Cole Turner is a fictional character on the WB television series Charmed, portrayed by series regular Julian McMahon between seasons three and five. McMahon returned for a guest appearance in the show's seventh season, for its 150th episode. Charmed is a series which focuses on three good witches, the prophesied "Charmed Ones", sisters who battle the forces of evil. Cole is in an adversary-turned-ally of the sisters introduced in the third series and a love interest of main character Phoebe Halliwell, portrayed by Alyssa Milano. Like the show's main characters, Cole also possessed a number of magical abilities; his most commonly used were the power to teleport and the power to throw projective energy balls which could stun or kill.
Within the series' narrative, Cole is half-human and half-demon by blood, and better known to the demonic world for over a hundred years as the legendary demonic assassin Belthazor. Cole is dispatched by the Source of all Evil himself to kill the Charmed Ones only to fall in love with then-youngest sister Phoebe, renounce evil and become a close ally of the Charmed Ones. Though Cole eventually completely rids himself of his demonic nature, and marries Phoebe in the fourth season, he never gains the trust of new youngest sister Paige (Rose McGowan). As part of his storyline, the character later returns to evil after unwillingly becoming the new Source. As the Source, Cole is eventually vanquished by the Charmed Ones, only to come back from death itself in his attempts to win Phoebe back. Driven insane, Cole is killed once again by the sisters in the fifth season. When the character returns for a guest appearance in the seventh season, it is as a ghost, atoning for his sins.
Cole Turner is introduced by executive producer Brad Kern for the program's third season (2000-1). In season three première "The Honeymoon's Over", Charmed Ones Phoebe (Milano) and Prue (Shannen Doherty) run into Assistant District Attorney Cole Turner at the site where they killed a demon, and cover their tracks. Over the course of the episode, it becomes apparent to the audience that Cole is himself a very powerful demon, deceiving the sisters and pursuing Phoebe romantically in order to finally kill them. In "Power Outage", Cole's superiors, the demonic Triad, learn that he may have developed genuine romantic feelings for Phoebe; Cole responds by killing them, forcing him into hiding. Meanwhile, the sisters acquire a target in the red-and-black-skinned demon Belthazor (Michael Bailey Smith); in "Sleuthing with the Enemy", the Charmed Ones discovers Cole and Belthazor are one in the same, but when Cole convinces Phoebe that he, being half human, truly loves her, she fakes his death so that her sisters Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Prue will not hunt for him. When Cole re-emerges, causing a rift between Phoebe and her sisters, he attempts to re-ingratiate himself his demonic peers, the Brotherhood of the Thorn as part the sisters' double agent. When Prue and Piper are both killed following a successful mission by the Source's assassin Shax (Michael Bailey Smith) in the season finale "All Hell Breaks Loose", Cole's ingratiation with allows him to beg the Source (again, Michael Bailey Smith) to turn back time and prevent the exposure of magic; the Source agrees on the condition that Phoebe remain in the underworld under his command, though he secretly orders her to be killed. Phoebe is able to escape, however, due to the presence of Leo Wyatt (Brian Krause), her "whitelighter" (a witch's guardian angel).
In season four (2001-2), Cole does what he can to assist Phoebe and Piper from Shax's attack after Prue still died from bleeding from Shax's attack in the previous episode. Piper and Phoebe regain their full abilities, becoming Charmed Ones once again when they discover their younger half-sister, Paige (McGowan), with whom they destroy Shax. In "Black as Cole", a power-stripping one causes Cole loses both his Belthazor form and demonic abilities, becoming wholly human. After the Charmed Ones' successfully kill the Source (Peter Woodward) in "Charmed and Dangerous", the Source's essence fills the space left by Cole's vanquished demon half, making Cole the new Source; as the Source, he is guided by the Seer (Debbi Morgan), a manipulative demoness who has served multiple Sources. Paige continually suspects him of being evil. In "The Fifth Halliwheel", the Seer begins her plot to have Cole impregnate Phoebe, and in "Bite Me", Phoebe learns she is pregnant. On discovering that Cole is the Source, a pregnant Phoebe stands by his side to become the Queen of the Underworld, though she returns her sisters to help vanquish Cole in "Long Live the Queen". In "Womb Raider", the Seer uses a spell to take Cole's child from Phoebe, becoming the Source herself, but becomes overwhelmed by is powers and dies; Phoebe is not upset, understanding that the child was never hers nor Cole's, but always the Seer's own. Phoebe hears Cole's voice call to her on the wind, and in the season finale, "Witch Way Now?", Cole is able to linger in the Demonic Wasteland where dead demons go because of his human soul. Phoebe visits him there, insisting to him that he move on to his afterlife. However, in the Wasteland, Cole realises he can acquire the powers of other vanquished demons; he becomes powerful enough to leave again, and saves the sisters' lives from a witch hunter.
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