"Cute" "banter" as Cole reveals he's on their side of town to pick up some research on a forensic psychology case. They flirt their way up to the cashier, and Piper and Cole set their respective stacks of books down on the counter. Her pile is topped by a slim little volume entitled How To Keep Your Marriage Hush-Hush. Who knew there's a market for such a topic? More importantly, what genius on the writing staff thinks I'm going to buy this appallingly awful example of "ingenious" witchy research? I again pray for TPTB to unleash the promised unspeakable wrath on their idiot asses as sharp-eyed Cole notes the title and asks who the lucky sister is. Piper lamely attempts to turn her initial answer of "me" into "Mimi. Our cousin, Mimi," and Cole surreptitiously wiggles his fingers a bit, causing the interiors of the twin shopping bags to light up. Gee, wonder what he did there? Phoebe and Cole continue to flirt, to the great annoyance of Piper, me, and what I assume to be the rest of the viewing audience. Cole tells Phoebe he has to bolt, as he has plans to "run into another eyewitness" across the street, Phoebe decides this is "cute," Cole notes that he "get[s] cuter," and Piper grabs her bag and walks off. As Phoebe tags along after her, the soundtrack swells ominously, and Cole reaches into his bag to pull out a couple of Piper's books: the aforementioned volume and another entitled The Secret To Eloping. I grind my teeth in barely-suppressed rage, hoping Cole will dust all three of them for their sheer stupidity.
Deco office tower exterior. Night. Full moon. Keep that last bit in mind, folks. Full moon. Cut to an office that I suppose is meant to be decorated in a sinister manner, if "sinister manner" is the equivalent of "appalling late-eighties color scheme." Two men in Business Fashions by Regis Philbin enter, and the goateed one of the pair notes that they "made a killing today" on the markets. The blond one sits at the desk as details of the day's trades are recounted. Unfortunate Facial Hair places a document on the desk, which Smug Blond signs by swiping his finger over it, leaving a fiery signature trail in its wake. The jackass could use a pen, I suppose, but then we wouldn't know this is part of the "Evil Curse" B-plot of tonight's episode. Because the décor, their clothes, and their demeanor didn't clue us in to that fact. Smug Blond remarks that not all of his investments are showing a return and bitches about the screech he's been hearing in the night. Screech? As in an owl? As in Eye Candy? "It reeks of despair," Smug Blond moans. I agree, then realize he means the screech, not this episode's reliance upon this tired subplot. "He's near, circling," the smug one continues. Like the vultures waiting to snack on the bloated, rotting carcass of your acting career, bucko.