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The Secret Circle 1x5: Slither

Erin has a moral dilemma involving Patrick Swayze. Oh, and The Secret Circle happened again.

The Secret Circle 1x5: Slither

Previous episode: "Heather"

Greetings, happy people! It's Friday! Let's celebrate that fact with SOME VERY BAD NEWS:

This show has already been renewed for season two. Whhhhhhy? WHY? I mean, I can only hope that in the next few weeks - please, God, let it be soon - this show will undergo a metamorphosis not unlike The Vampire Diaries and will soon become campy fun. And maybe crazy-eyed Ian Somerhalder will do a guest spot. That'd be amazing, actually. He could come to town and try to convince Melissa to come back to Mystic Falls with him. It would have to be Melissa, for obvious reasons.

Alright, let's get it! Maybe it's time for me to find the fun in this show! Then again . . . maybe it's just time for me to refill my wine glass.

It's time to extrapolate what I think happened on The Vampire Diaries based on the last ten seconds my Secret Circle recording picks up: Katherine and, whoa, JEREMY??? Are hanging out! And waking up Klaus's family, maybe? Who have been spending their ash-dagger-induced slumber hanging out at Rennaissance S&M Dungeons? Cause what is that outfit that dead dude's got on? I can't WAIT to watch this episode. WHY CAN'T I BE WATCHING IT NOW?? WHY ARE KATHERINE AND JEREMY IN CAHOOTS?!

Show! Melissa is doing what I wish I were doing, i.e. sleeping. Cheesehead tries to wake her up and Melissa full on throws him across the room in a grumpy rage. This is the first time I have ever felt a bond with someone on this show. Because I DO THE SAME THING to people who wake me up. I don't have the excuse of being infected with a RAGE WORM like Melissa, though. I'm just a super cranky person in the mornings. Okay, well, uh, I'm a super cranky person until around 11 am. And then I'm nice to people for about half an hour before switching over into my Super Cranky Afternoon Pants. What can I say? I'm like an old, crotchety man with a shotgun. Get off my lawn!

Credits. You know, I'm sure they were trying to go with "sparse, creepy" with these brief, lady-humming credits, but instead they ended up with "too short to get another drink." That's not a place you want to be.

At Cassie's, millions of chlorofluorocarbons are being released into the atmosphere as Cassie stares dully into the open fridge. Shut the door, kid, I'm not paying to cool off the entire street! Teen Grandma decides to recap what happened last week, you know, with Heather being hit by the car and everything, under the guise of prodding to see what Cassie knows/suspects.Listen, Grandma, I've got Posh's recap. I don't need your fumbling, useless exposition. Teen Grandma starts poking into Cassie's friendship with the rest of the Circle and Cassie plays it not nearly as cool as the now refrigerator-cooled kitchen. Cassie, you are the worst LJ Smith book-heroine-turned-TV-sexpot evs.

School! The RAGE WORM is making Melissa all twitchy like a junkie. She runs into Principal Lesbian Lover, who totally suspects something is up.

Meanwhile, Diana and Cassie are talking about how their MIND POWERS may end up being stripped away if they make their powers known to their elders. Diana thinks there's no way that they'll be able to discover the secret of their otherparents' deaths if they go public with their MIND POWERS.

In PLL's office, Harry Hamlin-lite is waiting to discuss the whole Heather Barnes incident. Binding the children's MIND POWERS has attracted unwanted attention! They may not be ready for the consequences! You know, I consider myself a fairly smart person, so please understand that what I am about to confess to you is difficult for me. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS SHOW. What the hell are Principal Lesbian Lover and Harry Hamlin-lite's motivations? Do they care about their kids or not? And if they do care about their kids, WHY? Hasn't anyone explained to them yet that their kids and their kids' friends all SUCK?

In the hallway, Faye's taunting Diana by implying that Harry Hamlin-lite is at school because Diana's in trouble, but Diana unwittingly turns the tables on Faye by cheerfully announcing that their parents are boning. Faye is not pleased. Then Diana bops off. I think this actress is physically incapable of exiting a scene in a subdued fashion. She is always bopping. Maybe she's had a pogo stick surgically attached to one of her legs.

Melissa's RAGE WORM is still giving her the DTs. She's so twitchy! Melissa, take some Ativan, damn. Melissa does not take my advice. Instead she collapses on the floor in pain. The bends'll do that to ya! Cheesehead comes over to help her but then Melissa makes her full transition into evil Worm Melissaand, pretending to be Normal Melissa, asks Cheesehead to help her find her family's Book of Shadows, hidden deep in the woods. They'll keep it just between them!!

Cut to: Cheesehead digging his own grave, hopefully. But no! The shovel strikes a trunk! Worm Melissa seems pleased IN AN EVIL FASHION. THE RAGE WORM WANTS THE DIRT.

Cassie is eating The World's Most Awkward Dinner with Teen Grandma. They awkwardly remark on how awkward it is. Britt Robinson does this, like, half-laugh thing in order to express unease. It ends up sounding like a smirk and it makes me want to punch things. Cassie would like to know what Teen Mom was like at Cassie's age. Well, presumably she was preggers, Cassie. Haven't you been reading these recaps?

Cassie gets a text from WORM MELISSA telling her to show up at the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods and excuses herself from dinner. You know, this scene would be better if Cassie were excusing herself to go to a party in the Valley. Then she could get hit on by Elton and then mugged and then she could ruin her Aliyah dress. I wish I were watching Clueless right now. Actually, I wish I were watching the inside of my eyelids right now. Much more entertaining than this show.

At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, there is daylight streaming through the boarded up windows, even though it is SUPPOSED TO BE NIGHT TIME. Is basic time continuity too much to ask? I mean, I asked for a plot that wouldn't make me fall asleep and I didn't get that. I asked for actors who could convincingly pull off crappy dialogue and I didn't get that. Failing all that, I asked for those actors to at least be smoking hot and I didn't get that either. This show is like every emotionally-distant boy I've ever dated, all bundled up into a bigpackage of Hey Kid, By The Way, Santa Claus Isn't Real. I'm never going to get that pony I asked for at age seven, am I?

Anyway, WORM MELISSA is getting very angry at Cheesehead for attempting to break the lock on the trunk. Then Faye shows up, so WORM MELISSA has to go back to pretending to be Normal Melissa. As far as I can discern, the acting choice for Worm Melissa pretending to be Normal Melissa involves a lot of quirky head-tilting, chasses across the floor and a lot of talking up to someone while standing under their chin. Worm Melissa, I think maybe you need to take a few Method classes, or something. You're so affected, dahling.

Pretend Normal Melissa tells Faye that she made Cheesehead dig up her family's Book of Shadows so that she could share it with Faye, earning a wounded "Hey!" from Cheesehead, which is like the only time I've legitimately laughed while watching this show. Pretend Normal Melissa also seems to be coming on to Faye, so hey, maybe this episode is about to take a sharp turn to the actually interesting.

The harbor! PLL is meeting Harry Hamlin-lite on his boat. They're doing some sort of spell to get their damn crystals back.

Why you tryin' to step up to Principal Lesbian Lover, Harry Hamlin-lite? You need to PICK YOUR BATTLES.

Meanwhile, Diana has made Adam a romantic candle-lit dinner, as is common for sixteen year olds. They reminisce about the time that they were the only witches they knew.I reminisce about the time that I didn't know either of you. And then, uh, Diana breaks out the whipped cream. And you guys, usually when I make a whipped cream joke, I'm merely making a reference to sex because I'm a giant horndog. But no, they're actually busting out the whipped cream for the sole purpose of eating it off each other. Is this whole episode going to turn into softcore porn soon?

Back at the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Cassie has shown up. Worm Melissa has invited everyone! Then she gets super INTENSE about no one touching the damn suitcase!!! Everyone's starting to get a bit suspicious of Melissa. Worm Melissa gives yet another valient effort at being Normal Melissa, which includes the highest degree of coquettish head-tilting ever before recorded on film, but the effect is kinda ruined when the EVIL WORM crawls straight across her frontal bone.

At Diana's, SOMEONE IS FINALLY ABOUT TO GET IT ON. Namely, Diana and Adam. They're naked wrestling! Actually they're naked wrestling a lot, like, they've made about eight full rotations on the bed. It's not a tumble dryer, kids; it's sex. Pick a position and stick with it for at least fifteen seconds. Give it your best effort. Practice makes perfect. The Kama Sutra wasn't performed in a day.

Adam and Diana are not so busy sexily tumble drying that they don't hear their phones buzz with incoming texts, and for some godawful reason which I can only presume is due to the fact that Adam isn't that great in bed, Diana gets up to check her phone. It's Cassie! They're in trouble! Adam groans in frustration. Eh, set your bed to Permanent Press, kid. You'll be fine.

Back at the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Faye, Cassie and Cheesehead are wondering what the hell they're going to do about Melissa. Diana and Adam walk in, which distracts Worm Melissa enough so that Cheesehead can bash her in the head with a board. Romantic!

Commercials. I haven't said it before, but that commercial for the phone with the lady and her many arms FREAKS MY SHIT OUT.

I would also like to take this time to start recommending shows you could watch instead of this one. One such show is Revenge! Revenge comes on Wednesday nights at 10/9 Central on ABC. It is a show about a blonde lady who makes FACES and who is seeking revenge on a series of rich Hamptons socialites, due to the fact that all of these socialites were part of a vast conspiracy to ensure that the father of the blonde lady with the FACES was tried, convicted and killed for committing terrorism. Every week she gets REVENGE on a new person while making a hilarious FACE, but if that's not enough to convince you, there is also: a cute, old dog; lots of people hanging around in mansions on the beach; like 100 Hey! It's That Guy character actors whom you will recognize; a super-bitchy Frost Queen played by Madeliene Stowe, which is nice, because where has she been lately; and, most importantly, hot people. Lots of 'em. And FACES!

Anyway, I guess we'll get back to this show we're unfortunately watching instead. At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, everyone's trying to figure out what the hell to do with Worm Melissa and what, exactly, is in the chest. Worm Melissa has a few seizures and then calms down, pretending to be Normal Melissa. Worm Melissa has spent the commercial break going to acting class, because her impression of Normal Melissa involves 80% less weird head-tilting. Cheesehead's almost convinced of her innocence, but NAY! Worm Melissa is still in control. She goes all full-out Linda Blair, talking in demon voices and flopping around on the dusty couch. Nice try, Worm Melissa, but until you violently masturbate with a crucifix, you're stuck at a purely PG demonic possession.

THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!

In other witchy news, PLL and Harry Hamlin-lite are trying to summon more crystals using the My First Ouija Board that they bought at The Magic Box. (Hi, My Name is Buffy. Ask me about my curses!) It doesn't work, and Principal Lesbian Lover is super upset! She was stupid to think Harry Hamlin-lite could help her! Then she stomps off, which is difficult to do on a boat, so more power to Natasha Henstridge for pulling that off.

Cassie runs home to Teen Grandma and tells her that she knows all about the magic stuff, and that she needs help. This is just like when Baby Houseman has to wake up Jerry Orbach because Penny's illegal abortion put her into sepsis! Wash that stuff off your face before your mother sees you!

STOP! HAMMER TIME! So, here is a moral question I wrestled with recently. Give me some advice, readers! Dirty Dancing was on tv this weekend and the munchkin, who is eight, caught a few minutes of it and wanted to watch it. At first I was like, "UH NO, TOO ADULT, THANKS." But then I remembered that I was only about six months older than her when I first watched it, which was as soon as it came out*. And, you know, OBVS I loved it and all the abortion and class warfare and Jew/Gentile thing went right over my head, so maybe I don't need to worry about it? I mean, I don't think it ruined me in any overt way, except that I AM a freak on the dance floor, and I really like Otis Redding and I'm pretty sure that both of those things are because of my childhood devotion to Dirty Dancing.

What are YOUR thoughts? Would you let your own Munchkin watch Dirty Dancing, or is it too adult for an eight year old?

*Is it time to talk again about the time that I danced with Patrick Swayze? I think it is, because it's my GREATEST DANCE MEMORY EVER. I was eight, he wasn't a big star yet, and he was SUPER NICE AND ALSO HELLA FOXY. And a very good dance instructor!

Okay, enough stalling. Let's get back to it.

At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Worm Melissa knows that there is pain,but she holds on for one more day, tillshe breaks free, break from the chaaaaaains. And then she threatens to slice Cheesehead's neck with a pair of scissors unless everyone does what she says. Cheesehead, stupidly, tries to reason with THE EVIL DEMON WORM, so Worm Melissa just starts slicing at his jugular. I like Worm Melissa. When she's not trying to be Normal Melissa, Worm Melissa is refreshing in her forthrightness.

Faye, Adam and Diana start chanting some spell. It isn't succesful until they start using their Bitch Faces. Why don't they just start off by using their Bitch Faces? It'd save some time.

The spell isn't strong enough to defeat Worm Melissa though! So she makes them do ANOTHER spell to open the trunk. The trunk hisses and rattles and opens. But Cassie shows up with Teen Grandma! Who closes the suitcase with a quiet, offhand spell! No Bitch Face required! Then she whips out . . . A CRYSTAL! (look, this is what passes for excitement on this show. I'm just trying to parley the intent of the show.) Worm Melissa is no match for the crystal!!! She cowers in a corner while Teen Grandma instructs the kids to do some other sort of spell. This spell involves sage. I hope the spell is to create some sort of pumpkin ravioli in sage and brown butter sauce, because that sounds delicious right about now.

It's getting all Harry Potter up in this shizz.

Cheesehead is totally, stupidly, concerned about the real Melissa hiding under the prickly Worm Melissa exterior, so he goes over to comfort her. Melissa's eyes pop open.

The kids and Teen Grandma are about to exorcise the evil out of Worm Melissa, but then Teen Grandma realizes that Worm Melissa is no longer posessed! But then, who is?! Hilariously, Teen Grandma tests everyone by HOLDING THE CRYSTAL in front of their faces. What the fuck is the crystal made from, truth serum? Of course, Cheesehead is now the posessed one, because the Evil Worm is but a metaphor for infatuation, so clearly it passed from Melissa to Cheesehead. Well, infatuation or syphillis. Who can tell these days?

Oh! The suitcase/trunk thing has snakes in it! They're demon snakes! Teen Grandma helpfully explains to the kids that the only way to destroy a demon is to drown it or burn it. So Adam and Cassie throw the case in a bathtub and light it on fire. But one of the snakes snaps at Cassie! THIS SHOW IS SO RIDICULOUS.

Meanwhile, Cheesehead is running through the woods while the Evil Worm finishes its hostile takeover. Once Cheesehead becomes Worm Cheesehead, he does the same damn head-tilting thing. Okay, so whoever directed this episode told these kids that head-tilting was the universal symbol for evil, right? Let's find that director and have a chat about subtlety.

At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Adam gets a phone call from Worm Cheesehead! He's gonna burn down The Boathouse and Drunk Bartender Dad if Adam doesn't bring the suitcase!

Better drink up quickly, Natasha!

Worm Cheesehead comes stalking into the bar, where Principal Lesbian Lover is having a drink. Worm Cheesehead's all, "HEEEEEY, Girlfriend! Remember that time you summoned me? That was AWESOME. I'm gonna kill your kid and all her friends now, okay? And then I'm gonna take over your body, if that's cool." Principal Lesbian Lover tries to play it cool while secretly calling Harry Hamlin-lite. She starts monologueing so that Harry Hamlin-lite knows what's up, and it works because he shows up and punches Worm Cheesehead in the face! PLL says they have to drown him to kill the demon, who she calls Ahrahat or Amar or Adam or something, I don't know.

The kids and Teen Grandma arrive at the Boathouse, but Worm Cheesehead is nowhere to be found. Cause he's busy getting himself drowned by Harry Hamlin-lite! There are all these overhead shots of Harry Hamlin-lite dunking Worm Cheesehead in the water, because this needs to be a metaphor for baptism, which is itself a metaphor for washing away sins, which is itself a metaphor for coming clean to JC about all your bad shit. This is a symbolism sandwich!

Eventually Worm Cheesehead stops struggling and then Cassie and Teen Grandma come across his drowned corpse. Man! This show is getting better and better! Maybe they can all drown!

I guess Teen Grandma didn't get the message to pose like an action figure.

At the Requisite LJ Smith House Of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods, Faye is comforting the dewormed Melissa. Faye gets a phone call telling her about Cheesehead's unfortunate demise. Well, cheer up, Faye. Maybe you and Melissa can have destructive, angry sex.

Harry Hamlin-lite is guilt-stricken over what he has done, while PLL keeps trying to tell him he did the right thing. But he is way too guilty to hear it. He killed a child! Harry Hamlin-lite, who knew?! You do have a conscience! And that, children, is the day that Harry Hamlin-lite's heart grew three sizes.

On the upside (?), Cheesehead's death seems to have cemented Adam and Diana's relationship. I think they're supposed to be serious about all of it, but they keep doing this weird smirk/smile thing.

"I wish we'd remembered to bring the whipped cream."

At Cassie's house, she and Teen Grandma are talking about their 99 problems. It turns out that being a witch is one.

Montage time! Everyone's really sad about Cheesehead dying! Especially Cassie, who realizes she'll never see Cheesehead displaying his bare abs from her bedroom again! Then she looks totally confused for a second, like she's remembering something or she sees something off screen or something is puzzling her. THIS IS WHY I HATE THIS SHOW. WHY DOES SHE LOOK CONFUSED?? I can't understand if this is actually the direction the show is taking or if the actors are just awful and the writing isn't clear.

RIP Cheesehead. We'll miss your abs.

Next week, it looks like a crazy person is out stalking the Circle. With a knife! You have fun with that, Posh! I'll be chilling out and watching Community and Parks and Rec instead!

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.
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