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Review #3085: The Secret Circle 1.5: “Slither”

Posted on the 25 October 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

I mentioned in the review for the previous episode that “The Secret Circle” was finally moving on from the pedestrian introductory portion of the freshman season to the more interesting meat of the story. That process continues in a big way in this episode. Who would have guessed that the circle would be broken so early in the game?

Review #3085: The Secret Circle 1.5: “Slither”

The demon that had infested Heather in the previous episode made its way into Melissa, and things go downhill quickly from there. What’s rather interesting is that the demons in this particular universe are remarkably bad at playing human. They don’t take control instantly, they must overcome the human body and mind; this means some erratic behavior out of Melissa. Oh, and they are really bad at keeping their temper.

Unlike “Supernatural”, then, there is no real possibility that a demon could reside for a while inside of a human and thus manipulate events. The demons in “The Secret Circle” seem to operate more directly and bluntly. On the other hand, they have plenty of power to throw around, so it’s something of a moot point. The rest of the circle is simply not equipped to throw down with a demon possessing one of their own.

The first advancement coming out of the situation is Cassie’s admission to her grandmother that she’s a witch. Not that this comes as a shock to Jane, but it does shift the status quo a bit. It’s also revealed that Charlie and Dawn were part of the group that raised the demon in the first place, so Charlie sees it as his responsibility to do whatever it takes to end the threat. And once the demon slips out of Melissa and into Nick, the only viable solution is a deadly one.

And just like that, Nick is gone. Frankly, in terms of the main characters, Nick wasn’t nearly developed enough for me to care. But it is an interesting spin on the old trope of generating easy character drama by killing off a wife or girlfriend; this time, Nick is the one in the fridge, so to speak. I’m genuinely intrigued to see what Melissa, let alone the rest of the circle, does in the aftermath of the circle being broken in such a brutal manner.

This was also the first episode where I really bought Adam and Diana as a couple. Diana seemed a bit too reserved in the beginning, and considering that she is quite attractive, it seemed weird that she was being outmatched so easily by Cassie. In this episode, we see that she’s not only ridiculously hot, but also feisty when she and Adam get some playtime. Adam may be destined to be with Cassie, but Diana is hardly stepping aside. Frankly, I think she and Faye would make a fun “bad girl” duo, especially if Melissa gets more reserved in the near-term.

Actually, that brings up the one minor problem that Nick’s death presents: the lack of balance in the circle. Not that I have a problem with four sexy witches running around, ala “The Craft”, but just as “The Vampire Diaries” had to make bold moves to move past its “Twilight on TV” reputation, “The Secret Circle” needs to establish its own identity. Hopefully, that will mean bringing in a solid male addition to the circle.

Whatever the case, this episode delivers a strong message to the audience: this show will not be resting in familiar territory. Like “The Vampire Diaries”, anyone can die at any time, and there’s no telling if they will be brought back or not. It keeps the show unpredictable, and that’s the sort of thing I really enjoy.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 2/4

Final Rating: 8/10

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