Tonight’s epsiode centers around a Casino Fundraiser at the school, which of course is where everything goes down.  This is a recap, so spoilers ahead!

Faye tells her mom that John Blackwell is back from the dead.  She’s stunned, but the kind of stunned that makes you think there’s more to the story than just a normal resurrection surprise.  Knowing Dawn, this can’t be good!

Melissa and Diana prepare for Casino Night

Blackwell and Cassie chat.  She is curious as to why her mother never talked about him, and he says he hurt Amelia by what he had become.  Cassie shows off her dark magic by melting her tea cup, but Blackwell is displeased, saying “Once dark magic takes a hold of you, it’s impossible to get free.”  Stung, Cassie says he doesn’t know her very well.  She’s so torn between wanting her father’s approval and wanting to prove her independence!

Cassie calls a Circle meeting to discuss her father.  Blackwell says his power was stripped, but he is by no means powerless.  Everyone is curious how Eben has witch powers without being a witch.  Jake wants to enlist Blackwell’s help in protecting the circle, but Cassie doesn’t trust him enough to ask.  Adam takes advantage of a moment alone to ask Cassie to the Casino night, just like a real date.

Romance is popping up everywhere, which is only natural when everyone in town is so good-looking.  Lee is moony over his girlfriend Eva’s recovery from her overdose.  There’s a new guy in town with an Australian accent, Grant.  He has his eye on Diana, and Melissa encourages his attentions, telling Diana not every romance has to end in a relationship.

Will we be seeing more of Grant or was he just a distraction?

Cassie finds Blackwell at the abandoned house and hides to spy on him.  He is looking for something and when he doesn’t find it, he throws a little tantrum.  This doesn’t look so good coming off his recent advice about dark magic.  Cassie runs to tell Adam (is it just me or is every place of interest in town within a 2 foot radius?) and he’s concerned.  He also seems to know something about what Blackwell is searching for.

Faye asks Lee to Casino Night and finds a pair of Eva’s shoes.  Lee doesn’t mention that Eva is in the very next room.  Faye comes on strong but Lee turns her down.  She’s more than miffed, stalking off in the way only Faye can.

Adam shows Cassie something he and Nick found long ago in the house : a sway, something used to take away  a witch’s power.  This was what Blackwell was looking for, but why would he want it?

Cassie gets a chance to ask her father about the sway.  Blackwell says it doesn’t take away a witch’s power, it temporarily transfers them to a mortal.  Blackwell wants to find out who betrayed him at the boat all those years ago – he thinks it was someone from Cassie’s mother’s circle.  He can trace the traitor through the sway, but Cassie doesn’t give it to him.

Faye returns to Lee’s house, intent on changing his mind and egged on by Melissa.  Eva is there and introduces herself as Lee’s girlfriend. Then Lee walks in…to the WORST scene he could have imagined!  Faye recovers quickly and leaves.  Lee tells Eva that Faye has a crush on him.

Grant flirts with Diana as she works the Casino table.  He shines his teeth at her but she’s still not as impressed as Melissa.  Meanwhile Cassie shares her suspicion that Ethan is the traitor, and Adam stomps off, understandably upset.  Cassie then runs to Jake with her opinion, but Jake is much too eager to blame Adam’s father.  Cassie defends Ethan even though she had come to the same conclusion.  Adam drives home to ask his father what happened on the boat, but Ethan refuses to discuss the past.

Ethan gussied up and looking fine

The Casino Fundraiser quickly becomes the place for dramatic appearances.  Lee shows up and kisses Faye (way too sexily for a school function!).  Dawn surprises Blackwell and it is clear their old relationship went far beyond friendship.  Blackwell shows no interest in Dawn now, however, and only asks her where Ethan is.  Adam also shows up, and he and Cassie fall over themselves to apologize to each other.  They’re a sweet couple, which makes me think they can’t possibly last in such a drama-fueled show.

Lee is getting cozy with Faye when suddenly Eva appears.  She calls Faye a “coping mechanism.”  BURN!  Eva and Faye have a stare-off before Eva flounces away.  Melissa dispenses more advice, this time to Jake, telling him to get over his obsession with Cassie since she’s with Adam.  Grant flirts more with Diana, which became a bit uncomfortable for me when I remembered that she’s still in high school and he’s a jet-setting adult.  Cassie steps outside in time to see someone stab her father and chases him down, using her powers to stop him.  It’s Ethan.  Enraged, she almost hits him with a broken piece of bleacher.  It is Blackwell who stops her.  He claims Ethan is angry about losing Amelia to him.  Cassie confesses she is afraid of her dark magic, and Blackwell says she needs to stop using it until she can control it.

Grant walks Diana to her car, flashing his dimples and shiny teeth, but he gets only a kiss.  Lee comes home to check on Eva, who wonders aloud why he brought her back at all if they weren’t going to stay together.  Apparently she came back from the dead with powers.  She tells Lee they have to grow old together, and in her anger, she drains the life out of him.  Poor Lee!  Maybe he wasn’t the greatest guy in town, but I’m sad for Faye, who clearly has feelings for him.

Blackwell confronts Ethan, who admits he was the traitor and that Eben was only supposed to take Blackwell out.  Blackwell says he won’t tell the kids about Ethan’s betrayal in exchange for Ethan’s silence about what Cassie did when she chased him down.  Ethan says Amelia wanted Blackwell dead and to fulfill her destiny with Ethan, using his favorite phrase of all time,  “Written in the stars.”  Blackwell says Amelia must not have told him that the true meaning of the phrase “written in the stars” was a curse.

Cassie tells Adam she lost control on his father, and Adam says he is tired of all the lies their parents tell.  He doesn’t want anything to come between him and Cassie.  He tells Cassie he loves her, and BAM!  Just like that, they are having sex on the living room couch.  The camera pans up and crows are circling the house.  Uh oh!  It seems there is more to this stars curse, as the teaser for next week’s episode showed the same birds dead and littered across the lawn.

The first episode after the winter break has us back in the drama right away!  Old trysts, new romances, dead lovers – ‘The Secret Circle’ knows how to draw in its audience.  Welcome back, witches!

Missed the previous episode before the break? Read our ‘The Secret Circle: Return’ recap to catch up.