Charmed Reloaded
5.16 Seeking Shadows

[Scene: San Francisco at night, a parking lot. A shadow flies around and stops mid-air. Red energy starts to crackle on the ground and a small flaming portal opens. A charred claw reaches through, but it is unable to grab on. An angry scream is heard as the portal closes. The shadow seems frustrated and flies away.]

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, Piper and Leo’s bedroom. Piper is sitting on her bed while taking off her earrings. Leo enters the room, fresh out of the shower, with a towel around his waist.]

Leo: Are the kids asleep?

Piper: Yes, finally. I’m exhausted.

(Leo sits down and moves her hair before kissing her neck.)

Leo: Exhausted, huh? Too exhausted for this?

(Piper smiles as Leo continues to kiss her, though she is also tired.)

Piper: (yawning) Now? Really?

Leo: (sighs as he stops) Piper, it has been weeks.

Piper: Weeks, what are you talking about? What about the other day in the shower?

Leo: That was two weeks ago.

Piper: (frowning) Really? Wow, time is moving fast. I’m sorry, things have just been hectic with the kids and the club.

Leo: You think I’m not busy? We need to make time for each other. I mean, for all we know, I could be even busier soon.

(Leo gets up and walks to the closet to get dressed.)

Piper: (confused) What does that mean?

Leo: Well, I didn’t want to mention this earlier, but I heard the Elders have their eye on me. They are pleased with my work, so I might be getting a promotion.

Piper: (frowning) A promotion? Do Whitelighters get promoted? What does that even mean?

Leo: (after putting on a shirt) There is a hierarchy in the Heavens, just like anywhere else. A promotion probably means I will spent more time supervising and training new Whitelighters.

Piper: And what does that mean for us? Are you going to be gone more often?

Leo: (shrugs) I guess so. I would be spending more time up there.

Piper: (annoyed) When were you going to tell me this?

Leo: When it was certain. Why are you getting upset?

Piper: Leo, you promised to cut down on your hours to help take care of the kids. Now you’ll be gone more? How am I supposed to react?

Leo: (upset) You could be happy for me. Proud even. This is a huge honor.

Piper: Did the Elders decide this? (pauses) Did you ever stop to think this might be another way for them to drive us apart? They were not exactly supportive of our relationship.

Leo: Piper, that is insane. Yes, they were reluctant, but they gave us their blessing. Besides, marriage is a sacred vow. Even they would not break it.

Piper: (doubtfully) Yeah right.

Leo: Look, nothing is certain yet, and I still have to say yes, though I’d like a little more support.

Piper: How can I be supportive of something that is going to distance you from our family?

Leo: (annoyed) Lots of husbands have demanding jobs, Piper. I’m no different. I know you’re used to having me at your beck and call, but I have my own career.

Piper: (angrily) At my beck and call? Are you kidding me? You make me sound like some kind of slave driver.

Leo: That’s not what I’m saying.

Piper: Then what are you saying?

Leo: That I’m done with this conversation. (He grabs his pillow.) I’ll be downstairs.

Piper: Fine!

(Piper turns her back to Leo as he storms out of the bedroom. As Leo enters the hall, he nearly bumps into Phoebe, who was just sneaking past while holding her heels in her hand.)

Phoebe: I swear I was not eavesdropping. I was just trying to sneak off to bed.

(Leo shakes his head and walks past Phoebe. Phoebe walks to Piper’s bedroom.)

Phoebe: Are you okay, sweetie?

Piper: (annoyed) Not now.

(Piper gets up and slams the door shut. Phoebe turns and walks to her own bedroom.)

Phoebe: (awkwardly) Okay then.

[End Scene]

-Opening Credits-

[Scene: A restaurant during the morning. Paige and Evan are sitting at a table.]

Evan: Thanks for meeting me, I’m sorry we had to reschedule last night.

Paige: No problem. I’m glad I was able to get out of the manor. Piper and Leo had a fight and there is still major tension over there. (smiling) Besides, I’m always happy to see you.

Evan: I know exactly what you mean.

Paige: (surprised) Oh?

Evan: I’ve been thinking a lot, about us.

Paige: Really?

Evan: (with an awkward smile) Yeah, you know, over the last couple of months that we’ve been dating, I think I’ve really…

(A waiter arrives to bring them their orders. Evan impatiently waits for him to leave.)

Paige: Sorry about that.

Evan: No problem, what I was trying to say is, I think I’m really falling in love with you.

Paige: (a little nervously) Oh.

Evan: Which is why I wanted to give you this.

(Evan places a small jewelry box on the table and Paige’s eyes widen.)

Paige: (nervously) Evan, what is this?

Evan: Just open it.

(Paige nods and carefully picks up the box. After a deep breath, she opens it and sees a beautiful old-fashioned necklace inside. She is relieved.)

Paige: It’s beautiful.

Evan: Do you know what it means?

Paige: (confused) It means something?

Evan: It’s kind-of silly, but in my culture, it is tradition for a guy to present a girl with a symbol when he knew she is the one.

Paige: Excuse me?

Evan: The necklace once belonged to my mother. By giving it to you, it shows that I am serious about our relationship and our future.

Paige: (freaked) So it’s like an engagement thing?

Evan: No, no, no, nothing as official as that. It’s more like a promise. Where I’m from, it shows the rest of the tribe that we are committed to each other.

Paige: (nervously) Oh wow. I see. Well, thank you. It is really beautiful.

Evan: I was hoping you’d like it.

(Evan kisses her. Paige smiles and pretends to be happy, though when she looks at the necklace, she looks terrified.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell manor. Leo is pacing around the dining room while Phoebe is sitting at the table. Piper comes down the stairs and joins them. There is obvious tension between her and Leo.]

Leo: (impatiently) Where is Paige?

Phoebe: She is out on a date with Evan.

Leo: Well, call her, this is important.

Piper: Please, what could be so important that we have to have a family meeting right now?

Leo: (annoyed) It’s not a family meeting, Piper, it’s official Whitelighter business. Piper: Yeah, because we all know how important that is to you.

(They glare at each other.)

Phoebe: Alright, what is going on between the two of you?

Piper: Why don’t you ask mister big shot Whitelighter?

Leo: (sighs) Piper is upset because I might be offered a promotion, which, by the way, is a huge honor.

Phoebe: (confused) A promotion? Wait, does that mean we’re not going to be your charges anymore?

Leo: Of course you will. It just means I might be spending more time in the Heavens. At least the Elders seems to appreciate my work.

Piper: I would appreciate a little more help with the kids, instead of you floating around in the clouds.

Leo: Is that what you think we do up there?

Piper: Well, considering witches are always the ones doing the actual work, you know, vanquishing evil and stuff?

(Leo is about to argue when they hear the door slam shut. Paige comes walking in.)

Paige: Guys, we have a huge problem on our hands!

Phoebe: (worried) Is it demons?

Paige: No, it’s Evan.

(Paige sits down and lays her head on the table. The others exchange confused looks.)

Phoebe: Uh, sweetie, we’re going to need a little more than that.

(Paige puts the jewelry box on the table. Phoebe opens it.)

Phoebe: Oh, it’s beautiful.

Piper: It sure it. So why is it a problem?

Paige: The necklace is not the problem, what it means is. According to Evan’s stupid gypsy traditions, it means we’re practically engaged.

Piper: (shocked) What?

Paige: Not officially or anything, but it’s like this commitment or promise thing.

Phoebe: Then I’m confused again. What is the problem exactly?

Paige: The problem is that it freaks me out. It’s too much. I’m not ready for a serious commitment.

Piper: (confused) I don’t understand. You’ve been dating Evan for months, things were pretty serious already. How does a necklace change that?

Paige: I don’t know, it just does. When he pulled out the box, I just froze. I was so scared that it was going to be a ring.

Phoebe: But don’t you love Evan?

Paige: Of course I do. And dating him has been amazing, but now I feel this pressure to make it something I’m not ready for. I don’t want to give up my freedom.

Piper: Then talk to him, tell him you’re not ready.

Paige: That’s going to crush him.

Phoebe: Paige, you have to be honest with him, and yourself.

Paige: (frowning) I don’t understand why I’m suddenly so freaked out. Do you guys think I have a commitment issue or something?

(Piper and Phoebe exchange thoughtful looks.)

Phoebe: Well, maybe a little.

(Leo, who has been pacing around impatiently, slams his hands on the table.)

Leo: Can we please get to the real issue here?

Paige: (frowning) Alright, geez, what’s got your boxers in a twist?

Phoebe: Yeah, what is going on, Leo?

Leo: It’s Adam.

(A silence falls in the room as the sisters realize the gravity of things.)

Phoebe: (nervously) Adam? What about him? He is dead.

Leo: No, he is not. Last time, you only managed to send him back to purgatory. Or Cole did. The problem is, he is trying to claw his way back to earth.

Paige: Can he do that?

Leo: According to the Elders, yes. It’s only a matter of time. Last night, he almost came through.

Piper: But we were barely able to stand up to him last time. He nearly killed us. He nearly killed our children.

Leo: I know. That is why you need to be ready.

Phoebe: How?

Leo: That is the part we need to figure out. The Elders don’t know, or at least they feel you need to figure that out on your own.

Piper: (angrily) What? If they know something…

Leo: I don’t think they do. Adam is something that predates us all. That is the reason his kind was banished to purgatory in the first place.

Paige: But Adam is just one of them.

Phoebe: Until he opens the gate to let the rest out. I mean, that is his goal, right?

Leo: Yes.

Piper: Then what makes Adam so special? Why is he able to get through?

Leo: (as he considers her words) Something is allowing Adam to get through, an advantage he has over the others. If we figure out what that is…

Paige: Then we might be able to stop him. Good thinking, sis.

Piper: (amused) Well, I have my moments.

Phoebe: That gives us the question, so now we have to find the answer.

Paige: And fast. Do we know how long we have?

Leo: No, but the Elders are monitoring the situation. They will sense it if the walls between planes are torn down.

Piper: Okay, so what do we know about Adam?

Paige: (thinking) He is old, very old, and nearly indestructible. He can take the appearance and memories of others.

Phoebe: And even Barbas and the Seer seemed to be wary of his kind.

Piper: Do you think either of them knows something that could help? We could summon them again.

Leo: That’s too dangerous now.

Paige: What do you mean?

Leo: Adam is trying to break through the walls between planes. If he gets through, it won’t just be purgatory that is affected. The walls between all planes will weaken. Summoning these evils now may result in them clinging to this world.

Phoebe: So that is bad. But what alternatives do we have?

(Everyone becomes quiet.)

Paige: What about the Angels of Destiny?

Leo: They would never risk upsetting the balance. They are meant to ensure destiny happens the way it was intended.

Piper: (frowning) I don’t think Adam wiping out humanity is part of their little plan.

Leo: But they have not interfered yet, meaning there is a way to prevent it.

Phoebe: You said he almost came through last night, do you know where?

Leo: Yeah, why?

[End Scene]

[Scene: The parking lot from the previous night. A car drives up and Phoebe and Leo get out. A scorch mark is visible on the spot the portal opened.]

Leo: This is definitely the place. Are you sure you want to do this?

Phoebe: Do we have a choice? We need to learn more about Adam. This is the only way. Besides, I am just trying to get a premonition, what’s the worst that can happen?

(Phoebe walks to the scorch mark and kneels down. She places both hands on the ground. She gasps as she is pulled into a premonition. She sees the shadow flying around as the portal of flames opens under her. Phoebe screams as the premonition ends. She falls back screaming and both her hands are badly burned.)

Leo: Phoebe!

(Leo quickly kneels down and begins to heal Phoebe, who cries out in pain. The burns fade and Phoebe calms down. Leo helps her up.)

Phoebe: (disoriented) What happened?

Leo: Somehow you got hurt through your premonition.

Phoebe: I could feel the heat from the portal.

Leo: I told you the walls between planes are weakening. This was a bad idea.

Phoebe: (as she shakes her head) No, it wasn’t. I saw what I needed to see.

Leo: What?

Phoebe: A shadow, maybe his shadow, but in this world.

Leo: So you think it serves as a conduit of sorts?

Phoebe: Does that make sense?

Leo: Possibly. If Adam is really connected to this shadow, it could help him cross planes.

Phoebe: Then we have to stop it.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor. Paige is sitting in the conservatory when Piper enters with two cups of coffee. She hands one to Paige as she sits down.]

Paige: Thanks.

Piper: You’re welcome. (pauses) I hope Phoebe is able to learn something.

Paige: Maybe we should have gone with her.

Piper: We wouldn’t have been any help. Leo is with her.

Paige: Speaking of which, what is going on between the two of you?

Piper: (unconvincingly) Nothing.

Paige: Come on. It is so obvious you’re fighting. Is this about this promotion thing?

Piper: (sighs) I guess. I don’t know. We have both been so busy lately. I’m afraid we don’t have enough time for each other.

Paige: Then make time.

Piper: How? I got the kids, the club, our wiccan duties. Leo has his charges. And if he gets this stupid promotion, he will have even less time. I’m afraid this is going to drive us apart.

Paige: That is not going to happen. You guys were made for each other.

Piper: That doesn’t mean things go always work out. A marriage takes more than love, it takes work.

Paige: I think you guys need to talk about this. Perhaps even see a counselor or something.

Piper: (annoyed) Oh, please, like a counselor would understand our problems.

Paige: I’m no expert, but your problems sound perfectly ordinary to me. Nothing magical about them.

Piper: (reluctantly) I see your point. I will think about it. Now let’s get on to your problems.

Paige: We don’t need to discuss that.

(Paige gets up and walks away. Piper follows her into the hall.)

Piper: Come on, Paige. This sisterly advice thing goes both ways.

(Paige stops and takes a deep breath. She turns to Piper.)

Paige: Alright, fine. Just tell me what a horrible person I am.

Piper: (confused) What are you talking about?

Paige: Well, that is the only way to explain it, right? I mean, Evan is this wonderful, amazingly sweet guy who actually wants to be with me. And what do I do? I freak out over a necklace.

Piper: That doesn’t make you a horrible person.

Paige: Oh no? A few months ago, I chose Evan over Glen because I thought I loved him, now the thought of spending the rest of my life with him terrifies me.

Piper: Alright, come on.

(Piper takes Paige’s arm and they sit down on the stairs.)

Piper: Listen to me. Being in love and being ready for a relationship are not the same thing. Just because you’re not ready for the latter, doesn’t mean the former isn’t real.

Paige: So what is your sisterly advice?

Piper: Well, how about you listen to your own advice? Talk to him.

Paige: I don’t want to hurt him.

Piper: I know.

(Piper hugs Paige. The front door opens and Phoebe and Leo walk in. Piper and Paige get up.)

Piper: What did you find out?

Phoebe: Well, we believe that Adam is tied to some kind of shadow, which is allowing him to cross over. If we destroy the shadow, we might be able to stop him from getting through.

Paige: (frowning) How do we destroy a shadow?

(Cut to the attic. The sisters and Leo walk in and Piper flips open the Book of Shadows. She begins to go through the pages.)

Piper: I’m sure I saw an entry on shadows once.

Paige: Seriously? I have known this book for over a year now and I’ve never seen it. Do you think the pages change on their own?

Phoebe: (shrugs) It’s possible. The book is infused with the power of the Warren line.

Piper: Found it. Listen. (She begins reading.) In mortal terms, a shadow is merely a figure cast in the absence of light, though a darker nature lies hidden within. In darkest hours, shadows can grant life to a demonic force. These shadow creatures are often used as messengers by upper-level demons.

Phoebe: Cole told me he once had one of those back when he worked for the Triad. But this is more than just a messenger.

Piper: (nodding as she keeps on reading.) Shadows possess the rare ability to travel between all planes, unhindered by physical form. When one binds a shadow, this entity can use it as a conduit to force itself through planes.

Leo: So we were right, the shadow is what’s guiding Adam here. Without it, he would be lost.

Paige: Does it say how we can stop it?

Piper: There is a purification ritual, to cleanse the shadow of its evil.

Phoebe: Let’s do it. We can’t afford to waste any more time.

[End Scene]

[Scene: The park late at night. The moon is out. The sisters and Leo appear on a field through orbs.]

Paige: Are you sure this is the place?

Piper: The ritual requires moonlight, so yeah.

Phoebe: Better hope it won’t get cloudy.

(The sisters get ready for the ritual. Paige places black candles in a circle and lights them. Phoebe holds a larger, white candle as she stands in the center.)

Piper: I could do it, you know.

Phoebe: We don’t know what the shadow is going to do. I will be safe in the circle. You might need your powers to defend yourselves.

Piper: Okay, remember that it’s important you don’t stop until it is over. The first part will lure the shadow here. After that it will try to stop you. Keep going, no matter what.

Phoebe: (nodding) I understand. Let’s do this.

(The others step back, as Phoebe lights the white candle and begins the spell.)

Phoebe: By power of the burning light, bring the shadow to my sight, in darkness it can hide no more, hear these summons I implore.

(A strong wind begins to blow and the candles flicker. The field seems to become darker and the shadows of the trees start to spin around. The shadow appears in the air.)

Piper: He is here. Hurry, cast the spell.

(Phoebe nods and sits down with her legs crossed, still holding the candle. The shadow tries to attack her, but the circle of candles repels it. It turns and flies at Piper.)

Leo: Piper, get down!

(Leo pushes Piper out of the way and is pushed by the shadow. He flies through the air and hits his head on a rock, knocking him out. Piper flicks her hands at the shadow, but nothing happens.)

Piper: I’m getting nothing. Any time now, Pheebs!

Phoebe: Almost ready.

(The shadow flies down and merges with the shadows of the trees.)

Paige: It is gone?

Piper: No, it can’t leave as long as Phoebe’s candle is burning.

(Suddenly, the shadows of the trees stretch out and the branches turn into hands. They grab Piper and Paige and pull them off their feet.)

Paige: (scared) Phoebe!

(Piper and Paige are being dragged toward the shadow figure as it rises up. Phoebe closes her eyes as she puts down the candle. She holds her hands over it.)

Phoebe: Under the glow of a celestial moon, I call the spirits to commune, cleanse this evil of its fright, return this shadow to the night.

(The flame intensifies as the moonlight shines down on Phoebe. She opens her eyes and they are pure white. She points her hands at the shadow and unleashes beams of white light. When the shadow is hit, it lets go of the sisters. The shadow twitches in agony as Phoebe lifts it up. The shadow becomes engulfed in light and dissolves in streams that fade away.)

(Phoebe’s eyes returns to normal and the candles go out, Phoebe falls over. Her sisters run over to check on her.)

Paige: Is she okay?

Piper: She is fine, just exhausted. Let’s get out of here.

Paige: And let's hope it was enough.

[End Scene]

[Scene: The parking lot. Energy starts to crackle across the ground as a portal of flames opens. A charred claw reaches out and manages to take hold.]

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, the following morning. Leo wakes up on the couch and gets up. He notices Piper is sitting across from him.]

Piper: How is your head?

Leo: It’s fine. I’ve gotten used to getting knocked out. You?

Piper: I’m fine. (pauses) I missed you last night. And I’ve been thinking, I don’t want to fight anymore.

Leo: I missed you too.

Piper: I think we need to have a long talk about where we stand and what we’re going to do. I don’t want stuff like this to drive us apart.

Leo: Piper, a promotion is not going to drive us apart.

Piper: No, but not having time for each other and our family is.

Leo: So how do you want to handle this?

Piper: Like this, by talking.

Leo: Can we do that without it turning into a fight?

Piper: We might need some help with that. But I am willing to try if you are.

Leo: Okay.

(They smile at each other and Piper sits down next to him. Leo puts his arm around her and they hug. At that moment, Phoebe comes down the stairs.)

Phoebe: Looks like someone has made up.

Piper: We’re getting there. How are you?

Phoebe: That spell took a lot out of me, but channeling that kind of power felt good. It felt pure.

Leo: There is a lot of power in nature. I think all three of you could benefit from learning more about it. Speaking of which, where is Paige?

Piper: She had her own issues to deal with.

Phoebe: (saddened) Oh no.

[End Scene]

[Scene: An apartment building. Paige knocks on a door and Evan opens.]

Evan: Paige, I wasn’t expecting you. What a nice surprise.

(Evan wants to kiss her but Paige stops him.)

Paige: Evan, we need to talk.

Evan: That sounds serious.

Paige: It is, can I come in?

(Evan nods and holds the door open. Paige walks in and looks nervous. As Evan closes the door, she places the jewelry box on the table. When Evan notices it, he looks disappointed.)

Evan: I think I can guess where this is heading.

Paige: I’m sorry.

Evan: I don’t understand, Paige. I thought things were going great.

Paige: They were. They were amazing, you are amazing.

Evan: But?

Paige: But I was comfortable with the rate things were going before.

Evan: (upset) It’s just a necklace, Paige.

Paige: Is it? How do you see us moving forward?

Evan: I want to be with you.

Paige: Like living together, getting married, even kids?

Evan: Honestly, yeah, I would love that. But it doesn’t have to happen immediately.

Paige: But I think you want it to happen sooner than I can handle.

Evan: So? I can wait a while.

Paige: But I don’t know how long that while is going to take. And I think it would be unfair to make you wait.

Evan: (frustrated) I don’t understand why you’re doing this.

Paige: Because I don’t want to hurt you.

Evan: Then don’t do this. We can forget the necklace, go back to the way things were.

Paige: (tearfully) I can’t. I’m sorry.

(Paige attempts to walk away, but Evan grabs her arm and kisses her. She kisses back and they stumble against the wall. It takes a while for Paige to come to her senses and stop.)

Paige: I’m sorry.

Evan: (softly) Please stay.

Paige: You should be with someone who can give you what you want.

Evan: I want you.

Paige: But I can’t give you what you want.

(Paige frees herself from his hold and heads out the door. Evan leans against the wall with a heartbroken look on his face. Outside, Paige leans against the door as she cries.)

[End Scene]

End Episode.