Episode 1.10 TSC – “Darkness” or “The Power of Fear”

As we return to Chance Harbor, Cassie is conflicted. She appears to be consumed with the darker side of her heritage, and it invades her dreams … a foretelling of what’s to come.

When she wakens, she begins to research dark magic, which comes to her from the Balcoin line – her father’s side of the family. She feels comfortable confiding in Adam. He suggests they consult Diana’s Book of Shadows, which seems to contain information on black magic and demons. Cassie asks Adam to please just keep the entire “dark magic” thing between the two of them. Cassie is not sure who she takes after – her mother (the good one) or her father (the bad one).

Meanwhile, at Diana’s house, her grandmother Kate Meade (an elder) arrives for a visit. Kate tells her son Charles that she knows Diana and Adam have broken up. And she’s also concerned about Henry’s death and Jane’s erratic behavior. Kate is determined to get to the bottom of whatever is going on.

At the old house, Diana catches Adam researching dark magic, and he lets slip the information about Cassie and her heritage. Cassie catches them and immediately feels betrayed. As she gives voice to her feelings, her dark powers take hold of Jake’s throat and he begins to choke … just as Jake did in her dream.

At first, Cassie ignores it but when she realizes what she is doing, she breaks it off – although it is clear she doesn’t really understand how. A remorseful Cassie apologizes profusely to Adam, but is clearly concerned that she can’t control her powers – and she’s frightened at the prospect that they are tied to her feelings.

And the rest of the circle is just as upset – you can see in their faces that they are now all concerned about upsetting Cassie – who knows what she will do! And clearly it could be deadly.

Elsewhere, the conflict between Charles and Dawn continues. Dawn is very upset about Kate being in town – and she clearly holds a tremendous grudge over the Elders who took away her Circle’s power. She wants that power back and will do anything to get it, including another murder … at least that’s what Charles thinks. When Charles, Dawn, Kate, Cassie and Diana later sit down to dinner, Charles is utterly convinced that Dawn has poisoned the wine in order to kill his mother!

Later that evening, Adam makes a point of apologizing to Cassie over his breach of trust, making it clear that he is sincerely sorry that his formerly close relationship with Diana made it so easy to share Cassie’s darkest secrets. Cassie seems more than willing to accept his apology. But in her dreams, she is still troubled. Startled awake, she seeks comfort in the kitchen only to find Kate, who seems to know exactly what is troubling her. Kate explains that Cassie’s father, John Blackwell, had the same darkness – the same potential for evil. And bit by bit, it took him over.

This conversation between Kate and Cassie brought to mind “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. (If you’ve never read the book by Oscar Wilde, or seen the film with Hurd Hatfield, 1945, I highly recommend both!) I was immediately reminded of the slow transformation of the picture with each of Dorian’s decisions as he allowed his desires to overtake his reasoning.

Cassie is very concerned about her inability to control her dark magic and this is her motivation for asking for Kate’s help to rid herself of her dark powers. Kate says there is a spell and Cassie jumps on it.

Cassie reveals this decision to Diana, and her discomfort with the way that Kate was practically able to “practically smell it (her dark side) on me.” Diana clearly respects her grandmother and is convinced Cassie made the right decision – but I was not so sure watching this. Kate herself appears to have another side and I questioned her motives.

In the forest, Kate begins to cast the spell – over what she says is an altar but which looks for all the world like a coffin to me! She tells Cassie to have faith in who she is and wants to be. After cutting Cassie’s palm and instructing her to press it into the middle of the circle on the “altar cloth”, off comes the cloth and the “altar” is opened to reveal the branch of an elderberry – “the death tree” – which Kate tells Cassie to hand to her – and which she immediately snaps in two, causing Cassie to fall to the ground. But Cassie is not dead – she’s merely been rendered unconscious so Kate can get her into that coffin. When Cassie comes to, Kate tells her she must die in the ground in order for her magic to die with her. The coffin lid is closed and the earth begins to surround the coffin.

And Cassie panics. She becomes hysterical, kicking, screaming and clawing at her tomb, until suddenly, inexplicably, she becomes very quiet and still – and focused. Cassie blows the lid right off the coffin – sending all the earth on top of it and around it into the sky in a terrible explosion. Diana (who found mandrake root in her grandmother’s luggage) and Adam (whose help Diana enlisted when she sensed danger to Cassie) hear the explosion and find Cassie crawling out from the debris. Cassie is not sure how she feels. When they ask her if she is all right, she says she doesn’t know.

Kate – back at the Meade house – is confronted by Charles. She tells him that yes, she tried to kill Cassie, but Cassie’s magic was more powerful than her. It was a test to find out just how powerful Cassie is. And then the big reveal – according to Kate, Cassie is the one they’ve been waiting for – the one who is strong enough to tip the balance between good and evil. My immediate reaction was – which way? Exactly which side is Kate Meade on? Something about her is scarier than Dawn Chamberlain! But in the next exchange, it became clear. Kate’s one of the “good guys”. She plans to share this information with the Elders. She knows that Charles and Dawn are both involved with Henry’s death and Jane’s ill health. She says that each witch’s magic has a unique imprint and she knows her son’s! He’s always been weak and gives in too easily to temptation (Dorian Gray again!) and she begs him to come out of the darkness before he is lost to her – and to his daughter Diana! Diana, however, knows none of this and, believing that Kate actually wanted Cassie dead, is glad to see her go (and may never trust her again!).

For her part, Cassie is more confused than ever. She tells Diana that she’s never felt that kind of fear before – and that she could feel it flood her body and erupt. And the scariest part is – she liked it! It felt good – that feeling of power. Her fear saved her, because if she hadn’t felt it, she’d be dead right now. And Diana gives voice to the question on everyone’s mind – just how powerful is Cassie?

As for Faye, she is just as power hungry as her mother. Still angered by the fact that the bound circle restricted her magic, she seeks out Lee, who is apparently the Voodoo master of Chance Harbor. I see a new relationship in the making. I’m not sure if Lee is a witch or not, but it seems like he may be a perfect match for bad-girl Faye. I’m keeping an eye on this duo. So far, I like them together.

My Thoughts

Fear can be a powerful motivator. It has been used for eons by the powerful – or those who want to be powerful – to control and manipulate others. But sometimes punitive actions do not reap the benefits that that powerful despots desire. It can backfire. But, as with everything, fear is not all bad. Overcoming our fears can make us stronger. I know that there have been times in my life when fear is what pushed me to do something I don’t think I would have done for any other reason but to save myself or someone I care about. So I understand how Cassie feels. She’s grateful for the power she’s got, but guilty that it felt good to use it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will Cassie follow her father’s path, allowing evil to take her over one small step at a time, or will she use it selectively to her benefit (or the benefit of others)?

I recall back in the pilot that Dawn and Charles sought Cassie out, but their motives are obviously not the same as Kate’s (and perhaps the rest of the Elders). It appears a major battle of good and evil is shaping up – a generational battle of sorts. The Elders may want to use Cassie’s powers to tip the scale to “the good” – but it is pretty clear that the 2nd Generation (Dawn and Charles) are leaning towards the dark side.

And what of the other Blackwell offspring (who I believe is Adam)? Does this child have the same potential for power that Cassie seems to have – and if so, will they be pitted against each other in the ultimate battle of good and evil?

I plan to continue to tune in and enjoy how this all plays out!


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