Halloween is the night we all can pretend to be someone else. We can highlight an aspect of our personality or completely hide who we are. In Chance Harbor, hiding the truth about you is basically a prerequisite for residency. Witchcraft has been banned in the small coastal town for sixteen years, so Cassie and her friends have been trying to keep their identities secret for weeks. Cassie only told Jane, her grandmother, because the circle needed help and guidance. However, the circle learns tonight that a powerful group has uncovered their secret. The witch hunters have come to town, and they have selected their prey.
Calvin Wilson owns a shop that sells artifacts and other oddities. Cassie and Faye shop at his store trying to find things for Halloween. Jane will be out of town for the night, so Cassie thought the circle could use a party to help ease the tension and stress that has built up over the past few weeks. Faye gets Cassie to invite Luke (Cassie’s date to the dance) to the party. At the counter, Calvin touches Cassie’s hand as he takes her credit card, and the mirror behind Calvin breaks.
Jane tells Cassie that Calvin Wilson is a witch. When they touched, some residual energy must have caused a power surge. Calvin’s is not a powerful witch and doesn’t practice the craft anymore. Jane is going to Henry’s cabin. Henry is Faye Chamberlain’s grandfather and an Elder. Jane does not have plans to tell Henry about the circle, but she hasn’t heard from Henry in weeks, so she wants to make sure he is fine. Cassie, showing she’s a typical teenager, fibs to Jane about her plans; she tells her grandmother that she’s going to have the girls over and watch some movies.
Adam and his father talk. Adam blames Ethan for ruining his relationship with Diana. Adam asks Ethan if he ever loved Adam’s mom because of the way Ethan whines about not ending up with Amelia. Adam does not want to be like his father, and he makes it a point to make decisions that will take him down a different path. Ethan says again that bad things happen when you mess with fate. Since Ethan didn’t end up with Amelia, bad things happened, which is why he says Adam is fated to be with Cassie.
Faye, Melissa, and Diana help Cassie decorate her house for the Halloween party. Cassie finds a piece of Simone’s weapon on the floor. Curious about the object, she decides to take the object to Calvin. Outside, she runs into Jake. Jake isn’t very supportive of her idea to go to Calvin because he knows the truth about Simone. Cassie’s determined to find out more about the weapon; she doesn’t want the circle to be sitting ducks anymore. Jake has his hand on the hood of her car as Cassie gets in. Jake leaves, and Cassie cannot start her car.
Jake has his own secret. He is a witch hunter. To protect his secret identity, he goes to Calvin’s shop. Jake gains entry by touching the door to unlock it. His ability to use magic without another member of the circle present might mean he has his family’s crystal or because he did not take part in the binding ceremony he can perform magic on his own although his family is bound to the other five families. Either way, Jake can use magic independent of the circle.
Jake introduces himself as the son of Richard and Sarah Armstrong, and he takes out a witch’s cruet. If you put mandrake root, blood, and a personal item into the special jar, when you add flame, you will kill the witch whose blood and item are in the cruet. Jake easily overpowers Calvin and makes a cruet. He holds a lit match above the cruet and tells Calvin to lie to Cassie about the weapon. Jake takes pleasure in threatening Calvin; his smile is wide and his eyes sparkle with a passion we haven’t seen since he got into town. Calvin agrees to Jake’s demands. Jake keeps the cruet and leaves.
Cassie manages to arrive at Calvin’s shop. Calvin lies to Cassie by playing dumb about the weapon. Alert and aware of her surroundings, Cassie spots a similar weapon on the counter. She “accidentally” knocks over a jar. As Calvin goes to the back, Cassie takes a picture of the weapon. Cassie takes the picture to Adam. At the house in the woods, Adam uses a computer program to find the symbol. Cassie apologizes for what happened between Adam and Diana. Adam doesn’t blame Cassie; he doesn’t know what is going between them, but Adam knows that he should have tried harder to hold on to Diana. Adam feels lost and crushed without Diana. The computer comes back with a match. The symbol is for the society of witch hunters that dates back to the Middle Ages. Their motto? “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Cassie and the others now know Simone was a witch hunter.
Melissa visits Nick’s grave. Jake is there too, but not for Nick. Melissa thinks they can bond over sharing their grief over Nick, but Jake doesn’t miss Nick. The brothers fought all the time. Besides, Nick was playing around with things he shouldn’t have, and he died because of it. Melissa snaps back; perhaps if Jake hadn’t left, Nick would still be alive because Jake could have taught him what he needed to know. Melissa says they are alike. “I’m nothing like the rest of you,” Jake replies. His words are cold and cut deep into Melissa’s grief.
Later, Jake meets with Isaac, the head witch hunter. Isaac tells Jake that Simone did complete the marking, but Jake reminds Isaac that Simone almost ruined the plan. Once a witch is bound by a circle, killing the witch will only send the power to the others in the circle; the circle won’t be broken, and the magic will still be alive. Cruets must be properly prepared. Jake spells five cruets, one for each member of the circle. All the jars need are blood and an item, and fire will kill the circle and their magic as well. Before Jake leaves, Isaac introduces his fellow witch hunters that will be at Cassie’s party. One is a boy in a pig mask, and the other is Luke.
Calvin meets Ethan. They haven’t seen each other in sixteen years. Calvin wasn’t part of Ethan’s circle, but Calvin knew what was going on then. Calvin admits not seeing Amelia in Cassie when he first met her. After all, it’s hard to predict which parent a child will take after. Ethan is adamant when he says Cassie is Amelia’s daughter, but Calvin reminds him that he was always blind when it came to Amelia. All of them were blind, Ethan confesses, all of them but Amelia at the end. Calvin wants to warn Cassie about the dark magic inside her. Cassie’s father was John Blackwell, and sixteen years ago he attempted an act that endangered everyone. Cassie has the right to protect herself. Ethan does not disagree.
Cassie tells Jake that Simone lied about being a witch; Simone was really a witch hunter. Jake tries to act surprised. Cassie tells him that they found out what the symbol means on the weapon. Jake mentions three symbols. Cassie pauses. She didn’t tell him there were three symbols on the weapon; she only told him about one.
During the party, Cassie has Faye distract Jake. Faye does, and Cassie sneaks into Jake’s room. Faye notices that Jake is distant; the old Jake was an ass, but he was never distant. Jake pushes Faye away and uses the opportunity to take one of Cassie’s necklaces. Back in Jake’s room, Cassie finds a knife with the witch hunter symbol. Jake enters. Cassie asks about the knife. Jake denies the knife is his. Jake shows her other weapons that are used by witch hunters, claiming that the items belonged to Nick. He hesitates; he tries to seem sad and reluctant as he tells Cassie that he thinks Nick was investigating witch hunters on his own and didn’t realize what he was dealing with. Jake’s story is lame; we know this, and Cassie knows this. Faye interrupts them; Melissa is missing.
Over the course of the party, Luke and the boy in the pig mask take the members of the circle. Calvin calls Cassie; he warns her that she is in danger. Outside, Jake stops Calvin; he brings out the cruet from before. Calvin insists he is not telling Cassie about Jake being a witch hunter. Jake demands to know what Calvin is telling Cassie, and Calvin reveals that Cassie has dark magic inside her. Jake lights a match and drops the lit match in the cruet. Calvin’s in pain; the life seems to be draining from his body. Jake watches Calvin die. Back in Cassie’s room, Luke chloroforms Cassie and takes her.
The witch hunters have Cassie and her friends. They are tied to chairs; the chairs are in a circle. A ring of iron sulfite encircles the five; the iron is supposed to stop their power. Adam works his rope, trying to free himself. Isaac steps outside and gives Luke the honor of killing the five. Luke comes from a long line of witch hunters, so he knows what to do. According to witch hunters, all magic is evil, every thought a witch has is a sin, and every word a witch says is a lie.
Outside, Jake tells Isaac that they must stop the ceremony. They can’t kill Cassie this way, it will backfire. Jake tells him that Cassie is more powerful than he realized because of the dark magic inside her. Isaac doubts Jake.
Inside, Cassie is frantic. Luke lights a match and stands behind Diana. Cassie screams, and Diana’s cruet shatters. Luke gets Cassie’s cruet and lights a match. Cassie screams again. Luke catches on fire. Back outside, Isaac and Jake watch Luke burn. Isaac leaves. Jake cuts himself and pretends to have been taken like they were. At this point, Cassie’s eyes are wide and wild. Something in her has shifted.
At Diana’s place, Adam begs her to take him back. “You’re my home,” he tells her. He doesn’t want to lose everything. Diana, shaken from the evening’s events, is not convinced. She’s focused on how real the dangers and the threats to the circle are now. Diana tells Adam that she still doesn’t want to be with him.
Cassie cleans her home. Jake stops by. Cassie expresses her confusion about how people just hate witches; Cassie didn’t choose to be a witch, she was born as one. Although she doesn’t trust Jake, she does tell him that she thinks she did magic on her own, but she doesn’t know how. Jake wants to know more, but he knows she doesn’t trust him completely, but he wants her to.
After Jake leaves, Cassie finds a large envelope in her mailbox. Calvin left her something. Cassie opens the envelope and pulls out an old piece of parchment. In the bottom right corner are the initials “JB.”
At Henry’s cabin we know what Jane will find—Henry’s dead body. Jane finds Henry’s crystal and chants over his body, probably to determine if he’s dead or under a spell. A stranger knocks Jane out and steals the crystal.
Masks are worn for protection and to hide deceits from others. We choose to wear masks; we decide what part of ourselves to show others and when. What happens when a part of yourself was hidden even from you? This is the dilemma Cassie faces. Can you inherit evil? Magic itself is not good or evil; magic is a tool. A hammer can be used to build homes or to smash bone. Using magic is like using the Force. One can be trained in the Force and become good, a Jedi, or turn evil, a Sith. Both of Cassie’s parents were witches, and this week we learned that her father, John Blackwell, used magic for dark purposes. Cassie has inherited talents from both her parents. Talents she just recently knew she possessed. With all the changes in Cassie’s life, she not currently equipped to handle this conflict, and future episodes will explore Cassie’s struggles with her legacy. Is a person’s fate determined by DNA or can a person become someone who is not like either parent? This is a question many of us wrestle with, especially if one parent has done wrong and can be labeled as evil. When the truth is masked, then one is ill-prepared for this type of battle. Once Cassie learns the truth, then she will have the weapons she needs to overcome her legacy and become her own woman.
If you missed last week’s episode be sure to read our ‘The Secret Circle: Wake’ recap to catch up.