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Sympathy for the Demon

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Sympathy for the Demon
Season 5, episode 7
05x07 - Barbas' Return
Barbas returns.
Episode Information

November 3, 2002

Written by

Henry Alonso Myers

Directed by

Stuart Gillard

Production Code


Episode Guide

The Eyes Have It


A Witch In Time

"Ooh, very cool powers. I can hardly wait until I have full control over them. Paige, thank you very much for setting me free. Your sisters will be so proud of you."
Barbas to Paige and Cole

Sympathy for the Demon is the 7th episode of the fifth season and the 95th overall episode of Charmed.


For a complete plot of Sympathy for the Demon, go here.

Barbas, the Demon of Fear, returns and tricks Paige and Cole into giving him Cole's powers from the Wasteland, and plots revenge on the sisters by playing them against their darkest fears.


  • Phoebe Halliwell
  • Paige Matthews
  • Piper Halliwell
  • Leo Wyatt
  • Cole Turner
  • Barbas
  • Penny Halliwell
  • Victor (with a young Piper)
  • Miles
  • Stimple
  • Heavyset Demon
  • Lauren
  • Demon Leaders
  • The Businessman and the Lawyer
  • The Suits

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit



Magical NotesEdit

Book of ShadowsEdit

Paige casting animal conjure spell
Paige casting Prue's Animal Conjuring Spell.

Prue Halliwell's Animal Conjuring Spell Edit

Paige had an inferiority complex towards Prue (Barbas started it again by playing on her fear that she wasn't as good as Prue). Paige then tried to cast this spell, to show Piper and Phoebe that she was as good as Prue. It took her some time of practice, but she managed to cast it, despite it being a difficult spell. The entry on this spell was never seen.

To Find a Lost LoveEdit

Whither My Love
The entry in the Book of Shadows.
Wherever You Be
Through Time
And Space
Take My Heart
Nearer To Thee

Phoebe probably adapted this spell to Astral Project to Barbas. She said she would adapt the "Astral Projection Spell" to do so. Because she used this spell to Astral Project herself to Cole in the Demonic Wasteland in Witch Way Now?, it can be assumed she was talking about this one.


Penny vanquishes a fire demon
Penny casting the spell.

Penny Halliwell's Vanquishing Spell Edit

On Piper's birthday in 1978, an unknown Demon attacked Grams, Victor and Piper. Penny, however, easily managed to vanquish him, using this vanquishing spell. Although an easy vanquish, the attack caused Victor to leave.

Hellspawn demon,
creature of death
Fire shall take your very breath!


Paige holding the power stripping potion
Paige holding the Power Stripping Potion.

Power Stripping PotionEdit

After Piper and Phoebe decided not to help Cole, Paige came up with a solution (Barbas suggested it): she created a Power Stripping Potion. He first didn't want to drink it, because he would be powerless against the thing that was after him, but Paige could convince him that whatever was driving him crazy, he then wouldn't be a threat to anyone anymore. After Cole drank it, Barbas managed to absorb Cole's powers. He used them to get back from Purgatory, and thanked Paige for setting him free.

The Charmed Ones created another one for Barbas, but he knocked it to the ground using Advanced Telekinesis. Paige orbed it into his mouth, allowing Cole to regain his powers.


  • Fear Projection: Used by Barbas to read his victims' fears, and then creates an Illusion of the fear.
  • Suggestion: Used by Barbas to implant subtle thoughts in his victims' minds, causing them to do his bidding.
  • Energy Balls: In an Illusion, Cole used this power to kill two men in the elevator. He later attacked Leo with an Energy Ball and created another for Piper. After absorbing Cole's powers, Barbas used this power to attack Cole. Barbas also created an Energy Ball, threatening to kill Stimple. Barbas later attacked Phoebe, but she dodged the Energy Ball, causing it to vanquish several Demons sitting at the table in Cole's penthouse. After regaining his powers, Cole used it to vanquish Barbas.
  • Astral Projection: Used by Barbas to astral project from Purgatory to Earth.
  • Fading: Type of Teleportation used by Cole, Barbas (after he stole Cole's powers) and Stimple.
  • Power Absorption: After Cole drank Paige's Power-Stripping Potion, Barbas managed to absorb Cole's power, allowing him to return to Earth. Cole took back his powers after Paige orbed another Power-Stripping Potion into Barbas' mouth. 
  • Healing: Used by Leo to heal Cole and Paige (unseen).
  • Orbing: Type of Teleportation used by Leo and Paige.
  • Pyrokinesis: Used by Barbas (after absorbing Cole's powers) to vanquish a Demon.
  • Astral Projection: Phoebe astral projected to Cole's penthouse, using a spell to do so.
  • TransformationUsed by Barbas to cover the house with bricks.
  • Molecular Combustion: Used by Piper, trying to get out of the Manor and to blow up Barbas. She later tried to blow him up again, but he was immune to it.
  • Shimmering: Type of Teleportation used by the Hellspawn Demon.
  • Fireballs: Used by the Hellspawn Demon to attack Penny, Victor and Piper. Stimple threw a Fireball at Barbas.
  • Reconstitution: Used by Barbas to reconstitute after Piper blew him up.
  • Molecular Immobilization: Piper tried to freeze Barbas, but he faded out before she could do so.
  • Telekinesis: Used by Barbas to deviate Stimple's Fireball.
  • Advanced Telekinesis: Used by Barbas to knock everyone down in the attic.
  • Crushing: Used by Barbas to crush Piper's blasts.
  • Force Field: Used by Barbas to block Phoebe, Cole, Piper and Leo from reaching him.
  • Telekinetic Orbing: Used by Paige to orb the Power-Stripping Potion into Barbas's mouth.
  • In Barbas' Illusion, the men Cole was talking to were whispering that Cole was a Demon.
  • In Barbas' Illusion, the men in the elevator tell Cole they know he's Evil.
  • In Barbas' Illusion, Cole throws an Energy Ball to kill the men in the elevator.
  • Barbas makes Cole see his assistant as Phoebe.
  • Barbas astral projects while using Suggestion on Cole.
  • Cole fading in.
  • Cole attacking Leo.
  • Cole creates another Energy Ball.
  • Barbas Astral Projects while using Suggestion on Phoebe.
  • Cole fading out.
  • Barbas Astral Projects while using Suggestion on Piper.
  • Barbas, in Astral mode, using Suggestion on Piper.
  • Barbas using Suggestion on Paige while in Astral mode.
  • Barbas using Suggestion on Paige, while Astral Projecting.
  • Barbas using Astral Projecting while Suggesting to Cole.
  • Barbas absorbing Cole's powers.
  • Barbas creating an Energy Ball to attack Cole.
  • Barbas fading out.
  • Leo heals Cole.
  • Barbas creates an Energy Ball.
  • Leo orbing out with Cole.
  • Barbas vanquishing a demon, using Pyrokinesis.
  • Phoebe Astral Projects to Cole's penthouse, using a spell.
  • Barbas can't read Phoebe's fear.
  • Phoebe dodges Barbas' Energy Ball, which vanquish several demons.
  • Phoebe Astral Projects back.
  • Barbas fading out.
  • Barbas fading in.
  • Barbas makes it impossible to enter or leave the Manor.
  • Barbas fading out.
  • Paige tries to orb out of the Manor.
  • Piper tries to blast the bricks.
  • Barbas plays on Paige's claustrophobia.
  • Barbas makes Phoebe see an Evil Miles.
  • Barbas makes Piper see illusionary spiders.
  • In an Illusion, Leo orbs in.
  • The Hallspawn Demon shimmering in, in Piper's memory.
  • The Hellspawn Demon attacks Victor, Piper and Penny in Piper's memory.
  • Leo in Piper's Illusion is in fact Barbas.
  • Barbas reads Phoebe's fear.
  • Barbas makes Phoebe see Paige as him, causing her to attack Paige.
  • Barbas causes Piper to feel an illusionary pain.
  • Piper blows up Barbas.
  • Barbas reconstitutes after Piper blew him up.
  • Barbas fading out...
  • ... as Piper tries to freeze him.
  • Barbas' magic on the Manor is undone.
  • Leo orbing in with Cole.
  • Stimple fading in.
  • Stimple creates a Fireball.
  • Barbas deviates Stimple's fireball, using Telekinesis.
  • Barbas fading in.
  • Barbas using Advanced Telekinesis to knock everyone down.
  • Piper tries to blow up Barbas.
  • Barbas creates Force Fields to block Phoebe, Cole, Piper and Leo.
  • Paige telekinetically orbs the Power Stripping Potion into Barbas's mouth.
  • Cole absorbing his powers.
  • Cole creates an Energy Ball to vanquish Barbas.
  • Cole fading out.


Magical BeingsEdit

  • Barbas - The Demon of Fear. He learned how to Astral Project, and combined with his power of Suggestion, he was able to let people do his bidding. He managed to let Paige make a Power-Stripping Potion for Cole. After he drank it, Barbas absorbed his powers and returned to Earth. He used his new powers to attack the Charmed Ones.
  • Heavyset Demon - This demon doubted Barbas's powers and after being called to a meeting with many high-level demons, his doubts get him killed.
  • Stimple - In Purgatory, Stimple taught Barbas how to Astral Project. After Barbas gained Cole's powers, they were both set free from Purgatory. Stimple tried to convince Barbas to organize the Underworld, but Barbas wanted to kill the Charmed Ones first. Stimple got killed by Barbas.
  • Demon Leaders - Barbas ordered Stimple to summon several Demon Leaders, so he could convince them to unite under his leadership. However, Phoebe interrupted the meeting and caused Barbas to want to kill the Charmed Ones first.
  • Hellspawn Demon - This low-level demon shimmered into the manor when Piper was just a little child, attacked Grams, and subsequently was vanquished with a spell.


  • Lauren - Lauren was Cole's assistant at his law-firm in San Francisco. Barbas tricked Cole into believing that Lauren was Phoebe and that she knew he was only evil. Cole, outraged, begins to choke Phoebe up against the wall and before it was too late Cole realizes that she is not Phoebe.
  • Lawyer and Businessman - The Lawyer was working with Cole Turner and the Businessman on a toxic waste deposition.
  • The Suits - Two men were standing in the elevator when Cole rushed in from his meeting. Both of them taunted Cole about being evil and when he thought he vanquished them, he opened his eyes and they were still there--wondering why Cole was acting so weirdly.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Charmed 5x07(00:22)
Symathy for the Demon WB Trailer
WB's promo
  • This is Barbas' third appearance. This is also the first time that Paige meets Barbas. Barbas is also the second evil being that all four sisters have encountered. The first being Shax.
  • Paige dies for a second time
  • This is the second instance where the sisters use a spell to astral project, they later use this spell again in "Something Wicca This Way Goes...?" and revealed that it is written by Prue. The first time a spell was used to astral project was in "Witch Way Now?", however, it was a different spell.
  • This episode shares other similarities with Season 7's "Something Wicca This Way Goes...?", in that Barbas is advised against becoming obsessed with revenge, but ignores this advice, which leads to his downfall. In the Season 7 episode, it is Zankou who becomes obsessed with revenge and is able to be vanquished as a result.
  • The WB title for this episode is The House of Fear.
  • We find out that Paige has Claustrophobia (a fear of enclosed spaces) and that Piper has arachnophobia (a fear of spiders).
  • Piper's scream when she sees a spider causes Paige to mock "Demons and Warlocks you can handle but not spiders?", this line is a call back to "Trial by Magic" where Piper used the same line when Paige reacted in fear at the sight of a rat.
  • This is the first time that Paige orbs a spilled potion onto a demon, just like Prue did in "Out of Sight" and "All Halliwell's Eve".
  • In Season 7, Barbas can throw energy balls, while in this episode he could just do that after stealing Cole's powers.
  • Phoebe reveals that she has overcome her previous fear of losing a sister, obviously a result of Prue's death in "All Hell Breaks Loose."
  • Piper has arachnophobia and she is afraid that her happiness will never last.
  • Phoebe fears that she only falls for evil beings and that she is evil, herself.
  • In this episode Paige is claustrophobic (a fear of inclosed spaces) whereas in real life Rose suffers from agoraphobia (a fear often triggered in open spaces).
  • This episode scored 4.8 million viewers.
  • This is the fourth episode with the word demon in the title.
  • At the time of this episode, both Cole and Phoebe have the same fear, that they are evil.


  • Towards the end of the episode when Barbas returns to the Manor and holds Leo, Cole, Phoebe, and Piper behind a shield, the Manor no longer has bricks around it however, when the scene goes to Barbas saying, "You're no Prue," you can clearly see in the background that the small window on the wall behind him is still bricked over.

References to other movies, books, mythology etc.Edit

  • The title of the episode is probably a reference to the song Sympathy for the Devil, the opening track of the Rolling Stones' 1968 album, "Beggars Banquet".

International TitlesEdit

  • French: La peur au ventre (Fear in the "Stomach"/Belly)
  • Czech: Pomoc pro démona (Help for the Demon)
  • Slovak: Súcit s démonom (Compassion with Demon)
  • Russian: Vozvrashcheniye Barbasa (Barbas' Return)
  • Spanish (Spain and Latin America): Simpatía por el demonio (Sympathy for the Devil)
  • Serbian: Simpatije Za Demona (Sympathy for the Demon)
  • German: Barbas (Barbas)
  • Italian: Il ritorno di Barbas (The Return of ~)

Photo GalleryEdit

Episode StillsEdit

Barbas' AttacksEdit

Screen CapsEdit

Previous Episode:
The Eyes Have It
Next Episode:
A Witch In Time
Episodes: Season 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
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