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The Secret Circle: Return

“There are a lot of stories out there, but the truth is bigger. I think you know that.”

After almost half a season of build up and countless vaguely threatening references, it figures that John Blackwell's arrival in Chance Harbour would be kind of an anti-climax. Though its events were some bit disappointing, the direction and tone of ‘Return’ seems to have finally solidified the series into something wholly appealing and definitive in its own right.

So, John’s arrival wasn’t the explosive moment it should have been, but there were so many elements to his appearance that were totally satisfying. My first nod has to be to the casting directors, who couldn’t have chosen a better man to play the role. Joe Lando is equally mysterious as he is alluring while still evoking a vaguely threatening nature at the same time. Cassie’s reaction to his none too surprising homecoming was so endearing and heartfelt; it really felt like we were dealing with a teenage girl battling abandonment issues. She fought so hard to appear steely and independent, but eventually cracked and showed the true anger and disappointment she feels for her Daddy. Hats Off to Britt Robertson this week for pulling off another decent performance.

After several episodes of backfired visits to Chance Harbour, you can’t expect the series to forgo the opportunity to milk John’s for some dramatic realization of the true familial bond between Cassie and himself. Still coming off slightly formulaic, the action and magic all felt like it was coming from the right place this week. Tonally, this was the best episode so far with the eerie, dark vibe meshing wonderfully with the striking, harsh nature of the dark magic these characters find themselves engrossed in. The circle’s rescue came across as slightly staged, but there was a beautiful believability to Cassie’s desire to save her father from certain death.

Elsewhere Melissa and Faye’s dangerous liaisons feel like they’re heading in the right direction. Avoiding the obvious route of teenage substance abuse, Melissa snapped herself out of her tragic attraction to the obnoxious Callum, returning to her rightful place in the circle, though I doubt this is the last we’ll see of him. With Ian’s hidden motives making him appear disingenuous to Faye, there’s still some ground to be covered before his real reasons for helping are made public knowledge. I’m curious to know how his secret will change Faye’s opinion of him. He may be keeping something huge from her, but it’s all in the name of love, and we all know she’s a big softie underneath that bravado.

I can’t help but feel slightly cheated by this whole episode, which wasn’t the big event it was being made into in my head, but it did its job well; a solid effort.


- Has Jake forgotten about Blackwell’s second offspring? Seems like an important thing to tell the circle.

- My money is still on Melissa being the secret child. Maybe that’s why Callum felt all that power from her when they were fooling around with that totem.

- Do you think Jake will take John’s offer of protection at face value?

- My sister has spent the past year searching for a part-time job with decent experience, and Cassie seems to have gotten one without any? I think I’ve found an additional Golden Rule.

- I loved Faye’s fake reaction to Diana’s immediate freak out about Melissa going to Callum’s party. She’s the best.

- Doesn’t Joe Lando look kinda like Jonathan Cake from Chuck/Desperate Housewives?

He Said, She Said

Blackwell: “The only reason why I stayed away all this time was to protect you.”
One thing’s for certain, that is not true. I wonder where he’s been hiding for 16 years.

Faye: “So, isn’t Cassie’s father supposed to be really, really evil?”
Don’t say that, you’ll jinx it! Oh, who am I kidding, he’s so gonna bite the circle in the ass.

I loved Cassie’s hidden resentment boiling over so quickly.
Cassie: “I’m not giving you the medallion and I don’t want your protection. I’ve done fine without it for the last 16 years!”

Ethan: “Stay away from him. Believe me when I tell you he is the last person you ever want to know.”
I’m not surprised by Ethan’s reaction at all. I’m assuming we’ll find out what happened between them in season 2 episode 19?

3 out of 4 crushed medallions.

Previously posted at PandaTV.


  1. Joe Lando? This makes me more inclined to give The Secret Circle another try.

  2. My money is on Faye for the second Blackwell child, because her mother had a thing for him back in the day. but I woudln't be surprised if that turned out to be Melissa. The boys are out because of the love triangle.

    The Secret Circle is fine, but it's no TVD. Also some things just don't mesh. For example if I remember corectly we've seen Jake do magic on his own, but he's supposed to be bound to the circle ever since his brother died.

    Also I think Ashley Crow dropped out from the show, becasue that stay in the clinic is getting awfully long.

  3. Billie, has he been in something you've watched before?

    Patryk: Thanks for reading =)

    I don't actually recall Jake doing magic on his own, when was that?

    I agree about it not being up to snuff with TVD's just yet, but it's had a slightly better start than TVD's did, at least in my opinion.

  4. Good point that TVD took awhile to click. No doubt about it.

    Panda, Joe Lando was the hot male lead for years on one of my old guilty pleasures, Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman. I'm showing my age. :)

  5. I wondered if you were a fan from Doctor Quinn, or possibly One Life to Live. Back in my soap-watching days, I was definitely a fan of his. I don't actually remember (as I'm a fan of Jane Seymour, too), but Joe Lando might be the reason I gave Doctor Quinn a chance! He's not getting me to try this one, though. :)

  6. Episode 7 - Masked: Jake touches Cassie's car to stop her from going to meet that witch store guy who later gave her papers about John Blackwell, then he touches the locked door of the store and unlocks it. Later at the witch hunter hideout he prepares those vessels that kill witches by casting a spell "let light rise out of darkness". Barring the first situatuon where Cassie was close he didn't have any of the cirle near by.

    I don't know if there is more in other episodes, but it just bothers me.

  7. I was going to abandon this show but then I watched a bunch of saved-up episodes in a row last night and I think I'm hooked now!

    Billie - I was totally excited by Sully's appearance as well - there should be a support group for recovering Dr. Quinn fans.

    I still am not terribly interested in Cassie and her life but the supporting players, particularly Melissa and Faye are really interesting. And I've absolutely fallen for Lee - the bad boy with a good reason to be bad? You've got me. I hope he sticks around - this is a Kevin Williamson show and they will kill people off without compunction!


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