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Charmed Reloaded
5.01 From the Ashes

[Scene: A cemetery at night, almost deserted, except for an elderly man sitting by a tomb stone. He cries as he places flowers by the tomb, which reads Hannah Roberts, loving wife and mother. As the man looks at his watch, he wipes his tears and stands up. Just as he is about to leave, smoke and flames rise up from the earth behind him. A tall and slender figure appears, spreading its blood red cloak like large bird-like wings. Its face is hidden by a bronze mask that resembles a beak.]

Figure: (in a raspy voice) You grieve for a loved one?

(The man turns around and is shocked to see the figure as it lowers it cloak. The man falls.)

Man: (scared) What are you?

Figure: What I am does not matter, all that matters is what I can offer.

Man: What do you mean?

Figure: I was drawn here by your grief. I can help, bring back the one you lost.

Man: That is impossible, my wife was sick, she died.

Figure: Nothing is possible for me, especially not death.

Man: Are you the grim reaper?

Figure: Not quite. I do not take loved ones away, I bring them back, for a price.

Man: What is your price?

Figure: I offer you one year of time with your loved one, after which I will claim both your souls.

Man: One year? I can have one year with my wife? And she will be healthy?

Figure: Yes.

Man: I accept, please, bring her back.

Figure: (holds out its clawed hand) Sign.

(A parchment appears in the hands of the man in a sudden flame. The man is startled, but the fire does not harm him. A quill with a bright red feather appears in his other hand. The man studies the parchments and sees it is a contract. He signs at the dotted line. Suddenly, he cries out in pain and a cut appears on his palm. The contract is signed with his own blood. It then disappears in flames.)

Figure: It is done.

Man: My wife?

Figure: Enjoy the time you have left.

(The figure raises its hand again and a stream of fire rises up from the grave. In the flames, a woman appears screaming as the fire restores her from a decomposed state. As the flames subside, the elderly woman falls to her knees fully restored. The man steps forward.)

Man: (shocked) Hannah?

(The woman looks up and recognizes her husband.)

Hannah: (confused) Bill?

Man: (hugs her as he helps her to her feet) It worked, you’re back. I missed you so much.

Hannah: But how?

Figure: Remember, one year.

(The woman looks around and sees the cloaked figure. She screams in terror and her husband clutches her tightly. The figure laughs as it disappears through flames and smoke.)

[End scene]

[Scene: Phoebe Halliwell’s office at the Bay Mirror, late at night. She sits behind her desk wearing glasses while tying on her computer. A pile of letters is in front of her. Suddenly a weakened Cole Turner appears in the room, grabbing onto a cabinet to prevent falling. Phoebe jumps up.]

Phoebe: (shocked) What are you doing here?

Cole: (desperate) Phoebe, I need your help. I thought I could escape, but the wasteland keeps pulling me back.

Phoebe: Cole, you’re dead. Or you should be dead. You cannot be here.

Cole: Phoebe, please. The powers are not enough to keep me here. You cannot let me suffer there.

Phoebe: (emotional) Like all the suffering you caused me?

Cole: Phoebe, I was possessed. The Source… he…

Phoebe: (opens a drawer and picks up a paper) You were the Source, Cole. You twisted and manipulated me, I nearly lost everything, my sisters, my life, my chi... (Pauses) You need to leave.

Cole: It is not that simple, Phoebe. Please.

Phoebe: (upset) I can’t. I am sorry. I cannot let you back in. (reads from the paper) “Lost soul that causes me pain, I banish you from whence you came.”

Cole: (screaming) No! Phoebe!

(Cole screams as he is forcefully pulled from the office and disappears. Phoebe sits down at her desk and wipes away her tears.)

[End scene]

[Scene: Cole reappears in a dark clouded place and falls down on a dry and barren ground. He looks around and finds himself back in the wasteland. A worm-like creature erupts from the earth and tries to take him, though he rolls away and fires lightning at it. As the beast falls dead, Cole climbs on a rock and sees several more beasts in the distance.]

Cole: I need to get out of here.

[End Scene]

-Opening Credits-

[Scene: the Halliwell Manor at morning. On the second floor, Leo and a slightly visible pregnant Piper are clearing out a small room.]

Piper: Are you sure Grams’ old sowing room is big enough for a nursery?

Leo: (as they start walking down the hall.) We don’t have any other rooms. Unless you want to ask one of your sisters to move out.

Piper: We can’t. We all inherited the manor. Besides, I want my sisters here.

Leo: It is not like you see them a lot. When is the last time we all had dinner together?

Piper: I know, but Paige is busy at work and Phoebe is… (they stop in front of Phoebe’s bedroom door) Well... She is going through a rough time.

Leo: It has been over two months. All she does is come home to sleep. She is avoiding her issues by burying herself in her work.

Piper: (annoyed as she keeps on walking and heads down the stairs) Leo, she has been through a lot. She is dealing in her own way.

Leo: I know she has been through a lot, Piper, but she is not dealing with it. She is avoiding it.

Piper: How would you know?

Leo: I am still your Whitelighter, even though you all seem to forget that.

Piper: (stops at the bottom of the stairs) What is that supposed to mean?

Leo: I mean that lately, I don’t really feel like you guys need me. I feel more like a stay-at-home husband and a handyman than a real Whitelighter.

Piper: Well, honey, things have been quiet on the magical front since we vanquished Cole. I can’t help it.

Leo: I know. And I am glad that we got this quiet time to prepare for the baby, but sometimes I feel like I don’t contribute a lot.

Piper: Well, I could always use help at the club. (places her hand on her belly.) Especially since our little girl is getting so big. Soon I won’t be able to work.

Leo: When do you have the next check-up?

Piper: This afternoon. Don’t worry, I asked Paige to take me.

Leo: (places his hand on hers) I am not worried.

(They exchange a smile. The front door opens and Phoebe comes in. She puts her coat away. Leo and Piper walk over to her, though she barely seems to notice them.)

Piper: (worried) Phoebe? Are you okay?

Phoebe: Oh, hi. I am fine. (walks past them.)

Leo: Did you just came in?

Phoebe: Yeah, I fell asleep at the office. I just came home for a shower and some fresh clothes.

Piper: Hold it. You fell asleep at the office? Did something happen?

Phoebe: (unconvincingly) No, everything is fine. Nothing to worry about. (heads up the stairs) I really need to hurry, important meeting in an hour.

(As Phoebe leaves up the stairs, Piper turns to Leo, who giving her a told-you-so look).

Piper: (annoyed) Alright fine, she is not handling it. But what can we do? An intervention?

(At that moment, Paige comes down the stairs.)

Paige: An intervention, huh? So who is it for? Please tell me it’s Phoebe, because I just ran into her and she looks horrible.

Piper: Does everyone notice these things but me?

Paige: Ah, you got other things on your mind, mommy.

Piper: (annoyed) Don’t call me that. And don’t forget we have an appointment this afternoon.

Paige: Don’t worry, I won’t forget. I am responsible like that. (excited) Which is why I am probably getting promoted today. Mr. Cowan asked to see me first thing. I finally get to be a real social worker.

Leo: Congratulations. You deserve it.

Paige: Thank you. (To Piper) So need to run, but I will pick you up at two.

Piper: (calls after her as she starts to leave.) Don’t be late. (Paige waved at her. Piper turns to Leo.) So what are we going to do about Phoebe?

[End scene]

[Scene: South Bay Social Services, Paige is sitting in the office of her boss, Mr. Cowan.]

Mr. Cowan: Paige, your work has been amazing lately. You really pulled through on several cases and all your co-workers are praising your work.

Paige: So does this mean I am finally being promoted?

Mr. Cowan (frowning) finally?

Paige: Well, it’s about time. The only reason I got hired as an assistant in the first place was because you could not afford to hire me as a social worker.

Mr. Cowan: That was part of the reason, but not the only one.

Paige: (surprised) What do you mean?

Mr. Cowan: It means I was not as confident as you are. Back when you started, I thought you would not last a year, but you have really proven yourself. You can handle though situations and you seem to be able to make the impossible happen.

Paige: Maybe I am secretly a witch.

Mr. Cowan: (Laughs) That would explain a lot. No, I am serious. I may have judged you too harshly when you first started, considering your past and all.

Paige: (confused) What do you mean?

Mr. Cowan: I mean considering the fact that you were adopted, you lost your parents, that you used to have a drinking problem. I was worried you could not handle it. If you had not been so strong, you could have ended up here as a case instead of an employee.

Paige: Well, I worked long and hard to get to where I am. Things have not always been simple, but I think that makes me a better social worker.

Mr. Cowan: I agree. Just try not to get too emotionally involved.

Paige: (curiously) So?

Mr. Cowan: So consider yourself promoted. (hands her a file) Your first case.

Paige: Thank you, sir. What is it about?

Mr. Cowan: A widower. His children live out of town and neighbors are worried he is not handling the death of his wife well. The kids are concerned as well. The name is Bill Roberts.

Paige: I will get right on it. (she stands up)

Mr. Cowan: Paige, I hope I did not cross a line when bringing up your past. I did not mean to judge, but these are the types of things we need to take into consideration.

Paige: I understand. I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to let my past define me.

Mr. Cowan: Well, you certainly got your life in order.

Paige: (nodding proudly) I did. So now I want to help others do the same.

[End Scene]

[Scene: A large mansion just outside of the city. A woman in her forties, dressed in a blue dress, enters her indoor pool. A blonde teenager is swimming laps in the pool dressed in blue shorts. The woman observes her watch and looks troubled.]

Woman: Daniel!

(The boy stops swimming and looks up at his mother.)

Woman: I do wish you would stop swimming in this awful pool. I was hoping we could lunch together. I feel like making today special.

Daniel: (as he gets out of the pool) What is so special about today? And what is wrong with me swimming? It’s why we have the pool, right?

Woman: Bad memories. Come on, I think we should go out.

Daniel: (as he dries off with a towel) I actually have plans this afternoon.

Woman: Please spend some time with your mother. Who knows how long we have in this life?

Daniel: You’re acting weird. What is going on?

Woman: Is it weird for a mother to want to spent time with her only son? The most important man in her life?

Daniel: Alright. I will go get dressed.

(Daniel kisses his mother on the cheek and heads for the door. Suddenly, the door slams shut, as do all the other doors and windows. Daniels looks around confused, though his mother is terrified. She grabs her son by the arm and starts running.)

Woman: (scared) It is not time yet!

Daniel: Mom, what are you talking about? What is going on?

(Before mother and son can reach the door to the garden, smoke and flames rise up from the floor and form into a cloaked figure in a blood red cloak. Daniel screams and slips on the wet floor. His mother stands between him and the figure.)

Woman: It is not time yet. You said a whole year.

Figure: And you had a year, down to the minute. Or don’t you remember finding your drowned son right here in this very pool?

Woman: Of course.

Daniel: What the hell is that? What is he talking about?

Figure: I came to you offering a deal. One more year of living and nobody would be the wiser. Now your time is up.

Woman: Please, we can make another deal. I have money, power, anything.

Figure: All I want is your souls, yours and your son’s.

Woman: (crying as she falls through her knees) No, please.

(The figure ignores her and waves its clawed hands. Behind the woman, her son erupts in flames and screams in pain. The woman turns and reaches for him, though she too is engulfed by fire. Both are incinerated until only blackened skeletons remain. Two spheres of fire rise up from the remains and float to the figure. It takes one in each hand and they evaporate. At that moment, Cole fades into the room.)

Cole: Just the demon I was looking for.

Figure: (as he turns to Cole) Belthazor.

Cole: Not anymore.

Figure: What do you want?

Cole: I assume you know about my little predicament.

Figure: Of course, I can sense it. The wasteland is calling for you. You will not be able to escape into this plane much longer.

Cole: So you know I need your help.

Figure: Why would I help you? You have nothing to offer me.

Cole: I have nearly unlimited powers from the wasteland. Take your pick.

Figure: Powers do not interest me. And what makes you think I could even help you if I wanted to?

Cole: I know who you are, Agares, the Demon of Resurgence. You can resurrect anyone.

Figure: For a price, one that you are unable to pay.

Cole: (angrily) I need you to bring me back permanently. I need to make for my mistakes. I need Phoebe to forgive me. I love her.

Agares: A being with a soul as rotten as yours cannot love. What little humanity you have left will soon be consumed by the powers you have taken. Your soul is already dead, Belthazor. Just let go.

Cole: (furiously) I will not!

(Cole holds out his hands and fires lightning at Agares. However, the demon simply waves his hand and deflects it back at Cole, who is blasted back and falls into the pool. As Cole resurfaces, Agares disappears in flames and smoke and Cole angrily slams his fist at the water.

[End scene]

[Scene: A suburban street. Paige arrives at a house with a poorly maintained garden and knocks on the door. She looks at the file in her hand and sees a photo of the widower and his late wife. The elderly man from before, Bill, opens the door with a smile.]

Paige: (confused) Mr. Roberts? (the man nods) Hi, my name is Paige Matthews, social worker with South Bay Social Services. May I come in?

Bill: What is this about?

Paige: Some of your neighbors contacted us out of concern. We spoke with your children and they are worried about you.

Bill: Is this about my wife?

Paige: (hesitantly) Well… I don’t really feel comfortable discussing this outside. Could I come in?

Bill: (reluctantly) Now is not really a good time.

Female Voice: (from inside the house) Bill, honey, who is it?

Paige: (surprised) Who is that?

Bill: (hastily) Cleaning lady.

(Suddenly a woman joins them at the door and Paige is shocked to discover she looks exactly like the late wife. She grabs her file and looks at the picture again. The woman smiles at her, though her husband seems concerned.)

[End scene]

[Scene: Halliwell manor, freshly showered and dressed in a fashionable ensemble, Phoebe heads down the stairs and toward the door. However, as she passes the dining room, she finds Piper and Leo waiting for her.]

Phoebe: (curiously) What is going on?

Piper: Sweetie, we need to talk.

Phoebe: I am running late for a meeting.

Piper: I think the meeting can wait. Sit down.

(Phoebe reluctantly walks over to the dining room table and sits down.)

Phoebe: What is this about?

Piper: Well, we worry that you’re not really handling everything that happened. We think you’re burying yourself in work to avoid dealing with your own problems.

Phoebe: That is crazy. I have dealt with my issues. We vanquished Cole.

Leo: But Cole is not the main issue, is he?

Phoebe: Yes he is, it is because of him that I lost myself. I turned evil, betrayed everyone I loved, all to be with a man who is no longer the man I fell in love with. I mean, I did not even see he was the Source.

Piper: (worried) Sweetie, why are you talking in the present tense? Is Cole still haunting you?

Phoebe: No… maybe… okay, yes.

Piper: How is that possible? Leo, you said him escaping the wasteland was only temporary.

Leo: It was, or at least it should be. The only thing sustaining him are the demonic powers he took from there. He cannot maintain a presence on this plane.

Phoebe: Leo is right. Cole keeps fading in and out of existence. He wants me to bring him back.

Piper: Please tell me you’re not considering that?

Phoebe (annoyed) Of course not, Cole is a chapter of my life I want to close. It is just not working as long as he keeps haunting me.

Piper: So that is why you have been so distant.

Phoebe: (hesitantly) Yes, of course… What else would there be?

(The front door opens and Paige comes in. She drops her bag and a folder on the table.)

Paige: Guys, I think I have a magical situation.

Leo: What is going on?

Paige: Okay, so I got promoted to social worker..

Phoebe: Ah, congratulations. (Paige glares at her.) Okay, moving on to the magical situation.

Paige: So I handed my first case, this grieving widower who lost his wife, but when I get there, the guy is acting really suspicious and suddenly his wife shows up.

Piper: You mean like a ghost?

Paige: Oh no, I wish it were that easy. No, she literally was there, alive and kicking. Well, not kicking since they are pretty old, but still.

Phoebe: (guessing) Well, maybe you were at the wrong house? Or someone made a mistake?

Paige: No, I am sure. Somehow, she is back. (to Leo) Any ideas?

Leo: Well, I could check with the Elders, but it sounds to me like he made a Faustian deal, a deal with the devil.

Piper: You mean like Masselin did with that band manager?

Leo: Something like that. A demon probably offered him his wife back in exchange for something else, most likely his soul. However, not many demons have the power to fully resurrect a person.

Phoebe: Can I see the file?

(Paige hands Phoebe the file and the moment she touches it, she is sucked into a premonition. She sees the widower crying on the cemetery, the demon appearing and then his wife being brought back through fire. She gasps as the premonition ends and drops the file.)

Phoebe: We’re definitely dealing with a demon. I will cancel my meeting and check the book to see if I can identify the demon.

Piper: And I will reschedule my appointment.

Paige: And what am I supposed to do about work? Mr. Cowan expects a report.

Leo: I think that will have to wait.

[End Scene]

[Scene: After a short time skip, the sisters are in the attic looking at the Book of Shadows. Phoebe is flipping the pages and stops when she recognized the demon from her premonition.]

Phoebe: (reading) Agares, the demon of Resurgence. Like the myth of the Phoenix, this demon can resurrect anyone through his demonic flames. He offers deals to grieving mortals, giving them one year with their loved ones in exchange for their souls once the year has passed. There is a vanquishing spell, a Power of Three spell, but we’ll need holy water.

Paige: Where do you get holy water?

Piper: I think we still have some left from the time you were a vampire.

Phoebe: Now the question is how we find this creep.

Cole’s Voice: (from elsewhere) I think I can help with that.

(Cole appears in a fading manner and Piper flicks her hands in a reflex. Cole is blasted in the chest and is thrown back against the attic door. Phoebe becomes upset and steps back.)

Piper: (angrily) What are you doing here?

Paige: How many times do we have to vanquish your sorry ass?

Cole: (as he gets up) I came to help. I can find Agares. I can sense his presence. Congratulations on the pregnancy.

Piper: (Uninterested) Thanks.

Paige: Why should be trust you?

Cole: Because I want to help. (to Phoebe). Even though I was possessed by the essence of the Source, I still feel responsible for all the pain I have caused you, Phoebe. Part of it was me, the Source acted on my feelings.

Paige: (suspiciously) Sounds to me like you were one and the same.

Cole: I guess we were, in a sense. But despite everything, I never intended to hurt the woman I love. All I wanted was for us to be together.

Phoebe: (emotionally) Stop, just stop. I cannot deal with this, Cole. (she steps forward to face him.) I need you out of my life. Whether or not you were in control, I can never forget what happened. I nearly lost everything that matters to me. There is no going back. Accept that.

Cole: I can’t.

Phoebe: You have to. Now can you help us find this demon or not?

Cole: Yes.

Phoebe: Then help us. After that, we can both go our separate ways. Okay?

Cole: If you say so. Meet me at the cemetery once you’re ready.

(Cole fades away and Phoebe takes a deep breath. Piper places her hands around her shoulders and pulls her in for a hug.)

Piper: Are you sure about this? Do you really think he will let go?

Phoebe: I don’t know. I hope so, both for his sake and mine. We should get ready. I cannot wait for this to be over.

Paige: I will go get the holy water.

[End Scene]

[Scene: The cemetery, early evening. The Charmed Ones appear in a column of orbs. They walk around to make sure there are no mortals around. As they wait in front of a small tomb, Cole appeared in a fading manner.]

Cole: Ready?

Phoebe: As I’ll ever be.

Cole: (smirking) Follow me.

(The girls start following Cole across the cemetery.)

Paige: (whispering) I still don’t think this is a good idea.

Cole: Where is the trust, Paige?

Paige: Nowhere on this cemetery. Was super hearing one of the powers you picked up?

Cole: No, you just talk loud. Actually, the powers don’t sustain me for long, they disappear after a while.

Piper: So how many powers to you have?

Cole: (laughing) You’re planning a vanquishing potion depending on the number of powers I have?

Piper: Possibly. If you don’t keep your word and keep harassing my sister.

Cole: At what point does loving someone become harassment?

Paige: (annoyed) Probably around the time you come back from the dead.

Phoebe: (To everyone) Guys, please. Can we just do this and be done with it. The less time I have to spent here, the better.

Cole: We’re here. Get ready. Agares will sense our presence soon.

(Everyone stops. They are standing on a small clearing in front of an old mausoleum. Suddenly, the doors fly open and smoke pours outside. Flames rise and Agares appears with his cloak spread. A circle of fire appears around the sisters, trapping them. Cole steps forward, through the demon raises a clawed hand and Cole is thrown back.)

Agares: Betrayal, Belthazor. I should have suspected it. These witches cannot help you.

Piper: Perhaps you should focus on the real threat here.

(Piper flicks her hands and both the fire and the demon freeze. The sisters quickly leap through the flames, though Agares is already starting to resist the freeze.)

Phoebe: Quick, the spell.

(Her sisters gather around Phoebe as she grabs a piece of paper, together, they start casting the spell.)

Charmed Ones: (in unison) “From the ashes, his flames resurrect, So their tortured souls he may collect, No longer will his wicked deals persist, Demon of Resurgence no more exist.”

(Once the spell is cast, Paige throws a bottle of holy water, which shatters against the chest of Agares. The demon unfreezes and screams as the water sizzles and he slowly begins to melt. Suddenly Cole appears behind the demon and holds out his hand. A small stream of fire leaves Agares and is absorbed by Cole, who briefly glows white-hot. All that is left of the demon is the bronze beak-shaped mask.)

Phoebe: (shocked) What did you do?

Cole: I took what I needed. The power to resurrect myself. (smiles) I am back.

Phoebe: (horrified) Why?

Cole: Because I believe there is still hope for us, Phoebe. I will never give up.

(Cole disappears in a fading manner and Phoebe collapses to the ground crying. Her sister quickly rush over to comfort her.)

[End scene]

[Scene: South Bay Social Services. Paige is sitting in Mr. Cowan’s office nervously tapping her fingers on the chair. Mr. Cowan enters the office and sits down behind his desk.]

Mr. Cowan: I just got off the phone with the psychiatric hospital. It seems Mr. Roberts was admitted last night. He claims his dead wife came back from the dead, but that she disappeared in the middle of the night, consumed by fire.

Paige: I can explain.

Mr. Cowan: Really? How can you explain?

Paige: Okay, maybe I can’t explain. I am so sorry, sir. I visited him like you asked and honestly, I don’t know what happened.

Mr. Cowan: It is alright, Paige.

Paige: (confused) Really?

Mr. Cowan: It seems that it was only a matter of time before Mr. Roberts broke down.

Paige: (saddened) I should have known.

Mr. Cowan: Paige, you’re a social worker, not a psychiatrist. There is only so much we can do. You should take comfort in knowing that he is getting the help he needs.

Paige: So I am not fired?

Mr. Cowan: Fired? Of course not, we could not have foreseen this. If we had any idea that Mr. Roberts was mentally unstable, we would have sent a more experienced person.

Paige: I still feel bad for what happened to him.

Mr. Cowan: Of course, that is why you’re a social worker. You care. But part of the job is accepting that you cannot help everyone. Can you do that?

Paige: (reluctantly) I think so.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, Phoebe’s bedroom. Phoebe is lying in her bed. There is a knock on the door and Piper enters. She sits down on the bed.]

Piper: How are you?

Phoebe: (she turns to face Piper.) I honestly don’t know. It feels like it is starting all over again. I cannot deal with it all again.

Piper: But things are not the same. You told Cole how you feel. You don’t have to go back.

Phoebe: (tearfully) I know, but I am afraid he will pull me back in.

Piper: Oh honey. (lies down on the bed and hugs her.) We are all here for you. You are stronger than you think. You can get through this.

Phoebe: How?

Piper: (saddened) I wish I knew.

[End Scene]

End Episode