Episode 1.04 TSC – “Heather”

This episode opens in Nick’s bedroom – with Melissa and Nick – again.  This relationship seems to be developing.  I think that’s fitting because Nick and Melissa are clearly the most emotionally vulnerable characters in the Circle.  As Faye has said, because he lost both his parents, Nick is “double damaged”.

And because Melissa is also damaged, Faye is trying to protect her.  Faye is growing on me.  Very much like another supernatural character I love, underneath that outward snark of hers, she really does care about people. She doesn’t want Melissa to get too close to Nick because she is afraid Melissa will be hurt.  Melissa sees herself as a loser too, so Faye apologizes to Melissa – just before pointing out that Nick is outside with another girl.

Faye is sincerely trying to keep Melissa from being hurt – but Melissa is more interested in being loved by this boy – perhaps any boy – than in listening to her friends.  This is a familiar dynamic.  Girls at this age are often quite willing to push their girlfriends out of their lives in order to get the attention they crave from some boy so they will feel loved –perhaps because no one has ever made them feel that way.

Melissa projects her feelings of inadequacy onto Nick.  Later, she shows up at Nick’s and apologizes, saying she has no right to be jealous.  Things appear to be OK between them.

Meanwhile, Cassie is trying to figure out what she can about Heather.  Turns out Heather has a brother and he lives close by in an old, creepy fishing village.  Cassie enlists Adam to help her find Mr. Barnes. He lives in the village in its creepiest house.

And, surprise, so does Heather.  Her brother explains Heather hasn’t moved in 16 years – but suddenly, she becomes animated and grabs Cassie.   And won’t let go.   Her brother notices she grabbed Cassie’s arm – not his and not Adam’s.  And just like that, Heather is catatonic again.

Cassie sees a strange scar on Heather’s wrist.  She tells Mr. Barnes she wishes there was something she could do to help.  And she and Adam leave.

But Cassie is not through – she is not satisfied.  She’s feeling guilty by association – is her mother responsible for Heather’s current state – and if so, how could she do that to her friend?  But if she did it, perhaps there is something Cassie can do to help.

She’s seen the scar in her Book of Shadows.

So she takes Adam back to her grandmother’s house and she shows Adams her book of Shadows.   Adam tells her that Diana’s book is the only one they’ve ever seen.  Now that he’s seen Cassie’s book – which is completely different – he wants to look further.

Cassie shows him that there is a symbol in the book – just like the one on Heather’s arm.  And there is a suppression spell in Amelia’s handwriting.  Cassie wants to undo the spell – to make Heather better and to learn about the fire.

In order to do the spell, they need Cassie’s blood.  Adam pricks her finger and he lets Cassie’s blood drip into a bottle.

A bloody spell – a moment of intimacy between Cassie and Adam – and in walks Diana.

The look on Diana’s face when she finds out that Cassie has her own Book of Shadows is a look of controlled jealousy (and major kudos to Shelley Hennig.)   Not because Cassie is caught in yet another intimate moment with the love of Diana’s life, but because Cassie has her own Book of Shadows – meaning Diana is no longer all powerful.  She will have to share.

But she won’t.  She tells Cassie it is too dangerous – they don’t know enough.  “You can’t do the spell by yourself, and we can’t help you. Maybe when we understand more.  Adam?” And the two of them leave, Adam reluctantly.

This is a pivotal moment in the show.  It brings to mind what Amelia told Cassie in her book:

“Be careful who you trust –even people who call themselves your friends.”

It may be jealousy, but it may also be about power and control.  And this is what makes Diana the most interesting character in the younger generation Circle.  In each episode, Diana appears to behave in a very rational, pleasant way.  But for me, there is always this undertone that there is more to her than meets the eye.

I think Diana went to the Vito Corleone School of Relationships – you know, the one where they teach you “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”.  I think all this stuff about really wanting to be friends with Cassie is not sincere.  I’m not so sure she’s all that in love with Adam either.

Diana won’t help – but Faye would LOVE to.  As long as she gets to read Cassie’s Book of Shadows.  And Cassie, who needs the help of another member of the circle, agrees.

Soon they go back to Heather’s house.  Brother Barnes leaves and they chant to try to undo the spell.  It doesn’t appear to work and brother comes home, so the girls scamper away.

But something must have worked, because the next thing that happens is Heather achieving consciousness and throwing her brother through a wall, before she leaves her house for the first time in 16 years.

Back at Cassie’s house, Faye is devouring Cassie’s Book of Shadows, much to Cassie’s dismay.

Meanwhile, Diana explains to Adam why she didn’t want Cassie to use the spells in her Book of Shadows.  Seems Diana’s book has the symbol too, but hers explains much more than Cassie’s book.  The snakes and insects around the symbol indicate that they are vessels for dark power – black magic power.   The symbol is meant to mark the “victim” and keep the evil spirit bound up inside it.  Undoing the spell can let it loose.

Suppression spell = binding the evil spirit.  Uh oh.

And again, this is what makes Diana interesting.  Was that a look of jealousy on her face when she came upon Cassie, Adam and Cassie’s book?  Or was it just that she had information in her book that no one else had?  But she didn’t reveal that in front of Cassie.  Only later did she divulge it to Adam.

If Diana has shared her Book of Shadows freely with all the members of the circle, especially Adam (who recognized that Cassie’s book was completely different from Diana’s) why didn’t Adam recognize that symbol himself when he saw it in Cassie’s book?

How close a look has he actually had to Diana’s book.  And if it’s not very close, why not?  How is it that Diana doesn’t trust the person she’s loved “all her life” enough to share all the details of her book with him?

Heather now shows up at Cassie’s home looking for Amelia.  Heather is devastated that Amelia is dead.  She tells Cassie that Amelia tried to save all of them on the night of the fire – and it was also the night she wanted to leave town with Cassie.

But Evil went inside Heather.  It is still there and it hurts.  Amelia made the pain go away (by putting her in a catatonic state.)  Heather then collapses in pain on the floor.

Adam calls Cassie and Faye answers – Diana immediately wants to know why Faye is at Cassie’s house.  There is that Diana radar – she is immediately suspicious of Faye being along with Cassie – and Cassie’s Book of Shadows.

Heather tells Cassie that 16 years ago, she went to the boat house to find Amelia.  Wherever there are witches, evil follows.  All the 2nd Generation Witches has been summoned to the boathouse, because “they” (demons) were trying to use their power.   Amelia couldn’t stop them all and one of them got inside Heather.

Suddenly Heather is demon-possessed. She knocks Cassie out – and in walks Faye.  Now Heather is after Faye, and Adam and Diana can hear it all – over the phone.

Heather flies (I mean literally flies) up the stairs and breaks in to Cassie’s bedroom.  Melissa, in an embrace with Nick, can see Faye frantically trying to break open Cassie’s window.  They race to her aid.

Faye is in the fight of her life, but Cassie has regained consciousness and enters the bedroom, cracks Heather with the fire poker, and together she and Faye run.  This time Heather jumps from the balcony and lands on the first floor like a cat.  The girls run, and Heather turns off all the house lights.

Enter Nick (my hero), who protects Cassie from eminent attack. Heather – sensing she is outnumbered, runs out of the house, right past her brother, who has followed her (how’d he know where she went?) and into the street.  When he finally gets her attention, she turns and is hit by a car and killed instantly.

The demon (in the form of this snake) leaves Heather’s now dead body through a wound in her arm – and attaches itself to a backpack – Nick’s backpack! (Why he felt he needed his backpack to save his friend/neighbor is beyond me.)

Heather’s brother remarks at least she’s at peace.  Faye wants to give Melissa a ride home but it’s clear she’s staying with Nick.

Adam, who drove Diana home, returns to Cassie’s house to help her clean up.  He tells her he thinks their lives depend on knowing what happened 16 years ago.  Demons are after them, and what’s out there is a lot bigger than any of them ever thought.

I am not sure Diana would agree.

And the episode, which opened with Nick and Melissa in Nick’s bedroom, closes the same way. Nick tells Melissa he’s never going to change – that he will disappoint her – and that she deserves better.  (Oh, how I have underestimated this young man!)

The Demon, who found its way into Nick’s backpack, crawls across a sleeping Nick and winds up inside Melissa’s head.  Because – I believe – she’s the one of the circle with the least self-esteem –which makes her the most controllable.

I get the feeling this is exactly what the middle generation members – Dawn and Charles – were banking on.

The question is…why?

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