The witching hour is upon us again after yet another hiatus (seriously CW, enough already!), and the brew is the usual mixture of intrigue and dullness. Let’s jump right in!
The Secret Circle delivered a twist on the “fated in the stars” refrain in dog years, but at least it’s an interesting development. Discovering the Blake/Conant love is cursed naturally comes with a boatload of questions. Did the curse keep Amelia away from Ethan so that they wouldn’t repeat some ill-fated romance from the past? How exactly was the curse started, and does that mean no Blake and Conant pairing was ever successful? How did Amelia know their love was cursed, and Ethan didn’t? Tons of questions so kudos to the writers on that one. Don’t hold your breath on answers this century though! The revelation makes Cassie’s concerns over repeating their parents’ mistakes ten times more tragic.
The truth about the destiny between the Blakes and Conants was delivered by Blackwell. He’s a hard character to read, not because his actions read as complicated (sorry Cassie, him searching for something in a house that used to belong to him doesn’t register on the Shady Meter). What’s problematic about Blackwell is that Dawn, Charles, and Ethan all have perfected the sketchy adult persona so well that whatever he does is mild in comparison. The writers really pigeonholed his character by building him up as Darth Blackwell, but he’s more a man searching for redemption. I don’t mind that at all, but it’s like the writers still want us to be uncertain about his motives, which doesn’t work in the shadow of the other adults. Also, why was Dawn not asking Blackwell how he escaped the fire? I know Faye tipped her off to his return in the beginning of the episode, but no one at all is surprised that a man who’s supposed to be dead is strolling around town?!
Another moment I did enjoy the episode is the distinction between light and dark magic. After Cassie takes Ethan out with a soccer bench, Blackwell informs Cassie that light magic is being attuned to the energy around you, and dark magic is feeding off negative emotions. Not exactly a novel spin on the concept, but the show answered it the second I was beginning to question why Cassie taking Ethan down was considered dark magic. Wouldn’t it just be a magical response to witnessing her dad almost murdered, I previously thought? This is a tricky distinction, because now I wonder why isn’t everyone else capable of dark magic? They all have negative emotions. Or is it that Cassie’s dark lineage will corrupt her for accessing those harmful emotions? What about the light side of her lineage…no balance there? And just to play devil’s advocate, if say Diana were to do the exact same thing as Cassie, but her magic is powered by the energy around her, would taking out Ethan be considered light because of the source of the power despite the negative intentions? Or can light magic not result in harm?
While on the topic of the light and dark magic, the pact Blackwell and Ethan made about not divulging Cassie’s dark powers would be cool if the elders didn’t already have an eye witness to what Cassie is capable of. Remember Faye’s grandma? Ethan doesn’t have to alert the elders to anything with her on the loose. I’m not sure if this was a slight continuity error on the part of the writers or the fact that Cassie hasn’t told Blackwell an elder already knows about her dark magic. Either way it relieves the situation of any tension knowing Ethan has no real leverage.
This week Melissa was allowed to lurk in other people’s storylines, and in a meta moment admits “I did my part”, which translates as having no relevance outside of tagging along in her friends’ drama. I really don’t appreciate Faye having her own adventures and Diana bouncing down Rebound Lane while Melissa gets nothing. What makes the other two storylines all the more offensive is that they contribute nothing to furthering existing questions (I can’t even do the show a favor by calling them mysteries since they don’t bother treating them as such) or developing character. Unless Eva is improbably the other Blackwell child how does it A) advance that question of who Blackwell’s other kid is and B) take the circle any step closer to cluing in to all the devilry Charles and Dawn engaged in earlier in the season? Either of those two revelations would fuel the story in far more satisfying ways until the end of the season. There’s so much potential there without these tired stories that have to be a chore to write, because they’re diverting so much attention from what’s really important.
Rant over. Cool down period initiate.
I titled this review sway in honor of the magical object introduced in this episode that temporarily transfers a witch’s power to a mortal. No I’m not in search of short-term magic, but some long-term enchantment on this show. The possibilities are currently entangled in bores. I know it’s hard to judge a show on a weekly basis because there’s no telling where the storylines will lead, but a season of inconsistency may indicate more than enough for the remaining episodes.