The Secret Circle 1.20 Review: "Traitor"

By John Keegan

the-secret-circle-iconIt’s becoming apparent that the writers for “The Secret Circle” have had a plan in mind over the course of the season, if only in terms of overall broad strokes and how it should all fit together. It’s also apparent to me that they just couldn’t make a potentially interesting story work with a miscast lead character and inconsistent execution. Things have been better since the arrival of John Blackwell, but it still feels like the show is grasping at straws.
Maybe it would have been better if they had revealed Diana’s true parentage a bit earlier in the season. If nothing else, it sets up a better love triangle than the Cassie/Faye/Jake mess. Not that there’s particularly much chemistry between Cassie and Adam, but the plot did toss them together from the very start, so it makes more sense. Similarly, it provides a reason for Diana to do more in the story, though her claims that Cassie has changed dramatically since Blackwell’s return doesn’t really seem to match what has been depicted.

The-Secret-Circle-Traitor-Episode-20-12After seeing more of Faye letting off some steam in this episode, I really think they would have been better served to put Diana in the lead role, make Faye and Melissa her best friends. They are all far more interesting than Cassie at this point, and Diana even has the dark magic potential in common with Cassie (or so we can assume).

Diana’s revelation to her father seemed to get a reaction out of him, but at the same time, it highlights something that has been a major flaw since early in the season. The adults simply haven’t been that interesting. Charles has been one of the main antagonists since the series began, stirring up trouble left and right, yet other than his general motivation to regain power, what is so distinctive about him?

In fact, how is it possible that the surviving parents have been so clueless about how powerful their children are? Especially Charles and Dawn, who have been trying to get that power since the very beginning? It’s like they’ve not been paying attention at all this season. Enough has happened, between people getting killed and Blackwell’s return, that they should have gotten a clue. Weren’t they supposed to be aware of the fact that Blackwell was trying to stack this Circle with his own progeny because it would make them more powerful than ever?

As for the ending, I’m deeply confused. Nick’s death was fairly explicit. Unless he’s been brought back by the witch hunters, and he then turned on them, I don’t understand how this fits into the season arc at all. Never mind that Nick was only around long enough to make a suitable sacrifice, to prove that the show was willing to kill characters early and often. The writers are going to have to work hard to make sense of this twist.

John Keegan is Editor-in-Chief for Critical Myth, a partner site of SciFi Vision.

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