The Secret Circle Review: Two Key Rules

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In the first episode to not involve any adult cast member, the coven members found out exactly how serious and deadly things are getting with their magic.

We shared concerns last week that The Secret Circle might suffer from not being as action-packed/fast-paced as The Vampire Diaries. "Heather," though, proved it can play with the big kids just fine, thank you.

From the absence of any adult cast members, to the haunted house feel of Adam Barnes’ residence, ending with the wind-blown chase through Cassie’s home, this installment had all the classic markings of a Halloween popcorn-muncher. It even gave me a craving for candy.

Teaming Up for Magic

Oddly, using the classic tropes of slasher films worked. Having an episode sans adults and dedicated to the six members of the Circle allowed us to focus on how they are interacting and getting used to being bound together, depending on each other. A few things stood out for me:

Diana is going to clearly be the voice of reason. I’m not sure she will remain the top dog once Cassie is up to speed, but she is clearly the one that will think things through and point out the pitfalls. 

Apparently we traded grumpy Nick in for a much more romantic and caring Nick. Please tell me we can keep him. Watching him and Melissa together this week made me hopeful they will make it to full boyfriend/girlfriend status. 

Speaking of Melissa, I know that Jessica Parker Kennedy is in her mid-twenties. But, should they really be focusing on her cleavage and designer bra given the character herself is in high school?!? Don’t get me wrong, Kennedy is absolutely lovely. I’m just not sure if Andrew Miller and his team have thought through the message they might be sending. 

I almost thought Faye was softening a little bit when she apologized to Melissa at the restaurant, sadly I was mistaken. I’m curious if almost being choked out by a demon possessed woman will make her want to play nice with the other witches. Nah, probably not.  

Then we come to Cassie and Adam. Cassie tried so hard not to be alone with Adam and there Diana went, pushing him on to her.  I’m telling you right now, Diana. When Adam and Cassie finally give in and hook up, you have nobody to blame but yourself. 

Just last week Diana and Cassie had a long talk about Diana’s worries and fears. She has to be a much stronger person than I am to follow those fears up by sending the two out alone

Finally, if we learned nothing else this week, we learned the following rules:

  1. Never do magic you don’t fully understand.
  2. Never, ever, ever do magic you don’t fully understand! 


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (135 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Nick was never Melissas boyfriend. I think its dumb that she labeled him her.boyfriend when she said her boyfriend died to her cousin. Nick clearly told her they were.just sex


@Zoe, please don't spoil it for people who didn't read the books. Just saying that they made a pact because of a evil man is enough. Don't tell the plotline for this season..


Glad to see the back of the parents this ep. They may be the catalyst for all things that screw the circle over but couldn't it all just happen off-screen? Anyway, Diana is going to lose her boyfriend to destiny if she keeps shoving Cassie in the same car and sending them to creepy places together. We all know living through terrifying experiences makes you super close with your companions and as if these two needed any more encouragement. I definitely thought that since Nick was a damaged kid, what with losing both his parents in the accident, the demon would pick him, but no it went for Melissa. To be honest, at least this character will have some backbone next ep because she's pretty passive normally. Love Faye. I don't get why she's portrayed as the popular girl when she's actually the snobby alternative bitch. No one popular would ever wear that hand jewellery she always has on.


I only get the teenager thing (they having babies so young) because of the books. For someone that is JUST watching the show: it is confusing. There should have been WAYYY more explanation for the viewers. The show is a horror! I'm not one to be into horror, but I liked it! I'm not a "Cadam" shipper because I don't know the characters well enough yet. But I like Nick and Cassie in the books so, I guess I'll see!


@amy - you should read the books.. they pretty much did make a cult pact.. theres this really evil dude and he convinced them all to have kids and then when they realised he was evil most of them went out to try and kill him and half of them ended up dying too.


Wow i think that im like one of the only people that like Faye/Nick i think that they may have a lot of potential and that Melissa's character is alittle boring honestly but overall the episode was great in my opinion


Was wondering about that too Amy!


Not a bad episode - but I'm still confused about the timeline of all this. I don't get the whole 6 witches, who exactly died in the fire, which parent was a witch and so on either. But what really bothers me is that this supposedly happened when their parents were teenagers. Does anyone else just find that unbelievable? So all these 12 high schoolers all had gotten married/each had a kid by the time they were... what 16/17? I'm sorry, but... what!?! That's just highly unlikely. Did they make a weird cult pact to procreate before leaving school or something?


Melissa is SUCH a bore! (I even completely FORGOT her name until i read this review) She's a hot teenage witch, yet the ONLY interesting thing about her is when she gets posessed by a freaking DEMON! That's just sad -as is her hook ups with bad boy Nickie... I relly liked the episode though, it relly felt like a classic teenage-slasher-flick -but in the best way. Heather was intersting because you never knew what she'd do next, I loved when Fay tried to get away from her in Cassis house -and whan F jumped on C's bed to get awy from her -Hilarious! I also liked Cadam this ep -they were cute, trying to figure out about spells and the fire -NICE!


This was a really good episode! I like how more supernatural elements are coming into play with the series and that the Circle is starting to realize how dangerous this new world is. The Cassie-Adam-Diana triangle is relatively different from other triangles we've seen before. I think it's really interesting how Cassie's the one pulling away and Diana's the one who keeps pushing. Adam on the other hand seems to be loyal to Diana but can't resist making sure Cassie's okay. There are a lot of dynamics here that are interesting to see and there's a lot to look forward to. I'm looking forward to these people finding out more about what happened that night and being able to manipulate their powers. It'll be really interesting to see how they deal with Melissa getting possessed as well.

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The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Faye: Don't be that pathetic girl who thinks "he will change for me," they never change.
Melissa: Ok I got it, he's a loser, I'm a loser, feel better?

Some things should be done without magic.