Belthazor's boudoir. Cole and Phoebe, naked and necking in bed. Phoebe stops, and Cole asks her what's wrong. She explains that every time she tries to connect with him, she can sense him pulling away. She asks him what he's keeping from her, and he rolls on his side away from her, telling her to stop. Phoebe insists she deserves to know what's going on in his head, and he sits up, telling her she "[doesn't] know what [she's] asking." Phoebe tells Cole he "can't keep hiding from the truth." Cole morphs into Belthazor and lunges back at her, roaring. As she screams in terror, we cut to Cole, bolting upright in his bed, alone. It was all a Triad-sent nightmare, and one of the three bad boys is right there in the apartment to greet Cole. Since they haven't been assigned names, I'll call this one "Patty."
"That wasn't so difficult, was it?" Patty asks Cole, in an accent that I guess is supposed to come across as generically Eastern European, but sounds more like the actor is gargling cotton swabs. Cole demands to know why Patty's broken into his apartment. Patty replies that he's come to remind Cole of his true nature, chastising him for sleeping with the enemy when he should have been killing all three of the Halliwell sisters. Cole tries to brush his tryst with Phoebe off as a "mistake," but Patty's having none of it. Patty gestures with his hand, and a dagger materializes in Cole's outstretched palm. Patty threatens him, telling Cole to hire some additional demonic help if he must to kill Prue, Piper, and Phoebe, but kill them he must, or the Triad will kill him instead. Patty then squiggles himself back down to rejoin Maxene and LaVerne in Hell, leaving Cole to mull over the assignment he's been given.
That was the shortest pre-credits sequence ever. Oh, and no Darryl this week, so you Dorian Gregory fans will have to settle for shirtless Julian McMahon.
P3 After Dark. The sisters are arrayed on a sofa as Prue speed-talks her way through this episode's exposition. She tells Piper and Phoebe they must practice their counterattack strategy together regularly, so they will be prepared for Belthazor's next appearance. They need to obtain a piece of demon flesh to brew up some sort of vanquishing potion, and Piper cracks a "white meat or dark meat" joke. Phoebe's distracted from the conversation, scanning the crowd for Cole, and Piper wants to end the discussion quickly because she has to prepare for this week's product-placed band. Henceforth, I will be referring to all product-placed bands on this show as "The Whitss," as my own special little tribute to Djb and his Roswell recaps, which are the only reason I keep watching that show. Well, the recaps and the pecs. Just so you know. Phoebe snits that Cole's forty-five minutes late for their date, which she finds unacceptable given that she put out for him last week. Just then, Cole appears off-screen, and Phoebe leaps to her feet, shouting his name.
Cole somewhat hesitantly strides over, muttering to himself an off-hand "I'm sorry, but I have to stop seeing you. Why? Because I gotta kill you, that's why." Snerk. He apologizes to Phoebe, who forgives him, as Prue tells the other Ps that they will be "practicing the 'earthquake drill'" at three the next afternoon. Piper complains that she has a doctor's appointment, Phoebe complains that she will have to borrow Prue's car as she has class immediately afterwards, and Prue complains that Phoebe had better return the SUV -- with the tank full -- by five, as she has a photo shoot at the club that evening. Cole initially looks like he'd rather be anywhere but there at the moment, but then starts formulating some sinister plan. More sniping, as Piper says that the photo shoot plans are news to her, and that they have a homeowners' meeting the next evening anyway. Phoebe refuses to attend, whining that at the last meeting, they "took hours to figure out where to put the garden gnomes." Prue asks her how badly she wants the car. "I hate you," Phoebe grits out through clenched teeth, and Prue singsongs, "No you don't. You love me." Prue and Piper rise from the sofa, leaving Phoebe and Cole alone.