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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!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

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

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Eneci

The build up of this show is amazing! it was so intense! loved it!
Jake's Grandpa: What a voice? I really love his character! He is crazy but with the right amount of sanity to trick us all! U can not believe him but does he speaks the truth!
Mel's family! Again we didn't saw even a glimps of them! but let that be BIG for S2
Diana and Grant! I loved their interaction! and this seemed so much like charmed and their Man trouble!
Faye and Jake! I liked them!They were funny and emotional.Adam didn't bothered me either!And I like MeAdam!marking Caleb was just witchy!
Cassie! She was oKay! not bad not good!
Charles and Jane!interesting combination!But Jane has gone to early! everything else is mad! JB has everyone under his spell!
Diana and her BJ connection! I didn't saw it coming! great JOB!
2 other circles! I wanna get to know THEM!

Blu

Lol Diana was actually my pick not too long ago. Faye would have been too obvious. But Diana beeped on my radar. It explained the hatred that Charles had for John it seemed even more personal than witch business. It also explained why Diana is the one whose book of shadows held dark magic info too. She was my pick. I knew they wanted us to think it was Faye and I wanted it to be Melissa but I figured it was Diana. Great episode though

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I guessed right, Diana !! Faye (my favorite character)was just too obvious. Loved the episode!

Saad702

Spindae is right, Diana is not a Meade so I don't see how she can be part of the circle. The circle is six families: The Meades, Conants, Blakes, Glasers, Armstrongs and Chamberlains. Even if her mother Elizabeth was a witch she wasn't from one of the families so how could she be part of the circle. Cassie is part Blake like her grandmother and mother. It just doesn't make any sense what so ever. Its an amazing twist but doesn't add up!

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I like that we're finally getting to see Gale Harold on screen, since Charles was MIA in a couple episodes, but the writing on this show is so bad that I'm disappointed. All the exposition that Jake's grandfather had, why wasn't that spread out through the season so that the knowledge would increase the suspense? If Diana is Blackwell's daughter, then that means that the family Charles and Kate belong to isn't represented by the circle.
I would have preferred if Melissa had been the Blackwell child since it might have meant we'd get some characterization. Seriously, we still know almost nothing about Melissa, and we've never met her family. If Blackwell is back in town and re-introducing himself to the surviving parents, shouldn't he be talking to Melissa's dad? Why is it that the only minority character is also the character who has been most overlooked?
They finally brought Jane back, after months, only to kill her off. This is absurd since she was a great actor and one of the very few adults.

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Wait .. the Conants and the BLAKES are "written in the stars" .. So surely Adams attraction to Cassie had nothing to do with her father but rather her mother (his father was in love with her mother - as he never fails to point out), just as Blackwell being Diana's father should mean nothing about Adams former attraction to Diana because regardless she is not a Blake. They haven't out right said anything about it on the show yet (seeing as we just found out) but if that comes up then me thinks a plot hole is being spelled. But enough of that, I LOVE that Diana is a Blackwell, sister to Cassie; especially the revelation of it all. On a final note, while I'll be sad to see Jane go I definitely appreciate shows like this and TVD's ability to kill off core(ish) characters

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Spinadae: Diana is part of the circle BECAUSE she is John's daughter......

Sarah silva

This was the best episode of the season! I still find my mind wandering at times but all in all this was a good solid episode!
I thought all along that the other Blackwell daughter would be Melissa, Faye was too obvious and I never really thought it would be sweet Diana. However I like that it is her and am looking forward to her tapping into the dark magic. It is nice knowing that Charles is not her father he is so not a good person, however John really is no better. It is super funny that John had all the girls like him, Melissa's mom, Amelia, Diana's mom and Dawn seemed go have had a relationship with him at some point, even though it seems like Dawn liked him but he did not like her back.
Poor Jane, just when Cassie gets her back she dies, at the hands of Charles so he has killed 2 of the people that Cassie has loved.
I liked seeing Adam and Jake team up to scare Callum and have him leave them alone.
Speaking of Adam, it looks like Melissa and Adam will be the next couple to hook up, I do not know if like that but that seems to be where they are heading.
I really like Grant! BRING him back full time!
Cassie can not live alone as she is a minor so I wonder what will happen there.

Saad702

LOLLOLOLO CANNOT WAIT FOR FAYE TO LEARN THAT DIANA IS THE OTHER BLACKWELL CHILD. GONNA BE SO FREAKIN FUNNY!!!

Saad702

It was too easy for the other Blackwell to be Faye. I really thought it was Melissa but I guess that Diana is Cassie's sister is the stuff to expect from the (sometimes rubbish) creators of TVD. In the books the skull is Blackwell's object, not the Coven.

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.

Faye

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

Faye