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The Secret Circle: Just a Little Case of History Repeating?

By on May 4, 2012
The past Influences the present in The Secret Circle. Image © The CW Network.

The past Influences the present in The Secret Circle. Image © The CW Network.

The inter-generational struggle for power on The Secret Circle weaves a tale of how the past shapes the present. The circle has been steadily searching for answers ever since they first discovered their powers, with information trickling in from various sources about the events of 16 years ago. Secrets and ambition caused death and destruction both then and now. Before the season finale airs next week, let’s take a look at just exactly how history is repeating itself.


Want Power? Summon a Demon!

Then: In her quest for individual power, Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) summoned a demon. The ritual went wrong, and Amelia had to trap the demon in Heather, who entered a catatonic state for 16 years.

Now: After Cassie (Britt Robertson), with Faye’s help, released the demon inside Heather, the demon possessed Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and then Nick (Louis Hunter). Dawn had Charles (Gale Harold) kill Nick to destroy the demon, but the demon kept Nick alive. The lead witch hunter, Eben, used Nick to summon more demons. Thanks to Dawn’s actions 16 years ago, Eben (Sammi Rotibi) now has the power to kill the circle.


Like Mother, Like Daughter

Pictured (L-R): Phoebe Tonkin as Faye and Natasha Henstridge as Dawn in The Secret Circle on The CW. Photo: Marcel Williams/The CW

Then: Dawn wanted individual power, so summoned a demon. Amelia was the first in her circle to trust John Blackwell (Joe Lando). Amelia’s circle didn’t trust Blackwell; Elizabeth and Amelia disagreed many times about his inclusion in circle activities.

Now: Dawn’s daughter Faye (Phoebe Tonkin), upset that forming the circle took her individual powers, tried many different ways to get her magic back. She didn’t summon a demon, but she had Lee perform a ritual that put her circle in danger and almost burned down the school. Faye tried a drug, devil’s spirit, but that didn’t work, so she shared it with Melissa, who got hooked for a while. Faye’s desire for power created messes that Cassie and the rest of the circle has had to clean up.

When Blackwell revealed himself to Cassie, she was hesitant at first, but she had just lost her mother, Amelia, to a violent death, so the opportunity to have a parent back in her life made her trusting. Over the objections of the circle, Cassie, like her mother 16 years ago, talked the circle into trusting Blackwell. Like her mother, Elizabeth, Diana (Shelley Hennig) resisted the longest; Diana still does not trust Blackwell even though he is her biological father. In this week’s episode, Prom, Amelia and Elizabeth argued again about letting Blackwell into their lives, and Cassie and Diana had almost the same argument after they saw the vision of the past. Cassie finally realizes that blindly trusting Blackwell has put her circle in jeopardy. Amelia accepted the truth too late. Did Cassie realize the truth in time to prevent Blackwell from achieving his goal?


Blackwell Ruins Everything

Joe Lando as John Blackwell. Photo: Sergi Bachlakov/The CW

Then: We don’t know exactly what life for Amelia’s circle was like before Blackwell arrived, but from conversations it seems Charles and Dawn were really good friends who hung out and did witchcraft together. Also, Amelia and Ethan (Adam Harrington) were dating. Life before Blackwell wasn’t perfect, but it was better than what happened after his arrival. In less than two years, Blackwell gained the circle’s trust, broke up Amelia and Ethan, bedded Amelia and Elizabeth, taught Dawn some dark magic, and used magic to make sure all the women in the circle got pregnant around the same time. His actions drew the attention of the witch hunters, and Ethan tried to trade Blackwell for the safety of the circle. However, the plan backfired. Blackwell survived the attack, but many of the others did not.

Now: Sure, life wasn’t all peaches and cream for Cassie and the circle, but they were getting to know each other and their powers. Nick’s death and other close calls brought them closer together. After Blackwell arrived, he broke up Cassie and Adam (Thomas Dekker) by elaborately falsifying a curse, indirectly killed Jane (Ashley Crow), denied having magical powers, and lied to basically everyone about everything. He is full of lies, and he is manipulating everyone to achieve a goal that involves gathering the crystals to make the ultimate weapon. He seems to want to use the weapon against the witch hunters. At the end of this week’s episode, he didn’t put up much of a fight to protect Faye. She was taken by Eben, and Blackwell wasn’t very upset. Blackwell probably likes this development because this will give the circle motivation to destroy the witch hunters.


This season, The Secret Circle has been exploring how the past influences the present, even if those in the present have been kept in the dark about the past. With very little knowledge of past events, Cassie and her circle have been repeating their parents’ actions and mistakes. Blackwell has had a plan in motion for over 16 years. Part of his plan has come to fruition: there is a bound circle with two members who are his children. I imagine he wants the crystal skull to do more than kill all the witch hunters. He could just want power for power’s sake. No matter what his endgame is, Cassie and the others need to figure out how to break the cycle. They have been working with very little information, and considering how new they are to the witchy world, they are doing a decent job, but as Blackwell puts the final parts of his plan into motion, they need to find a way to veer from the path Blackwell has paved for them.

Don’t miss The Secret Circle’s season finale episode ‘Family’ Thursday May 10 on the CW.