Synopsis of A Witch's Tail
Written by Brandee Mode
When the episode starts we quickly learn that Piper and Leo are converting her large walk-in closet into a nursery and that Phoebe has become a minor celebrity because of her career. Leo is adding a window to the closet "to bring in light and create a sense of space." As Piper is showing the nursery to Phoebe, Paige orbs in and a demon quickly follows, which Piper blows up. Leo scolds Paige for the "magical kick" she has been on and the reason her hair is red now is because she blew up a potion the night before. Phoebe leaves for work. Leo doesn't like that the baby was put at risk. Piper tells him she still needs to save innocents and he will just have trust her.
In a cave somewhere in the ocean, we learn that a blonde mermaid had a contract with a sea-hag: Mylie was given legs and 30 days to find love. The time has expired and the sea-hag wants Mylie to give up her immortality into sea shell. The mermaid has to give it up voluntarily by putting a special sea-shell over her heart. Mylie says she found love, but the man in question just has not said it yet. She pushes the shell away and jumps in the water. Mylie says she will prove that he loves her and quickly swims away.
Back from commercial, Leo has cut the hole in the wall and it putting in the window. Piper is looking through old stuff from her when she was an infant. She finds her baby book and comments:
PIPER: "Look how squishy I was!"
LEO: "You were so adorable."
PIPER: You can't even see the picture."
LEO: "I'm your whitelighter; I've been watching you since you were a baby."
PIPER: "That's too creepy to think about."
Leo drops the window on his foot and Piper offers to help with it. Leo refuses her help because she should be taking it easy now that she is pregnant. Piper tells him that many generations of Halliwell women have been pregnant and still been able to function normally. Leo tells her to look at the rest of the book. Piper discovers that the end of the baby book is blank. Leo says there was no one to finish it after her mother died.
[Are we supposed to believe that Grams would not have finished the book?]
A nameless servant appears to the sea-hag. He was sent by a skeletal being named Necron, who wants the immortality that he was promised, or Necron will come after the sea-hag and take her life force. The servant disappears and the sea-hag puts a spell on the water:
Water rise up from the sea
Find the one who fled from me
Folow where the winds are cold
The fall ten-fold like days of old
The man Mylie loves is named Craig and as she walks to meet him, the sky turns cloudy. Mylie tells Craig that she needs to know how he feels about her, she can't wait until he returns from his trip, she needs to know now. He starts to tell her but before he gets very far, a large raindrop hits Mylie's leg and a section of her leg turns to scales. She insists she's sorry but she has to leave. She looks at him sadly as he walks away, totally confused. Mylie turns and sees one of the new billboards with a huge picture of Phoebe.
[I think this is pretty stupid, why didn't Mylie grab Craig's hand and drag him with her inside a building. It was raining very heavily, I'm sure he would not have insisted they stay outside in the rain.]
Paige arrives at work completely soaked from the heavy rain and learns that she has been promoted from an assistant to a social worker. Paige and Phoebe are talking over the phone about Paige's promotion and we learn that Phoebe is due to have a television interview the next day, but first she plans to go to divorce court.
Mylie approaches Phoebe in the parking garage and tells her she recognizes Phoebe as a Charmed One, she is famous where Mylie comes from. Before they can talk any further, a car goes by and splashes water onto Mylie. She instantly turns back into a mermaid and falls to the ground. Mylie panics because the sea-hag can track her tail. Phoebe puts Mylie in her car when the sea-hag appears. Phoebe speeds away as the sea-hag watches.
[When did Phoebe get a car? Must have happened over the summer, I guess.]
Paige arrives home after being summoned from work and finds Phoebe using a blow dryer on the last of the scales to return Mylie's legs. She tells Paige that she has a "big underwater fan-base" and Paige asks her if "algae poses a personal hygiene problem?"
[After the blow dryer returns Mylie to human form, what happened to the clothes she was wearing? They disappeared when she was returned to mermaid form, wouldn't it be logical to assume they would return along with the legs?]
Mylie explains that being a mermaid is "pure freedom" and explains that mermaids are known for their cold hearts but since they live forever, sometimes a mermaid's heart will warm and she will feel lonley and want companionship. That's why she made the agreement with the sea-hag.
[I'm surprised no one asked her if there were any mermaids that were men, I guess that would be mer-men...]
Piper is not willing to fight against the sea-hag, and has the attitude of why should they fight a demon if they don't have to. Phoebe doesn't really want to get involved at all because she would rather go to her court date for the divorce from Cole. Paige is ready and willing to help but gets exasperated with Piper and Phoebe's unwillingness to help. Paige orders them to the kitchen, where she quickly asks what is the problem. Phoebe complains about how she is due at court and Paige tells her to "just go" and they will deal with the sea-hag.
After Phoebe leaves, Leo has entered the kitchen and they grudgingly agree to help but want to do it without going against the sea-hag directly. Paige says the sea-hag reminds her of a water demon she "read about in the book. It kills in the most fascinating..." Piper interrupts to say they know how it kills and admits it is the demon that killed their mother. They get back to the problem at hand and Paige says she will go to the airport to try to stop Craig from leaving, but Piper should "come up with a plan B in case it doesn't work." Piper reluctantly agrees.
Necron and his servant appear in the cave. We learn that several months earlier, Necron came to suck the sea-hag's life force but she promised him the life force from an immortal being so he let her live. The sea-hag begs for her life, pointing out that if he kills her, he won't be able to get the mermaid. He agrees to let her live, for now, and consumes the life force from the servant instead.
Paige orbs to the airport where she easily finds Craig. She is trying to convince him that Mylie needs his help, but he doesn't want to listen. As he continues to board the airplane, Paige blurts out that Mylie's "life is in danger" then he agrees to go with her.
In a judge's office, Phoebe is pointing out to the judge that she has done everything that is required to get divorced even though Cole is not there. Darryl is with her and says they "think Cole is out of the country" She even took out a larger ad in the newspaper than required. Just as she is about to sign the paper making the divorce legal, Cole arrives claiming he saw the ad in the newspaper. Phoebe storms out of the office with Cole right behind her. She calls him an evil bastard, to which he replies that he is not evil anymore. Darryl is babbling in the background about how he should arrest Cole on principle and he won't stop yelling at Cole. Cole thinks there are too many people talking at once and he waves a hand, causing Darryl to turn into a water cooler.
Phoebe tells Cole she hates him and does not want anything to do with him. Cole says he is not evil anymore and explains he stayed in the Wasteland because he was collecting enough powers to execute his plan. Phoebe ends up stabbing his hand with a letter opener and the drops of blood begin to sizzle. Phoebe panics and runs out. Cole gives up for the moment and returns Darryl to normal.
[I have the feeling that part about his blood will become important later in the season.]
Piper wonders if the sea-hag can be the cause of all the extra rain and flooding they are having. Mylie says yes, the hag can cause hurricanes and tidal waves also. This makes Piper nervous. Leo goes off to talk to the Elders, and Paige returns with Craig. Paige and Mylie urge Craig to say how he feels, but Piper gets impatient and says "just tell her you love her for crying out loud". Craig is about to leave when Mylie agrees to let him know the secret. She grabs a vase and pours the water on her legs. Craig sees the tail, freaks out and leaves.
The sea-hag appears a few seconds later. Piper tries to freeze the hag but she can't, it seems her freezing power has disappeared for the moment. The hag throws a ball of water at Paige and traps her in what looks like a wall of water. The sea-hag throws one at Piper, who ducks behind the couch and begins having a panic attack. The sea-hag takes Mylie and Paige emerges from the wall of water. Paige asks Piper "what happened to you?"
Piper apologizes to the others for not helping before. Leo says the elders told him that the sea-hag keeps her cave protected by charms and the only way to find her is with a mermaid. When Phoebe points out that they don't have one anymore, Piper asks Phoebe where she was at the time. Phoebe only says that she had her "own demon to deal with". Paige sends Leo to the airport to find Craig. Phoebe tells Piper to rest while she goes to the attic with Paige. Piper lies down on a wicker love-seat.
The sea-hag offers Mylie the shell to suck up her immortality but Mylie refuses. The sea-hag says Mylie will ask for it eventually just to make the pain stop, then she disappears.
At a diner, Darryl is crouching behind a booth and calls for help on his radio. We learn he happened to be there having lunch when a man with a semi-automatic gun showed up. The bullets coming toward Darryl suddenly go into super-slow-motion and Cole appears, saying he thought Darryl could use some help. Darryl and Cole walk over to the man who is also frozen in place. Cole takes the gun from the man and puts Darryl's handcuff's on him. Darryl is asking why Cole is doing this. He wants everyone to know he is not evil anymore and offers to help whenever Darryl needs it. Cole returns time to normal and tells Darryl to make sure to tell Phoebe that he helped. Then Cole disappears.
In the attic, Paige ignores her ringing cell phone because she's sure it's her boss calling to yell at her. Phoebe takes the phone away from her and slams in down on the table. Paige asks her what's wrong. Phoebe admits that she saw Cole and tells about the acid-like blood. She also mentions how tired she is of fighting against him and how she wishes she had Paige's orbing ability so she could move herself to a rock in the middle of the ocean. (hint hint) Paige offers to use the blood from the letter opener to "find a magic way" to keep Cole away from her. But first they need to deal with the sea-hag. They briefly discuss Piper and how they are worried about her, just as she joins them in the attic.
The three of them say a spell, which is meant to transport them to the sea-hag's cavern:
Powers of the witches rise
Find the hag who speaks in lies
Balance chakra, focus chi
Lead us through the cruel, cruel sea
At first nothing happens, but then Phoebe's eyes go wide as she falls to the floor. Piper and Paige stand there staring at Phoebe in disbelief. Phoebe has turned into a mermaid. She has a gold fish tail and gold scales over her breasts, just like Mylie. Phoebe looks totally shocked. Then a commercial.
Paige orbs to the beach with Piper and Mer-Phoebe and they land in the water knee-deep. Phoebe complains about being turned into a mermaid but the others tell her to just deal with it and try to sense where the sea-hag is. Phoebe dives into the water. Then Leo orbs in and says that Craig is on a plane, on the way to New York. Phoebe urges the others to join her but Pier orders her back to the beach. Phoebe says she could smell a stench and they tell her to follow it and to call for Leo when she finds the hag.
In the cave, Mylie has agreed to accept the shell. Tentacles emerge from the shell as she puts it over her heart. Leo tells the others that Phoebe is calling and he, Piper and Paige begin to orb out, but Piper pulls back at the last moment. Leo and Paige orb out and Piper collapses against a rock, in the midst of a panic attack.
Leo and Paige orb into the cavern, startling the sea-hag. Paige avoids a water ball from the hag and calls for the shell, which promptly disappears from Mylie's chest. The sea-hag throws something at Paige that causes her to become covered in seaweed so she can't use her arms. The shell falls into the water and Phoebe dives down to get it. Phoebe resurfaces, propelling herself up out of the water, like a basketball player doing a slam dunk. Phoebe throws the shell and it conveniently hits the hag right over her heart. She screams and turns to a pile of dust. Paige and Leo are released and they rush to Mylie but Leo can't heal her because she is not human.
Leo orbs out and returns quickly with an angry Craig who asks,
CRAIG: "Who are you people?"
PAIGE: "Don't you mean witch?"
They tell him that Mylie is dying but his love can save her. Craig starts to say that he can't love Myle because "she's got a..." Leo interrupts with "big heart" Phoebe points out that now he knows WHAT she is, but it doesn't change WHO she is. Craig finally admits that he loves Mylie and her tail changes to legs.
[leaving me to again wonder why the clothes she was wearing did not return with the legs, but whatever.]
They quickly cover Mylie's nakedness and Leo heals her. Craig and Mylie kiss. Leo says he can sense Piper's panic and wants to leave and let her know they are all OK. Leo reaches for Phoebe in the water so they can orb back to the beach, but she refuses. Phoebe insists that she is going to stay in the ocean.
PHOEBE: "I just want to be free."
The 2nd half begins with Mer-Phoebe swimming through the ocean, finding pretty shells to collect. She also has added shell bracelets and what looks like a pearl necklace wrapped around her forehead.
Leo orbs into the manor and announces he found Phoebe but could not catch her because she is too fast. Piper doesn't understand why Phoebe would choose to live in the ocean when her life was finally coming together. This reminds Paige that the others don't know Cole as returned, so she tells them. Leo is busy snapping at Paige about not being told sooner, that neither of them notices Piper starting to hyperventilate until she falls to the floor. Leo and Paige help Piper over to the couch.
PIPER (frightened): "Does he want my baby?"
Paige assures her that Cole only wants Phoebe back because he is still in love with her. The three of them head upstairs to do research.
Necron appears in the cavern looking for the sea-hag but instead finds her ashes. Mer-Phoebe swims in to add her newest shells to the pile she is collecting. Necron realizes she is a mermaid and throws an electricity bolt at her as she swims away. It hits her in the hip (or at least, where her hip would be if she were human.)
The next morning, Leo returns from looking for Phoebe to find that Paige has spent all night doing research in the kitchen because Piper was annoying her upstairs. Leo says Phoebe is getting harder to track because the mermaid in her is growing stronger. He tells Paige it's OK to go to work; she can orb back if they need her. Leo goes up to the attic to find Piper writing all over the walls with chalk. He tries to console her and be supportive, telling her that all they need to do it remove her fear. This gives Piper an idea and she basically tells him to go away, she needs to think. After he goes, she writes "fearless spell" on a clean section of the wall.
Phoebe is sitting/lying on a dock examining her injury when she hears fishermen approaching, so she jumps back in the water.
At Social Services, Paige is threatening Cole, but is interrupted by her boss. He wants to prove to all three sisters that he is not evil anymore. Cole points out that he is a lawyer and offers to help. The boss tells Paige she should let Cole help. Paige drags Cole into a private room to tell him that Phoebe is a mermaid.
PAIGE: "Her body erupted in scales. She turned into a fish to get away from you."
In the attic, Piper has finished her spell and reads it out loud:
Full of fear
Til I can't hear
So I can breathe
Remove my fear
Please make it leave.
We see a yellow glow move over Piper and she goes to check her reflection in the mirror.
The fishermen dump their net onto the dock and among the catch is Mer-Phoebe who appears to be unconscious. They talk about what they can get for her alive or dead. Just as they decide they could get more money for her dead body, Necron appears and kills them, reducing the men to piles of dust. Mer-Phoebe heaves a piece of fisherman's equipment at him and yells for Leo, who quickly appears and orbs out with her.
Mer-Phoebe is wrapped in a blanket on the couch, drinking lots of water, claiming it needs more salt. Piper comes downstairs and is happy to see Phoebe home. Piper is also anxious to find the demon so she "can thank him then kill him" and Phoebe complains that she wants to go home - to the ocean. Piper who no longer has a fear of personal gain issues, asks Paige to orb the Book Of Shadows downstairs. The book describes Necron as "a skeletal being who hovers between life and death. He has the power to incinerate any living creature and feed on its life force." They realize he wants the immortality of a mermaid so he wouldn't be *hovering* anymore. Mer-Phoebe again complains about needing water, so Paige puts her in the bathtub.
Apparently, Cole is living at the penthouse again. He is there with Darryl, but Cole is on the phone with someone in regard to one of Paige's adoptions. The person on the other end of the phone says he can not accept copies of a certain document; he must have the original. Cole waves a have over the phone and the man changes his mind and agrees to process the adoption. Darryl doesn't like that Cole manipulated the other man that way. Cole points out that he was helping Paige and she doesn't know about it. Darryl accuses Cole of killing the fishermen. Darryl points out that he knows the only reason Cole helped him with the gunman earlier was to get on Phoebe's good side, not because he and Cole are friends. But for the sake of argument, Darryl offers some *friendly* advice: give up on getting Phoebe back. She has made it clear that she doesn't want Cole anymore.
Piper drops the last ingredient for a spell into a bowl and there is an immediate explosion, which knocks her off her feet. Paige hurries into the attic to find out what happened and discovers that Piper mixed 2 things together that according to Paige, "you're never EVER supposed to mix those two things together!" Piper says she Necron is a serious threat so they need a serious potion. The book says "the last two witches who vanquished a skeletal demon died in the process." Leo enters as Piper leaves to answer the doorbell.
Paige and Leo voice their concerns to each other about Piper's sudden and drastic change at having overcome her panic. They find her fear-removal spell still written on the wall. Nancy has arrived, the woman who is supposed to interview Phoebe. Piper has allowed Nancy to enter the bathroom to do the TV interview there, where we see that all the mermaid parts of Phoebe have been covered by a thick layer of bubbles.
Whispering outside the bathroom door, Leo scolds Piper for letting Nancy in the house, because it puts them at risk for exposure. Piper says she did it so it remind Phoebe of how much she loves her job. Paige and Leo tell Piper they know about the fear removal spell and Leo says that her spell only suppressed her fear instead of removing it.
Inside the bathroom, Phoebe is telling Nancy how people are eating certain fish into extinction. Paige tells Nancy the interview is over now and as soon as she is gone, Necron appears in the hall. Piper orders Paige to orb Mer-Phoebe to the attic. Piper enters the hall to face Necron alone, where he grabs her and they both disappear.
In the attic, Mer-Phoebe is using a spray bottle to keep her face and arms moist. Paige is trying to write a spell to vanquish Necron and Leo says when he tries to sense Piper, all he can sense is a "lots and LOTS of courage". Paige takes Leo out of the room, so Phoebe can't hear. Paige is worried once they orb to the ocean for the power of three spell, that Mer-Phoebe will swim away. She wants to try to find another way to vanquish Necron because she doesn't want to risk one sister to save the other. Leo insists they have no choice. Leo, Mer-Phoebe and Paige start to orb out of the attic, when Paige pulls away at the last moment. Leo and Mer-Phoebe appear on the beach, looking confused at Paige's absence.
Piper is strapped to something, that for lack of a better word, I will call an iron gate, which is hanging over the water. Necron orders Piper to call for Leo to bring Mer-Phoebe but Piper refuses. Necron lowers the gate into the water and orders the eels to attack. The eels wrap themselves around the gate and the resulting electricity causes Piper to convulse.
PIPER: "Is that the best you've got?"
The eels attack again and Piper screams this time, as the view switches to Paige entering the penthouse. Cole announces he has accepted that Phoebe doesn't want him and is preparing to leave. Paige tells him she was wrong before and now she thinks that Phoebe really still loves him. Cole doesn't believe her and Paige says she will prove it, so she makes up a spell:
Open Phoebe's heart to Cole
Reveal the secret that it holds
Brings forth the passion of love's fire
That he may feel her true desire
A yellow glow appears around his head and then shoots down to his heart; Cole looks like he is in pain. The lights disappears and both Paige and Cole are surprised to learn that Phoebe still loves Cole more deeply that either of them previously thought.
Leo returns to Mer-Phoebe on the beach and informs her that Paige was not at the house. Mer-Phoebe says she is going to go distract Necron because she doesn't want anything to happen to Piper or the baby. Mer-Phoebe swims away. Necron is now tired of torturing Piper and decides if she is not going to do what he wants, he might as well take her life force. At this point, Mer-Phoebe pops up from the water to offer her immortality in exchange for Piper's life. Necron responds by using his telekinesis to fling the gate, causing Piper to get injuries on her stomach and shoulder. Then Necron flings the life-draining-sea-shell onto Phoebe's chest.
Paige arrives on the beach, claiming to have forgotten the spell, then they both orb to the cave. Leo tries to heal Piper but Necron throws energy bolts at him and he flies across the room. Paige calls for the shell and it disappears from Phoebe's chest. Paige throws it at Necron and while he is trying to get it off, she runs over to Phoebe and Piper, ordering them to hold hands and "prepare for a big blast". Paige says the following spell:
Tide of evil washed ashore
To bring its darkness evermore
With all our strength we fight this fate
Make this evil obliterate
Necron disappears in a large explosion, throwing Mer-Phoebe against a wall, where she falls into the water. Leo and Paige each hit a wall and the gate that Piper is still chained to, falls into the water and drags Piper along with it. Underwater, Piper tries to swim to the surface but she can't get her leg to come loose from the chain that holds her.
[Someone else wondered why she didn't use her exploding power on it. I can only assume she was too panic-filled to think straight.]
The others wake and begin to ask each other if everyone is OK and realize Piper is missing and Mer-Phoebe immediately ducks underwater to look for her. Underwater, Patty's ghost appears to Piper and tells her that the reason she has been so scared is that she is afraid of leaving her baby "the way I left you" and Patty continues, telling Piper she "must trust that your destiny is different from mine." Then hands reach down and Piper's foot conveniently comes loose from the chain. Mer-Phoebe pushes Piper up from the water. Leo and Paige grab Piper and pull her out. Leo reaches to heal Piper but before he can, we see her stomach heal itself and they realize the baby healed her from the inside. Piper tells them of her vision of Patty. Mer-Phoebe slips away unnoticed. Leo and Paige are telling Piper how her how she can count on them. "But not Phoebe," Piper says as they realize Phoebe is gone.
Cole is standing on the beach with arms outstretched and Mer-Phoebe appears on a rock in front of him. When she opens her eyes, she is angry.
MER-PHOEBE: "This goes way beyond stalking."
Cole says he knows how she really feels and asks if she is really willing to spend eternity alone just to avoid the truth. He tells her she at least needs to be honest with herself. Phoebe looks down as though she is thinking and her legs return, her clothes don't return. Cole covers her with his jacket.
PHOEBE: "I do love you and I always will. But it doesn't change anything; it doesn't matter. It's over between us."
At the Social Services office, Paige packs up her belongings and we learn she quit her job. She doesn't want to split her focus anymore.
[I was very surprised by this. But then again, if you think about it, they had one non-employed sister before, and it does seem logical to have at least one of them *free*]
In the kitchen, Phoebe signs her divorce papers. Piper sits on her bed and adds a picture to the front of the baby book. The picture is of Patty and a young Piper. Words appear under the picture: Grandma and Mommy. Piper gets tears in her eyes.
End of episode.
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