If I were a teenage witch and found myself mixed up in the events of "Medallion" I'd start boning up on my SAT prep and looking seriously into colleges. Has Chance Harbor ever felt MORE like a moribund small town worth escaping from? It's just a bunch of people who can barely tolerate each other sitting around waiting for things to happen to them. Don't worry, kids, there's a bigger world out there. Hang tight! It's no wonder they've resorted to drugs and impromptu booty calls.
"Medallion" followed my favorite episode of the season, so naturally it didn't quite stack up. Every time this show convinces me it's moving forward it finds new ways to stall. For example, even though Cassie personally witnessed her father escaping death AND dug up a coffin full of dog bones, she still spent most of the episode wondering aloud whether he was still alive. Go ahead and jump to that conclusion, Cassie! Meanwhile the parents were still fighting over crystals as the threat of witch hunters continued to loom. Plus the central love pentagram just got confusing and then fell apart. Hurry, Blackwell! Save us from these winter doldrums!
That description makes it sound like I didn't like the episode, but I did! Sure, "Medallion" didn't exactly set the room on fire and incinerate any nearby witch hunters, but there was a pervasive sense of dread that amped up the tension a bit. Plus the last few minutes were EXCELLENT. Let's talk about it!
The episode began after Cassie made the mistake of swinging by her place to pick up some clothes, and in that five minute span EVERYBODY came to visit her.
Adam had found out about Cassie and Jake's grave-digging date and he was NOT happy about it. First of all, that is a very LOL thing to hear about someone. You been diggin' up graves, girl? But yeah Adam was concerned that it would out the circle or something, but really he was more concerned that Jake was stealin' his lady.
Anywho, Cassie brought up the fact that she'd found her father's medallion and it was probably going to provide some decent protection against future hostiles. Of course Adam wasn't having it.
This episode attempted to convince us that Adam is Chance Harbor's Voice of Reason except his reasons were all so dumb? The gist was that he didn't think Cassie should be looking into the existence of her father or dark magic AT ALL and that the overwhelming power of the circle should be enough protection for her. Except, you know, Cassie's dark magic had saved their lives countless times already? Plus he just wrote off the medallion with "we don't even know what that thing is." Cool logic, Adam. Great job.
Loved this run-in between Faye and Jake:
Jake smiled! I'd forgotten that he and Faye used to be a couple, and this tiny beat where she teased him for going after Cassie was a huge clue that maybe Jake and Faye are the better couple? Both characters just seemed so much more vital via their trash talk. Almost like they're teenagers or something instead of grim witchcraft missionaries.
So then apparently within ten seconds of Adam taking off, Cassie received a visit from that lady who'd spoken to her in Jake's memory.
Meet Lucy the psychic. She'd been there during the boat fire, and as we'd suspected, Cassie's mind-meld with Jake had indeed altered the fabric of reality as Lucy suddenly "remembered" Cassie. It was just a very cool, almost Philip K. Dick moment, so of course the conversation quickly moved onto some kind of muddled "the witch hunters are coming" thing.
What else is new, lady?
Meanwhile Charles paid a visit to Dawn. He was still pretty sore about the fact that she'd teamed up with Ethan to steal his crystal.
Love Dawn so much. Anyway, all the parent stuff this week was, yet again, related to their weak-sauce power struggle. Except for a MINOR thing that happened toward the end of the episode, none of it was very important. It was mostly just this:
Back at the Witch House basement, Cassie raised the Balcoin medallion up to that symbol someone had carved in the ceiling and caused a dang EARTHQUAKE!
There was this funny moment where Cassie told Jake to "RUN!" and he sort of started running up the stairs, but then stopped and came back to just tackle her.
Then Adam came in all mad at everybody. He played it off like he was mostly just concerned about the earthquake, but we all knew he was only concerned about the earthquake IN HIS HEART.
Back at the Boat House Grill, Faye was pretty efficiently trash talkin' Cassie AND Melissa's friendship with Diana. Then she finished off her bout of jerkery with her newest plan for regaining powers.
And Melissa was ALL ABOUT IT.
Meanwhile Cassie and Jake decided to visit Lucy at Chance Harbor's finest lodgings:
According to Lucy, the medallion needed to be "activated" in order to work. Already I was like, "What?" How'd it get DE-activated exactly? Plus by this point her credibility was pretty low considering she was a psychic who was AT the boat fire but still didn't know Blackwell was still alive. Oh well. Anyway, it didn't take Cassie and Jake long to put all their trust in this lady.
So then after they took off, who should show up at Lucy's motel but DAWN. They'd been buddies back in the day and for some reason Dawn harbored a grudge against Lucy, calling her a backstabber and turncoat but that she'd be willing to forgive Lucy if she'd help her find ALL THE CRYSTALS. Haha classic Dawn. The cool part was that Dawn only knew Lucy was in town because one of the FIVE SCARS on her palm started bleeding, indicating that someone she'd marked was back. So just to be clear, when a witch marks someone, she cuts HER OWN palm and then must go through life with wounds that RE-OPEN? That's it, witchcraft is officially kind of sucky.
Speaking of sucky, Cassie learned a tough lesson about revealing her hiding nook to cute boys.
The medallion had gone missing and all signs pointed to Adam. Fortunately they knew where he was: Having a birthday party! Ethan and Diana had teamed up to throw Adam a surprise party at the Boat House and everybody was blowin' the roof off the joint!
Ethan was feeling and looking GREAT ever since snaking that crystal from Charles. He'd even sort of tried to get Diana and Adam back together. Anything for his boy-witch, you know?
Meanwhile Faye and Melissa were outside doing ALL the drugs!
High Melissa is my new favorite character. It's pretty similar to Demon Melissa except High Melissa's in a much better mood. To be honest, this whole drug subplot had me worried at first because it's SO After School Special. But then I came to embrace how dumb it was and also the fact that at least Melissa's getting screen time, so that works for me. I just hope they go SUPER FAR into her addiction so that we'll get a future episode where she sells her car for $10 and then falls asleep in a dumpster and the County has to come take away her cats and there has to be a witch-intervention. I mean, if you're gonna do a drug subplot, do it RIGHT.
Oh and the part where Faye tried to cut lines during a gust of wind made me laugh so much:
Meanwhile inside everyone was toasting the birthday boy.
LOL @ High Melissa:
Anyway, after Ethan gave a touching and not-at-all awkward speech to the teenage extras posing as Adam's friends about how much he loves his son, Diana stepped up to bat and really gushed.
It loved how visibly pissed Cassie was the whole time! I was with her. Her whole #1 thing is discovering the truth about her father and then some teenage dude had the audacity to steal her medallion and make her attend his birthday party? Very smooth, Adam. But their whole romance thing looked doomed anyway since things were heating back up between Adam and Diana.
So anyway, Charles decided it was definitely a cool and normal thing to attend a teenage boy's surprise party and it gave him an opportunity to confront Ethan about stealing his crystal.
Yep, that was the extent of his plan. Charles WITCH ROOFIED somebody. Ugh, these parents.
So then the witch drug dealer showed up and had an immediate connection with High Melissa.
Uh-oh, this was not headed anywhere good.
So after Cassie finally confronted Adam about stealing her S***, he owned up to it and returned the medallion. But not before dropping some big hints about the fact that Jake had murdered tons of witches while he was being misled by the witch hunters. It was actually a totally fair point to make and I'm glad this show finally addressed it.
I loved that Cassie actually walked away from him when he didn't deny it. Few things are as much of a turn-off as murder, especially when it turns out he'd murdered those people for no reason. As much as I'm glad Jake's going to be a regular character, I'm also glad he's not getting off so easy with the other characters. He better WORK to get back in their good graces.
So then Lucy swung by Dawn's house to help her find those crystals, but ended up having much more violent intentions.
We discovered that while Lucy was indeed at the boat house fire, she'd been a turncoat who was helping the witch hunters kill Blackwell. Right after stabbing Dawn she informed her that the witch hunters would be back soon and that she was going to strip the kids' powers that night during the ceremony. This is what I meant when I said the parents had ONE interesting thing happen to them: Now Dawn knows the witch hunters are back in play. Only took 13 episodes, but I'm glad the parents are slowly getting involved with the only plotline that matters.
Cassie didn't yet know Lucy was a villain, but because she's Cassie she'd completely trusted her for no real reason. So then Cassie needed to convince the circle to help her activate the medallion in the ceremony that Lucy had planned. As far as a circle of teenage witches is concerned, the question of whether or not to use magic was a major NO DUH scenario.
Sure, Adam had reservations, but that's Adam for you.
Oh and then Ethan passed out from his witch roofies and Charles swooped in for the steal.
Ethan was SO MAD when he woke up. Uh-oh, it looks like we're probably going to get another whole episode where a parent steals a crystal from another parent!
Later behind the witch house Lucy was instructing the circle on how to activate the medallion. But right away something was wrong: They all started feeling drained much in the same way they had when Fay attempted to channel their powers at the dance.
So that's when Cassie immediately knew something was up.
And that's when Lucy IMMEDIATELY admitted what she'd done, which is such a TV villain thing to do. The biggest question is, she acted like the medallion had SUCCESSFULLY drained the circle's powers, much in the same way it had apparently drained the powers from thousands of witches over the centuries. I don't know if Lucy was right or not, but that's a fairly serious thing to have happen if true! Did the circle really lose their powers? How would we even tell? I don't know. Either way Cassie was TICKED.
As much as we'd seen Cassie take care of business in the past, she seriously got fierce in this scene in a way that made her slightly scary. FINALLY that dark magic was of making her seem, well, dark. It was actually really satisfying though, especially when she curtly instructed Adam to forget about Lucy after she'd dashed into the woods. If the circle didn't already know it before, Cassie's definitely HWIC.
Also there was this tiny moment where Jake walked up to her while she was STARING INTO A FIRE and tried to talk to her, but she wasn't having it.
Dang! Cassie was just sinking her own 'ships right and left.
So then Charles made an apparently routine stop by Dawn's house and found her in a bad state.
Luckily he knew just how to save her:
So then this episode ended with a montage and it was AWESOME. As a particularly grimy Raveonettes song played, everything started crumbling for everyone and it was genuinely cinematic and unsettling.
First of all High Melissa went downtown and met up with the drug dealer.
It was definitely weird when she told him he reminded her of Nick, but it's still unclear whether she likes this guy or just wants all of his delicious, delicious drugs. (Wasn't it slightly disappointing that these witch drugs didn't seem to actually give them any powers? So they're basically just doing coke? Very cool.)
Anyway, then Faye showed up in Jake's room. I guess he'd texted her "COME OVER ENTER HOUSE WALK IN2 MY ROOM" and there was still some mystery as to why.
Whoa! I loved this. It was a good reminder that, OH YEAH, Jake is a "bad boy." Plus I like seeing Faye mix it up more, and also I'm kinda thinking that Jake and Faye make a good pair anyway? I know this won't lead to anything except an annoyance on Cassie's part, but still, nice surprise.
Also I guess Diana left a bunch of cookies for Adam in his cupboard. Not quite as sexy as a surprise booty call, but whatever.
Meanwhile Lucy met up with a familiar (and now scarred) face.
Whoops! Apparently it wasn't enough for her to be a double agent and to have successfully infiltrated the witches, she was supposed to steal the medallion too. Oh well, you live and you learn! And then you die.
And in one final creepy moment, Cassie returned to the basement on her own and started earthquakin' again.
And that's when she somehow established contact with Blackwell.
BOOM. Pretty cool. I liked this closing montage so much. I remember when Lost was on the air and all the recaps I read were like, "Stop ending every episode with musical montages, Lost!" and I just straight-up never understood that. So what if music montages are storytelling shortcuts? It's effective! If it takes a Raveonettes song to make this show truly feel vital, then great! Go with what works!
As for the episode, it was a bit of a comedown after the previous very killer installment, but I think the temptation to feel like the show was stalling again isn't completely fair. The parents were definitely spinning wheels right up until Dawn's stabbing, and the kids definitely reverted back to former relationship statuses, but there was definitely a sense of disintegration permeating everything. Cassie's losing her composure, both of her potential romances are circling the drain, Melissa's high, even Adam seems pretty close to losing his mind. PLEASE lose your mind, Adam. This show could use a game changer or two, and I don't know about you guys but I'm getting the distinct feeling that we'll be getting one soon.
Related: How GOOD does next week's episode look??
* * * SPOILER IMAGE * * *
* * * END SPOILER * * *
#Pizzana is the only 'ship I endorse.
... Do you approve of the Faye & Jake hookup?
... Will Dawn remember what Lucy told her about the witch hunters coming or will she conveniently forget for six episodes?
... Are you worried about Melissa's drug problem?
... What is the appropriate number of chinese lanterns for a teenage boy's birthday party?