Entertainment Magazine

Review #3101: The Secret Circle 1.7: “Masked”

Posted on the 01 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

“The Secret Circle” continues to follow in its forebear’s footsteps by wasting no time in paying off plot elements. The previous episode introduced Nick’s older brother, Jake, and his connection to a group of witch hunters. Rather than let that fact wallow in the background, it comes front and center in this Halloween-themed episode.

Review #3101: The Secret Circle 1.7: “Masked”

A minor comment first: while this series is already demonstrating a penchant for fan service, given the amount of skin prominently on display, this one pushed the envelope even further in some respects. Faye is definitely the bad girl still, as her barely-there “artifact top” in the first act made rather clear. It made her “slutty” costume at the party look conservative in comparison. When the “main” character’s super-tight Killer Bee costume hardly bears comment, it’s a sign that the producers are pushing the sex appeal as far as possible.

Meanwhile, the circle continues to struggle with the aftermath of Nick’s death, which is really the only explanation for how clueless they are throughout the episode. Really, everyone is pushing the limits of blind stupidity this time around, including the witch hunters. While there is a lot of talk about how Cassie’s father was a bad, bad man, no one seems to remember that Cassie has more untapped power than anyone else in the damn town.

Cassie pretty much uses some of that power to take out Luke, one of the witch hunters, and save the rest of the circle. And she’s rather proud of herself for doing so. Only, if I remember the rules correctly, the binding spell requires that more than one of the circle focus on the same action for it to happen. So unless Cassie is suddenly an exception to the rule, she only focused the unspoken desire of the rest of the circle to survive.

Not that the witch hunters were particularly smart. One of them (the apparent leader) refers to using a mineral as “science”, which doesn’t quite track, when it is purposefully being used to negate magical ability. That more or less implies that the mineral has a role within the magical context, so it’s not so much “science” as “exploiting a natural property”. And considering that they use other materials that effectively use magic on the witches themselves, it’s a rather moot point. At the end of the day, they are using the witches’ weapons against them, which is a perfectly valid tactic. (Just don’t call it “science”!)

Anyway, Cassie’s lack of comprehension of what actually happened in the showdown with the witch hunters feels like little more than an extension of her cluelessness regarding Jake. One can somewhat forgive Faye’s attitude towards him: she’s actually turned on by his self-centered approach to life, and the hormones cloud the judgment. Cassie doesn’t have that excuse, and given that Jake is a terrible liar, one would think the paranoia would kick in.

Others have said that there is great potential in “The Secret Circle”, and that this episode is a perfect example of how they aren’t quite meeting it yet. I would agree. The show fits right in the middle between “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural”, and both shows improved dramatically once they eclipsed their initial conceptions. The best thing the writers can do now, especially with the plot moving faster, is give the characters some much needed development and confidence.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Rating: 7/10

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