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The Secret Circle’s ‘Wake’ in Review

By on October 22, 2011

This was never going to be just another episode.  With last week’s death shocker, Wake had a surprising amount riding on it.  Fans wanted to see the emotional fallout from Nick’s death, and the show needed to prove that his murder was indeed the big game changer previously hinted at, and not just a ratings stunt.

The addition of newcomer Jake Armstrong was also a brave and cheeky move, particularly as he appeared literally overnight with a slew of relationship histories and connections to the residents of Chance Harbor already neatly in place.

Overall, the episode did not disappoint and managed to paint in the main plot points with broad brush strokes without losing the nuances such as Melissa’s grief and Charles’ growing sense of disconnectedness and guilt.

Wake features a disconnected and guilt-ridden Charles

I’m not quite sure how this episode will be remembered.  The one where Diana breaks up with Adam? The one where Jake comes to town? The one where Cassie gets a crystal of her own to play with? The one where Charles start to lose it? The one where Handsome Ethan shows off his sexy arms in that T-shirt? (Don’t pretend you didn’t notice!) Many of the episode’s scenes were so ripe for a ‘Top 5 OMG moments’ list it’s hard to know where to begin.

The fact that Cassie finally opened up to her grandmother Jane allows for some interesting exposition between these two. Following Jake’s dramatic and fiery debut in the back yard of his old house, Jane tells Cassie that the Circle is so much more than just the individuals who make it up.  Bloodlines are the real factor determining how the six families are bound together.  The Circle is still bound, even though Nick is dead. Apparently these things were designed to last!

This makes Jake a a potential candidate as Nick’s replacement.  However animosity towards Jake runs deep. Before he skipped town some years ago, Jake succeeded in breaking Faye’s heart and Ethan Conant’s cash register. And as Melissa succinctly puts it ‘You can’t just replace Nick with Jake. It isn’t right.

The only person who seems willing to give Jake a go is Cassie, much to the annoyance of Adam.

How exactly is Jake putting out that fire?

While Adam struggles with new feelings of jealousy towards Jake, and Diana sadly and silently notices it, Jane pays a visit to Dawn, where she informs her of the children’s recent activities including her knowledge about how Nick really died.  Dawn goes right on making tea while she slides a knife from a carving block … just in case!

I kind of loved this scene. How evil is this woman really? Why do I get the feeling we’ve just scratched the surface where Dawn is concerned? Jane spares herself a lethal knifing by being oblivious and telling Dawn that Nick clearly drowned himself in an attempt to kill the demon. Dawn then promises to watch over the kids. Riiiight.

Perhaps with so many distractions going on – Dawn’s fear of discovery, Charles’ grief and guilt over Nick’s murder and Handsome Ethan’s quest to find something hidden at the bottom of his whiskey glass – it’s unsurprising that the Circle find themselves under attack again, this time from an ominous cabal of Witch Hunters.

A gratuitous Ethan picture. Every review should have one.

Jake is at hand to save Cassie from being killed, but we soon discover that he is secretly working with the group. He has come to Chance Harbor seeking revenge on those who destroyed his family (Watch out Melissa!) Jake’s position is precarious. On the one hand, he is a witch himself and it’s clear that Cassie wants to bring him into the Circle despite protests from the others, but on the other hand, he is a man on a mission, taking orders from a scary boss man with a beard so intimidating it cannot be gazed upon. What’s a troubled young man with soulful eyes to do?

The beard of Evil! Must … avert … soulful … eyes …

At the wake Ethan’s mood is morose as he remembers Amelia’s preoccupation with Blackwell. When Diana makes a friendly overture, he tells her to let Adam go because he and Cassie Blake are destined to be together. In a surprising twist, Diana takes his advice and breaks up with Adam.

Jake meanwhile finds his hand forced sooner than he might have liked. Unwilling to kill Cassie, he is forced to take the life of her would-be assassin when she realizes it … with a little help from Cassie and her magic rock. The killing makes things tougher on Jake, who is forced to report to his boss at the episode’s end and reaffirm his intent.  But can he carry through with it?

The face of heartbreak?

High points in this week’s episode included Melissa’s accurate observation of Faye’s would-be comforting words.

“It’s a wake for Nick. And I loved him,” a distraught Melissa tells Faye.

I know. He loved you too,” says Faye gently, a far away look in her eye.

You know, I can tell you’re actually thinking about yourself and what you wished you had with Jake when you say that.”

Melissa, I want to high five you. Because we’ve all known a Faye at some point in our lives.

Another noteworthy mention in this episode is Charles’ depression. Dawn is losing whatever control she had over him.  If he can manage to step out from her shadow I think we’ll see some interesting sparks fly. Also, they really really need to give Adam Harrington’s Ethan something bigger and more sexy to do. He’s completely wasted in that back room in more ways than one.


  1. alexmathayes

    October 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I was never looking forward to ‘The Secret Circle’. Honestly I hate it when series does not honour the book fans. I saw the 1st episode and instant gave up on the series. By Far the worst series of Fall 2011.

    And lets not forget every channel is not like HBO who does not fear to honour the fans by airing such a wonderful, remarkable, most awesome etc… first season of ‘Game Of Thrones’. thats a quality series and there aren’t enough words to describe it.

    • Anonymous

      October 23, 2011 at 12:01 am

      Wow, I know when books are adapted into television series, they never follow it directly with the books, but that’s because there’s a reason for that. The books, and this goes for TVD and TSC alike, only go so far. These television series have to be worked in a way where they can go on for seasons and a number of years. People always overlook that fact that these shows are just based on the books and adapted into its own series. Also, if it follows the books to closely, then fans will know what will happen and the element of surprise (which makes a show fun to watch) will be spoiled.

      I know it can be hard for some diehard fans, but to continuously compare the two will only leave you with a sour taste. It’s why you sometimes just have to turn the cheek and try not to. For instance, if people continuously compared TVD and the books, well, it’s nothing much like the books anymore, but it is an AMAZING show.

      The Secret Circle is just getting started, only six episodes in, and every episode just keeps getting better and its allowing the show to grow. Yes, it’s changed some things from the books, but there are still aspects that stay true to its original source. After its latest episode, it opened itself up to a boatload of possibilities and story / plot ideas as to where it can go. I really enjoyed it, and really enjoy this new series. I can only suggest to you that you give the show a try again and try to not compare it to the books, but the ultimate choice is up to you. It is definitely not the worst show of this season though. It’s actually the CW’s second best show right now, and I hope in future it can grow to be its second Number 1 show.

      As for Game of Thrones, that has a number of books to its series, and its filled with A LOT of rich details that can allow a show adaptation to go on for years and years without having to change too much. So, it really isn’t fair to compare.

      That’s all I can say though. I’ll leave off on a high note that I cannot wait to see The Secret Circle’s Halloween episode this coming Thursday. It looks like it will be filled with a lot of surprises and happening events. Oh, and don’t worry Jennifer, based on interviews with Adam Harrington, it sounds like his role is definitely going to change pretty soon, in this coming episode actually! 🙂

    • Chadmom

      October 23, 2011 at 12:20 am

      The only words I would use to describe “Game if Thrones” is disgusting. I watched three episodes of that barbaric show and that was enough.

      There is nothing wrong with a show that is entertaining, whether it is Shakespeare or not.

      I read the first book of “Secret Circle” and didn’t care for it. Could be because I am not a teenager. But I enjoy the show, especially the inter-generational aspect of it.

  2. Anonymous

    October 23, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Also, yes they change things, but the major specifics from the books that are needed are still kept in the show, so it’s not like it’s changing the show entirely, it’s just reshaping it so it can have the chance to tell a story for many years for viewers and fans to enjoy.

  3. Jennifer Griffin

    October 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Hey guys,
    Thanks for your comments. It’s probably fair to say that every show has its fans and detractors. I have room in my TV-watching schedule for both Secret Circle and Game of Thrones. I enjoy both shows quite a lot but in different ways. (I also enjoy Revenge on ABC and The Walking Dead on AMC)
    Anonymous, I really enjoyed reading your comments above. Thanks so much for posting. I’ve been lucky enough to interview Adam a couple of times for the site now. I think Ethan has a lot of potential. Let’s see what happens!

  4. Magpie

    October 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Good debate guys.

    It’s hard to see a book you love changed for the screen.

    I was very anxious about my all time favorite Lord of the Rings and what would happen to it to make it fit the big screen. There were changes yes, but they were loving changes and that makes a big difference IMHO. Now it’s one of my all time favorite films. And the book? Don’t love it any less.

  5. Tawanda46

    October 23, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    This episode worked like a new pilot in a way–a new start, introducing more possible branches. Witch hunters pose a new danger, added to demons, and elders. A new character has been added, at least for now. Each of the main characters has big choices to make.

    We have plenty of conflict, but I really don’t have any sense of where the Circle wants to go with their power. Right now, they are in survival mode, but that can’t really be enough to keep the momentum going in a story.
    As for Charles and Dawn, it looked at first that Charles just wanted his power back for it’s own sake. Now, Dawn seems to be willing to do anything, except when it might harm Faith. (She brought that girl back to protect Faith from being a murderer.) Charles has wanted the power, but since he was the one who had to actually kill Nick, which hurt Diane, too, he is seeing the consequences of his original act of killing Amelia. The may have had no choice but to killl the demon, but if they hadn’t put the whole thing in motion, none of the resulting bad would have happened. It seems that he is seeing more responsibility than Dawn, who is just “full speed ahead.”

    Regarding another issue, I see a logic flaw in Ethan’s destiny theory. If he and Amelia had mated, Adam and Cassie would have been brother and sister. Then what? The only way I can work it out, unless he was just delusional, is that since he and Amelia were not joined, the destiny passes to their children.

  6. Lux

    October 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    But that argument makes no sense. If Ethan and Amelia had ended up together neither Cassie nor Adam would have existed. Adam’s mother and Cassie’s Dad were just as responsible for bringing them into the world as Amelia and Ethan so I don’t think there’s a flaw there.
    The Blake family and the Conant family have intertwining destinies.
    I agree with you that the destiny passes to their children. That’s how I see it anyhow.