The second episode of CW’s ‘The Secret Circle‘ opens with Cassie Blake sitting on her bed. She rereads the letter from her mother she found at the end of last week’s show. The letter warns Cassie about how others want her power and how she needs to be careful who she trusts. Cassie has just learned that her parents were witches, and she has inherited their magical abilities. This new revelation still confuses her, but she is curious. She studies her mother’s Book of Shadows, a book of spells and family history that is passed from one generation to the next with each generation adding new information. Cassie gets off the bed and goes to a candle on the mantle. She tries to light the candle by using magic. On the third try, in a nice twist, the candle doesn’t light, but her curtains open and a flood of bright sunshine fills her room. She asked for light, and she got it, but not in the way she expected. Cassie cannot control her magic, and lack of control is starting to cause problems.
Next door, Nick and Melissa are getting dressed. Are they in love? Well, Nick’s not. Melissa doesn’t want anyone to know about their intimate relationship and expresses concern that Nick might brag. He assures her that she’s not someone he is going brag about. Ouch. Melissa leaves. Nick, shirtless, stares at Cassie. She is so not interested in him and tries to use magic to close her curtains. Instead, Nick’s window slams closed, shattering the glass.
We see Faye interact with her mother before her grandfather, Henry, arrives. Faye’s happy to see her grandfather, but her mother, Dawn, is not exactly brimming with joy. Faye leaves. Henry, who is Faye’s paternal grandfather, blames Dawn for his son’s death. The scene is tense. She invites him to stay with them. Henry scoffs; of course he can stay. It’s his house.
At school, Sally, the class president, greets Cassie and asks her to volunteer at the upcoming Sea Fair. Faye interrupts their conversation. She thanks Cassie for stopping the storm. Cassie brings up the binding ritual, but Faye tells her that if they do the ritual, they will lose their individual power and be under Diana’s control. Faye wants to use her power as she wants. In chemistry class, Faye convinces Melissa to do some magic. They make the liquid in their beaker boil without the aid of a flame. Faye, who’s in a mischievous mood, directs her magic to Cassie’s beaker and makes it boil. Startled, Cassie’s emotions flare, making the beaker explode. Cassie turns to Faye and Melissa; their beaker erupts in flames. Cassie flees. Adam goes after her and convinces her to let him help her.
Adam takes Cassie back to the abandoned house in the woods. Cassie asks more questions. He tells her that they know about witchcraft because Diana found her mother’s Book of Shadows; this is the only one they have found. Cassie does not tell Adam she has her mother’s book. The other books are hidden because witchcraft has been banned for years, ever since the event that took the lives of Cassie’s dad, Diana’s mom, Adam’s mom, Melissa’s mom, Faye’s dad, and both of Nick’s parents. Adam teaches Cassie about how energy flows through her by having her hold a wire in one hand and a light bulb in the other. They gaze into each other’s eyes; Adam helps her control her breathing. The light bulb turns on, and the connection between Adam and Cassie intensifies. The bulb pops. Whoever casts these two actors (Thomas Dekker and Britt Robertson) did well. Whenever Adam and Cassie are together, the scene crackles and sizzles with energy. Wherever the writers want to take their relationship, Dekker and Robertson have established a connection that will make their journey believable.
Henry’s visit to Chance Harbor has a purpose. After learning from Ethan, Adam’s dad, what Charles did to him (used magic to threaten his life), he is livid. After the incident that killed his son Tom, Henry and the other parents stripped their children of their powers. His granddaughter was supposed to grow up without any magic present, but he sees Faye at the Sea Fair with Melissa use magic. Henry confronts Dawn; he says magic has no place in this time and wants to stop the children from practicing. Dawn agrees to help him. After Henry leaves, Dawn discusses the matter with Charles; she does not approve of him using the crystal on Ethan. She gets the crystal back from him. They cannot perform magic on their own; the crystal is the source of their power, but it has a limited amount of energy for them to use. Dawn admits that magic is seductive, but reminds Charles that they need to be smart and keep their eyes on the bigger picture.
During the Sea Fair, Faye continues her impulsive ways; she starts a storm like she did in last week’s episode, and she dares Cassie to stop her. They begin to argue. Sally comes up to Cassie. Faye pushes her; since she is charged with magic, she pushes Sally through the railing. Sally lands on the rocks below. Before the ambulance arrives, Dawn uses the crystal on Sally and revives her. Faye did not mean to hurt her, but her actions have caused the six to come together to decide about the bonding ritual. Their magic is out of control; they cannot control their thoughts and emotions enough to prevent something worse from happening. Cassie finally agrees to take part in the ceremony.
Henry saw Dawn use the crystal. He thought all of the crystals were destroyed. Visibly upset, Henry tells Dawn that he is going to the Elders the next day; according to him, the children cannot bind because “it will be unleashed.” Dawn uses the crystal to give Henry a heart attack. Before he dies, she tells him that she loved his son. When Faye comes home, Dawn tells her that her grandfather went back home. Since he is retired and lives alone in a cabin, keeping his death a secret will not be too difficult for Dawn to do.
At the beach, the six stand around a bonfire. Diana reads from her mother’s Book of Shadows, “Fire, earth, metal, air, water and blood. By these elements we bind this circle and follow in the footsteps of our ancestors who pledged themselves to fight against the faces of darkness. When evil assails us, when fear weakens us, when descent threatens, in the circle we will find our power. We come to this place alone, but we leave bound as one. With this oath our journey begins together.” Diana pauses, “Do you accept the circle?” The others reply in unison, “Yes.” The bonfire whooshes. The ceremony is complete; the six are a bound circle.
After watching the first episode, I was very curious to find out which direction the writers were heading. They could have made a huge chunk of this season about Cassie’s debate about joining the circle and using magic. Watching Cassie struggle with her decision might have been interesting, but the writers had Cassie make her decision in this episode. Is Cassie’s choice believable? Absolutely. She doesn’t want to be part of the circle, but she agrees to the ceremony not for personal gain, but to protect the people of the town. This act reveals a lot about her character; she puts aside her pain, grief, and confusion and makes a decision for the greater good. By having the circle form now, the writers can unleash whatever “it” is. Like the circle, I have no clue what is going to come next. And I can’t wait to find out.