Witches and witchcraft. A beautiful, young orphaned girl. Sounds familiar? Well, The Secret Circle isn’t exactly breaking new ground. However, it makes for a pleasant viewing experience.
We first see Cassie, a 16 year old girl, driving down a deserted road at night when a mysterious stranger overtakes her and he car suddenly gets a flat tire. The mysterious stranger doesn’t stop to help her with her flat, but drives on. It turns out he is heading straight for Cassie’s house where he causes a supernatural fire that kills her mother. Her mother isn’t completely clueless about what’s happening though. “Cassie!” she exclaims before she is chewn up by the flames, letting us know that she is worried for Cassie.
At this point the story skips a month ahead and Cassie is now on her way to live with her grandmother. I hate to say it, but the welcome between Cassie and her grandmother was rather odd. There seemed to be very little sadness in the grandmother’s behaviour and Grandma was also giving out information about her daughter’s past without batting an eye. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt there should have been some more serious bonding between Cassie and her Grandma and the show should have addressed the grief these two must be going through.
In the following scenes it becomes pretty obvious that not all is well in Cassie’s new home town. A group of teenagers shows interest in her and the group’s lose cannon, better known as Faye, puts Cassie to the test by setting her car on fire and locking all the doors so that Cassie will have to use the supernatural powers Faye assumes she has. Cue to Adam, who turns out to be a young wizard, too. He rescues Cassie from the burning car and steals her heart in an instant. Unfortunately it turns out that he is already in a relationship with Diana, the only girl in town that has actually been nice to Cassie so far. Still, there is a spark between Cassie and Adam that will probably have them set the whole town on fire at some point in the future.
Diana, Adam, Faye, Faye’s sidekick Melissa and Nick decide to let Cassie in on their “secret” and explain to her that they need her to complete the circle, since only a complete circle of six witches can make use of its full power. Cassie is shocked and tries to run from them, but Adam catches up with her and they do magic together. Although I admire the nice contrast between Faye’s arson magic and Cassie and Adam’s more calm water magic, I felt like the show was putting these two together way too fast. Adam leans in for a kiss, but Cassie refuses him. As he returns to the group he tells them what happened (leaving out the tidbit about trying to kiss Cassie) and Faye insists they bind Cassie to themselves in a ritual ASAP, because she doesn’t want for Cassie to give them away. Also, Faye is really enjoying the additional power she has now that the circle is complete. I see this girl bringing on major catastrophes in the future…
Faye may have inherited her difficult character from her mother, who is not only the prinicipal of the town’s high school, but also in cahoots with Diana’s father, whom we already know as the mysterious man who set this whole chain of events on motion by killing Cassie’s mom. The two are interested in having Cassie do something that they need, though little clue is given on what that could be. All the members of the old circle seem to have lost their powers with the exception of Diana’s father. What makes him so special? While their ulterior motive remains unknown for the time being, Faye’s mother very gallantly brushes away the suspicions Cassie’s Grandma has about the teenagers possibly practicing witchcraft.
Cassie, meanwhile, takes her time to figure out what to do with her newfound knowledge about herself and her witchcraft ancestry. In the end she makes use of her abilities to prevent Faye from conjuring up a thunderstorm that might devastate the whole village, but declares she doesn’t want anything to do with witchcraft. She then finds her family’s book of witchcraft which includes a letter from her mother, warning her that others will come for the power she carries inside her.
Although the episode ghoes through some rough patches and the story is a little too predictable at times, Britt Robertson manages to mesmerize as Cassie and I can definitely see potential in this series. Let’s see where the next episode takes this story!