THE SECRET CIRCLE
Cassie Blake - Britt Robertson
Adam Conant - Thomas Dekker
Faye Chamberlain - Phoebe Tonkin
Diana Meade - Shelly Hennig
Melissa Glaser - Jessica Parker Kennedy
Nick Armstrong - Louis Hunter
Charles Meade - Gale Harold
Dawn Chamberlain - Natasha Henstridge
Jane Blake - Ashley Crow
OTHER SUPERNATURAL HERO SHOWS
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Blade The Series
The Dresden Files
Cassie Blake loses her mother in a fire that is less of an accident than she knows. She goes to her grandmother's house in Chance Harbor where a group of local kids reveal that she is a witch and their circle, now complete, is immensely powerful. There are other forces at work, though, forces that might have killed some of their parents.
From the writer of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES comes a tale of witchcraft that is so similar in structure to TWILIGHT that it's almost legally actionable. Instead of vampires, though, it's witches and there are the usual rogues gallery of friends, potential enemies and real enemies, not to mention a love triangle already underway.
The cast, of course, are young and attractive, but it remains to be seen whether there is enough that is original here to shake off the shadow of TWILIGHT or the likes of POINT PLEASANT which was also very similar.Top
Cassie is having trouble controlling her powers and she's not the only one. The only way to bring things under control is to bind all of the circle to each other in a ceremony. Neither Cassie nor Faye want any part of that, but a near death changest their minds.
This episode effectively runs over all the old ground that was established in the first episode and only gets about five minutes further on as the circle finally get around to seeing the light and binding the circle. The underlying plot arc of the kids being manipulated by their parents who want to regain their powers continues, but also doesn't get further than killing a character we had only just been introduced to, thus undermining any power it might have had.
The show is going to have to work a lot harder than this to become in any way memorable.Top
Cassie tries to keep her distance from the others in the circle, but when a stranger called Zachary shows up knowing all about her mother and her being a witch and promising that he won't let 'it happen again', the group have combine forces.
There aren't a lot of surprises in this episode. The various members of the group bicker and pretty much pee each other off until the external threat brings them together in a show of what they can actually do. Much of it is predictable and the teenage relationships just aren't proving interesting enough to make up for the lacklustre characters.
A few more minor hints are givenabout what happened to the parents, but it's quite hard to care.Top
Cassie learns that an old friend of her mother's did not die in the ship incident, but is living in a coma because of the spell that Amelia placed on her. Cassie reverses the spell, but finds out too late that there was a good reason for its casting.
Considering that only Faye will help Cassie reverse her mother's spell it should have been obvious that this is not a good idea. Therefore, when Heather wakes up and turns out to be a problem it is hardly a surprise to anyone watching.
Considering that she is supposed to be inhabited by a demon, however, she does very little other than a display of high-jumping and pushing people over. The end of the conflict is also somewhat abrupt and rather inexplicable. A brother who has looked after her for 16 years seems remarkably philosophical about her showing up at Cassie's door before the inevitable happens.
The teenage angst angle is simply annoying, not least because it is repetitive and shows no signs of actually progressing at all.
The coda at the end promises some twists to come.Top
Melissa is possessed by a demon and is intent of releasing more. The circle are helpless to stop her, but Cassie might know where to find help.
Jessica Parker Kennedy comes to the fore in this episode with quite a good performance as the possessed Melissa, but the plot is a bit thin to say the least and the sudden arrival of Cassie's grandma as the saviour of the day is a bit ridiculous.
The show then pulls out a sharp twist at the end that makes everything look a little bit darker and more dangerous.Top
Nick's brother Jake shows up in town at the same time that crescents of fire are being lit wherever the witches gather. Jake is now the only one who can complete the circle, but he seems to have alienated the whole town in the past. Then Nick is attacked, but seems to know his assailant.
This show has never been about the action, but this episode moves even more slowly than most of the others. The reason is the introduction of the new character; a bad boy with a past. Tensions between him and Adam and him and Faye rise, but the expected explosion is a damp squib and the twist at the end doesn't come as any great surprise at all.
The new character is supposed to be enigmatic and edgy, but is mainly smug and annoying. Exactly why anyone is drawn to him is a complete mystery.Top
It's Halloween and Cassie's having a party at the house whilst her grandmother is away. Jake and the witch hunters decide that this is the time to make their move and kill the circle whilst destroying their magic once and for all.
After a slow and extended build up with the teenage angst provided by Adam and Diana's rift and the mystery supplied by Cassie tumbling to Jake's withholding of information, the episode finally erupts into some sort of life as the circle face off against the hunters, Cassie learns some things about her power and herself and death comes to the town once more.
It's a bit of a slog to get to the final burst of action and not altogether worth it, but it's better than much of the show has been to date.Top
Cassie is worried about her grandmother and so the entire circle heads off to remote house that just might be haunted.
This attempt to raise some old-fashioned chills from a traditional haunted house story actually fares better than most of the show to date with occasional creepy moments amongst the bewilderingly muddled plotting and teenage angst overload.
By the end, there is the impression that it's been far more effective than it really has.Top
Cassie and Jake dig into her past and discover that she has a cursed family line that dabbled in Black Magic. Jake is unmasked as a witch hunter and the others of his kind strike.
Considering what's been happening in their lives recently, and the number of people who are dead as a result, the kids in this show prove to be fairly unperturbed as they attend a fundraising event with little emotional baggage. To say that the characterisations in this show are shallow is to compliment it.
More importantly, the teenage love life angst is becoming tedious and the action, when we finally get around to it is pretty pathetic to say the least.Top
Struggling with what she knows about the dark magic in her family, Cassie trusts Diana's grandmother to remove the curse, but things go somewhat awry.
The politicking going on between the various adults who all know more than they are willing to say, or risk is almost interesting as another character shows up out of nowhere to cause some trouble, but her scheme to deal with Cassie, whilst completely predictable, is more fun than anything else in the whole episode.
The dialogue remains sappy and unbelievable and the performances don't help.Top
Cassie and Adam try to research into Cassie's father's background. Faye tries to steal some of Cassie's dark magic , but things don't quite go as aspected.
There's a party in the school gym and someone with magical powers almost burns the place to the ground. Any similarities to the plot of CARRIE are purely coincidental. Honest.
The plot is, in fact, tediously repetitive. Faye is trying to get her magic back and hurts someone. Cassie shows signs of Dark Magic. Adam, Cassie and Diana are trapped in a love triangle. Yawn. Been there and done that. The show needs to come up with some new material.Top
Cassie goes into Jake's memory of the night when their parents all died to find out just what happened aboard the boat.
The tedious love travails of the cast are held at bay this week by the main plotline in which Jake and Cassie go back into his mind to see what happened to their parents. There are some nice twists, though not exactly unexpected and the presentation of the dream world is nicely done.Top
A psychic comes to Cassie with a warning about witch hunters and the answer to the secret of her father's medallion.
The idea that the memory Cassie visited can be changed for all the people who shared that memory is an interesting one, which makes up for the rest of the episode being predictable and dull. The twists are telegraphed and unsurprising and the teen angst is just boring.Top
The girls in the circle hold and anti-valentine party that is messed up by Melissa's drug habit and the return of the witch hunters who want Cassie's medallion.
The face-off in the abandoned church at the end of this episode is about as good a piece of action as the show has come up with to date, though that isn't saying that much.
Unfortunately, to get to that point we have to wade through the endless teenage girl angst, unconvincing drug taking and people ignoring what others advise them to do only because the plot requires them to.Top
Cassie's father is back and swears that he is no longer evil and just wants to protect her. The same cannot be said of the new witch hunters that have arrived.
Daddy issues! Just when you thought that the show had plumbed the depths of the teenage psyche as deeply as it could go, we get an episode about absentee fathers and it is dull.
OK, there is some double-dealing and you never quite know who is playing who and for what side, but the action finale is pathetically weak and not worth the wait.Top
Cassie is struggling with her father's return and what it means for her and Adam. Faye learns that her new boyfriend's ex is back from a coma.
Lovers waking up from comas at inconvenient moments, children paying for their fathers' sins, love triangles past and present. And yet another party.
There is absolutely nothing here that hasn't been done before and with a great deal more interest.Top
Adam and Cassie have activated a curse that will kill one of the circle unless they find the ingredients of an elixir. Faye goes looking for her missing boyfriend.
Having dispensed with the whole 'will they/won't they' scenario with Adam and Cassie, the show then finds a way to bring it all back again. Unfortunately, it's a particularly dull and uninteresting way.
Not as dull and unlikely as the whole Faye's missing boyfriend scenario in which Faye walks away without a second thought from a woman who could easily involve her with the police and a very dead body.Top
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