thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

The Secret Circle Recap, Season 1, Episodes 4 & 5 (“Heather” & “Slither”)

In Secret Circle, teen soaps on October 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm

This week we recap times two! On the agenda, Heather and demons, Nick’s untimely death, more demons, wonderful grandmothers, and so many mysteries!

How scary do you think TSC was in the Heather-demon episode, on a scale of one to ten? Is the show scarier/darker than you expected?

Phoebe: I would say it was an 8, but maybe a 10 on the Secret Circle scary chart. I thought the Heather with demon situation was scary but so intriguing and added an extra layer to the mystery, which was rather intriguing.

Sarah: I agree with Phoebe’s rating. I normally don’t expect to be scared by CW shows—Buffy’s special effects were way too ridiculous to be fearsome, and Vampire Diaries is suspenseful but rarely chilling. But seeing Heather-as-demon levitate and chase Cassie really freaked me out. I think it bodes well for the series’ range, but badly for my ability to watch the show without hiding under a blanket.

Why do you think Heather went with Cassie’s mom that night? And now we know Cassie’s mom was good, yes?

Phoebe: Now I am thinking she went because she believed in Cassie’s mom or something and that Cassie’s mom was it turns out really good and not evil, as it was perhaps suggested last week. But she bound the demon and that seems like a good and nice thing. Or, maybe Heather already had the demon in her when they went to the shipyard? Or maybe they summoned the demons in the ship yard and Heather and Cassie’s mom went there to stop it? I don’t know! I want to know more …

Sarah: I think it seems like Heather went with Cassie’s mom because she wanted to support her best friend in preventing whatever dangerous ceremony was about to take place—which means that both Heather and Cassie’s mom were good. My guess is that they arrived too late, and the demon had already been summoned and entered Heather. Cassie’s mom couldn’t get rid of the demon, but she could stop the pain/torment by effectively sedating Heather.

What do you think about this evil demon apparently summoned in the parents’ binding ceremony? Did they intentionally summon the demon? What is its story/purpose? And, does this mean that the parents were always out to practice black magic, or was black magic an unintended consequence of the quest for more power?

Phoebe: I am so curious about this issue … It seems that the binding had already happened and they were toying with their magic and got intrigued, as a teen might, with black magic. I can imagine teen witches getting curious about summoning demons and then not able to foresee the consequences and still not wanting to ask their parents for help. It seems very much like teen life but with the added power of witchcraft things. But clearly, I think the parents got into black magic, but then maybe as we saw last week did not want it around anymore. I want to know more!!

Sarah: I think you’re right, Phoebe, that the parents were experimenting but not necessarily intending real harm when they summoned the demon. It seems likely that they didn’t understand what the consequences of their actions would be but were excited by the idea of getting more power and exploring their dark sides.

How great are television grandmas?

Phoebe: I love love television grandmas and particularly Cassie’s grandma. But it reminds me of how great Hanna’s grandma is on Pretty Little Liars. So great! She is so strong and badass and amazing. And she brought so much power into the room and commanded so much attention and respect and also is so supportive of Cassie. I ❤ her so much.

Sarah: I concur. It’s so nice to see strong older female figures represented on television (not that the grandma is actually very old at all, she’s probably about 50 aka not anywhere near grandma-age in my family. But when you’ve got Cassie’s mom having a baby at roughly age 18 max I guess that makes sense). But yes, the grandma is awesome, and I’m relieved that she and Cassie are talking more openly about witchcraft now. I hope that openness doesn’t mean the bells are tolling for her!

What do you think about Nick’s untimely death?

Phoebe: I am so sad! i was loving the relationship between Melissa and Nick and how it was developing and I was sure that the grandma would bring Nick back to life in the same way that Dawn brought the school president back to life. But alas, not yet! Ugh. I was so interested in that story line. And also, what about Melissa’s possession? That was crazy! But also, I am really glad they did not kill her off as she rocks my socks, particularly as we are seeing her come into her own.

Sarah: I can’t believe Nick is really dead, and so early on in the series—it seemed like the show was really developing his character and his relationships with Melissa and Faye, so it was surprising to see him killed off. Assuming he doesn’t come back, though, I can see how his death may act as a catalyst for our other characters. Melissa will be grieving, Faye will be comforting Melissa, and Adam/Diana/Cassie will be trying to figure out a way to prevent such a death from happening again. I’m also interested to see whether Nick’s death will weaken the circle’s power—based on the dance episode, it seems as if one member’s death lessens the strength of the whole.

How do we feel about Charles and Dawn now? Post-killing Nick …

Phoebe: I feel SO conflicted. Like at once they did it to help Nick sort of, but also to protect the kids and themselves. Also, I feel like Charles is clearly interested in Dawn and so there may be some post-kill blossoming romance which seems weird. And interesting too that their crystal didn’t work and now what will they do? And I want to find out why they are so into getting their powers back I understand if you know once you were a witch and now you’re not and that that would totally suck. But, I feel like they have some super secret plan that we are not yet privy to.

Sarah: Yeah, I like that the show is deepening the complexity of those characters. Clearly they (and especially Charles) feel terrible about Nick’s death, but at the same time they’re guilty of causing it—not only because they drowned him to try to rid him of the demon, but if Dawn really wanted to be a hero she would have let the demon enter her instead of Nick. I think Dawn ultimately looks out for number one (and Faye, as an extension of number one). She’s not necessarily out to kill without discrimination, but most other people seem negligible, at least thus far. Charles, on the other hand, seems more conflicted—particularly when it comes to the kids.

When are we going to find out what happened the parents in the fire?!

Phoebe: I want to know SO badly. And I guess this is kind of covered by the other questions but I just want to know! But I also thought it was interesting that we learned that Cassie’s grandma did not know what happened with her daughter (Cassie’s mom) and so that now she seems not to be holding things back so that is interesting potentially …

Sarah: Yeah, my number one question is what happened that caused the death of one parent minimum per kid. And good point about the grandmother—it’s helpful to know that it’s as much a mystery to the elders (at least to a certain extent) as it is to the youngest generation.

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