Most of this episode takes places at Henry’s (Tom Butler), Faye’s (Phoebe Tonkin) grandfather’s house by the lake. Basically the deal is the Cassie’s (Britt Robertson) grandmother (Ashley Crow), Jane, isn’t answering her calls and she was headed up to see Henry. The circle piles into two cars and heads up to the “cabin”. Everyone except Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy), who apparently wasn’t availble for this episode. The in story explanation of an over-protective mother taking care of her distraught daughter after the death of her boyfriend… is weak sauce. Heck, we’ve never seen Melissa’s mother and she couldn’t have been that concerned as she seems pretty unaware what her daughter has been doing from witchcraft to Nick. Just should have said she wasn’t up to it and left it at that.

Cassie and Jake (Chris Zylka) ride up in a car while the rest go in Adam’s (Thomas Dekker) vintage Bronco. This show and this particular episode are really trying to play up the whole Cassie/Jake romance angle, but I think it falls flat. OK, the scene in the basement where Cassie finds the picture of a young Faye, which leads to her and Jake making out was just bizarre. The writers are either trying too hard or not hard enough. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Jake really tries on the ride up to convince Cassie she should push out and explore her individual magic. Cassie isn’t so sure. I really like the new Cassie to the old one, but Cassie 2.0 seems to relapse into an even dumber version of the original Cassie. This is made more infuriating by the fact that when the new Cassie is strong she’s really awesome. Seriously, she knows she can’t trust the guy, doesn’t really like him and yet kisses him twice.

And talking about characters who alternate between awesome and suck, Faye sees a familiar little girl who no one else seems to see. She keeps hearing and seeing this girl to the point of a series freak out that has most everyone run into her bath. Later Cassie sees the girl when she goes looking for Faye who was about to drive off in Adam’s truck but followed… the younger version of herself to the lake. While Faye has some kind of freak out, Cassie follows the young Faye to the end of the pier. Then she goes all Darth Cassie, puts her hands into the water and raises Henry, who was tied and weighted down so no one would find his body. Sorry, Charles (Gale Harold), but Henry’s crystal is no match for the left hand path Cassie.

And speaking of Diana’s (Shelley Hennig) father, Charles, he puts Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) in her place and tells her he will be keeping the crystal. Dude has been a bit unhinged since he killed Nick. It’s like he went from sociopath to a real person, who has become aware of the terrible things he’s done. Of course not remorseful enough to abandon the plan to get his magic back or use Heny’s crystal to convince Jane she never stepped foot in Henry’s place and so doesn’t know he’s dead. And that would have been great for him had Cassie not found Jane’s scarf in Henry’s house, which makes both Cassie and her mindwiped grandmother go Hmmm at the end.

Diana and Adam, please just stop. Diana, the smartest thing you did was dump Adam. Why put yourself in a place you know you will get hurt? Adam, just stop trying to be with the girl you want less than Cassie. It just makes you look very douchey. You want Cassie and Diana cut you loose, please move on before no one has any sympathy for you. Diana, find someone else to get your teenage kicks with. Smart girls don’t go back to their exes that they broke up with because they had a crush on someone else. Or, at least just be friends with benefits without the friendship. This relationship is very toxic and yet very sadly believable.

And the fan service continues. First dare of the evening has Diana shirtless for a very odd version of truth or dare. I’m not gonna go remake of Rollerball on this game of truth or dare, but rather end with a question of who this fan service is aimed at. My understanding is that CW shows skew teenage and female. So the circle is unbalanced in favor of females over males. I understand why women like 300 and it wasn’t for the stylized violence. So, why does a show that is squarely aimed at high school and college aged women keep having women prance around in underwire bras? Is the show secretly funded by Victoria’s Secret or is this the reverse 300 meant to suck young adult men into watching the show? I’m asking this because both Diana’s and Faye’s (last episode) bouts of toplessness seemed so gratuitous. The whole second season of True Blood has naked people having simulated sex every other scene and that never felt forced like these scenes in The Secret Circle do.

PREVIEW: The Secret Circle – Episode 1.09: Balcoin


Next Episode is the last before a brief break until January 5, 2012.

Iain McGregorTVCW,The Secret Circle
Most of this episode takes places at Henry’s (Tom Butler), Faye’s (Phoebe Tonkin) grandfather’s house by the lake. Basically the deal is the Cassie’s (Britt Robertson) grandmother (Ashley Crow), Jane, isn’t answering her calls and she was headed up to see Henry. The circle piles into two cars and...