The Secret Circle Review: A Blackwell Revealed

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"Crystal" delivered another stunning blow to the viewer rumor mill by turning the argument as to whether Faye or Melissa was John Blackwell's missing daughter on its head.

Well done, The Secret Circle! Before we get to the big reveal, let's chat about the rest of the episode, because much like its sister show, The Vampire Diaries, pulling punches isn't in the game plan.

Diana and Grant

Welcome Grandpa Royce
John DeLancie finally joined the cast as Jake's grandfather and in one five-minute speech we learned more about the witches' history than we have all season. His eloquence in telling the tale was mesmerizing. It was told so quickly and with such assurance I had to replay it three times to take it all in. It was fascinating to learn about the witches running from Salem and forming three circles, along with John's desire to turn a circle dark from within by stacking the deck with his own children. Rather genius, and Royce was the perfect character to unveil the tale.

The added benefit Grandpa Royce brought to the table was emotion from his grandson. Not since his arrival was Jake phased by much, but a hug and condolences from his grandfather and in his eyes could finally be seen some of his soul. I've been waiting for the melting of his tough exterior. Perhaps seeing family again will speed up the process.

Fabulous Faye
I have to take just a moment to bow in deference to the ever witty and entertaining Faye Chamberlain and the lovely Phoebe Tonkin who brings her to life. Every line she utters is magical and I could easily write an entire post dedicated only to her quotes. They would not be the same if delivered by an actress other than Phoebe. She makes Faye absolutely marvelous to watch.

It could be that charisma that made me want so badly for her to be Cassie's sister, the long lost Blackwell child. There was something about their chemistry that I truly enjoyed. I don't know what might have changed if Faye had turned out to be John's daughter, but it wasn't the case. In one of his kind moments, for the dual personality of John Blackwell seems to have no limits, he kindly talked to Faye about her mother and her father, and expressed how proud her father would be of her today. Thus the speculation of Faye as a Blackwell ended.

Black Hearted John
Funny how that same man was able, shortly before his conversation with Faye, to rob Cassie of her grandmother. Yes, Jane's first day home from the clinic was her last day alive. Charles and Jane thought they would finally have their moment to get what they needed out of John and kill him once and for all. Jane got her answer. John didn't kill Amelia. But Charles didn't care and lit the spelled candle Jane had made to kill John. John had plenty of time to rummage through the house while Jane was away, and what was once for him was instead for her.

Jane died on the spot.

Who is John Blackwell? Even after hearing the story from Royce, when he speaks with kindness to Faye or Melissa, I can't tell which side is dominant. Is he truly evil or is there enough good in there to win out the end? Maybe we will only learn that through the strength of his daughters and their ability to be better than the dark magic he wanted for them so that he could control the circle.

The Wild Card
Maybe it's not even fair to call her a wild card, because I can't think of anyone who was placing odds on Diana being John's other daughter. Cassie's sister. It certainly made sense when revealed why Adam found them both so appealing. All this time we've been on Team Melissa or Team Faye when Diana flew silently under the radar. Charles even temporarily housed and fed both of John Blackwell's daughters!

Charles couldn't possibly know the truth. But since his relationship with Diana has consistently been the best of all the parents, throwing that wrench into the ride would cause the entire structure to crumble. Will he find out? What are Cassie and Diana going to do about their knowledge and combined dark magic? Diana wanted out before knowing the news, what will happen to her now?

I have to hand it to the show. I was so certain it wasn't Diana that as Melissa and Faye were ruled out during the episode, I was trying to determine which boy it might be, and if Nick might be coming back as Cassie's brother. Diana was the very last choice on my Blackwell family tree. But it worked, and it left me wanting more. I can't wait until next week, and my fingers are crossed for a second season. What a night! A great new character in Grandpa Royce, the death of Jane and the reveal of Diana as Cassie's sister, not to mention the history since the Salem witch trials. WOW!

What did you think? Were you caught off guard? It's rare when a show can sucker punch me, but it was done tonight. Well played!

Crystal Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 19 Quotes

A journal. Tied with an actual ribbon. If you leave something like this lying around you're just begging for it to be read.


I can't believe I just rifled my mom's underwear drawer. No one that old should have that many thongs.