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Recap / Charmed S3E22 All Hell Breaks Loose

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Season 03, Episode 22:

All Hell Breaks Loose

When Piper and Prue are exposed as witches, Phoebe sacrifices herself to the dark side to save them but the deal destroys them all.

The sisters lead a befuddled Dr. Griffiths into the manor. Phoebe got a premonition of Griffiths being attacked by the Source's assassin, Shax. Phoebe consults the Book of Shadows for a vanquish. Griffiths concludes that this is a practical joke and is ready to leave when Prue feels a chill. Suddenly, a massive tornado bursts through the door and knocks Prue and Piper to the ground. The tornado turns into Shax. He's about to blast Griffiths, but Prue pushes him out of the way. The blast hits Prue full-force and sends her flying through the wall into the conservatory. He blasts Piper through the wall as well and has Griffiths in his sights. A horrified Griffiths wonders who Shax is, and Shax calls himself "the end." Phoebe returns from the attic just in time and repulses Shax with a spell. Leo orbs in and heals Prue and Piper.


Phoebe and Leo stay with Dr. Griffiths while Prue and Piper leave in search of Shax. Just a block from the house, Shax tries to attack them from behind. He tries to blast Prue, but she deflects it back at him. Before he can recover, Piper blasts him. Unknown to the sisters, Elana Dominguez, a reporter for KCSF, is in the area and films the whole scene live.

Griffiths is still badly shaken, but the sisters convince him to keep quiet. Prue thinks something doesn't feel right about their last encounter with Shax; she doesn't think they really vanquished him. However, Piper recalls that she's already taken out two demons with her new power.

Prue is still skeptical; she doesn't think they'd need a vanquishing spell if their active powers were enough to handle Shax. Leo points out that the sisters' ancestors weren't nearly as powerful as they were. However, Prue convinces him to check with the Elders.


Phoebe wants to turn Cole back to good, over her sisters' objections. She has concocted a potion that will reverse the spell Raynor put on him to stir up his demonic side. She tweaked the Belthazor summoning spell to send her down to the underworld. Prue and Piper are sceptical, especially since Phoebe won't be able to contact them if something goes wrong. Phoebe appears in the underworld to find Cole laying on a straw bed. When Cole sees Phoebe, he grabs her by the neck.

Elana plays her tape for her boss and several of her colleagues. Her bosses initially aren't sure if it's real. However, fearful of being scooped, they send Elana to do a follow-up with the witches. Prue and Piper are investigating if Shax left a residue or something to prove that he was vanquished, Prue has a bad feeling, which becomes worse when a neighbour admonishes her daughter to stay away from Prue and Piper as they were walking next to her house.

Darryl gets a bad feeling too after his boss shows him Shax's attack on TV, and calls the manor to warn the sisters. Prue turns the TV on to find footage of their battle and Elana standing outside the manor. A crowd of reporters and onlookers besieges the manor as Darryl approaches. His captain wants to question the sisters. Leo orbs in; the Elders are aware of the situation and want the sisters to figure out how to minimize the damage, fast. Piper thinks it's a sign their Charmed careers are over, but Prue thinks it's just one more test in a year filled with them. Prue and Piper ask Leo to orb them to the hospital to get Griffiths, believing Shax will take another run at him. However, Leo can't orb them there lest Whitelighters be exposed as well. They fight through a gauntlet of reporters and onlookers, including a self-proclaimed witch named Alice Hicks who claims to be one of them. Cole warns Phoebe to leave before he kills her but Phoebe smashes her potion on his back and she and Cole embrace and kiss. She wants him to take her back to the manor, but Cole fears that the Source is still after him.

Prue and Piper rush Dr. Griffiths out of the hospital. Just as they feared, Shax attacks, and this time they finally manage to vanquish him, but Elana arrives just in time to film them. The crowd around the manor grows larger and louder. Prue and Piper are stunned that Elana knew where they were, but Darryl thinks she put a tail on their car. The sisters' fax machine is filling up with interview requests. Prue turns on the TV to find Dr. Griffiths talking to the press, and others start spreading gossip to the press as well. Leo, on the advice of the Elders, proposes to seek the aid of Tempus; evil has also been exposed, and Tempus might be able to help by resetting time. Alice breaks into the manor, in hopes of joining the Halliwell coven, and Prue flings her back out, wounding her pride. Apparently, Elana had put Alice up to this, in hopes of getting into the manor herself for an interview.

Prue thinks that Cole can get in touch with Tempus. Leo is reluctant to orb to the Underworld; Prue and Piper won't be able to call for him, in case things get much worse. However, Piper isn't worried; everything should work out once time resets and convinces Leo to go, believing things couldn't possibly get worse. Cole wants to get Phoebe out of danger; apparently something has happened to merit the Source coming down himself. Leo orbs in and warns of the exposure. He asks Cole to contact the Source to try to find Tempus. Cole is skeptical at first, but Leo tells him that this is the reason the Source has come. Leo suggests that Cole pass this off as his idea. The Source is reluctant, and still angry with Cole. The Source also knows that Cole is really trying to save Phoebe, and only agrees to summon Tempus if Phoebe remains in the underworld. Cole tells him that Phoebe would never join them, but the Source warns that one of her sisters is about to be killed, and is confident that she'll do anything in exchange to save her sisters' lives.

Prue and Piper put a table against the door in case the reporters barge in, and discuss what they were going to do next. Suddenly, a gunshot is heard, and Piper collapses to the ground after having been shot through the back. Most of her midsection has been blown away, and the front of her shirt quickly fills with blood. Alice is brandishing a high-powered rifle; she fired into the manor in hopes of killing the "evil witches." Alice is promptly taken down and arrested. Leo is still in the underworld, and cannot help. Prue tries to drive Piper to the hospital, but the crowd obstructs them and Elana and her team pepper her with questions. At last, Prue snaps and starts flinging the crowd away. The crowd scatters, and Prue and Piper rush to the hospital.

Inside the hospital, Piper is rushed into the emergency room and dies as Dr. Griffiths tries to save her. As Prue cries over her sister's body, a SWAT guard is stationed at the door. Cole tells Phoebe of the Source's terms, and that one of her sisters is dead. As Prue cries for her sister, a SWAT team approaches. They try to apprehend Prue, but she flings them back out and bars the door. Leo orbs in and is grieved to find his wife dead. He returns to Cole and Phoebe, and Phoebe immediately knows Piper has died. She agrees to the Source's terms, provided that Cole warn Prue and Piper of Shax once time is reset. The Source also agrees, but secretly orders Cole detained and Phoebe killed.

Just as the SWAT team fires a bullet at Prue, Tempus resets time. Piper is alive again, and Dr. Griffiths is again in the manor with the sisters.

Shax blows into the manor again and tries to blast Griffiths, but as before, Prue shoves Griffiths out of the way and the blast hits her instead, again, blasting her through the wall into the conservatory. Shax blasts Piper as well, and is aiming for Griffths again, but this time, Phoebe isn't coming down from the attic to fend Shax away with the spell. Shax blasts Griffiths through a window, leaving him apparently dead, and blows out of the manor while leaving a path of destruction and rubble behind.


  • Ax-Crazy: Alice, the wannabe witch. When the Charmed Ones reject her, she retaliates by shooting Piper.
  • Broken Masquerade: The pictures of the Charmed Ones engaging Shax are broadcast on TV. The vanquish of Shax in plain sight later down the road does not help.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sort of for Alice, the fan of the Charmed Ones. When she breaks into their house, Prue uses her powers to throw her outside. This prompts her to shoot Piper.
  • Cast from Lifespan: The Source reveals that Tempus' power of time manipulation is this, and that rewinding time would kill him.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Piper and Prue dying and Phoebe stuck in the underworld.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Source offers to have Tempus rewind time if Phoebe switches sides, saying it will save Piper's life. Once it's agreed, though, the Source plans to have Phoebe killed and leave the others to be killed by Shax.
  • Deconstruction: The film deconstructs Prue's status as The Ace that she benefitted from for three seasons. Every reckless decision Prue makes in the name of saving an innocent causes problems for her and her sisters. She ends up Killed Off for Real as a result of her foolish behaviour.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Prue reaches one when Piper is shot - and resorts to using her powers on innocents to clear them out of the way.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Dr Griffiths reappears being interviewed about the sisters on TV wearing one.
  • Enemy Mine: The Charmed Ones and the Source of All Evil temporarily unite to fix the Masquerade.
  • Fan Disservice: Piper in her bra? How about in her bra while bleeding out from being shot and dying on the operating table.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: "They think we're the demons now."
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: "Prue? I'm cold."
  • Informed Ability: Alice claims she is a witch but we never see any demonstrations of her powers - but it would explain how she got past the barricade into the house and managed to shoot Piper in broad daylight.
  • Plot Hole: How exactly did Alice get on top of the van with a rifle long enough to shoot Piper - without any of the police noticing? Unless she actually was a witch and used her powers for help, which the episode doesn't clarify.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Source in spades. He has Tempus rewind time in order to fix the Broken Masquerade. However, before time is reversed, he tells an underling to have Cole detained and Phoebe killed, so that he can still use this situation to be rid of his enemies for good.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After Piper is shot and the media circus won't get out of the way, Prue loses it and starts using her telekinesis to make them move.
  • Reset Button Ending: The Source agrees to call on Tempus to rewind back time at the end of the episode. Subverted with Phoebe, Leo, Cole and everybody else in the underworld being unaffected.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The reason why Griffith was targeted. Whatever the specifics, it was so important that the Source's top assassin was sent after him.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The Source says Cole's betrayal can never be forgiven.
  • Ultimate Evil: The Source makes his first onscreen appearance.
  • What Are You:
    Griffths: What are you?!
    Shax: The end.

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