The Secret Circle: Bound for Trouble (PHOTO RECAP)

After last week's super solid introduction to the witches of Chance Harbor, it's totally understandable that this week's episode of The Secret Circle was a bit of a letdown. Call it the Second Episode Curse! See, pilots don't have to do much more than introduce characters and locations and then merely hint at stories to come. But second episodes—often filmed months later—have to actually get down to business. In The Secret Circle's case, Episode 2 included some ret-conning, personality shifts, modified mythology, and new haircuts! These growing pains are similar to what The Vampire Diaries experienced at its inception; let's just hope The Secret Circle can shift into gear faster than TVD did.

If this were any other network show, this week's episode would have been solid to above-average. However, The Secret Circle has the fortune/misfortune of airing after The Vampire Diaries, which had a real stunner of an episode Thursday night. It's probably not fair to continue comparing the two shows—there are certainly already major differences between the two—but The Secret Circle has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to sheer entertainment value. Heck, it doesn't even really seem that amusing to poke fun at it just yet—it's just a baby show!

Luckily there was enough good and/or intriguing stuff happening last night, so allow me to grab a chair, flip it around, and sit on it backwards to rap with y'all.

We began in Cassie's bedroom, where she was checking out the Book of Shadows her mom had left for her (that seems to be the proper terminology, as opposed to TVD's "grimoire").

Nerd alert! It's clear Cassie's mom was totally that girl in high school who was really into Secret of Nimh and played flute in the orchestra. Anyway, even though Cassie was initially, hilariously reluctant to accept her magical background, the temptation proved too much:

In the episode's most intriguing and entertaining subplot, whenever Cassie attempted magic, something random would happen instead. I sort of wish the show had played around with this one some more, but oh well! Naked teens:

Melissa's no longer the mousy sidekick she was in the pilot; now she's the low self-esteem girl who sleeps with '90s hunks in secret.

Aw, poor Melissa! An important new thing this episode did was lay down some relationships (and especially gripes) that the characters have toward each other. Melissa's jilted by Nick who's jilted by Faye. Plus Cassie and Adam's relationship threatens to really piss off Diana. Not to mention all the awful parents. I'm guessing a central thrust of the show will be witches gettin' dramatic with each other, and that's fine with me!

Also suffering in comparison to The Vampire Diaries? These hunks are strugglin'.

Haha accidental magic is the best!

Natasha Henstridge got her blonde hair back, just in time for a visit from crabby old grandpa!

This was a really intriguing subplot, as we learned more about the circumstances of the Incident, including the revelation that the parents' magic was stripped from them by THEIR parents. Disappointingly, this old dude never hooked up with Cassie's grandma during the episode (they must've been in the same circle, right?), but still, this intergenerational witch war sounds pretty great.

Also, the show more or less made clear that the evil parents have conspired to assemble the kids' magic circle so they can then steal their kids' powers? How rude!

Speaking of Vampire Diaries! Chance Harbor High School bears a STRIKING resemblance to the original, Vancouver-based high school of the TVD pilot!

I still can't believe they were trying to pass off Vancouver as the South. Crazy!

A new girl introduced herself to Cassie, but her name may as well have been Collateral Damage. Almost immediately Faye waltzed up and Mean Girled her way into things.

Did I mention that I love Faye? LOVE Faye. Phoebe Tonkin had a slightly tougher time with her American accent this week, but she more than made up for it with sheer charisma. I think I like Faye so much because she's really unpredictable. Like, is she evil? Is she just sort of confused? She's definitely got a great sense of humor. All these contradictions make her one of the more realistic teenage characters on TV.

Natasha Henstridge and the Queer as Folk dude (I'll probably learn their characters' names later) weren't too thrilled about Old Man Hassler walking around town investigating witchcraft.

The SECOND Cassie put on safety goggles, it was obvious things would be exploding. It's like a Checkhov's gun situation. Magic does NOT mix well with science lab, everybody knows this.

I loved how easily Faye talked Melissa into "practicing" during class. Teens, am I right?

Also, it was great how Cassie was SO MAD that Faye used magic on her, so she used it right back:

And Faye was, like, STOKED. Girl loves her some trouble. Anyway, it should go without saying that Cassie RAN out of class. That's kind of her thing.

Adam decided he'd tutor her in the ways of brooding hunky magicks, so he took her to their abandoned shack headquarters on a presumably super expensive piece of shorefront property that nobody cares about or checks up on.

Oh Cassie. It's like she'll never get the hang of it! But you know what she DOES have the hang of? Running out of rooms.

Cassie <3s running out of rooms so much!

The old dude was NOT happy with what he was hearing about all the magic being used, especially when Adam's dad spilled the beans about the Queer as Folk dude trying to kill him.

The main question of the entire episode was whether the six teens would "bind" their powers together in an ancient ritual. Most of them were in favor, as it would allegedly stabilize their gifts and give them more control over them. But Faye was the lone holdout, reasoning that she doesn't want to be subservient to anyone else.

I actually sort of agreed with Faye! Also, it was pretty clear that the evil parents were sort of hoping the kids would bind their powers, so it probably won't lead to anything good.

Oh look what we have here, our first ever town-wide social event!

I loved the scene where Faye and Melissa put their powers to good use by using them to win carnival games. Haha so imaginative!

Whoops, now the old man knew the kids had powers for sure!

Also, this was funny: The witches make their own drugs! I'd love to learn more about this, but we didn't see any real side effects other than Faye sort of acting meaner than usual.

Old Man Busybody ratted out the girls to Faye's mom. She denied knowing anything about them having powers, reminding him that the members of her circle had been stripped of all their powers by his circle. But I was like, wait a minute, the Queer as Folk guy was super powerful last week! You're telling me he doesn't have powers after all? That's how we got to the dumbest element of the show so far: MAGIC CRYSTALS.

So, now we're supposed to believe that the evil dude doesn't actually have powers, he just has some dumb crystal with a little bit of juice left in it. He handed it over to Faye's mom like it wasn't even a big deal. Ugh, fine. Kinda disappointing, but whatever.

I'm not sure I'm super invested in this Cassie-Adam possible romance subplot. I guess it's supposed to be a foregone conclusion that they'll have a legendary romance (the stars have said so!) but he's not very exciting as a character. Nice enough, but kind of a drip. You know? Like, it'll be good drama for Diana's inevitable turn into villain, but I just super don't care about them as a couple.

I'm weirdly way more invested in Melissa's angle—she seems legitimately put-upon but she never says much about it. The actress does a good job of shading in the clinical depression Melissa's probably going through, and I can't wait to see this girl finally getting revenge on folks. That said, right now it is IS pretty disappointing to see the only witch of color having Bonnie levels of low self-esteem. TVD influence strikes again!

Faye was out of her mind at whatever dockside dance they were all attending. She tried to bully Cassie into making magic with her? Good call, Faye! Way to make friends.

I think one of the reasons Faye's so well-drawn is that she tends to regret the horrible stuff she does. It's like in Game of Thrones how all the worst cartoonish villains from the book were made a lot more subtle for the TV show. Hopefully The Secret Circle will continue to walk the line between Faye's bitchiness and her vulnerability. That's interesting to me!

Same thing with Faye's mom—it's hard to pin her down. She's definitely got some dastardly stuff up her sleeve, but she also won't stand by and let innocent people get hurt. It's just good writing! (Sorry for all the compliments, this show is like a new crush I guess?)

HAHA so dumb.

Busted!

So after the dance incident, Cassie reluctantly agreed to the binding ritual, if only so that Faye would stop acting a fool. None of the kids trust each other and the hope is that fewer people will get hurt if they're all in it together. It's a pretty interesting idea for a show, especially now that The Secret Circle is taking pains to showcase what an odd fit the group is. Interpersonal drama is definitely in the cards, so it's intriguing to know their inevitable falling-outs just got so much more complicated! If this show doesn't regularly outdo the climactic witch catfight from The Craft, I'll be sorely disappointed.

Only minutes after saving someone's life, Faye's mom MURDERED a dude. With his death, a lot of questions went unanswered. To which "council" was he going to report her to? (I hadn't even considered that there might be a secret witch government!) Was he correct in his suspicion that SHE was the mastermind behind assembling the teens? Come back, Crabby Old Dude, we need more answers!

There was more of the nonsense about how Cassie and Adam have a special electricity when they're together. That basically just means power lines fall down and whatnot. Too bad they don't have an interesting rapport to go with all those metaphors! Oh well, supernatural omens are just as good sometimes.

And THEN came the final binding ritual!

In probably the most painful reminder yet that this ain't no Vampire Diaries, nothing at all happened! No cliffhangers, no twists, nothing. If this were TVD, upon finishing the spell, somebody's face would have melted off and a team of mercenaries would have burst through the bushes and opened fire on everybody. Seriously, Secret Circle, you need to work on your WTF moments!

Well, at least the main characters are a SECRET CIRCLE now. Pretty glad that's settled.

All in all, a solid, if slightly disappointing episode. I'm still gonna tune in next week. Will you?

 

QUESTIONS:
... Are you satisfied with the guy characters on this show?
... Do you wish the magic were more special?
... What do the parents WANT, anyway?
... Do you sorta miss Melissa's perm?

Comments (59)
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I just tried watching this show again.. I made it through most of this episode but that's about it. Something about it's STRIKING resemblance to the 90s movie The Craft blocks me from being able to enjoy any of its storyline. I may or may not keep watching later on but for now I'll just watch old episodes of TVD and The O.C. or something haha.
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I really liked that you called the school out at the same one used in TVD - I was hoping for a confirmation on that! But did you know that even Smallville used the same school? :P It's actually a school called Templeton Secondary: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31151918@N06/4737996522/ :)
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This was a great recap.

It reminded me of that movie with the 4 fellas and stuff. I can't remember the name at all.
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lol you make my day! and I agree with the thing you said about "wtf moments" Every episode of TVD is like a season finale episode! Like with *spoler alert* Caroline being kidnapped by her dad! Did not see that coming!!!
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I think the show has potential. The fact that the older witches are just as vital to the series as the young kids... (and they aren't annoyingly stupid like the adults on (TVD) is interesting. I actually like Cassie and the "eyelashes in a hoodie" (still loved when you said that Price! LOL!) dude, Adam. I think they do force the chemistry more than they need to but I like that they are still strangers that have these weird moments. I mean I have to look at it that way...they don't know each other, not really, but they are still supposed to seel this fated connection that technically should go beyond initial sexual attraction. It's a hard thing to pull off, and their current chemistry is just weird enough to pull that off. I like Adam...he does seem a bit one-dimensional at the moment (and again at the risk of comparing it to TVD he reminds me of Stefan). In fact he reminds me of Stefan in the first half season we weren't convinced that he was anything other than a goody two shoes. they need time to work in some layers for Adam, but I do love the cheese factor of his and Cassie's scenes together. I have to admit that...and seriously is that dude wearing guyliner or mascara cause those lashes are INSANE!.



At this point, Adam is more interesting than Nick and that's probably because he gets more screentime. Nick sucks. Really...when arre they going to do something with his character? He's just there...shirtless...smirking, and it isn't in that cute way either. he's just annoying and in the way. And damn that song that keeps g etting stuck in my head, the composer knew what he/she was doing coming up with that little diddly.
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I wasn't all that impressed with the series, but I did enjoy your picture-storytelling.
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I thought this episode was kind of a recap of the pilot. There was no character or story progress. It was as if they are trying to carve into our brains who they are, what they are, and how they feel.

*YAWN.
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I think there could have been better guy actors for the parts, but the ones here are ok.

I wish there was more magic and that the show would become a mix of The Craft, Buffy, and I think it has potential for these first episodes to become the classics where it all started.

The parents are out to get their power back in full force I'm sure. I can't see them wanting to hurt their children.
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when will characters in a movie, serie, whatsoever learn not to tell what they are going to do, so that they would not be getting killed even before they head up to the door (or better, when will writers learn not to write these ridiculous stuff?).. I mean how stupid that grandpa must have been: you know your daughter-in-law whom you obviously despise has a crystal that has an unlimited power, you know she is the mastermind behind the whole thing, you know what they have done before to be punished severely, and you still tell her your plans on how to stop her doing what she is doing.. what were you expecting, really? I hate it when scripts are written in a manner that seems to have an assumption of we, all of the viewers, are complete idiots..
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I totally ship Faye/Melissa.



That is all.
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This serie is a ripoff of Charme with younger and more attractive girl. The only thing is that they make a bigger circle of people ( More then 3 ) and the power of magic is a little diffrent, but clearly I saw Charme all over this series.
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watchable
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1) No! Adam is the new elena...he's so boring. P.S: I think evil dude's hairdresser is the same one that Elijah uses. 2)Yes but its just the start so I'm sure it will get more interesting. 3) I think they want their powers back. 4) Who?
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lame
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Blondeeee....overdid the botox, she looked better before
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I'm really liking it so far. I love Faye. Mostly because of the actress. She played Cleo on H2O. Faye is like the opposite of Cleo; it is so fun to watch! I really hope this show doesn't get too much like TVD. I had to stop watching that beacuse it got too boring and ridiculous. I can't believe I wasn't going to watch this show (until I found out PT (Faye) is in it).
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I'll watch until the enevitable Diana turns out to be evil pitch. TBH the first two episodes are limiting how things can turn out. The only aspect thats got me hooked is what the parents have got planned. Maybe kill the kids to bring back the dead parents or the kids are the dead parents.
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diana is my favorite character b/c shes seems more like me smart,responisble and a leader.but since im a guy i idnetity with adam.diana and adam are my favorrite characters so far and cassie is the annoying one:)



oh yeah just b/c diana dad and faye mom might be evil or whatever that doesnt mean their kids are.b/c im nothing like my parents at all.
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About the guy characters, when I was watching the episode, I wondered if you will say something about adam wearing mascara.. :-p

comparing the guy characters of this show with the TVD's ones, it would be so unfaiiiiiiiir..
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not loving this show, really slow so far.
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didn't like this week as much as last week but still okay.
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The show just getting better and better....

Love It....
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Faye is the worst thing about this show. She tries way too hard. Might as well wear a sign that declares "I'm the b*tchy one!'
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I think Thomas Dekker(Adam) has a lot of potential. They guy shows some signs of acting ability. I just think they need to utilize him better and give Dam different story-lines, rather than just love interest. I feel like Thomas Dekker is Paul Wesley's younger brother. He needed another few years before h could grow up and be classed as "hot". Nick sucks. Period. This after-note in Adam's paragraph is all he's worth.



I think the show needs a few episodes to lay the groundwork before it can solidly throw itself behind the world going batshit nuts.



I don't know. I think they just want their power back, by nay means necessary. There is great potential for a storyline here, where one Circle wages war on the Circle that preceded it. Its fairly clear there are already rumblings between the parents' and grand-parents' Circles.



Melissa did a lot to establish herself as a character this week, compared to her nothingness last week. I don't know if you're right about her issues. I thought she just had the hots for Nick(why is beyond me).



Love TSC. I was iffy with the pilot. But ep 2 and Phoebe Tonkin have really gotten me invested now.
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Ok here's the deal---as I see it--



Eyelashes will fall for track star Cassie, because let's face it, she's SO irresistible. Window blond will eventually make enough cinnamon witch meth to hook up with Fae. and "I'm Sorry I didn't Get Your Name" will get hella upset....but that will be nothing compared to Diana's fury, when Lashes & the Room Runner finally do the dirty deed.....
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Next week's drinking game: Cassie can't take it and runs away from something.
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While this episode tapered off a bit compared to the previous it was still pretty good.
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Does anybody NON-evil ever smile on this show??? Has anyone given much thought to this realization? No one ever smiles unless they're grinning b/c they just did something evil!



Really weird..
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Adam and Cassie are really boring together, I would be more interested in seing Nick (90's dude) somehow falling for Cassie later on and us finding out that he's just damaged or something and that he has got some good in him. Complicated characters are always more interesting than the, well, boring-with-no-personality-characters
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I'll be tuning in. It seems to soon to really analyse the characters. When I see the actress who plays Cassie all I can think of is her annoying character in 'Life Unexpected' which is not unlike the one shes playing nows sans the magic of course. Its good to see the actress who plays Faye acting again, my daughter was a big fan of her in H2O
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Thought it was a pretty good ep. The guy characters could use a bit more fleshing out IMO, but Im sure that will happen soon enough.
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Hmm, thought the episode was pretty good. OK, nog TVD good, but still... we're only just at epi 2. Give it a chance.

I like the need for nudity in these shows... if it's not a hunk with his shirt off, it's a young hot chick in her underwear. I find it almost too creepy that I think Cassie is hot - they've definitely hottened (is this even a word?) her up since the pilot. Dukes pants and a T-shirt 2 sizes too small. I grew up with species where I had the hots for Natasha and she plays a mother here. Am I getting old, I wonder ?



Anyway, still think this shows got a lof of potential, although I was pretty dissapointed with the crystals and the old guy dying so soon. Want to see those "elders".... maybe those are their great-grand parents, you think?
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I love this review, I heart you Price! <3



Ok, I'm alright with the guy characters on the show, I actually think it's a nice change, you don't really see Warlocks on Witchy shows since Bewitched. And I really hope the magic picks up because it's starting to look like The Craft (sooo not good).
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as a guy i havent found a guy who kind seems like me.i think adam maybe more of a person i may identity with but i have to say even tho adam may be the guy im like, i really like diana shes does things i would do shes always trying to get others to see the consequences of their actions and she is a leader not a follower which is nice to see.diana and adam may be my favorite characters and i know cassie is suppose to be the main main character of the show out of the 6 teens but scassie is so annoying faye got more personlity than cassie...i do wish the magic was alittle more intense like the end why didnt they hold hands and it should have been so lights firworks going u know.i do like the fact alone they wont have much power but if its 2 of them or even more they have alot of power.so if one of them gets in trouble alone theyll probbley die but with someone else from the circle theyll have a chance to live..it seems like the parents more specify diana dad and faye mom want their powers back and using that crstal to do it the questions then becomes how are they getting this powers and where that crystal comes from?faye and dianan are nothing like their parents which is a good thing b/c their parents are acting liek 5 year olds they cant have something and want it.i dont even notice melissa to be honest or nick how sad.
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Thomas Dekker has to learn better eye acting. That seems to be the key to success.
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I like the show i do love the recaps about this and Vampire Diaries
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Oh geez, those recaps are the WORST. Who does them? A 12 year old?



Can you say INFLATION?
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The only thing I could think about during the episode was "Does Cassie ever leave a room not running?" Honestly, what the hell is wrong with her. She literally runs away from EVERYTHING!
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well if your mom died in a suspicious fire, and you were forced to live with you almost non-existent grandma in a creepy town and on your very first day you were surrounded with even creepier people that burned your car, and locked you in and handed it over to you as a welcome party with an initiation meeting on "withcing" and other sort of veeeery creepy stuff, and eventually you realize that you have a capability of doing things you really dont want or intend to do, you would run out of every room you enter.. surrounded by lunatics, and uncontrolled power of doing weird stuff, I am sorry for cassie:)
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Also what?! I thought episode 2 of TVD this season was terrible. There were so many things off and some of the scenes were ridiculous. lol
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The crystal thing is NOT ridiculous and we will find out why and where it comes from. I haven't read the books, but I have read the synopsis of some of them. It leads to something big.
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OK...a few words about the Boys. Tom Dekker will never, ever be Ian Somerhalder. And the other guys are so bland I couldn't pick them out of a line-up. So the HotChickWitches will need to keep up the bitchy-mischief because the romantic chemistry so far is zero.
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This episode was kind of boring compared to the first. Although at least there were less lame scenes. I got the impression Faye's mum saved that chick to a) protect Faye and b) make sure Faye's magic didn't get exposed. Not because of any real feeling for the girl dying.
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Liked this episode a lot. It did move the plot around a bit much, but that's OK. I was at the "Secret Circle" panel at Comic-Con and I love the entire female cast. Can't decide which of the girls I'm most in love with.This week it's Phoebe (Faye), but Shelly's (Diana) hotness is coming on strong. Can't wait till next week--"Star-Witch" Britt (Cassie) could be my new Fav. Or maybe "HotMomma" Natasha (Dawn).
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i actually really liked this episode. this and tvd are my favorite shows on tv right now.
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I like Faye and Natasha Henstridge. That's all.

All other characters are not likable at all. Especially Cassie.

Not sure about the plot yet.
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cassie is as irritating as elena in TVD and the guys here are completely uncharismatic...
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i like dianan and adam
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I agree they could've made the blond uninteresting hunk, into a really more interesting badboy, or something like that.
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I'm sorry, but mom's book--while slightly disturbing--is awesome. I used the word freely and apologetically. My sister's book just said 'omg' and 'v-card' all the time.



It's sad, but I really didn't think they'd introduce a second character of color into the--OOH! OW! That was brutal. Yeah...I *did* expect *that*.



The main reasons TVD has done well are Twilight and that the guys are great (at least as far as the majority of the female audience is concerned). These guys not only are complete drips, but are puny drips. TSC didn't have to start them off so far down.
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I got so bored during the episode I started playing Mahjongg (I'm seriously not kidding), and before I knew it, half the episode had passed without me even so much as looking up to check in on it. So no, I'm not tuning in next week, but perhaps I'll do the recaps just for fun ;)
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1) Window not-really-a--hunk could pretty much have been played by a blow-up doll up to this point. Thomas Dekker is actually a good actor, but his character is written in a really boring manner.

2) If it was more special, it would be less funny. More crystals!

3)Maybe they just really want to figure out the wonky math/possible incest they are involved in--every circle has six, there are six families, and apparently 12 were involved in the boat/fire accident? Did two circles get married? What does THAT binding ceremony look like?

4)I figured Melissa has the magical ability to change her hair style every day. Way cooler than exploding light bulbs.
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No thanks. And WAY too many pics on this thread... had quite the time scrolling down to the bottom (got a chuckle out of some of the commentary on the pics, though).
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