'The Secret Circle' Recap: The Master Plan
'The Secret Circle' Recap: The Master Plan
The crystal skull is assembled, Blackwell's plan is revealed, and the Circle is unbound. It's The Secret Circle's best episode yet.

Casa de Circle

Let's see...Diana and Grant start with a cute moment, all young lovey. It gets a little strange when Diana essentially asks for Grant to kidnap her across the country. I'm exaggerating, but she seems desperate to get out of there. As usual, Diana's defining traits are goodness and anti-magic. Of course, a phone call interrupts and BOOM.

The circle is meeting for plans of action. Do they trust Blackwell? Well, no. But Blackwell is essential to save Faye, who is being tortured as she's kidnapped. By the way, I was afraid her kidnapper would actually assault her, but a nice and genuinely scary fakeout from Secret Circle.

The Circle differs on the best course of action. Naturally, their plan is to stop the crystal skull from forming by going along with Blackwell's plan. I don't know why no one objected more to his hideous plan.

Skipping Stone Skulls

In a distant land made for the adults of the show, who act more like teenagers, we catch up with Charles and Dawn, plotting to gain their children back. Seriously? Dawn never seemed that into Faye before. What team is Dawn playing for? Is she team Blackwell or team Charles? I guess Team Charles since she seems generally concerned, but Dawn's fickle.

At a local-ish beach, I'm assuming, Blackwell and his daughters get some quality bonding time. Unfortunately, this is when all hell starts to break loose for the circle. Even though Cassie and Diana swore they would steal the crystals, Blackwell manipulates them again to destroy the individual crystals. Doing so will in fact unbind the circle to make the crystal skull.

Cassie's for Blackwell's plan, Diana's against it. Cassie wisely brings up Faye -- you know, their friend! -- but Diana's more like whatever, I just want to be with Grant. At least, that is what I assume Diana is thinking. Grant's dreaminess has grown on me. Sorry. Onward!

On to the dark magic portion of our program: Blackwell says a spell, lights crystals on fire. Blackwell starts skipping crystals, his daughters follow suit. Quality bonding right there! Though he is the world's worst father, it's nice he still has time for his kids, you know? Even if it's some mastermind plan to do ... something.

Cassie steps into the water, toward the crystals causing the water to boil, brew, whatever. Hilariously, she picks up this jelly fish mold of liquefied crystal, which is so powerful it messes with her breathing. With her and Diana's hands, it molds into a crystal skull (also, read weird vibing subtext). Cassie is all scary-eyed from its power; Diana catches on that this is a ploy to fool Blackwell. It takes too long for me to give Diana some intellectual credit.

Blackwell isn't pleased, so he basically knocks his kids unconscious, and magically binds them to a corner. Normal witch punishments, I assume. Luckily though, this unbinds the circle.

Check-in with the Other Circle

Let's cut to the ship wreck ghostyard place just for suspense in the recap: Melissa, Adam and Jake stakeout for Faye's capture. This just occurred to me, but why is there a massive shipwreck in this town? Did they never think to clean it up or are times tough even for fictional TV cities?

Cut to the ship wreck ghostyard place: Melissa, Adam and Jake stakeout for Faye's capture. This just occurred to me but why is there a massive shipwreck in this town? Did they never think to clean it up or are times tough even for fictional TV cities?

The circle has physical reactions to being unbound, like skipping a heartbeat. There's a joke about love at first sight somewhere in here... Basically, what I want to say is thank heavens. I've been waiting all year for untapped, uncensored magic; it is exactly the kind of goodness this show needs.

Adam and Melissa have a moment before Adam goes after Cassie and Diana (his past lovers who happen to be sisters...ew). I don't care what this show wants to do. I just want a boy-girl friendship from these two. Is that so hard, CW? Let's make this easy: just renew this thing already so I can complain less!

Redemption, Thy Name is Charles

Faye, with her own solo magic, can escape. So she does (rather badass-like too)!

For whatever reason, Faye chooses to call her mother for help. I guess she didn't get the memo all year that the Circle is Secret. Dawn and Charles gain powers from Charles' mother to save Faye and the others from witch hunters.

Jake and Melissa enter the shipwreck and ultimately are captured, imprisoned and nearly burned at the stake. But Dawn and Charles come to the rescue. With magic. Yay. Charles speaks in Latin to expel demons out of Eben. Which I always hear as Evan. But Charles, seeking redemption for killing Amelia and generally acting stupid, expels the demons unto himself.

Jake stabs Eben for killing his whole family. But he still has that crazy grandfather! And he has a thing with Faye again! So it's looking up for this part of the circle...

Mad Mastermind

Until we cross cut it with Blackwell's master plan. Cassie deducts that his plan was to manipulate the orphans to get the crystal skull. Nothing brings together witches like witch hunters, so he let their parents' Circle perish so he could exploit this one. She lists a bunch of other terrible stuff he did and then she puts her mother on a pedestal; she's still worshipping at least one parent. But why?! She almost cries dramatically! Honestly, Cassie. Like this freak won't tell you his master plan.

The plan? Kill witches. Did not see that coming. Blackwell wants some type of witch ethnic cleansing in which his Balcoin blood and other four offspring will become the most powerful weapon. Blackwell turns the crystal skull black, beginning a spell to burn most witches alive; which is the way to kill a witch as evidenced in tonight's episode.

Adam comes in, burning alive, but willing to help break the lock Diana and Cassie are in. It fails because Adam was the one trying to help. So Cassie, in her infinite balance of stupidity and awesomeness, starts strangling Diana to activate Diana's dark magic. Holy crap this is amazing. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger is true in this episode, because Diana... I guess she wakes up. The protective force field means nothing now.

Cassie and Diana work together to reverse the witch-cleansing spell. Ultimately, this proves too much for Blackwell. I believe he burnt to death (because he is a witch!).

The Aftermath

I notice, for the first time, that Cassie has a Charmed door. Perhaps it will magically shut on its own at the end of this episode!

Group meeting determines that Adam, with his moral merit badges, shall encase the skull in lead and dump it in the middle of the ocean. A common plot idea for this Thursday night line up (Vampire Diaries reference!). Beyond that, the circle agrees on nothing. Binding the circle is dangerous and keeping it unbound is dangerous too.

Diana and Cassie have a lovely scene. Diana needs to leave to escape dark magic; it is too much for her and she did not like it. Cassie is just desperate for a family member, anyone. Think about it: her mother, her father, her grandmother and a bunch of other people have died in a year. A year. Of course she wants to cling on to her sister, her BFF who took care of her. Yet I completely understand Diana's reasoning; dark magic scares her and Cassie is associated with dark magic.

A final montage closes the season with Diana leaving to travel the country with Grant; Jake is left with a weird talisman by a witch hunter; Charles, still being alive, with his mother; Melissa and Faye abusing and having fun with magic; Adam, already corrupted by the skull, does not destroy it but uses it; and Cassie, with the Balcoin mark on her hand and embracing her magic. Because four other Balcoin children await.

Not Gonna Lie

I never gave much thought to this show. It only really found its groove recently because before that, things didn't happen. Now? There are so many good little beats, character moments, cast actions, and plot devices. I really didn't care before whether this show was cancelled or not.

But this episode is a clear display of why it should not be cancelled. That was good television, one that wrapped up ends and kept enough loose ones for next year. I'm really looking forward to the future of this show because tonight was satisfying. I hope y'all enjoyed as much as I did.

Emily Steck
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of the CW)