“On the Analyst’s Couch” – 4/6

Charmed416_212

Here is the fourth chapter of “On the Analyst’s Couch”:

“ON THE ANALYST’S COUCH”

Within the next four months, Piper continues to visit Dr. Linnbakker. Meanwhile, the Charmed Ones vanquish the Source, Phoebe Halliwell marries Cole Turner, unaware that he has been possessed by the Source. The Charmed Ones, due to Paige Matthews’ suspicions, eventually discover that Cole is the Source and vanquish him. Then the sisters face a new Source – the unborn child of Phoebe and Cole/the Source. After the Seer steals the baby, the Charmed Ones then vanquish the new Source, the Seer and several upper-level daemons. About three weeks after the sisters save a witch from an FBI agent/witch hunter, Paige encounters Dr. Linnbakker at the South Bay Social Service Office. She makes an appointment to visit the analyst.

———-

CASE #71231 – PAIGE MATTHEWS (MAY 28, 2002):

PAIGE: (Lies back on the maroon-colored chaise in Dr. Linnbakker’s office and glances around uneasily.) Why did I decide to come? I mean, I feel perfectly fine.

DR. LINNBAKKER: Hmm, the lady doth protests too much?

PAIGE: What are you talking about? I’m not having any problems. Lately. Well, not since we found out that Cole had gone demonic. But I wasn’t really having any problems. I just couldn’t get the others to believe me.

LINNBAKKER: Wow! For a woman who claims to be fine, you sure said a lot. Are you sure that nothing is troubling you?

PAIGE: (Scoffs aloud) Of course not! Everything’s fine. We’ve vanquished the Source, three times. Phoebe’s free from Cole. And Piper’s pregnant. Best of all, Piper and Phoebe have decided not to give up our powers.

LINNBAKKER: That was a pretty close call, wasn’t it?

PAIGE: Huh? Oh yeah.

LINNBAKKER: How is your relationship with your sisters?

PAIGE: (Sighs in frustration) Everything’s fine. Piper stopped resenting me, months ago. Thank God. And I’m not at loggerheads with Phoebe, now that Cole isn’t controlling her any longer.

LINNBAKKER: You mean the Source, right?

PAIGE: What?

LINNBAKKER: The Source. That was the Source who had Phoebe under his control. Or perhaps I should also add the Seer.

PAIGE: (Stares at the doctor) Yeah. (Pauses) Anyway, everything’s fine.

LINNBAKKER: Then why are you here?

PAIGE: What?

LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) Is there an echo in here? You seemed to be responding to my questions with monosyllables. (Pauses) Why . . . are . . . you . . . here?

PAIGE: Because you talked me into coming!

LINNBAKKER: I don’t recall convincing you. I do recall saying to you that if you want to talk, give me a call. Instead, you made an appointment. I guess you wanted to talk, after all. Or is there another reason why you’re here?

PAIGE: (Shrugs her shoulders) Okay, I wanted to talk.

LINNBAKKER: About what?

PAIGE: (Sighs) I don’t know. Everything seems anti-climatic, lately. (Pauses) I think Piper regrets not giving up her powers. See, we were visited by . . .

LINNBAKKER: (Nods) I know all about the Angel of Destiny’s visit. It’s all here in the file.

PAIGE: (Frowns) How did you get that info . . .?

LINNBAKKER: I have my sources. Whenever I request information on supernatural beings, there is this dimension I like to visit.

PAIGE: Huh. Anyway, I think Piper wishes we had taken the Angel of Destiny’s offer to become mortal. And now that she’s pregnant, she seems a little preoccupied. Sometimes . . . sometimes I think she blames me for wanting to stay a witch.

LINNBAKKER: What do you mean? I thought it was your encounter with that FBI Agent Jackman that finally changed her mind.

PAIGE: Yeah . . . but . . . I don’t know. Every time I make a comment about how glad I am to be a witch, she gives me this look.

LINNBAKKER: Hmmm. And I thought she had finally learned to “embrace” her heritage. I guess not. (Pauses) And Phoebe? How are you two getting along?

PAIGE: (Starts twirling her hair) Okay. I guess. At least she’s not hostile toward me, anymore.

LINNBAKKER: Are you referring to her wedding day?

PAIGE: (Nods) And when she got pregnant. Of course, I realize that she was under the influence of that evil spawn of hers.

LINNBAKKER: But . . .

PAIGE: I don’t know. I guess she still resents that I was right about Cole. Being evil, I mean.

LINNBAKKER: How did that happened, by the way?

PAIGE: What?

LINNBAKKER: How did Cole become the Source? Did any of you ever find out?

PAIGE: I think it had something to do with that Hollow. You see, it’s a . . .

LINNBAKKER: (Nods) I know all about the Hollow. So, because of it, he became the Source.

PAIGE: Yeah. He used the Hollow to absorb the Source’s powers.

LINNBAKKER: To save you from the Source. Yes, I know about that, as well. But wasn’t the Seer supposed to use the Hollow to take the Source’s powers away?

PAIGE: (Sarcastically) I guess she was “supposed” to do that. Maybe they had planned the whole thing – Cole and the Seer. Maybe he got tired of being a mortal and decided this was a good opportunity to become demonic again.

LINNBAKKER: Or maybe the Seer convinced him to use the Hollow in order to save you and your sisters’ lives. (Pauses) In fact, I believe that is what happened.

PAIGE: (Again, stares at the doctor) How do you know that?

LINNBAKKER: Records from my source. I have patients who happen to be of demonic nature, as well.

PAIGE: You have demons as patients?

LINNBAKKER: Yes, I do. Didn’t Piper and Leo tell you?

PAIGE: No. (Pauses) But then they never tell everything. And even if Cole had been tricked into using the Hollow, that doesn’t change the fact that he could have fought the Source’s influence.

LINNBAKKER: Phoebe could barely fight the Source’s influence. In fact, both did a better job of it than your ex-boyfriend. Remember Shane?

PAIGE: (Squirms with discomfort) Yeah, I remember him. At least he wasn’t an ex-demon.

LINNBAKKER: Well, that only made it easier for the Source to possess him. Whereas Cole . . . well, he did put up a fight. Saved your life twice, didn’t he?

PAIGE: (Sighs) Maybe.

LINNBAKKER: You didn’t like Cole, did you?

PAIGE: (Pauses) Why do you ask?

LINNBAKKER: I’m curious. Did you like him?

PAIGE: Not really.

LINNBAKKER: Why? You liked him when you two first met. After he and Phoebe saved you from Shax.

PAIGE: That was before . . .

LINNBAKKER: Yes?

PAIGE: Why are we talking about Cole?

LINNBAKKER: Why aren’t you answering my question?

PAIGE: (Huffs angrily) Okay! If you must know, I liked him before I found out he was Belthazor. You know, the demon sent to kill my sisters, two years ago.

LINNBAKKER: Let me get this straight. You liked Cole when you first met him. Even when you knew he was a half-daemon with a long past of evil. But when you found out that he was Belthazor, you began to distrust him?

PAIGE: He tried to kill my sisters, remember?

LINNBAKKER: And not even the fact that he has saved their lives on numerous occasions, and saved your life – what? Three or four times, won’t change your mind about him?

PAIGE: Look, I’m grateful for what he did, but whatever he has done when I first met him, doesn’t change what he did in the past. And like I said, how do we know that he didn’t see the Hollow as an opportunity to become demonic, again? Cole lost his powers, became the Source and nearly killed us. I mean, don’t you get it? He’ll always be evil, no matter what.

LINNBAKKER: Of course he’ll always have evil within him. And so will you. And so will Leo, Inspector Morris and your sisters. Good and evil is something we all carry within us.

PAIGE: Oh, come on Doc! I don’t exactly consider myself as evil. Or Leo and my sisters.

LINNBAKKER: Really? It’s funny. You seem unwilling to forgive Cole for his past. Have you ever wondered if anyone has forgiven you for yours?

PAIGE: (Eyes grow wide) What are you talking about?

LINNBAKKER: Must I bring up your past? Those years in high school when you drank, smoke and literally got into trouble all the time? You must have been quite a burden on your family. And according to your file (peers at Paige’s files) you managed to get a good number of your friends into trouble. Serious trouble.

PAIGE: Wait! How did you . . .? Piper told me that your files only covered the years we were witches. I’ve only been a witch for about a year.

LINNBAKKER: Yes, but thanks to your little trip into the past with Leo, the Elders were able to discover a lot about your past.

PAIGE: Okay, I was a bit of a hell raiser in school, but at least I was never a half-demon who spent over a century, killing others.

LINNBAKKER: The details may be different. And yes, you never killed anyone. But still, you caused harm for a good number of people. But since you were never a daemon, I guess you deserve redemption. Is that it?

PAIGE: Aren’t you being a little too complex?

LINNBAKKER: I don’t think so. But you seemed to have this tendency to judge others, don’t you? I shouldn’t be surprised. You are a Halliwell, after all.

PAIGE: What do you mean by that?

LINNBAKKER: Meaning, you should take a lesson from Agent Jackman. He’s a perfect example of how good intentions can lead a person down the path toward evil. And you seemed to have that same self-righteousness and unforgiving nature. You’re a smart young woman, Paige. And you have what it takes to be a talented witch. But if I were you, I’d get rid of that rigid view of good and evil, before it causes you any harm.

PAIGE: (Stares at the doctor) What do you mean, rigid? A person is either good or evil.

LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) Have you been listening to a word I said? What did I say? That everyone carries both good and evil within him or her. Life is not that simple, Paige. It’s not a fairy tale. Not even in the supernatural world.

PAIGE: Yeah, but . . . I don’t recall any warlocks or demons with a good side.

LINNBAKKER: Of course you have. I believe his name was Belthazor. Come to think of it, your sisters have, as well. Especially Prue. I believe she once became acquainted with a powerful half-daemon named Brendan Rowe. Only your sisters believed that he was part-warlock. (Murmurs) If such a thing exists. Has Piper or Phoebe told you about the Rowe Coven?

PAIGE: (Shakes her head) No.

LINNBAKKER: The Rowe brothers were three of the most powerful part-daemons in existence. Well . . . they were not completely part-human. The two older brothers had some human ancestry within them. But the youngest, Brendan, was purely half-human, half-daemon. Like Belthazor. He was more powerful than them, individually. But together, they were more powerful than him. They were the evil counterparts of the Charmed Ones. The youngest, Brendan, did not want to become part of their coven. He wanted to be a priest. Prue tried to help him, despite Piper and Phoebe’s protests, pressure from his two older brothers, and his attempt to kill Prue. But do you know who eventually destroyed the coven?

PAIGE: (Sarcastically) Obviously not.

LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) Sorry. Of course you don’t. It was the middle brother, Peter. The irony of the whole thing is that Peter, who possessed less mortal ancestry than Brendan, could not stand by and watch older brother Greg, kill his baby brother. So, Peter threw himself in front of a knife that Greg had thrown at Brendan. And before he could die, killed Greg with the same knife. The odd thing is that he threw himself in front of Peter, to protect him. Out of brotherly love. Now does that sound like a daemon with no good side?

PAIGE: (Pauses) No. (Another pause) What happened to Brendan?

LINNBAKKER: Brendan gave up his powers to become a priest. So you see, even daemons and warlocks are conflicted. Evil as the Seer was, she was a firm believer in following the rules. Maintaining the balance between good and evil. Her problem was that she saw an opportunity for personal power in the Source’s Realm. And she used Phoebe, Cole and even the Source to achieve her goal.

PAIGE: (Sighs) Look, it’s a nice story. And maybe you’re right about good and evil within all of us. And maybe Cole was also being manipulated. But that doesn’t . . .

LINNBAKKER: Doesn’t what?

PAIGE: It doesn’t change the fact that Cole was the very demon who tried to kill my sisters. It’s just . . . I mean, I nearly lost them before I had the chance to get to know them. At least Piper and Phoebe.

LINNBAKKER: (Stares at Paige) Family is very important to you, isn’t it?

PAIGE: Of course, it is. Don’t you think that family is important?

LINNBAKKER: Sure. But you seem to take its importance to new heights.

PAIGE: Look, if you’re going to get into some psychobabble about some obsession I have about my family, you’re wrong. Just because I was adopted at birth, had problems with my step-parents before they . . . before they were killed, and spent a year looking for my real family . . .

LINNBAKKER: Don’t take this the wrong way, but all you’ve done is confirmed any psychobabble I might have told you. (Pauses) May I ask you something? After all that has happened this past year, why were you so willing to continue as a witch?

PAIGE: Being a witch is my destiny, isn’t it? My duty. I . . .

LINNBAKKER: Spare me the textbook answer, okay? When you first discovered that you were part-witch, part-whitelighter, you weren’t that enthusiastic. What changed your mind?

PAIGE: A year ago, Phoebe and especially Piper were treating me as a necessary addition to the Charmed Ones, instead of a sister.

LINNBAKKER: Okay. But why were you so willing to remain a witch, earlier this month?

PAIGE: (Pauses) I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself.

LINNBAKKER: Nice try. But I want a real answer.

PAIGE: You tell me.

LINNBAKKER: Answer this. Does being a witch satisfy your desire to help others?

PAIGE: To help . . . Is there something wrong with helping others?

LINNBAKKER: No. But you’ve raised helping others to a fine art. Even before you became a Charmed One. Why else would you end up working at a social services office?

PAIGE: This is ridiculous! Are you saying that it’s a crime to help others?

LINNBAKKER: Good grief, Paige! It’s not your desire to help others that is the problem. It’s that your desire borders on ruthlessness. You seemed to be obsessed with protecting the innocent. And this desire has blinded you to the fact that the universe – mortal and supernatural – is not filled with those who are one-dimensionally good or evil. And it’s made you judgmental. (Pauses) Does this desire to help others have anything to do with your step-parents?

PAIGE: What?

LINNBAKKER: (Gently) Are you so determined to help others, because you blamed yourself for your step-parents’ deaths?

PAIGE: (Stares at the doctor, before slipping off the chaise) I’m out of here. (Walks toward the door)

LINNBAKKER: Well, I was right about one thing. You certainly are a Halliwell.

PAIGE: (Pauses near the door) As far as I’m concerned, that’s something to be proud of.

LINNBAKKER: Perhaps. Then again, being a Halliwell can also be a detriment.

(Paige walks out of the office.)

END OF CASE #71231

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