The Secret Circle Episode 1.04 ‘Heather’ Episode Review
The Secret Circle seems to be finally hitting its stride if last night’s episode and next’s week’s creepily titled Slither are anything to go by. Still not in the same scare-league as its lead in show The Vampire Diaries, which has had three seasons in which to establish its identity, Heather demonstrated that a show about teenage witches can be so much more than longing looks and prematurely popping light bulbs.
Demonic possession, black magic rituals and That Pony-Tail Guy From Stargate Atlantis all became serious obstacles in Cassie’s desperate attempt to learn more about her mother and the role she might have played in the boatyard fire sixteen years ago.
While Nick and Melissa are busy skipping school and putting their combined magical abilities to good use on some shirt buttons, Cassie sets out to find Heather Barnes (Camille Sullivan) and discover what exactly a ‘state worse than death’ looks like. Diana can’t accompany her, citing ‘rescheduling difficulties’ as an excuse and volunteers Adam in her place.
“It’s ok really. We’re friends. We’re in this together,” Diana reassures herself out loud, as she practically flings her hot boyfriend at her hot conflicted friend.
Adam and Cassie manage to make it to Heather Barnes house at Finn Creek without exploding any light bulbs. Heather’s house is looking a little worse for wear and the door is answered by her gruff and grubby brother Wade (Ben Cotton) who is also That Pony-Tail Guy From Stargate Atlantis.
Cassie and Adam soon realize that Heather is in a catatonic state and hasn’t moved in sixteen years. Being forced to live in a run down shack with That Pony-Tail Guy From Stargate Atlantis is probably enough to send anyone into a catatonic state, and Cassie gets up close to Heather just to be sure she isn’t faking it. Suddenly Heather lunges at Cassie and she and Adam are forced to beat a hasty retreat, but not before Cassie notices a strange scar on Heather’s wrist.
Adam explains the scar is a sigil – a magical symbol created for a specific purpose, and Cassie immediately jumps to the conclusion that her mother put a terrible curse on Heather for no good reason. She becomes determined to undo the binding magic.
Cut to night and Cassie is sneaking Adam into her bedroom. I’m still not sure about that segue but it’s ok really because they’re friends and they’re in this together.
Cassie retrieves her family Book of Shadows and Adam asks ‘Is that what I think it is?‘ If he is disappointed to learn it’s not Cassie’s personal diary filled with romantic light bulb-popping musings on her forbidden love for him, he hides it well. Adam flips through the book, pausing on an unsettling picture of a woman with enormous boobs before finally gleaning the information they need to undo Amelia’s suppression spell.
The next day Diana walks in on Cassie and Adam mixing up a potion that will reverse the effects on Heather. It’s hard to know what Diana is more upset about at this point, the fact that Adam doesn’t seem to be able to bring himself to let go of Cassie’s hand, or the fact that Cassie now has a spell book of her own. Either way, Diana has lost some serious ground. She tells Cassie and Adam off for the riskiness of their plan saying “I’m sorry Cassie. You can’t do the spell by yourself and we can’t help you,” before whisking her boyfriend from the room. (Seriously, the poor guy’s on a leash.)
Cassie is still determined to help Heather and makes the dubious decision to enlist Faye as her Magic Buddy. Faye, who has been on shaky ground over her comments to Melissa about Nick, is only to glad to have someone to hang around with. She agrees to help Cassie if Cassie in turn agrees to let her snoop through the contents of her book.
The pair sneak back to That Pony-Tail Guy From Stargate Atlantis’ house, which he conveniently leaves as they appear on the scene. Faye and Cassie smear the potion on the sigil on Heather’s arm and recite some gobbledegook from the book. Nothing happens, so for good measure they do it all again. Three times. They’re probably the sort of people who press elevator buttons over and over again and flick light switches up and down repeatedly during a blackout.
Suddenly grubby Wade decides to come back and the girls leave through the window. Heather takes the opportunity to leap up and hurl her brother through a wall and into the next room before fleeing the house. I guess that’s what he gets for leaving her sitting beside an open window for sixteen years in a highly unfashionable dress.
While Nick and Melissa are busy breaking up and making up (again) Diana takes the opportunity to tell Adam that the symbol on Heather’s arm relates to really old black magic, including demons, evil entities and possession. Oh oh! Looks like Heather is possessed, and the only thing keeping her calm (ok catatonic) is Amelia’s spell.
Knowing Cassie well enough to suspect that she might attempt to undo the repression spell anyway, Adam calls her cell phone. Faye, who is busy leafing through Cassie’s spell book while Cassie is downstairs investigating a suspiciously-late-at-night-for-someone-to-be-calling knock on the door, answers, providing the funniest lines of the entire episode.
“Hi Sweetie. It’s Cassie. I miss you. Come make magic with me,” Faye tells a momentarily stunned Adam, before following up with “Oh you sound hot! What are you wearing? Does Diana know you’re calling?”
The hilarity of the moment is cut short when Faye heads downstairs and discovers that Cassie’s late night caller is in fact Heather, in full-on twitching, growling, super-strengthy, scaling the stairs in a single bound, Emily Rose fashion.
Heather may have come to the house to beg Cassie to return her to her former catatonic state, but the possession causes her to attempt to kill her instead, and both Faye and Cassie find themselves in a struggle for their lives.
Next door, making up and breaking up and making up again Nick and Melissa hear the screams and rush to help, just as Adam and Diana arrive on the scene. However the gang don’t get to do any spectacular combined bouncing heads off ceilings this week as Heather rushes screaming from the house into the path of an oncoming car which kills her. Rather conveniently.
As her body is being stretchered off, accompanied by That Pony-Tail Guy From Stargate Atlantis, a small black snake is seen slithering out from a wound on Heather’s arm. It quickly makes its way to Nick’s jacket and we all go Eww! at the thought he might suddenly decide to put it on. But no, it’s even worse. That night when Melissa and Nick are sleeping in bed, the snake slithers out of the folds of the jacket, over Nick’s body and curls straight into Melissa’s ear. Double Eww! And also what a great set up for next week’s episode, aptly titled Slither.
Catch all new The Secret Circle on the CW, Thursdays 9/8c.