Season 03, Episode 02:
Piper swipes a copy of Bride magazine from the hairdresser. She sees two young women comparing engagement rings as she goes down the elevator. At the manor, she sees a just-married couple leading a procession. All of this visibly frustrates Piper.
Back in the manor, Prue and Phoebe are trying to guess who Piper will pick to be her maid of honor. They're also trying to pick sunglasses for the upcoming eclipse. When they ask Piper, however, Piper thinks that given "their" hostility, she probably won't be able to even have a maid of honor, or anything else taken for granted at most other weddings. Prue reminds her that even if she isn't getting her dream wedding, she's getting her dream guy. Leo orbs in and says that "they" have given an ultimatum: either he and Piper break off their relationship or the sisters get a new Whitelighter. They have until tomorrow night to decide. Leo offers "door number three" (eloping) like they talked about a week earlier but "they" are going to be listening, so they must avoid any use of the "W word". Prue does not know how they'll be able to hide anything from "them," given the sisters' calling. Phoebe can't find anything in the Book of Shadows on how to hide the wedding from "them," but is more concerned with why "they" are so violently opposed to it. Piper suggests that Leo head out, thinking that it'll be easier to avoid suspicion if he isn't around that often.
Just as Leo orbs out, Kit yowls and the sisters rush to the porch to find Kit menacing an owl. Piper and Phoebe start to shoo Kit away from the owl when the owl transforms into a man.
The man tells of a curse that his boss put on him. He doesn't seem to want the sisters' help; all he wants is the boss dead. He only has 12 hours to do it, however; at sunrise he'll become an owl again. Outside the manor, a wolf is skulking about.
Prue convinces him to get dressed while the sisters figure out what to do—but when they break their huddle, the guy is gone. Piper, however, is more concerned about keeping the wedding, or "rutabaga" as she calls it, hidden from "them". Prue heads off to scry for the owl-man. Phoebe offers to help, but Prue thinks she ought to help Piper hide the wedding. Phoebe, however, is having second thoughts about going that route.
The next day, Phoebe and Piper scoop up several books on weddings at a bookstore and run into Cole. Cole asks who the lucky girl is, and Piper and Phoebe give a clumsy answer. Cole waves his hand and swaps Piper and Phoebe's books for some books he bought on a forensic psychology case, causing the sisters to take the wrong bag.
In a corporate office, The Boss hears the screech of the owl. He placed the curse two months ago, and doesn't understand why it hasn't worked yet. The owl-man, Christopher, rushes up behind the Boss and puts a knife to his neck. However the Boss says that killing him will only make the curse permanent. The only way to lift the curse is if Christopher's girlfriend gives herself to the Boss. A man with a crossbow appears and chases Christopher away.
Prue hasn't been able to find Christopher; she can't scry for him with the owl feather while he's human. Piper finds a page in the Book about a ritual called handfasting, and is so concerned about tipping "them" off that she writes it on a small blackboard. Phoebe admits seeing it earlier, but didn't think it would do any good because it requires a High Priestess, and they don't know one. She also admits that she isn't entirely supportive of Piper and Leo eloping; she thinks it might be interfering with their Wiccan duties. Piper admits she's being a little selfish, but thinks that the sisters ought to be able to want something for themselves. Piper closes the Book and the owl feather floats out. Phoebe gets a vision of Christopher apparently being menaced by a wolf in a forest.
After a long search lasting most of the night, the sisters finally find the scene in Phoebe's premonition. They spot the wolf, and Christopher appears shortly afterward. The wolf barks at the sisters, then runs toward Christopher—but Christopher greets the wolf as if it's his girlfriend. The wolf and Christopher hide in an abandoned house, and as the sun rises, the wolf transforms into a naked woman. They exchange a brief glance before Christopher turns into an owl.
The woman, Brooke, is initially reluctant to trust the sisters. She does, however explain that the Boss fell in love with her, and cursed both her and Christopher when she spurned him. The owl screeches. A crossbowman smokes in and shoots at them, but Piper freezes the bolt. Prue flings him to the ground, allowing the sisters and Brooke to make good their escape.
At the manor, Phoebe admits she came off too harshly earlier. However, Piper isn't willing to go through with eloping with Leo unless both her sisters support her. Piper goes to the kitchen, where Brooke is telling Prue how her relationship with Christopher went before the curse intervened. She wonders how much more she can take, something that resonates with Prue and Piper as well. Prue is fed up with not being able to have a relationship without magic butting in which makes her more determined to save Brooke and Christopher's relationship.
The crossbowman returns to the Boss, bearing a small bag. The Boss, however, knows he's lying as Christopher would be back in human form if dead. He sends the crossbowman up in flames and promotes a new one.
Brooke tells her story while holding Christopher. She took a job at an established firm. The Boss had made moves on her, and she had refused. He cursed her and Christopher to keep them from seeing each other. The curse can only be lifted if she gives in or there is "a night within a day". She feels Christopher is being punished, but Prue and Piper remember how strong Christopher said Brooke was, and that he knows she'll never give up.
Phoebe frantically flips through the Book of Shadows looking for information on curses. Suddenly, the Book flips to the Handfasting page and Grams appears. Grams knows about "a certain sister situation" and that Phoebe needs some advice. Phoebe admits wants to support Piper, but feels that something is wrong. She remembers what happened with their mother and Sam, and fears that she and Prue could get punished. Grams tells her that while the Charmed Ones are destined for greatness, they have a right to true love as well. She knows the feeling; she was married four times and never found true love. Before she disappears, she tells Phoebe that Piper will know in her heart when the time is right.
The crossbowman is in the manor, shooting up the place. He pins Piper to the wall with two of his arrows. He shoots at Phoebe as she's coming down the stairs, but misses. Prue flings him into a cupboard. Prue and Phoebe free Piper, and wonder why the crossbowman didn't kill them. The crossbowman demands the owl. Brooke runs out of the kitchen. The crossbowman shoots, but Christopher flies in front of the arrow and intercepts it. Prue deflects an arrow back at the crossbowman, vanquishing him.
Brooke is crying over Christopher, fearing he has been mortally wounded. Piper is reluctant to call for Leo, fearing it'll make "them" suspicious. Just then, Leo orbs in ("they" sent him) and tries to heal the owl, but can't. The doorbell rings and Cole is there with the books. Phoebe makes an excuse and runs back inside, returning with the other bag. Cole meets Leo and shakes his hand, and a bit of orb comes off on Cole's hand. He whispers to his shadow, which floats down a drain.
Piper wonders if there's an outside chance that Brooke and Christopher aren't meant to be just as Phoebe and Leo walk in. As Brooke argues that love is always worth the risk, Leo walks outside in a huff. Piper follows him, and tells him that she thinks Phoebe might be right about them being selfish. She points out that Brooke and Christopher loved each other, but it wasn't enough. Leo admits having doubts as well, but knows how it feels not to be able to share what he feels for the one he really loves. Phoebe comes outside and holds up the blackboard that says "You have my blessing."
Brooke is still crying over Christopher, and decides to go to the Boss, believing it's the only way to save him.
Just as Piper asks Phoebe why she had such a sudden change of heart, Phoebe looks up and sees the start of the eclipse—"a night within a day". In all the excitement, she'd completely forgotten about the eclipse. They run inside to find Prue bent over Christopher, back in human form. Christopher tells them that Brooke has gone to the Boss. Leo removes the arrow and heals Christopher. Christopher tells them that if Brooke agrees to be with the Boss and seals her pledge with a kiss, Christopher will be free but she'll be bound to the Boss forever. She doesn't know, however, that the eclipse broke the curse.
The Boss is about to order his men to hunt Christopher down when Brooke walks in. The Boss decides to savor the moment, which gives the sisters and Christopher the chance to catch up with them. Brooke makes the Boss promise to leave Christopher in peace.
The sisters and Christopher walk into the Boss's office, and Piper freezes the hall. Suddenly, Piper feels a twang in her heart—it's time for the handfasting. Phoebe suspects the eclipse gave them a window to pull it off under "their" noses; if they can't see the sun, "they" probably can't see them either. However, Piper thinks they only have time to save Brooke. Christopher offers to go in himself, but Piper won't hear of it.
As Brooke and the Boss are about to kiss, Prue blows the Boss' door open and the sisters and Christopher storm in. Brooke and Christopher see each other in human form for the first time in two months. The Boss conjures a crossbow, but Piper freezes the room. Phoebe wants to vanquish the Boss, but Prue wants to make him suffer by seeing Brooke and Christopher embrace. Prue swats the crossbow from his hand and Piper unfreezes the room. Brooke and Christopher kiss and the Boss goes up in flames.
The sisters, Grams and Leo meet at the manor for the ceremony. It turns out Grams is a high priestess. Prue and Phoebe head downstairs; they're sharing maid-of-honor duties. Piper comes down behind them, and Prue and Phoebe walk her to Leo. Before vows can be exchanged, though, Leo gasps in agony and is forcibly orbed out. Piper collapses in tears as Prue, Phoebe and Grams comfort her.
In an Underworld cave, the Triad praises Cole for getting close to the Halliwells, and for informing them of the nuptials. The Triad had "shared" this information with "them". Cole thinks he'll be able to destroy the Charmed Ones, something that the forces of evil have never come close to doing before. He believes Phoebe is his way in.
- Absentee Actor: Darryl is not here.
- Chekhov's Gun: The eclipse. It turns out to be the one thing that will allow Christopher and Brooke to be in human form at the same time, as well as Piper and Leo getting married in secret without the Elders realising.
- Curse Cut Short:Phoebe: If you know then that means they know. And if they know then we are fu—Penny: Fine.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Christopher turns into an owl every night, while Brooke turns into a wolf every day.
- True Love's Kiss: It breaks the curse and vanquishes the demon to boot.
- Unusual Euphemism: 'Rutabaga' for wedding.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Phoebe has this reaction to Piper trying to get married behind the Elders' back, especially when it could mean that she and Prue get punished by association.
- Whole Plot Reference: To Ladyhawke, Piper even lampshading that she's seen this in a movie somewhere. The only difference is in that film the man is turned into a wolf and the woman a bird.