Episode 1.19 TSC – “Crystal” or “Sister, Sister”

The episode opens with Faye and Melissa searching for Faye’s family crystal.  What they find is an old journal of Dawn’s circa 1994, in which Dawn waxes poetic about John Blackwell and her feelings for him.  Note the date Faye reads aloud – July 12, 1994.  It will be an interesting point of reference later.

Back at the old house, Cassie and Diana arrive to find Adam and Jake cozied up over a book on witch massacres (witch history). It seems there was a 200 year period known as “the Burning Times” where witches were routinely burned at the stake – even before the Witch Hunters had demons helping them.  Cassie reminds them that all of this is why they need to find their family crystals. The only crystal they have is Cassie’s.

Enter Faye and Melissa, to tell the group they haven’t been able to locate Faye’s family crystal.  Faye, believing she is Blackwell’s child and –therefore- has Dark Magic, grabs Cassie’s crystal to give it a shot.  She bursts vases and glasses and other glass objects all around the room – with glee – until Blackwell, who has just arrived, grabs the crystal from her and in a very stern “Daddy-like” voice admonishes her to be careful. Crystals can be drained of their power.

Adam wants to know why they can’t just ask their grandparents for the crystals, but Blackwell tells them the Elders will take their powers just as they did with their parents.  Jake says he is going to his granddad’s house – his family crystal would definitely be there. Adam’s grandparents are on the east coast so his options are limited.  Diana’s grandmother disappeared after she tried to kill Cassie. Melissa thinks she can search her grandmother’s place with little problem.

Blackwell tells them to be careful and not work alone – they need to be in groups to use their magic if need be.  So Diana, Adam and Melissa start off together, leaving Jake, Cassie and Faye to join forces.

First stop for group #1 – Diana stops to tell Grant she has to break their date.  She begs Melissa and Adam to let her have just an hour with Grant – and they go it alone.  But not before Melissa runs into Callum as Adam grabs a couple of coffees.  Before Adam joins back up with her, Jake arrives and confronts Callum.  And finding out Jake’s a witch, Callum gets even creepier – talking about the price of witch blood on the open market.

Wait – there’s a market for witch blood?  Now, that’s creepy.  No wonder Callum seems like walking slime.

With the witch blood crack, Jake attacks, but Melissa pulls him off and they leave the scene.

Meanwhile, Cassie returns home to find Grandma Jane in the kitchen acting very chipper, considering what Charles has put her through.  Cassie asks her if she will please try to get alone with Blackwell, and Jane grudgingly agrees.

Cassie is then off with Jake, who asks her why she told Adam she was going with him before they’d actually made plans.  Cassie tells him it’s difficult to be around Adam – but Jake calls her on that – it shouldn’t be a problem since she drank the elixir.  She says difficult isn’t the right word – but the look on Jake’s face says he knows Cassie hasn’t lost her feelings for Adam at all, and he feels sorry for her.  And perhaps a bit for himself.  Lest we forget, Jake has a thing for Cassie too.  This was a terrific scene between the two characters, and some great acting from Chris Zylka.

Joined by Faye, they begin to drive away – and we can see Callum following on his motorcycle, wearing the most gigantic helmet I’ve ever seen!

Back at Melissa’s grandma’s, she and Adam are surrounded by crystals – apparently Grandma was a hippy and collected them in Sedona back in the day!  So they collect them all!

Jake, Cassie and Faye arrive at Grandpa’s house.  They knock, but he’s apparently not home so they use their powers to unlock a plethora of locks on the front door.  Apparently, Grandpa is some kind of “Beautiful Mind” conspiracy theorist.  Maps, diagrams, writing on the walls with strings all over the place.  But the first thing Cassie notices is that there is a list with the Circle’s names and birthdates on the wall.

Now here is something interesting – in the beginning of the episode, we are told Dawn’s journal entry is dated 7/12/1994 – and Faye’s birthday is 9 months later!  (Not that we didn’t know that before – it’s her Mom’s computer password after all).

The other interesting thing is that all the kids in the Circle were born within a few months of each other!  Me thinks this is not a coincidence.

While our Scooby Crew looks for the Armstrong crystal at Grandpa’s house, Blackwell is having a confrontation with Charles!  Very bad blood here, perhaps even worse than with Ethan Conant.  Charles feels betrayed and accuses Blackwell of killing his wife, Elizabeth.  But Blackwell denies it – naturally.  And he calls Charles “Charlie”.  (And Gale Harrold acts circles around Joe Lando – sorry Joe!)

Meanwhile, back at the House of Armstrong, Grandpa bursts in and denies that Jake is his grandson – using witchcraft to pin the 3 youngers against a wall – with a pool table, no less.  They, in turn, use their combined power to push it right back to him.  Reality dawns – and Grandpa seems genuinely glad to see Jake, sweeping him into a big bear hug.

But it dawns on him that they have powers – and they are bound! Grandpa asks Jake if his brother is part of this too – apparently Grandpa is completely unaware that Nick is dead.  When Jake tells him, Grandpa is beyond sad and shocked – he is terrified. He says it’s too late – the Circle will be the death of all of them.

Back at Casa Blake, Jane greets Charles.  They are plotting the demise of Blackwell.  Jane is planning to use a spell to kill Blackwell.   The ingredients are a chair with a symbol carved under the seat – malleus malficurum “the hammer of the witches” – a crystal, and a witch’s cruet she prepared for Blackwell 16 years ago.  The cruet contains his blood and a ring he used to wear. The symbol on the chair will block his power, the crystal will immobilize him, and then they can use the cruet to kill him.

Now here comes a boatload of mythology from Jake’s Grandpa.

  • 300 years ago, 18 families escaped from the Salem Witch Trials.
  • They split into 3 circles – 2 stayed in the east, but one went west, to Chance Harbor.
  • 16 years ago, a Balcoin named John Blackwell tried to corrupt the Circle.
  • He lied to them, taught them dark magic, and pushed them to confront the Witch Hunters.
  • They were massacred, but Grandpa never believed that Blackwell was dead.
  • Grandpa figured out Blackwell knew he couldn’t control the Circle from the outside.
  • He needed to find a way to control it from within.  What Blackwell wanted from the Circle was children!
  • He wanted enough children to ensure that the next circle would be dark.
  • If the other two Circles have also been tipped towards darkness and the three original Circles are brought together, it will tip the balance of power between good and evil.

Phoebe’s face reflects her thoughts – she looks at Jake as if to say “Your grandpa is a loon” and Jake is apparently feeling the same way, because he says “We shouldn’t have come here”.  Cassie asks if there is a way to protect the Circle, but Grandpa says no – their fate is sealed because the Circle has been bound.  Cassie presses on about the Crystal, but Grandpa tells her it’s buried deep in a mine. And it’s been spelled so that no witch with dark magic can get near it.

And then we get the coups de grace – when combined together, the 6 crystals form a Crystal Skull!!  It’s the most powerful weapon of destruction ever created. (And there was this really cool movie about it – Indiana Jones!!!)

Back at Casa Meade, Diana and Grant are trying to have a date, but Melissa breaks in and signals that there is an emergency.  Diana meets Melissa and Adam in the garage – they need her help to identify the right crystal.  Grant walks in on the group, the mumble some lame crap about what they are up to, Diana suggests she meet him at the boat in 20 minutes, and Grant – looking confused and a bit crestfallen – reluctantly agrees.

Diana – pissed at the intrusion – joins with Adam and Melissa and together they determine the real crystal.  And Diana rushes off for her date.

Meanwhile, Faye is sharing her mother’s diary (and dropping her American accent!) and the fact that Mommy had an affair with Blackwell right around she became pregnant with Faye (see!!!!)  Cassie is not happy with this news!  Jake reveals that Isaac told him Cassie wasn’t the only Blackwell child – and the girls are not happy that he didn’t offer this information up sooner. But they are interrupted by the sound of breaking glass.

Callum has followed them to the cabin in the woods and broken through a window to steal the map to the mine where the crystal is hidden.  Doubtlessly, this little artifact is worth big bucks on the black market for witch stuff.

But Cassie took pictures of everything on Grandpa’s walls, including the map – she’s sending it to Adam and Melissa – and they can beat Callum there!

Grandpa and Jake share a very tender moment, where Grandpa hugs him again and tells him how sorry he is about Nick.  Jake’s expressions are heart-breaking, and Chris Zylka’s acting chops are impressing the hell out of me!

In the least interesting part of this episode, Diana and Grant keep trying to have their date.  At this point I am not even sure why Grant is here, and there is nothing remotely interesting about him – or a possible non-Adam relationship for Diana.  I want to believe that Grant is not what he seems – that when his true nature and purpose are revealed, it will be one of those notorious “game-changing moments” – but so far, this is all a giant snooze. Diana is called away and she leaves to meet Melissa and Adam at the mine.

Meanwhile, Adam and Melissa have arrived, and the mine is actually seriously creepy. And it is an iron ore mine, which means they are powerless. After some difficulty – and a seriously good rope swing a la Indiana Jones – Adam and Melissa retrieve the Armstrong crystal.  No sooner do they have it in their possession than they are confronted by Callum – with a gun!

Back at Grandma Jane’s house, her plan is set into motion.  But delays the execution by witch’s cruet to determine if John is her daughter’s killer.  She knows Amelia’s death was no accident.

Callum demonstrates that he is more than willing to use his gun – if not to shoot, at least to pistol whip Adam, so Melissa grabs the crystal from Adam’s pocket and gives it to Callum.  The rest of the Scooby Crew show up at the mine and are greeted by Diana (when did she arrive) who tells them she just heard a shot and thinks Adam and Melissa are still in there.

They all see Callum making his escape and Faye and Diana take off after him, but Cassie holds Jake back saying they need to make sure Melissa and Adam are OK.  But Cassie can’t go into the mine – it’s spelled and she can’t breathe. Jake goes into the mine and Cassie runs to catch up with the girls.

Callum is making a getaway on his motorcycle, and Faye – convinced she has dark magic – tried to block him with her body and a spell.  It doesn’t work and Diana pushes her out of the bike’s path just as Cassie makes her way outside.  Cassie disables Callum just as Adam, Melissa and Jake run out behind her. Callum is marked by the Circle so he can never return to Chance Harbor without them knowing it.

Meanwhile, Blackwell defends himself with Jane, and the clear crystal indicates he is telling the truth – he didn’t kill Amelia. Jane only wanted to kill Blackwell because she thought he’d killed her daughter.  But Charles – who is the actual killer – panics (because Blackwell might know the truth). He throws a match into the cruet – and kills Jane!  Blackwell knew what Jane was up to and remade it into Jane’s cruet.  The only reason Charles is still alive is Blackwell has use for him.

Well, doesn’t that sound ominous!

Back at the old house, Faye confronts Blackwell with Dawn’s journal.  He tells her the affair existed only in Dawn’s mind.  But in another display of Blackwell charm, he is very nice to Faye – and tells her that her Father would be very proud of her.  Is that true – or just more Blackwell deception?

Cassie checks up on Diana, who tells her she needs to take a break from the Circle. Cassie reminds her she was the original leader – the first one to find her Book of Shadows, the one who insisted on binding the circle.  But Melissa wants a break and a chance to have a “normal” relationship.  Cassie presses her and Diana agrees to see the witch hunter angle through – but after that, she’s done.

Cassie won’t let her off the hook.  She says Diana should have done a better job protecting Adam and Melissa, but Diana tells her she arrived in time to help, but when she tried to step inside mine, she started to suffocate.

BAM – the other Blackwell child is revealed – Cassie realizes Diana is her sister!

Well, I could not have been more wrong about that. 

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