The Secret Circle Review: A Blackwell Revealed

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"Crystal" delivered another stunning blow to the viewer rumor mill by turning the argument as to whether Faye or Melissa was John Blackwell's missing daughter on its head.

Well done, The Secret Circle! Before we get to the big reveal, let's chat about the rest of the episode, because much like its sister show, The Vampire Diaries, pulling punches isn't in the game plan.

Diana and Grant

Welcome Grandpa Royce
John DeLancie finally joined the cast as Jake's grandfather and in one five-minute speech we learned more about the witches' history than we have all season. His eloquence in telling the tale was mesmerizing. It was told so quickly and with such assurance I had to replay it three times to take it all in. It was fascinating to learn about the witches running from Salem and forming three circles, along with John's desire to turn a circle dark from within by stacking the deck with his own children. Rather genius, and Royce was the perfect character to unveil the tale.

The added benefit Grandpa Royce brought to the table was emotion from his grandson. Not since his arrival was Jake phased by much, but a hug and condolences from his grandfather and in his eyes could finally be seen some of his soul. I've been waiting for the melting of his tough exterior. Perhaps seeing family again will speed up the process.

Fabulous Faye
I have to take just a moment to bow in deference to the ever witty and entertaining Faye Chamberlain and the lovely Phoebe Tonkin who brings her to life. Every line she utters is magical and I could easily write an entire post dedicated only to her quotes. They would not be the same if delivered by an actress other than Phoebe. She makes Faye absolutely marvelous to watch.

It could be that charisma that made me want so badly for her to be Cassie's sister, the long lost Blackwell child. There was something about their chemistry that I truly enjoyed. I don't know what might have changed if Faye had turned out to be John's daughter, but it wasn't the case. In one of his kind moments, for the dual personality of John Blackwell seems to have no limits, he kindly talked to Faye about her mother and her father, and expressed how proud her father would be of her today. Thus the speculation of Faye as a Blackwell ended.

Black Hearted John
Funny how that same man was able, shortly before his conversation with Faye, to rob Cassie of her grandmother. Yes, Jane's first day home from the clinic was her last day alive. Charles and Jane thought they would finally have their moment to get what they needed out of John and kill him once and for all. Jane got her answer. John didn't kill Amelia. But Charles didn't care and lit the spelled candle Jane had made to kill John. John had plenty of time to rummage through the house while Jane was away, and what was once for him was instead for her.

Jane died on the spot.

Who is John Blackwell? Even after hearing the story from Royce, when he speaks with kindness to Faye or Melissa, I can't tell which side is dominant. Is he truly evil or is there enough good in there to win out the end? Maybe we will only learn that through the strength of his daughters and their ability to be better than the dark magic he wanted for them so that he could control the circle.

The Wild Card
Maybe it's not even fair to call her a wild card, because I can't think of anyone who was placing odds on Diana being John's other daughter. Cassie's sister. It certainly made sense when revealed why Adam found them both so appealing. All this time we've been on Team Melissa or Team Faye when Diana flew silently under the radar. Charles even temporarily housed and fed both of John Blackwell's daughters!

Charles couldn't possibly know the truth. But since his relationship with Diana has consistently been the best of all the parents, throwing that wrench into the ride would cause the entire structure to crumble. Will he find out? What are Cassie and Diana going to do about their knowledge and combined dark magic? Diana wanted out before knowing the news, what will happen to her now?

I have to hand it to the show. I was so certain it wasn't Diana that as Melissa and Faye were ruled out during the episode, I was trying to determine which boy it might be, and if Nick might be coming back as Cassie's brother. Diana was the very last choice on my Blackwell family tree. But it worked, and it left me wanting more. I can't wait until next week, and my fingers are crossed for a second season. What a night! A great new character in Grandpa Royce, the death of Jane and the reveal of Diana as Cassie's sister, not to mention the history since the Salem witch trials. WOW!

What did you think? Were you caught off guard? It's rare when a show can sucker punch me, but it was done tonight. Well played!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


OMG!!! will they ever be able to make a show as awesome as the secret circle.Wow I love every minute of the secret Circle and I personally can not wait to see what will happen to each individual especailly Cassie and Diana. I hope Faye and Melissa know that with the circle broken they need to be cautious.I also can not wait to see what Adam will do with the crystal skull. When he touched it he looked so filled with power and it seemed like a rush of evil entered his body. Btw am so anxious to find out Blackwell's four other children. They need to hurry up with the premier of season two. Yeah go the secret circle all the way.


OMG love this show cant wait to see it every week!!! I cant wait to see what next weeks episode, hope this show continues. Everyone I know talks about this show every day! THANK YOU CW for a wonderul show that I look forward to every week!!! Cant wait till next Thursday WOOT!!! Please Keep the show going my heart will break along with 500 others on my staff WE love this show !!! It is our weekend conversation.


I knew Diana was the other Blackwell child. It would have been too obvious for it to be Faye and Melissa never even came to mind for me. The boys as usual were irrelevant. If Charles thinks he hates John now, wait until he finds out that Diana is John's daughter.


I love this show and thanks for bringing in the absolutely wonderful John deLancie. Only he can pull off the mercurial crazy one moment, saddened the next; and then right back to manic-paranoia in 60 seconds. It was an amazing scene. And, as much as I expected to see Q in his presentation…didn't. He's great in dramatic scenes. And, that utterly amazing voice of his. He could have read a list of the circle's names and it would have been the same review, but he told a story and it was riveting. I hope he's in more of the series.

Allison berry barbieri

Also, I fully think Charles knows about Diana...hence his intense hatred for John.

Allison berry barbieri makes sense that Diana is Cassie's sister based on their almost instant's not in line with the books, really..I truly thought it would be Faye. I guess that would have been too easy, though. Also, I like Phoebe Tonkin as Faye but I can't get past the Australian/American hybrid accent that she has (likely unintentionally) created.. Am I the only one thinking the show is losing some of the awesomeness of the season's beginning...they are making it too confusing, too soon...couldn't we have explored the relationships within the circle a bit more, seen more of the elders, understood the plot of the parents before all this demon/evil bloodline stuff??


I get why Diana is now part of the circle, even though she is not a true Meade. The idea that Grandpa Royce explained was that Blackwell wanted to have children who would become the next generation of the circle, with his bloodline that would guarantee dark magic, and they would be his children so he would have control over them. In a way he has control over them now, he manipulates them and controls them. I'm not too sure he's a "nice" guy, we still don't know where he's been for 16 years, he may have just come back because Cassie did summon him, and now he's happy that he can have the circle to do his will, so we'll see what happens. I don't know about Diana becoming bad, we have to see where they go with this revelation, I like that Diana and Cassie are sisters, and I love Cassie she is my favorite on the show, although I love them all! I wish they would answer more questions, there are too many holes, more info on were the parents all teenage parents? More on what happened 16 years ago, who is Melissa's family, or dad. I'm glad they got rid of Callum, I couldn't stand him, he's an annoying character and I don't see the point of him sticking around since he was Lee's friend and that subplot was pretty much killed off when Lee died. So why is he still around? Makes no sense. I also want to see more of the Cassie and Adam issue. I hope they don't just drop the whole "written in the stars" thing for good, I liked the potential for them to have a real relationship, hopefully they will delve into that later on. So dear CW TSC producers and writers, PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL THE SHOW!!! AND GIVE US MORE INFO ON THE PARENTS AND WHAT HAPPENED 16 YEARS AGO!!! thankyou! Love the show!


I really love this show, and I think this last episode "crystal" was one of the best if not the best so far. I really loved the whole going to see Jake's grandpa and the whole "conspiracy theory craziness" he brought to the episode. It really helped to piece together some holes in the story. I also loved the interaction between Charles and John Blackwell. Diana as being Cassie's sister was awesome, I really did not get that at all, but I guess I have to agree that if it were Faye it would be too obvious. I love how she showed a vulnerable side and I almost felt sorry for her when Blackwell told her he was not her father; there was a sense of longing and I loved her reaction. What I did NOT love was Jane dying, seriously? Why did she just die, she just got back! I hope she is not truly dead, I guess we have to see what happens, she was holding a crystal so maybe it saved her, don't know. I have to admit I love all of the actors on this show, and am anxious to see what's going to happen. I'm also confused about what transpired 16 years ago, were they all teenage parents?


Personally, I think it's been a little unclear which parents were apart of Amelia's circle. Haven't most of us assumed that Charles was a part of that circle up until the big reveal? His mother was labeled an elder by the show. I had always assumed that if a grandparent was an elder, that indicated that their children were a descendant of the old Salem circle, one of the six families. I guess that would make Faye's father part of the Salem circle (since Faye's grandfather was an elder, and he was her father's father). Cassie's mom obviously. Adam's dad most likely. But to be quite honest we don't know enough about most of the parents. It's just really unclear, and I think the writers kept it ambigious because they had to figure it out themselves. I just think the writers are being lazy if they don't clarify which parents were apart of the circle descendant from Salem. They've put a lot of focus on the circle being descendant from those six families and it would be nice to have some clear background. It's just murky...and I would just like an explanation so I know for sure what's up. I still love the show. It's awesome.


Said it once. Said it a millon times. Will say it again. John de Lancie!! Dammn... his voice! Hasn't changed a bit. It's unique. And his speech about the circles? Rivoting. Haha.
Rewatched the episode. Gotta love DVR. Am getting used to Diana being Cassie's sis. I think Cassie's gonna be the dark black magic witch, while Dianna' gonna use hers for good. Could be wrong. That's just what I hope. A big showdown of dark magic sister witches.... good vs evil. Muwhahaha. Hehe. Can't wait. And wants John de Lancie to come back:)

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The Secret Circle Season 1 Episode 19 Quotes

A journal. Tied with an actual ribbon. If you leave something like this lying around you're just begging for it to be read.


I can't believe I just rifled my mom's underwear drawer. No one that old should have that many thongs.