Category Archives: The Secret Circle

The Secret Circle recap posts as soon on TheTelevixen.com

Episode 1.12 TSC – “Witness” or “You Can’t Believe Everything You Hear

Friends, this was a super awesome episode in so many ways I hardly know where to start.  Perhaps I’ll start by saying that there were actually three story lines running in this episode, one of which was linked to the main action, and one that looks like a set-up for future action.

So I’ll start with a short summary of the two smaller stories before I get to the main event.

Faye is feeling on the outs with her friends and is still lusting for power (and I still think that this is the reason she is NOT the “other” Balcoin child – it’s too obvious).   So she cozies up to Lee, who has a lust of his own going on.  And a pain in his heart.  Faye and Lee are talking when in walks one of Lee’s former “associates” – looking for….drugs?  Lee’s a drug dealer?  Former drug dealer, he explains to Faye.  The guy – Callum, tells him “get me the stuff”.  It’s a drug called “Devil’s Spirit”.  Lee later explains to Faye that his former girlfriend OD’d on this stuff and that’s why he’s no longer a dealer.  Callum meets up with Faye later, and Faye is dumb enough to take some of this drug from him.  We will undoubtedly find out what happens with that in an upcoming episode.

The second sub-plot involves Dawn attempting to use first Diana and then Ethan to get the crystal from Charles.  Dawn tells Ethan that Charles tried to choke her – Ethan sympathizes.  In the exchange, it is revealed that Ethan actually dated Amelia in the past.  Interesting because it has always appeared that he loved her from afar – but apparently they dated until John Blackwell came along.  Later, Ethan gets Charles to meet him, and Ethan knocks him out and takes the crystal.  When Charles comes to, he warns Ethan not to fall for Dawn’s stories – don’t let history repeat itself.  Ethan uses the crystal to take revenge on Charles – he conjures the same “drowning” spell Charles earlier used on him. Later, he tells Dawn he will not give her the crystal just yet.

Ethan is suddenly not who he appears to be.  More on that later.

The bulk of the episode is about what really happened in the fire 16 years ago.  The action picks up exactly where it left off last week – Jake walks in on Adam kissing Cassie.  Cassie looks happy to see Jake.  Adam still doesn’t trust him – mostly because of Jake’s behavior in the past.  But also because now he’s free to pursue the celestial relationship he’s been hearing about all his life – and Jake’s the only person who can get in his way.

Cassie meets up with Jake back at his house.  He tells her that he witnessed the events on the boat 16 years ago, but his memory only goes up to a certain point and then is blocked.  He’s been working on a spell and believes that Cassie’s special powers will allow her to make a connection to him – to his mind – so she can see what happened.

Adam thinks the whole idea stinks – of course – but Cassie thinks it will work.  After all, she reminds him, she connected with Faye’s mind when they discovered her grandfather’s body at the lake.  She is sure she can do this.  And they all need to find out what happened to their parents.

Adam seeks out Diana and tells her he thinks the idea is too dangerous – but surprise – Diana is on Cassie’s side.  The information is too important to all of them not to risk it – and if it were in Diana’s power to do it, she would.

Adam is screwed!

Cassie and Jake visit the boatyard, where Jake collects some of the ash from the fire – which despite being outside in the elements for 16 years is still available.  How convenient!  But they need it for the spell, apparently.

As they prepare to cast the spell, Jake takes out the only family photo he has where all 4 members of his family are present – Nick as an infant in his father’s arm.  (And once again I am confused but willing to wait until the writers explain how the Armstrongs are members of a circle of 16 year olds when they are obviously a few years older than the others – or were REALLY young when Jake was born).  Using the picture and the boat ash, the spell is case.

And Jake and Cassie are transported back in time to the boat 16 years ago.  This was really terrific and provided a much broader perspective on how far Cassie’s powers go – time travel!  They are “physically” present on the boat.  And the first people Cassie and Jake see are his parents – young and alive – and gorgeous!  The look on Jake’s face is devastating.  He was not expecting this.  And suddenly he’s in terrible pain.

Ah, the consequences of time travel.  Apparently, Jake was not going to be allowed to witness his parents’ death – perhaps that is why he can’t remember anything in the first place.  He tells Cassie they must stop – but Cassie keeps right on going.  Jake is back in the present, but Cassie – sitting in front of him – is still locked in the spell.  He begs her to come back.  But it looks like Cassie can – and will – carry on.

And she observes Richard and Sarah Armstrong locked in a conversation that reveals the truth of what happened 16 years ago.  Apparently, the witch hunters were around then too, and all the Circle members were meeting up on the boat to call for a truce between the witches and the hunters.  The deal was that the witch hunters would leave the witches alone if they would agree to stop practicing,

But the Circle was split.  Some – Richard Armstrong among the – wanted the truce.  Others – like Sarah – didn’t think the witch hunters could be trusted.  This is what John Blackwell has told them.  Richard is miffed that Sarah is taking John’s side and not his.  But Sarah tells him to talk to John, who is at the boat.  Richard says it’s too late.  Tom (Dawn’s husband) and Sophie Ann (the mother of one of the current members?) is inside.  But Sarah says Dawn and Charles are up on deck with John Blackwell.   Amelia is NOT there – John Blackwell betrayed her and she doesn’t trust him.

Suddenly, Ethan walks right past Richard and Sarah (and Cassie).  Ethan, who has said all along that he was not there that day.

And just as Ethan passes, one of the witch hunters steps out of the shadows and slits Richard’s throat – right in front of Sarah – and Cassie.  Sarah is dragged off, with Cassie following – into the ship’s cafeteria where there are many bodies on the floor, all with their throats cut.  This is a set-up for a massacre of the witches by the witch hunters!  And behind a barrier, we can see little Jake – and he sees all this blood and mayhem.  No wonder his memory is blocked!

In another room of the ship, the hunters drag a body with a hood over its head into a room and tie him to a poll.  This is John Blackstone, and they have something else in mind for his death – burning at the stake!

The Witch Hunters started the fire – not the Circle!!!!

Suddenly, one of the other people on the boat sees Cassie!  And tells her she shouldn’t be here and run!  Her name is Lucy.  (Not sure why we were given her name, but I’m pretty sure it will be important later!)  And she’s right – Cassie should not be there because the fire is creating smoke, and Cassie’s having trouble breathing – in the past AND the present.  Adam, Diana and Jake protect her with their magic.  She can breathe again.

This is Diana has always says the Circle is about – a power for good that is stronger together.  Loved this moment.

Adam tells Jake to get back into the past and get Cassie out of it before something really awful happens.  Jake arrives but is still having issues with head pain.  He soldiers on.

Cassie is watching the fire, but John Blackstone turns the tables on the witch hunters, and escapes, dropping a necklace as the hunters catch on fire.  Jake arrives as Cassie watches her father leave (and now knowing that he may still be alive).  There are issues with the cafeteria door before Jake gets Cassie out – but not before he sees his own mother – choking to death on the smoke and pleading with him from behind the glass of the locked door.

Jake is helpless – and he and Cassie are suddenly back in the Blackstone house – and clearly devastated.

Cassie recounts some of what she saw, but when Adam and Diana ask her if she saw either one of their mothers, she is very vague.

Later she returns to the boat and finds the lost necklace – with the medallion that is the title of the next episode.  The medallion contains the symbol from the last episode – the one John Blackwell carved into the basement ceiling of his house!

Jake, who’s grown up hating witches because he’s always believed they caused the death of his parents, now knows the truth.  That the witch hunters he’d been trusting were actually responsible for murdering his parents.  He finds Cassie on the boat, and she is obsessed with her father – with knowing if he is alive.  She can’t understand why he would let people think he was dead.  (Maybe to hide from the witch hunters?)

So naturally, they go to the cemetery to dig up his body!

When they do, Jake hesitates for a moment before opening the coffin – to make sure this is really what Cassie wants to do.  She does – but when the coffin is opened, there are only animal bones inside.

Did anyone else think IMMEDIATELY of the graveyard scene in “The Omen”??????  Yikes!

What We Know Now – and more questions

The incident with the demons and Heather did not happen on the boat at the fire.  It was a completely separate event.  Was this event the “betrayal” that Sarah mentioned to Richard – the one that caused Amelia to stop trusting Blackwell?

The fire on the boat 16 years ago was started by the Witch Hunters, not the Circle.  And the Circle members who died were murdered – they were not burned in the fire.  It’s pretty hard to hide a slit throat in an autopsy – how has the town kept this secret all these years?  And why?

Ethan is a liar.  He was on the boat when the fire occurred.  And it looks like he was on the witch hunter’s side.  I think it’s possible that he betrayed John Blackwell to them, because he was angry that John came between him and Amelia.  I think Ethan’s drinking is founded in the guilt of knowing the other circle members were murdered because of him.  And now he has a crystal!

John Blackwell is not dead.  And it looks like he knows about Cassie.  Does he know about his other child as well?  Is he helping Cassie, or are her powers completely her own?

Jake may have known that Ethan was involved in the fire 16 years ago, and that may also explain why he tried to destroy him in the past!

The relationships are getting complicated, just like they were 16 years ago.  Relationship dynamics are difficult.  The Cassie, Adam, Jake triangle is apparently a mirror of the Amelia, Ethan, John triangle 16 years ago.  Will things play out the same way, with Adam jilted as Ethan was?

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!

 

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!

Episode 1.08 TSC – “Beneath” or “Truth or Dare”

The members of the circle gather at Cassie’s house.  Cassie is concerned about her grandmother because she hasn’t heard from her since she left for Henry Chamberlain’s lake house.  Melissa is absent – her mother has taken her away for a while because she’s concerned about Melissa’s reaction to Nick’s death.  Jake, however, is there – and not everyone is thrilled.

They briefly discuss the events at the boat house and Diana asks if anyone can explain what happened to Luke.  Cassie says she yelled out and it felt as if she set Luke on fire.  Adam says the circle with ringed with sulfur and iron, cutting off their powers – but Faye catches on to what Cassie is saying.  Cassie can do individual magic.  She also catches on to the relationship between Cassie and Jake – and she is openly jealous.

Faye thinks it’s strange that all the trouble they’ve had started happening once Cassie arrived in town.  Diana defends Cassie, saying all the trouble started after they bound the circle.  But Faye says they bound the circle when Cassie arrived.  Before they go another round, Cassie shows them the parchment Calvin gave her.  Adam asks her who JB is and she thinks it’s her grandmother.  She can’t get either Calvin or her Grandma on the phone.

Cassie wants to go to the Chamberlain lake house and Jake says he’ll go with her.  But when Faye points out that it’s her family’s house and she’s the only one who knows the way there, they all decide to go.  Cassie rides with Jake.  After a conversation with her mother – in which Dawn makes it clear she doesn’t want Faye to go – Faye find herself riding with Diana and Adam.

Dawn wastes no time getting Charles on the phone.   It was Charles who struck Jane Blake as she was kneeling over Henry Chamberlain with the crystal.  He’s moved Henry’s body, so Faye will not discover it.  He has the crystal.  And he’s got Jane Blake’s unconscious body in the back of his car.  He’s on the way back to Chance Harbor.

When the Circle arrives at the lake house, a storm has erupted. And Faye begins to have visions of a little girl – herself as a child.  There’s no power, but a generator takes care of that.  Once Cassie gets a text from her Grandma (courtesy of Charles) they decide it’s too stormy for the ride back so they will stay the night – but not before a party.

Charles arrives at Dawn’s with the crystal and the news that he’s given Jane enough sleeping pills to keep her asleep for hours.  They need to wipe Jane’s memory – and Charles is sure he can find Diana’s Book of Shadows for a spell that will do the trick. He and Dawn go to the old abandoned house, and reminisce about their youth and learning the craft – before Blackwell made it something other than fun.

Charles clearly has the upper hand with Dawn in this episode.  He’s got the crystal and he’s not giving it up.  He’s back to being the BAMF we saw in the pilot – and Dawn is clearly intimidated by him.  Later, he berates an unconscious Jane Blake (and the rest of the Elders) for taking away their power.  And the spell he is casting on Jane will apparently turn her from his perception of someone who is smug, self-righteous and dull to probably someone just the opposite – because now he will control her thoughts and actions.

So I guess we can expect a humble, broad-minded and edgy Jane Blake – that will be interesting for Cassie – and everyone who knows Jane!

Back at the lake house, there’s a fire in the hearth, booze from Henry’s supply, and the triangles rage.  Truth or Dare turns into a game of competition (between Adam and Jake) and triangles – each member of the circle pushing someone’s buttons until truths are revealed that they are not prepared to deal with.

Faye leaves in a huff but encounters her previous hallucination and follows her instead of driving away.  Diana and Jake have an argument that turns all hot and bothered.  Jake tries to find out how much Cassie knows about her individual power and Cassie tries to stir up something else. When Jake puts up a stop signal, Cassie goes outside for her things – and encounters Faye’s hallucination!

Cassie follows the little girl – who leads her to Faye.  Faye is astonished Cassie can see her – the little girl is Faye, as a child. Faye tells Cassie about the time she nearly drowned at age 6 – and her grandfather saved her life.  Faye believes her small self is there for a reason.

Faye thinks the little girl is drowning and while everyone tries to calm her, Cassie sees the little girl on the end of the dock.  She is drawn there and puts her hands in the water – the water churns, and up pops the body of Henry Chamberlain.

By the end of the episode, there appears to be an attraction between Cassie and Jake that is deeper than what was there before.  Whether Jake’s intentions are honorable remains a question – but Cassie can certainly take care of herself.

What We Learned

The Elders– when you kill an elder, you’d better do it right, or their energy will survive and lead you right to their body – and perhaps to their killer.

The Parents – Melissa’s father died in the fire 16 years ago. There is an ongoing power-struggle between Dawn and Charles, and right now, it looks like Charles has the upper hand.

The Secret Circle – Diana and Adam have broken off; while Cassie and Jake may be heating up.

The Crystals – the power of a crystal doesn’t seem to have anything to do with who “owns” it.  It appears to be available to anyone who knows how to use it.

The Witch Hunters – They are now underground, but Jake is still playing on their team.  His strategy is to get closer to Cassie in order to learn how to kill her properly and he is concerned about the document Calvin gave her.  He is convinced she is the only one in the circle with dark magic.  When he returns from the lake, Isaac seems intent on killing Cassie and her Circle now.  Which side is Jake on?

Episode 1.07 TSC – “Masked” or “How to Kill a Witch”

“Masked” was a perfectly themed episode for Halloween, and interestingly did not overdo the whole witch thing.  It starts with Cassie and Faye at an eccentric looking little shop where they are looking for items to dress up the Halloween party that Cassie’s throwing.  There is a lot of new information in this episode and I’ve bolded it for those who are tracking it as I am.

Turns out the shop owner, Calvin Wilson, is also a witch, and when he encounters Cassie and they both have their fingers on her credit card, his mirror cracks.  He recognizes her as a Blake from the name on her card, and he knew her mother.

Later, Cassie mentions her encounter with Calvin to her grandmother.  Jane says that Calvin keeps a low profile like many of the witches in town.  Most of them moved away after the fire.  The ones who stayed stopped practicing.

Jane thinks the cracked mirror was residual power (Calvin’s) and active power (Cassies’s) crossing, or perhaps a surge.

In any case, Jane is on her way to Henry Chamberlain’s lake house. Jane is concerned because she hasn’t heard from Henry in weeks. Cassie’s on her own.

Perfect time for a party.

On their boat, Adam confronts his father because Ethan is responsible for Adam and Diana breaking up.  Adam feels that Diana’s love made him a better person, and the better he became, the farther he grew from being like Ethan.

Ethan is clear – he has no interest in Adam being like him.  But he continues to state his concerns about meddling with fate.  Ethan feels that Adam is destined to be with Cassie, and diverting from that path is messing with fate and will ruin his life sooner.

But Adam is convinced that the whole fate argument is just an excuse for Ethan’s behavior, and he asks if Ethan ever even loved his mother – or is fate his excuse for what he did to her?

Cassie, Faye and Melissa are decorating for the party when Cassie finds a piece of the knife that Simone (the Witch Hunter) used when she attacked Cassie.  Cassie asks Jake about it but he claims ignorance, so she’s on her way to Calvin’s shop. But Jake spells her car to delay her just long enough for him to beat her there and scare the crap out of Calvin.

Jake asks Calvin for witches cruets, and Calvin looks scared.

Jake makes his intensions clear – he knows how to kill a witch.  Spell a cruet and put mandrake root, the witch’s blood, and a personal article in it, set it on fire, and the witch is dead. 

Jake cuts Calvin and drips his blood into a cruet, along with mandrake root and Calvin’s wedding ring.  As Jake leaves, he tells Calvin that if Cassie Blake comes to his shop with questions, he is not to give her any answers.

When Cassie arrives at his shop asking about the knife symbol, Calvin is evasive.  Cassie diverts his attention by spilling a bowl, and while he is looking for a broom (I love that every witch in this town seems to have a broom handy), Cassie takes a picture of a knife in one of the display cases – with the same marking as the knife she found.

Jake and Melissa meet up at the cemetery.  Jake’s there to visit the graves of his parents, Richard and Sarah Armstrong. (Finally, we have the names of the Armstrong parents!) Melissa is bringing flowers for Nick’s grave.

Jake is defensive and cold – he says he and his brother were not close and he messed with things he didn’t understand and it got him killed.  But Melissa throws a little guilt at him – maybe if he hadn’t left, he could have protected Nick and this wouldn’t have happened, so perhaps it’s on him.  Nick says he’s nothing like the rest of the circle members.

Adam and Cassie are going to run a scan of the knife symbols and see what his computer can come up with (I do not have software like this and I thought only police and crime labs did!).  He tells Cassie that Diana believed what his father told her about fate because of the way he’d been acting.   He’s not sure what’s between him and Cassie, but he feels like he’s nothing without Diana.  Cassie tells him that if he feels that way, he should fight for her.

The computer gets a match.  One of the symbols on the knife represents a society – the Getticas – witch hunters who go all the way back to the middle ages. 

At the old boathouse, Jake is filling 5 cruets with mandrake as he designates each one with the name of a circle member.  He is speaking to the presumed leader of the Witch Hunters, Isaac.  Simone apparently marked each witch (with the crescent fire), but Nick says she might have ruined the entire plan.  If you kill a bound witch the wrong way, their power passes to other witches in the circle – it makes them stronger.

Isaac is still skeptical of Jake’s motives but Jake says if he doesn’t spell the cruets, the society will have to return to burning witches at the stake.  So Isaac gives him approval to spell the vessels. Now all they need is blood and a personal object from each witch.  Then they can set the vessels on fire to destroy them.

Isaac does not want Jake’s part in all this revealed, so he’s enlisted others – one from their village in Salem.  The other one is a familiar face – Luke – Cassie’s dance date and now one of the people invited to her party.

In Cassie’s next conversation with Jake, when she tells him she’s discovered the truth about Simone, she becomes wary when he reveals his knowledge of the 3 symbols – there were only two on the piece of the knife that Cassie found. So how does he know there were 3?

While the kids are partying at Cassie’s, Calvin pays Ethan a visit. They haven’t seen each other since the fire and Ethan is wary, but Calvin says that even though he wasn’t in Ethan’s circle, he never gave him a reason not to trust him.  He reveals that Cassie has been asking questions about old hunting acquaintances of theirs.

Calvin says he didn’t see much of Amelia in Cassie until he knew who she was, but you never know which parent a child will favor.  Ethan insists Cassie is Amelia’s daughter, but Cal is not so sure.  He knows that Ethan’s love for Amelia made him blind to a lot of things.

But Ethan says that they were all blind in the end, all except Amelia.

Cal suddenly realizes that Cassie doesn’t know who her father is or what he was attempting to do the night of the fire.  Ethan doesn’t think she needs to know, but Calvin thinks she does.   And he reveals the name of Cassie’s father – John Blackwell.  And he believes she should know so she can protect herself.

While Faye distracts Jake (and he steals one of Cassie’s necklaces), Cassie runs next door to the Armstrong house and rummages through Nick’s room, where she finds a knife with that same society symbol.  Faye can’t seem to distract Jake and he returns home to find Cassie with the knife.  He shows her a sheath of weapons, all bearing the symbols of the society.

Faye (who now suspects Jake because he was so distant with her during their encounter), interrupts and says she can’t find Melissa (who has been subdued and kidnapped by one of the hunters.

Calvin calls Cassie to tell her he has left her something and that she’s in danger.  Jake finds Calvin and kills him with the vessel, but not before he tells Jake that Cassie has dark magic in her.  Meanwhile, all the members of the circle are being subdued and kidnapped by hunters.

At the boathouse, all 5 members of the circle are bound and coming to.  Luke is cutting Cassie to collect her blood in her vessel.  Isaac informs them the circle is ringed with iron sulfite to stop their powers.

It becomes clear that Luke is descended from a long line of witch hunters.  As he starts the ritual, Isaac leaves just as Jake runs up to tell him to stop the ritual.  Cassie has dark magic, which makes her stronger than other witches.  But Isaac thinks all magic is dark and won’t stop.

Luke prepares to kill Diana, but Cassie sends out energy, smashing the vessel in his hand.  Luke is undeterred.  Cassie’s vessel is next – but again Cassie sends out power, and sets Luke on fire.

Seeing this, Jake cuts his arm just as Adam frees himself and the others.  Jake screams, and when the others find him, he tells them a man attacked him and ran off.  Jake  asks what happened, but the circle members are clearly stunned.

Later Adam attempts to reconcile with Diana.  He tells her that as a kid, he was known as the motherless boy but he feels you can’t lose what you never had.  Every day his father became more distant, and Diana provided him with a sense of home.  Now he feels like he is losing everything he had all at once.

Diana tells him that although she knows everything can’t be perfect, she needs to believe it can be so that fighting for it makes sense.

Cassie is cleaning up after the party and Jake arrives to check on her.  Cassie asks how there can be people who hate the witches so much.  After all, they did not choose to be who they are, they were born that way.  Jakes says that people fear what they don’t understand.

Cassie tells him that she thinks she did witchcraft on her own in the boathouse – she thinks she stopped one of the witch hunters from killing Diana.  But she’s curious as to why the hunters didn’t round Jake up with the rest of them.  Jake says he knows she doesn’t trust him, and he doesn’t mind having to earn it.  Cassie wishes him luck with that.

As she’s locking up the house, she sees the envelope Cal has left for her sticking out of the mailbox.  When she opens it, she finds a parchment, with a circle symbol in the middle, and the initial J.B. on the lower right side.

Meanwhile, Jane has arrived at Henry’s lake house to find him lying on the floor.  She locates what must be the Chamberlain crystal high up on a column in the foyer, and she holds it and begins to chant over Henry’s still body.  Someone comes up behind her, whacks her in the head and knocks her unconscious, takes the crystal, and leaves.

Questions:

What did Ethan to do his wife?  And how does Adam know anything about it if he was so young when she died?

Richard and Sarah Armstrong are the only two members of the previous circle with two children.  Is this a possible clue to why they were both killed?

John Blackwell is Cassie’s father, and passed his dark power on to her.  Who is he and what is dark power?  How is it different from the power of the rest of the witches in the circle?

John Blackwell is also the reason Amelia and Ethan did not fulfill their destiny – how did he interfere in Ethan and Amelia’s relationship, and is the same dynamic now playing out with Cassie, Diana and Adam?

Is Jake truly a Witch Hunter out for a vendetta against the current circle and all the witches in Chance Harbor, or are his motives completely different?

Henry’s body has been lying around the boathouse for weeks, according to Jane – why hasn’t it decomposed?  Is Henry really dead, or only in a state of suspension?

Who hit Jane and stole in the Chamberlain crystal?

Episode 1.06 TSC – “Wake” or “The Kind of Love That Makes You Want to Believe in Destiny”

I saw some chatter on Twitter last week that I find discouraging.  It seems that some people are not inclined to stick with The Secret Circle.  I’d like to offer my reasons why I think it’s a show worth watching.

First, any show that is gutsy enough to take a chance and kill off leading character 5 episodes in is worth sticking around for – especially if within those 5 episodes, the character arc was developed enough that when Nick died, you cared enough to be shocked and saddened. This kind of move makes me think “if they would do that, anything is possible.”

Second, the mythology on this show is as “compelling” as that on The Vampire Diaries.

Yes, I mentioned The Vampire Diaries.  I think it’s important to note that while these are “sister” shows – if for no other reason than that the source material came from the same original author, L.J. Smith – they are different.  The Secret Circle can stand on its own merits – if we give it a chance.

We have learned a lot about the mythology of with Chance Harbor witches in the 6 episodes broadcast so far.  But there are more questions than answers at this point and I think waiting around for the answers is as compelling a reason to watch as some of the other aspects of the show.

Third, the story of the “Generations” of witches and the history are every bit as interesting as the mythology.  Power changes, depending on who is using it, and how.

Fourth, another element The Secret Circle shares with The Vampire Diaries is “Triangles”.  But the story driving the relationships on The Secret Circle is different from The Vampire Diaries story in a significant way.

And that is my primary reason for continuing to watch The Secret Circle – the “celestial Romance”.

The Mythology – What We Know and What We Don’t  

  • A complete Circle is comprised of one member of the original 6 families.
  • Individual witch power is weaker than the collective power of the Circle members once the Circle is “bound”.
  • Once “bound”, the powers of the collective are enhance, and individual powers are eliminated.
  • Even if a member of the Circle dies, the Circle is still bound.
  • A Circle is complicated by the personalities and attitudes of its members.
  • The binding is not exclusive to the members of the Circle – it extends to their blood lines.
  • Binding was designed for protection.
  • Each family has a Book of Shadows.  The book is passed from one generation to the next.
  • Each book contains certain information – and spells – in common, but the information in each book is different in its details.
  • Cassie’s lineage goes back to the beginning and is more powerful than the others.
  • Cassie’s lineage bears the responsibility to lead and protect the circle.
  • Jane (and Dawn and Charles) have Crystals.  Jane’s was passed down from her mother, to Amelia and now to Cassie.
  • The crystal is the most coveted magic there is.
  • The crystal is simpler than the Circle – like a lens, it magnifies its owners power.
  • The power of the crystal appears to be limited (the crystal that Dawn and Charles have has no power)
  • The crescent is a symbol of conquest used to mark a Circle
  • The True Believers hate witches and hunt them – and apparently use their blood

There are all kinds of question among these facts that I hope to see answered as the show moves forward.

For instance, when was the beginning?  The beginning of that?  Why is Cassie’s lineage the most powerful?  Does the power come from Jane/Amelia’s side of the family? Is the leader of every circle since the beginning always from Cassie’s line?  Why? Were all the families present at the beginning?  If so, how did the Blake line become dominant?

Does each family have a crystal of its own?  Were Charles and Dawn trying to break their crystal into pieces, or simply infuse it with the power of the moon (or something else)?

Will Cassie be like most young people and ignore the advice and warnings of their elders (who have history on their side), or will she be wise and listen?

And if Cassie is the natural leader of the Circle, what does it mean to the current Circle leader, Diana?

What about the True Believers who hate witches?  Is this an old conflict going back all the way to Salem, or before that?  Is it a basic fight between good and evil, or something more?  Is it a metaphor for today’s social environment?  And what does a group who hates witches need with witch blood?

Generations – Who Are These People?

We have a member of each of the 6 families in the current generation’s Circle:

  • Cassie Blake
  • Adam Conant
  • Faye Chamberlain
  • Melissa Glaser
  • Diana Meade
  • Nick Armstrong/Jake Armstrong

We also know quite a bit about the previous generation – the most important fact being that each of the current circle members lost at least one parent in a fire 16 years ago.

Cassie’s Mom was Amelia Blake.  We don’t know anything yet about her father, except that his name was Blackthorn (thanks to Ethan and his drinking).  We know she had a good friend Heather, who had a boyfriend Zach – and neither of them were witches.  So what were Zach and Heather doing at the fire?

We know that Adam’s father, Ethan, was in love with Cassie’s mother, Amelia – and presumably Blackthorn came between them – Ethan married someone else, she is Adam’s mother, and she was killed in the fire.  Why did Charles kill Amelia?

Faye’s mother is Dawn, and her father was Tom Chamberlain.  Tom was killed in the fire.  Dawn loved Tom, by her own admission to Tom’s father.  Besides power, what does Dawn want?

Diana’s mother was killed in the fire.  Her father, Charles Meade, killed Amelia and Nick Armstrong.  We know nothing about Diana’s mother, except that – like Adam’s – she was killed in the fire.  We do know that being the cause of Nick’s death is having a profound effect on Charles – in a way that killing Cassie’s mother Amelia did not!  How will that play out?

At this point, the parents in the previous generation we know the least about are the Glaser’s (Melissa’s parents) and the Armstrongs (Nick and Jake’s parents).  It is unclear which of Melissa’s parents is dead – her mother or her father.  Why don’t we know by now?

Nick Armstrong lost both his parents in the fire.  Next to discovering information about the parents who are – as yet – unseen, this is the most interesting fact about the previous generation.  Why did both of the Armstrong parents die in the fire?

Nick’s brother, Jake, has returned to Chance Harbor after leaving several years ago.  His stated purpose is “to rid Chance Harbor of witches.”  If this is his true purpose, is it because he lost both his parents, and now his brother?  Or is there something else driving him.

While there are enough unanswered questions about the parents of the present Circle to fill out all of Season 1, there is the additional element of “the Elders”.  We have already seen Dawn kill Henry Chamberlain.  But so far, Jane Blake is an “ally” and Jane is the source of much of the mythology.  But clearly the Elders have something beyond just “juju power” – even if it is simply the power of heritage and tradition.  I am sticking around to find out just what role they play in all this.

Triangles

With the very first episode, we had a triangle – Diana-Adam-Cassie.  With the introduction of Jake, there are two additional triangles.

  • Adam-Cassie-Jake
  • Faye-Jake-Cassie

It’s getting complicated – and juicy.  Jake Armstrong has a history in Chance Harbor – with everyone but Cassie, of course.  Cassie speaks to the circle about including Jake.  Adam and Faye clearly hate him, and Melissa is offended that Cassie would be so quick to want to replace Nick.  Diana seems to be the only one who will even consider it.

After the threats to the Circle (the burning crescent) and Cassie (the attempted stabbing), Cassie tries to be the voice of reason.  She tells them they need to put aside all their issues, especially their past issues with Jake.  Their circle has been marked and they need him.  Adam and Faye just can’t trust Jake.  But Diana is not so sure – she is more willing to listen to Cassie and how Cassie feels.  Diana seems to understand that because Cassie has no history with Jake, she sees him differently – and perhaps more clearly than the others.

Following a physical fight between Adam and Jake, Cassie tells Jake that she sees the people in this town hate him.  He claims it doesn’t bother him – but Cassie says “you ran away”.  Cassie explains that her mom left too and they moved all the time, from town to town.  But it never did seem to give her mother peace.

She asks how it’s working for Jake, and he says “Peace isn’t what I was looking for.”  Cassie tells him that she didn’t know him in the past, but he doesn’t seem like a guy everyone should hate.

They are all bound together.  Maybe Jake didn’t want that, and neither did she – but it’s not something that they can run from.  Jake tries to tell her that if she knew him better, she wouldn’t want him to stay.  Cassie tells him there isn’t a choice because the circle can’t do anything without him.  Something bad is coming.  It killed his brother Nick, it killed their parents, and they are not strong enough to do anything about it without him, so Jake says he will stick around for a while.

Is Cassie – the only one in the circle who is not prejudiced from past history with Jake – seeing the true Jake – or is she seeing what she wants to see?

In stark contrast to all the interplay among these triangles, there is Melissa, completely alone.  She consoles herself at Nick’s house, in his room, in his bed, listening to his music and holding his jacket. The bed is unmade since the last time they were in it together… she cries and cries and cries.  Ultimately, Faye turns out to be a true friend who cares about her and is there for her.

The Ultimate Love Story

Ethan is trying to drown his feelings with booze again and muttering about how the town just keeps burying teenagers, and it still hurts as much now as it did back then.   Later Diana brings Ethan coffee and he tells her that he thinks Adam is lucky to have her.

But he also tells her more.  He wishes that she were “the one” because she deserves to be happy.  But it is Adam’s destiny to be with Cassie Blake – it is written in the stars – and bad things happen when you mess with fate.

Diana confronts Adam.  She tells him what Ethan has told her.  Adam tries to justify it – telling her it’s an old story Ethan tells himself to feel better about once having been in love with Cassie’s mother.

But Diana says – “that’s what I want – the kind of love that makes you want to believe in destiny.”   

“There’s a way you look at Cassie that I could never understand – I think I get it now – its wonder.  Wondering if every time you find yourselves together, it’s choice or destiny, I have been standing in silence watching it ever since she got here – I can’t do that anymore.”

Diana has broken off with Adam, and part of the reason was Adam’s reaction to the presence of Jake around Cassie.

What is this whole celestial connection between the Conants and the Blakes about?  This is, for me, the most compelling aspect of the show, because I love a good romantic story, especially one with an element that involves something like “soul mates”.

Have you ever been in the presence of two people who are deeply in love with each other?  I have – and I know just how Diana feels.  Not jealous – I did not desire my friend’s lover.  I was envious of their love – because at that point in my life, I had not been loved that way.  And I wanted to be.

I am sure everyone does.  Even if your love is not “written in the stars”, you want to feel as if it is.  Sure, it’s silly, and it’s romantic, and that feeling doesn’t last.  If you are very lucky, true love deepens and becomes something beyond that first flush of romance.

But you honestly never do forget how that first flush feels – how desperate you are to see each other again when you are apart – how when you can’t reach the other, you worry – needlessly – that something (or someone!) has happened.

That’s what Diana wants – and I can relate.

So I am planning to continue to watch The Secret Circle every week, looking for answers to all my questions, waiting to see who shows up next and how it changes the dynamics of the relationships.

But I am especially looking forward to seeing what the great “Blake Conant Celestial Romance Connection” is all about.  I am sure it will be worth watching and waiting for.

Episode 1.04 TSC – “Heather”

This episode opens in Nick’s bedroom – with Melissa and Nick – again.  This relationship seems to be developing.  I think that’s fitting because Nick and Melissa are clearly the most emotionally vulnerable characters in the Circle.  As Faye has said, because he lost both his parents, Nick is “double damaged”.

And because Melissa is also damaged, Faye is trying to protect her.  Faye is growing on me.  Very much like another supernatural character I love, underneath that outward snark of hers, she really does care about people. She doesn’t want Melissa to get too close to Nick because she is afraid Melissa will be hurt.  Melissa sees herself as a loser too, so Faye apologizes to Melissa – just before pointing out that Nick is outside with another girl.

Faye is sincerely trying to keep Melissa from being hurt – but Melissa is more interested in being loved by this boy – perhaps any boy – than in listening to her friends.  This is a familiar dynamic.  Girls at this age are often quite willing to push their girlfriends out of their lives in order to get the attention they crave from some boy so they will feel loved –perhaps because no one has ever made them feel that way.

Melissa projects her feelings of inadequacy onto Nick.  Later, she shows up at Nick’s and apologizes, saying she has no right to be jealous.  Things appear to be OK between them.

Meanwhile, Cassie is trying to figure out what she can about Heather.  Turns out Heather has a brother and he lives close by in an old, creepy fishing village.  Cassie enlists Adam to help her find Mr. Barnes. He lives in the village in its creepiest house.

And, surprise, so does Heather.  Her brother explains Heather hasn’t moved in 16 years – but suddenly, she becomes animated and grabs Cassie.   And won’t let go.   Her brother notices she grabbed Cassie’s arm – not his and not Adam’s.  And just like that, Heather is catatonic again.

Cassie sees a strange scar on Heather’s wrist.  She tells Mr. Barnes she wishes there was something she could do to help.  And she and Adam leave.

But Cassie is not through – she is not satisfied.  She’s feeling guilty by association – is her mother responsible for Heather’s current state – and if so, how could she do that to her friend?  But if she did it, perhaps there is something Cassie can do to help.

She’s seen the scar in her Book of Shadows.

So she takes Adam back to her grandmother’s house and she shows Adams her book of Shadows.   Adam tells her that Diana’s book is the only one they’ve ever seen.  Now that he’s seen Cassie’s book – which is completely different – he wants to look further.

Cassie shows him that there is a symbol in the book – just like the one on Heather’s arm.  And there is a suppression spell in Amelia’s handwriting.  Cassie wants to undo the spell – to make Heather better and to learn about the fire.

In order to do the spell, they need Cassie’s blood.  Adam pricks her finger and he lets Cassie’s blood drip into a bottle.

A bloody spell – a moment of intimacy between Cassie and Adam – and in walks Diana.

The look on Diana’s face when she finds out that Cassie has her own Book of Shadows is a look of controlled jealousy (and major kudos to Shelley Hennig.)   Not because Cassie is caught in yet another intimate moment with the love of Diana’s life, but because Cassie has her own Book of Shadows – meaning Diana is no longer all powerful.  She will have to share.

But she won’t.  She tells Cassie it is too dangerous – they don’t know enough.  “You can’t do the spell by yourself, and we can’t help you. Maybe when we understand more.  Adam?” And the two of them leave, Adam reluctantly.

This is a pivotal moment in the show.  It brings to mind what Amelia told Cassie in her book:

“Be careful who you trust –even people who call themselves your friends.”

It may be jealousy, but it may also be about power and control.  And this is what makes Diana the most interesting character in the younger generation Circle.  In each episode, Diana appears to behave in a very rational, pleasant way.  But for me, there is always this undertone that there is more to her than meets the eye.

I think Diana went to the Vito Corleone School of Relationships – you know, the one where they teach you “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”.  I think all this stuff about really wanting to be friends with Cassie is not sincere.  I’m not so sure she’s all that in love with Adam either.

Diana won’t help – but Faye would LOVE to.  As long as she gets to read Cassie’s Book of Shadows.  And Cassie, who needs the help of another member of the circle, agrees.

Soon they go back to Heather’s house.  Brother Barnes leaves and they chant to try to undo the spell.  It doesn’t appear to work and brother comes home, so the girls scamper away.

But something must have worked, because the next thing that happens is Heather achieving consciousness and throwing her brother through a wall, before she leaves her house for the first time in 16 years.

Back at Cassie’s house, Faye is devouring Cassie’s Book of Shadows, much to Cassie’s dismay.

Meanwhile, Diana explains to Adam why she didn’t want Cassie to use the spells in her Book of Shadows.  Seems Diana’s book has the symbol too, but hers explains much more than Cassie’s book.  The snakes and insects around the symbol indicate that they are vessels for dark power – black magic power.   The symbol is meant to mark the “victim” and keep the evil spirit bound up inside it.  Undoing the spell can let it loose.

Suppression spell = binding the evil spirit.  Uh oh.

And again, this is what makes Diana interesting.  Was that a look of jealousy on her face when she came upon Cassie, Adam and Cassie’s book?  Or was it just that she had information in her book that no one else had?  But she didn’t reveal that in front of Cassie.  Only later did she divulge it to Adam.

If Diana has shared her Book of Shadows freely with all the members of the circle, especially Adam (who recognized that Cassie’s book was completely different from Diana’s) why didn’t Adam recognize that symbol himself when he saw it in Cassie’s book?

How close a look has he actually had to Diana’s book.  And if it’s not very close, why not?  How is it that Diana doesn’t trust the person she’s loved “all her life” enough to share all the details of her book with him?

Heather now shows up at Cassie’s home looking for Amelia.  Heather is devastated that Amelia is dead.  She tells Cassie that Amelia tried to save all of them on the night of the fire – and it was also the night she wanted to leave town with Cassie.

But Evil went inside Heather.  It is still there and it hurts.  Amelia made the pain go away (by putting her in a catatonic state.)  Heather then collapses in pain on the floor.

Adam calls Cassie and Faye answers – Diana immediately wants to know why Faye is at Cassie’s house.  There is that Diana radar – she is immediately suspicious of Faye being along with Cassie – and Cassie’s Book of Shadows.

Heather tells Cassie that 16 years ago, she went to the boat house to find Amelia.  Wherever there are witches, evil follows.  All the 2nd Generation Witches has been summoned to the boathouse, because “they” (demons) were trying to use their power.   Amelia couldn’t stop them all and one of them got inside Heather.

Suddenly Heather is demon-possessed. She knocks Cassie out – and in walks Faye.  Now Heather is after Faye, and Adam and Diana can hear it all – over the phone.

Heather flies (I mean literally flies) up the stairs and breaks in to Cassie’s bedroom.  Melissa, in an embrace with Nick, can see Faye frantically trying to break open Cassie’s window.  They race to her aid.

Faye is in the fight of her life, but Cassie has regained consciousness and enters the bedroom, cracks Heather with the fire poker, and together she and Faye run.  This time Heather jumps from the balcony and lands on the first floor like a cat.  The girls run, and Heather turns off all the house lights.

Enter Nick (my hero), who protects Cassie from eminent attack. Heather – sensing she is outnumbered, runs out of the house, right past her brother, who has followed her (how’d he know where she went?) and into the street.  When he finally gets her attention, she turns and is hit by a car and killed instantly.

The demon (in the form of this snake) leaves Heather’s now dead body through a wound in her arm – and attaches itself to a backpack – Nick’s backpack! (Why he felt he needed his backpack to save his friend/neighbor is beyond me.)

Heather’s brother remarks at least she’s at peace.  Faye wants to give Melissa a ride home but it’s clear she’s staying with Nick.

Adam, who drove Diana home, returns to Cassie’s house to help her clean up.  He tells her he thinks their lives depend on knowing what happened 16 years ago.  Demons are after them, and what’s out there is a lot bigger than any of them ever thought.

I am not sure Diana would agree.

And the episode, which opened with Nick and Melissa in Nick’s bedroom, closes the same way. Nick tells Melissa he’s never going to change – that he will disappoint her – and that she deserves better.  (Oh, how I have underestimated this young man!)

The Demon, who found its way into Nick’s backpack, crawls across a sleeping Nick and winds up inside Melissa’s head.  Because – I believe – she’s the one of the circle with the least self-esteem –which makes her the most controllable.

I get the feeling this is exactly what the middle generation members – Dawn and Charles – were banking on.

The question is…why?

Episode 1.03 TSC – “Loner”

The farther into the story of “The Secret Circle” we get with each episode, the more questions I have.

In last week’s post, I focused on the generational aspects of the Chance Harbor witches.  Henry (and Cassie’s grandmother) represents the Boomer Circle, Dawn and Charles are members of the Gen X Circle, and the current 6 members are the Gen Y Circle.

What I failed to grasp until “Loner” is one of the most significant aspects of the timing of the fire.  It occurred 16 years ago, in 1995.   The events during the Gen X coming of age make their story at least as interesting as that of the current Gen Y Circle.

Thanks to Cassie’s access to her mother’s yearbook, we know that the Gen X Circle were high school seniors in 1995.  That means that by the time they graduated from Chance Harbor High, they were already parents to the current Gen Y Circle.

And that means that 6 young women in the Chance Harbor High Class of 1995 were teen mothers!  And that includes the current Principal of Chance Harbor High, Faye’s mother, Dawn Chamberlain.

Most of the people in Chance Harbor do not appear to be aware that there is a witches coven (or two, or three) in their midst.  But surely there are citizens who remember the terrible fire that killed at least 6 young people in 1995.

And anyone who lived in Chance Harbor in 1995 and is old enough to remember the fire must also be aware that the people who died were parents of 6 little babies born that same year.

Does anyone besides me find this all very odd? I mean, sure – a fire that tragically kills 6 or 7 high school students is a terrible town calamity, but isn’t a spate of teenage pregnancies – all at around the same time – just as much of a town scandal?  And why do the Gen Y Circle kids seems to blissfully unaware of/affected by this?   Surely it can’t have escaped their notice.

It is clear from the blurb with her yearbook picture that Amelia Blake was planning to leave Chance Harbor upon graduation.   Who can blame her – she was a widowed unwed teenage mother.

But according to Grandma Jane, Cassie’s Mom left Chance Harbor because, after Cassie’s father’s death – staying there would have been too painful.

Really? With a secret club of other unwed teenage mothers for company?  I’m not buying it.

We also know from the yearbook that Amelia has a best friend – Heather – and that Heather was not part of the X Circle.  But she was also reported killed in the mysterious fire.  But according to her old boyfriend – Zachary – she’s not dead.  And Zach blames the Gen X Circle generally, and Cassie’s mom Amelia specifically.

So if Heather is alive, where is she?  Is she suffering the effects of a spell cast by Amelia – and is that why Amelia left? And was it really Amelia who did something to Heather – or one of the other Gen X Circle members?  As the next episode is entitled “Heather”, I am hoping we will get more details on all this.

And what about all those other Gen X Circle unwed parents?  We know that both Nick’s parents were killed in the fire, so we are not going to meet them.  And so far we haven’t seen Melissa’s  father.   Amelia, though now dead, seemed normal enough in the single scene in which she appeared.

But we have met Dawn, Charles, and Ethan.

Ethan’s drinking problem is completely understandable, given the events of the past that we know about.  He was a teenage Dad who became a widower.  Who wouldn’t be tempted to escape into a bottle after all that?

He was He Who else finds it hard to imagine the self-assured Dawn and Charles as unwed, teenage widow and widower – and harder still to understand how Dawn went on to achieve her current role?   Unwed teen Mom to High School Principal in 16 years.  THIS is a story I want to know more about!

I also want to understand the timing of current events.  After 16 years, why did Charles and Dawn need to bring Cassie to Chance Harbor?  Why did they need to complete the Gen Y Circle – and why now?

In this episode, we were also introduced to one of the peers of the Gen X Circle – Zachary.  And we know that his girlfriend, Heather – reported dead in the fire – didn’t die.  I’m assuming we will find out what happened to her in this week’s episode “Heather”.

But who is covering up all the true facts of the 1995 fire? And why?

The facts of the Gen X Circle inform the issues with the members of the current circle.  The title of the episode is “Loner” and although it is Cassie who is cast as the loner, each member is a loner in their own way.

As Faye indicated, they are all damaged, but Nick is “double-damaged”.   When he’s not using and insulting Melissa, he is apparently the school’s drug dealer.   Faye also tells Melissa “Nick hates Nick.”  Of the circle’s members, he is the one who I would most likely label a “loner”.  But when the circle needs him (to take on Zachary), he is there.

Melissa is the female Nick.  She appears not to hold herself in very high esteem, as Nick has made it fairly clear he’s just using her.  He asks her about this himself – “Why do you like me? I treat you like crap and you keep coming back for more. Do you like being dumped on?”  To her credit, Melissa tells him “No” and turns on her heel and leaves him to brood.

Faye also takes a stab at her, “I don’t mind being alone. Unlike you, Melissa, I like myself.”  Faye is the most interesting character in the series so far.  She is the girl who hurts you before you can get a chance to hurt her.  But she is far more interesting than a mere “mean girl”.   Although she takes a swipe at Melissa, she also has her back when she tells Nick “Treat her right.”  And when he apparently does, she smiles – but it’s a somewhat wistful smile, leaving me thinking she feels more alone than she lets on.  Her tough-girl exterior hides a soul afraid of getting hurt.

Diana, although she is in a long-standing relationship with Adam, is also alone.  And she hates it so much that she insists that the Circle members are better off collectively than individually.  And even though she is aware of the attraction between Adam and Cassie, and admits it to Cassie herself, she STILL wants to be Cassie’s friend.  This is a girl so desperate for friendship that she will befriend a rival.

Or does she have other motives?  Does she believe “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”, like Vito Corleone?

Adam is a motherless boy with no shortage of girls.  He’s been Diana’s main squeeze for 3 years (and if these kids are 16 years old, that means they have been going together since age 13!).  But he is compulsively attracted to Cassie and clearly wants to do the honorable thing with Diana but just can’t seem to help himself when Cassie is around.  I am looking forward to getting more details about this whole “written in the stars” aspect of the attraction as the series moves on, but I have a feeling the attraction has less to do with the stars – and more to do with ancient spells.

And finally – Cassie, the self-professed loner, is as drawn to Adam as he is to her.  But she genuinely likes Diana and – like Adam – wants to do the honorable thing.

This is interesting because we see in children what they have been taught by their parents.  Adam has never known his mother, and his father is an alcoholic, but he’s an alcoholic who clearly respected the members of the Boomer Circle, because he called on Henry for help. So there’s much more to Ethan than just being the town drunk.   He has principles, and he’s passed them on to his son.

Cassie never knew her father, and was very close with her mother.  She’s very self-possessed.  She makes it clear from her first day at school that she is used to being on her own, and quite fine with it.  (“I’m not feeling very delicate.”)  She has her boundaries and is not comfortable with people trying to breach them.  The only one among the circle she’s allowed to get close to her is Adam, and she is drawn to him through no will of her own  – and clearly not happy about it.  It appears to be her sense of honor that is the cause of her unhappiness.

So in the present Gen Y Circle, we have a collection of loners who are now forced to come together in order to have any power.  It appears that how well they are able to use it will depend on them individually as well as collectively.

Find the Circle – the Circle can protect you. Believe in the power of the Circle… But most of all, believe in yourself.”  Amelia Blake

Episode 1.02 TSC – “Bound”

“Be careful who you trust –even people who call themselves your friends –  your power is the only thing that can keep you safe, “.  Amelia Blake

Amelia Blake was a wise mother.  Unable to be there for her daughter, she has left her some words of wisdom.  But as a mother myself, I know that children, especially teens, rarely listen to their parents.

The irony is that in Chance Harbor, even with the power of witchcraft, parents are often powerless in the fight to keep their children safe from harm. And conflict between and among generations can be deadly.

The younger generation is self-absorbed, concerned with peer pressure, and pushes back against authority in an attempt to gain independence, and they are constantly testing their limits.

The older generation doesn’t want their children to make the mistakes they did.  There appears to be an ulterior motive among certain parents in Chance Harbor as regards their children and their Circle, but it becomes clear that regardless of that motive, they love their children unreservedly.

Parents usually wind up watching – powerless – as their children fall into exactly the same holes they did. Then they must either help them climb out, or watch as they climb on their own.  One way, they risk making them more dependent.  The other, they risk the possibility of greater pain on all sides, as the climb is not always easy.

But harder climbs mean the lessons are more likely to be learned and not repeated.

In this episode, we also see the oldest generation.  It already exists in the person of Cassie’s grandmother, Jane.  But here it also shows up in Faye’s “Granddaddy”, Henry Chamberlain, who arrives in the midst of a classic conflict between mother and daughter – appropriate dress for the occasion (in this case, school).

Faye loves this man.  Her greeting caused me to soften towards her.  She clearly adores him, and perhaps he represents the closest thing she has ever had to a father.

But Dawn, while cordial, is not as happy to see Henry and it soon becomes clear why.  Henry holds Dawn responsible for the death of his son, Tom, Dawn’s deceased husband.  And because Dawn, while hospitable, does not display what Henry considers the proper amount of respect for the fact that he owns the house she is living in.

Dawn meets up with Charles later in town, and warns him to keep his eyes open.  Clearly, the members of this generation are still in conflict with those of the one ahead of them!

We soon find out that it was Ethan Conant who called Henry and that’s why he’s in Chance Harbor.  Ethan tells Henry that Charles used magic on him (to simulate drowning), and Henry demands to know what Ethan did to cause that.  Ethan tells him that he was simply speaking to Cassie about her mother.  But he asks Henry point blank “How did Charles get his power back?”

Ethan is a part of the same generation as Dawn and Charles – the one where half the circle members were killed.  Apparently, as a result, they lost their powers.  But Ethan is confiding in the older generation, where Dawn and Charles are still in conflict with it.

Henry takes his newfound knowledge to Dawn, and she lies right to his face.   “Ethan’s not a reliable source.  Charles has no power – none of us do.  Your circle took care of that.”

So the oldest generation, afraid for the survivors of the accident, took away their powers in order to keep them from further harm.  But perhaps that didn’t work exactly as they planned.  Henry observed Faye and Melissa at the Sea Fair, and they were practicing.

Dawn reassures him.  “I lost my husband – I’m not going to let anything happen to Faye.” Ah – there it is – the irony of the generations.  Dawn is clearly still in conflict with the generation ahead of her, but doesn’t see the parallels between her father-in-law’s concerns for his son, and Dawn’s concern for her daughter.

It was ever thus.

Still, there is that ulterior motive.  Dawn meets up with Charles again and requests “the crystal”.  Here we have some witch mythology revealed.  Charles tells Dawn “It’s all the power we have, If we use it up, we have nothing.”  And Dawn replies “I understand – it feels good to do magic again – it’s seductive – but think of the bigger picture.  We have to be smart. “

The bigger picture – whatever it is – takes a back seat in view of the next event.  As a result of Cassie’s presence in Chance Harbor – and because the newest circle is not yet bound – all the powers of the circle members are magnified – and out of their control.  In a conflict with Cassie, Faye shoves Sally Waltman just a little too hard, and she crashes through the pier fence onto the rocks below, where she hits her head in what appears to be a fatal fall.

Cassie arrives at her side first, but Dawn quickly follows and tells her to leave.  She doesn’t want anyone to see that she is using the crystal – and an incantation – to bring Sally back to life.

But Charles does see – and he confronts Dawn.  “You used the crystal – used its power.”

Dawn responds “We don’t kill children.  That was Faye’s fault – the guilt would destroy her.  What if it was Diana?”

And Charles knows she is right.  Parents protect their children – regardless of the risk, regardless of other motives, and regardless of the big picture.

But as much as Dawn is willing to protect her child, she is still unwilling to listen to the dictates of the generation before hers.  Henry lets her know that he knows she has the crystal and that she and Charles are using it.  Dawn responds back with anger and resentment.

“It was wrong of you to take our powers.”

Charles responds in a way that seems to reflect an old-fashioned point of view. “There is no place for witchcraft in this world anymore. “  But he is also looking back from the perspective of age and experience – experience that Dawn hasn’t had yet.

And at this point, she sounds more like one of the current Circle than a parent.   “This circle is different.  Power will be unleashed if they bind together.”

Henry, in a last desperate attempt to save her – and his grandchild – from that which she can’t yet see, does what every parent does – he issues a threat!

“I’m going to the Elders.  Give me the crystal.”

And Dawn does what teenagers often do – she trumps him.  A mortal teen might run away from home.  But Dawn is not mortal and she’s not a teen. She uses the crystal to give Henry a fatal heart attack.  But at least she lets him know she genuinely loved his son before she takes his life.

Now we know why Faye doesn’t want to have her power controlled – she’s just like her Mom!  The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

I have an unsettling feeling that the warning Amelia gives to Cassie – about trusting people – is based on her own experience with her own circle, and with Dawn in particular.  We shall see.

When Faye returns home, there is the shadow of conflict again– Faye is scared, and as Principal of Chance Harbor High, Dawn doesn’t need trouble-maker daughter.

But Dawn really loves her daughter, and Faye loves her mother, and they take comfort in each other’s arms.  (And who among you did not recognize that as a “Sheriff Forbes and Caroline” moment?)

And isn’t this the way all mothers and children wind up?  Our children – when their best laid plans blow up in their faces – run home to cry on Mom’s shoulder.  And all Moms know that no matter how much our kids push us; we would protect them with our lives.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”  James Baldwin

Episode 1.01 TSC – The Secret Circle Premier

“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.

Very odd.

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.

Melissa’s right.

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.

(Triangle alert!!!)

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?

Personal Reflections

  • 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.