The Three Faces Of Phoebe

Episode Report Card
Demian: B+ | Grade It Now!
Phoeby! Phoebi! Phoebé!

Raige steps over to the Book and starts flipping pages. Cole, meanwhile, asks Phoebe for an explanation. She tells him she "cast a spell to hear [her] heart's desire," and, well, you know the rest. Cole wonders what Phoebe thought she would hear. Phoebe replies that it's a matter for herselves to discuss, and moves to leave with Phrances in tow. As Phrances passes Cole, she sardonically raises an eyebrow and beams, "Worried?" Hee! Little old character actresses rock. Raige mutters in frustration at the Book, then describes Kurzon for Cole. Cole pays her no mind, choosing instead to blaze out of the attic. Actually, I suppose The Agglomeration Formerly Known As The Source chose to blaze out of the attic, but you know what I mean. Raige eventually realizes that Cole has left. She flips her hair around, makes a funny "whatever" face, and pouts, "Can't anybody help me?"

Hell. Cole blazes in to be greeted by D'Eartha. D'Eartha's convinced that TAFKATS dragged Cole there to tell her something useful. Cole wrinkles his nose in disgust at the thought of this, and snides that maybe the big news is that Phoebe's managed to conjure up a fortune teller of her own. He describes Phrances as someone from the future who "will be all too willing to tell" Phoebe what he himself can't. D'Eartha glowers, then spins on her heel to light a few more candles. Because God knows she doesn't have enough lit to start a bonfire already. D'Eartha knows Phrances won't tell Phoebe anything that might jeopardize the Charmed Ones. Good witches are "overly cautious" about such things when time-traveling. Phrances will ensure that her version of the future comes to pass by keeping her mouth shut. Cole and D'Eartha hiss and scratch at each other about his "destiny" and his "love" for Phoebe before Cole blazes on out of there. Once he's gone, D'Eartha flicks her poncho around and stares into a circle of candles. The milky cataracts obscure her eyes.

Up in the Bimbo Boudoir, Phrances lifts one of Phoebe's embroidered bustiers off the bed and holds it up against her body. "The good old days," she jokes. "Of course," she adds, "nobody's going to take you seriously until you stop dressing like a tramp!" Best. Line. Ever. Since Phrances brought up clothing, I should mention that she's wearing a demure denim blouse buttoned all the way up to her neck under a thick, comfortable-looking sweater. Phrances perches on the bed and opens her -- their -- scrapbook. The first couple of photos are of newborn Phoebe in a hospital bassinet. For those of you obsessed with such detail, Phoebe's birth weight was six pounds, four ounces. Of course, those of you obsessed with such detail will also remember something about Phoebe having been born in the Manor. I suppose they could have moved her to the hospital afterwards, but, really, what would have been the point of that? "We had such promise," Phrances notes fondly. Phoebe's freaked out by Phrances's tone. She needs to know what misery awaits her in the future. Phrances ignores the question and carries on with the reminiscing. Phoebe shuts her down, snapping the scrapbook closed and bitching about their latest demonic enemy. "Don't talk to me about demons!" Phrances snorts darkly, leading Phoebe to ask more specific questions about Cole. Do they get divorced? Does he cheat on her? Phrances flatly refuses to alter her past by speaking about it. She long ago accepted it or processed through her issues with it or whatever, and nothing Phoebe says will convince her to change her mind. Phoebe argues that, from her perspective, the future has yet to take place. Do she and Cole even get married in the first place? Phrances asks how Phoebe knows she isn't still married to Cole in 2058. Phoebe points out that Phrances isn't wearing a wedding ring. This shuts Phrances up long enough for Phoebe to argue that Phrances wouldn't have been dragged into the past by the spell were she not meant to offer Phoebe some sort of counsel regarding the marriage issue. Phrances gets frisky at this, countering that she "didn't need a spell to decide what to do." "You must make this decision without using magic, just like I did." "Yeah," Phoebe snarks, "and that worked out real well for us, I see." I really want Phrances to smack the crap out of Phoebe right now. Not only does Phoebe deserve it after that last remark, but I want to see if Phrances's own head would snap around from the impact. Now that would be funny. Phrances, unfortunately, keeps her hands to herself. She does give Phoebe a bit of the verbal bitch-slapping, though, as she draws herself up to demand that Phoebe have the Dolt orb her back to the future as soon as possible. Phoebe grouses that maybe Phrances should ask the Dolt herself. Sorry. Phrances intends to remain firmly ensconced in the Bimbo Boudoir "out of the path of history," and Phoebe can forget about trying other arguments. They both know how pointless it is to get a Phoebe to change her mind once that mind has been made up. Phoebe sighs in exasperation and leaves the room. Phrances watches her go with just a hint of apprehension in her eyes. So, at what point in the future does Phoebe learn how to act?

Down in the main hallway, Phoebette hides behind a plant with her fingers screwed into her ears. She's chanting "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" over and over again so as not to hear Piper's pleas for maturity. Piper looks like she's seconds away from slitting the brat's throat. Phoebe trails down the stairs and attempts to reason with Phoebette. She eventually convinces the kid that they mean her no harm through mentioning Grams's natterings about magic and how "anything is possible," and claiming that magic brought Phoebette into her own future. For proof, Phoebe presents Phoebette with the scrapbook. Phoebette melts, and Phoebe sends her into the parlor to look at the pictures. Phoebe then chats with Piper and the Dolt, noting that Phrances is being cantankerous and stubborn and obstinate and generally old-ladylike. The Dolt reminds Phoebe that her past and future selves arrived at the Manor for a reason, and they won't return to their own times until the spell has run its course. Phoebe believes that that won't happen as long as Phrances continues to nurse her "grudge" against Cole. Speaking of Cole, into the hall he steps from the dining room. Phoebette gets all boy-crazy at the sight of him and starts, like, dry-humping the throw pillows on the sofa. Cole's sporting dark smudges under his eyes and looks strung-out as all hell, but I of all people should be able to appreciate her sentiment. Phoebe smirks and introduces Cole as "our fiancé" while flashing her engagement ring. Phoebette gets giggly and calls Cole "the prince who sweeps us off our feet." Piper nearly barks up a lung chortling in derision at her sister's squicky little fantasy life. Phoebe bats at Piper with her hand. Cinderella was Phoebe's favorite fairy-tale heroine as a child, and she can't believe she'd forgotten about Prince Charming. The Dolt opines that perhaps Phoebette was summoned to remind Phoebe of her childhood dreams. What in the who, now? Phoebe's childhood fantasies are supposed to dictate Phoebe's choices as an adult? Shut up, Dolt. Cole finds this all very enchanting -- not -- and suggests that they figure out who the surprise "visitor" was before the gentleman drops by again. Phoebe, Piper, and the Dolt head back to the attic, leaving Phoebette in Cole's care. Phoebette leers at Cole. Cole obviously hates children as much as I do. Yet another sign that we were meant to be.

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