Episode 1.09 TSC – “Balcoin” or “That Old Black Magic”

If magic is a metaphor for power, then Black Magic would be a metaphor for power that corrupts.  And this is where this episode leads us, and leaves us for the season break.  Because what we learned in “Balcoin” is that Cassie is descended from a line of witches that apparently went over to the dark side, and wreaked havoc there.

We resume with Cassie looking for information about the parchment that Calvin left to her.  She asks her grandmother about it, thinking the initials J.B. on the document are hers – Jane Blake.  But there is something wrong with Jane.  Her memory is off – she tells Cassie nothing on the parchment is familiar to her and she’ll ask Henry – she’s forgotten that Henry is dead.

Cassie enlists Jake’s help with the parchment and he is able to separate it into two sheets, one of which reveals Cassie’s entire family tree – on her father’s side.  Her family traces back to Francis Balcoin.  This information seems to disturb Jake because he leaves abruptly.  Cassie later searches Blackwell on the web but can’t find any more information, which both she and Diana think is strange.

Jake meets up with Isaac and tells him that Cassie’s dark magic comes from Balcoin.  Isaac says the Balcoin line was eradicated – but Jake says it was simply hidden when the family name was changed to Blackwell.

Balcoin is at the origin of black magic.

Isaac says that this new information means killing Cassie is not an option.  The council will have to decide her fate.  The Witch Hunters will leave Chance Harbor to present the information.

When Jake says he wants to stay – to keep an eye on Cassie, Isaac asks if he has feelings for her – and Jake denies it.  What follows is a discourse that reveals Isaac as a father-figure to Jake.  His beliefs tell him that witchcraft killed Jake’s family and it will go on killing if they don’t stop it.  He tells Jake that he is on the verge of redemption – and Jake agrees to leave with them in the morning.

But as Jake leaves the meeting, the look on Isaac’s face makes it appear that he is manipulating Jake.

Back at the Armstrong house, Cassie – who has made an unsuccessful visit to Calvin’s shop – finds Jake’s behavior oddly subdued.  She invites him to the Maritime Dance and he turns her down.  When she asks why, he tells her he’s not interested. He’s blunt.  When she leaves, his anger erupts.  Jake clearly cares about Cassie.

At the Boathouse, Faye tells Adam that Jake’s behavior is weird.  Neither one of them can put a finger on it.  But they both believe Jake is up to no good.

As Cassie dresses for the dinner, Jake sees her through Nick’s bedroom window – and decides he will escort her after all.  Before he shows up at her door, Cassie talks to Jane about the Blackwell family tree, but clearly Jane is disturbed. She says she doesn’t know anything and she seems out of touch.

Jake arrives at the Blake home.  When Cassie greets him at the door, he confesses that he does feel something between them but he doesn’t know what to do about it.  He wants to take her to the dinner, if she will let him (which she does).

At the dinner, Charles compliments Jane and notices her hand shaking.  When he asks her if she is OK, she replies that she’s fine – she’s enjoying watching Amelia (while she is looking at Cassie).  Clearly, something about the spell on her is having unintended consequences.

Jake and Cassie are dancing, and it is apparent that they have feelings for each other.  And personally, my favorite part of this episode was watching Cassie looking up at Jake while they danced with her clear blue eyes smiling, and him smiling down on her with obvious affection – divine.  Adam watches wistfully from a distance.

Jake’s cell rings and he excuses himself.   Adam follows him outside, where he finds him talking to the Witch Hunters.  Isaac informs Jake he’s already spoken to the council.  They are taking Cassie with them when they leave Chance Harbor – and they are not waiting until morning. The Council wants to use Cassie’s power to their advantage – and because Isaac knows that Cassie trusts Jake, he tells him that he must bring Cassie to them tonight, straight from the dinner.

Jake is walking a fine line – he is clearly uncomfortable with Isaac’s plan, but he doesn’t want the council to know what he’s really thinking – or feeling.  He agrees to bring Cassie to the boat.  He goes right into the dinner and asks her to come with him.  They leave.

Adam, who has observed Jake’s entire conversation, goes back inside to round up the Circle.  He signals Diana – who is dancing with Melissa’s cousin, Holden – and she joins Adam, Faye and Melissa.  Cassie is not answering her cell so they go looking for her.

Meanwhile, Jake has taken Cassie back to his house, and he shows her his family’s Book of Shadows.  In it is a lot of information on the Balcoin family, and the destructive power of darkness – how it can transform someone into evil.  Jake says Cassie needs to know that her father’s lineage is from strong, dark magic – and she inherited it.  That explains her power outside the Circle.

Cassie misinterprets Jake’s intention in telling her this.  She thinks he is explaining why he’s been reluctant to get close to her.  Maybe he thinks she’s an evil monster like her ancestors.  Jake explains he trusts her with the information.  He tells her that it’s what Calvin was trying to tell her with the parchment – that having the Balcoin bloodline makes Cassie a target – others want her power.  (This echoes the warning in her mother’s note to her inside her Book of Shadows).

Jake wants her to leave with him – he says her family and friends are in danger is she doesn’t.  But Cassie insists that they are all stronger together and she could not deal with the guilt if she left and something happened to her grandmother or her friends.

Her phone goes off – it’s a text from Adam that says “Jake is a witch hunter.”  Cassie stalls Jake by telling him she has to go to her house for a few things.  Jake assures her she can trust him.

When she gets to her house, she looks across at Nick’s window – and Jake sees her.  As he wonders why she is simply standing there, Isaac appears behind her, holds a knife to her throat and uses chloroform to subdue her as Jake watches in horror.

As Isaac and other Witch Hunters put Cassie in a car, Jake follows after only to be struck in the head and knocked cold by one of the hunters.

Back at the dinner, Jane continues to appear to be confused, blaming it on too many double shifts at the hospital.  Charles and Dawn engage her and she remarks that it is nice to see Dawn taking an interest in someone other than John Blackwell – Amelia always says Dawn worships him.  Jane is having major problems staying in the present day.

Charles and Dawn bicker over Jane’s state of mind.  She was only supposed to forget what happened at the Lake House, but something is clearly going wrong.  Dawn blames Charles – naturally!

Adam and Faye discover Jake lying in the street.  When he tells them Cassie’s been taken by Witch Hunters, Adam accuses him.  “You’re a Witch Hunter.”  Jake says if they will help him save Cassie, he will leave.  Adam is suspicious, but Faye knows Jake is sincere – she knows he cares for Cassie.

Down at the dock, the Witch Hunters are loading Cassie aboard their boat – a boat made of ash wood so that witchcraft cannot penetrate.  Adam says he’s going after Cassie – Jake and Faye have to create a diversion.  As they do, Adam rescues Cassie but as they are leaving the boat, Isaac intercepts them.  He holds a knife to Adam’s throat.  But Jake comes to the rescue, letting Adam and Cassie get away.  As they run, they set the dock on fire behind them.  Unable to follow, the Hunters return to the boat.

Jake confesses to Isaac that Cassie matters to him, and Isaac says Jake is a fool.  Isaac is convinced there is no hope for someone with dark magic – while Jake insists she can fight it off.

And then Isaac drops a bomb.  Cassie Blake is not the only child of Blackwell in the Circle!!!!

Melissa and Diana join the rest of the Circle on the dock, and he watches Cassie from the boat as it pulls away from the dock and out to sea.

What We Learned

The Parents – Apparently, Melissa’s father and mother are both alive – neither one died in the fire 16 years ago.  Melissa’s Mom took her out of town, and her Dad invited her cousin Holden to help him with the Maritime Memorial gala.

Dawn Chamberlain was slavishly devoted to John Blackwell in her youth.

The Secret Circle – John Blackwell is the father of at least one other member of the Circle besides Cassie Blake.  There is definitely something between Jake and Cassie.  There may be an attraction between Diana and Holden, Melissa’s cousin.

Mythology – Jake’s family stone is Jasper. Cassie is descended from Francis Balcoin, who is at the origin of black magic.

What We Don’t Know

Why didn’t one of Melissa’s parents die in the fire?  What makes them special? Or not?

Who among the Circle shares John Blackwell as a father with Cassie?  (The obvious answer is Faye, but I’m going with Diana.  It is possible he is the father of more.)

Although it is clear he has feelings for Cassie, which side is Jake on?

Why You Should Tune In After the Hiatus

The most compelling reason is to find out what happens to Cassie – and the other offspring of John Blackwell – once they have a taste of the power of Black Magic.  The story of power and how it can turn good people bad is as old as Adam and Eve, and it makes for great drama.  So does a story about being seduced by power and overcoming the seduction.  Either way, a fight between the forces of good and evil is always entertaining and reason number one for sticking with the show.

Another reason would be to find out who John Blackwell’s other child(ren) is!  I’m betting most people think it’s Faye – both because of the subtle hint dropped by Jane Blake, and because Faye’s character provides the greatest contrast to Cassie Blake.  But my first choice is Diana – because she’s the “goody-two shoes” of the bunch, and it would be so interesting if someone as sweet as she were to have been sired by the SOB we are all thinking John Blackwell must have been.  It would also mean that Charles is not Diana’s father!  Interesting.

In the “ship” department, I’m still curious about the “written in the stars” cosmic romance of Cassie and Adam.  I want to know where that story originated and I want to see if it will play out, or will Cassie develop a true romance with Jake?

And finally, I want to know – what really happened the night of that fire?  Who died and why?

So come January, I’m tuning in and hoping to get answers to all my questions!

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