Episode 1.22 TSC – “Family”

I can’t believe I am writing my final post for this wonderful show.  I can’t believe I live in a world where “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” goes on, but shows with interesting stories, incredible writing, and great acting by beautiful young people are killed in their infancy.  I am truly disappointed, but hoping that somewhere in the entertainment business world, someone will recognize the potential of this wonderful show and pick it up elsewhere.  It deserves a second season and more.

In any case, the finale was everything I hoped it would be and more.   It is a pity and a shame that we may not get to see what happens next.  But here’s how it went.

Diana wakes up – in Grant’s car.  He’s sitting in the driver’s seat.  Her phone’s been ringing all night, but Grant didn’t wake her.  She checks her messages and says she needs to go.  Grant lets Diana know he will take her across the country if that’s what she wants, and she does, someday.  But today, the Circle needs her.

She meets the Circle (minus Faye, who’s been kidnapped by Eben and the Witch Hunters) back at the abandoned house.  They are locked in a debate about how to get Faye back – with or without John Blackwell’s help.  Diana says that together they are more powerful than they were separately.  But Melissa reminds her they could not defeat a Witch Hunter who only had one demon in him – Eben has six.

Cassie’s phone rings – Eben’s on the other end.  He tells her to bring a crystal to the boat where their parents burned – or Faye will burn like they did. He knows they can’t form the Crystal Skull without all six crystals – so he’ll take one, thank you very much

Adam says – “let’s do it” but Jake is sure Eben can’t be trusted.  The only way to get Faye is to kill Eben before he hurts her – and the way to do that is with the Crystal Skull.  Diana demurs – they think that because it’s what Blackwell told them – and he can’t be trusted.  But Jake says his grandfather told them it’s the most dangerous weapon ever created.  Eben is afraid of it, and Blackwell is the only one who knows how it works.  But Diana and Cassie will have to be part of creating it.

Adam, Jake and Melissa go off to the boatyard to see if they can rescue Faye.

Cassie and Diana meet Blackwell to create the skull. He explains they have to destroy the family crystals and that will unbind the Circle. Diana says “No” – they can’t unbind the Circle without talking to the other members.  Cassie argues that Faye will die if they don’t create the Skull – it’s worth the risk even if they don’t know what will happen to the other members of the Circle when it is unbound.

Blackwell begins the ritual – and now he is starting to look like the creepy dude I’ve always seen lurking beneath the surface.  And the ritual is creepy too.

At the boatyard, Melissa, Jake and Adam are feeling the effects of the unbinding – and Jake is ready to go after Faye – but Adam stops him – with his individual power. Now they know the Circle is not bound any more.  It’s too dangerous to go on the ferry.

In the ferry, Faye has also discovered her power is back.  She’s loose and looking for a way out.  And she bests a Witch Hunter to get her phone back.  I LOVE FAYE.

Back at the Meade house, Charles’ mother has come to call, and Dawn is also there.  Kate Meade is clearly concerned about Faye. As they talk, Faye calls her mother.  She tells her where she is and what’s happening – and that she knows she’s a witch.  And Dawn knows she knows (love the comedic exchange in the midst of the stressful situation!).  During their conversation, Faye is attacked.   The situation is now urgent.

Dawn begs Charles’ mother not to let history repeat itself.  Kate Meade says the second generation’s power was destroyed when it was stripped – but she will give them her own!  Go Grandma.

Meanwhile, back at the beach where the skull is forming, something is happening beneath the water.  It is churning and bubbling.  Cassie walks into the water as she feels the pull of the skull. She picks it up out of the water.  It is not yet fully formed, but she is clearly feeling a connection to it.  She encourages Diana to touch the mass -and as both Cassie and Diana touch it, the Skull forms.

Cassie looks satisfied – Diana looks terrified.

Melissa, Adam and Jake are worried about Cassie and Diana – neither will answer their phones.  Adam is going after them, while Melissa and Jake stay at the ferry and go after Faye.  This is one of the best scenes of the finale.  Adam and Jake encourage each other, and we see the deepening feelings between Adam and Melissa.  It’s a moment of warmth in a series where there always seems to be tension and danger.

Blackwell takes the skull, but Cassie wants to hold it.  Diana insists they do whatever it takes to save Faye.  Blackwell says the skull reflects an individual’s power, but without limitations.  Cassie seems to be mesmerized by the power of the skull and her connection to it – she takes it from Blackwell.  Blackwell wants it back – claiming Cassie’s dark magic isn’t advanced enough to use it.  Diana supports Cassie’s claim on the skull – if she needs help to kill Eben with it, Blackwell can guide her.  Cassie chimes in – they all have the same goal – isn’t that right?

And then the moment of truth – Blackwell admits they don’t have the same goal – but they will.

The girls fall to the ground at his bidding.

Back at the Meade home, Kate Meade has transferred her power.  Dawn thanks her and leaves.  Charles tells his mother he knows that Diana is not her daughter.  Turns out his mother has known all along that Blackwell was Diana’s blood father – but she tells Charles blood does not define a family. Kate claims that the demons in Eben cannot be killed without the Crystal Skull but Charles knows there is another way.  However, he needs his mother’s help.  He speaks of redemption, and we all know what he’s talking about.

Melissa and Jake make their way on to the ferry, and find Faye. Eben disarms them. And the demons can be seen running around his head.

Cassie and Diana regain consciousness back at the abandoned house.  The Skull is sitting on a table, and Blackwell is looking through a book. The girls quickly discover they are encircled and can’t escape.  Turns out Blackwell couldn’t care less about the other members of the Circle – or Eben.

Jake, Faye and Melissa are now wearing robes and tied to a post on the ferry – just as Blackwell was16 years ago.  It is encircled with ash.  Eben enters and gives the standard lecture about how he has to kill them because they are abominations.  And he sets the ash circle on fire.  As he and his minions leave, the entire room catches fire.

Dawn and Charles arrive and see smoke – and here screaming.  Charles takes on Eben and tells Dawn to circle around the other way. And Charles strategy becomes clear – he’s going to get the demons out of Eben and take them on himself!  Meanwhile, Dawn puts out the fires and breaks the kids’ bonds.  Off they go – but when they hear Eben screaming, Jake follows the screams as Dawn takes off the other way with Faye and Melissa.

Charles has taken on the demons and Jake shows up just in time to shove a knife into Eben’s gut, avenging his parents and his brother, Nick. But he looks up to find Charles gone.

Back at the abandoned  house, Blackwell says Witch Hunters have always been the best way to galvanize witches (and here I am reminded of the chase for “the moonstone and the doppelganger in my other favorite show!),  The strategy becomes clear – Blackwell wanted children, but not their parents – broken orphans are easier to control. But Amelia figured it out and tried to get Ethan to help kill Blackwell before his evil plot could take hold.

Blackwell – dressed all in black to match his heart – explains that the deaths of the parents gave him the opportunity to disappear and wait – until the right moment to return.

Back on the boat, Charles has run outside – and Dawn and the girls have caught up to him.  They can see the demons running loose inside him.  He asks Dawn to tell Diana that he loves her – and then jumps overboard.

Blackwell begins to chant over the skull as Cassie and Diana watch, stuck in the ash circle.  Inside the skull, black vapor dances. Cassie demands “If you are not using the skull to kill Witch Hunters, then what is it for?”

Blackwell:  “To kill witches…every single one without Balcoin blood”

And he holds up his hand to reveal the mark of the Balcoins – the imprint of the medallion.

On the boat, Dawn, Faye and Melissa are suddenly in distress – burning from the inside out.

Blackwell explains that the other witches have kept the Balcoins weak for 200 years. The time has come for a cleansing.

Adam arrives at the abandoned house, also in distress.

Blackwell drops his final bombshell.  There are 4 more Balcoin children – born in other towns, raised in other circles, on their way to Chance Harbor to join Diana and Cassie.

Diana declares that Adam’s grandfather was right.  Blackwell says a Balcoin Circle will be perfect – it is made of the purest race.  (Race?) Together, a pure Balcoin Circle will be a weapon more powerful than any Crystal Skull.

Megalomaniacal much Blackwell?

Adam, crawling along the floor and burning up, is not going down without a fight.  But Blackwell counter attacks.

When Cassie sees that the Skull is burning Adam – and understands that this is happening to all the members of the Circle, including Jake who has caught up with Dawn, Faye and Melissa – she reacts swiftly. Realizing her dark magic is not enough to break through the barrier, she turns on Diana – knowing Diana’s survival instinct will kick in.

And it does.  Diana fights back and the barrier is broken.  Cassie grabs the skull and begins to reverse the spell.  Blackwell fights back and for a moment, it looks like he is being successful, as blood begins to drip from Cassie’s nose.  But Diana joins her and Blackwell begins to burn!

And together, they kill him!

Later, Cassie, Diana and Adam greet Faye, Melissa and Jake at the door or Cassie’s house. Cassie admits that none of what has happened should have – she just wanted to believe in her father. Melissa says they were all fooled by him – but Cassie insists she should have known it was wrong.

She apologizes, and they move on to the next bit of business – how to destroy the indestructible Crystal Skull so nothing like this ever happens again.  Cassie describes its power as dark and seductive (and Faye hears it calling her name!)  Adam suggests they surround it with lead and drop it deep in the ocean.  Cassie says Adam should do it because “no one’s more reliable.” Even Jake agrees.

Cassie wants to rebind the Circle, but the others are not so sure. With Eben and Blackwell gone, there’s no compelling reason to increase their group power.  And all the evil stuff started to happen once the Circle was bound – better to go back to the way it was….maybe.

But Cassie reminds them there are other Balcoins coming, and being bound is a protection against them.  Diana wants no part of it – and she’s leaving town.  Cassie begs her to stay – she’s the only family Cassie has left.  But Diana reminds her that no matter where she may go, that will never change.  She needs to leave Chance Harbor.

Diana feels lost – something Cassie understands better than most. When she came to Chance Harbor, Diana was the one who helped her.  Now Cassie wants to do the same for Diana.  But Diana is terrified of her dark magic, and she can’t get away from it and be with Cassie at the same time.  And so she leaves.

Jake and Faye leave the promise of a rekindled love affair glowing as Faye departs.

Grant meets up with Diana at the coffee house – she’s packed a bag and ready to go with him.

Melissa comes home to find Faye in her room with champagne and in a partying mood.

Jake opens a package from Grandpa Royce – a note says “The Circles are coming together – your fight is far from over.”  Inside the package is a talisman every bit as mysterious as the Balcoin Medallion.

Charles – who is not dead – sits in a chair as his mother carves into his wrist the same symbol that bound the demons in Heather – but made her catatonic.

Adam encircles the Crystal Skull in his hands – and seems to be seduced by its power.  Is it Adam – or did Blackwell take possession of him during their battle at the abandoned house?

Diana gets into Grant’s car, and as she begins to fasten her seat belt, notices something on her hand – the imprint of the Balcoin Medallion.

Remember Diana – no matter where you go, there you are!

Cassie stands alone staring at the same symbol on the palm of her own hand.  She turns it toward the fireplace and lights a fire – and her face glows with satisfaction.

And on the outskirts of Chance Harbor, on a promontory, stand 4 figures – 3 boys and a 1 girl, dressed in black.  On their palms, the imprint of the Balcoin Medallion.

So this is where it ends?

It breaks my heart to have watched the show build and build and build – all the elements coming together – and now we are left to wonder what happens next, because there will be no Season 2.

It also seems to me that the shows that are rich in storytelling, with interesting characters and complex plotlines – and intricate mythology and/or history – seem to be on cable.  I do not pretend to understand the entertainment business well enough to know why.  But that is my observation – so I am hoping that somewhere out in the world of cable, some smart executive sees the potential that is in “The Secret Circle” and picks it up for at least another Season.

I believe the show – and its loyal and passionate fans (of which I am one) – deserve it.  “The Secret Circle” was 22 episodes of great entertainment.

Thank you Kevin Williamson for making it happen, thank you Andrew Miller for keeping it happening each week.  And thank you to the cast, Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker, Phoebe Tonkin, Shelley Hennig, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Chris Zylka, Louis Hunter, Gale Harold, and Natasha Henstridge for giving it your all in every episode and making me excited to see what happens next.


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