'The Secret Circle' Recap: Twists Abound, the Circle Unbound?
'The Secret Circle' Recap: Twists Abound, the Circle Unbound?
So. Much. Happened. Brain. Must. Recuperate.

Previously on The Secret Circle: We watch Amelia and Nick die again. It's a giant recap of the past year, which is definitely necessary for this plot chunk of an episode. I'm reminded that this show has really beautiful visual moments. This little precursor shows the best plot highlights reel that could have come out of The Secret Circle.

Cause it's PROM

I've often praised the random-party-of-the-week here on Secret Circle, but prom tonight felt so rushed. Granted, I'm glad this show didn't talk about all season or even an entire movie (looking at you, Disney's Prom). However, it was kind of a wasted setting.

Amidst all of this crystal stuff, the show really wants to hammer home that they are still kids who aren't losers (but then the camera is directed at Cassie, being awkward). Faye and Jake relive their debauched plans to go to prom. Melissa and Adam--the OTP of friendships--share a cute scene again. But it is increasingly less and less of that show, especially since the Prom device looked like it was used for Sweeps. By the way, I was less than impressed by those dresses, but I assume it was a last minute find for most of them.

On to the Plot Dumps, Twists, Misses and Hits

The rest of this episode was just absolutely stuffed with emotional scenes, little character beats, twists, hits, misses--too much stuff.

So I apologize for the plot dump portion where I basically just summarize everything that I can: We turn to Diana and Cassie as they enter into a magical memory of the crystal. The two watch their mothers have a little pow-wow (note how Diana is mesmerized in this scene). Elizabeth vs. Amelia is the reason for Diana vs. Cassie. The scene with the Mom's in the 1990s wasn't as strong as the emotional fight between the Sisters. Props to Britt Robertson, who looked especially intense, and Shelley Hennig for that scene!

Remember the pregnancy pact? It is less of a pact and more a part of Blackwell's diabolical plan--of which, we still know little to nothing (Crystal Skull!). Of the six potential mothers, Blackwell only fathered two.

This is all a part of his plan to unite the crystals and gain control within the next generation circle. In order to do this, Blackwell needs the help of his daughter, Diana. However, Diana and Charles have a deep bond. Remember when these two had like creepy non-daddy daughter chemistry? One that must be destroyed with either Daddy Dearests' help! Using badass magic, Blackwell psychologically tortures Charles, allowing the madman to actually act mad. I'm annoyed that Charles didn't think that Blackwell was messing with him.  Diana discovers that her fake dad killed her half-sister's real mom. Are you getting this? I wonder if this rage is going to send Diana into dark magic territory; which may or may not appeal to Blackwell, mastermind and the ultimate aspiring baby-daddy.

Because Blackwell did, enough to watch his own daughter (or as he probably likes to call them, 'chess piece') discover this. Blackwell backtails outta there in time for the Nick-demon showdown; because Nick, or something that looks less attractive than I remember Nick to be, is alive.

More or less as some theorized and I didn't; it causes a completely unnecessary fight between Melissa and Jake. Nick needs a crystal because he's dying without the demon or something inside him. (This arc reminds me of when Angel comes back from hell on Buffy. Remember that? Good times? Bad times? Does anyone know what I am talking about? End of rant.)

He's even feral like Angel, snapping some dude's neck like Cato (Hunger Games shoutout!). Nick starts running about the school in search for the crystal, eventually running into Dawn. Speaking of--is that girl unreadable or what? Is Dawn a double or triple agent? Does she care about Charles? Does she just want to bang Blackwell again? Or does she want the crystal?
Because if I learned anything about this show: it's always about the crystals.

So much so that the gang, in prom attire, chase Nick down to some kind of parking lot with really crappy cars; it is either a high school or a junkyard ('Same thing,' yells my roommate). Nick is meeting the witch hunter Eben, who is still juiced up on a bunch of power. Little Cassie, dark magic warrior, steals the crystal back; then gets knocked out by baddie Eben.

Blackwell, content from ruining one daughter's life, comes to save another. Or to steal the crystals. Blackwell vs. Eben start throwing cars like it is The Avengers or something. Faye weirdly decides to stay with Blackwell with the fight. The show decides to cut back to the gang against Nick. Really, it is Jake vs. Nick in what I think is their first and only scene together. Ever. Why? Melissa kills Nick in the end; he's not human. Then why bring him back, show?

With Nick dead... again, the balance is restored. Except, Eben kidnapped Faye, Blackwell got the last crystal, and everyone is just anti-Blackwell now that he can create the ultimate crystal skull. And next week, it looks like the Circle will be un-bound.


Analyzing This

This episode had way too much going on. Every character had some kind of profound moment, a little character beat, some major shift in familial dynamics, and so much more. There was prom, there was car fighting, there was the brief and underused return of Nick, there was the destruction of Nick--Just a bunch of good ideas put into an episode on overload. Because there was a lot of plot dump too: the pregnancy pact, John Blackwell's sorta master plan, Eben's back, Nick's back, Nick's not back, Nick's now dead.

Too much, too weird to have an effective pacing. It wasn't like The Vampire Diaries jaw-dropping twists because the act breaks were neither suspenseful or natural. With that said, parts worked. Diana and Cassie continue to shine together. As do Adam and Melissa.

Blackwell is now the definitive villain. The season finale next week looks like the circle will do what I have wanted them to do all season. Un-bound.

Emily E. Steck
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of The CW)