“Destiny is not easy to run from.” Amelia Blake
An encounter with another car on her way home leaves Cassie Blake with a flat tire. While she is changing it, her mother is being attacked, and killed, by the person driving the car that ran her off the road.
The driver emerges. Using water and fire, he creates mayhem in the Blake home. Multiple matches cast at the house (in a gesture highly reminiscent of another bad guy launching a handful of coins at a tempered glass picture window to create his own mayhem in another CW series) and there is an explosion.
So the opening scene of “The Secret Circle” is a supernatural murder. Fasten your seat belts!
A month later, Cassie has arrived in Chance Harbor to live with her grandmother at 321 Crowhaven Lane. The anxiety of facing a new home, a new school, a new life, is written all over her face, despite the warm welcome of her grandmother. It’s clear she is now an orphan.
Cassie appears to know absolutely nothing about her mother’s life in Chance Harbor. Grandma claims that after Cassie’s father’s death – in an accident – life was too hard for her Mom in Chance Harbor, so she left – and apparently she never looked back.
As Cassie dresses for bed, she catches sight of the “cute guy next door” – and promptly closes the curtains on his smiling face. Her reflection in the mirror shows the curtains are open again behind her.
What’s up with that?
Cassie is not ready to face her new life. Her grandmother tells her that her mother used to count the stars. Lights off, Cassie sees the starry night on the ceiling of her bedroom. But she can’t resist checking the pictures of her Mom on her cell phone. Her loss is so recent, and it still hurts.
The next day, she meets Principal Chamberlain, who apparently has lived in Chance Harbor all her life, because she knew Cassie’s Mom. She tells Cassie her Mom was special. The Principal seems nice enough – for a principal, that is.
There are two cute boys in the hall, and they are talking about Cassie. One is “cute guy next door”. They seem to know about her.
But how? And why?
Two cute girls arrive as Cassie is attempting to open her locker. They do not introduce themselves, and one of them is rather snarky, and tells Cassie to try her lock again – and it magically opens this time.
Cute girl # 3 appears, but this one introduces herself and is really rather friendly. Diana welcomes Cassie and tells her everyone hangs at “The Boat House” after school.
So once school is out, Cassie stops at The Boat House and meets a man who recognizes her as Amelia’s daughter – because she looks like her Mom. This nice man confesses he loved her Mom. When Cassie asks how her Dad felt about that, the man, taking a shot of booze, tells her that her Dad didn’t like it. But he had nothing to fear because Amelia chose him.
However, he says, their family ties are written in the stars. Cute boy # 2 shows up and admonishes the man – his Dad – who is apparently breaking a rule about no drinking before the evening. Cute boy # 2 is Adam, and he tells Cassie to sit anywhere. His Dad owns the place and he will be right with her.
Cute girls #1 and #2 suddenly take a seat in the booth with Cassie. Cute Girl # 1 – Snarky Bitch (yes, that is Bitch with a capital B) introduces herself as Faye Chamberlain. Her Mom’s the principal, and can be a bitch.
Must run in the family!
Cute girl #2 is Melissa. She’s nicer.
That doesn’t seem to matter. Cassie’s had enough of Faye’s snark and she leaves. But Faye can’t wait to find out if she has “power”. So once Cassie is in her car, Faye locks her in and starts a fire. While Faye waits for Cassie to use her powers to put the fire out, Melissa tells Faye she doesn’t think Cassie even knows she’s got power.
Adam to the rescue. He puts the fire out just like Faye started it – with his mind!
Who the hell are these people?
As Adam comforts Cassie and tries to calm her down, Diana arrives and quickly discerns what’s happened. She instructs Adam to take Cassie home so she doesn’t have to call her grandmother – and she tells Cassie it’s OK – Adam is her boyfriend. The look on Cassie’s face when Adam and Diana kiss is clearly disappointment.
Cassie is not buying the rational explanation that Adam is trying to sell her. But she likes Adam, and he clearly likes her, so she doesn’t press too much. Adam tells her that he and Diana have been dating for 3 years. Adam then tries to explain his Dad’s behavior away, but Cassie’s not buying that either – she thinks Adam’s Dad is sweet.
Later that evening, Diana arrives at Faye’s house. There is clearly a power struggle going on between these two. There’s talk about “The Circle” and “power”, and while Diana is the leader, Faye is challenging her.
But what is Diana the leader of?
The following day, out looking for her grandmother, Cassie runs into….HIM! “Mr. Water and Fire.” He’s Charles Meade, and he’s DIANA’S FATHER. Gulp! He seems nice enough to Cassie now, but we know he’s a murderer.
Meanwhile, Grandma has met up with Principal Chamberlain and is quite concerned about the “children practicing”. She reminds the Principal of “what happened before” but the principal assures her that if something were going on, she’d know. After all, she sees these kids every day. Grandma does not look totally convinced.
Diana tells Cassie that she thinks she can help her make sense of this new place and new people. Cassie follows her to an old, abandoned house. Diana tells her not to worry, and once inside, Cassie finds the others – Adam, Faye, Melissa, and Nick (“cute guy next door”).
Cassie demands an explanation, but Diana fumbles. So Faye just blurts it out.
“You are a witch, we all are. There. Done.”
Cassie is clearly shocked, and she thinks they are all nuts.
Adam says that their ancestry, and the legacy that goes with it, goes all the way back to 1692. Melissa says Cassie is a witch, just like her mother, and her mother’s mother. Diana says each family has a journal which shows the family history and contains spells. She was the first one to find her family’s journal – and this is apparently why she is the de facto leader of the group.
A complete “circle” is 6 – one member from each of the original families. Up until now, they’ve only been able to cast silly spells, like opening locks and curtains. Cassie coming to Chance Harbor completes their circle. Their power is now magnified, but to use it safely, they need to bind it in a ritual.
But no one can know about them – they must keep their Circle a secret!
Cassie is freaking out. As the new kid, she was likely expecting the usual peer pressure and cliques – but this? This is worse than anything she might have imagined! In fact, she is quite sure it’s crazy. They’re all crazy. And she wants no part of this group. She runs out.
Adam runs out after her. He approaches her cautiously, explaining she is not the only one who’s lost a parent – they all have. Something happened years ago and each member of the circle lost either their mother or their father. The remaining parents don’t talk about it.
No wonder his Dad drinks!
Adam insists they have power, but Cassie does still not believe any of it, so he offers to show her. Taking a dew-soaked leaf from the ground, he instructs her to hold it in her hand and say “A drop of water, as light as air.” And repeat it. But nothing happens.
So Adam clasps Cassie’s hand with his own. He tells her that what she’s feeling is their combined energy. With their eyes closed, they both repeat “A drop of water, as light as air…a drop of water, as light as air…a drop of water, as light as air…” and suddenly and magically, the drop ascends.
Adam opens his eyes and smiles, Cassie opens her eyes and they widen, as she takes in the surroundings. There are water drops suspended in the air all around them. Adam is not doing this – they are doing it together. It is the joining of their power that has produced this magical experience.
Nothing like this has ever happened before. And for a moment, Adam forgets Diana and draws closer to Cassie with a desire to kiss her.
But something in Cassie holds back, breaking the spell, and as she removes her hands from Adam’s, the drops all fall to the ground, and Cassie runs away.
Later, as Adam tries to explain his actions to Diana, she looks hurt and confused as she says “You did magic with her?” Adam responds with “I lost control…of the magic.”
Diana insists that they have to do the binding ritual soon – but it sounds as if she wants to do it not because she wants to control their power, but because she is concerned about Adam making magic with someone other than her.
Faye taunts her…”They made magic together”. A high school group fraught with double entendre. The horror!
Faye also makes it clear she has no intention of controlling her new found power. And she goes right out to demonstrate just how serious she is.
Cassie, meanwhile, seeks answers from Adam’s Dad. He’s been drinking and all she gets from him is that he was meant for Cassie’s Mom, it was their destiny. But Cassie’s Dad got in the way – he was a bad man.
Enter “Mr. Water and Fire”, “Bad Dad” BAMF Charles. Exit Cassie.
Outside, Faye is strutting her arrogant self down the dock, turning off lights on the moored sailboats as she passes them. Once she’s at the end, she conjures up a storm – thunder, lightening, and a downpour. Clearly, she is as drunk on her newfound power and Adam’s Dad is with his memories.
As Cassie leaves, she encounters Diana, who is looking for Faye. Diana explains that 15 years ago, there was an accident. All the members of the last circle were involved. Half of them died – and the ones who survived are trying to protect their children from whatever happened. She tells Cassie that they can bind their power and use it to do good things.
Cassie insists that if her mother had wanted her to know all this, she would have told her. And she asks Diana “why didn’t she tell me?” But Diana doesn’t have an answer.
Suddenly, the sky opens up and Diana sees Faye and runs to stop her. Faye discovers that although she has the power to conjure the storm, she has no power to control it, or to stop it.
But apparently, Cassie does. She has followed Diana down to the end of the dock, and she orders the storm to stop. And it does.
Cassie calmly announces to Diana and Faye “I don’t want any part of this” and walks away.
Back at The Boat House, “Bad Dad” Charles is casting another water spell, on Adam’s Dad, Ethan. It is a warning – don’t talk.
Adam comes to visit Cassie later that evening. He informs her that Diana is worried and Faye is shaken – and that even if they are attracted to each other and even if they are written in the stars – what happened in the woods can’t happen ever again. Cassie agrees.
He leaves her, but also leaves a message of comfort. “You are not alone.”
At the same time, “Bad Dad” Charles is at a meet-up with Principal Chamberlain. They both know about Cassie and her power. And it sounds like they intend to use it. For their own purposes.
As Cassie lies in bed that evening, the stars are in action again, and so is her room. A secret panel makes itself known, and behind it, Cassie finds her family’s journal, along with a note from her mother.
The note says “If you are reading this, I am gone. Destiny is not easy to run from. I kept you safe, but I also kept you unprotected. You have incredible power – and people will come for it – they will come for you.”
So now Cassie has a choice – embrace the craft – or run. Which will she choose?
- Best opening scene EVER!
- I love Charles Meade – he’s definitely the BAMF you love to hate in this show. Gale Harrold hits another home run with this character. (Many will recognize him as Brian Kinney from “Queer as Folk”. If you don’t, it won’t matter.)
- I hate Faye. I hated her at first site. Props to Phoebe Tonkin. Outstanding acting. I can’t wait to see where this character goes.
- There’s Triangle potential here. Oh, the possible combinations.
- These witches are closely tied to the elements – water, fire, air, and we will see earth.
- Abundant mythology, so I’m looking for great stories to develop with each weekly installment.
- The CW has the greatest 1-2 punch on television in this fall. If you are not watching TVD and TSC, you are missing some of the best entertainment anywhere in the universe.