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Recap / Charmed S8E7 The Lost Picture Show

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When Piper and Leo see a soothsayer to help solve their marital problems, he switches their bodies. Still desperate to get a child, Phoebe goes to a sperm bank. A demon who traps people in photographs and feeds off their friends and family's grief releases JD, a future Whitelighter, that he had imprisoned fifty years ago. Sam Wilder, who happens to be his Whitelighter, reaches out to his daughter Paige for help.

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Tropes

  • Adult Fear: Any fear and discomfort JD might feel from waking up in the future quickly disappear when he realizes his family might be dead after the 50 years he spent imprisoned. he finds out soon enough that they did die.
    • Paige, Sam, and Murphy visit an old man, the father of one of the demon's last victims. He spent 30 years devastated by the disappearance of his daughter and hoping she would return.
  • Berserk Button: Sam never being around for Paige. When making up with him, she admits she never realized how much it truly bothered her until now.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Everything works out for everyone, though JD dies. Sam notes, though, that his sacrifice fulfilled his destiny.
  • Break the Cutie: Billie loses her first innocent.
  • The Bus Came Back: Sam, Paige's father, makes an appearance.
  • Continuity Nod: Phoebe recalls how Piper and Leo have switched before (albeit that time was just their powers).
  • Disappeared Dad: Paige's argument against Sam.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: JD went in what he perceived as a flash from The ’50s to the Turn of the Millennium.
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  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Between Piper and Leo.
  • The Future Is Shocking: For a brief moment, JD is shocked by how the world changed, before having an even worse epiphany (see Adult Fear above) .
  • Has Two Mommies: At the end of the episode, Paige says there's certainly enough room in her life for the memory of her adopted father and the presence of her biological father.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Paige takes down the demon by using his own camera on him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sam says he stayed away for the last three years because he thought doing otherwise would be disrespectful to Paige's adopted father.
  • I Owe You My Life: JD agrees to help because Sam helped him turn his life around.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Sam suspects that JD's sacrifice guaranteed his destiny as a Whitelighter.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Billie says she found out "a week ago" what happened to her sister.
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  • Oddball in the Series: At least as far as Sam's appearances go. His first two had him largely avoiding or unable to use any powers and wallowing in self-pity. This time, he's consistently a Whitelighter and full of self-confidence.
  • Oh, Crap!: Piper and Leo when they realize they've switched bodies.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: This is one of the fears of the old man that Paige and Sam visit, though it turns out his daughter is still alive. Also, JD anguishes how his own dad outlived his mother and brother, thus dying alone.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Paige and Sam have a good bit of this until she finally explodes at him.
  • The Power of Love: Paige is able to free Sam by calling out to him as her father instead of just a fellow Whitelighter. As it happens, this ends up freeing all the other victims, too.
    Paige: I guess my Whitelighter side is stronger than I thought.
  • Properly Paranoid: Seeing the way Paige snipes at Sam, Agent Murphy immediately suspects they're related.
  • Relationship Reboot: Despite Paige and Sam having gotten closer in "Sam, I Am", in this episode Paige becomes cold and distant towards her biological father once again. Justified because they haven't spoken to each other since that episode.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The featured demon targets good people (like future Whitelighters) and uses his camera to trap them inside photos. Some have been trapped only a short time; others for many years.
  • Shadow Archetype: The old man represents what both Paige and Sam could become if they don't mend their relationship: alone and lamenting losing a close relative.
    "A father never stops loving his daughter."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A back-and-forth example in the photo shop. Paige calls out Sam for acting like her father despite never being around and lecturing her about her life. Sam snaps at Paige for trying to fight what she is and their connection to each other.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: JD went to go visit his father's rest home. He learns the old man has only just passed away after making it to 93.
  • You're Not My Father:
    Paige: [to Sam] For your information, my father—my real father, the one who raised me, loved me, and took care of me until the day he died—was a firefighter, not a Whitelighter. So, how dare you show up here and act like you're my dad? Because I have news for you: you're not. [storms out]
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