood on the cloth. She then pours the potion and it bursts into flames. She drops the dagger into the flaming mass. He's now officially 'dead'. No one will come after him. They kiss one more time and Cole fades away, grateful by this final act of charity by his beloved. Perhaps this is the chance for him to repent and rid him of his past. Perhaps not. That's for the future to decide. Piper and Prue arrive at the crypt and see Phoebe in tears. The official story will be that both demons killed each other. It's her word and they will believe her.

Back home, Phoebe's laying on the couch with Cole's dagger in hand. She mourns for the loss of her lover. She doesn't want any comfort food from Piper and Prue for the moment. She feels ashamed for what happened and wants to apologize, but it's unnecessary. Piper assures her that Cole fooled them all. It wasn't her fault. Prue tells her the same thing, that she did nothing wrong. At least now, things are quiet. There'll be no more attacks... until the next Belthazor shows up. Piper and Prue then leave their youngest sister alone to contemplate. All she can think about is the nights she and Cole spent and how alone he must be feeling... alone in the night with his new human tears his only comfort.

She weeps for them both.
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