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The Secret Circle 1x3: Loner

Erin recaps a time defying and tediously long episode of The Secret Circle, finding a potential crime-fighting duo that'd be a much better use of CW airtime.

The Secret Circle 1x3: Loner

Previous episode: "Bound"

Oh man, it's Friday. Wait. I know what you're thinking. "Erin, Friday is very much of the good. That means the week is almost over and we can sleep late and drink a lot and spend time doing fun things that don't involve working." And this is all true. But it also means last night was Thursday, and Thursday night was the night I realized I didn't have enough booze in the house to get drunk before watching The Secret Circle.

And that was a very, very sad time for me.

Alright, let's get it! Last week, some stuff happened that I didn't really understand. Namely, I didn't really understand why this show hasn't been cancelled yet. Thank God Posh was in charge of recapping that mess, and not me. And a damn fine job she did of it, too.

The best part about watching this show is seeing the last two minutes of The Vampire Diaries but having NO CLUE what's going on yet. Katherine dressed as a flapper! And then normally, but in a cab! I guess I'll find out what's going on after reading Jenny's recap! Or racing home from work and watching it immediately, and then reading Jenny's recap. That's what usually happens.

It's high school! Faye's super upset because she has to open her locker with her hands instead of her MIND POWER. Diana is conveniently there to exposit about how binding the circle means that the witches can only use their power when they're around each other. If this is all a metaphor for sex, does this mean that none of these kids can masturbate on their own anymore? Maybe that's why Faye's so damn antsy.

Ooh! Sally Matthews, Class President, is staring daggers at Faye. Her arm's in a sling. You'd think that the magic crystal doohickey would have completely healed her, not half-assed healed her. Principal Lesbian Lover is the lamest witch ever! Well, her, and ALL THE OTHER WITCHES ON THIS SHOW. I miss Fairuza Balk.

Diana hunts down Cassie, who tells Diana that even though they all got together to bind the circle, it doesn't mean they have to hang out and be pals. Diana pathetically suggests that just she and Cassie hang out, but Cassie shoots her down. Listen, Cassie. I'm not sure you're in a position to be picky here. And I know you're only dissing Diana because you want to bone her lame boyfriend, but maybe you should take that old adage "Chicks Before Dicks" literally. In that, you should probably have sex with EVERY LADY AT THAT SCHOOL before turning your eyes to Adam. And only then because you've exhausted all other resources. Why is this actor popular again? Because of that time he threw a fit about his character on Heroes being gay? I can't remember.

Meanwhile, Cheesehead and Melissa are working off their magic frustration by having SUPER LOUD POST-ORGASMIC BREATHING SESSIONS whilst in bed. First of all: isn't school going on, kids? Can't you have sex on your own time? Second: no way am I buying that either of these kids is good enough in bed to be panting like this. Also, they're complimenting each other on their prowess. This is such a stupid TV cliche. I don't know; maybe I've been doing it wrong my whole life, but after I've had mind-blowing sex, I don't typically want to have this long-winded, involved conversation replaying the sex I just had. I'm more concerned with determining whether my head and legs are still attached to my body. That's just me. Your mileage may vary.

Melissa pathetically asks Cheesehead out to the school dance, but he declines, saying that Melissa had laid down the "Friends With Secret MIND POWER Benefits" rule long before. In an exchange that leaves me even more confused than before, Melissa didn't want people to see her in public with Cheesehead because she didn't want to seem slutty. Yet having sex with him without dating him is, I guess, the opposite of that. (This isn't judgement; I am of the opinion that nothing anyone does is slutty, because I think slutty is a stupid word made up by people who are jealous of other people's sex lives. But I'm aware this isn't the opinion typically espoused on CW dramas.)

Cheesehead declines Melissa's invitation and tells her if she wants anything more than just sex, she should look elsewhere. She should look elsewhere anyway, Cheesehead. Your giant face is distracting me from your very nice abs.

School! Sally Matthews, School President, approaches Cassie and is all, "I know your secret." You know what never happens in real life? That. That thing where someone is feeling guilty about something and then another person comes up and starts off a conversation with an accusatory-type declaration, yet what they're really talking about is, like, their favorite flavor of ice cream or something. This is my least favorite writing device OF ALL TIME. It's lazy, stupid and predictable. Come on, Kevin Williams' writing room. You guys are working with someone who invented Pacey Witter. You can do better.

The secret that Sally Matthews, Class President, knows? That Cassie hasn't signed up for any extra-curriculars yet. Of course! It would make perfect sense that she would frame that discussion the way she did! Anyway, she'd like Cassie to help her with the dance. Also Sally Matthews, Class President, keeps remembering images of Faye when she thinks about her injury, though she admits she has no idea what actually happened.

Outside, some guy with a lot of hair is asking Adam about Cassie. This fella is named Luke, and he'd like to help Cassie with the fact that she can't masturbate anymore because her MIND POWERS have been stripped away.

Principal Lesbian Lover's office! Harry Hamlin-lite comes in and he and PLL discuss Murdered Grandpa. Harry Hamlin-lite has hidden the body where no one will find it until May sweeps. He and PLL discuss the Circle and the fact that they have no more MIND POWERS. In ominous tones, of course. CW actors are contractually obliged to talk about everything in ominous tones.

Hallways! Adam introduces Luke to Cassie. It's awkward for everyone involved, but mostly me, because I'm not drunk enough to be watching this. Adam splits, presumably because he's disgusted with the fact that he can't have Cassie all to himself. The experts do say you should replace your eyeliner every few months, so he must see dating Cassie as a way to achieve that.

Alone, Luke asks Cassie to the school dance, but she seems to think this will get in the way of her commitment to hanging decorations. Cassie, you should go for Luke. You have more chemistry with Luke in this one scene than you've had in all the MIND POWERS scenes with Adam.

Over at the Boathouse Grill, some scruffy dude is looking at Cassie with suspicion while Cassie moons over Adam. Why is it legal that Adam works at a bar? He's sixteen! Sally Matthews, Class President, teases Cassie about her crush on Adam. I like Sally Matthews, Class President. Why can't this show be about her?

On Cassie's way out, she sees Luke and accepts his offer to go to the dance. Why can't the dance be now? Then we could all listen to Flo Rida and get low low low low low low low.

Outside the bar, Scruffy Dude approaches Cassie and tells her that she looks just like her mom. He seems upset to hear that Teen Mom is dead and that Cassie is planning to stay in town. He gets super angry and grabby with Cassie, all "you're a witch! Exclamation mark!" Cassie struggles with him until Diana shows up, and they throw him against a car with their MIND POWERS. Scruffy Dude claims he's not going to "let this happen again!" What, getting your ass kicked by two teenage girls?

Oh my god, you guys. Only 15 minutes have passed on this show. How is that possible?

At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Diana and Cassie meet up with everyone else, sans Cheesehead. The Circle has been convened to discuss Scruffy Dude! Cassie explains how they bested Scruffy Dude with their MIND POWERS. Faye is delighted that the MIND POWERS are working, and sets off to figure out how to remove herself from the Circle's binding so that she can make full use of her MIND POWERS again. Then my tv does this thing it's been doing lately where it skips like a full minute of show. Let's pretend that during that minute, everyone decided to commit ritual suicide after the dance, and that this is the last episode of this show that will ever air. I'm already cheered by the prospect!

Diana's asleep! Harry Hamlin-lite wakes her up and asks about the incident with Scruffy Dude. Scruffy Dude is named Zachary Larson. Didn't we hear about him in the pilot? I can't remember on account of how much I don't care. Then Diana asks Harry Hamlin-lite whether anything is going on with him and PLL. He says they're dating, which I guess is a better alternative than "we're killing her father in law and stripping you of your powers." The news cheers Diana. Oh, sad, sad little Diana. She's happy Harry Hamlin-lite's finally found someone again.

At Cassie's house, she's sorting through some conveniently-placed box of Teen Mom's belongings. Hey! There's a yearbook! Cassie finds Teen Mom's picture. Teen Mom wants H.B. and Z.L. to keep in touch! Keep in touch with her? Or keep in touch with each other? This is where a lack of pronouns will kill you, Teen Mom.

And then Cassie finds a photo of Teen Mom, one Heather Barnes and Zachary Larson hanging out. They look very clean cut and All-American.

Diana comes over to exposit some more about the fire that killed everyone's parents.

Hilariously, this is such a typical cheesy yearbook shot of someone working IN yearbook. "Guys! Pretend you're looking over the yearbook and pointing something out!"

At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Faye and Melissa are trying to test out their MIND POWERS while Cheesehead hulks nearby. They have moderate results. Faye makes fun of Melissa for wanting to go to the school dance. I bet Faye only makes fun because she can't dance. Cause she doesn't have any MIND POWERS anymore!

Docks! Harry Hamlin-lite and PLL meet up to discuss Zachary Larson and his crazy behavior. He might know what happened THAT NIGHT. Harry Hamlin-lite wants to use the crystal on him so that he can find out what he knows! Just punch him a few times, Harry Hamlin-lite. Damn. Why you gotta use magic for everything?

At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Faye's still trying to unbind herself in both a magical and metaphorical sense. She keeps repeating the spell in the bitchiest tone possible, but it's not working. Then Zachary Larson walks in! Hey! How'd he know about the abandoned house in the middle of the woods! He's not a teenager anymore! That sort of knowledge is erased once you can drink legally.

Not even half over. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME.

Show! Faye is super scared of Zachary Larson. He wants to know if they've bound the Circle, but he says it in a way that sounds more like, "so, tell me little girl, have you gotten your first period yet?" Faye runs away in fear.

Dance! Cassie is starting off her date with Luke by telling him what a freak of nature she is. Well, I'm sure that'll be successful. Meanwhile, Cheesehead appears! He informs Melissa he will not be dancing, but she's just happy he came.

Diana sees Principal Lesbian Lover and bops over to tell her how happy she is that PLL and her dad are boning. Diana, you are too much, girl.

Watch it, Principal Lesbian Lover. The Gucci Dykes (TM my friend Mandy) are never going to let you join with that outfit on.

Also, wouldn't you think Natasha Henstridge would have something better to do than be in this show? Like, I don't know, washing her hair?

Adam, meanwhile, comes over to compliment Cassie on the bedazzled tank top she's chosen to wear to a school dance, and then Sally Matthews, School President, pushes them out onto the dance floor. Awkward. Or it would be, if I cared about either of these characters. Who is Sally Matthews, School President, dancing with! That's what I want to know!

If this were my eighth grade dance, you'd be dancing to "End of the Road" and YOU WOULD LIKE IT.

In the hallways, FINALLY A TEENAGE THING IS HAPPENING. By which I mean, Cheesehead's rolling a joint while Melissa urges him to hurry up and get back to the dance floor. FINALLY. Now, have unprotected sex because your school administrators think denying you access to condoms will keep you chaste!

Cheesehead wants to know why Melissa likes him, considering he treats her like shit. Um. BECAUSE SHE IS A TEENAGE GIRL AND HAS BEEN TAUGHT THAT THIS IS WHAT ROMANCE IS? Faye breaks up the convo by running in to tell them what happened at the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods.

Inside the gym, Adam and Cassie are dancing and discussing their feelings or whatever but all I can concentrate on is Adele's cover of The Cure's "Lovesong" playing on the soundtrack. Adele, I like you a lot even though I think maybe sometimes you concentrate a little too much on these losers you date. Maybe just stop dating so many losers? It's just a suggestion, kiddo. Anyway, I like this cover well enough when I listen to it on her album but when I just hear snippets like this I want to punch someone in the face. Don't fuck with The Cure.

Diana comes over to tell Adam and Cassie about Zachary Larson and Faye. The Circle meet in the hallway to discuss crazy Zachary Larson. But they're interrupted by Luke! Cassie goes off to dance with Luke while Faye uses her mom's key to break into the administration office and find records on Zachary Larson.

Being in the Circle means you always have a MIND POWERS blowdryer at your beck and call. But you have to keep your arms straight down by your sides!

It's the docks! Harry Hamlin-lite has come by to threaten Zachary Larson. But Zachary Larson knows that the kids are practicing witchcraft! And then he starts stomping the shit out of Harry Hamlin-lite. Zachary Larson, I like you! You and Sally Matthews, Class President, should team up to fight crime. Zachary pants out that all he has to do is kill one of the kids. Honey, why limit yourself? Kill them all. PLEASE.

School! The Circle sans Cassie are breaking into PLL's office. Diana and Adam search the computer for Zachary Larson's school record, which for some reason has been put on the computer even though Zachary Larson hasn't been a student for at least 20 years or so. They check out Heather Barnes as well. Using Bing! Well, that's convenient, considering Bing sponsers the show and . . . ohhhh. Heather Barnes died in the fire with everyone else's parents! Outside, Melissa and Faye discuss why Cheesehead is such a cheesehead. Apparently he lost both his parents in the fire. I feel like we should start capitalizing that word, just because so much importance is attached to it. THE FIRE, y'all.

In the gym, Luke tries, AGAIN, to interest Cassie, then sees that it's a lost cause. He bails on the date. Luke, that is the first smart thing you've done since I met you (holy mother of god, why) 36 minutes ago.

He won't steal your eyeliner, Cassie!

In the hall, Faye lets Cheesehead know that he best give Melissa the RESPECT she deserves or GTFO. Also, Cassie wanders in the hallways alone - because that's what you do when you know some crazy person is looking for you - and sees Zachary Larson. Time to run, Cassie!

Harry Hamlin-lite finds PLL at school and tells her that Zachary's looking to hurt the kids. He seems genuinely concerned, as does PLL. But probably only because they need the kids to die in the ritual suicide that my brain has promised me will happen.

The Circle converge on Zachary Larson and Cassie. There are a lot of menacing glares and the use of MIND POWERS. The MIND POWERS amount to some papers being thrown around the hallway, like in Ghostbusters, and then Zachary falling to the floor. Before that happens, however, he announces that Heather didn't die - "what Amelia did to her was much worse." Well, by all means, kids, definitely knock him out with your MIND POWERS instead of getting more information from him.

DRINK! This is a fucking frame by frame shot from The Craft.

Principal Lesbian Lover shows up and the kids spin her some yarn about how they found Zachary Larson like that. Principal Lesbian Lover lies to the kids in return, which is dumb, because now everyone knows that everyone else is lying. She tells the kids to go back to the dance and then calls Harry Hamlin-lite.

Outside, Cassie's thanking everyone for saving her life. Adam offers to drive Diana and Cassie home, but Diana isn't stupid, and offers to take Cassie home herself. ALSO Cheesehead is making an attempt at being a decent human being towards Melissa. Uh, congratuwelldone?

Oh, but wait! The dance is over! You kids are supposed to be dying now! YOU PROMISED ME IN MY HEADSPACE! Damnit. I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up.

ALSO MEANWHILE, Sally Matthews, Class President, is taking down the flyers for the dance and comes across the messed-up hallway. Sally Matthews, Class President, is going to find out what's up! She's no dummy! She belongs on a better show, like The Vampire Diaries! But then she'd have to be a witch, considering Sally Matthews, Class President, is of an ethnicity other than Caucasian.

At Cassie's house, Diana's still trying to do the hard sell to get Cassie to hang out with the Circle. Then she lets Cassie know that she knows about the whole Adam thing. Diana has loved Adam for as long as she can remember! Cassie promises not to come between her and Adam. Unless it's, like, a Skinemax situation, I guess.

ALSO ALSO MEANWHILE, Harry Hamlin-lite and Principal Lesbian Lover are performing some CRYSTAL MAGIC on Zachary Larson. Now Principal Lesbian Lover can find Zachary Larson anywhere! And if he ever comes near the kids again, she will "literally" turn his life into a living hell. LITERALLY? You'll LITERALLY turn his life into a place no one is entirely sure exists and SATAN will be there and it will also probably be SUPER HOT and full of hopeless individuals having their teeth gnashed? LITERALLY? Ugh.

And that's it! Next week it looks like they find Heather Barnes, who's in a catatonic state. Hell, after this episode, I'd like to be in a catatonic state. Heather Barnes is so lucky. But I'm still a little lucky, because Posh will be recapping next week, while I chill out and watch . . . anything else.

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.