‘The Secret Circle’ returned last night after a long break with a chilling episode that explores Cassie’s powers.

[Spoilers Ahead]

Cassie sleeps. A sound snaps her awake. She opens her bedroom door. Standing there is Jake! Cassie is surprised to see him. Jake tells her that he is on her side, but he needs to warn her that she cannot control her dark power. She is confused. When he left, Jake told her that she could control her power by remembering the good she has in her. Jake tells her that she has evil blood. Cassie’s anger grows, and Jake cannot breathe because Cassie chokes him with her mind. Blood pours from Jake’s mouth.

Cassie wakes up. Turns out her visit from Jake was a dream.

The next morning, Cassie looks through a book. The doorbell rings. Adam has stopped by to check on Cassie because she has not gone to school for two days. After all that had happened recently, she needed some time to herself. Adam senses that she is not telling him everything. Cassie decides to let Adam in.

Cassie tells Adam the truth about her father and her dark magic. Adam thinks that perhaps she got her individual powers from her mom’s side; after all, the Blake line is 400 years old. Adam thinks the others can help, but Cassie wants to keep this fact secret for the time being.

At Diana’s, Kate Meade, Diana’s grandmother, pays a surprise visit. Diana reveals that Charles is dating Dawn (this is the cover they fed Diana to explain the time they spend together). Kate is not shocked; Charles had a crush on Dawn during their high school years. Diana leaves for school. Kate tells Charles that she is there because Diana broke up with Adam. Charles did not know this; Kate says that the boyfriend topic is not one girls talk to their fathers about. Although Kate’s story seems convincing, Charles is suspicious.

Melissa and Faye are at school. Faye chastises Melissa for still being moody and sad about Nick’s death. Nick wouldn’t want to see her this way, Faye reminds Melissa. To help get her back in the real world, Faye wants Melissa to help her with a plan to get her individual powers back.

Kate visits Dawn in her office and reveals why she really is in town—all of the suspicious activity. Henry Chamberlain is dead. Jane Blake is at the healers because of her migraines and memory problems. Kate wants to know what Dawn is up to. Dawn dodges Kate’s questions. It is a battle of wills. Dawn does not break even after Kate says that she is glad Dawn never got romantically involved with Charles in high school because of Dawn’s habit of using people and tossing them to the side once finished with them. Kate vows to protect Charles from Dawn.

At the abandoned house in the woods, Diana catches Adam researching dark magic and wants to know why he’s doing that. Cassie overhears Adam tell Diana about Cassie’s heritage, which makes Cassie’s anger erupt. She chokes Adam with her mind. Once Adam begins to fall to the ground, Cassie stops and apologizes. She did not mean to harm Adam.

Faye and Melissa join the others at the house in the woods. Everyone learns the truth about Cassie. Faye is jealous that Cassie not only can perform magic on her own, but has a serious amount of power inside her. The reaction from the circle is mixed. The group is confused and scared about this new information. They want to understand what is going on with Cassie, and Cassie tells them that she is trying to figure that out too.

Dawn and Charles meet. Dawn freaks out about Kate. Dawn wants to get rid of Kate. Charles tells her that he will get her out of town soon, but Dawn was talking about a different “getting rid of.” Charles insists on not killing anyone else. Dawn seethes; the Elders need to pay for stripping them of their powers. Charles does not relent; he will handle the situation his way.

Diana walks into Cassie’s room and discovers Cassie performing a spell. Cassie wants Jake back in town, which stuns Diana because Jake is a witch hunter. Cassie knows Jake is on her side, and she really wants to talk to him because he understands black magic. Because Jane is away, Diana wants Cassie to stay with her.

Faye reveals to Melissa that she took a page from Cassie’s Book of Shadows. The page is an old voodoo spell that will allow Faye to perform magic on her own because she deserves to have power. Like mother, like daughter. Faye needs help to perform the spell and finds Lee Labeque on the internet.

Because Cassie is staying with Diana, she meets Kate. Before the four begin dinner, an unexpected guest arrives—Dawn. “Hi honey,” she says to Charles. She kisses him so everyone believes their story. What follows is a tense and awkward dinner. Dawn brought Kate’s favorite wine and pours Kate a glass. Charles shifts in his chair and stares at Dawn pouring the wine. Just before Kate drinks, Charles snatches the glass from his mother. He claims to have seen cork in the wine. In the kitchen, Dawn figures out that Charles thought she was there to poison Kate. Dawn tells him she is there to keep an eye on Kate. Charles is not convinced.

Faye and Melissa go to Lee’s place. Lee tells Faye that the spell is dangerous and asks her if she is sure she wants it done. Of course Faye does.

After dinner, Adam goes over to Diana’s and apologizes to Cassie. For years he told Diana everything, and old habits are hard to break. However, he is glad he did tell because he thinks it is better that everyone knows the truth. Also, Adam thinks making Cassie feel different was wrong of the circle to do.

Lee’s place is full of magical voodoo props. He says the spell is powerful and used by voodoo priests. He performs the spell on Faye using a feather and drawing a symbol in blood on Faye’s heart. Nothing spectacular happens.

Cassie suddenly wakes up. She goes to the kitchen. Kate enters. Kate senses dark magic weighs on Cassie and admits to knowing who her father is. Blackwell had the potential to be evil, but he could have resisted; instead, he allowed the darkness to take him over. Kate tells Cassie about a spell that can draw the dark magic out. Cassie confesses that she would do anything to get it out of her.

Cassie tells Diana about Kate sensing her power. Cassie did not tell Kate about the circle. Diana tells Cassie that her grandmother is amazing and can be trusted, so Cassie should do the ceremony in the woods with Kate.

At the house in the woods, Faye tries to perform magic own her own, but fails. Angry, she wants Melissa to go with her to Lee’s. Melissa thanks Faye for waking her up and getting her back in the real world, but she doesn’t want to follow Faye around anymore. Faye is upset, but does not argue with Melissa and leaves for Lee’s.

Cassie and Kate arrive at the woods.

Diana puts towels in the guest room for Kate. She sees items in her grandmother’s suitcase and investigates. One of the items Diana finds is mandrake root. Diana runs out of the room.

Kate and Cassie are at an altar in the woods. A cloth covers what could be a table. The cloth is white and has a circular symbol. Kate starts the ceremony. She tells Cassie to have faith in who she wants to be. Kate puts dirt on the circle and cuts Cassie’s hand. Kate wants the natural forces to purge Cassie clean. Kate puts Cassie’s hand on the cloth. Kate lets Cassie’s hand go and pulls off the cloth to reveal a large wooden box, large enough for a teenage girl. Inside the box is an elderberry branch. Kate has Cassie give her the branch. Kate snaps the branch, and Cassie collapses.

Diana finds Adam and tells him about the mandrake root. Mandrake root kills witches. They rush to Cassie’s aid.

Dawn and Charles meet. Charles acknowledges that his mother is lying about something. Dawn states that the time for talking is done. She demands the crystal. Charles looks at her, “Or what?” Dawn is adamant about getting the crystal from him. Charles tells Dawn that they are done; he has had enough and wants no more to do with her.

Cassie regains consciousness. Kate buries Cassie alive. The earth covers the box. Cassie screams. Kate says that the earth must bleed out her darkness; Cassie must die.

Faye finds fake feathers and blood at Lee’s. Meanwhile, Diana and Adam arrive at the woods. Inside the box, Cassie panics. She calms down. “Let. Me. Out!” she slams her hands to the ground. The top explodes. Cassie is free.

Adam and Diana find Cassie.

Charles finds Kate packing. Kate admits to trying to kill Cassie because she had to discover how powerful Cassie is. Kate thinks Cassie is strong enough to tip the balance between good and evil. She also tells Charles that she knows he is using magic; magic leaves an imprint, and she recognizes Charles’s imprint. Kate tells him that he has a good heart, but he can be weak by giving into temptation. She warns him to come out of the darkness before it is too late.

Faye smashes things at Lee’s. Lee admits to not being as strong in the art of voodoo as advertised. He knows Faye is a witch. He proposes that they can help each other out.

Diana apologizes for her grandmother’s actions; she is shocked that her grandmother tried to kill Cassie. Cassie admits that she was scared; she had never felt so much fear. The fear flooded her body and erupted in a wave of power. It felt good to let the fear save her. She was scared by the power, but she liked it.

Outside, looking up at the window, is Jake.

What interested me about this episode were the recurring themes of waking up and individuality. Cassie woke up four times: at the beginning in her dream, from the dream, before going to Diana’s kitchen, and inside the box. Cassie is on a journey of self-discovery; she has no idea what power she has inside her, and she is slowly realizing that a whole new part of her is “waking up” from its long dormant slumber. Diana asks Cassie, “Just how powerful are you?” Since Cassie recently learned about her nature, she cannot answer.

The first part of the season was about the circle and plans coming together, and now it seems we are witnessing cracks forming. Melissa no longer wants to be attached to Faye’s hip. Faye, like Dawn, is obsessed with having her own powers. Cassie performs major magic on her own. And Charles, well, Charles finally tells Dawn that he will make his decisions without her. While these two are great as a pair, I wonder if Charles can stand his ground and make decisions without her influence. Will Dawn leave Charles alone? Of course not. Charles has the coveted crystal. What did you think of this week’s episode?

If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘The Secret Circle: ‘ episode recap to catch up.