The Secret Circle: Bound

“It’s like living in a Harry Potter movie.”

As a follow-up to a pilot that’s mostly about the set-up of the series, 'Bound' fails in taking the things somewhere big and exciting. Instead, it focuses in on the characters and the different dynamics that are sure to become important as the series wears on, something the first episode didn’t do as well as it could have. I still can’t help but feel like this episode went nowhere, though.

'Bound' is all about Cassie’s eventual submission to her destiny and exploring the varying consequences that come along with carrying uncontrollable power inside you. While it may seem like she spent more time running out of rooms than she did actually making decisions, Cassie saw that there’s more at work here than her own wishes to stay magic free. Serving as a reminder that this series has yet to reach that twisty turny stage that The Vampire Diaries has, the episode ends up where it had been leading all along; the binding ritual. Honestly, I saw this road as a positive one. The writers could have easily dragged Cassie’s reluctance out over several episodes of her fighting the circle’s constant requests, and trying to stay normal. Now that it’s out of the way, things can get fun...right?

Where this episode really succeeded was in getting the characters to come out of their shells more, Melissa and Nick in particular whose love/hate relationship didn’t really see the light of day during the Pilot. Though I like the inevitability of Cassie and Adam, it was painfully obvious just how little chemistry the two of them actually have, and it dragged down that aspect of the story somewhat. I loved Diana's honest answer of her being insecure when trying to find out if there's anything going on with them, though; it was such a sweet, if slightly corny, moment.

Faye is definitely the strongest character, though. Despite her Aussie accent becoming painfully obvious more than once during the hour, Phoebe Tonkin’s fabulous performance, coupled with Faye’s awesomeness seem to more than make up for it. There’s a certain amount of sensitivity and insecurity underneath all of her bratty remarks, which came to the surface after her wreck less behaviour got the better of her, and she saw first-hand just how devastating playing around with magic can be. The primary villains, the kids’ parents, seem to have a lot more to them than meets the eye too. Though Charles Meade’s immediate surrender was a bit of a let-down, Dawn’s strange concept of right and wrong is something I’m dying to see a lot more of, especially after the murder of her father in law.

One thing that the EP’s discussed before this show premiered, was the idea of the magical aspects of the series serving as the backbone of the more obvious teenage angst and sexual tension that one might normally expect from a group of 16 year-olds. That idea was explored as early as last week, when Cassie and Adam’s obvious attraction allowed them to experience some unique magic together. In Bound, that part of their magic is given a much darker spin, though a lot of the time it came in the form of inexplicable fires and exploding light bulbs, there were some shining moments of real teen drama being perfectly meshed with the magical stuff. I’d like to see that part of the series continue on past the binding, albeit in some different ways. It’s an interesting way to explore the idea of magic being tied to your emotions and who you are, especially when it’s so dependent on other people, like the rest of the circle.

Now that we’ve gotten the get-to-know-you thing over and done with, the circle’s magic can finally be explored. Though it lacked a certain amount of flashiness, ‘Bound’ was a subtle, but interesting second episode, and heralded more than enough to entice me into sticking around.

Plus

- The ominous warnings about the previous circle continue: what actually happened back then?

- So each family has their own Book of Shadows. I wonder if they each have some form of individual power as well.

- I loved the science class scene. It was the perfect example of how well this series mixes teen lives with magical ones.

- Witch drugs! This kind of thing needs to be explored more as well, another perfect mix of teen angst and magic.

- “The Elders” = Second Charmed flashback. I can’t wait to see all of these different classes within the witching community explored, too.

He Said, She Said

Adam: “Witchcraft is forbidden. It was abolished.”
Cassie: “Because of what happened years ago.”
Adam: “That’s when my Mom died, Diana’s Mom, Faye’s Dad, Melissa’s Mom, Nick lost both of his parents.”

Faye: “Would you hit that? I have to leave my self-esteem at the door.”

Dawn: “We don’t kill innocent children.
Charles: “You have a very interesting set of rules there, Dawn. You’ll have to explain them to me sometime.”
I love this whole morally grey thing that these guys are in right now. Another thing this conversation pointed out: Dawn clearly wears the pants in their relationship.

Cassie: “It’s like living in a Harry Potter movie.”
Adam: “He has a wand.”
I laughed.

Faye: “You’re a little firecracker, aren’t you Cassie?”

Diana: Our energies are flying everywhere all at once, with no rhyme or reason. We have to contain it before somebody gets really hurt.”

Ethan: “There’s this old legend about our families; some astrological lore about the two of us on some collision course of destiny. It’s silly.”

I’m going to be slightly generous here: 3 out of 4 exploding light bulbs

Previously posted at PandaTV.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Very nice review, Panda. I remember thinking at the time that I was also glad they didn't spin out the binding thing for many, many episodes. It was very Vampire Diaries-like for them to do it right away.

Panda said...

Yeah, I think they did the right thing in that instance. But if it were TVD, they would probably have grown horns or switched bodies after the spell, y'know?!
And thanks Billie =)