Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Secret Circle, Season 1, Episode 10: Darkness

So after the long hiatus, The Secret Circle is back with us. Let me remind you where we left off. Cassie has powerful dark magic because of her ancestry, the witch hunters want to use her to help hunt witches (after all, Jake bought into the plan) and there are so many love triangles that plotting them all in pretty colours could be sold in the Tate Modern as art. Evil!Parents are trying to get back their powers that were stripped by the elder circle and they killed Henry, one of the Elder Cirle, stole Cassie’s grandmother’s memories (another member of the Elder Circle) and in doing so – causing her to exhibit early dementia-like symptoms. Faye is still a Mean Girl, Adam is a Wet Lettuce, Diane is still control freak Chief Scooby, Jake is Sexy Bad Boy and Melissa is Pointless Token Racial Inclusion. I think that pretty much covers everything

So, on with the show.

Cassie isn naturally somewhat perturbed about having dark magic in her blood and is having a disturbing dream about killing Jake, the Sexy Bad Boy. Frankly, I’m disturbed as well. She had Jake in her dreams and wastes this quality fantasy time with killing him. Very disappointing. I think the stage is being set for lots of Cassie!Angst about how terrible it is to have super powers.

And yes, that may sound cynical, but I am so so so so tired of this trope. Take teenager, give them PHENOMINAL COSMIC POWER (with no living space consequences) and inevitably they will turn round and start crying about how abnormal having super powers is.

Adam soggily arrives to puppy dog eyes all over Cassie and assure her that her special super powers may have nothing to do with her black magic and may just be because she’s a super special good person. Not particularly willing to put on Adam’s Care Bear glasses, Cassie wants him to keep it all a secret (because absolutely no-one else in the circle is questioning why Cassie can do magic?). Adam’s ability to keep a secret lasts all of 2 seconds before he spills to Chief Scooby. Cassie is understandably upset and magically strangles Adam – don’t feel bad Cassie, I’m sure we’ve all dreamed of strangling him at some time or other. Her secret out they have a Scooby meeting (well, without Melissa. She doesn’t count, again. Seriously, repeatedly involving FAYE of all people in your big plans but not Melissa is ludicrous) about her black magic which gets all awkward so Cassie does what Cassie always does in these situations – leaves. Honestly, this is getting ridiculous. No-one can have a serious conversation with Cassie because she’s constantly fleeing.

Meanwhile we get a new character – Kate, Chief Scooby Diane’s grandmother and Evil!Parent#2’ Charles’ mother. Also, presumably a member of the Elder Circle and user of super-magical Olay products. Olay Elder is also here to help Chief Scooby Diane with her broken heart after breaking up with Wet Lettuce Adam (though since she instigated the break up and kept trying to force Adam and Cassie together, I have to raise my eyebrows at this). Kate follows up by visiting Evil!Parent#1, Dawn and to talk about Henry’s death – and gives Dawn some quality stink-eye and make it clear she knows something’s going on and she is not happy about it.

Dawn demands a meeting with Charles – and wants rid of Kate. Actually, she wants to kill Olay Elder. Unsurprisingly, Charles isn’t overly thrilled at the idea of offing his mother (or going on a killing spree of the whole Elder Circle). This continued attempt at matricide puts a rift between Charles and Dawn while Dawn tries to find a way to say “let’s kill your mum” that actually sounds good. It’s a tough sell.

Meanwhile, Mean Girl Faye is being her usual respectful self towards Melissa’s pain and trying to manipulate her into getting their magic back. Stay classy Faye. Melissa manages to maintain her independence for all of 2 minutes before settling back in as Faye’s sidekick, using a page stolen from Cassie’s Book of Shadows to use Voodoo (oh dear) to get their un-circled magic back which leads them to a voodoo practitioner (a white voodoo practitioner no less) who, after much wrangling, is going to work with Faye to get her powers uncircled. I have a feeling this storyline is going to be tiresome. One good thing that comes out of this pointless little storyline is Melissa pausing in her following Faye around long enough to announce she won’t be Faye’s little servant any more. I’d praise this but I suspect it will lead to Melissa getting even less screen time than she already does

Cassie is dragooned into a sleepover with Chief Scooby Diana after Diana catches her trying to use a spell to summon witch-hunter witch and Sexy Bad Guy Jake back to town. While Diana’s bossiness is generally annoying, Cassie’s Spunky Agency here sorely needs countering – c’mon Cassie this plan ranks right behind making toast in the shower. This gives Cassie a chance to meet Olay Elder and for Dawn to crash the party – not in any way an awkward dinner there. Which follows by more awkward as Adam shows up and Wet Lettuces all over the place and doesn’t Cassie know that no-one should make her feel bad for having the uncontrollable, killer black magic of doom.

One plus side is that Cassie gets to talk to Kate about her black magic – actually talking to someone experienced and knowledgeable! One of the better things this series manages. There’s a spell to rid Cassie of her black magic. Oh and Diana gets to talk about being “outed” as a witch, *sigh* appropriation funsies!

Unfortunately, Kate is telling naughty fibs, tut tut. She has no spell to drain dark magic – only an extremely long powerful spell to kill her by burying her alive! (Y’know, stabbing her would be waaay quicker and easier. I’m just saying). Dark Magic Cassie does not approve of these shenanigans and the grave cannot hold her. This could be interesting

Kate tells her son, Charles about trying to kill Cassie and Charles disapproves most strongly (yeah, glass houses, throwing stones, y’know?). Apparently Kate wants to test how strong Cassie is – and she’s super special strong, she can tip the balance between good and evil! And apparently Kate is happy about this. There’s then a show down with Charles threatening to tell the Elders about Kate’s trying to tip the balance of good and evil thing by killing a teenager and Kate threatening to tell the Elders about Charles’ murdering Henry. I suspect this is going to lead to a grand stalemate.

All in all? Well, not an awful episode but not a great one. Lots of introduction, not a whole lot happening and not a whole lot moved forwards. I think Kate being introduced is the only real concrete forward movement we had here. At least there was limited love triangles, but a fair whack of angst.