Saturday, May 12, 2012

Secret Circle. Season 1, Episode 22: Family

Unfortunately we begin with Diana the endlessly mopey waking up with Grant and being so very upset that the life and death struggles are getting in the way of her teenaged romance. I am so past sick of this character’s drama.

While Diana is moping, Faye has been kidnapped and this Circle is meeting to discuss getting Faye back., Diana wants to use the Circle (first time ever it seems) but that idea is shot down. Eben (Evil Black Witchhunter) calls them with a deal – exchange Faye for 1 crystal, stopping them making the Indiana Jones knock-off skull. But Jake is quick to speak up against trusting witch hunters (oh how I laughed. It’s at this point you wonder if the writers are deliberately satirising themselves). More planning and plotting, distrust of Blackwell and more arseyness from Diana.

So Casssie and Diana go to see John who tells them to create the skull they will unbind the Circle (good! Lack of individual magic has been an extreme nuisance and it’s not like they use Circle magic at all!). After token angst from Diana they agree.

At the boat where the witch hunters are, Melissa, Adam and Jake are ready to attack – and we finally learn that it’s Melissa’s mother who died! Only took until the season finale! They all feel the Circle being unbound but don’t know what it means – until Adam accidentally spells Jake.

Faye, in the boat, of course, has her magic back and she is much much harder to hold prisoner with her magic and she manages to call her mother, pretty much revealing everything to the parents who, of course, already know

In Evil parent world Charles tells Dawn about his “haunting” by Amelia’s ghost (well, John’s magic). Dawn points out it was probably John and they have a really poorly acted realisation that she’s probably right and how little control they have over everything. Oh and I have to quote here:  “And our blind quest for power set it all in motion”. What, really? Really? Who speaks like this? And could there be more tell not show here – yes we know these parents set it in motion for the sake of power and are now regretting it – you couldn’t have shown this by, I don’t know, having them crying and worrying for their children or growling recriminations at each other? Instead you have overdramatic monologues that almost sound like a “previously on the Secret Circle” info-dumping?

To save their children they go to Charles’ mother (Evil Grandparent) and ask for their powers back, they need it to save their kids. But their power is gone – so she agrees to give them hers (or she could go rescue, just a thought). We have a wonderful line from Charles’ mother about family – and apparently Charles wants to kill the demons and find redemption

Cassie and Diana make their new gothic bling, but Cassie objects to John taking it from them (so would I – why trust him with this?) but in classic Secret Circle fashion it isn’t because she distrusts John, oh no, it seems to be her getting happy feelings from the skull. Diana’s suspicion comes in handy and they both say Cassie should hold the skull. John shows everyone that he’s evil and knocks Cassie and Diana unconscious – he has different goals. They wake imprisoned in a circle in the Magic Shack.

Melissa and Jake go to help Faye while Adam goes to check on Cassie and Diana – but Eben catches Faye, Melissa and Jake unawares and with his demon magic. And we have a dramatic tied to the stake with fire moment in which they all scream and panic (it’s the worst burning ever – the flames are in a huge circle around them)

Evil Parents to the rescue! Charles takes down Eben by summoning the demons out of him and into himself. Dawn puts out the fires and Jake gets to go and give the demon-less Eben a good stabbing. Evil Black Witch Hunter is dead. At last! If you’re not going to use lethal magic at least make with the stabbing! Full of demons, Charles throws himself in the water – since drowning kills demons. Noble sacrifice redemption time (or possibly new enemy to fight in Season 2, hey keep your options open)

Meanwhile Cassie and Diana are having a big info-dump reveal with John – it was never about the witch hunters, they were just a threat used to galvanise the witches and he even manipulated them to die against the witch hunters so he would have vulnerable children to scheme with. And John’s plan is to use the skull to kill every witch out there without Balcoin blood.

All witches begin burning and, in desperation, Cassie turns her powers on Diana, slowly killing her. This forces Diana’s powers to the surface and breaks them out of the Circle (clever – but do you really need to give Diana another reason to whine? Really?) They grab the skull and together their magic overwhelms John Blackwell.

Circle Meeting at Cassie’s House! (Not at the Magic Shack for once). They decide to encase the skull in lead and get rid of it – but they have to decide who (I love Faye’s snark – ex-witch hunter, evil princess no. 2?) and decide on Adam (personally, I’d have gone with Melissa, but we all know she can’t stand out). Cassie discusses rebinding the Circle but Faye points out that they’re all together and connected even without magic bonds (awwwww and from Faye as well). But Cassie fears more Blacoins coming.

Of course Diana won’t – she’s leaving town and angsting away. Cassie tries to talk her out of it, but Diana’s angst is set. She runs off with grant. Faye and Melissa party. Charles is still alive – but being put into a sleep coma to contain the demon by his mother. Jake gets an ominous note about the Circles coming together (which is scary apparently) and Adam hasn’t disposed of the skull, he’s jonesing on its power

Cassie and Diana both have ominous Balcoin symbols on their palms – and as we end, we see 4 more witches with the same symbol – the Balcoin circle

All in all, after this season being far far far too long, it was a decent finale. Most of the threads have been tied off while, at the same time, there are enough loose threads to pull if they need to for another story

Diana is going to continue to be an extremely annoying character, but Faye immensely less so, so I suppose that’s balance. Melissa still needs some actual inclusion and equal time. The whole binding of the circle fell flat, though. We’ve been told throughout the series that a bound Circle is more powerful than their individual magic – but we’ve never seen it. When they have individual magic they actually use it and seem powerful. But as Circle witches they’ve never really done anything super impressive that has eclipsed what they can do on their own. On her own Faye was a devastating force, accidently nearly killing people and summoning an enormous storm. As a Circle they’ve… I honestly can’t think of anything they’ve done that they haven’t done separately. It’s one of the ways Secret Circle undermines its own themes – together they’re stronger? But they don’t act like it. There’s a difference between being unified and co-dependent.

We’ll see how that develops next season.