The Secret Circle Review: Hesitant Heroes

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The Secret Circle went all Lost on viewers this week, sending a similar message as that ABC hit relayed: Live together. Or die alone.

That's what made "Loner" so interesting. Most of these kids don't want to live together. Some just wanna have sex, others want to explore their powers on their own and others just want to make sure no one gets hurt.

Yet fate has brought the coven together and, whether they desire this unity or not, the kids better learn how to make it work. And quickly.

Help Cassie!

The appearance of Zachary Larson only raised more questions about the events of 16 years ago. Was he there? How does he know about the witches? And what fate, regarding Heather, is worse than death? (Okay, if you've watched this trailer for next week, you already know that answer.)

We're unlikely to find out more from Zach himself, though. You've been marked, dude. Sorry about that.

While the Circle came together at the end, we definitely learned more about each member this week on his/her own. A quick rundown:

There's a lot to Nick. I'd love to see the show focus as heavily on the individuals as it does on their abilities, seeing as there is so much material to mine from deceased parents. Especially when one person has lost two of them.

What makes Melissa so down on herself? Someone has to give this girl the whole lesson about the cow and the milk and what happens when you give it away for free, but perhaps she finally learned that near the end. And she got a movie date out of it. Still, a lack of self-confidence could be a problem down the road if Melissa is called on for anything related to the coven.

Faye remains my favorite. She is power hungry and, let's face it, sort of bitchy. But she gave a great speech to Nick and that smile when she watched him and Melissa walk away was sincere. Faye is tough and mean and straightforward, but a great friend.

I'm digging how Cassie and Adam aren't really beating around the fate-based bush. They have come right out and acknowledged that something is between them ("Sometimes when we're together, street lights explode..."), but they just have no idea what to do about it. Or what it might mean in the big picture. It's hard to fight destiny, after all. Pretty sure she's undefeated.

Then there's Diana. I theorized last week that she's working with her dad, but I'm now hoping that is not the case because it would be an example of manipulative storytelling if so. We saw her and Charles alone tonight, with the latter lying about dating Dawn, something that wouldn't make any sense if they were teaming up. That's too bad. It would have been a nice swerve if Diana weren't as pure as she lets on. There's still hope in some way, though!

And there's hope for The Secret Circle, as well. A great deal of it. The show almost suffers from following The Vampire Diaries because it's not as fast-paced as that series (is anything?), which can make it feel slow. But I prefer to think of it as slow developing and enough seeds have been planted for me to anxiously tune in each week, curious about what will soon grow.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (133 Votes)

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


Desirae I'm a big fan of his too!I believe Ryan Gosling is a frtuue Oscar winner. Lars and the Real Girl was amazing, he was amazing in it so damaged, but so sweet he managed to make that absurd situation TOTALLY real. He's a fine actor, the real deal.And he's very riveting here, as this soulless rich kid, who believes the world is just a big fat joke, and everything is so funny, because why on earth care about anything? It's stupid to care. Everyone is stupid. Except him.He's actually quite terrifying even though this isn't a thriller with violence or blood or anything like that. He is psychologically terrifying.


1. Cassie and Adam thing bores me already.
2. Diana is great, miss control-freak.


I think it was this week's episode that made The Secret Circle somewhat compelling for me. Before I was watching more or less out of obligation to a Kevin Williamson series and less because of the show itself. Now I want to watch next week to see what happens. The parents made it really hard for me to empathise with their wicked ways mostly because it seemed like their love for their children was overshadowed by whatever plot they're working on. Now we know the death of one means the end of the Circle's power. So they're at least looking out for those children. As for the characters themselves, I'm more interested to know Nick and Melissa better now I've seen them grow. Cassie needed to develop a bond with the circle because I don't buy her supposed loner status. It seemed petty the only reason she didn't want to befriend any of them was because of the magic. Just as it's equally petty to befriend them because of that magic. It was good the writers developed a proper bond between her and Diana. Now she may love Adam the way she does, but I for one think the magnetism of destiny could be construed as a much more powerful love than ordinary relationship love. I know it's at her expense that this couple (with no viable ship name) would get together, but I find destiny trumps dibs. But saying that, besides being incredibly passionate and inexplicable able to bar-tend at the tender age of 16/17, he seems to have no other qualities. Boring. The Secret Circle needs a bad boy and the introduction of Luke did not provide that.


I think that Diana has a right to feel a little territorial she loves Adam and has been with him for ages. I mean if you found out that your Boyfriend or Girlfriend you had been with for ages and really truly loved loved someone else wouldn't you be upset. Anyway I love Faye and hope she and Diana get together. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Cassie and Adam and am so happy that Nick and Melissa have hooked up.


great review!! i liked this episode more than the previous! i like that the show is getting more into the characters through episodes.. i'd love to see more of nick and melissa 'cause they're the least explored! but i wanna see depth to everyone else as well!! i have a question @Matt Richenthal
though.. won't you make a round table for the show anymore??? i looove your round tables!!!


I really think the show needs to focus more on each individual character. I feel like 90% of the show is focused on Cassie, and while I do understand she's an important character, it would be a lot more interesting if we get to know a little more about Faye, Nick, Melissa, Diana & Adam as well (especially Nick and Melissa whom I think we know the least about) Another thing about Nick - I really hope he ends up being as awesome of a character as he was in the book & that he & Cassie have the same relationship as they did in the series. Cassie doesn't really interact much with Nick or Melissa, most of her screen time is with either Adam or Diana. The show needs to focus on character development a little more, in my opinion.


It's definitely better than previous episode.
I still think they're bounding too quick.
But yeah, I'm giving chances for this show, just because Cassie Blake is awesome. And Nick is really growing on me too. :D


I don't think they're going to follow the books because it wouldn't be interesting for a tv show character. She can't be like she is in the books (a princess, always nice, very smart but naive concerning Adam)

Sally kate ford

Great review!!! Loved the Lost reference.:D
This show is somewhat similar to TVD but that's logical.books are from the same author and is i've heard correctly shows have someone in common too..
and about Diana.the whole time i was reading the book series i suspected and expected for Diana to turn out evil or behind things.NOPE! if they're following the books in that aspect she's really that annoyingly good and pure..


I thought this was a great episode. It finally showcased everyone and showed that the characters can be more than one dimensional. I actually like Faye more. She came off as more than just the selfish bad girl. I know she isnt because we see glimmers of depth but this time it was showcased better.It was also good to see more of Nick, thouugh he still hasnt redeemed himself to me. The low self esteem of Melissa is hard to watch. I still dont trust Diana as far as her being so nice and perfect. I like the chemistry between adam and cassie and how they address it. I also like that the parents didnt come off as pure evil in this episode either. It was well written and has me intrigued to see the story unfold.

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The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

There are still people in this town who remember.


Nick: Why do you wanna go to the dance together?
Melissa: Because I'm feeling kind of slutty!

The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 3 Music

  Song Artist
Song Style Phil Ogden Band
Girls like you Girls Like You The Naked and Famous iTunes
Lovesong Lovesong ADELE iTunes