Season 4 Episode 16

The Fifth Halliwheel

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 21, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
346 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Amongst newlyweds, Phoebe & Cole and already-married, Leo & Piper, Paige becomes like a fifth-wheel but she continues her suspicions about Cole. Meanwhile, the Source plots to impregnate Phoebe with his evil spawn.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Go the Seer.

    See I don't like the justifications for Paige not trusting Cole. A legal aid and an Attorney are different jobs. Not to mention he was an ADA for a while before they got involved and his job was crap, underpaid, cramped office, treated like crap and had 2 hours to become an expert on a case? Yeah I don't blame him for reacting. She doesn't trust him because he can get a job at a proper firm, get proper pay, and do the job he was actually trained for.

    I know they were creating an Anti-Cole, but the real reason Paige hates him has been ongoing for ages and completely unjustified. Yes she sees him use powers here, or thinks she does, and then he puts the power broker on her so obviously she gets reasons eventually. But her hatred has been going on for ages. BUT I didn't like how quickly Piper dismissed Paige I guess. She was suspicious of him too for some time, and sure she just got given a honeymoon which makes him look awesome but yeah, I guess she dismissed Paige quite quickly. However, I don't like how we're supposed to sympathise with her, she makes it hard to feel for what she thinks/feels. She's hated Cole for no reason for so long.

    I liked the idea of demonic powers and power brokers etc it was interesting and I liked the job and how Phoebe finds her way into the workplace.

    I loved Piper being over the top horny after eating the chocolate and her phone call with Phoebe and her little 'ew' at the end.

    See the problem with feeling for Paige is that she's thought Cole was a demon since day one, even after his powers were stripped etc. So yes while now he's evil again, it's not Cole that's evil it's the Sources magic, Cole is hardly in him anymore. So while she was right eventually, she wasn't always right and that's what's annoying.

    As always, Seer is amazingly evil and smart. And her power makes me wish Phoebe's premonitions weren't so crap and random.moreless
  • The Fifth Halliwell

    The Fifth Halliwell was a perfect episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because the story was entertaining and engaging, there was lots of drama and intrigue, and the stakes get higher as Cole as The Source manipulates the sisters and his demons. It was awesome to see what Phoebe did for Karen her coworker was awesome. The character and plot development were spectacular and I look forward to seeing how things play out now that Cole/The Source is playing both sides!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Turn the Paige...

    We have been building towards a Cole-Paige conflict really ever since Black as Cole, but where last episode was playful, this episode the conflict begins in deadly fashion. This is another very dark Season 4 episode where the real stars are the tremendous Seer, a deliciously evil Cole, and a completely besieged Paige. Once again Cole and the Seer manipulate the sisters masterfully as like last episode evil wins this one. Yes, Cole just manages to save Paige's life at the end, but our final scene leaves Paige alone, doubted and unappreciated by her sisters. When juxtaposed against the scene where the sisters get ready in the same bathroom, we see the real threat that Cole poses as the Source and his ability to break the sisters apart and set them against each other.

    The writers have done a brilliant job here of setting up Paige as the sympathetic figure of latter half Season 4, since the audience already knows she is right in her suspicions. This episode bears similarities to Heartbreak City, where Phoebe was the 5th wheel. The bathroom chat scene is virtually repeated in Still Charmed and Kicking, and Paige's assertion that she doesn't hate Cole, just doesn't trust him is immediately reminiscent of Prue. However, it is the attic scene where a Source-dominated Cole torments Paige into madness that sets this episode apart.

    I also enjoyed Brian's brief turn as the Source. Brian gets to impersonate nearly everyone in this show, and he is unfailingly good.

    Fortunately, Paige doesn't have to worry too much. Charmed's plotlines continue to move at break neck speed, and as such, Cole's secret won't last for long.moreless
  • With both of her sisters now married, Paige is feeling like the odd one out.

    Leo and Piper are married. Now Phoebe and Cole are married. Poor Paige really feels like an unnecessary extra, but that doesn't stop her continuing her dislike and mistrust of Cole, which, unfortunately, nobody else seems to share. It's a pity that they didn't take her more seriously because it turns out that The Source has plans to impregnate Phoebe with the spawn of evil so that she will, almost literally, give birth to the "Charmed" version of Rosemary's Baby.

    This was a very good episode, particularly in the area of foreshadowing for future events as there is quite a bit of very interesting television to come.moreless
  • It's the small stuff that really rounds off the hour

    It's an exhilarating, trenchant hour from Charmed, a rare occurence, even from Season 4s second of half of admittedly solid episodes. The **** really hits the fan, as Paige witnesses Cole using demonic powers, only she's uncertain whether or not she can trust her own eyes. Meanwhile, Phoebe and Piper are too busy swooning, no thanks to some magical aphrodisiacs, about their respective honeymoons, to notice Paige in distress. Oh, and there's an innocent to save, which puts Cole's plan to impregnate Phoebe on ice, and being the evil genius that he is, orchestrates the demon that's after the innocent to attack Paige instead, infecting her with severe paranoia and demonic rage.

    To recap this entire episode would take awhile, there's so much that happens here. And it's the small stuff that really rounds off the hour. Little things like the opening scenes with everyone in the club; the sisters sharing a bathroom chit-chatting about their sex-lives; Paige constantly challenging Cole and questioning where his new 'perks' came from; Cole's persistence in tricking Phoebe to eat his poisoned chocolates; Paige doubting herself about what she saw Cole do to Karen, and Cole's efforts in destroying her confidence by shape shifting into Leo and shooting her suspicions down.

    The fact that the sisters feel like genuine sisters is a first for this season, especially since Paige is the newest addition this year. Their talks weren't just about demons, they were about trust, sex, maturing, having fun and random chatter. When does the show take time to do this? Not very often. Scribe Kirsta Vernoff allows time for character development, the overall arc, a very involving subplot regarding an innocent, and even gives Phoebe a separate subplot that marks her first ever advice column, which allows Alyssa to show off her comedic talent. Heck, Piper even has onscreen sex! And that NEVER happens. Maybe it was a little overkill, with the odd sounds and Leo's, erm, odd facial expressions, but for once her sex life isn't relegated to off-screen comments. Little things, people!

    Of course, it's the colossal advances that really make this episode what it is. Cole's officious behavior throughout the episode is edge-of-your-seat stuff. The attic scenes, of course, are the talking point of the hour. How he teases Paige, throwing fireballs and generally destroying the attic, only to ask if something is wrong, if she's seeing things, as he magically mends the debris, is just my kind of cruel. Julian and Rose are both stunning here. Hats off! When Paige attacks Phoebe and Cole, I loved the exchange they share when Piper hilariously knocks Paige out. When he insists he go down to the underworld alone, her response, 'You don't have any powers!' was fantastic. Not sure why, but I love that bit.

    Overall, this is an immensely enjoyable episode of Charmed. Everything feels plausible within the realm of the Charmed universe. Powers are used for practical reasons, whether it be freezing a car to save an innocent's life, or dosing chocolates with blood in order sway Phoebe to the dark side of the force. There's action, there's humour and, most of all, an uneasy risk-factor to the proceedings. Cole may be mostly evil, but he's still a character to root for. Paige, of course, is a very likeable character but could stand to lose everything she's built for herself so far, and Phoebe has just been impregnated with evil, and so we have 3 main characters, all likeable, with genuine stakes. There's going to be severe repercussions and casualties ahead. Can anyone believe I'm talking about Charmed?moreless
Molly Hagan

Molly Hagan

Karen Young

Guest Star

Mario Schugel

Mario Schugel

Power Broker

Guest Star

Becky Wahlstrom

Becky Wahlstrom


Guest Star

Debbi Morgan

Debbi Morgan

The Seer

Recurring Role

Rebecca Balding

Rebecca Balding

Elise Rothman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • TRIVIA: The music featured in this episode -
      -Join Hands by Groove Armada

    • While in the underworld Cole told Piper her powers were not effective because she was in the underworld and they didn't. However, this was not her first trip to the underworld she had been to the underworld in season 3 when they went there to save Prue's college boyfriend Tom. Her powers worked while their and while several of the demons had been immune to her freezing that had only been because of their rank, not being in the underworld.

    • When Piper and Leo are on the floor at the club, Piper reaches up for the phone before it even starts ringing.

    • TRIVIA: The picture of Phoebe and Cole that Paige destroys was also seen in other episodes.

    • TRIVIA: When the group are at P3 at the beginning of the episode, the song "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" by Kylie Minogue plays in the background. Kylie Minogue is the sister of Dannii Minogue, who was married to Julian McMahon.

    • TRIVIA: Phoebe gets a job as an advice columnist at the Bay Mirror newspaper and thus begins her "Ask Phoebe" career.

    • Why wouldn't Paige think something was up when Leo, who was actually Cole in disguise, walked out the front door instead of orbing out?

    • TRIVIA: Rebecca Balding previously appeared as 'Aunt Jackie' in the season 1 episode "The Fourth Sister" and this is her first appearance as 'Elise Rothman'.

    • Why would the Charmed Ones have a white dollhouse, the one Paige incinerated, in their attic when in the season 7 episode "Scry Hard", it's stated that as kids they played with a manor-replica dollhouse?

    • Whitelighters can sense the pain of their charges, so why couldn't Leo sense that Paige was in trouble when Cole was messing with her in the attic? He should have known and orbed in to see what Cole was doing.

    • When the camera pans out while Cole is on the phone in the attic after scaring Paige, you can see that Paige is not there at all.

    • When Cole gives Phoebe the chocolate, he has it held in his hand for a few minutes. When the camera angle changes and he walks in to talk to Karen, the chocolate has disappeared from his hand.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Karen: You told Fearful Marin to get a dog.
      Phoebe: Yeah, oh, I know, I know, it seemed right at the time, you know, so she didn't have to...
      Karen: I would've told her to get a therapist and get a life.
      Piper: See, this is what I said.
      Karen: Hers was better.
      Phoebe: Wow, really?
      Karen: It was proactive, it was nonjudgmental. The whole column had a freshness and a passion that it hasn't had for a really long time.
      Phoebe: Thank you.
      Karen: And I'm going to tell Elise that you wrote it.
      Phoebe: Oh, no, Karen, don't do that. I mean, she'll fire you.
      Karen: And my guess is she'll hire you. If you think you can handle working for that witch.
      Piper: Hmm, I thought of her as more of a demon.

    • Paige (to Cole): Strange. You didn't last two hours at legal aid.
      Piper: Yeah, you hated it. You said you hated being a lawyer.
      Cole: Yeah, but that job was high stress and paid nothing. This one—
      Leo: Comes with a Porsche.
      Cole: Right. (About Phoebe) How come she's not smiling?
      Leo: You got me. Is this the Tiptronic?
      Cole: Uh, no. (To Phoebe) I thought you'd be happy.
      Phoebe: Cole, if you're happy, I'm happy.

    • Seer: What do you mean she didn't eat it?
      Cole: I mean I thought shoving it down her throat might be a little suspicious.

    • Phoebe: How do you spell 'oblique'?
      Piper: With spellcheck.

    • Phoebe: Speaking of looking forward... Piper, you're going on your honeymoon tonight. I think new lingerie is in order.
      Piper: You always think new lingerie is in order.
      Phoebe: Not for me, silly. You wanna come, Paige?
      Paige: Ugh, I can't. I have to go to that evil place where they keep my paycheck.
      Phoebe: Oh, right, sorry.

    • Paige: I can't believe I destroyed the house.
      Phoebe: What I can't believe is what you almost saw in the hotel room. If you had gotten there five minutes earlier...
      Piper: Lalala! Oversharing.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Title: The Fifth Halliwell

      This is a reference to the term a "fifth wheel" which refers to a four-wheeled vehicle, and it's unneccessary fifth wheel. In this case it refers to two sets of couples and an extra person who feels like the "fifth wheel" or the odd man out.