The Secret Circle Review: Digging Her Darkness

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So... Cassie Blake possesses dark magic. She isn't sure just how much dark magic. And she isn't clear on exactly how to use this dark magic. But she likes the power of this dark magic and others are reacting in fear and awe of this dark magic.

Dark magic. Dark magic. Dark magic.

Indeed, The Secret Circle rang in 2012 with an episode light on tension, but heavy on talking. About dark magic. The return of this mysterious drama was bogged down a lot by its emphasis on constantly mentioning Cassie's dangerous side, an important, interesting facet of the character going forward, but one I'd like to see integrated more within other, more suspenseful storylines. 

Cassie Blake Photograph

Of course Cassie's Balcoin-based blood is vital to the series. But let's hope there's a larger picture that will soon come in to focus, because I found myself rather bored by "Darkness" and its lack of action.

Not a lot happened overall, as two new characters got more screen time than almost any coven member aside from Cassie. Let's go over each of their impact and what role they might play going forward:

Grandma Kate: Color me intrigued. Did she really show up because she was concerned about Diana? Or suspicious over Dawn's activities? Or somehow aware of Cassie and her dark secret? Probably some combination of all of the above, but I love myself a well-layered villain.

Kate has all the makings. Heck, she tried to kill Cassie just to test her powers! Charles' mother seems excited by Cassie's black magic, telling her son it could tilt the balance of power between good and evil... but in which direction? Her lecture to Charles made it sound like she was on the side of the former, but then why the excited reaction over Cassie's abilities? Why is she the one they've supposedly been waiting for?

Many questions, many possible answers. Let's hope this isn't the last we see of Kate.

Random Dude in His Parents' Garage: Color me less intrigued. Most female viewers may be happy that Grey Damon has arrived in Chance Harbor, but his introduction was both sloppy and random.

It removes a lot of the mystery and intrigue from the entire concept of witches and the supernatural when Faye can just search for a voodoo expert and happen upon one a few minutes away.

(Adam searching for "black magic" was similarly mishandled. He didn't hear Diana come into the abandoned house? What kind of wi-fi would that house even have? And why not avoid the risk and search online in the privacy of his own bedroom?)

There's clearly a lot more to this Lee fella, hopefully aside from just serving as a new love interest for Faye. I'll reserve final judgment until the storyline plays out, but everything from his initial appearance to Faye being able to just enter his lair and wreak havoc later on was poorly written.

Overall, not a rousing return for The Secret Circle. Cassie's internal struggle has potential, but only in a larger context. I'd also love to see supporting characters developed more. Right now, Melissa only exists as Faye's BFF; Adam really just pines over Cassie; Diana doesn't do very much. Could you imagine an episode based around any of these witches? Me neither. We need to round out this circle.

What did everyone else think of the winter premiere?

Darkness Review

Editor Rating: 3.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (152 Votes)

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

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