The Secret Circle: Loner

“We’re better together than we are apart; power, or no power.”

Though the mechanics of this episode fall into the realm of unoriginality, the otherwise original magical elements helped amp things up a bit. The shot of adrenaline meant that this episode did everything it could to get things moving, but in comparison to the past two episodes, 'Loner' does seem like a small step down. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of great moments here, and I’m still standing firm that it’s had a much stronger start than The Vampire Diaries did, I just feel like its full potential isn’t being tapped into just yet. Like the first two episodes, Loner is one that is a little more concerned with in-house circle dynamics, but started to add new layers to the series mythology, to mostly positive results.

The theme of isolation was being given an interesting spin here. Cassie is finding it difficult to adjust to being constantly surrounded by people, especially those interested in her, after spending most of her life as a “loner”. This is made even stranger for her now that she’s been inextricably linked to 5 other people. This idea is explored in even more interesting ways in relation to both Melissa and Faye, the latter even pointing out the former’s dependence on those around her for consolidation. These kinds of dynamics are what’s separating The Secret Circle from The Vampire Diaries right now. While Elena and co. are trying to figure out what they mean to each other, everyone in Chance Harbor is doing the same but also trying to assert who they are in all of this. It’s an interesting concept that I’d love to see further down the line.

Even though I found nothing wrong with either Brittany or Thomas’s performances, their lack of chemistry is still tarnishing the potential for an exciting love triangle. All of their shared scenes seem so forced and tired, smashing any perception of a written in the stars romance completely. Despite that, I love Cassie and Diana’s interactions, and their final scene was so honest and sweet. Diana has been such a surprise. I honestly thought I had her figured out by the first episode, but she’s really surpassed my expectations.

Faye still remains the series greatest commodity though. She’s showing even more different sides to her, and in this episode it was essentially her softer side. I find it hard to believe that Melissa would follow Faye around so much if all she did was boss her about, here she displayed how much she really values their friendship, and it was nice to see. There are so many different layers to this girl; she needs her own centric episode soon! It’s obvious that the writers are trying to make her the Damon of the show, but she should grow into an entity all her own, not modeled after another show’s star.

What this episode had over the pilot and Bound was a dramatic amount of action and excitement. This visitor not only brought words of warning, but allowed the circle the chance to exploit their newfound connection and give them the chance to see that though their individual powers were gone, they could still kick some ass. I really loved that scene in the hallway; I got major Charmed/The Craft vibes.

I love when a series makes you doubt who the real villains in the story are, and ‘Loner’ brought not just Zachary’s intentions into question, but Dawn and Charles’s motivations as well. I’m glad that they‘re not just straight up after power, but actually want to keep their kids safe too. A one dimensional antagonist can be hard to digest sometimes, but it looks like this series isn’t going to have a problem like that.

I’m not quite sure that there’s enough back story and mystery to fuel a long term story here, which was never a problem with The Vampire Diaries. It’s still early days though, I’m sure that there is a lot more left to explore, not the least of which is what happened between Amelia and Heather, something I'm dying to find out about. Regardless of my disappointment, the greater picture is still as tantalizing as ever.

Plus

- Why is Faye the only one annoyed about them being magic light? I know I’d be a little bummed about having my powers drastically reduced.

- Charles decided to cover up his and Dawn’s secret plots by convincing Diana they’re an item. It’s almost heartbreaking that Diana just wanted her Dad to be happy, it’s going to be soul destroying when she finds out about the things he’s done, like killing her friend’s mother.

- The teens were pretty stupid to buy Dawn’s story outright. I mean, breaking in and vandalizing, do they really think that’s true?

- Zachary was “marked” by Charles and Dawn. I'm not sure about the mechanics of it, but he's basically prevented from coming anywhere near Chance Harbor without Dawn knowing.

He Said, She Said

Zachary: “Are you going to live here?”
Cassie: “Yeah, that’s the plan.”
Zachary: “Did you know your mother vowed she’d never come back.”

Diana: “Oh, it’s just you.”
Faye: “Disappointed? Imagine me realizing the only way to get something to move is with my actual hands.”

Diana: “Our power isn’t random and out of control anymore. It was like Cassie and I shared the same thought and it played out exactly the way we wanted.”

Faye: “I’m not sharing my thoughts with anyone, especially Diana who keeps all the rules to herself. I’m going to find the spall that turns me back into a solo act.”

Adam: “We haven’t quite worked out the kinks of getting along”
Something I’d like to see played out is the idea of such a random group of people being flung together.

Faye: “According to Diana, the more of us doing the spell, the stronger it is.”
Melissa: “I wonder what we could do with three of us.”
Nick: “I’ve got an idea about what we can do with the three of us…”
Faye: “Dream on, Nick.”

Melissa: “Just ‘cause we’re witches doesn’t mean we can’t go to dances.”
Faye: “We don’t go to dances because we’re not lame!”

Faye: “I don’t mind being alone. Unlike you Melissa, I like myself.”
She’s such a “rhymes with witch”, but I wouldn’t want her any other way.

Faye: “If you’re going to date Melissa, treat her right.”
It’s a strange 180 she pulled, but it’s clear how strongly she feels for her friends, even if she treats them like dirt.

Zachary: “Heather didn’t die. What Amelia did to her was far worse.”
Maybe Cassie’s Mom isn’t the saint she’s been made out to be.

Diana: “I see the way he looks at you.”
Cassie: “No. It’s nothing.”
Diana: “I hope you’re right. Because I love him, I’ve loved him for as long as I can remember.”
Cassie: “You have nothing to be worried about Diana. I would never come between you two.”
This is the sweet conversation I was talking about. It was so straight forward and heartfelt, how can you not love Diana after this?

Dawn: “If you ever look at one of our children again, I will literally turn your life into a living hell, much worse than Heather ever knew.”

2 and a half out of 4 crazy psychos.

Previously posted at PandaTV.

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