The Secret Circle: “Wake”

 Grade: C-

Airdate: 10/20/11

This episode of The Secret Circle was the show’s average, which I was a little surprised because Nick died at the end of the last episode. I think a lot could have been done but nothing good was.

The episode opens with Cassie (Britt Robertson) looking through the window where she first saw Nick. Then she sees a guy, who we later figure out is Nick’s brother Jake, played by Chris Zylka, standing in the yard by a burning crest moon symbol. The next morning Jane (Ashley Crow) tells Cassie that Nick’s death didn’t break the circle because it is bound through their blood lines.

Cassie is just getting to know Jake as we find out that the rest of the circle hates him and doesn’t want him to be added. He stole a bunch of money from Adam’s (Thomas Dekker) dad, so Adam hates him and Diana (Shelley Hennig) by default. Jake and Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) had a thing before he left. It ended so badly that Faye almost landed in a psych ward, according to Melissa (Sarah Parker Kennedy). So, they both hate him.

A bunch of weird stuff happens that the circle seems to blame Jake for. The burning crest moon symbol shows up in front of the abandoned house and Cassie is attacked by a girl, who looks like she is wearing a bad vampire costume, at her house. Jake comes to her rescue. It turns out Jake knows the girl, who is a witch hunter named Simone. Shortly after this Jane tells Cassie that she has a crystal and that Cassie is meant to lead the circle. Like usual Cassie is reluctant but half steps into her role by the end of the episode.

By the time we get to Nick’s wake, Adam and Jake have had a few fights and Faye has made a few bitch comments to Jake. Cassie spends a lot of time at the wake with Jake, which obviously annoys Adam. He says it is just because he doesn’t trust Jake, but Diana thinks it’s something different. Near the end of the wake, Diana is in the back room of the Boathouse taking care of Adam’s alcoholic dad. He lets it slip that Adam and Cassie are destined to be together. A lot of other stuff goes down at the wake. At one point Melissa yells at Faye and reminds her that this is about Nick. I think the episode also forgot that expect for Melissa’s story line.

By the end of the wake, Diana tells Adam that she knows about him and Cassie. Adam tries to deny it, which doesn’t work. Diana breaks up with him and runs to Cassie’s house. She points out that it is awkward, but she doesn’t have anyone else to talk to. Cassie has almost no dialogue during the scene, which I thought made it even more awkward.

The episode ends on a big twist moment, because Jake is also a witch hunter. He was sent by some secret group of witch hunter leaders to destroy the circle by killing Cassie and wiping out all the witches in Chance Harbor. Sure this was a good twist, but it still wasn’t even to safe the mundane plot of the rest of the episode.

Another thing that is annoying me about the entire series is the casting. All of the main characters are supposed to be 16, but the average age of the actors is 21. Some shows or movies are able to pull off casting parts older, but a few times I have had to remind myself that I am watching a group of high school kids. The bad casting continued into this episode because Jake, who is only supposed to be a few years older than the circle, is played by 26-year-old Chris Zylka. The show is not only casting its young parts old but also its old parts young. Jane, who is supposed to have a 16-year-old granddaughter, is played by 51-year-old Ashley Crow. Cassie grandma is casted younger than my mom, who has a 16-year-old daughter.


The Secret Circle: “Slither”

 Grade: B+

Airdate: 10/13/11

This was definitely the best episode of The Secret Circle thus fur. The episode started out like most. Nick (Louis Hunter) and Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) wake up in bed together. Melissa is acting a little, because the demon snake that was in Heather is in her now. Diana (Shelley Henning) tells Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) that their parents are dating and she is pissed. That stuff mixed with the bad acting and terrible music made it a normal start.

We do find out early on that the power of the last generation of witches (the circle’s parents I’m guessing) was taken by what Diana’s book calls “the elders”.

Melissa starts acting weirder as the day goes on. She has a full body convulsion just after school lets out and a little bit later she tells Nick she knows where her family’s book is. They find it a suitcase buried in the forest. Melissa says they are going to the house to open it and will just be their secret. Nick believes her until Faye arrives and Melissa tells her it will be their secret. The audience knows this is all a lie because we saw Cassie (Britt Robertson) got a text from Melissa telling her to come to the house. The three of think something is wrong, which seemed to mean more coming from usually carefree Faye and Nick.

Adam (Thomas Dekker) and Diana are off having their own couple plot line, which involves dinner and almost having sex. These are very sexual active 16-year-olds.  Cassie eventually calls them and they come to the house too. Nick knocks out Melissa as soon as they get their and they tie her up and lie her on the couch.

Melissa wakes up a little later and starts struggling, yelling and speaking in demon voices. The circle crowds around her and tries to hold her down. The whole experience was a good circle bonding moment because all six of them are not together very often. They realizes this was the same thing that happened to Heather, but they don’t have the power to stop it. Cassie leaves saying she knows someone who can help. Melissa ends up getting herself untied and pins Nick against the wall and holds scissors to his neck. Adam, Diana and Faye try to use magic to make her stop but can’t. Melissa forces them to help her with the spell to open the case.

Cassie gets her grandmother Jane, played by Ashley Crow, who was showing suspicion earlier, and tells her everything. They go back to the house and super powerful Grandma is able to get the demon out of Melissa, but it goes into Nick who runs off. Jane tells the circle that the demons can only be destroyed by fire or drowning. They light the case on fire and go look for Nick, who calls Adam and tells them to come to the Boathouse.

Nick runs into Dawn (Natasha Henstridge), Faye’s mom, and tells her he is the demon. Apparently Dawn summoned it the last time. Dawn, who has been scheming on how to get power the whole episode, calls Charles (Gale Harold), Diana’s dad, for help. He comes and knocks out Nick. The circle arrives trying to find him as Charles and Dawn drag him to the water to drown the demon. Charles holds him down in the water, but Nick wakes up and starts struggling. After a while Nick stops moving. Charles drags him to the shore. Charles and Dawn run off just before Cassie and Jane arrive.

The episode does a very good job of holding us in suspense for a while. We don’t see Cassie reach Nick. Faye gets a phone call, but we only hear Faye’s side. Her reaction pretty much tells us but the scene cuts before she informs Melissa. We are finally told Nick is dead when Dawn and Charles are talking. Charles is upset about what he did, but Dawn is saying it is a necessary evil if they want their power back.

New shows usually kill off what seems to be a major character rather early and I think it always helps the show. Secret Circle definitely in improving. The magic scene were almost at a Buffy level and the story is starting to make more sense. There is still a lot of bad acting and music choice. Hopefully, that improves because I’m kind of starting to like this show.


The Secret Circle: “Loner” and “Heather”

 Grade: “Loner”: C, “Heather”: C+

Loner

Airdate: 9/29/11

I still don’t know what I think about The Secret Circle. I like sci-fi/fantasy shows, so those parts of the episodes are good. But the framework of the show, the music, acting, casting and dialogue is just so bad that it’s turning me off. It’s like having to wade through Secret Life of the American Teenager, General Hospital and iCarly just to get to 20 minutes of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.

Anyway, this episode starts back up at school with Cassie (Britt Robertson) and the rest of the circle being reluctant to talk to Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) after she almost killed the student council president Sally. There is a dance coming up soon so Adam (Thomas Dekker) tries to set Cassie up with Luke, played by Zachary Abel. Casting for Luke was pretty bad, because I thought he was Nick (Louis Hunter) for a while.

Later on, Cassie runs into Zachary Larson, who was a friend of her mother’s. He tells her to leave town and that he isn’t going to let it happen again. He starts to attack Cassie, but she is saved by Diana (Shelley Hennig). Zachary goes on an attack spree for most of the episode. He beats up Charles (Gale Harold), Diana’s dad, because Charles tries to shop him from taking out the circle. Apparently he only needs to kill one for all their power to be lost. He finds Faye at the house, while everyone else is having annoying teen drama problems at the dance.

Faye narrowly escapes to the school and finds the others. They go through the schools records and find out that Zachary’s girlfriend Heather died in the fire 16 years ago that killed their parents. The circle is able to catch Zachary in a hallway and use their power to restrain him. Diana tries to apologize for their parents killing his girlfriend. He said that what Amelia, Cassie’s mom, did to Heather was far worse than death. They end up knocking Zachary out and Dawn(Natasha Henstridge), Faye’s mom, and Charles take care of him. Nobody finds out anything due to some quick lying on Dawn and the circle’s part.

The episode ends with a bunch of couple stuff. Nick was being a jerk to Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) at the dance. Faye comes in with the bitchy friend save. Diana tells Cassie that she knows about Adam’s feelings for her. Cassie tells her not to worry. So lots of bad and a little good. C.

Heather

Airdate: 10/6/11

This episode starts with Cassie and Adam tracking down Heather. She lives in a run-down part of town with her brother, Wayne. When they get to the house Wayne takes them to see Heather. He tells them that she hasn’t moved in 16 years, which is caused by whatever Amelia did to her the night of the fire. Suddenly Heather moves and grabs Cassie arm and a few seconds later she is not moving again. Heather has someone kind of mark on her arm that Adam and Cassie both seem to recognize.

They go back to Cassie house and she shows Adam her family’s book, because that is where she saw the mark before. Adam said it was left behind be a spell and he finds a way to reverse the spell. Cassie is able to talk him into trying it, because everyone wants to figure out what happened to their parents. Of course, Diana ends up finding out and everyone’s fun is crushed.

Cassie ends up talking to Faye and she agrees to try it. So the two of them go back to Heather’s house and perform the spell. It seems like nothing happened so they leave quickly as Wayne comes home. After a while it works and Heather knocks out her brother and leaves the house. Cassie and Faye go back to Cassie’s house because Faye wants to see Cassie’s book. After a little bit Cassie goes down stairs and Heather is there crying and saying that she needs to find Amelia. Cassie tells her who she is and asks what happened the night of the fire. Heather said there were demons on the boat, because demons and evil follow the circle. A demon snake had gotten inside her and Amelia used the spell to stop it from controlling her.

Heather than goes nuts, knocks out Cassie and goes after Faye. Faye’s screaming catches Nick and Melissa’s attention, who are busying in their own separate story line next door. They come over and Heather ends up running away after she sees Nick, but she runs into traffic and gets hit by a car and dies. Adam, Diana and Wayne all arrive shortly after. The demon snake climbs out of Heather’s body and into the coat Nick is holding.

The circle decides that they need to find out what happened to their parents so they know what they are up against. Melissa ends up going home with Nick again. Adam takes Diana home but ends up back at Cassie’s to help her clean up the mess that Heather made. The episode ends with the demon snake climbing out of Nick’s coat and into Melissa.

This episode focused more on the sci-fi/fantasy part of the story, but about 20 percent was teen drama between Melissa and Nick, with a hint of Faye messing things up. Hopefully the high-school romance/drama part of the show improves.


The Secret Circle: “Bound”

 Grade: C

Airdate: 9/22/11

I decided to give The Secret Circle a C again this week, because it was similar to last week’s episode. The plot was good but the acting and music was terrible. The plot was a little repetitive. The main character Cassie (Britt Robinson), who found out she was part of a secret circle of witches, was still reluctant to join the circle or acknowledge her powers.

In one of the opening scenes, Adam (Thomas Dekker) explains to Cassie that they must bind the circle to reach their fully potential. The power of the circle will be strengthened but individual power will be hindered. This pisses off power-hungry bad girl Faye (Phoebe Tonkin). A couple magic girl fights, with exploding beckers and more freak thunderstorms, break out between Cassie and Faye. Good girl Diana (Shelley Hennig) is trying to convince Cassie and Faye to agree to binding the circle. Diana knows everything about the binding ceremony because she is the only one who has found her family’s secret book. But, as we know, Cassie has also found her family’s book.

There are two other story lines going on during this episode. The first is with the two other members of the circle, Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Nick (Louis Hunter), who hardly seem to interact with the other four. Character development is lacking with both of these guys, but Nick’s is just confusing. He was portrayed as the sweet, quiet guy last week. In this episode he is kind of a man whore, who is sleeping with Melissa while trying to get with Faye and a few other girls. Melissa, who might have had one line in this episode, seems to be in love with him.

Story line number two is with the adults; Charles (Gale Harold), Diana’s dad, and Dawn (Natasha Henstridge), Faye’s mom. We found out that they brought Cassie to the town, so they could use the circle’s power to enhance their own.

Tensions build between Cassie and Faye throughout the episode. Faye is telling Diana that Cassie is trying to get with Adam, causing even more problems within the circle. Faye eventually explodes during a fight with Cassie and pushes a bystander off the dock at a party. The girl almost dies but is saved by Dawn, using magical power from a crystal. The incident serves as a wake up call for Cassie and Faye that they need a way to control their power. In the end all six members of the circle gather on the beach and bind the circle.

The overall plot is pretty interesting but the acting seems to discredit everything. This might be because the show is based off a book series by the same name. So, good story, bad casting. I hope it gets better because I do kind of like it.

Watch “Bound”


The Secret Circle: “Pilot”

 Grade: C+

Airdate: 9/15/11

After watching a few previews for The Secret Circle it sort of seemed like it was going to be another mediocre high-school drama and I’m not really convinced that it isn’t going to be. The pilot with a generic pilot start. We are briefly introduced to 16-year-old Cassie Blake, played by Britt Robertson, and her mom. About a minute later a creepy guy, played by Gale Harold, walks up to Cassie’s house and makes the house explode with a box of matches. The story then jumps a month into the future.

We rejoin Cassie as she moves in with grandmother in the small northwestern town of Chance Harbour. The show has the normal high-school drama type opening. Cassie goes to school and is quickly introduced to six people who are going to be the main characters. First is obvious love interest Adam, played by Thomas Dekker. Then bad girl Faye, played by Phoebe Tonkin, bad girl’s side-kick Melissa, played by Jessica Parker Kennedy, and good girl Diana, played by Shelley Hennig. We also meet Nick, played by Louis Hunter, somewhere in there.

By the end of her first day in Chance Harbour, Cassie notices that something is a little off because people have the ability to open blinds, undo lockers and set/put out fires. Cassie starts asking questions and Diana decides to take her to the secret witch circle that they are all apart of. Cassie is refuses to believe them until she has a magic making/almost kissing scene with Adam.

By the end of the episode she still seems a little apprehensive about joining the circle. Because this was the pilot there were a lot of details and storylines thrown in. Most important ones; it is written in the stars that Cassie and Adam are supposed to be together, but Adam has been dating Diana for three years; Diana’s dad is the creepy guy that killed Cassie’s mom; creep guy and the high-school principal, Faye’s mom, brought Cassie to Chance Harbour for a reason.

These plot points kind of made the show interesting and that is why a gave it a C+, but of course it was not all good. The acting seemed forced by almost every character and a little over the top by some. The music was all bad teen drama music. Also a problem I have with all high-school drama is that not one of the actors is young enough to be in high school. The person who plays Cassie is 21, Adam is 23, Faye is 22 and Diana is 24. So, if the acting improves I think it might become an all right show because old actors are to be expected.