Season 04, Episode 01:
Charmed Again: Part 1
At the end of Season 3, the fate of the Charmed Ones was uncertain, with Phoebe in the Underworld and Prue and Piper gravely injured. How Phoebe returned to the mortal world is not immediately revealed, but Cole apparently helped her escape eventually and her sisters' fate is now known: Piper lives, healed by Leo, but Prue is dead as Leo apparently didn't return in time to save her.
Piper, grieving, tries one spell after another to summon her dead sister, but in vain. She and Phoebe have tried numerous ways to get Prue back over the last week, but to no avail. After Phoebe convinces Piper to get some rest, the triquetra on the Book of Shadows glows red, and the book opens to the last spell Piper tried, "To Call a Lost Witch".
The following morning, at South Bay Social Services, assistant Paige Matthews is at work when a candle at her desk mysteriously blows out. Suddenly, lights swirl around her head, and a newspaper drops out of thin air behind her. It prominently bears Prue's obituary, and Paige feels the need to leave.
At the manor, Victor, Leo, Cole and Darryl meet the surviving sisters. Cole is unwilling to go to Prue's funeral, as the Source is now after him with a vengeance. Leo is sorry that he was unable to save Prue, and Piper feels guilty that he saved her instead.
In the Underworld, the Source consults his Oracle, and here he reveals that Phoebe was saved by Cole and Leo. The Oracle tells the Source of another possible Charmed One.
The funeral is done, and Paige is among the attendees. Paige approaches Phoebe, perhaps not knowing why, and Phoebe falls over from her premonition: Shax is after Paige, and she sees him attack on a rooftop with a helipad. At this point, Demonic Bounty Hunters attack Cole, but he and the sisters fight them off. Piper is visibly angry; she can't believe the demons didn't have the decency to leave them alone at least this once. Phoebe and Cole agree to try to protect Paige from Shax, though they don't have the Power of Three.
While Darryl's partner, Inspector Cortez, arrives to inform the Halliwells he's on the case, Piper, frustrated, tries to summon Prue with a spell, but her spell summons Grams instead. Grams says she couldn't come earlier because she and Patty were with Prue. Grams tells Piper that she can't see Prue just yet, that she must let go.
The Source again consults the Oracle, who shows him Paige dancing at P3. Paige, it turns out Paige has come to P3 for the last year. She tells her story to her date, Shane: that she was adopted, that her adoptive parents had died, and she is looking for her birth family. She thinks she might be related to the Halliwells, though she is uncertain about it and unwilling to approach them. Both leave the table, and it turns out that Paige has idly drawn a triquetra on a napkin.
Cole and Phoebe stake out a rooftop that Phoebe believes to be the right one. Sure enough, Paige and Shane come onto the rooftop and embrace. Shax appears and blasts Shane, and then turns on Paige — and, to everybody's amazement, Paige briefly orbs, dodging Shax's attack. Paige runs downstairs, but Shax chases her down. Cole and Phoebe shimmer in. Cole hits Shax with energy balls, and Phoebe sends him away with the vanquishing spell. Shane recovers in the hospital with only a concussion; Paige meets him and Inspector Cortez talks to them, telling them they're lucky to be alive because their attacker was the same one that killed Prue and Dr. Griffiths. Paige begins anew to suspect her connection to the Halliwells.
Leo reports that the Elders know nothing of Paige, and can't explain how she can orb. Cole reports that the Source thinks Paige is not only a witch, but related to Prue, Piper and Phoebe—a fourth Charmed One. He thought the Power of Three had died with Prue—hence his decision to send Shax after Paige. Piper runs to the attic, with Phoebe, Leo and Cole after her, and again summons a puzzled Grams. Grams says she is sworn to secrecy, and won't answer, but Patty then appears, and explains Paige's origin. Paige is her youngest daughter, the product of the relationship between Patty and her Whitelighter, Sam Wilder. Although Patty had initially wanted to keep her, she and Grams ultimately decided to give her up out of fear that the Elders would strip Prue, Piper and Phoebe's powers as punishment. If they can bring Paige to the Book of Shadows, then the Charmed Ones might be reconstituted.
Cortez enters the attic with Darryl behind him. He finds Grams and Patty in ghost form, and accuses Phoebe and Piper of practicing evil magic as well as killing Prue and the doctor. After hearing him threaten to put them under constant surveillance, Darryl hits Cortez over the head and knocks him out. Phoebe urges Darryl to leave, and at Grams's insistence, send Cortez away — to Timbuktu, because she needed a rhyme for 'undo'. Cole shimmers away to find Cortez.
After Grams and Patty leave, Leo, Piper and Phoebe come downstairs and find Paige in the manor. Piper shakes Paige's hand. The chandelier shimmers, and bathes the three sisters in a bright light. Shax barges through the door and the three sisters flee to the attic. Shax breaks the door and the three sisters recite the spell from the Book of Shadows, vanquishing Shax at last. Paige, however, is frightened and runs from the manor.
- Agent Mulder: Inspector Cortez. He says he long believed evil magic existed because he saw too many horrible things on the job.
- Black Humor: Piper's line about having another funeral tomorrow. "I mean, the dishes are still out and we pretty much know who to invite."
- Break the Cutie: Piper is broken by Prue's death and the failures to bring her back to life.
- Call-Back: To the episode P3H2O: Sam and Patty's affair having been set up in that episode is what prevents Paige's existence from being an Ass Pull.
- Cliffhanger Copout: The resolution to the Cliffhanger from the previous episode is not shown because of Shannen Doherty's departure, but the story is more or less explained through conversations: Cole and Leo helped Phoebe escape from the underworld, but by the time they got back to heal Piper and Prue after their battle with Shax, Prue had already succumbed to her wounds.
- Convenient Replacement Character: The sisters learn of Paige's existence shortly after Prue's death, and recreate the Power of Three with her.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Piper's attempt to summon Prue gets her Grams instead. The higher powers won't allow it because Piper can't begin to heal until she accepts that Prue is dead.
- Downer Beginning: The episode opens with Piper trying a series of spells to bring Prue back to life.
- Due to the Dead: Victor snaps at Cole, Leo and Phoebe talking about demons at Prue's wake.
- Foil: Cortez to Andy. Both are admitted believers in the supernatural, in part because of the things they had seen throughout their careers. However, Andy maintained some level of optimism and interest in what was out there; Cortez saw too many bad things and thinks the absolute worst.
- Freak Out!: Piper when the group has to fend off a demon attack during Prue's funeral.
- Info Dump: Paige gives one to Shane when they're at P3 - about how she grew up an orphan and was an alcoholic.
- Killed Offscreen: Prue.
- Lampshade Hanging: Cole lampshades the similarity to Piper's mother having an affair with her whitelighter too.
- Upon hearing the story behind Paige, Cole (a half-demon) remarks, "And I thought my family was screwed up."
- Manly Tears: Darryl is seen tearing up at Prue's funeral.
- Multi-Part Episode: Part one of two.
- Pass the Popcorn: Cole has this attitude while spying on Paige and Shane making out.
- Pet the Dog: Darryl knocks out Cortez—saying the sisters have been through enough today.
- Reality Ensues: One woman and a prominent doctor killed in the manor leads to a police investigation that Darryl can't make go away.
- Refused the Call: After Phoebe gets her premonition, the others are ready to go protect Paige, but Piper absolutely refuses. Part of it is because Shax is so powerful, but also because she's sick of this.Piper: Says who? Why do we have to?
Piper: What? Do you really expect us to keep doing this stuff after what happened, to keep risking our lives? Do they?
Leo: Piper, keep your voice down.
Piper: No, Leo, I won't! I don't wanna do this anymore, okay? It's over. You can tell them we buried their precious Charmed Ones when we buried our sister.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Cortez describes Prue and Griffith's killer as a monster, which takes Phoebe aback.
- Skewed Priorities: Averted. The Source doesn't want the Seer to waste time looking for Cole, despite loathing him for his betrayal. He wants her to focus on the one who could reconstitute the Charmed Ones.
- Spanner in the Works: The Source says all of the Charmed Ones would be dead if not for Leo being in the Underworld at the end of the last episode.
- Survivor Guilt: Piper struggles with this—saying Leo saved the wrong sister.
- There Is Another: With Prue dead, it was believed that the Charmed Ones were ended because there were no longer three. Then an oracle working for the Source discovered a previously unknown fourth sister.
- Title Drop: Courtesy of Grams.
- Wham Shot: Opening credits aside, the episode for the most part presents Paige as another innocent the Source wants dead. The moment she orbs is the moment it becomes clear that there is much more to her.
- What Have I Become?: A variant after Piper and Phoebe used Paige's unwilling assistance to recreate the Power of Three and defeat Shax, Paige asks the Halliwells what they have turned her into before storming off.
- What the Hell, Hero?:Piper: [to Phoebe] Are you insane or just plain stupid? We bury Prue this morning, and you go off tonight and nearly join her? What the hell is the matter with you?!
- She also delivers one to her mother over hiding their youngest sister from them for all these years. This is notably the only time in the series any of the sisters are shown getting angry at Patty.Piper: You cannot just float in here after all these years and say, "oh, by the way, you have a sister!" Especially not today, of all days!
- She also delivers one to her mother over hiding their youngest sister from them for all these years. This is notably the only time in the series any of the sisters are shown getting angry at Patty.