Tag Archives: the CW

Recap/Review: The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 4 (Heather)

27 Dec

Finally, some more character development! This episode, the show ramps up both the creepy and the sexy (but mostly the creepy), proving that it can be every bit as awesome as older sibling The Vampire Diaries, just so long as it sticks to the basics. Sex and death; they never fail to hook the viewers!

Heather Barnes

Given the name of the episode, along with what the group discovered last week, it’s somewhat unsurprising that a large part of this episode is devoted to uncovering the story of Heather Barnes. So much so in fact, that no other headers seem necessary. Adam offers to help Cassie search for Heather at the beginning of the episode and Diana, as Cassie’s newly instated BFF, doesn’t seem to mind them spending time alone together. Not that the alone time turns out to be enjoyable, as it leads them to a creepy little fishing village where they find…yet another person who knew Cassie’s mother! At this rate, I’m going to need to start a tally, and perhaps a drinking game as well…

Wade Barnes, Heather’s brother, does not look in the least bit happy to see Cassie and Adam, and we soon see why. Heather Barnes hasn’t moved in sixteen years, and of course it’s all Cassie’s mother’s fault. Cassie clearly has an effect on Heather though, as she grabs her arm with a surprisingly strong grip for someone who’s supposed to be immobile. Cassie and Adam are thrown out immediately, but not before noticing a mark on Heather’s arm. It’s a sigil, which they go straight home to look up in the Book of Shadows.

They realise that Cassie’s mother must have put a spell on Heather, which Cassie wants to reverse. But Diana (never one to resist spoiling an opportunity to practise magic) forbids them from doing it. Enter Faye, who is always on hand when there’s trouble to be made, and before we know it Heather is opening her eyes and throwing her brother at walls. We soon learn that she’s possessed, and that releasing her from the spell was the last thing that anyone should have done. After writhing on the floor for a while, levitating around the house, and nearly killing Cassie and Faye she runs out into the road and is hit by a car. Crisis averted, right?

But where has the demon gone?

Melissa and Nick

OK, so maybe I lied about the headers. Melissa and Nick are important for two reasons this episode. Firstly, for their tumultuous teenage romance: she loves him, he’s unsuitable, her best friend doesn’t like him (or doesn’t trust him, or perhaps is just jealous that she’s no longer getting so much attention). We’ve seen it all before of course, but it doesn’t half make good television! The second reason is much more important, and provides the answer to my last question. The demon, having slithered out of Heather’s lifeless body, finds its way first into Nick’s jacket and then into Melissa’s ear. Oh, we have not seen the last of this…

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Recap/Review: The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 2 (Bound)

11 Oct

After an impressive pilot episode, I had high hopes for The CW’s new series, ‘The Secret Circle’. However, I have to say the the last few episodes have been a disappointment, with the relationships and story-lines failing to develop quickly enough for my liking. Still, I’m hoping that The Secret Circle, like The Vampire Diaries before it, will improve with time and so I will be persisting with it for now, although my recaps for it may be a little shorter than for other shows.

The Binding

Most of this episode, as the title suggests, focuses on the binding of the circle’s powers. As was suggested last week, Diana thinks that this is a great idea, whereas Faye (and Melissa, who goes along with everything Faye says) are far more interested in using their powers to make fire in Chemistry class. Because lighting a Bunsen burner is so difficult… Cassie is also experimenting with her powers, and the results are always bigger than she expects. Unfortunately, she also has a habit of freaking out every time she performs magic, which kind of detracts from her general witchiness. Why do the characters in these supernatural dramas always have to be so clueless?

To cut a long story short, Faye is eventually convinced to do the binding ritual after she almost kills the class president with a magic-aided shove. Actually, she does kill her, but luckily she has a mother with a magic crystal to clean up her messes for her (more on that later).

The Adults

A spanner is thrown in the works for Dawn and Charles, as Dawn father-in-law Henry arrives to check up on them. He also talks to Ethan about that little drowning incident last week, and it doesn’t take him long to realise that Bad Things are happening in this town. He tells Dawn that the situation needs to be taken care of, by which he clearly means that the magic must be stopped.

Dawn takes care of the situation by taking the magic crystal from Charles (it would appear that the adults can only do magic if they have this crystal). It’s this crystal which she uses to heal Sally when Faye pushes her off the pier. However, her next use for the crystal is less well-meaning, as she gives Henry a heart attack when he threatens to report her and Charles to the elders. I’m guessing that this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing about the elders though, especially as they seem to be heavily against the use of magic.

The Relationships

Of course, teen drama wouldn’t be what it is without a little bit of love in the air. In this episode we see Melissa (a.k.a. Faye’s sidekick) get her own hint of a story-line as she hooks up with Nick (a.k.a. the Peeping Tom neighbour). However, at this point it looks to be little more than a hook up, as Nick shows no sign of giving up his Casanova lifestyle, and is dancing with Faye before the episode is over.

Then we have Cassie and Adam, the star-crossed lovers. In terms of their ‘relationship’ this episode is very similar to the pilot (they do some magic together, it goes extraordinarily well, Cassie runs away), but there is one crucial difference. With a little nudge from Faye, Diana realises that the new girl might want to be more than just friends with her boyfriend. Unsurprisingly, she gets paranoid about this, but Adam reassures her that she has nothing to worry about. Because really, a few light bulbs going out when they’re together isn’t anything, is it?

Let me know your thoughts about this episode in the comments!

 

Recap/Review: The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 3 (The End of the Affair)

3 Oct

The Vampire Diaries returned to our screens three weeks ago, and it’s fair to say that up until now I haven’t been that impressed with the third season. As the second season ended with the sacrifice that the show had been building up to for weeks, the aftermath felt more than a little flat. But that all changed last week!

Katherine’s return

The main reason for my renewed interest was probably the return of everyone’s favourite bad girl, Katherine Pierce. OK, we barely saw her, but just the fact that she was there made the episode so much better (and reminded me how boring Elena is in comparison to her badass alter ego). Here’s hoping for a longer appearance from her next week!

Stefan’s dark side

They’ve been telling us for a long time that Stefan used to be evil, but this was the first time that we really saw him as the Ripper. And it was chilling, but also kind of sexy! Poor Stefan, he spends years being good, and all the adoring fanbase want is for him to feed his victims’ blood to their husbands and scrawl their names on his wall. (Am I wrong to assume that my views speak for the entire adoring fanbase? Maybe. But I know that at least some of you will agree with me, so I’m happy to make a broad generalisation.)

On a related note, who didn’t love Klaus and Stefan’s friendship this episode? And who wasn’t at least a little heartbroken when Klaus erased Stefan’s memory of it? Which leads us directly to…

Rebekah

I’ve been waiting forever for them to introduce some new Originals, so I was very excited about this new development. And I love Rebekah as a character, feisty, petulant, opinionated, you can tell she and Klaus are related… Although this does mean that there’s yet another woman competing for Stefan’s affections, which strikes me as more than a little excessive!

And on another related note, who were Klaus and Rebekah running from? And what does Katherine have to do with it (because you can be sure that if there’s a tricky situation on this show, then she’ll be tied up in it somehow)?

Damon (and Elena, but mostly just Damon)

He was awesome, enough said. That scene at the beginning, when he was in bed beside Elena? I think someone’s been picking up some manipulation techniques from an ex-girlfriend. Plus he gets all the best lines. Although leaving Elena in Stefan’s old apartment was definitely not one of his finest moments.

Yet another African-American witch

Seriously show, this is something that you need to work on. I know you have quotas to fulfil, but they don’t have to be fulfilled in the casting of witches. Must try harder!

That said, Gloria was incredible, and got all the good lines that didn’t go to Damon. (“Not in my bar, you take it outside!” Best way to break up a fight ever!) If we see more of her (and I have a feeling we will), I definitely won’t be sorry.

And finally…

Caroline (and her umpteenth torture scene)

This is another action point for the show. I may be biased, as Caroline is one of my favourite characters, but couldn’t she be integrated back into the main plots? Her last few storylines have all involved either torture, betrayal by someone close to her, or her blossoming relationship with Mystic Falls’ resident wolf. This last storyline managed to incorporate all three.

Now that her mother has accepted her, fangs and all, it was clearly time for her father to appear as a badass vampire hunter. The torture scenes were incredibly difficult to watch (although I was surprised that she could survive for that long after being exposed to sunlight, especially with vervain in her system). And that scene at the end? It’s competing with the scene at the end of Daddy Issues for ‘Closest I’ve Come to Crying at a TVD Episode’ – I don’t cry easily at TV shows, but Candice Accola just gets me!

So there we have it (and yes, I have ignored the Stefan/Elena break-up, but I’m sorry, they just don’t interest me that much, and this review is already over 700 words). I haven’t watched the promo clip for next week, but I’m very excited to see what happens!

Recap/Review: The Secret Circle Pilot Episode

30 Sep

Being a devoted fan of both the (relatively) new The Vampire Diaries TV series and everything ever written by LJ Smith, I was understandably very excited when I discovered that the CW had also picked up The Secret Circle. And when I say very excited, I mean practically falling down the stairs in the New York Metro. (Yes, I am a fangirl. No, I am not ashamed.) The first two episodes have now aired, and they certainly didn’t disappoint!

At the beginning of the pilot episode we are introduced to Cassie, the main character, and her mother, the soon to be ex-character. As Cassie fixes a flat tire on a darkened road, a mysterious man stands outside her house, does a lot of freaky things with his hands, and sets fire to it with her mother inside. Nothing like starting with a bang!

Cut to Cassie arriving at her grandmother’s house, unaware that her mother’s death was anything more than a tragic accident. She settles in to her mother’s old room, and discovers that, as in all American teen TV shows, there is a cute boy across the street. Except this boy takes the phrase ‘Peeping Tom’ to a new level, magically opening the curtains when Cassie closes them (of course, we aren’t meant to know it’s magic yet, but unlike Cassie we’ve seen the promos, so forgive us for not being fooled).

The next day Cassie starts school, meeting the headmistress, who is a little too enthusiastic about her former friendship with her mother (naturally, my mind screams lesbian subtext, but we’ll ignore that for the time being), and several of the students. So far, so Sabrina the Teenage Witch. What sets The Secret Circle apart is the next scene, when Cassie arrives at a local restaurant. Raven, the owner, is a little less subtle about his prior relationship with her mother, which weirds Cassie out somewhat, but things really hot up when the school bad girl, Faye, arrives with her friend Melissa. The pair are suitably perky and fake, and waste no time in letting Cassie know who’s in charge. “Don’t let her smile fool you,” says Faye, in regard to her mother, the principal. “She can be bitchy.” Something tells me she’s not the only one.

And I’m about to be proved right, because as Cassie exits, Faye gazes ominously at her car, which immediately bursts into flames. “Come on, Cassie. Put it out,” Faye murmurs under her breath as Cassie struggles to escape from the burning vehicle, eventually being rescued by (unfortunately spoken for) resident hot guy Adam. Cue obligatory scene in which protagonist knows that something isn’t right, but no-one will tell her what’s going on. You’d think that with the amount of supernatural dramas on television these days that the kids would work it all out quicker, but no! Tension must be created.

However, Cassie’s smarter than some, because the next day she’s badgering Diana, her new best friend, for answers. Diana (having spent the previous evening vying with Faye for the position of HBIC), is happy to oblige, taking Cassie to an abandoned house, where she kills her, thereby ending the series halfway through the pilot. What actually happens is that every teenager that Cassie has met thus far is in the house (including her voyeuristic neighbour) and they (well, Faye) explain to her that they are all witches, and that she is the final witch needed to complete the circle. Naturally, Cassie freaks out at this, and runs off through the woods, pursued by Adam. Trying to explain the situation to her, he takes her hands and together they make water droplets rise into the air in a magnificent display of CGI magic. This doesn’t last long however, as Adam realises that he’s in close proximity to a hot girl and moves in to kiss her, terrifying her for the second time that day.

“You did magic with her!” Diana (who just happens to be Adam’s girlfriend) accuses later. If only she knew. However, for now she’s just concerned with binding their powers before they get out of hand. But Faye, being Faye, decides that she doesn’t want to comply with this and that she’d rather summon a storm. A big one. One that she isn’t able to stop. Luckily, Cassie steps in at this moment, proving that if anyone is in the running for HBIC, it’s her.

Elsewhere, the adults are playing their own power games. Adam’s father, the town drunk, is convinced that his and Cassie’s families are destined for each other, and that her father was a bad man. There’s definitely one bad man in the show though, and that’s Charles, Diana’s father, who cements his reputation by killing Cassie’s mother, almost drowning Adam’s father, and plotting evilly with Faye’s mother all in one episode.

So what have we learnt from the pilot? The kids are witches, the adults are witches, and a lot of s**t is about to go down in Chance Harbor!