Charmed

Season 5 Episode 7

Sympathy for the Demon

1
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 03, 2002 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

8.6
out of 10
Average
321 votes
  • Sympathy for the Demon

    10
    Sympathy for the Demon was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching as Barbas returns and causes all sorts of trouble on his mission for revenge against the Charmed ones. It was great to see him take Cole's power and watch him use it. Paige had a lot of great character development as she was torn between her instincts and her sisters. The stakes were high but the sisters pulled through in the end. I liked the ending with Paige having a realization moment. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • Barbas is back, and he is very put out.

    9.5
    The original demon is back in this brilliant episode, and after stealing Cole's powers he is powerful enough to shrug off the very spell that destroyed the Source. Now THAT is trouble!

    Some reviewers have complained about Barbas and the acting of Billy Drago. Not me. The guy is a genuine creepy demon, and his valium-induced and somewhat self-amused style is truly unique among the catalogue of Charmed bad guys. He absolutely oozes vengeance in this one, and I love it when he loses it after Phoebe tempts him (great scene).

    The genius of Barbas is that not only do the sisters have to conquer him, but they also have to face their own inner demons in doing so. In this episode we find out that Piper is afraid of her baby having to grow up alone, understandable, Paige is afraid of being isolated and trapped, and Phoebe is afraid of actually being evil, again, also very understandable. We see a great piece of Charmed history when Victor argues with Grams and leaves the manor. I love it when Piper overcomes her fear and blasts Barbas- "Preying on an expectant mother's fears. That's a good one, but not THAT good." I love how angry she is there and that for once a Charmed One made the mistake of talking before attacking, allowing Barbas to shimmer out.

    Paige carries this episode for the most part. Her desire to be as good as Prue is fleshed out from the beginning. In fact, this episode is sort of a memorial to Prue; she is mentioned constantly. The only annoying part of the episode is putting up with the sisters harassing Paige over empowering Barbas. They were all manipulated by Barbas, and it isn't like Paige knew what could happen. Stripping Cole's powers was actually a dang good idea that should have been thought of sooner. This episode put it to rest that it won't work. The abuse towards Paige helps build the sense of isolation that she has. So, at least, there is a good reason for it in the script. The scene where Phoebe cries over Paige's body after killing her (this is the first of two episodes in a row where Paige gets killed) while Barbas hunches over her, whispering to her in consolation and then raising the dagger to kill her is one of the best Charmed scenes ever. Amazing.

    The final showdown was no let down. Fortunately, Barbas chose to kill Paige first. Pulling a Prue, she is able to orb a spilled potion off the floor and into Barbas' mouth. Then, of course, it is always great to watch Cole vanquish someone. Poor Cole. Someone perhaps should have thanked him in the end, but we are starting to see where this is all going. This is the 2nd time that Cole's powers nearly killed the sisters.

    Fantastic episode. Among the 20 or so best of Charmed, and the best of Season 5 until Centennial Charmed.
  • Sympathy For Billy Drago

    8.0
    Sympathy For The Demon-Barbas, the Demon of Fear, returns and tricks Paige into giving him Cole's powers, and plots revenge on the Halliwell sisters by playing them against their darkest fears. Oh great! Barabas again! Another episode where we have the misfortune of watching Billy Drago try to deliver a line without coming off as a tool yet fails! Not to mention, I hate how the writers keep building Barbas as this powerful villain that the sisters can't defeat, so that's why he keeps showing up. Honestly, Barbars was probably the least most interesting aspect of both "From Fear To Eternity" and "Ms. Hellfire", so why the hell would the wirters bring him back? A recurring villain must have a presence and charm to become a enough of a fan favorite for the writers to bring such a villain back for more. But with Drago in the role, it's such wasted opportunity and such a boring villain to watch!

    Despite all that, this is probably the best Barbas has ever been used. Instead of his usual M.O., we get a surprisingly well plotted revenge story with a psychological edge. There were actually moments through the episodethat were effectively creepy like the opening where Cole has his hallucinations. Not to mention the moment where Barbas survives the Soruce vanquishing spell and trapped the sisters in the Manor added some genuine suspense that I actually felt scared for them, which is rare for Charmed (at least at this point in the series). My favorite moments was definately Piper re-living the day her father left and Phoebe beating the crap out of Pagie only to then kill her soon after. Seeing a sister kill another sister was shocking, not to mention the moment where Barbas taunted Phoebe as she cried over Pagie's dead body was the first time he felt like a threat. I also loved the when Leo suddenly became Barbaus during Piper's fear, nothing big, but a nice fakeout. I also enjoyed how Prue was brought up to remind us that she was the only one who defeated Barbas the last two times and how much Paige is trying to step up her game to be as strong of a witch as she was. Considering all the on set drama, I'm glad the writers remember how much of a focal point Prue was to the series the first 3 seasons.

    With such a strong episode, it sucks that the writers have to continue with Phoebe/Cole's beyond tiresome dilemma. It doesn't help that everytime Phoebe is in the same room with Cole she has some smart a$$ remark. Get over yourself please! Cole was actually presented as a selfless person with and without his powers by giving them up to save Phoebe (and not hurt anyone else in the process) and taking them back to defeat Barbas. The moment where Cole takes his powers back and everyone stares at him like he's a monster again makes me sick. If anything, the way everyone keeps pushing Cole away, telling him he's evil, is probably the reason why evetually gives in to being evil again a few episdoes down. Sigh. Anyway, "Sympathy For the Demon" is a solid episode that makes Barbas seem like a formitable villain and gives us some dark plots to sink our teeth into. Too bad for those poorly done CGI spiders. I guess that portion of the budget was used for Billy Drago's check....shaking head.
  • Fear Factor

    8.0
    Season 5 offers up its first corker. Barbas is probably one of the most irritating guest-stars in Charmed's whole run, however he's used rather well in this instance. Abhorrent overacting aside, the repercussions of his attack on the sisters (thanks to his newly advanced powers) allows for a rare moment on Charmed where the sisters must deal with the psychological before throwing potions. It's their inner demons that cripple them, and in a shocking display of brutality against Paige, it's Phoebe's fear of being evil that's the real highlight of the hour. While the girls struggle with motherhood, spiders, and claustrophobia, I have to ask once again why the writers depict Cole as an evil doer? He selflessly rises to occasion and offers to take his powers back in order to stop Barbas and save the CO's. It's the third time now on the show that he has been infected with magic beyond his control. The guy is a flippin' tragic hero!
  • Come on Barbas let's go party

    9.1
    A great title, an explosive storyline and a good comeback for the demon of fear.

    Yet again, Charmed manages to take a load of ideas it has done before and rework them into an interesting story. Yes, we have seen Barbas before but never this powerful. Yes, we have seen Cole lose his powers before but not to another demon. Yes, we have seen Paige killed but not by Phoebe. Anyway, you get the picture.

    I enjoyed seeing Barbas again. Quite how he managed to master his new powers so fast was a bit of a mystery but it did lead to some great effects. Seeing him in Cole's flat with his henchmen was totally déjà vu. Didn't like his demonic sidekick. Don't like sidekicks in general. All they do is moan at their master then look surprised when they get vanquished.

    The most memorable scene by far is where Barbas traps the sisters in the Manor and brings their fears to life. I love the way he steps up a gear when his first attempt fails. The flashback of Victor and Grams is cool. I also enjoyed Cole in the opening scene.

    Not sure why the Charmed Ones thought Barbas could not be vanquished. They've never tried before. They two times they've met him previously he was whisked back to prison the moment he failed to kill them.

    Once again, Cole is the fall guy. He may be half demon but the bloke is nothing short of a saint this week. He knows taking back his powers will most likely kill him but he does it without flinching. It hurt to see Phoebe so willing to let this happen. Doesn't even a small part of her still love him?

    So far Season Five is nothing like as bad as everyone seems to make out. Never believe the critics!
  • It's great! It's a entire hour of effects/wicca/powers and there is aswell a brilliant character development. Besides this episode has one of the best camera work ever in Charmed. A terrific acting aswell.

    9.5
    I really want to give a congratulation to the whole camera job that they did in this episode. The scenes were so great! They did some really interesting scenes and the episode was able to transmit the feeling. I really loved the way they filmed the "Prudence, Patricia, ..." spell, that scene is amazing. Seconds later you can see how Alyssa open her eyes and then whoe they made the windows disappear after she. Besides there is more! Piper remembering scene was so brilliant! How they filmed the demon burning next to her! I loved it. Phoebe fighting page scene was great too. I think the whole episode was filmed so amazinly that it deserve a good puntuation at least for that.

    In the other hand this episode had such a great acting, for the three of them and I would add Cole too. Barbas is brilliant aswell, I know that a lot of people hate him but I don't, in fact I think this episode is his best! Holly was a ten, like she always is. Alyssa was great aswell, so that was a surprise for me and Rose is always that good xd Anyway the scenes were meant to be that... I don't know. They were meant to transmit. In fact this episode is very emotional.

    About the feelings I think most people misunderstood the whole episode. Paige was not feeling insecure for no reason, she does not think she is inferior always, in fact he felt that way coz Barbas was manipulating her. She said "This feeling I've had these last days" that means that Barbas was there whispering in her ears. Anyway I think that without manipulation she does not feel like she is so inferior to Prue. Piper feeling is the best way to understand her character, we have seen her talk about it the whole show. She is completely obssesed about happyness, she believes she is not going to be happy any time. Always things are being good, something happens. In that scene she fears that something will happen to her baby coz there is no way to be happy, and if her baby is ok she will be. Phoebe being bad feeling was amazing, anyway it is not only about season 4 finale, it's like the one in Piper, it's been that way like the beginning. Do you remember the wogy episode? There she thought that she was evil, at least more evil that her sisters.

    Well, ending this episode was fantastic, the beginning was a little boring and seeing them repeat what Barbas said was really anoying but the whole direction and the camera can make this episode at least a 9.5. You gotta see it.
  • It bored me at the start but it got really better.

    9.8
    Cole finds himself believing those working around him know that he's evil, but soon thinks that a powerful force may be messing with his mind that could lead to him hurting someone. When Cole seeks the help of the Charmed Ones, Phoebe and Piper are influenced by the Demon of Fear not to help. However, Paige decides to help by creating a potion to remove Cole's powers, which the Demon of Fear uses to steal Cole's powers and free himself from his eternal prison. Consumed with thoughts of revenge, the Demon of Fear traps the girls in the Manor and begins to turn the Halliwell's fears against them.
  • great episode

    10
    this is my favorite barbas episode i love how he traps them in their house with all their greatest fears. we also learn alot about the sisters in this episode. piper is afraid of being happy always waiting for the bottom to fall out which explains why she is always worried and paranoid. we see even farther into paiges fear of not being as good as prue which explains why she turns into super witch this season because she is trying so hard to be better than prue. and with phoebe we see that shes afraid shes evil which is why she is trying so hard to cut cole out of her life because he is the one who draws her to evil well actually its not just cole its love interest in general as we saw in her past life. this episode was great it held my attention the entire way through and they managed to teach us more about the characters. also this is when we get to see the piper pheobe and paige at some of their strongest as they all are able to fight their fears. its too bad this episode is one of those forgotten episdoes. this is definately one of my favorites of season 5. i wish there were more episodes like this.
  • An old enemy comes back for revenge with the help of some fears.

    10
    Fantastic episode. It was pure Charmed. Barbas is back and I really do enjoy his character on charmed. even though billy drago tends to read his lines kind of slow he does an excellent job at portraying a demon of fear.

    the teaser was done really well. I was like is cole dreaming or what. it was weird but then barbas came on the screen and it was all clear.

    Piper: she is finally in the second trimester and she seems to have loosened up on the baby issues. She is much more happy and ready for life with the baby. so apparently she has a spider fear which has never been stated before this episode, but then again characters in every show dont lay everything on the table at once, they unfold eventually. although i wished they played on her previous fear of flying from back in season 1 she never conquered that fear.

    Phoebe: She is also ready life and what it offers her. she is finally moving on with he rlife and getting out their and dating. miles didnt seem like her type at all. he just didnt even look like her type but whatever. barbas plays on two of her fears in this episode. one being she only attracts demons and the other is that she is pure evil.

    Paige: she has suddenly developed an inferiority complex with prue. i thought that was covered last year. anyway prue seemed to be working on a animal conjuring spell ( wtf?) anyway she cant do it and has serious issues with tight spaces, or in her case the closet.

    I absolutely loved the plot. Paige feels sorry for cole and wants to get rid of his powers. she goes solo but winds up helping barbas. piper and phoebe were really mean to paige and i was totally shocked because it wasnt really her fault she didnt know barbas was around. in any event paige says sorry like 200 times and cole is temporarily human.

    phoebe taunts barbas to come to the manor so they can vanquish him witht he spell used on the source. he comes but the spell doesnt work. i was irritated at the way he acted when he was in the cage. i dont know what billy drago was going for but what ever it was, it sucked. barbas blocks up all the windows and doors. i was totally shocked, it just gets better from here on out.

    piper and paige try to get out but fail. suddenly all of them are subject to their fears. it was a great scene. paige is claustrophobic and the babys room is closing in on her and Rose did a great job with portraying her fear, well done. piper seems a bunch of tarantulas on the floor but phoebe helps her get out of it. phoebe got rid of her fear rather quickly by just punching the "miles demon"

    "leo" orbs in from the first fllor and asks for pipers help with cole. she goes with "leo" and the other two go to the attic to make the potion to extract coles powers from barbas.

    Hollys exceelent talents come to play with her next fear that barbas plays on. she experiences happiness but then terrible things happen eventually( this is her fear) the scene involves her grams and her father.the moment he left the house and his family. holly is just watching the scene and her eyes just swell up and she just starts to cry, i love holly, terrific. then he turns it ont he torment her baby will face and she basically collapses on the floor cradling her stomach and dealing with her fear.

    alyssa milano was also terrific in the fight scene. barbas stands in as paige and taunts phoebe that he already killed the other two and that she should kill him. she attacks him, but it is really paige. phoebe really kicks some butt and destroys some furniture too. she grabs a knife and stabs hima nd then he transforms into paige,omg what a scene. phoebe begins to cry and i am just shocked.

    piper blasts barbas and talks phoebe out of her fear which apparently is that she is evil. the blocks begin to disappear and leo heals paige. the finals howdown is good and challenges paige to pull a prue. barbas send s a shockwave out, destroying the vial but paige orbs the potion into his mouth, cole gets his powers back and vanquishes barbas. fear be gone,lol.
  • Poor Cole

    10
    I liked this episode, it was kinda "deja vu"ish, but it was good.
    One thing that i keep noticing over and over again: Cole wants to be good and somehow he manages to be good, but he always turns back evil not because of him, but because of Phoebe, she's the reason why he turned bad from this episode on and when he was giving his power to the wizard in "Long live the Queen" too. But i guess that's one of the reasons i love this show! We kinda think that love stories like this should end good and this one didn't.
    Other things that i liked in this episode was that the sisters finnaly got to beat Barbas's fears, although they didn't vanquish him, they were great. And Cole's powers are wicked.
  • The past never dies......

    8.0
    Barbas, the demon of fear, returns and tricks Paige into stripping Cole\'s powers and giving them to him. Yes, it\'s a case of history repeating itself, but there is still much to be enjoyed about this episode. First and foremost of these is the performance of Julian McMahon as Cole. While it is apparent the writers are clearing the way for the character\'s eventual exit , he still manages to bring a much needed energy to the show.
    There are many repeating elements in the episode, starting with the reappearance of Barbas, the reuse of the crystal cage originally used on the Source, and Paige\'s comparisons of her own powers to those of Prue. This episode also features the return of Jennifer Rhodes as Grams and James Read as Victor Bennett.
    The scenes where Barbas takes control of the house and psychologically torments the girls are particularly entertaining. Paige turns up the emotional intensity as she conquers her fear, then Phoebe is tricked into killing Paige and herself is nearly killed by Barbas when an enraged Piper shows up and saves the day. Piper proves to be the emotional center of the show, conquering her fears and keeping everyone on task while Paige is still running the magical side of the show as her quest to master the craft continues.
  • Oh Great, Barbas is Back #1

    3.2
    Oh why can't they just keep him dead??!! I am getting completely sickened by the annoying fear demon Barbas continually coming back from the dead and ruining an episode which could of worked if he wasn't in it! Billy Drago can't act his way out of a paper bag and I want to kick in my TV set whenever he pops up!

    Sympathy for the Demon has Barbas somehow resurrecting himself and stealing Cole's powers. He then goes on to lock the sisters in the manor and releasing their individual fears, causing each one to slowly die.

    The fears of the sisters are brilliantly written and fit in with their characters perfectly. Piper's fear is that her growing paranoia that she won't be able to be there for her child, just like when Victor left and Patty died when she was a young girl. Phoebe's fear is that one of her sisters will die and she ends up almost murdering Paige due to Barbas' spell whilst Paige herself feels that the walls are closing in on her (literally) and she's feeling abandoned.

    Barbas has a "comedy" sidekick, the norm for Charmed demons nowadays and he follows the same routine that every "comedy" sidekick does: "stands there during lengthy exposition scene of where his master tells him what his evil plan is - then tries to persuade him not to go through with it - demon master kills sidekick". Boring! Julian McMahon was excellent in this episode and continues to be Charmed's most interesting character. It's a shame that for most of his short time in season five, he's not well used and ends up doing almost the exact same thing each week.

    This episode is hardly anything special (except the scenes where the sisters fears come to life) but far superior to the two previous Barbas episodes, From Fear to Eternity and Ms Hellfire.
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