As the first season of not-quite-Vampire-Diaries-level teen drama chugs along, we’re settling into a rhythm: random spookiness, investigation by the circle, followed by mildly threatening danger and a likely cliffhanger ending.
This week’s episode, featuring a road trip to Faye Chamberlain’s (Phoebe Tonkin) family cottage in search of Cassie Blake’s (Britt Robertson) missing grandmother, Jane (Ashley Crow), provided a few interesting narrative developments, but the forward momentum of the last few weeks took a backseat to a more traditional ghost story.
Halloween seems to have done wonders for most shows, including this one. The witch hunting storyline, although rushed, was an exciting step forward: it not only built on the demon story that got Nick (Louis Hunter) killed in ‘Slither’, but revealed that the series is working with a larger storytelling canvas than the three generations of witches we’ve met in Chance Harbour. Much like recent developments on Revenge, the stakes for this coven have been raised as they’ve already lost a member, and now they’re being hunted.
Unfortunately this week most of this was sidelined in favour of a primarily stand alone episode that explored the issues affecting the group – minus dead weight Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) who thankfully got the night off. The episode, playing a bit like a haunted house wherein objects appeared and disappeared, confined the action to a single location so that characters could confront each other to work out their issues. And so a quick game of truth or dare brought tensions between Faye, Cassie and good-girl, Diana (Shelley Hennig) to a boil; Adam and Diana continued through their break up with some woodshed make-up sex, and Jake (Chris Zylka) continued to gather information on the group and fall for Cassie.
For the most part the action was obvious, especially when the B storyline with parents Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) and Charles Meade (Gale Harold) continually reinforced how important it was that the kids not discover dead grandpa, Henry Chamberlain (Tom Butler). Obviously that was exactly what happened, so the reveal was decidedly anticlimatic, although watching Cassie boil water to raise Henry’s body was a fun visual.
In all this was a placeholder episode designed to move our characters into place for next week’s mid-season finale, but it wasn’t the strongest episode (nor the most engaging). We’ll have to wait to see whether the Jake drama, and Charles’ power-tripping new crystal, pays off.
- How will grandma Jane’s amnesia/mind-control affect her ability to help the teens?
- Does anyone else hope that the show takes a page from The Vampire Diaries and defies expectations instead of going the obvious route where Jake betrays Isaac (JR Bourne) to defend the circle? Or that *SPECULATIVE SPOILER* Isaac will take his revenge by kidnapping Cassie (as hinted in the preview)?
- Did anyone miss absent-witch Melissa? Anyone? Bueller?