To do so, Cole was set up as an assistant district attorney in San Francisco. Hamilton, it turns out, is an upper-level demon who is assigning Guardians to criminals. Cole only pretends to freeze; in the midst of the ensuing struggle he shimmers to Hamilton's chambers and kills him by sending him up in flames. Within the next few months, Cole becomes very close to Phoebe, and they begin dating. Cole had done extensive research on the Charmed Ones, and he set his sights on Phoebe because he believed that, as the youngest sister, she was the most vulnerable.
The Triad promised to give him his father's soul if successful. The Triad and the Source believed that since Cole was half-human, he could get closer to the sisters than a full-blooded demon could. To do so, Cole was set up as an assistant district attorney in San Francisco. Cole first meets the Halliwell sisters in the year when he investigates the attack on the sisters' friend Darryl Morris. The sisters witnessed the attack and foiled the assailant, Emilio Smith, who was possessed by a Guardian demon in a plan to spread evil in the San Francisco area.
When he arrives there, the youngest Charmed One, Phoebe Halliwell, is immediately taken with him. Cole calls the sisters in as witnesses for the man's trial, but the judge, William Hamilton, acquits him. Hamilton, it turns out, is an upper-level demon who is assigning Guardians to criminals.
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At Emilio's next arraignment, Piper freezes the innocents in hopes of smoking out whoever is assigning the demons. Cole only pretends to freeze; in the midst of the ensuing struggle he shimmers to Hamilton's chambers and kills him by sending him up in flames. Within the next few months, Cole becomes very close to Phoebe, and they begin dating. Cole had done extensive research on the Charmed Ones, and he set his sights on Phoebe because he believed that, as the youngest sister, she was the most vulnerable. Cole first strikes against the sisters when he gets word that Piper and Leo are planning to marry, despite the Elders' vehement opposition to allowing the wedding.
He alerts the Triad, who, in turn, alert the Elders. This doesn't appear to make sense at first, but it turned out both the Triad and the Elders feared that if a Whitelighter were allowed to marry a Charmed One, the concentration of power would be massive enough to irreparably damage the Grand Design. Later, he makes two attempts to steal the Charmed Ones' Book of Shadows. After his first few attempts to assassinate Phoebe and her sisters, he starts protecting them against other demons so that his assignment can continue.
Eventually, his human half falls deeply in love with Phoebe. His growing love for Phoebe soon overwhelms his demonic nature; demons can't handle human emotions.
Eventually he stands up for the sisters and protects them, even though they do not know that Cole and Belthazor are the same person. Under pressure from the Triad, Cole employs the assistance of Andras, the demon of rage, to turn the sisters against each other and strip them of their powers. A distraught Phoebe then goes to Cole's apartment. Cole slips an athame into his pants, intending to kill Phoebe, but can't bring himself to do it.
Andras is watching, and threatens to rat him out to the Triad.
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When Cole threatens to kill him, Andras angers him enough to cause him to turn into Belthazor, then possesses him and forces him to attack the sisters. However, Prue deflected an energy ball back at Belthazor, ejecting Andras. Belthazor then vanquishes Andras, but Piper manages to gash off part of his flesh so she and her sisters can create a vanquishing potion. The Triad attempts to kill Cole for his treason, but Cole turns on them, killing them before fleeing back to his apartment to recuperate.
When Phoebe goes to see Cole at his apartment, she finds that Cole is wounded and calls Leo to heal him. Leo tries to heal him but realizes that something is terribly wrong when he finds that he can't heal all of him, only his human half. He warns Phoebe that Cole is at least part-demon, and might very well be Belthazor. Phoebe doesn't believe him at first, but grows more suspicious while searching Cole's apartment.
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When Prue and Piper, who are working with Krell, break in to Cole's apartment, Cole transforms into Belthazor, grabs Phoebe, and shimmers to the mausoleum, proclaiming his love for her. He tells her that being with her reawakened his human half; over the years he'd forgotten what it meant to be human. With the help of Paige and her power stripping potion, it works and Cole's powers go into Barbas, reviving him and making him invincible.
With Cole powerless, Paige and Piper consider him an innocent but Phoebe still behaves coldly towards him. Cole hoped to start his life anew, but in order to stop Barbas, Cole is forced to take his powers back which he only does to protect Phoebe and he vanquishes Barbas with an energy ball. After Phoebe saves her new boyfriend Miles from the Angel of Death , the warlock Bacarra comes back in time from six months into the future to tell Cole that Phoebe dies saving the man.
Bacarra also informs Cole that in the future, he becomes leader of the Underworld again. Cole doesn't believe him and instead tries to protect Miles and Phoebe secretly. After many months of loneliness, Cole goes insane due to the weight of the powers he has absorbed and Phoebe's constant rejection of him. He is determined not to be evil, but is now convinced the Charmed Ones will never accept him as good no matter what he does, leading to him killing two murderers with his powers without remorse, telling them that it felt natural to do so.
In the midst of his despair, he tries to provoke the Charmed Ones into killing him by sending a Tracker to kill Leo, Paige and Piper's half-Whitelighter baby though the baby is saved due to its ability to protect Piper even in the womb.
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However, just as the Tracker is about to kill Sam, Cole kills the Tracker instead—he wanted Sam alive so he could heal Paige, believing that his massive powers meant only the Power of Three could put him out of his misery. As Cole expects, the Charmed Ones storm the penthouse, intent on vanquishing him once and for all with three of their most powerful potions. However, Phoebe sees through the game after Piper and Paige throw their potions, and isn't willing to help Cole commit suicide. Cole flings Phoebe's potion at himself, only to discover he is now invincible ; not even the Power of Three can kill him.
Shortly into , Phoebe is kidnapped by Jeric , an ancient Egyptian demon who wants to use her body as a host for the spirit of his lover, an evil witch named Isis. Unable to find her, Piper and Paige turn to Cole for help, even when they witness him making several attempts to kill himself. However, Cole instead works hand in glove with Jeric so they can both get their lovers back. Phoebe's body is breaking down from the weight of having two souls in it, and Cole offers to transfer Isis' soul into Paige's body, in exchange for having Jeric mummify Phoebe until he can figure out how to make her love him again.
Cole tells Piper that she can only save one of her sisters. Isis is the only person who knows how to demummify a body.
However, Paige's body is breaking down, and Isis won't revive Phoebe unless Paige's soul is expelled. Piper turns the tables on Cole and Jeric when she casts a spell that sends Isis into the afterlife rather than Paige. Having learned the necessary spell from Isis, Paige revives Phoebe. Piper vanquishes Jeric and Cole understands he lost this time.
When Phoebe asks what's happened to him, he tells her that he's "gone mad," and leaves. A disillusioned Phoebe realizes that Cole has succumbed to evil again, just as she feared. Gradually, Cole's obsession with Phoebe consumes him, and he vows to get her back at all costs. He even goes as far as to stir up legal difficulties for the Charmed Ones in hopes of tricking them into giving up the manor. His plan is to get the Nexus underneath the Manor, intending to use its power to not only turn Phoebe evil, but reorganize the underworld under his leadership and take control of the city. All this accomplishes is to make Phoebe hate him with a passion.
When Cole manages to briefly get control of the manor, Phoebe bluffs her way into the basement and banishes the Woogyman just as Cole is taking him in.
She then tells Cole to his face that she no longer felt anything for him, that she was officially free—and she won't feel a thing when they finally figure out how to vanquish him. In late , Cole was approached by the Avatars , powerful beings that are neither good nor evil, about joining them. He refused at first, but changed his mind in , believing their ability to warp the fabric of reality offered him one final chance to win back Phoebe. Cole then uses his newly minted powers to alter reality so that Shax killed Paige in , before Piper and Phoebe ever realized she existed.
Cole believes Paige was responsible for turning Phoebe against him. Alpha , the leader of the Avatars, warns him this spell is foolish, but Cole refuses to join with the Avatars until he sees this through.