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The Secret Circle Review: Piering In...

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An interrupted kiss. A showdown between Cassie crushes. The revelation that witch hunters are adept at a ritual to remove dark magic and this was exactly what went down 16 years ago during the infamous, deadly fire on the docks.

Yes, it's safe to say The Secret Circle got off to an intriguing start on "Witness," as all these developments took place before the eerie "duh, duh, duh, da-duh..." of the opening credits.

Jake vs. Mirror

From there? Viewers were treated to three separate storylines, two of which captured my attention, one of which really captured my attention and one of which I could have done without. Let's get the latter out of the way first.

I just can't get over the random way in which Faye tracked down Lee (via an Internet search) and how he's quickly become a rather important person both on the show and in her life... despite the fact that we know nothing about him and, at least for now, are asked to simply accept his creepy, Voodoo-based lair without wondering how the heck it came to be or what the dude's story actually is.

He sells drugs? He has a rude friend named Callum (the great Michael Graziadei from American Horror Story)? A whacked out ex named Eva? Okay. I just don't care very much at the moment.

Elsewhere, let's applaud the use of Ethan this week and hope he plays more of a prominent role going forward. The Charles/Dawn relationship/feud has definitely been growing stale, with these two just fighting over the crystal each week and talking mysteriously about their unknown plan.

Why did Ethan lie about his presence at the fire? What is his (sober) agenda? How much does he know, or suspect, about what Charles and Dawn have been up to? The elders started out as my favorite aspect of the show - are they protecting their children or aiming to take out their powers? Or both? - but their storyline is in need of a fresh start. I'm hoping Ethan can provide it.

For the most part, of course, this episode was all about Cassie's journey into Jake's head. I'll do my best to ignore what felt like a major plot hole - if Cassie is traveling back in time via Jake's memory, can't she only see what his younger self witnessed? How was she able to go on without him? There were many scenes from the pier, such as the key one of Cassie spying the medallion drop, that little Jake couldn't possibly have noticed... - and focus instead on the fascinating dynamic this trip down scary memory lane has created.

John Blackwell is alive! And seriously, seriously powerful.

I said two weeks ago that the season can't JUST be about Cassie's battle over her two sides. The dark magic issue must be couched in a larger story, one that goes beyond Cassie's internal struggle. We may have that here. We now know witch hunters really don't like dark magic and went to every length they could to eliminate it all those years ago. Are they coming directly after Cassie now? They best be, to set up some major stakes as the season progresses.

This would be a prime opportunity to introduce a Secret Circle villain. We actually don't really have one yet. Yes, there have been questions about Jake and, yes, Charles and Dawn are sort of shady. But I'm talking about a Klaus-like bad guy that truly gives the characters someone to cower over, and the viewers someone to root against. I envision the head of the Counsel as an individual who believes (perhaps rightfully so) witches are bad for mankind and has been fighting for years to take them out.

Give him a personality and multiple layers and set up two distinct sides in this battle of dark versus light. All shows of these nature need a captivating villain, don't they?

I adore Britt Robertson and Cassie is a great character, but we need to expand this world beyond her questions over her dad and her past. Let's hope they tie into a larger narrative that really explodes the series in the near future.

Finally, can we finally trust Jake now? Adam facetiously referred to him as an "avenging angel" to kick off this hour and asked Cassie whether he cared about... or just her powers? Considering he now is aware Isaac lied to him about the fire, it's safe to chalk Jake up on the side of good, right? Also, is it too soon to ask if you're on Team Adam or Team Jake? It was sort of lame when, after ALL she had seen and gone though, Cassie stopped to ask Jake if there was another reason he came back. The Secret Circle doesn't do love triangles so well just yet.

I mean, Jake is IN LOVE with Cassie? Really, Diana? That's quite the bold, quick assessment, isn't it?

What did you think of the episode? Are you excited to meet John Blackwell? Think he's been hiding out for nefarious purposes or to keep his daughter safe? Anything from the flashbacks shock you? We have two weeks until the next episode - aptly titled "Medallion" - so there's plenty of time to analyze, discuss and wonder what Melissa was up to this week...

Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (124 Votes)

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

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.....Also, as much as I wanted to know what happened on the boat 16 years ago, this was a complete PLOTHOLE. Like you said, how can she see things Jake didnt even see? Shes going through HIS memory! And who was that random girl that could see her and spoke to her? That was never explained. I just found that entire scene to be contrived. We NEED a real villain on this show. I'm seriously getting tired of the same thing happening every single episode, and it doesnt help that this airs right after the amazing Vampire Diaries each week! Thanks SC Writers! Please take all of this into consideration.

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Dear SC Writers,
Please use the character of Melissa more. She could be so wonderful but instead you have her pop up randomly looking depressed about Nick and then she disappears for an episode or so. I like Cassie but she cant be the ONLY character developed on the show! I'm also getting tired of the whole Diana and Adam are constantly alone together trying to save Cassie even though its awkward because they broke up OVER Cassie. I appreciate Diana's maturity, but at this point she's just looking pathetic by constantly being cool with her very recent ex-boyfriend pining over Cassie in front of her! The character of Lee may be hot but he is completely useless. Why is Faye hanging out with him? And why was she comfortable staying in the garage with that drug addicted psycho? She barely knows Lee and now she wants to stay with some other random guy. I get they want to make her tough and badass, doesn't mean she has to be stupid....

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TEAM JAKE! And, I think Cassie should do something with her hair, maybe have some curls? Soft curls. I like soft curls. And oh yeah.. TEAM JAKE!

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Oh and Jake/Adam question - Team Jake because he does have a lot of chemistry with Cassie. Adam and Diana need to get back together and ignore the whole 'destiny' crap that his dad proclaimed. Didn't work out for him and Cassie's mom did it?

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It was a better episode than alot of them. Sometimes I space out completely during the episodes. Cassie became such a Mary Sue character - all the guys wanted her, she has such special and unique powers, blah blah blah. They need to flesh out some of the other stories instead of them all just there when Cassie needs them. Diana and Adam need more of a story. Faye needs a decent story and Melissa needs to either get a story or leave. She's really the weak link there since she's hardly ever in the episodes. And what's the deal with Cassie's grandmother - does she even remember Cassie has magic? Is she still helping her out?

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Love this show, have been a long time fan of witches so it was natural for me to watch this. I've loved britt since life unexpected (which shouldn't have been canceled) I love the characters and most of the stories. While I love fayes bad-assness and believe her story has to be going somewhere and have a purpose, I wish they would get there already. Team jake - while when the show started I was really interested in wat would happen with cassie and adam, I no longer am and am more interested in cassie and jake. a jake and cassie relationship would give more to the writers to be creative with while I think they have already gone through anything interesting involving cassie and adam. Who the hell was the girl cassie saw and why isnt that mentioned once in your review? I think its odd considering a few minutes earlier they confirmed that they could neither be seen nor heard.

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Adam is so annoying. I dont like Cassie (comment from tahni: "im cute, i pout my lips a lot, oh my god I'm so conflicted = HAHAHAHHA NICE ONE) but i gotta admit that Jake and Cassie are great together in every scene. Lee is so so hot, Faye is so great but their storyline is so boring. more action perhaps? Also where the hell was Melissa again

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Oh and I would have felt more of an impact when they opened the casket if there was not news last week online of the casting of Cassie's dad. Speaking of which I wonder why he did not save Sarah and the other girl??

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I so want to love this show and while it is getting better I still find that it dose not keep my full attention for the whole hour. I think maybe because it seemed like they rushed parts of the episode when Cassie and Jake journey to the past. I want to know who's mom the brunette was, was she Adam's, Melissa's or Diana's? Also I think I missed the reason that most of them got their throats slashed, was it because they did not side with the Witch Hunters?
I want to know what Adam was doing there 16 years ago? I love Adam Harrington and so happy that he will get more screen time!! He seems to be a little evil to me but we will have to wait and see. He seems very powerful and I do not think he trusts Dawn or Charles
Faye is getting more and more annoying. I do not like Lee either
You can tell Jake really likes Casey

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defenitely team Jake.. Cassie and Jake have much more chemistry together than Cassie and Adam.. Jake is so pretty and Adam is so so..