”NOT MEANT TO BE”
Fans on several ”CHARMED have stated that Phoebe’s relationship with Cole would have never worked out. That it was not meant to be. Frankly, I find such comments to be a by-product of some very narrow-minded thinking. Apparently, Phoebe and Cole’s relationship was doomed, because of what they were – namely a witch and a human/demon hybrid.
The fact that the Halliwells had never learned the truth about Cole being possessed is the main reason I have harbored a negative view of the Phoebe/Cole breakup in the first place. Quite frankly, it had been poorly handled. And I have acquired this feeling over the years that Kern and his writers had insulted the viewers' intelligence. If Cole and Phoebe had come to some understanding over what really happened in late Season 4 and still remained apart . . . I would have accepted it. But the writers allowed Phoebe to push Cole away without her ever learning the truth about what really happened. Even worse, her pushing Cole away came on the heels of the Charmed Ones killing him without learning the truth.
It all boiled down to the problem regarding the ending of the Source's arc and Cole's eventual departure. In the Season 4 episodes, ”Charmed and Dangerous” and “The Three Faces of Phoebe”, the writers took the trouble to establish that Cole became the Source against his will. But instead of allowing the Halliwells to find out, Kern allowed the sisters to kill him without even learning the truth what really happened. And when he returned from the Wasteland around the beginning of Season 5, the writers still failed to allow the Halliwells to learn the truth. Even worse, they tried to convince the audience that Cole had deliberately accepted evil and wanted to be the Source. All so that we can accept that it was okay for Phoebe to push him away. They capped this in the ridiculous conversation between Piper and Cole in Season 7's "The Seven Year Witch". In this episode, they had Cole admit to Piper that he had deliberately wanted to be the Source. They even had him admit that he had deliberately tried to get Phoebe pregnant. Well, this was false. All one has to do is watch the late Season 4 episode, ”The Fifth Halliwell”, or read the episode’s transcript to realize this.
I agree that if it seemed that a relationship was not going to work, then that that relationship should end. But . . . Kern and his writers tried to change canon around so that he could break up Phoebe and Cole in a way that would leave the audience sympathetic toward her. Unfortunately for Kern, he handled the situation with poor writing and a great deal of inconsistency.
Why should I accept that Phoebe was right to break up with Cole, when Kern tried to reverse what really happened to Cole in late Season 4? Why should I accept that Cole was basically no good, because he would always revert to evil . . . when the Halliwells ended up committing some of their worst acts following Cole's departure - the theft of Darryl's soul, Rick Gittridge's murder and the deal with the Avatars to rob humanity of its free will in order to form Utopia? What made it worse was that the writers either dismissed their acts or tried to pretend that what they had done was not wrong. In my eyes, it was hypocrisy of the worst kind. If there is one thing I dislike more than anything, it is hypocrisy. I also dislike someone insulting my intelligence. And Kern's handling of the Phoebe/Cole breakup not only seemed hypocritical, it insulted my intelligence.