The Secret Circle Review: One Shady Sibling

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The death of Nick Armstrong grew even sadder this week on The Secret Circle. Because I felt bad for various characters, most notably Melissa? Eh, sure.

Mostly, though because it led to a rather gloomy, dare I say it, boring hour of television. Granted, "Wake" was faced with the challenging task of following a pair of outstanding, shocking, suspenseful episodes, but that doesn't change the irony of the episode title: I found it hard to stay awake.

Jake and Cassie

I hate to pick on a young actor, but Chris Zylka did very little for me as Jake. The character isn't exactly oozing charisma, is he? He's stiff, he lacks a personality and yet he was the major focus of this episode.

Fortunately, the final scene teased an intriguing set-up for Jake's presence. I'm less surprised and fascinated by the fact that Jake is a witch hunter - did anyone really trust this guy at any point? - than I am by the fact that there are witch hunters in general out there. This clearly raises the stakes, along with numerous questions. The most pressing:

Is this the outside danger to which Dawn and Charles constantly refer? Are these people the reason they want to regain their powers? Are they responsible for the events from 16 years ago and whatever the heck Blackwell is? Or whoever the heck Blackwell is? Ethan wasn't entirely clear on that one.

Can we pour the guy some more drinks and really get him talking?

Outside of a look into Faye's troubled history, a lot of crying by Melissa and Charles moping around over his murderous actions (Dawn clearly wears the cold-hearted pants in this relationship, loved when she squeezed his face), two other developments stood out this week:

Cassie has a crystal. This can be tied in to the fact that the Blakes are apparently one of the original witch families, which forced grandma to give granddaugher the Peter Parker speech: with great power comes great responsibility. Step up, Cassie. You need to be a leader. That's a lot to dump on a 16-year old, but remember how we first met Cassie: changing her own tire, laughing off her mom's offer to help.

This is one independent, strong witch. I say she's up to the task.

Diana no longer has Adam. I wonder what she'll do with all that leftover whipped cream now. Can't say I was shocked by this split, but I was happy to see the truth just laid out there. Ethan told Diana the truth (or his version of it, at least), Diana relayed that to Adam and then even to Cassie. There's no lying here, no backstabbing, just one honest conversation after another. That's not exactly the norm on teen-based primetime soap operas. I like it.

I'm also curious about Ethan's running theme: don't mess with destiny.

So, am I being too harsh on Jake? What are your feelings on the older Armstrong brother? Are you on Team Cadam now, anxious for them to officially get together? And, seriously, can we come up with a better nickname for this potential couple?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (145 Votes)

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


Not going to lie... I was kind of hoping Diana would try to stab Cassie when she went to her house. Take down that home wrecking b!tch! I kid the Blake, of course.


This was a pretty blah episode but I really liked how they dealt with Diana and Adam's relationship. I liked how honest it was and how upfront the characters were about the situation. It's refreshing to see something like that after all the backstabbing and disloyal ways other relationships are formed in other television shows.


i actually cant see him being evil... idk why hes just too cute


i thought he did a great job (jake) he playing the mysterious bad boy he not going to reveal personality is he. oh yeh plese get with cassie adam stay away and go back to diana.

Anna maria

I like him and I actually trusted him and wanted him to be with Cassie since I dislike Adam, but when we found out he was a witch hunter..oh well, I hope he changes his's an interesting development to say the least


TrippyKitty, I hate the theme "song" too. It's awful, I cringe everytime I hear it.
Aside from that, this show is OK but nowhere near as good as TVD =(


Well, it was kind of a bridging, OK flat, episode. And you know what? it didnt need to be! Because the intro of a new character is a great opportunity for fireworks! I agree with you Matt - Jake, unfortunately... he really needs to throw out some charisma! dont hold back jake! go for it. physically he's hot - thats clear. And he vibes more masculine than Adam. So i could feel a kind of polarity magnetism between him and Cassie. But there's nothing interesting about him beyond that basic attraction. He's not a Damon. But you know its unfair to compare him since hes a new young actor and Damon's an established mysterious complex hottie. The interesting conversation was between Diana and Adam. Just to step back for a mo' she does have that annoyingly I am school captain perfection about her (unlike Elena in TVD), but in this episode she bit the bullet on the whole destiny vibe between Adam and Cassie. I liked it! The script didnt go for a cheap, winding kinda tension. generates a bit of respect for her character too. I also liked Faye having the destructive hots for Jake - even if Jake doesnt merit it in terms of charisma. Its interesting when a moth is drawn to a flame no? I also liked Charles being shattered from what he did to Nick. It makes him more interesting, less cartoon villain like he was in episode 1. OK so bottome line: Jake heat it up baby - you cannot get by just on looking good - this is Hollywood!!!


I want Jake and Cassie get together! just because their nickname would be Cake!! :D :D


i agreed! this ep wasn't good at all!! new guy Jake didn't catch my eye!! he has no personality and didn't pull off as dark-side Jake well. why did Cassie's grandma give her the "save" Jake? why did Diana find consolation at Cassie's? too much mess-up...with no sense!! a little bit disappointed!! hope the rest eps would be better!!


Sigh. This show makes no sense. I thought these parents kids all had them at what, 16? So when the hell did they have Jake?! At 14 years old!?! Also, I think the acting is getting worse. I can't say anything much is holding my interest - I know shows take a while to settle in and get good which is why I'm still watching it, but it's been 6 hours of nothing so far. OK so there is something BAD (or as Cassie eloquently put it 'the bad') out there that wants to hurt them. Does anyone bother to try and find out what it is? Why it wants to hurt them? These kids don't even bother to practice magic, or find out anything about it.

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