Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Secret Circle, Season 1, Episode 13: Medallion

So, after completely destroying its canon in the last episode, Secret Circle went on hiatus for a week. Now it’s time to catch up and see if they can put the pieces back together again.

And we begin with teen angst. Adam just can’t believe Cassie dug up her father with Jake. I mean with Jake – how could she! And just when the sad Wed Lettuce eyes were finally starting to take effect, that’s so sad and mean! How could you not have invited Adam to your grave desecration! (Exhumation of her father’s corpse is less important than the fact she did it with Jake.) Adam continues to have a little pout about the big bad Jake.

I could almost, ALMOST, see Adam, the Wet Lettuce, as having a point by saying that she’s going really fast to find out about her power, taking risks, for no good reasons. Except he made common sense all about jealousy because the Wet Lettuce doesn’t want Jake coming between them (because they kissed once and now they’re fiiiiinnnnalllllyy together. One kiss man. One. I know it’s been a while for you since you broke up with Diana, Chief Scooby, but seriously, one kiss. Does that even count as an “us” for Jake to get between?) Never mind that there’s no real reason to be hurried here, never mind that there’s actually. Never mind that the Witch Hunter rituals are about 8,000 times less threatening than a guy just stabbing you with a nice, common knife.

Ok rant over. On with what I will call (with deep reservations) the plot.

Cassie meets Lucy Gibbons, a psychic who was on the boat during the big witch hunter fire. As a younger woman, she saw Cassie’s spectral self visiting Jake’s memory and told Cassie to get out – she’s not tracked Cassie down since her memory of that fire has changed to include meeting Cassie. And she’s here to warn Cassie about the Witch Hunters (the guys who really need to just get a gun). Then she disappears again.

This causes Cassie and Jake to do some unwise experimenting with dark magic, as you do, which ends up with them in awkward, accidental sexy hold while Adam comes and catches them. Angst and jealousy, yay. And Adam is again using Common Sense because they have a whole circle of magic to protect themselves – they should be playing with THAT magic that they don’t understand rather than Cassie’s magic that they don’t understand. What a choice!  

Cassie, naturally, chooses dark magic because Sexy!Evil Jake says so and they go tracking down Lucy who has a ritual to open up the Blacoin amulet to allow more lovely dark magic they can’t control. Sadly, Adam has decided he needs to protect Cassie from herself by stealing her amulet! Go go patriarchal, patronising control! Though Adam does redeem somewhat by giving it back and saying he has no right to make decisions for her. See, this is the problem with Spunky Agency, because while I think Adam is grossly out of line and patronising to try and make this decision for Cassie, Cassie’s own awful decision making makes me think someone has to! Also, again with Adam’s opposition being all about jealousy when there are perfectly sensible reasons to oppose Cassie’s black magic palooza.

 Melissa still exists! And she’s there to be corrupted by Faye offering dodgy drugs. Though I have to laugh/sigh that the show is lampshading Melissa’s complete lack of any independence – her choices are to join in Faye’s ridiculous foolishness, or to serve Diana in party planning Adam’s birthday party with Ethan. Gods forbid she ever do her own thing! That might actually involve her having *gasp* her own goals and desires?! Surely not! And of course she’s happy to take Faye’s completely unknown drugs that she got from a completer stranger at Adam’s birthday party. Oh and calling Caleb (the drug dealer) to the party to top up their supply, become fascinated by drugged Melissa and let Jake play the big strong manly man. This storyline is going to be a trainwreck. And yes, Melissa is hooked and continues to take the drug and pursue her own relationship with the dealer. Yay, her own storyline – drug addiction.

And I suppose I should address the Evil!Parents. Dawn and Charles still hate each other. Charles is drugging Ethan for the Crystal and Dawn is trying to make Nervous Rabbit Lucy the Psychic find the other Crystals. But surprise! Lucy the Rabbit is actually Evil!Lucy the witchhunter and she has found the true secret of killing witches. STAB THEM WITH SHARP THINGS. And behold, it works way better than rituals, spells or any other method the hunters have used. Of course, this means that the ritual she’s going to “help” Cassie with is a lie and is going to be used to break the Circle’s power
Thankfully the evil ritual that would have bound all their powers is stopped because they recognise it as the magic Faye used to drain the Circle’s power. Cassie pulls out some bad ass at last and has a big dramatic moment. The Circle continues to be just be background shadows

Closing Scenes beyond Melissa’s drug addiction, the Big Black Villain kills Lucy (like we didn’t see that coming), Dawn is saved by Charles and the crystal he stole back from Ethan (see, he does care! And she will live to have more pointless storylines) some relationship angst (Faye and Jake - this will not end well) and Cassie playing with her dark magic.

Ok some post-episode thoughts:
The lack of clear antagonist (and nebulous witch hunters who showed up for 2 episodes, failed, then went away barely counts) continues to make the actions of Cassie to be rather bizarre. This desperate urge to discover her dark magic as soon as possible regardless of the risk or cost is bemusing.

And the lack of antagonists leaves the other characters with nothing to do. Melissa never has her own storylines anyway. Faye virtually has her own side-plot of blithering foolishness. Diana spent this whole episode planning a party, which is still more than she did last episode or the episode before. Adam is there just to be a Wet Lettuce and angst. Angst over Cassie and Jake. Angst over Diana. Cause Cassie to angst over him. They have nothing to do and we haven’t spent any time resolving the Circle’s own issues to give these 6 people a coherent reason to actually want to spend time together – so they don’t and we end up with Cassie’s story and some random stuff happening in the background. When was the last time they used Circle Magic? They seem to have forgot that they’re all Witches and it’s all about Cassie’s power now.

And what is the point of the Evil!Parents? Seriously, Dawn and Charles (and now Ethan) have spent months tracking down these crystals with all the efficiency of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. And what about Diana’s evil grandmother – she came, she was evil, she left. Or Cassie’s grandmother for that matter?

I’m hoping that with the Witch Hunters back in town we can actually have a central storyline again. With the Circle actually facing something that will make them pull together they could actually be more centred with actual plot that advances rather than lots of random, fairly pointless storylines.