TV Review: 'The Secret Circle' Episode 101 - 'Pilot'


The Secret Circle Episode 101


Written By: Andrew Miller

Directed By: Liz Friedlander

Original Airdate: 15 September 2011

In This Episode...

After her mother dies in a mysterious house fire, Cassie Blake moves in with her grandmother in a small seaside town in Washington. There is all the typical new-kid-in-town drama: kids staring and whispering at her; mean girls trying to prove their alpha status; learning which cute boys are "safe" to chase. 

There is no beating around the bush. Cassie may not know it, but we know that all the "cool kids" in town are into witchcraft. To test her, alpha female Faye traps Cassie in her car and makes it smoke. It lights on fire, but Faye promises that wasn't her doing - Cassie got the fire going. After school the next day, level-headed Diana takes Cassie to a decrepit abandoned house.   There she is introduced to the rest of the circle: Faye; Faye's lackey Melissa; Diana's boyfriend Adam; and Nick, Cassie's next door neighbor. They tell her what her mom never did: they are witches. They come from a long line of witches. And the kids need Cassie to complete their circle so their spells can have full power. Cassie, naturally, doesn't buy it - until Adam chases her outside and does some floating dewdrop magic with her.

Cassie is a little freaked. Her father died shortly after she was born, and her mother never mentioned witchcraft to her. Sixteen years ago, her mom, and the parents of all the circle members had a circle of their own. There was a horrible accident; people died. Since then, the surviving witches buried their powers and banned witchcraft from the town. All except Charlie, Diana's dad, who is the one who killed Cassie's mom, Amelia. Faye's mom, Dawn, was in on Amelia's demise in order to bring Cassie here. They have some nefarious plot to utilize her powers for their own bidding.

As Cassie tucks herself in to bed, she hears a scratching coming from the fireplace. Hidden inside the molding on the mantle is her mother's grimoire, with a note to Cassie. In it, she apologizes for this life that she tried to protect her from.

Dig It or Bury It?

Not as bad as I thought it would be; not as good as I hoped it to be. Look, it's a pilot. You can't expect too much from a pilot. But with Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec heading up the effort, I had hopes. I have now seen the pilot twice: once when I got the screener a few months ago, and tonight during its premiere. It did not get better on second viewing.

Things I liked: the show opened with a massive, fatal fire. The dark conspiracy that is hinted at.

Things I didn't like: making water droplets dance (or, as my husband called it, "gay Twilight shit"). The teen drama (when Adam does magic with Cassie, Diana equates it to cheating). The interchangeable, generic cast.

I promised that I would give The Secret Circle six episodes. The clock is ticking.

 I Put a Spell on You

The magic this week was not impressive. I'm going to gloss over the dancing dewdrop crap. There was a decent storm. Faye decides to play with her newly enhanced powers and starts a storm on the dock. It quickly becomes out of control and nearly turns into a hurricane, complete with dangerous streaks of lightning. Cassie comes down and with a few whispers makes it all stop.

Season of the Witch

There is no violence tonight, and only one death: Amelia. But it was pretty decent. Charlie stands outside Amelia's house, lighting matches. With each match stroke, the fire inside flares up and gets stronger. He doesn't throw the matches; they burn out and drop to the ground.


It looks like Faye starts to get fierce next week. Bring it on.