Somehow mid-season finales are already upon us as The Secret Circle winds down the first half of its inaugural season. The episode, named after main character Cassie Blake’s (Britt Robertson) original ancestral line, was a prime example of what the show does well, as well as where it can stand to grow.
As predicted last week, the episode was centered on whether or not Chris Zylka’s Jake would betray the coven to the witchhunters that accompanied him to Chance Harbour following the death of his brother, Nick. In last week’s ‘Beneath’ players were moved around the chessboard to prepare for the events in ‘Balcoin’: Diana (Shelley Hennig) declared her relationship with Adam (Thomas Dekker) over, Cassie made a move on Jake despite Faye’s (Phoebe Tonkin) lingering feelings for him, and in the adult storyline, Charles (Gale Harold) wiped clean Jane’s (Ashley Crow) memory.
This set up a few new storylines and paid off a few existing ones, though not much was revealed about the overarching mystery of the fire that claimed the deaths of the most of the previous generation. Instead we dealt with Jake: he struggled with his feelings for Cassie (and her little red dress) and ultimately decided that even though she was the descendant of a line of very powerful black magic, he believed that she could control it. And since he was outed as a witchhunter at the same time (thank goodness for Bing and their social media plugs or else Cassie would never have gotten that text from Adam!), he was run out of town (on a boat) with his fellow witchhunters. The fact that no one spontaneously combusted – like the last time these two groups went up against each other – made this confrontation feel mildly anti-climatic. Sure the boat was protected for spells, so there was never going to be a light show, but the dock’o’flames that the circle used to keep the witchhunters at bay wasn’t exactly a dazzling visual spectacle on par with some of the other episodes. For a mid-season finale, this was surprisingly tame.
So what else happened? For me, the most interesting storyline remains the power struggle between Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) and Charles for the remaining active crystal. So far this season we’ve watched them try to reactivate their crystal (their only source of power since their circle was stripped of their powers following the fire). When that didn’t work, try and locate others, which worked in their favour last week. At the start of the season, it seemed as though Dawn was a power hungry beeyotch and she was using Charles like an underling. Now that we’ve seen how he is when he has power, however, it’s becoming clear that Dawn may have been in the right. His memory wipe spell on Jane has had all kinds of unintended side effects on her personality, including blurring her ability to distinguish between her daughter Amelie’s generation and Cassie’s.
From this we got one integral piece of information that even casually attentive viewers likely caught: Jane explaining to Charles that Dawn was obsessed with Cassie’s father, John Blackwell. Paired with the other reveal by lead witchhunter Isaac (JR Bourne) that Cassie was not Blackwell’s only child, and we’ve got ourselves a set-up for the second half of the season (and a salacious gossip alert!) I guess this means a significantly meatier role for Phoebe Tonkin’s Faye when the show returns in the new year.
- So Jake, with his strangely shaped face and weirdly stilted line delivery, have left Chance Harbour. The door was obviously left open for an ill-timed return (possibly around the time Adam and Cassie finally hook up?). Are we interested in seeing Jake come back?
- Speaking of comebacks, Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) returned and brought with her a hottie cousin, Holden (Arlen Escarpeta) for Diana to drool over. Will Holden join the circle to complete it in Jake’s absence? Kudos for the show for bringing in some more diversity (both in colour and gender) but the obvious love-interest introductions are forced and admittedly a bit dull. Also, Melissa, please see me during the holiday break so we can address your complete lack of personality.
- How far will Jane deteriorate before people start noticing that she’s acting like a crazy cat lady? Here’s hoping that she spills all kinds of juicy secrets before they find a way to reverse Charles’ spell. Bringing Jane into the mix was a great decision on the show’s part, so I hope they find a way to keep her active in the overall narrative.
What did everyone think of the mid-season finale? It definitely could have been more exciting, but this should hold us over until Jan 5.