by Ryan J. Downey
It's not Halloween yet but "The Secret Circle" is handing out treats to genre fans.
Last week's episode had a killer '80s psycho-stalker movie vibe and this week's storyline gave us demonic possession, a little taste of a haunted-ish house and (finally!) the show's first outright reference to the teen witch classic "The Craft."
"Heather," the title of the fourth episode of The CW's new supernatural series, may not be a reference to the classic Winona Ryder flick "Heathers" but the episode was otherwise chock full of nods to decades of suspenseful horror. The biggest "gotcha!" jolt of the series thus far appears in this episode along with evil snakes and a sexily unstrapped bra.
The Circle is still working to uncover the story behind the fire that killed many of their parents 16 years ago. We don't see any of the surviving parents this week, which is probably a good thing, considering most of them are up to some kind of no good.
Nick and Melissa continue to sleep together. "I guess we're on the same page," he says as he uses magic to unbutton her shirt. "Can't do magic alone, right?" The pair uses their shared spell power to get her shirt off before Nick takes matters (specifically, Melissa's bra) into his own hands. "Some things should be done without magic," he says, grinning.
Cassie has been researching Heather Barnes on the internet. It turns out the school chum Cassie's mom sentenced to "a fate worse than death" was in a mental hospital, then disappeared. Cassie has located Heather's brother, who lives in a nearby town. She tries to enlist Diana to pay a visit with her, but Diana suggests Adam accompany her instead.
Yes, Diana's boyfriend Adam, the guy who clearly has the hots for Cassie. Yes, Cassie who clearly reciprocates. "It's okay, really," Diana tells them. "We're in this together." And off she sends her boyfriend to Sketchy Town with Cassie…
Faye still can't open her locker (just like last week) until Melissa shows up. "I hate this binding stuff. What's the point of being a damn witch if I can't do any magic by myself?" she moans, before finally addressing the giant elephant that's been riding a broom through "The Secret Circle" each week: "Why can't it be fun, like that movie, 'The Craft'? The first half, not the stuff with the snakes. The part where we put spells on boys, change our hair color and levitate."
There's levitation to come, Faye. And snakes, unfortunately. Just wait.
Adam and Cassie locate Heather at her brother's house, which looks only slightly less haunted than Disney's Haunted Mansion. It turns out Heather has been in a catatonic state for, oh, um, about 16 years. That is until Cassie leans in to say "I'm sorry," and Heather reaches out and grabs her (that's that big jolt we mentioned! Super good). Heather slips back into her near comatose state immediately afterwards. The kids politely get the heck out of sketchy old fishing village.
In Cassie's bedroom, Adam learns about her book of shadows. That's not a euphemism—we're talking about that book Cassie's mom stashed away for her. It turns out all of the Circle's families are supposed to have them but thus far they have only found one of them. Adam explains that they each contain different histories and different spells.
The pair heads over to the abandoned house we here at Hollywood Crush have taken to calling The Secret Circle Clubhouse to try to work out some spells to fix whatever Cassie's mom must've done to Heather.
Over at the Boathouse Grill, Faye tries to explain to Melissa that Nick is still a tool but they just end up fighting about it. "You're a bitch," Melissa says. "No. I'm your friend," Faye counters. The jury is still out on this little debate, really.
Melissa is rattled enough to tell Nick off. "Go find another slut toy," she says.
Slut toy! Is that a teen soap first?
Diana walks in during Adam and Cassie's spell-making and tells them what they are doing is a bad idea. It's "too risky." She reasserts herself as boss lady of the Circle and more or less forbids them from going any further. After Diana grabs her boyfriend and scrams, Faye drops by, all too willing to help Cassie in exchange for a peek at her little book.
Cassie and Faye journey back to the place Faye rightly calls a "haunted house" where they attempt to unlock Heather's catatonia with a spell. It doesn't seem to work but once they've left, Heather violently attacks her brother and leaves.
At the Grill (which is nicely lit by some cool pinball machines after hours) Diana tells Adam that a look through her own book of shadows has led her to the conclusion that Heather might be possessed. Adam goes to call Cassie to warn her about this but gets Faye on the phone instead. Cassie is busy downstairs being, you know, attacked by Heather.
Before the whole under-the-skin-snake-demon-possession thing kicks in, Heather explains that Cassie's mother was only trying to help everybody back in the day. She tried to get Cassie out of town. She tried to save everyone on the boat. "Wherever there are witches, evil follows," she explains. Turns out a demon hopped inside of her.
It's a good thing Nick and Melissa can see into Cassie's bedroom while they are getting it on (they made up again) otherwise they wouldn't have known that demon possessed Heather was levitating around the house and beating up on Faye and Cassie. They rush over to help and chase Heather into the street… Where she's promptly hit by a car. As the Circle separates we see the little demon snake crawl out of dead Heather's arm and into Nick's leather jacket.
Later Adam comes back to Cassie's house to help her clean up, creating an opportunity for the episode's best line:
Adam: "You got a broom?"
Cassie: "Sure. I'm a witch."
Nick and Melissa are alone again at his place. "I'm never gonna be the guy you want me to be. I'm going to disappoint you," he tells her. "You deserve better." She's so taken by this that they end up back in bed. As soon as they've drifted off to sleep, the episode ends with the slimy little demon snake slithering from Nick's jacket and… Into Melissa's ear!
Will the Circle be able to remove the demon without killing Melissa? How many more episodes do we need to wait for Adam and Cassie to kiss? Tell us your theories in the comments and on Twitter!