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The Secret Circle’s ‘Wake’ in Review

BY Jennifer Griffin

Published 12 years ago

The Secret Circle's 'Wake' in Review

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.

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