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We All Scream for Ice Cream (2001)

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  Summary  

The sisters trace a mysterious ice cream van which they stop in mid-act seemingly abducting a girl child of about eight years. After Prue can't get a song out of her head at the P3 club, the next day she wakes up having a nightmare from her suppressed childhood memories showing a frozen playground complete with loud screams. At breakfast, the girls hear their father may have been seen in town, but Prue makes it bitterly plain she really would still rather not see him. In an elevator downtown, Prue hears a child humming the tune she can't get out of her head but cannot ask about it before the girl gets off. Piper visits the office building where her dad was reported, and mistakes a stranger from behind mistaking him for Victor whom she has gone to search out. Meanwhile, Prue and Phoebe are sitting in an office park courtyard still downtown during Prue's lunch hour, discussing Prue's issues with their Dad, when she hears a little girl humming the tune and asks her what it is. The little girl points and scampers off as an Ice Cream Truck pulls up to the curb nearby. Noticing there are no parents reacting to the little girl and that it is quite cold, they follow the child. Prue says there's something wrong with all this, and Phoebe misunderstands and asks if they can talk it over standing still as Prue goes down the steps toward the truck. "No I'm not talking about all this, but I'm getting a serious déjà vu feeling here." Turning past the end of the Ice Cream Truck the see the little girl whose feet are sticking, wiggling to get away, out of the truck's serving window, and they grab on and pull before she disappears. When Prue, the little girl and Phoebe fall down in their rescue, a moment later all three are sucked into the truck by a magical vortex triggered by its driver as he sticks his head out and asks, "Who the hell are you?" They find they have been transported into a nightmarish alternate dimension by a seemingly evil ice cream man, that there powers don't work, and then soon after the little girl who entered with them is captured by the Nothing as they all try to hide, Prue and Phoebe being helped by a boy somewhat older than the girl. Meanwhile, Piper is going crazy making phone calls looking for them, when she is approach by and has a very strange conversation with a man who identified himself as Caleb. Sitting on a playground swing, Phoebe has a premonition back in time, of Prue as a little girl on one of the swings with her father, Victor. Chasing after the good humor man, Prue and Phoebe spot the way out at the top of the slide, and help three kids escape. The good humor man interferes too late, reaching the street as the last boy does, where the lad turns the hands of the man grabbing him to stop his escape into painfully red mitts of pustules from elbow to finger tips causing him to scream, the boy to laugh and give him a shove backwards back into the Ice Cream Truck, where he slams the door. The sisters try to go back in after him, but can't open the door Leo assures Piper that the two (whom he can't sense or contact) are alright, and they will probably walk through the door any minute with a perfectly logical explanation. Checking the Book of Shadows, they learn of the Ice Cream truck and the nothing and feel that the girls having mistakenly helped demons and endangered innocents indirectly they need to do something about the demons the helped escape. They decide they need to enlist the help of their estranged father to undo their fatal mistake, and find out that he's been living back in the city for three months and Phoebe has been in contact with him throughout. Stressed out about things in general, Caleb comes into P3 and starts to introduce himself to the other sisters and Piper almost blows a gasket. Leo takes him aside, claiming he'd gotten a phone call in the office, and Victor enters the bar. Prue is curt to the point of utter rudeness, and Piper is awfully cool herself, just sitting looking at him as he and Prue squabble, and spar. "Tell us about the Play ground," Prue Demands, to which Phoebe adds, "Daddy, we know you were there, I saw you in my premonition." Victor gives in. "Okay, it was the last thing I ever did as your father," Victor says looking right at Prue. "You were home with a cold, and must have been about six." He relates her mom had some errands to run so he read her to sleep, then he tended the other kids. Prue woke up, must have heard the trucks music coming down for water or something, and looking out saw a boy about the same age being pulled into the truck. Prue ran out to help him. Victor found the door wide open, Prue's bed empty and the back door of the Ice Cream truck open, so he entered it too. He further relates how he and Grams then had a difference over wanting them to use their powers, and that he was just a man, so how could he protect them without any. "I'd just brought Prue back again, but that wasn't good enough. After all I was just the father, how could I protect you all. So with your Mom dead, I left too." Meantime, the three demon children have killed the operator of an Ice Cream Truck, but the one is castigating the younger for having mistaken the wrong truck, which it becomes plain, they very much desire to destroy to eliminate the threat going forward. The girls conclude they need Victor to enter the truck, since he's mortal. Visiting the spot they'd last seen it they found it missing, and get attacked by the three demon Children. Victor figures out the obvious—it's been towed for being abandoned in a no parking zone. At the impound yard, Victor initially can't open the door. Prue gives him some advice about clearing his mind, and he successfully gains entry with Prue. They find the Ice Cream man who is badly wounded and he insists they take an artifact needed to fix the truck so it can again play the proper tune. Making their way toward the exit, the Nothing occurs and the Ice Cream Man gives himself up to it, saying "I can be replaced, you can't." Prue agonizes over his loss, and Victor moves her towards the exit. "You didn't fail. The only way you fail is if you don't get back and do what he asked." Out in the impound yard, the Demon kids have now also found the truck they've been searching for so they can destroy it. They enter a running battle with Prue and Phoebe, reinforced by three other slightly older demon adolescents. Things are looking bad and Victor has to hold on to Prue strenuously as the Nothing's cone of wind almost pulls her off the slide at the exit. Prue's appearance on the battlefield tips the tables and Victor replaces the sound device, causing a total route of the demon kids when the truck begins playing again, and they get sucked inside. Leo shows up at the impound yard with Caleb in tow and explains he'd just been trying to be sure of his identification before asking for help.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Charmed (season 3)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.