The Secret Circle: Group Hex (PHOTO RECAP)

Now that the main six teenagers of Secret Circle have bound their powers together, the element of teamwork is now completely ingrained in the show's premise. They can no longer practice magic alone and now must stick together in order to get anything done. It's an interesting notion, but it raises concerns about the limited nature of TSC's magic and whether it will ever get to be as entertaining or awe-inspiring as it needs be to hook us in every week.

While Thursday's episode "Loner" was solid overall, a major misstep it made was in resetting the kids' powers to zero when they weren't even very impressive to begin with. Why take the weakest creatures from The Vampire Diaries (its witches) and make them somehow even less powerful and only give them the most clicheed powers possible? It doesn't make any sense! Anyway, hopefully TSC rights course sooner rather than later, I'd hate to start getting frustrated with what's a pretty delightful little show otherwise.

Anyway! Let's talk about what happened on Thursday night!

Faye was frustrated because she no long had any power on her own and realized she'd never actually learned her locker combination? Very inconvenient!

Diana claimed she didn't realize they'd all be stripped of their individual powers, but that seemed like a pretty huge oversight to me. Anyway, she assured Faye they'd just all need to get their heads together and learn how to work as a team. Witch trust falls, things like that.

Speaking of bad teamwork, Melissa and Nick were still at it with their secret sexy times. This time Melissa wanted to go to the dance with Nick but he just made fun of her to her face. Awesome, what a cool dude!

While I'm glad to see there's a slightly more interesting male character, was Luke sort of weird to anybody else? He basically made a bee-line to Cassie and turned a super awkward Adam into his wingman.

When Luke asked Cassie to the dance, at first she was like "THX BUT NO THX GUY". But after an afternoon of exchanging jealous looks with Adam, she finally caved.

It was pretty charming when she walked out of the Boat House looking slightly stoked. Cassie is kind of a little vixen, isn't she? Either that or just horny. Witches, am I right?

This creepy dude was hassling Cassie a ton about her mother, and whether Cassie intended to follow in what he clearly believed were her terrible footsteps.

And in our first taste of group magic, Diana ran over and she and Cassie mind-melded the dude into a parked car. So not the most powerful magic, but I'm sure it was enough to make him totally forget about his anti-witch grudge.

More inner turmoil within the group. At least half of the kids were pissed at Diana for tricking them into binding the circle, especially now that people were after them. Everyone knows the best defense against aggressors is setting cars on fire or lighting candles! NOW what were they supposed to do?

Anyway Cassie decided to look into the creepy dude's allegations against her mother. First of all, we learned that Amelia graduated in 1995! That means she and five of her classmates all got knocked up their senior years of high school? This timeline is insane!

But anyway, Amelia was apparently friends with the creepy dude and some lady named Heather. Whatever happened to Heather seemed to be the main grudge creepy dude was harboring.

Melissa and Faye teamed up to move a cell phone across the floor. Cool magic! I realize a show has to build up steam and set the stage and whatnot, but seriously Secret Circle. Show us something cool! Maybe when all six finally team up? (Note: adjust your expectations.)

Faye kinda slipped into bitch mode when she ridiculed Melissa for wanting to go to the dance. Melissa's pretty tragic so far, but the actress is so good that she's not COMPLETELY pathetic. I like her. In fact, I don't mean to be controversial but I even like Diana. I think the women of this show are all pretty killer.

Meanwhile at the dance, I guess the theme was AWKWARDNESS?

The bossy girl Cassie befriended (I think her name is Loose End) forced her to slow dance with Adam and the room just crackled with intensity. Haha just kidding, this matchup is impossibly boring. I have a theory that Adam would be such a better character if he were more like how Thomas Dekker seems to be in real life. You know, arty and kind of mysterious? Maybe Adam will go goth and get into cutting? Who knows!

Meanwhile, the now magic-free Queer as Folk dude tried to sort out creepy guy using old-fashioned gentlemanly debating skills.

So there we had it: The badass warlock figure from the pilot was now sobbing on the floor of some dude's boat. This show.

At the dance, Faye lent her mom's "master key" to the gang so they could quickly look up the creepy stalker dude's backstory. Guess what? Inconclusive! Something definitely "happened" but I guess the writers were like, "Whoa, we gotta save something for episode 4!"

In Faye's best moment (Faye is the best, remember) she used her powers of bitchiness for good and stood up for Melissa, essentially commanding Nick to get right.

Nick is the weirdest character. Are we sure he's a human being and not some enormous melting creamsicle? Just so useless and unappetizing. I truly hope the writers can figure out a way to kill off members of the Circle or reconfigure it somehow so that awful characters don't get a free pass. Like, does Nick have a charismatic cousin or long-lost sibling who can take over his corner of the hexagon? Fingers crossed!

This poor guy. Granted Cassie DID leave him hanging like every ten minutes. But she had BIGGER issues to deal with.

Like getting stalked by a knife-wielding jerk!

And then we came to the absolute highlight of the show, and more or less the reason we're watching this show in the first place: TEAM MAGIC THROWDOWNS.

Now I'm not saying their powers were amazing--we're still at sub-Bonnie levels of magic here--But don't tell me you didn't get a thrill when the three babes stood in tableau like badasses? It was like something out of The Craft! MORE PLS.

I loved when Dawn just played it off like the dude was a junkie and she'd handle it. That's a cool mom!

Nick took Faye's advice and actually asked Melissa out on a date.

And of course Faye looked momentarily sad for herself. Poor Faye! Faye is the best character, how many times do I have to say this?

And yeah, I'll say it: I like Diana. I know people think she's annoying but I think she's tragic, maybe even moreso than Melissa. Her whole arc is a downward trajectory at this point and it was pretty poignant when she straight-up asked Cassie to please let her keep Adam.

Meanwhile Dawn and Queer as Folk dude (I'll learn his name next time) scared the creepy stalker dude off for now. How awesome was it when Dawn busted out a switchblade, cut her palm and MARKED the guy?

Another thing I never expected to think: The parents are badasses! I realize they're supposed to be evil and whatnot, but I love how much their scheming happens to overlap with keeping their kids safe. The shades of grey in which this show paints are its strongest selling points. I love changing my opinions about the characters from week to week. It feels like real life!

In conclusion--and not be Nikki Finke or anything--but this week The Secret Circle was the CW's second most-watched show in the demographic that counts so I think we can expect it'll be here awhile. I personally really dig it, but it's still not quite meeting my expectations for what it COULD be. Maybe we all need to bind our circle and hope for the best TOGETHER!

QUESTIONS:
... Are the parents heroes or villains?
... Was Cassie's mom a secret villain?
... Who's most tragic: Melissa, Faye or Diana?
... Book readers: Does the circle ever incorporate new members?

Comments (45)
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I just started watching this show because Price Peterson recommended it. Thanks!
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Totally agree with alove15, I was just about to say the exact same thing! Love Faye too!

RE questions: parents= grey area, Cassie's mum= eh, her story was better in later eps, Melissa is so tragic- Nick was so mean etc, haven't read the book yet but not so interested since even wikipedia didn't care- the shortest and blandest synopsises for a book i've ever seen.
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Rereading this and just realized that you are psychic!!



"I truly hope the writers can figure out a way to kill off members of the Circle or reconfigure it somehow so that awful characters don't get a free pass. Like, does Nick have a charismatic cousin or long-lost sibling who can take over his corner of the hexagon? Fingers crossed!"



You tots predicted Nick's death and Jake's appearance. What a pro! Or maybe you sparked the idea? o.O
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Just so you know, in the book, they really all do get knocked up around the same time and with "planned" partnering's which was hinted at by Adam's dad in the pilot, and I'm sure they'll end up talking about somewhere, but whatever.

BUT more importantly, in the book, yes new members were sort of incorporated, actually, that's how Cassie becomes a part of the circle. There were more witches before her that were mysteriously killed off and that's how room was made in the circle for her.
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And again, I love ur recap. U srsly should write more recaps to others shows as well and im sure people will read it!!!! ... Faye is the best, love her from the first moment!!! .. Cassie/Adam bores me from the beginning, i hope it s not gonna b like Elena/Damon/Stefan .. about similarities between this show and TVD = same writer J.Smith. Diana is cool, i like her. :] Parents re interesting
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The circle has 12 members in the book, and when Cassie moves in, she is able to join because one of the previous members dies. Since they are saying that a circle only has six, I assume they have cut the other six out. Side note, the part about how all the parents gave birth around the age of 18 is actually accurate.
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Charles is his name! A.k.a Gale Harold -but most importantly Brian Kinney. Yum.
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I like Diana too. Her crack about being insecure in ep 2 was just a throwaway line, but its actually the most honest and profound thing I've heard any character ever say on TV. Very refreshing
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I think the secret circle could be great. But obviously I can't help comparing it to its hotter and better sister show Vampire Diaries. However, TVD's first four episodes were terrible so I'll give secret circle a few more eps to find its stride.
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***appollogies for any spoilers*** Just answering the above question about the books:No the Circle can't incorparate new members because the premise of the books is that Cassie is the last 'missing' member needed to complete the circle and the circle is only made up of the offspring of the previous circle - althogh in the books Cassie was the 13th member so there was 12 others before her in the coven... so maybe they'll go somewhere with that. But if they're sticking witht the books then no one can be added after Cassie simply because she's the only other child of the original Circle who wasn't already there...
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Weakest of the three episodes so far, hopefully they dont run out of steam.
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Can't wait till we find out about the parents and what really happened. The group together fighting Zachary was really cool...!!
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i think the parents are between heroes and villians.i mean they are doing alot of evil things for i beieve to find away to get heir powers back from being taken away by caassie grandparents genartion circle.but at the same time their heroes b/c they do save ppl like that black girl faye killed and theyre are alyaws watching out for the kids.i think its a shade of grey with the parents......i starting to think cassie mom was a villian and deiced to leave teh life b/c she felt bad which could be a reason cassie grandmother and her circle took everyone powers.......whos more tragic,diana i love her shes so samrt and just classy and responisble,meissa got issues her and there with nick like every girl has with her boyfriend or guys but i think faye more tragic b/c she gets caught in having so much fun she dont see she could hurt someone.
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Cassie annoys the living shi,t out of me. Better writing pleeeeeeease! and also, COOLER MAGIC.
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I think the parents are much more interesting then the teenagers. I want to see their story. And as badass as Papa Warlock was supposed to be he went soft this episode, but I kinda like it. I think he may actually be into Faye's mom which makes him kind of tragic too.



I liked Faye more this episode because she had more depth. Up until now we seen glimpses of her being more than just a biotch but not enough where it made her likeable (to me) this time we seen more sides to her and she was likeable rather than that cliche annoying, rebellious youth that makes my skin crawl. I actually like Diana too. She's getting a raw deal, you know she'll get screwed at some point. I like that she's mature. I suppose if I had to indentify with one of the characters on the show it would probably be her. I still don't trust her though...she's almost a bit too good. I hate the fact that Melissa seems so down on herself. I just would love to see if the sole minority in one of these shows was as confident and well written as the others. I do like Melissa though, but she has to get her act together with letting someone treat her like crap. It's painful to watch.



I like Adam. He's a sweet guy and he has the potential to be a great character with some work put in. I like the chemistry between he and Cassie. It's kind of cheesy but I think considering they are supposed to be fated to each other but neither one of them wants to hurt Diana or allow that to affect their lives, however they genuinely like each other...it's played quite nicely. It isn't a case of unrequited love...so I don't expect it to be spun that way. They're trying to be friends because they geniunely seem to like each other, they bound together through the circle, and yet trying to not let the tension get to them. I think they play that nicely. I also like that they address it rather than trying to ignore it. They all address it. It's refreshing.



I still don't like Nick. He finally got some development and I haven't seen anything in it. He's an ass. I could try to sympathize with him being all broken or whatever but he's just an ass, plain and simple, but he's a boring one at that. He's supposed to be set up as the resident bad boy but I don't feel it. He isn't a bad boy (a la Damon Salvatore) He's just...bad.
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the backstory of the parents start to seem much more interesting in every episode than these teen witches nagging and loving and looking at each other stuff.. the living parents are absolutely villains (and I gues some of the dead parents were also villains), and in the second episode, while mom was having the final conversation with the granddad, it was kinda revealed that they want is to have their powers back -without the help of the crystal- to continue their scheme which we have no idea of.. why are they not telling the kids about their approval of the witchcraft? how could non-witch people like zach or heather became effected within that fire? I really want to learn those, as right now, the actual story still goes like a lame teen soap opera spiced with lame magic..
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I think the parents will continue to defend the kids until they get what they want or feel that they have all they need, the circle is destined to be very powerful. Now well according to the books, there were 12 witches to the circle and no more, and they had to be blood descendants from the original coven of witches. I think the most tragic is Diana, no man, no friend, but still the self-sacrificing leader of the coven. Cassie's mom in the books was not the villian, she was more actually the victim, now Cassie's father in the other hand...
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I like the grey area that everyone seems to have too. I'd say they were villains, they want to protect their kids but they're a bit misguided in how to do that. Plus they want to steal their kids' powers after they bind the circle. I'd say Melissa is right now the most tragic. I don't think Cassie's mom was a villain, I got the idea that she moved the two of them away from Chance Harbor so that they'd be away from all the danger Cassie's facing now.zShe seemed aweare of how dangerous all this witch stuff could be and didn't want anything to do with it at all.
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hahahhaha. OMG, this was so funny!!!
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The parents are villains but want to protect their children. Cassie's Mom had a dark and perhaps sinister past. I think poor Diana is tragic because she tries too hard, but Melissa is tragic because of her low self esteem, and Faye is tragic because she is beautiful and lonely but pushes people away. Great episode, I look forward to watching more!!!
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i was under the impression they all knew their individual powers would be gone, seeing as how Faye kept complaining about not wanting to be told how to use her magic all in the pilot.. and I still don't see how Thomas Dekker is "leading man" material, even the jerky other guy in the circle is better..
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i agree the parents are BAMFs
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I've tried to like this show. But I gotta call it like I see it, this show just isn't good.

And it's not for lack of trying, the CW put it behind the TVD, they hired attractive actors, they have the show lit in that popular emo-style lighting that makes the show look like an hour long Nickelback video... but I think I'm out.
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I like it but I'm starting to loose interest. I really love Faye though. She's just awesome. Melissa is definitely the most pathetic of the bunch. I mean come on!
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The episode was boring in the beginning, but got better as it went on. I think they need to take care of Sally, because she could be trouble in the future. I love the parents they the best team ever, they do evil but keep the kids safe. People are saying Nick sucks, but he was like that in the books. I think Faye is going to figure out that she can have power, just not alone but with her own sub circle(Melisa,Her,Nick, and maybe Cassie) specially seen Dianna seems to keep the rule book to herself.but Cassie has one too so we will see. As for them adding new members they might like in season 2 it seems like the writers want us to like the main characters before adding new ones. Also episode 4 trailer looks kind of scary cool, and i think we have some monsters coming soon.
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i loved this episode of TSC it was way better than the second episode and love the recap as well dont stop recaping this show.
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Love the recap, loved this ep of Secret Circle.

I'm totally watching for "the Queer as Folk guy" who also goes by Gale Harold -- and is the hottest guy in the show, though Shirtless Nick is good, too.

I love the parents being badasses, though I found Charles less of a BAMF when he got beaten up so quickly by a guy six inches shorter than he is. He needs to do some martial arts.

Love Faye being witchy (with a b) and also a good friend to Melissa.Poor Faye shouldn't have to be dateless -- when Diana breaks up with Adam, Diana and Faye should get together. They are the two hottest girls in the show, so that would be incendiary.
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I know what I'm gonna do! I'll read your recaps and I won't waste time watching this show. Faye is cool, her mom is ok, Diana's father seems like fun. Other characters are dreadful. Those Cassie and Adam - hello, who would watch a show with main characters like them?
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Luke: "Yeah...so, I'm Luke. Adam created me out of thin air to cause tension. Sad, but I just may be the hottest guy on the show. So, we gonna do this, or what? 'Cuz otherwise...I'm gonna wait around until we do. Srsly, I've got nothing else going on."



That mark Natasha did was probably just a bluff. My nephew marked my sliding glass door with his gooey little handprint. A little windex handled it fine.



"'Loner' was solid overall, a major misstep it made was in resetting the kids' powers to zero when they weren't even very impressive to begin with." - Exactly. "They aren't lame enough! Dial back the awesome before it overwhelms the show!" I thought we had enough chorus chanting in Charmed.



Loose End: "Hey Cassie, you remember Adam and Diana. Go make Adam yours and break them up, kk?"



At first, I was glad and surprised that Sally wasn't killed, but she's kind of a bitch. Most people that get knocked unconscious during recent drama dial it back a month or so. At least until they get their arm out of the sling. Sally's like 4'2" and Diana looks like she could hurt someone.
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Either it does get better in the next couple of episodes or I am out of it. Till now it really sucks!!!
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I didn't watch the first or the second episode, but it was easy to realize what's going on. The episode bored me...pretty actors are not enough to keep a show interesting people! Is it me or their plot line's all over the place? I have a feeling that even the writers have no idea where they're going with this show. Anyway I think I'll watch another episode or two and if it will still bore me, I'll give up. I mean, the first episodes on TVD were boring too, but at least I liked one character from the start (Damon) in this one...still deciding if I like anyone, altough Faye seems cool, but she has issues.



To answer you questions I think the parents are more like anti-heros (kind of like Damon in TVD; trying to keep someone safe, but ending up killing people to do that);

Don't know...but it's possible;

I think everyone in this show's tragic;

Never read the book and don't intend to.
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This show sucks. I am out. Cancel this crap and use the money saved for something else!
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no way there are far more new shitty shows out there (ringer etc)
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So? Shitty is shitty. "Shittier" is always a possibility. Just cancel the crap, and there is lots of crap out there. Buy a sandwich for with the money saved for those in need. Imagine how many sandwi(t)ches you could buy....
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I'm starting to loose faith in TSC. I hope the show will get better but I don't know.
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Magic is suppose to be awe inspiring and science defying. The water thing was cute, the light bulb thing was meh, and the rest of the magic I've seen has been mediocre at best.

I am waiting for the real magic to come to the show and I am more then willing to give it a chance.

But please, show me something that makes me think "ok, that's magic" and not, "oh that's decent CG...."

magic need not be awe inspiring in every moment. It just should be a part of the characters lives, part of their person, a part of their existence.



I get that we are experiencing things from Cassie's perspective but if I were in her shoes I'd be demanding magic demonstrations from everyone, show me the exposition!
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Anyone else think that "Loose End" kinda looks like Bonnie and Dawn's dad looks like Elijah, haircut and all?
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I think exactly the same! That girl must be Katerina Graham's younger sister or something, although I find the 'loose end' a little prettier. And my brother says the same about Charles, but I don't find the resemblance.
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I think we have to give this show a chance to let us see what crazy stuff magic can end up bringing to the table, I have a feeling by season's end, things will have gotten crazy! Again, the only problem with the Cassie/Adam thing is that they're is NO chemistry between them, it's starting to annoy me at this point. That's nothing against Robertson or Dekker, who are both fantastic. I found myself thinking the exact same thing with regards to the female characters, Faye and Diana in particular, much more interesting then, lets say, Jenna...
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i am really not enjoying this series.

its really bland, all the characters are really unlikable and its just so boring.



Thomas Dekker is hot, but even his good looks cant save this.
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I'm u huge TVD fan and a fan of your recaps.. but The Secret Circle? it sucks so much!!
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In the books, the circle technically could let in new members if they were part of the original bloodline. I hope they don't allow any more in the show though... In the books, there were 12 witches, but the characters were never really developed. Half of them were extremely forgettable and one-dimensional. I think the show should stick with the six- hopefully Nick's character will get a little more interesting.
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I think the parents are anti-villians. Not Cassie's mom, her dad according to Drunk Father Guy. Diana definately is most tragic. She is destined to lose her boyfriend and her father is the big bad so far.
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I agree with you that the mom was not so evil, but her dad is freaking evil like in the books.
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In the book, there were 12 spots in the Circle and they couldn't have more than that. However, it seems to me that on the show, their mythology seems like it could allow for more. It kinda sounds like there were more than 6 witches among the parents, so maybe 6 is just the minimum number?
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