The Secret Circle Review: Tightly Bound

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If the series premiere of The Secret Circle introduced us to Cassie Blake, episode number-two introduced viewers to the world into which Cassie is now "Bound" - and it's one mysterious, layered, deadly locale!

There are books of shadows... and numerous generations of witches... and secrets... and spells... and literal sparks between two people that were only just strangers.

Diana on a Misson

Let's start there: there is something between Adam and Cassie, literally. This isn't some issue of puppy love or teen lust. That's what Cassie meant when she sat by the water with Adam. She felt something when the two powered that light bulb. It wasn't normal, it wasn't of typical human origin and that may scare Cassie more than any power possibly could.

It's confusing enough to be a 16-year old girl, after all. Imagine being a 16-year old girl being told by the universe that you're destined to be with someone you just met. It would be enough to prompt me to sign up for the school carnival, too. Anything to feel like a normal high school student.

Diana clearly senses this, too. Did Adam's declaration of love silence her insecurity? I say no. In fact, I take it a step further: I say Diana is working with her father. Think about it: she's the only one with her family's book; she was pushing hard for the binding; and she just seems too nice, too perfect. I predict it will soon come out that she has a major agenda.

But what might that be? What is the second generation after? Their powers, for starters, but there's a "bigger picture," Dawn said. They clearly have a plan for those powers, one that likely involves something far more dangerous than creating fire without a match.

And how great of a character is Dawn so far? The best villains possess multiple layers. They are well drawn and one can understand their point of view, even if one disagrees with it. In this case, Dawn isn't some caricature, twirling a figurative mustache and cackling. She's a protective mother and someone, I even believe, who loved her late husband. But she's also deadly. I saw Henry's death coming the instant he asked about the crystal, but I was still glad to see it go down. The Secret Circle isn't afraid to raise the stakes.

When you're dealing with the supernatural, that's huge. Deaths can't be a rare occurrence. Viewers must actually fear that these powers have consequences.

The only two things that bothered me about the episode:

  1. Multiple second generation witches died because they were teens supposedly partying on a boat? Weren't they all parents? What kind of a lame cover story is that?
  2. And what's wrong with saving the turtles, Faye?

Overall, a strong follow-up to an engrossing season premiere. There was little doubt the circle would be bound in the end, but along the way we learned of a third generation; received more intel on the accident that took so many lives; got to know Nick as a horny player a bit more; saw Melissa in her underwear; and were even faced with a question laced with actual political undertones:

Would you prefer to be part of a large, organized, powerful system? Or free to be on your own at all times? Ponder that and check out next Thursday's Secret Circle preview now!


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (128 Votes)

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


Faye's line about saving the turtles is sort of ironic because when Phoebe Tonkin was in H2O: Just Add Water her character was all about protecting the turtles


This episode was good but not as good as the pilot. I find that things go pretty fast: the circle's bounding, the arrival and death of Henry, the fact that Diana figures out a little what's going on betwen Cassie and Adam, Nick and Melissa (we didn't even know there was an attractin between them). Who do you think is the baddest vilain between Dawn and Charles ? At first I was thinking of Charles because Dawn seemed to be sweeter and nicer. But it's an illusion and I'm interested to know what role plays each of them. I read the books so I can figure out what's is going to happen in general. But I really appreciate that they use differently the characters, the town etc... The book is one of my favorite's but I found them very frustrating (like a lot of teen's book by the way) regarding the development of the relationships between all the protagonists, the different generations... I can't wait for the new episode ad I hope that audience rating is great. I see a big potential for this show and Iwould very disappointed if there was only one season.


It's so interesting to see who the villains are of this show. I was moved with the perplexity of Dawn's character because I am led to believe that they are using their children in order to get their powers back. But at the same time, there is utmost love demonstrated for Faye. And even Charles for Diana. I think that these foundations make for a very interesting battle in the future. It'll carry a lot of emotional strings for everyone involved rather than just tackling different elements of the supernatural world.


Dawn's great so far


I liked this ep. The pace is slower than I anticipated. But I think I am gonna like this series.
I don't think Diana is the evil one, but I think that her father manipulated her into getting the book and using it. Charles is the instigator behind them finding the book and using it. I do think that Diana will not react the same way Diana reacts in the book. So maybe then, she will do bad things. I think Faye is going to turn out more to be Cassie's ally. Or melissa. We need a backstory ep asap!!!! I really want to know what happened sixteen years ago... Should be interesting.


Was okay. I find the edward cullen wannabe and cassie's chemistry to be fun to watch,though the explosive reactions when she gets hot and bothered are a bit cliche. I too wondered if each of them represent a different element, with cassie representing fire perhaps? Adam's father is a nice character compared to the other adults. The generational thing is the most intriguing..I love that. Wasnt too bad,though I do hope Faye isnt used as the troubled one forcing diane andd cassie to clean up her messes. does anyone else get that song stuck in their head?its catchy and creepy and now im humming in.


why does this show feel it's ok for the adults to murder whomever they want? why are there no consequences for murder? i mean dawn doesn't want her daughter to be a murderer but it's ok for her? why?


I liked the second episode, but I want to see more of Charles Meade. Gale Harold is so hot and the whole reason I'm watching!


I liked the episode. I still hate how different it is from the books which I fell in love with, but I am trying to treat it like it is not The Secret Circle, just a show about teen witches. I was happy that they cleared up the mystery about why Cassie's mom, and Adam's dad didn't do anything to defend themselves from Charles' attacks. They were stripped of their powers. Dawn was interesting in this episode, because I was thrown by her completely. I knew she had a somewhat darker agenda by her meeting with the evil Charles in the last episode, but then I thought, she can't be that evil, not after saving Sally's life with what little magic they had in the crystal. But then she went and blew me out of the water by killing her father in law. Now that I know binding is also not as innocent as it seems, I can't wait to see what will happen next. The preview sure looked good. I don't think that Diana will be evil though. At least not at first. She is truly all that is good in the books, and I don't see her being evil. Maybe if something happens later that makes her really angry with her circle (Cassie and Adam?), she will change like they made Stephen do in The Vampire Diaries.


in the books there are 12 people in a circle not just 6. and they all live in the same street and are related somehow. and diana is really nice without an agenda. but the show is different so i dont know.

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The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Sally: We're talking, Faye.
Faye: And I'm interrupting, Sally.

Melissa: Don't go bragging.
Nick: I'm gonna brag about you??!?
Melissa: You're an ass.

The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 2 Music

  Song Artist
Get burned Get Burned Sleeper Agent iTunes
Song The HiHi's Double O Zero
Victory dance Victory Dance My Morning Jacket iTunes