By Mandi Bierly
Updated October 20, 2011 at 09:35 PM EDT
Credit: Liane Hentscher/The CW

On tonight’s episode of The Secret Circle, fans will meet Jake (guest star Chris Zylka), Nick’s older brother who arrives in Chance Harbor and stirs up the now broken Circle. What can we expect as the show moves past last week’s shocker? Here’s what executive producer Andrew Miller has to say.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve said before that Jake will shake up all the dynamics on the show. How will he come between Adam and Cassie?

ANDREW MILLER: Everyone hates him in the Circle from knowing him two years ago. But Cassie, because she’s new to town, can only deal with what she sees on the surface, which is an incredibly sexy, very charming, troubled guy, who shares a similar pain that she does. Both his parents are gone, too. They develop a relationship that’s different from anyone else because of that. That relationship will make life very, very hard for Adam, and then ultimately very hard for Diana because as much as they all can’t stand Jake, he inserts themselves into their lives through Cassie. It just makes it difficult for all of them.

Could Jake complete the Circle again, since he’s Nick’s brother?

Well, the reality is, without Nick they’re just a weakened Circle, and in this week’s episode, we’re gonna explore exactly what that means, what it means to be a broken Circle, and how to change that. Jake will definitely figure into that, but the problem is, they all hate him. And if Jake becoming a part of the Circle, if that’s even an option, is something that could destroy them quicker than they could possibly know.

How long will Jake stick around?

He’s an incredibly good actor, and we love him on the show, but at this point, it’s impossible to say. [Laughs] A lot of twists and turns on this show. It’s very hard for us to keep up. But we hope Jake stays for a little while.

It felt like the show took a turn with the Heather episode, and now we’re really seeing how scary and disturbing it can be. That direction continues, I assume?

From the beginning, Kevin [Williamson] and I both liked the idea of moving witchcraft into a dark place. What fascinates me most about the whole concept is this balance between good and evil, yin and yang, and the idea that you can’t have one without the other, and the minute you access something, there’s a price to pay for it. The idea that while it can be a lot of fun to be a witch — and we want to have things in the show where you go, “God, if I was a witch, I would totally clear my skin right now” or improve my hairline, in my case — but beyond that, there has to be this other side of things. You can’t access the earth’s energy in order to do something that you want without it having a consequence. That’s where the darkness comes in to me. I think it’s something really exciting to explore, and as these characters move from teenagers to adults, this ability, this gift, this legacy will help define not only who they want to be but who they in fact become.

We’ve seen that demons are attracted to the Circle’s power. Will there be a new demon hitting town each week as the larger mythology unfolds?

It won’t necessarily be demons. But the six of them together, or the Circle together because now there’s only five, has a tremendous amount of power — and largely because it’s not just any regular Circle like there have been hundreds in the past, but because Cassie is part of it it’s even more special. That power alone will become a beacon to other forces, both good and bad, people and other supernatural beings that want to exploit that power, that want to co-opt it, that want to take it, that want to use it, that want to protect it. We have a great ability to bring things into Chance Harbor and into our show because what this Circle has is just so attractive to people. There’s some supernatural stuff coming a little bit later on. The focus on the next few episodes will be something much more human but every bit as deadly.

Now that we’ve seen Cassie reach out to her grandmother and the kids know what kind of mortal danger they’re in, or we going to see any of them reach out to their parents?

I think they’re still afraid to talk to their parents because they’re just afraid of their parents shutting this whole thing down. [Laughs] As much as they now understand greater dangers because of what they’re doing, they’re still not at a point where they’re prepared to give it up. The threat that looms over all of them is that if they confess to what they’re up to, they could just have it all taken away like their parents had it taken away. So while Jane, Cassie’s grandmother, knows, they’re gonna keep it as quiet as they can outside of that. But Jane becomes a great resource because she just knows so much more than any of the rest of them do, and she’s a great person to go to for help and answers.

That’s a nice way to bring her into the show more, too.

One of things that’s so great about the books is this multigenerational story. With Jane, it was this idea that she did everything she could to protect her daughter but it wasn’t enough. And now she has this second chance to right those wrongs with Cassie, her granddaughter. She’s been trying to breakthrough to Cassie and it hasn’t worked up until now. Now that she knows, she becomes this very strong woman who is gonna do everything in her power to protect Cassie and make sure the mistakes of Amelia, her mother, never happen again.

We saw the death of Henry Chamberlain, but it seems like his body hasn’t been found yet. Will that story line resurface soon?

I can say that Henry’s death will absolutely surface very soon. And again, what we’re trying to play with more than anything is this idea of consequence. It’s not only the kids, but Dawn and Charles — there are consequences to their actions too. As they race toward this plan of theirs, they’ll stumble along the way, and those stumbles will turn into big missteps.

What’s next for Ethan?

Ethan’s had a lot of troubles, and he tends to drink a little bit and then it causes him to say things that he probably shouldn’t. He has a really unique perspective when it comes to Adam and Cassie and then Adam and Diana. Adam is kind of walking in his shoes, and Ethan’s gonna give advice to Diana that comes from his own past that will cause a lot of problems between Diana and Adam.

After Nick’s death, Diana said something to Adam about not being able to handle it if something were to happen to him. Is that setting up her going off the rails if Adam and Cassie continue to grow close? Or am I reading too much into that?

Where you’re totally right is that she’s just such a control freak that I think the idea of any crack in her world… I think Faye is used to dealing with adversity. Even though she’s so strong and so fierce and so confident, there’s this insecurity and she’s dealt with stuff in the past. The relationship with her mother isn’t great. You will find out she had this insanely tumultuous relationship with Jake. Whereas Diana has kinda been leading this charmed life, and I think the more the Adam part of her world starts to drift away, the more trouble it’s gonna cause for her. I think we’ll see her character make some really interesting shifts.

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