'Secret Circle' Recap: 'Curse'

by Ryan J. Downey

Cassie and Adam are so committed to the Secret Circle they were willing to swallow a magical elixir they knew would wipe away their romance in order to save Jake, who they just found out is (or at least, was) a killer. While it was incredibly sad, tragic and noble of them, it was all for naught, because:

They were being played! By John Blackwell!

Yes, the "Curse" from which last night's episode of "The Secret Circle" took its name was all a lie concocted by none other than Cassie's father, John Blackwell. Turns out Mr. "I don't use or have my dark magic anymore" Blackwell is very much in possession of enough magic to make Jake very sick, manipulate Jane's memories (poor Jane and the constant monkeying with her mind by basically everyone over the age of 18!), kill a bunch of birds and cause Adam to fall out of love with Cassie. Blackwell may look cool as a cucumber as he's constantly popping that collar, but he's been up to no good and spreading lies all around town.

Dawn figured out what he's up to and he warned her not to make him an enemy at the episode's end, just as Charles was off plotting against him.

Blackwell said that it was Cassie's mother and Adam's father's date with destiny that caused the "massacre" on the boat 16 years ago. He said the pair were willing to leave the Circle to be pursue their romance written in the stars, which caused the rest of the crew to be vulnerable to the witch hunters. As we know, the witch hunters are back. And the fact that they are using magic means that somebody is aiding them. But even though Cassie, Adam and the rest of the Circle are fooled by Blackwell's scheming for the time being (particularly Melissa, who warms to him after a few anecdotes about her late mother), there's reason to believe the younger Circle will grow closer, which may be all John's really after (despite the twisted way he's going about it). Faye learned a big lesson about how important her friends really are and although the Circle now knows that Jake killed somebody, Blackwell wants him to recognize his importance to the overall group.

Perhaps it's executive producer Kevin Williamson's well-documented love of classic slasher films (he is, after all, the guy who revived the genre when he wrote the "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" movies), but "The Secret Circle" is definitely keeping the tradition alive of tying some serious consequences to teen sex. Last week's episode ended with Cassie and Adam finally doing the deed and this week's began with a bunch of dead birds all over the lawn as a result!

In a series of awkward scenes, Cassie and Adam had to actually talk about the fact that they got it on. Blackwell was the first to hear (or rather, pretend to "deduce") the news as he told them all about the "curse" we would eventually learn is bogus. Understandably shaken, the couple went to see mind-wiped Jane at whatever home for crazy folks she's at to get some answers. It was Blackwell's idea they do that naturally, and we later learn that he spellbound her into backing up his story. Later in the episode, Dawn and Charles paid a visit to Jane to try to get some dirt on old Blackwell from her. While there, they learned that the whole "curse" was totally made up. Later still, Charles returned on his own and seemingly reversed all the memory wiping with the magic crystal and asked Jane to help him destroy Blackwell.

The next awkward conversation for Adam and Cassie was with the Circle who, as Faye herself (a.k.a. Phoebe Tonkin) told Hollywood Crush earlier this week, wanted nothing to do with the steamy details. It was especially awkward for Diana, of course. Faye had her own problems: namely, the fact that her sort of boyfriend Lee had been killed by his recently awakened girlfriend Eva, who was full of Faye's power thanks to a voodoo-doll-enhanced switcheroo. It took a couple of aggressive run-ins with her romantic rival to piece all of this together, including a vehicular break-in interrupted by a cop who is treated to a distracting magical unbuttoning of Diana's shirt courtesy of Melissa. Yes, Faye's BFFs were along for the Scooby Doo gang snooping at one point and the bonding was definitely to everyone's benefit.

Jake wasn't around for the Circle's powwow because he was too busy dying at his place. Cassie and Adam dropped by and found him in his boxers (awkward moment No. 3) and had to—you guessed it— tell him about the "curse" and the whole "we did it last night" thing. Jake was too increasingly ill to even bother with hiding his jealousy. He straight up told Cassie at one point that she knows they should be together instead.

Blackwell said he could put together a little potion that would break the curse. He suggested they pay a visit to Calvin, which of course put Jake in a further panic, considering Jake killed him a few episodes back. Calvin was nowhere to be seen but they grabbed most of the necessary ingredients from his place anyway—all but one, which Cassie, Adam and Jake go wandering into the woods to find. Jake started hallucinating and sort of accidentally confessed to Calvin's murder in the process.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Circle (minus Faye, who was back doing battle with Eva; she eventually discovered the voodoo doll and broke it, seemingly setting things mostly all right save for poor Lee who was still very much dead) was with Blackwell mixing up the elixir. Melissa had that little moment with Blackwell (could she be The Secret Sibling?) and the group efforts were followed by Cassie and Adam's valiant decision to give up their own love for the sake of Jake and the Circle.

The next morning, there's a sweet "Game of Thrones" reference but there's also a lack of burning love for Cassie from Adam. He didn't feel that "nervousness" around her that he usually felt whenever he was with her, or even thinking about her. She pretended to have the same void but after he was gone, she broke down. Cassie still felt everything. Blackwell offered her some comfort, but she asked him to give her some space (perhaps she suspected something was up?). He headed outside and was confronted by Dawn, who threw out all of the pieces she'd put together. He confessed to all of it then threatened her against ever questioning him again.

So is Blackwell out for himself with nothing but evil intentions? Or is he just pulling a bunch of lame crap in a bigger picture effort to strengthen the Circle and prepare them for the inevitable witch hunter showdown? And when will The Circle realize what he's up to? What's Charles' endgame in all of this? Will Adam's lack of love for Cassie provide an opportunity for Jake to slide back in there? Phoebe told us The Secret Sibling will be revealed this season, and there's reason to believe they will all learn the truth about their parents, too. Tell us all your thoughts and theories in the comments and on Twitter!

Movie & TV Awards 2018