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Recap / Charmed S4E10 "A Paige from the Past"

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Season 04, Episode 10:

A Paige from the Past

Haunted by her parent's tragic deaths, Paige travels back in time whilst Piper must prevent the marriage of Phoebe and Cole, whose bodies are possessed by criminal outlaws.

Cole is detained at the police station, for driving without a license. Darryl has covered for him, but is angry due to all the open cases. Paige and Piper come for him. As they leave, they see a car flip over and catch fire. Piper freezes the car and she and Cole rescue the driver; but Paige has frozen in her own way, and watches the scene, terrified.

Piper and Phoebe worry about Paige. Leo tells them what he thinks might be wrong: Paige's adoptive parents had died in a car wreck. Piper and Phoebe find Paige at work and try to comfort her. Paige takes the rest of the day off and returns to the manor with her sisters. She admits that she was a rebellious teenager, and cruel to her adoptive parents; she had told them that they weren't her real parents just before they died. She doesn't know how she survived the crash.

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Leo summons Clyde and reminds him of a favor that Clyde owes him. Clyde opens a door and sends Leo off with Paige. Before Clyde leaves, two ghostly blobs appear in the attic; one enters Phoebe. Speaking with a thick Southern accent, she tells the other blob, Frankie, that she'll find a body for him soon.

Paige finds herself in her old bedroom, and realizes she's a teenager again. Her father knocks on the door and discovers that Paige has been smoking. Paige tries to convince her parents that she's changed, but they believe it's an act.

Frankie lurks in the manor, and then enters Cole, who starts speaking with a thick Southern accent as well. It turns out the blob that possessed Phoebe is Lulu, Frankie's fiance. The two kiss and hug, and Piper notices. The two say that they have a "job" left unfinished 50 years ago.

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Paige attends a history class, and is bored to tears. She gets up and walks out of the classroom, to the cheers of the other students, and is confronted by a security guard.

Darryl has found Frankie and Lulu in the database. They were a Bonnie and Clyde-like couple who robbed a series of jewellery stores in the 50's. He and Piper head for the jewellery store where Frankie and Lulu had been shot dead. Frankie and Lulu go to that same store, and Frankie punches a security guard and takes his gun. He shoots the display case and Lulu steals the ring. The guard gets up and Frankie shoots him in the leg before escaping with Lulu. Piper and Darryl arrive and Piper freezes the crowd to steal the surveillance tape. A cop tells Darryl that Frankie and Lulu have knocked off a bridal store, and Piper realizes that the "job" is to get married.

Paige feels guiltier than ever. She is determined to save her parents' life, over Leo's objections. She is suspended from school. She tries to reconcile with her parents, and thinks she has succeeded in saving them. They go home in the car, and it drives out in front of a truck. Paige finds herself tumbling on the pavement as the truck hits the car. Paige now knows how she survived — she orbed. Leo tries to comfort her while they look to the crushed car.

Darryl and Piper track down Frankie and Lulu to a church, where Frankie is holding a priest at gunpoint. Piper tries to freeze the scene, but only the priest freezes. Frankie turns and shoots at Darryl, who shoots back, wounding him. The ghostly blobs leave and now Phoebe and Cole are themselves again. Darryl ushers the priest away and Piper summons Clyde. Leo and Paige return from the past. Leo heals Cole. Clyde recognizes Frankie and Lulu and sends them back through the time door. Cole again asks Phoebe to marry him and she accepts.

Over dinner, the sisters discuss Paige's accident. She is sad that her parents didn't see how she turned out — and then Leo appears with the parents' ghosts, apparently another favour from Clyde.


Tropes

  • '90s Hair: Paige has thick bangs as a holdover from 80s fashion. Her friend Michelle has pigtails. Her mother also wears her hair with a scrunchie. One student in her class also wears a bandana.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Lulu and Frankie, the ghosts who possess Cole and Phoebe. Despite being villains, you can't help feel sympathetic when it's revealed that their Unfinished Business was simply wanting to get married. Considering that they'd have likely moved on afterwards, Piper interrupting the ceremony comes across as kinda a dick move on her part. Of course, sympathies are lessened somewhat by a line of dialogue that reveals that along with being robbers, they were also serial/thrill killers. It seems just sheer luck that they didn't kill anyone while in Phoebe and Cole's bodies.
  • Artistic Licence – History: Paige has a Bride of Chucky doll in her bedroom. Bride of Chucky was released in 1998. She goes back to 1994.
  • Black Comedy: Paige when trying to convince her parents that she'll amount to something.
    "I even get into college thanks to a really moving essay on the death of my...well let's just say a really moving essay."
  • Call-Back:
    • Upon hearing that Frankie and Lulu want to get married, Darryl quips "do you have any normal weddings in your family?" - referencing Piper's wedding, during which Prue's astral self caused havoc.
    • Paige's orbing is triggered by fear. She finds out that the reason she didn't die in the same crash as her parents is because she orbed out of the car.
    • Patty's ghost was conjured up to see Paige in the Season 4 premiere. The ghosts of her adopted parents appear at the end.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Michelle ignores Paige's comments that a boy she likes is a Future Loser - to squee over the car he'll have.
  • Genre Savvy: Lulu guesses that Piper's powers won't work on her and Frankie because they're ghosts.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Leo when trying to summon Clyde. Notably Piper has a much easier time of summoning him.
  • Grand Theft Me: Ghosts Frankie and Lulu possess Phoebe and Cole.
  • Happily Adopted: Subverted. Although Paige said she was earlier, this shows that her teenage self had lots of issues stemming from her adoption in spite of her parents being good people.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Paige is initially horrified at seeing what she's wearing back in 1994. But then she realises that she was actually pretty cool.
  • Jenny's Number: Darryl Morris' assignment board has 8675309 as a file number.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Paige time travelling to the past in this case - thanks to Clyde - has her assuming the body of her past self. This is in contrast to "That 70s Show", which was a spell from the Book of Shadows.
  • Not So Above It All: Darryl is against Piper erasing evidence from Phoebe and Cole robbing the jewellery store - until Piper reminds him that he bailed Cole out the day before, and it will look very bad if he's connected to a crime so soon.
  • Outlaw Couple: Frankie and Lulu, the ghosts who possess Phoebe and Cole.
  • Parting Words Regret: Paige recalls that her parents' car crashed while they were arguing. The day before, she had also told her mother "you're not my real mother".
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: Lulu-in-Phoebe when checking out the new body.
  • Shotgun Wedding: In this case, it's the priest who is being held at gunpoint.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Leo makes a comment about "the bog of eternal stench" from Labyrinth.
    • Frankie and Lulu are obvious expies to Bonnie and Clyde.
  • So Proud of You: Paige's parents when their spirits are brought back to see her at the end.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Frankie and Lulu's wedding is interrupted at this moment.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Paige attempts to Screw Destiny and prevent her parents dying in a car crash. The accident ends up happening much earlier anyway.
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