Tag Archives: the secret circle

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…

Recap/Review: The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 3 (Loner)

17 Oct

I hate to say it, but I think I’m getting old. Where once a high school dance episode would have made me wish that school discos in the UK weren’t just for the under-13s, now they just elicit a sigh of impatience and a “not another high school dance episode” comment. Is this a sign that I’m leaving my childhood behind? Could I even be growing out of teen dramas?Or has the Vampire Diaries, with its one decade dance for every three episodes policy, just left me jaded? There could be hope for me yet…

The dance

With that introduction, it won’t surprise you to learn that the main focus of this episode is a high school dance. Melissa wants to go with Nick, Adam’s friend Luke wants to go with Cassie, and Cassie doesn’t really want to go at all, but gets roped into helping in an attempt to keep class president Sally off the Circle’s trail. Sally is intuitive in more ways than one and quickly picks up on the chemistry between Adam and Cassie (because really, who hasn’t?). She then spends most of the episode trying to push them together, leading to them sharing a slow dance, much to the dismay of both their dates.

The dance is, however, disrupted by…

The mysterious stranger

Zachary Larson spends most of the episode harassing the Circle, telling them that he knows about their powers (who doesn’t?) and that there can’t be a repeat of what happened sixteen years ago. He attacks Faye while she tries to practice magic in the abandoned house, and after realising that the Circle is bound, he goes to the school to kill one of them. Meanwhile, Faye has already arrived at the school, and the teens use her mother’s master key to search the school records, learning that Heather Barnes, Zachary’s girlfriend from his school years, was involved in the fire sixteen years ago. As the Circle defend themselves against Zachary, Cassie apologises for Heather’s death. Chillingly, he responds that she isn’t dead, but that Cassie’s mother did something far worse to her. The Circle then use magic to smack him into the ceiling, knocking him unconscious. This leads to one of the best scenes in the episode, as Faye’s mother catches them, and pretends to buy their story that they caught him ‘breaking into the lockers’. What exactly would he have been trying to steal?

At the end of the episode, Dawn and Charles take care of that particular problem by putting a tracking spell on Zachary so that they will know if he ever comes near their children again.

Diana and Cassie

This show has been fairly low on character development so far, but they are at least attempting to develop the friendship between Diana and Cassie. Diana spends most of the episode trailing after Cassie like a lost puppy, whether because she actually wants to be friends with her or just to keep her away from her boyfriend only time will tell. Cassie resists this, taking pride in her loner status, until the end of the episode when Diana confronts her about her feelings for Adam. Cassie reassures the other girl that she has no designs on her boyfriend, and finally extends the hand of friendship. If this is developed properly, it could be very interesting…

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!


A Note on TV Recaps and Reviews

2 Oct

As of last Thursday, when Private Practice returned for its fifth season, Friday became both my favourite and my least favourite day.  My favourite because I have new episodes of three of my favourite shows (The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, and Private Practice) to watch, and my least favourite because I have to decide which to watch first! As my grandmother would say, it’s a hard life for a crust…

Anyway, this is more of a problem now because I’m determined to recap and review (mostly recap, to be honest) all three of these shows, but I don’t want to blog four times on a Friday (three recaps and my Fiction Friday post), and not at all for the rest of the week. So, I’ll continue to post my Fiction Friday entries on Fridays (it wouldn’t make sense to post them on any other day after all), and then my three recaps staggered throughout the week, making sure that they’re all up in time for the new episodes on Friday.

(It should be noted that I’m simultaneously impressed at myself making these grand plans, and wary of how well I’ll be able to stick to them once the new term starts.)

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!