Cassie and Faye learn the true reason behind Heather's unique condition. It involves snakes.
The Secret Circle Robertson
Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/ The CW

Oh dear. Things aren’t looking good for sweet Melissa right now, are they? This week’s installment of The Secret Circle dove right into the cliffhanger mystery we were left with at the end of last week — what did Amelia do to Heather the night of the infamously fatal fire? Well, we were given our answer (sort of), but the members of the Circle are still as lost and confused as ever. More than anything, this week’s episode dealt with the hellish emotional aftermath of the painful event that took out most of their parents. Yes, we also had a Cassie/Faye Hardy Boys style mystery, and a new demonic plot to boot. But when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, these kids are nothing but a group of sad quasi-orphans trying to fill some sort of emotional void, be it with sex or magic or some good old-fashioned mystery-solvin’. As Faye put it, they’re “a boat full of sad witches.”

Last night, Cassie and Faye tried their best to fill the void with answers. Cassie still couldn’t believe that her sweet-as-pie mother, her life-long support and constant companion, was capable of doing the things she (maybe?) did. And even though I’m getting a bit tired of Cassie’s “you knew my mother?” wide-eyed shock face, it’s hard to blame her for that. Picture your mother for a second. She’s great, right? Now try to picture how you would react if you found out she had a super-shady past filled with fire and magic and murder and a catatonic friend named Heather. Yeah, you might develop a permanent Britt Robertson-style shock face, too. Is anyone else starting to think that she only has three faces? There’s the shock face, the normal face, and the dramatic eye-roll face. This third face is most commonly seen in interactions with Faye, and any time the Adam love triangle situation is mentioned. But I digress.

I thought it was interesting that this week’s episode was the first to leave out the remaining parents. Interesting and also a little disappointing, since they are the strongest actors on the show. But just like when Dumbledore died, leaving Harry to find all of those Horcruxes without his support, it heightened the intensity of the ultimate showdown. Their fates rested on their own shoulders tonight. Also, the Circle clearly couldn’t turn to Charles or Dawn for help with this particular predicament. Not because they’re eeeevil — the kids don’t know that yet — but because Charles and Dawn were intricately involved in the mystery they’re investigating (and in their naïve little minds, they think their folks don’t know that the kids are practicing witchcraft). This will inevitably lead to some (possibly) good drama down the line. I was really hoping to see some of that drama unfold tonight, but I guess we’ll have to wait longer for that.

The episode opened with yet another morning-after scene between Nick and Melissa. These sleepovers are becoming rather frequent, no? Their legal guardians should be ashamed. Nick seemed to be opening up a little to Melissa, both emotionally and sartorially. “Open,” he said, as he lustfully stared at the chest hiding under her pretty blouse. The spell worked because they were both into it, but as Nick said (very sexily), “some things should be done without magic.”

Cassie’s morning was not nearly as fun or magical. Still reeling from the news that her mother may have hurt her old friend Heather, she turned to an unknown Internet search engine for answers. At this point I’m so used to The Vampire Diaries’ Bing sponsorship that I was waiting for Cassie to excitedly say, “I Binged it!” She didn’t, but she found what she needed anyway — the location of Heather’s brother. Heather’s brother, Wade, resides in a place called Finn Creek. Finn Creek is, as Adam said, “a sketchy area.” What I learned tonight is that “a sketchy area” is a dilapidated fishing village where people inexplicably throw their tires on their roofs. Lock your doors, children!

NEXT: It’s time for a meet cute with Heather!

So in this terrible, rural Washington State ghetto, Cassie and Adam encountered Wade. Wade was instantly my favorite person on this show, because he wore his profession on his t-shirt. It was baby blue, with an icon of a fish splashed across the center. Because he’s a fisherman, you guys. (And come hell or high water, I will find a shirt bearing a laptop and a glum girl watching TV.)

Wade, like everyone else we have met thus far, knew Amelia back in the day. He reluctantly took the teens to see Heather, who was completely catatonic. He explained that in the 16 years since the accident, she had not moved a muscle. That is, until Cassie lit some sort of internal fuse that temporarily brought her back to life! She latched on to Cassie’s wrist and just sort of gasped with her eyes and mouth wide open, until she eventually reverted back to her catatonic state.

Meanwhile, tension was building between Faye, Nick, and Melissa. Faye was still frustrated about her diminished power, and also seemingly upset that her sidekick was abandoning her to spend more time with a brooding hunk of man-whore. “Why can’t it be fun like that movie The Craft?” she moaned. “I mean, the first half. Not the stuff with the snakes. The part where we put spells on boys, change our hair color, and levitate.” Heh. I give Kevin Williamson and co. props for preemptively realizing that comparisons to The Craft were inevitable. So Faye gave Melissa a hard time about Nick, which completely went against everything she said last week. But Melissa, if you remember, is no longer Faye’s lapdog. She’s clinging to Nick and his abs at this point, so she basically told Faye to buzz off. “I got it,” she said. “He’s a loser. I’m a loser. You feel better?”

This left Faye all alone. Cassie was in the same state after Diana told Adam not to help her with her next plan of action. When Cassie and Adam slummed it over at Finn Creek, Cassie noticed some strange markings on Heather’s arm. When they got home, a visibly shaken Cassie finally showed Adam her family’s Book of Shadows, which also happens to be the title of the second Blair Witch movie. Those guys were bad witches, though.

The big reveal here was that each family’s book is different, so the spells in Cassie’s book are completely separate from the ones in Diana’s. And — foreshadow alert — this played a pivotal role later in the episode. But for now, Cassie and Adam decided to try a spell that could possibly wake up Heather. To do this, they had to concoct a potion that contained a little of this, a dash of that, and a pinch of Cassie’s blood. Cassie is afraid of needles, and this led to a really weird sequence where they tried to make Adam drawing Cassie’s blood look sexy. I’ve never found this appealing on the various vampire shows, and it definitely didn’t work for me here, either. Especially when Diana walked in and observed with a pained look on her face, like this was some huge act of betrayal from her boyfriend. Anyway, Diana wasn’t okay with Adam and Cassie trying the spell, because it was probably dangerous. She was very, very right.

NEXT: Paging Linda Blair…

Enter Faye. Of course Faye is always ready and willing to try any dangerous spell, so she was completely game to take Adam’s spot. “I’ve never understood why we’re not better friends,” she teased. The ladies returned to Finn Creek at night, and sneaked into the shack while Wade was out doing some standard fisherman things (that is, telling kids he knows what they did last summer). Faye was shocked at Heather’s condition, and thus delivered her bitchiest line of the week: “Your mother must have been one mean-ass witch!” I guess it doesn’t sound so bad on paper, but remember this woman is only very recently deceased.

The girls tried to work their Juju magic on Heather, but she didn’t budge. We saw what appeared to be a snake crawling up inside of her arm (think those terrible bugs from The Mummy), but they didn’t. The ladies left disappointed, but Heather woke up after Wade came home. She knocked him out cold and ran into the night, which was a very, very bad thing. See, while Cassie uncharacteristically went the dangerous route, Diana and Adam studied Diana’s Book of Shadows. Diana had learned that the markings on Heather’s arm meant trouble. Really old black magic trouble, to be exact. “Demons,” she said. “Evil entities. Possession. The notes here are all about using snakes and insects as vessels for dark energy; forcing them inside someone.” Forcing them inside someone who was currently headed to Cassie’s house!

Faye relaxed upstairs while Cassie encountered a dazed Heather down in her living room, frantically searching for Amelia. Cass explained that Amelia had passed away, and that she was her daughter. “You were a baby,” Heather replied. “I tried to help her take you away.” From what, you may ask? Heather didn’t exactly tell us, but she did say that Amelia was trying to stop it. “But it went inside me,” she groaned. “Evil. I can still feel it. It hurts!” She went on to explain that evil follows witches wherever they go. “They’d been summoned,” she said. “They were trying to use your mother’s power — her and her friends.” Who was doing this, you may ask? Demons! “But she couldn’t stop them all,” Heather said. “And one of them got inside me!” There you have it — your unintentionally dirty line of the evening.

Things declined very rapidly into The Exorcism of Emily Rose territory at this point, as Heather lost whatever ‘it’ she had left and started doing these crazy demonic body contortions. She knocked Cassie out, and went after a screaming Faye. Faye did the dumb girl in a horror movie thing where she ran upstairs instead of outside to run from her attacker, but this time it actually worked in her favor. Nick and Melissa, after a B-plot day of break-ups and make-ups, were hooking up next door and saw Faye clawing at the window. They ran over to help, and Nick actually managed to drive Heather outside. Which was good, because at this point she could fly.

As fate would have it, Wade showed up just in time to see his sister, whom he cared for for over a decade, get unceremoniously hit by an SUV. There is a three-episode-straight tradition already established on this show where people show up, reveal a bit of the past, and then immediately get killed (or in Zach’s case, forever silenced). “She’s at peace now,” he said.

Yes, she’s at peace. Whatever evil snake demon was lurking inside her hid in Nick’s jacket and slithered into Melissa’s ear. Which is a real shame, because she and Nick had just shared their first real “moment” of sorts. “I’m never going to be the guy you want me to be,” Nick sulked. “I’m going to disappoint you. You deserve better.” (See what I mean about emotional voids?) Melissa thought that was pretty darn great. “That’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me,” she cooed. “I’m not disappointed.”

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Will Nick be disappointed by Melissa’s demonic bedroom skills next week? Did you miss Charles and Dawn as much as I did? Are you content with the pacing of the season? Let us know in the comments!


Episode Recaps

The Secret Circle
16-year-old shy girl Cassie discovers she is a witch and becomes a member of the Circle of witches of New Salem
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