thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

The Secret Circle Recap, “Loner,” Season 1, Episode 3

In Secret Circle, teen soaps on October 5, 2011 at 8:14 am

Faye for the Win

Phoebe: Can we talk about redeeming friend moments?
Sarah: Let’s! First of all, i think Faye totally wins the friendship sweeps this week (and the awesomeness sweeps).
Phoebe: Agreed.
Sarah: For standing up for Melissa and telling Melissa to stand up for herself, and for giving Nick the what-for.
Phoebe: She was amazing! It was really cool to see girl friends stand up for each other, and to see Faye’s softer side.
Sarah: And also I loved her hilarious and affectionate delivery of the line, “See you losers tomorrow” addressed to Adam, Cassie and Diana. She is such a secret softie.
Phoebe: That was also amazing!
Sarah: And her insight into Nick hating Nick (not Nick hating Melissa) showed that she is good at reading people too. But what do you make of her expression when she sees Melissa and Nick walk away looking cozy? She kind of half-smiles to herself (which makes sense, given her actions making that come about), but then the smile drops and she looks sad. Which made me wonder:
– is she feeling lonely/left out?

– does she wish she were in a relationship?

– is she secretly in like with Melissa?

Phoebe: My gut instinct was that she was missing Melissa, but not that she wishes she was in a relationship with Nick. I didn’t get the she is into Melissa vibe, but I did get the being a teenager and feeling left out when your best friend starts dating vibe. But it is early yet! Who knows what will happen …
Sarah: Yeah, it could be just missing Melissa (or preparing herself to miss her). But I think I really want the show to have a gay character.
Phoebe: Fair enough — we will just have to wait and see.

Murders and Motives

Phoebe: What did you think of this new guy that was introduced? That went after the kids …
Sarah: Hmm well, I’m interested to see what develops re: his relationship with Heather and Amelia, and what happened with Heather at the binding ceremony
Phoebe: Indeed … From the preview it looks scary!
Sarah: But also, something that I thought was confusing was, in the initial scene with Cassie it seems like he still has fond memories of Amelia.
Phoebe: But then tried to kill Cassie
Phoebe: Indeed it was very confusing
Sarah: I get that he wanted to get someone from the circle to break it. But i would think he’d pick someone else who was NOT the daughter of his old friend
Phoebe: But I think he blames Amelia for what happened to Heather. He says at one point that Amelia sucked her in and did the worst things to her after she started hanging out with the witchy crew. BUT also, that Heather never stopped believing in Amelia—hence why she wound up in the line of witch fire
Sarah: Right. I just hope the show gives us a reasonable explanation for the Cassie-targeting, otherwise it just seems like lazy storytelling.
Phoebe: Although, I surmise it was that she was in the wrong place at the right time, slash that he is super duper resentful of Amelia, hence Cassie was a target. But I think we are going to meet Heather next week. And she looked SO scary!
Phoebe: Also, what did you make of our first glimpse of bound magic?
Sarah: I’m a bit underwhelmed, but I’m sure it will develop more — the magic stuff seems a little hazy right now. What about you?
Phoebe: Yeah I concur, although I loved that paper flying scene in part as it just looked cool and also like straight out of The Craft, and it felt guided by the girls more than the guys—which I also like
Phoebe: Similarly, I am loving (despite that I think she is a little evil) how bad ass the principal is. She just is a take no prisoners kind of witch
Sarah: Yes, I think Dawn’s pretty tough. I like that she took the time out from saving the kids to order the two making out kids back to the gym. Double-duty!
Phoebe: YES. That was perfect, and then the way she threatens the dude who tried to kill Cassie, but doesn’t kill him. And makes it clear to Diana’s dad that they can’t just go around killing people all the time.

Make It or Break It or Decorate It and Then Talk About It Incessantly

Sarah: Also, what did you think of Luke?
Phoebe: I thought his response to Cassie’s not paying attention was kind of awesome. And I sort of want her to give him another shot or rather him to give her another shot.
Sarah: Yeah I’m curious to see if he’ll be a recurring character. He is from Make It or Break It, also, which makes me think he will be back
Phoebe: Oh really? Do you think he will have a gymnastics super power on this show? I would totally support that
Sarah: I think they could totally work in some cool backflips with all that witchcraft.
Sarah: And, did you like how Cassie was acting as if helping with decorations was like a HUGE commitment?
Phoebe: Right?! Did we even see them decorate? Those decorations certainly did not catch my eye …
Sarah: No! It was like three streamers and a balloon. And yet Cassie is using it as an excuse for why not to have a date and that she’s rounding up all of her circle friends to help. Think of better excuses, Cassie!
Phoebe: I could not agree more.
Sarah: Oh and speaking of the dance and of good friendship moments, I thought it was very sneaky (in a good-friend way) of Sally to make Cassie and Adam dance together. And apparently she was psychically conspiring with the DJ to make the music switch to a slow song
Phoebe: I also kind of like Sally and would like to see more of her. But now I am worried that more bad things will happen to Sally if she stays close to Cassie … Do you think there will be any consequences of Sally being brought back to life? We haven’t seen any yet, but Jeremy sees ghosts in Vampire Diaries.
Sarah: I hope so, because that would give Sally more to do (not that she is boring or anything, I’d just like her to have more plotlines).

Social Groups and Social Graces

Sarah: Something else that I’m hoping the show will explore is how other people at the school perceive the circle hanging out together — since it seems pretty divided into two social groups (Faye/Melissa/Nick and Adam/Diana/now Cassie). The audience knows why they’re all hanging out, but I bet the other kids at school would be confused. And I think that’s interesting to think about transgressing cliques and social boundaries.
Phoebe: Good point! I wonder how they will negotiate that too … but also they spend much time all together in secret. I do like the idea of transgressing cliques, but also that it is family-bound transgressions. But also, this was seemingly true for Amelia as we found out in this episode that she was not friends with the witch crew before.
Sarah: That reminds me: so Cassie is supposed to have a loner thing going on and she says she didn’t have much of a social life at her last school (slash any social life). But I find that hard to believe! Like she could well be flinty and whatnot, but she’s still a normal, nice girl. I think she would have had at least a friend or two.
Phoebe: I imagine her having a friend or two but kind of being on the outskirts and being super close with her mom … Also, I feel like I believe it more because Luxe (from Life Unexpected) was kind of a loner/bad girl, and so I feel like my perceptions of her have transferred to Cassie
Sarah: But Luxe had Bug and her BFF!
Phoebe: True … but Bug was terrible! wasn’t he?
Sarah: I could never decide!
Phoebe: But I imagine Cassie as that kind of loner—like a few friends but not popular, and not real social.
Sarah: I can buy that, I just want the show to acknowledge that she has a past beyond her mom. I guess because otherwise her character feels not filled out, and saying that she just didn’t have friends or a life at all before her new town feels like an excuse not to fill in the past more.
Phoebe: Also, it’s understandable if her mom was super suspicious of friends as things went horribly wrong in her circle, she might have passed that on to Cassie?
Sarah: Now THAT would be an acceptable explanation
Phoebe: Well in that case, I say that IS the explanation! That was my guess at it at least or why it would make sense …
Sarah: Okay if they don’t go there, I vote you write to the show and tell them they need to say so
Phoebe: Done and done.
Sarah: In order to appease the angry Sarahs of the audience
Phoebe: That is an important demographic.

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