The Secret Circle: Bound (Review)

The Secret Circle: Bound (Review)  

After last week’s less than inspiring episode, I was looking for something a bit more forceful from this new series. Not a homerun, necessarily—it’s rare for a show to hit for average so early in the process. A hustling two-bagger, though, would be acceptable. And the second installment of The Secret Circle, while far from perfect, slides into second base just ahead of the tag.

The Circle reluctantly comes together for their own good...or is it?

The primary focus of “Bound” lies in the binding. Discussed in the pilot episode, the binding of a Circle boosts their greater power as a whole and greater control over their abilities. It does, however, curb their individual powers, thus solidifying the need to work together. What does that mean? Whipping winds and exploding light bulbs due to teen angst are a thing of the past. Okay, that may have been a cheap shot, especially considering these kids are in high school. Still, I can’t deny the irritation I felt at times with the show being a bit more of a Dawson’s Creek with a bit of magic written into the plot. (Side note: I really did like Creek, and on that admission, I hope not to be stripped of my geek card…)

Now, that’s not to say that all the petty squabbling is bad. In fact, there are several dynamics within the Circle itself that will no doubt cause strife between the six witches down the road. We’ve already seen the connection Adam (Thomas Dekker) and Cassie (Britt Robertson) have shared, despite Adam’s girlfriend, Diana (Shelley Hennig), being the de facto leader of the group. With Faye’s (Phoebe Tonkin) help, Diana is starting to second guess Adam’s love for her, though he reassures her with a heated kiss, this situation will not be going away anytime soon.

Another group triangle is forming between Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Faye, and Nick (Louis Hunter). Melissa wants Nick (they “hooked up” early in the episode) while the latter is much more interested in Faye. For her part, Faye really doesn’t give a damn. She’s more like a child who’s discovered a new to and wants nothing more than to play with it, finding everything about it as much as possible. When she has a fight with Cassie at the pier, she pushes Sally (Logan Browning), who had been talking to Cassie, over the pier and onto a jut of rocks. Though Dawn (Natasha Henstridge), Faye’s mother, revives Sally with a magical stone, we see for the first time another part of Faye; a part that cares and not just one whose impulses dictate her actions.

Speaking of Dawn, a bit more of the last binding is discussed. Henry Chamberlain (Tom Butler), her once father-in-law, appears on the doorstep, intent on finding out the truth. While Henry and the elder Circle stripped the powers of the surviving members of the attempted binding, he has a hunch that it’s starting again. He knows Dawn used a magical crystal—the same one Charles (Gale Harold) obtained his power from—to save Sally’s life. Though a good act in itself, Henry realizes Dawn has bigger plans. He threatens to report her to the elders but never gets the chance, a heart attack victim of Dawn’s magic via crystal.

As far as the Circle goes, Cassie finally goes all in and the six meet out in the woods. There, Diana reads the oath of binding and the others must accept for the binding to be completed. They all accept and the ritual is completed in a most unspectacular way, not with a bang but with silence.

I will say that, so far, The Secret Circle has been nothing short of predictable in several aspects. Dawn’s twist of being just as much of a killer as Charles, though, was something I was not quite ready for. It also hints of Dawn having something much more sinister on her mind.

Overall, “Bound” was a step up from the lackluster series premiere though, as mentioned, it is far from a polished entity. I am curious to watch some of the group dynamics shake out as the season goes on. So far, Nick and Melissa have been scantily explored. Yes, it’s early, but I have yet to have my curiosity piqued insofar as wanting to explore their motivations. This is quite unlike the other four, who all have displayed some quality/personality trait to make me say “Hmmm, I want to know more about them…”.

We are in the early stages of the show, and it’s no doubt there are many angles to explore, both of the characters, the town, and the events that preceded Cassie’s arrival. Will The Secret Circle be able to keep things interesting while offering a fresh perspective? I don’t know but I will cross my fingers the writers will succeed.

Rating: C+

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– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)
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