The Secret Circle Review: That's the Devil's Spirit!

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It's the most over-used term on television, but The Secret Circle really needs a game-changer.

It's not even that nothing happened on "Valentine." Cassie learned important details about her father; Faye had hot sex with Jake; Melissa nearly overdosed; Adam nearly died; Lee introduced us to his comatose ex; Adam and Cassie totally got to first base.

It's just that none of these developments felt particularly fresh or engaging. They didn't leave me dying for next Thursday night to come around, like The Secret Circle's companion hour so often does.

Fun with Feathers

I know it's unfair, but it's also inevitable to compare The Secret Circle to The Vampire Diaries. Both are produced by the same team, air on the same evening, are based on novels by the same author. No series on television, of course, comes close to competing with TVD in terms of twists, turns and cliffhangers. So I'd rather not judge the former by the latter.

Still... that's what I'm gonna do for a few moments. Whereas storylines moves at a rapid pace in Mystic Falls, they spin their wheels in Chance Harbor. For how long now have we been hearing about Cassie's darkness, the mystery surrounding her father or even just been dragged along the path of Cassie and Adam sort of liking each other?

Granted, the final storyline took a big (sloppy, wet, romantic) step tonight; and John Blackwell finally arrives next week, so let's hope there's significant movement in that major arc. I'm just anxious for an OMG moment or two, such as the one we were all treated to months ago when Nick died. Now that was a game-changer! That made me believe anything could happen and no one was safe.

Since then, eh. Not much overly shocking has really done down and everyone has been safe.

The older generation, none of whom were present this week, are also a prime example of water treading on The Secret Circle. Do we know anything at all more about their plan now than we even did on the pilot? Charles and Dawn want to get their powers back for some unknown reason and often disagree about the ways in which do that. There. I really did just sum up the progression of that storyline over the course of 14 episodes.

So, yes, let's all agree that a lot is riding on next Thursday's "Return." We need some significant developments, a new exciting direction for the show to go in that doesn't just include talk about the dangers out there, but action and consequences and suspense beyond meetings in the dark on the pier.

I don't want to be entirely negative, though. There were definitely some enjoyable aspects of "Valentine." Diana on the Devil's Spirit? Hilarious. Faye and Jake in their skivvies? Not unattractive. Some fleshing out of the dynamic between Faye, Melissa and Diana? Helpful. Lee making plans to help his comatose ex? Sort of interesting, I guess. I just can't get into that character and how he both randomly appeared and now randomly brings Faye supernatural items.

I've also been led to believe that girls are topless during their female-only slumber party pillow fights. Was that an incorrect assumption on my part or a continuity error on the episode?

What did everyone else think? Are you satisfied with the pace of The Secret Circle? Or are you hoping for the game to change in a big way when Cassie's father arrives in town?

Valentine Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (106 Votes)

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

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