The Secret Circle Review: Who Died?

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RIP, Nick, the bound circle and any fears that this show would be unable to shock viewers in the same ways as its predecessor, The Vampire Diaries.

I mean... wow. Did anyone see that coming? I kept waiting for "Slither" to conclude with some sign that Nick was alive, but nope. We got just the opposite, as Cassie shed a tear over her neighbor, the episode faded to black and I was left stunned over what went down and anxious over where things go next.

An Adult Plot

Nick was clearly the most expendable member of the coven, as viewers only really knew him as the troubled soul who lost both his parents. The series simply didn't dedicate as much time to developing his character - and now we know why.

But killing off one of the young core six serves a purpose far beyond shock value.

First, it gave us new insight into Charles and Dawn. They may be after their former powers - via the creation of new crystals - but they are not after the kids. They truly want to keep them safe. Charles was an absolute mess after taking out Nick. Perhaps that's why they want to regain said powers. Perhaps there's an evil force on the way and they know they'll need to be at their strongest to protect their children against it.

And perhaps Charles wants to make the lie that he's dating Dawn into a reality. The guy is totally crushing.

Second, Nick's death drives home an important point to the remaining quintet: this is serious stuff! No more abuse of abilities, no more scheming to cast spells on your own, no more dissension all around (cough... cough... Faye... cough... cough...). You best team up for real and remain committed or who knows what will happen next.

Which brings me to my third point: What will happen next?!? Does this count as UN-binding the circle? Will that have repercussions if so? The group waited so long for Cassie to arrive and to be complete, but where does the death of a member fit into the grand idea of a bound circle? And how will each witch respond? Will they grow closer to each other, or attempt to distance themselves from what they now consider to be a dangerous, even deadly practice?

So many questions. Such a creepy, surprising episode. Two final points before I turn this review over to reader reaction:

  1. Very good to see Adam and Diana have their own, whipped-cream-filled fun. We've been told and shown from the outset that Cassie and Adam are meant for each other, but a love triangle is only interesting if all sides to it are believable. So it was a welcome few minutes to watch these two act like a pair truly in love... and in lust. Sorry, Cadam shippers.
  2. Also very good to see Cassie letting her grandmother in on the coven. We only could have taken so many silent dinners or lies about text messages before secret-keeping felt forced and stale.

But is grandma really in the dark over the mysterious, fatal event from 16 years ago? I say no. How about you?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (146 Votes)

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

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Strawberry-fields

Is that for real? I mean... did they really kill off one of the Circle? Ok, it's definitely shocking, but... WHAT? I didn't see that one coming. Especially in the fifth episode. To be honest, I didn't expect any major character to die so soon. After I finished watching I was like: "but he's not really dead... right?". What does that mean for the Circle? All in all - very good episode. I will miss Nick. Btw, I do hope that writers won't leave us with just one guy :)

Mariaevelazquez

@anna I have to disagree I think Gale Harold (a.k.a Charles) is totally HOT! I don't think however that Natashat Henstridge is hot enough for him. Also I think Thomas Dekker is totally hot and I love his gorgeous eyes. Yes i'll agree that it does look like his wearing make-up but I think it might just be his long eyelashes or maybe it's make-up he is a male witch for crying out loud maybe he is going for the goth/punk/emo look? Either way I love it and think it's sexy! As for last nights episode and the demise of Nick I am having mixed feelings about I was shocked that is for sure but I'm not so sure I am upset about it I mean yeah a character is gona for good but I didn't really know too much about him except he seemed to be good in bed according to the post sex scenes he had with Melissa.

Anna-maria

@verybookish EEW.. do you seriously think Charles is hot? His hair sucks..remind's me of Elijah's in TVD but he was hotter..anyway..I loved this episode! I can't believe Nick's gone, I felt a bit sorry for Charles but I still hate him for killing Cassie's mom. What I don't get is that if ihe had to kill her to get Cassie to come so that the circle could be full how will their magic work now..especially now hat the circle is bound. Will the have to find another full witch..I guess.. Oh and I loved that grandma's in on it and I LOVED the Adam and Diana scene..she's way hotter than Cassie! I just hate the casting for Adam! He's so not leading guy material..it looks like he wears mascara!

Blu

Damn. They pulled a TVD and I'm pissed but I'm not. I didn't see it coming. I was holding on til the last seconds where they would show that somehow Nick survived but he didn't, and I was shocked. I'm pissed because he never got a chance to develop, in fact the most growth he's shown had been in this episode ironically enough. Just enough to get invested in his character and then...he's dead. But hats off to them, because yeah, it was shocking, and great writing because it was the reality check for the viewers and theother characters. They aren't afraid to kill off a main character, like in TVD and in Lost. Anyone can be a casualty to a greater plot. I just started liking hs character and now he's gone. That was intense. Couple that with the WTF?! Awesomeness of TVD and that was one hell of a night of tv. I am glad that they brought Cassie's grandmom in on it.She definitely knows more then she lets on. I don't care for Dawn. I hate the fact that she's maniupulative. She may have the kids' best interest at heart to some degree but she refuses to do any of the dirty work. That will come back to bite her, and mit made me truly feel bad for Charles. He likes Dawn, and he's caught up in her plotting and he's the one getting all the blood on his hands and suffering the most internally as a result.That will get to him eventually and jeopardize their being in cahoots.
I also love that Diana and Adam had their moments. It does make the love triangle have more standing if you genuinely see the chemistry in all involved and like all involved and it's believable etc.

Avatar

LOVED this episode.
Loved the scenes between Charles and Dawn. Gale Harold has the most incredibly expressive face, and he was amazing in this episode, filled with remorse after killing Nick, even though we've seen him kill before (and he didn't show any remorse then).
Loved Jessica Parker Kennedy's ability to go back and forth from Melissa to demon in an instant. She gave an amazing performance, and the physicality of it was really impressive.
Loved the scene between Diana and Adam. Diana has been my favorite of the girls from the beginning, and in this episode she really brought the sex appeal.
Sorry to see Nick get killed. He was very cute - especially shirtless - but it made for an amazing episode.
How is it that Dawn acts like Charles isn't worth dating? She's a high school principle and mother in a small town. There can't even be many available guys her age, and Charles is HOT, a lawyer, has a boat, also has a kid, oh, and he's SO AMAZINGLY HOT. HOW IS SHE NOT ALL OVER HIM? EVERY WOMAN AND HALF THE MEN IN CHANCE HARBOR MUST BE LUSTING AFTER HIM.
Great episode.

Avatar

honestly the fact that they killed nick is completely asinine and i'm angry...at first i was all sad but now that i read the interview with the producer i'm just mad because nick had so much potential and to kill him off so quickly wit basically little character development JUST for shock value? wow just no

Marissa

i hate that they killed nick and i hope they bring him back to life later in the season.

Avatar

I guess you can call me a book purist because I did not like the fact that Nick died! He better be coming back because he is a core part of the book series.

Hochberger

I for one absolutely loved the fact they killed Nick. Not that I didn't like his character, but because it shows the Secret Circle is like its TVD brethren: it has balls. It's not afraid to kill off main characters and totally shock audiences. I cannot wait to see where this surprisingly dark show takes us this season!

Avatar

Nick's brother is obviously a witch/warlock too.... i think they'll have to bind the circle again.... 6 witches of 6 families.... so DUH!

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