by Ryan J. Downey
The first season of "The Secret Circle" has paid sly tribute to a number of genre milestones in short order, from "The Craft" to co-executive producer Kevin Williamson's own "I Know What You Did Last Summer" series in some ways. This week's episode, "Beneath," gave us some more great teen movie staples—a road trip, a sexy game of truth-or-dare—while spinning the show's love triangles into a pentagram, to boot.
Remember last week when Cassie set her dance date on fire with some dark magic? Now we've seen a bit of her "bad girl" side (or as much as our sometimes naive central heroine seems capable of one) via a little make out session with bad boy Jake, who she doesn't realize is actually a traitorous witch boy on the side of the witch hunters plotting to kill her and all of her friends. Of course, the Circle has been down an essential member ever since Jake's brother was drowned by Charles, so it seems inevitable that Jake may eventually turn good.
Making out with Jake during a game of truth-or-dare has a lot of consequences, of course: It pisses off Faye (who used to date him), it burns up Adam with noticeable jealously (despite his supposed desire to reunite with Diana) and naturally that upsets Diana, as well. Speaking of Diana, last week we got to see her in a T-shirt and underwear and this week, she's pranced around in her bra not once but twice.
It wasn't all scandalous steaminess, of course. We got some more larger-mythology-move-along as the gang set out in search of Cassie's missing grandmother, whom we in the audience know was knocked unconscious by Charles and robbed of Henry's (R.I.P.) secret special crystal at the end of last week's episode. Faye's grandfather once saved her from drowning as a child. "Beneath" offered a nod to the use of scary/creepy little kids in genre fare, as Faye's ghostly child alter ego traipsed about in the woods.
Melissa is out of town but the rest of the gang decides to accompany Cassie to the lake house in search of her grandmother, hoping that Jane can provide them with some answers about Cassie's ability to do magic without them. Jake tags along as a spy for Witch Hunter boss Isaac, who reminds Jake not to mix business with pleasure by developing feelings for their top target. I mean, that's Spy 101, right?
After Dawn learns about the road trip from Faye, she calls Charles and later meets up with him. He's got the crystal, he's got Jane passed out in his car and he's dumped Henry's body. Rather than kill Cassie's grandma they decide to just erase her memory. They'll need a Book of Shadows containing the right spell to do that so they nab Diana's from the Circle's Clubhouse. We're reminded that Charles still feels badly about having to murder demon-possessed Nick, but not badly enough to stop his crystal-stealing scheming with Dawn. Yet.
Remember way back toward the beginning of the series when Adam and Cassie did that metaphor-drenched magic spell together with all of the raindrops and whatnot? You know, when they almost kissed after knowing each other all of five seconds? It was Jake's turn this week, with some very literal fire (hmm, wait, Adam is water and Jake is fire… Hmm…) burning between them. It's a little frustrating that Cassie isn't more suspicious of Jake considering how much he knows about witchcraft. I guess she's distracted by her wanting him and all.
It's also important to note that Cassie confides in Jake a bit about how little she knows about her father. If you've been following our Hollywood Crush recaps, you'll recall that we've been suspicious about Cassie's yet-to-be-seen father ourselves. We haven't read the books, but, upon further research online, it turns out that book fans are breathless with anticipation because her father is quite the major player on the page. Like "The Vampire Diaries" though, "The Secret Circle" has proven not to be completely married to the literary canon, so, it'll be interesting to see what develops with this part of the story and how familiar it will or won't be to longtime fans of the characters.
Faye has an alcohol-fueled hallucination in a bathtub (remember the whole drowning thing we mentioned? It was part of the build up to revealing that) before setting everyone down the truth-or-dare road (of course truth-or-dare was Faye's idea, right? I mean, remember last week's Halloween costume choices?). This is where we see Diana in her bra for the first time. It's also where Cassie kisses Jake in front of everyone, which later leads to a little make out session alone. Adam and Diana hook back up, too (bra shot No. 2!), though she tells him the next morning that she still doesn't want to get back together.
After the big reveal about Faye's not-so-inner-child (which includes the discovery of Henry's body in the lake), Grandma's memories have definitely been remixed by Charles. And despite the make out session, Jake is still on his mission against the Circle. In fact, the episode ends with Isaac moving their plot from the "spying" phase to the "everybody will be dying" phase. Yep, it's time to off the whole Circle!
“It’s time for the witches to die,” Isaac said to Jake. “Now you have to decide if you’re still one of them.” What he might as well have said was, "So, how much did you enjoy your make out session with Cassie at the cabin? Enough to stop being evil?" We shall see! Did we mention that next week is the mid-season finale? Whatever cliffhanger happens next won't be resolved until 2012!
Do you hope Jake turns to the good side? Would he and Cassie make a good couple? Or are she and Adam written in the stars (as his father's wont to say)? Tell us everything in the comments and on Twitter!