The Secret Circle Review: Digging Her Darkness

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So... Cassie Blake possesses dark magic. She isn't sure just how much dark magic. And she isn't clear on exactly how to use this dark magic. But she likes the power of this dark magic and others are reacting in fear and awe of this dark magic.

Dark magic. Dark magic. Dark magic.

Indeed, The Secret Circle rang in 2012 with an episode light on tension, but heavy on talking. About dark magic. The return of this mysterious drama was bogged down a lot by its emphasis on constantly mentioning Cassie's dangerous side, an important, interesting facet of the character going forward, but one I'd like to see integrated more within other, more suspenseful storylines. 

Cassie Blake Photograph

Of course Cassie's Balcoin-based blood is vital to the series. But let's hope there's a larger picture that will soon come in to focus, because I found myself rather bored by "Darkness" and its lack of action.

Not a lot happened overall, as two new characters got more screen time than almost any coven member aside from Cassie. Let's go over each of their impact and what role they might play going forward:

Grandma Kate: Color me intrigued. Did she really show up because she was concerned about Diana? Or suspicious over Dawn's activities? Or somehow aware of Cassie and her dark secret? Probably some combination of all of the above, but I love myself a well-layered villain.

Kate has all the makings. Heck, she tried to kill Cassie just to test her powers! Charles' mother seems excited by Cassie's black magic, telling her son it could tilt the balance of power between good and evil... but in which direction? Her lecture to Charles made it sound like she was on the side of the former, but then why the excited reaction over Cassie's abilities? Why is she the one they've supposedly been waiting for?

Many questions, many possible answers. Let's hope this isn't the last we see of Kate.

Random Dude in His Parents' Garage: Color me less intrigued. Most female viewers may be happy that Grey Damon has arrived in Chance Harbor, but his introduction was both sloppy and random.

It removes a lot of the mystery and intrigue from the entire concept of witches and the supernatural when Faye can just search for a voodoo expert and happen upon one a few minutes away.

(Adam searching for "black magic" was similarly mishandled. He didn't hear Diana come into the abandoned house? What kind of wi-fi would that house even have? And why not avoid the risk and search online in the privacy of his own bedroom?)

There's clearly a lot more to this Lee fella, hopefully aside from just serving as a new love interest for Faye. I'll reserve final judgment until the storyline plays out, but everything from his initial appearance to Faye being able to just enter his lair and wreak havoc later on was poorly written.

Overall, not a rousing return for The Secret Circle. Cassie's internal struggle has potential, but only in a larger context. I'd also love to see supporting characters developed more. Right now, Melissa only exists as Faye's BFF; Adam really just pines over Cassie; Diana doesn't do very much. Could you imagine an episode based around any of these witches? Me neither. We need to round out this circle.

What did everyone else think of the winter premiere?


Editor Rating: 3.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Vampire diaries was better than secret circle last night. but i think secret circle is more darker though.


Lmao at the review "what kind of wi-fi would that house even have?" For real tho adam is just too funny and naïve sometimes wen it comes to diana..cassie was badass tho luv that


@MattRichentall : wasn't Bianca Lawson(aka Emily Bennet, aka Maya from PLP, aka Kendra from Buffy) supposed to appear in this episode as Melissas cousin!? I think they've announced her for this ep and for ep 1x13? Do U know something?


i was not impressed with this episode, the previews hyped it up a bit, and i was kinda let down.
Adam researching at the house, he should have known someone would come in, and he could easily told diana to mind her business.
I would love to see more indepth episodes of the other characters.


I loved this episode the best part was Cassie destroying the coffin. I really liked how Cassie was struggling with the dark magic. I was a little surprised to see Dianna's grandma try and kill Cassie as a test just to see how powerful she was and then when she told Charles that she was the one they where waiting for sense she can tip the balance between good and evil I was wonder why where they waiting for her and what do they want to use he for. Again it was a great episode and I can't wait till the next one it looks amazing.


this show keeps me intrigued and I can't wait to see what happens next - it wasn't bad episode but it did introduce a lot of new story lines for the up coming months.


irritate is what i meant. really i can spell. lol


is it just me or does Melissa really irrate you. She is a huge snob!!! the look on her face when they were talking about what cassie did to adam just got under my skin. i wish she had a suitable storyline because without it she is annoying and pointless. i will admit that i have not read the books so i do not know if she is a pivotal character.


I thought it was a pretty solid episode as good as VD or even better!
I love how they showed Cassie struggling with the darkness!WE should remember they are just (around) 16! And they are afraid and being powerful is a huge deal, and someone being more powerful is making them scare!
Melissa! For me a big reason to watch the show!Love the way they show her of! It's always great to watch Faye and Mel interacting with each other and Lee!
Lee LaSomething! He probably has his own agenda and will go after the Circle! After reading the first book he looks just like I would Imagine ADAM to be!
Kate is a reckless bitch! And so upfront! I'm asking why is Diana calling her Grandma Kate, what immportant has the other Grandma?
I love the rift creating between Dawn and Charles! But I really don't know if they are good or evil! The Coffin scene!She embraced the darkness and kicked as*! Cassie is THE ONE WE ARE WAITING FOR! what a game changer, the power of 3 in one!5 stars


I agree. Good ideas but poorly executed.

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