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.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 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+.

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Farsia2010

@Jess
i think i speak for a lot of people but for me personally, the prob with Diane is not that she is trying to be responsible and think of a bigger picture , it's that i don't believe that those are her true intentions. i think she loves power just as much as Faye, but she enjoys a different kind of power, she wants to be the leader, she wants power over other people and she is putting it in a package that everybody will think is noble. i don't think that she wants to honestly be Cassie's friend, before she knew of anything between Adam and Cassie she wanted Cassie for the circle and the binding so that everybody will have no choice but to need her, and that's why she tried to get into Cassie's good graces and now she feels threatened by Cassie on account of Adam so now she trying to manipulate her into backing away from Adam. Yes Adam and Cassie are confused but Diane is just smart about how she shows her jealousy, she doesn't want to seem aggressive and territorial so she decides to play victim and use the victim card. She doesn't want to let go of their position as the power couple.
my liking Faye is not because she is selfish it because she is honest about being selfish, i don't think that anybody in there is completely selfless, it's just that she is the only one to voice what they all feel but don't embrace, they fight it, she embraces it, yes she is wrong a lot of time but i find her behavior the most human. wouldn't you want to feel powerful enough to cause a storm? can you even imagine what that feels like and wouldn't you want to see what else you can do? yes she is spoiled but you gotta admit, this power is seductive and she is a teenager, of course she would want to dive into it. and about her not feeling guilt about nearly killing a girl, i don't think that's true, i think she is just really good at not showing weakness, i mean did anybody miss her face and how she was when she thought she killed her last episode?

Saad702

I liked today's ep. It was faster than the previous ep but the pace needs to increase asap...
I think each character has their own value and to that end I don't hate or dislike any of the teens. I like Diana, her character in the book is one who is kind, caring, considerate and pure. On TV, Kevin has translate most of what Diana is in the book, but has given her this edge that a lot of people are sensing. Its this edge that makes her more interesting. It stems from the fact that she loves Adam and I know already won't like it if Adam and Cassie hook up at any point. This is what will make the show interesting, it will play out in an awesome manner that I cannot wait to see. I thought loner was an apt title for this episode. The best part was the end when they came together and took care of the loner... Faye is essentially good, she projects the mean, selfish and IDC attitude because she feels that if she does the hurting, then she won't feel the hurt of loosing her father. Faye is confident and sure of herself (sometimes cocky) but that's how she was written in the book. Over time her character will progress and maybe we will see some good changes, but that is how it will be for now.

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I don't seem to agree with almost anyone on here. I think it is sad that Fey seems to be almost everyone's favorite character considering her complete lack of self control. This episode is the first time she has been anything but selfish (and that only happened towards the end of the episode with Melissa). She doesn't seem to care that she almost killed a girl, or that she couldn't control her monsoon the episode before. She only cares about having power.
As for most of you disliking Diana for being responsible and trying to be mature and worry about the big picture it is a sad commentary on the audiences priorities and ethics.
When it comes to Adam and Diana and Cassie I think that Adam is the one in the worst position. He loves Diana and has been with her for years, but fate obviously has something to do with his connection to Cassie. I think he feels conflicted as does Cassie. But Diana does too. She hasn't shown anything but honest desire to be friends with Cassie, and make the whole circle a more cohesive group; but it is ridiculous to think that she wouldn't feel threatened or be upset by what is so obviously brewing between the boy she loves and has been with for 3 years and known her whole life and the new girl in their lives. If her convo with Cassie at the end of the episode seemed a lil guilt heavy that is understandable and realistic.
Nick is self destructive but seemed to get his head together a bit after the kick in the pants from Fey. While Melissa showed she was growing up a bit buy trying to get more of a commitment from Nick and then being willing to walk away when he dumped on her. I hope things work out for both of them, they could be very good for each other in terms of emotional growth and stability.
Over all though don't they all need to find partners outside of the circle for the circle itself to continue on into the next generation? (I mean if Cassie and Adam have a kid then you have two family combined and only 5 families left technically... it gets even smaller is Nick and Melissa do the same. SO would that mean that they only need 4 or 5 of the next generation to make a circle or would there never be a full circle again?

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i really liked this episode it was good it showed faye mean but then her as a good friend and then dawn and charles they killed cassie's mom and fayes grandfatherbut not zachary because they can't kill everyone that gets in there way which shows there bad but not completely evil.i hope cassie and adam kiss so because they are ment to be together and you can't mess with faith like adams dad said or bad things will happen.i liked how nick only wanted sex from melissa because that's what they agreed on but when faye talked to him they end up going on a date and you see how great a friend faye can be.the next episode looks even better because we will actually get to see heather and what happened and i really want to know what happens when cassie and faye use magic to try and wake her up because from the trailer it looked like somthing bad or scary happens to them and i can't wait to watch it next week.

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Loved last night's Secret Circle.
Love Faye -- her talking to Melissa and Nick was great, though a little sad since Faye is left with no one. I'm hoping after Diana and Adam break up, Faye and Diana will get together. Since they are the two hottest girls, that would be awesome.
Love the scenes with Gale Harold, especially watching Charles talk to Diana -- he is so cute playing the doting dad. He looked so scary in the last scene when he and Dawn are standing over Zachary.

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This third episode is so weak, lame even. I just hope The Secret Circle doesn't spiral into episodes of mediocrity and blahhhh... running up and down, and round and round in - pun-not-intended - circles.

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I felt very sorry for Zachary in this episode. Ok, he wanted to kill one of them but he's been seriously affected by what happened 16 years ago. Did he die at the end of the episode by the way ? Or he just received threats ? I found Diana very very irritating. It's sure she's in love with Adam but girl, you have nothing to do with him, you can't bring him what he needs. Let's face it, A and C are soulmates and you can't fight that. She seems desperate to and the discussion she had with Cassie about Adam was strange. It's hard to believe that she loves Adam the way Cassie loves him. When she said "I love him", it's sounds weird, not passionnate. Like if it was the only guy on earth she finds good enough for her. From the beginning, Cassie tries to distance herself from Adam and what Diana asks her isn't innocent. I totally agree with Farsia. She's pretentious, she wants to be perfect, I don't like her at all.

Farsia2010

i only have one thing to say, Diane is not as innocent as she seems, that talk in the end, she pressing the guilt issue and warning Cassie off and it is intentional, plus she wants to be friends with Cassie not because she is so good, that's what she wants everybody to think, in reality she wants to keep enemies closer and make Cassie like so that it would be more diff for her to steal Diane's guy. that's just my opinion.
other than that, the ep was not that bad, this show is beginning to grow on me. like the whole Adam and Cassie forbidden love and hope they get together soon, it's bound to bring some interesting dynamic with saint Diane.
and Fae is my fav character too, she is the only one who is completely realistic and natural, i love that about her, love that she doesn't fake anything and doesn't hessitate to call other people out when they act fake.

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"Yeah right diana, they made magic together. And made a light bulb go boom. And make a street light spark. Countdown to Adam/Cassie kiss: started."
@Jenna: lol.. just what I thought

Eneci

VD is in his 3rd season, and the first couple of episodes til Stefan's secret come out it was pretty boring to! It's the Charmed kind of development, first it was slow til they've got into the whole witchy thing and I think so it will happen here!
Cassie! she is sweat but I don't like all this I don't like him But I star at him like an Idiot! I don't like Luke at all, could be part off some evil doings!! Sally is sweet hope she is a magical creature to! And is really hard to not be Diana's friend when she is so sweet and pushing!
Diana! I don't think she is working with her Dad but maybe he put a spell on him or is doing some mind control! diana is really HOT( I mean all the girls are, but She is WoW).
Melissa! I like this girl! She acts so great this little insecure girl and she is pulling it of! I love the bounding scene with Faye showing they are friends.
Faye reminds me a little bit on Pheobe( Huge charmed FAN!) she is independent,self confident, strong and I love her for stepping up for Melissa!
Adam they should've give the part to someone else! I like Brit and Thomas but I'm not completely buying it from him! Think there were better choices! he is not bad but for me he isn't great!
Nick He is an A** but he is the Damon type of A**, he doesn't know how to be good ti some shows him he can be good!
The cover up was stupid but innocent and not so over dramatized! Interested how Dawn and Charles gone strip the powers from the kids! XD