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Recap / Charmed S4E7 Brain Drain

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Season 04, Episode 07:

Brain Drain

When the Source taps into Piper's brain and alters her reality, Phoebe and Paige must work quickly before she gives up all of her powers.

Piper plans a baby shower for her friend Wendy. Phoebe tries to encourage Piper to have children of her own. Piper isn't willing to have children in the face of constant demon attacks.

Speaking of demons dropping in, Cole shimmers in and warns that a Chameleon Demon has gotten into the house. Chameleon demons are spies for the Source. Piper freezes the room and then unfreezes Cole. She spots a big red chair in the kitchen and blows it up, even though she knows it belongs to Paige, but using the demon as an excuse. They spot a lamp of unknown origin, which turns into the Chameleon. He telekinetically flings Piper and Phoebe over the couch. Cole blows his arm off with an energy ball, but the Chameleon grows a new one while the remains of the old one spill over the baby baskets. Piper tries to blast the Chameleon, but blows up the grandfather clock instead when the demon ducks out of the way. Cole throws another energy ball at the Chameleon, but he ducks and the energy ball nearly hits Paige. The Chameleon shimmers out.


Phoebe thinks the "lamp" may have been there for three days or even longer. Paige isn't happy about her damaged chair. Cole wants to catch the Chameleon and learn of the Source's plans. Just then, Piper's friend Becca comes to pick up Piper for the shower. Piper and Phoebe awkwardly shoo her away. Phoebe doesn't want Piper to go, but Piper thinks she has to be a normal woman first if she wants to ever be a mother.

In the Underworld, the Source scolds the Chameleon, Alastair. The Source wants to capture one of the sisters and trick her into giving up all of their powers. Alastair convinces the Source to accelerate his plans. Suddenly, the Source shapeshifts into Alistair and sends Alistair up in flames. The Source then summons the Oracle, who suggests going after Piper; more than her other sisters, she's always wanted as normal a life as possible.


Piper hosts the baby shower at P3. Her friends note that she had mostly disappeared for the last three years. Her cell phone rings; Piper is disappointed to see the call's from home. She ignores it and then Leo orbs in to tell her Phoebe and Paige think they have found Alastair.

Back at the manor, Paige wonders why they're not going to vanquish Alistair when they have the spell for it. Leo explains that they want to find out what the Source is planning and only vanquish the Chameleon if they have to. Piper has serious doubts about being a witch and is even willing to make a deal with the Source.

The sisters go to where they thought the Chameleon was, but do not find him. They split up to search again. Suddenly, the Source appears, still in Alistair's form. Piper whirls around and tries to freeze him, but it only slows him down. Piper calls for her sisters, but the Source throws an energy ball at Piper, knocking her against the wall. Phoebe and Paige run into the alley, just as the Source flames away with Piper. {C}Piper finds herself in a dream, in which the manor is a mental hospital. Leo, one of the psychiatrists, is bending over her. Leo says that she had an "episode" and slammed herself against a wall. Another psychiatrist walks in—it's Alistair. Piper tries to vanquish Alastair, in vain. Alistair tells her that demons are just a figment of her imagination. Two other doctors grab Paige and carry her upstairs.

In the Underworld, Piper's real location is revealed: the Source is projecting this fantasy into her mind. The Source is getting exhausted, but feels it'll be worth it if he can get Piper to give up her powers and those of her sisters.

At the manor, Leo can't sense Piper, but says that she's definitely still alive. Cole shimmers in and tells Phoebe, Paige and Leo that the Source has taken Piper to the Underworld. Phoebe picks up the Book of Shadows, and gets a premonition—the Source orbs into the manor, takes the Book and blows up Phoebe and Paige. Cole thinks that the Source is trying to make Piper give up their powers. Phoebe doesn't think it's possible, but Leo points out that she can if she speaks the Relinquishment Spell. Phoebe doesn't think that's possible—they ripped out the page and burned it three years ago ("Wicca Envy"). However, Leo says the spell still exists in Piper's mind. He and Cole head down to the Underworld to find Piper.

At the hospital, Piper and Paige are strapped to their beds. Paige doesn't want to have anything to do with Piper. "Alastair" tries to convince Piper that she isn't a witch and has no sisters. He also adds that Prue also thought she was a witch, but was cured and released three months earlier. Phoebe skips in and unties Piper and Paige. Piper thinks that the Book may still be in the attic, since evil can't touch it.

In the attic, the sisters find Cole under electroshock therapy. Piper knocks the doctor out with a broom. The "Book of Shadows" turns out to be but a collection of crayon drawings. They escape down the trellis and into the street. Piper sees a purse snatcher run into traffic and tries to overtake him, but is hit by a car which she tried in vain to freeze.

In the real world, Phoebe and Paige try spells to call Piper back, but none of them work. Paige remembers Leo's mention of the power-relinquishing spell. Phoebe doesn't think Piper would ever say it. However, Paige thinks the Source is trying to get inside Piper's mind and trick her into saying it. In the dream, Piper wakes up in a hospital bed. "Alastair" tells her that her magical "delusions" are a coping mechanism to help her deal with Grams' death. He tries to convince Piper to say the spell.

In the Underworld, Leo hears Piper calling him. The Source is jamming Piper's signal and keeping Leo from finding her, but Leo knows she's hurt. Cole lets a bounty hunter blast him on purpose so they can find the Source. Another bounty hunter appears, and they drag Cole away. Leo follows them in secret.

In the dream, Leo tends Piper's injuries. It turns out that Leo and Piper are lovers in the dream as well, though not yet married.

In the Underworld, the two bounty hunters contact the Oracle, and announce they have captured Belthazor. The Oracle tells them to wait for their bounty.

In the dream, Piper is taken to the garden by the manor and her friends from the baby shower visit. Becca lets Piper hold her baby for a moment, and Piper begins to cry. "Alastair" then tells the friends that they have to leave. "Leo" presents Piper with a notepad and tells her to remember the spell. In the real world, Paige and Phoebe cast a spell and find themselves in Piper's dream. However, Piper's spirit is almost completely broken; she insists that she is not a witch and has no sisters. Alastair has Paige and Phoebe restrained and Piper begins to say the spell.

In the Underworld, Leo finds Cole, and with him, the Source and Piper. Leo orbs about and attacks the demons guarding him, managing to vanquish one through a trick, giving him time to wake up Cole. Cole regains consciousness and vanquishes the other demon. Leo tries to attack the Source, but is repelled. Cole bombards the Source with energy balls, injuring him. The Oracle tells him to break the connection with Piper if he wants to survive. He does(but only after Cole injures him), and back in the garden, Alistair, Leo and all the doctors disappear. In the Underworld, Cole throws the largest and most powerful energy ball ever seen in the history of Charmed at the Source, but the Oracle jumps in front of it, sacrificing herself to save the Source. The Source flames away.

Just as Piper is about to finish the spell, Leo enters her dream, and at last, convinces her not to give up her powers.

At the Manor, Piper offers to replace Paige's chair. Paige and Phoebe admit that they too struggle with being witches. Phoebe comes on to Cole, and they head upstairs. Paige heads for the store. Leo and Piper orb upstairs.


  • And You Were There: The Source sells the illusion by casting the other characters in similar enough roles: Phoebe a hopelessly devoted roommate, Paige a snarky newcomer in place of Prue, Leo a doctor, and Cole a troubled patient.
  • Batman Gambit: To find the Source's location, Cole lets himself be captured and Leo secretly follows.
  • Being Good Sucks: Piper laments how the constant demon fighting keep her from having a social life, a peaceful home, and kids.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Source's ultimate goal is to do this to the Charmed Ones. Phoebe receives a premonition of what'll happen if he succeeds—killing them and taking the Book of Shadows. The illusion is also designed to keep the sisters' active powers from working.
  • Call-Back: To the power-relinquishing spell. The Source has to go to these lengths because the sisters burned the page, but Piper (as well as Phoebe) would still remember it deep down due to having read it.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Piper is straddling the line for most of the episode and the illusion is designed to push her over the edge. It eventually works.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Averted. The Source knows exactly which buttons to push to get to Piper. All it takes is a matter of time.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Source notes he's having to use a lot of magic to project into Piper's mind. This leaves him more vulnerable to Cole's attack than he would've been otherwise.
    • The Source's injury sets up a plot-point in "Muse to My Ears".
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Covered in slime, Cole returns to the manor with word of Piper's whereabouts. He says he got the information from another Chameleon demon.
    "I sorta squeezed it out of him."
  • Near-Villain Victory: The Source nearly succeeds, but he's foiled by both the real Phoebe and Paige disrupting the spell and Cole blasting away at the force field.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Invoked. The point of the illusion is to convince Piper that she went nuts after her grandmother died and that everything from the last four years has been a delusion based on what she's seen while in the mental hospital.
  • You Have Failed Me: Alastair failed as a spy. The Source cuts out the middle man by killing him and assuming his form.

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