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The Secret Circle 1x7: Masked

Could it BE? Is The Secret Circle finally turning a corner?! Or is Erin just feeling residual enthusiasm for the addition of guys from 10 Things?

The Secret Circle 1x7: Masked

Previous episode: "Wake"

So this show! Is still on the air! So that's a thing that's happening in my life that I'm not so pleased with! But hey, last week Posh admitted to starting to like this show, AND she told me she was going to actually watch it this week, even though she didn't have to, so maybe something MAGICAL happened last week and this show is now worth my time.

You guys certainly seem to think so, anyway! Could this be the day that Secret Circle finally comes into its own? Let's find out!

Time for my Last 30 Seconds of Vampire Diaries recap: Damon and Alaric (STOP CALLING HIM RICK) are subbing in for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And there are some Olde Tymey drawings in the cave. Maybe there were early Homo sapiens vampires! Just before the Bronze Age came the Bloodsucking Age. It's totes true! Anyway this ending seems fairly anti-climactic for TVD but perhaps Damon and Alaric just discovered the key to their Lasting Homosexual Happiness in this cave and can now bone like rabbits forever. I can only hope.

Oh, okay, I guess I have to think about The Secret Circle now. Hey, at least Joey Donner 2.0 is on this show now! Hopefully he'll model his abs for us.

Show! Cassie and Faye are shopping in the sort of conveniently placed artifact/antiques shop that so often populate small harbor towns (not sarcasm. Have you ever been to a small harbor town? Antique shops everywhere. It's like rusty old spoons go there to die.) and talk about their Halloween party but OH MY GOD I CANNOT FUNCTION. Faye is not wearing a shirt, y'all. She is walking around IN PUBLIC with some sort of, like, fringed scarf thing covering her boobs, and I can't even - WHAT IS THIS? I mean, I get it's Halloween or whatever but this isn't even like Poshdeluxe's Sexy Optimus Prime (Sextimus) outfit; THIS IS JUST INSANE. It doesn't even look like it's part of a costume. It's just a boob scarf that she's wearing out on the town cause it's Tuesday, or whatever.

Aah! Aah! I can't even focus now. Why?

Quick poll!

Anyway, Cassie is getting all existential about Halloween and how it's a time to be someone else, blah blah blah. When did Faye and Cassie become such good friends? Anyway, Faye makes Cassie ask Luke (the dude she went to the dance with) to her party and then she asks Cassie to buy some weird skeleton thing for her. When Cassie goes to pay with the credit card that all teenagers have in their own name, the cashier dude gets all weird about Teen Mom, like EVERYONE does on this show, and then the mirrors all break. Spooky!

Maybe Cassie ought to change her last name so this stops happening. Or maybe add something to her first name that honors her mom without advertising the Teen Mom heritage. How about Mama Cass? I don't think that one's in much use.

At home, Teen Grandma is witchsplaining that the shopowner, named Calvin, is a witch, and then there's something about different power currents crossing or something, which caused the mirror to break. What is this, EE 301 class? Teen Grandma is off to go hang outwith her pal Henryfor the weekend, who lives in a cabin far, far away. I think they're going to have some geriatric sex!

The Pier of Sad Men. Adam is pretty pissed at Drunk Bartender for talking to Diana about all the "written in the stars" bullshit. Oh Jesus, writers, please stop making people say "written in the stars." Fucking Laurence Olivier could not pull that line off, okay?

The girls are cheerfully decorating Cassie's house for the Halloween party. They're going all out, including a creepy as hell zombie puppet that you just KNOW is going to end up talking and moving by the end of this episode. Great. There goes my night's sleep.

Cassie finds part of the plate or knife or whatever that the crazy witch hunter from last week used to try to kill her, and Diana helpfully witchsplains that the crescent symbol matches the one the girl burned into the ground. Hmm, I think this is a good time for Joey Donner 2.0 to show up on screen!

And yep, Cassie runs into him on her way to show the antique shop owner the artifact! Joey Donner 2.0 tries to dissuade her using the power of his black V-neck Simon Cowell shirt, but when that doesn't work, he breaks Cassie's truck engine with his MIND POWERS. Now there's no way Cassie can make her way across the TINY HARBOR TOWN without her truck.

Cassie's delay gives Joey Donner 2.0 enough time to hotfoot it over to the antique shop, where he cheerfully threatens to murder the shop owner, Calvin. I love Joey Donner 2.0. I never would have said this on 10 Things I Hate About You, but he's officially both the hottest and best actor they have on this show. But then, I love anyone (fictional) who cheerfully talks about killing people. It's always good for people to have a hobby!

Joey Donner 2.0 doesn't actually kill Calvin, but comes close enough that he probably scares the pee out of Calvin. I don't think Calvin will be witchsplaining anything to Cassie now!

But let's see, shall we? She shows up to ask about the crescent ruin thing and Calvin lies and says he has no idea what it is. Calvin catches on quick. Then a giant jar of eyeballs "accidentally" break, but really it's just Cassie making an opportunity to snatch a photo of similar ruins. I want to be in a situation where I'm dealing with a jar of eyeballs breaking. That's SO much better than when I accidentally break one of my plates.

Cemetary. OH GREAT. The show is doing that thing I HATE where someone dies and then like TWO DAYS LATER the gravestone is up. Show. Show. The gravestone takes a LONG WHILE to come in, okay. A long while. And then, sometimes if you're SUPER lucky, the gravestone people will misspell your grandmother's FAIRLY COMMON first name so that she's laying in eternal rest under a tombstone pronouncing her "Dorthy." And then you'll spend years calling and writing letters, trying to get it fixed, and they won't do it and so everytime you go to visit your grandmother, you see DORTHY on the tombstone and get angry all over again at the gravestone people and God and life. IT'S SUPER FUN AND HEALTHY, I recommend it!

Ugh. Anyway, Joey Donner 2.0 is there, contemplating Cheesehead's grave. Melissa shows up and tries to bond with him in a "hey, we both lost someone whose abs we really admired" sort of way, but Joey Donner 2.0 is like, "bish, I didn't even LIKE my brother." This makes Melissa mad, though I'm not really sure why. I didn't like Cheesehead either, Melissa. I don't think anyone did.

At The Requisite LJ Smith House of Disrepair Set Far Away in the Woods, Adam and Cassie are uploading/referencing the photos Cassie took at the antique shop. I guess they're using the super fast broadband wifi that is so prevalent and cheap in the middle of woods surrounding tiny harbor towns. Adam mopes a lot about breaking up with Diana, because he's nothing without her, (he ain't much with her either, ba dum ching) yet he cannot deny the chemistry he has with Cassie. Well, he doesn't say this part, but he keeps looking at Cassie's chest, so I assume that's what he's thinking. Faye interrupts this boring moment to not be that interesting, and then they all find out through the internet that the symbol is from a super-old witch hunting society.

Hey! Speaking of, Joey Donner 2.0 is prepping some witch-killing spells of his own, while consulting some goateed fellow who I assume I'd have recognized if I watch this show on the weeks I don't have to. Let's presume he's a super fancy witch-hunting dude.

All Joey Donner 2.0 needs now is blood from our teen Circle of Suck, plus an object that they hold dear. Then a little fire and whoosh! Dead witches! Oh, were I only that lucky. Goateed Fellow introduces Joey Donner 2.0 to some assistant witch-hunters. . . including Luke! Whoa! Luke! Is this because you're angry that you have a tiny little buttchin?

Show! My dvr did that thing again where it skips whole parts of the show. Cool! When it comes back, Cassie is stupidly telling Joey Donner 2.0 all that she knows about the witch hunters. But! Joey Donner 2.0 accidentally plays his hand by referring to some of the symbols, even as he says he has no idea what's going on.

Party time! Faye (Sexy Red Riding Hood) and Melissa (Sexy Nurse or Sexy Schoolgirl - I can't tell) are making the decorations come to life with their MIND POWERS. Then Cassie comes downstairs and HOLY BINGO, BATMAN!!! We have a Sexy Bumblebee winner! Ding ding ding! Ladies and Brian, let's all lift our glasses to Miss Cassie Blake, winner of the Most Likely To Be Punched In The Face At Any Real Party award!

"I'll sting ya with my sexiness! And then die, as is befitting the natural course of a bumblebee's life."

Cassie lets Faye and Melissa know that she's on to Jake, so that they should watch out for him. Well, that'll be helpful during a COSTUME party. Jesus.

Everyone! Quickly! Tell me your costumes! I was going to go as Person In Bad Mood Because She Had To Wear A Costume, which involved a lot of scowling and rolling of eyes, but at the last minute inspiration struck, and so tonight I made an Obama = Hitler sign, as well as a "Keep You're Govt hands off my Medicare" {sic} sign and some Perry/Bachmann 2012 buttons and I bought a fake bird and I'm going as My Walking Nightmare. I'm really scared of birds and Tea Partiers, what?

Adam (Generically Creepy Costume) keeps trying to win back Diana (Magenta from RHPS or Sexy Victorian Widow or maybe Mary Kelly, the last of Jack the Ripper's victims? Hard to tell.), but she's all "You belong with Cassie! And also I'm out of eyeliner." Adam's sad.

She needs a sweet transvestite.

At The Pier of Sad Men, Calvin the Antique Shop Owner has shown up on Drunk Bartender's boat! They're both witches, but not from the same circle. So I guess pretty much everyone in town is a witch, and if that's the case, why don't they just let all their witcheyness all hang out? Let it flap in the breeze, people!! There's this whole talk about how much Cassie favors Teen Mom - which maybe isn't such a great thing, it seems? Anyway, Cassie's father is apparently one John Blackwell, and Calvin thinks she needs to know so that she can protect herself.

At the party, Cassie runs into Luke (Mobster) and makes really lame jokes. That's reason enough to kill her, Luke. Mean-to-the-while, Faye's entertaining Joey Donner 2.0 (Simon Cowell), in order to distract him so that Cassie can search through his house. And so that Faye can get in his pants, I'm pretty sure. They wander upstairs to have sex. I'm sure that's exactly what Cassie meant when she asked you to distract him, Faye. "Take him to my room and have sex on my bed!"

Bitch, unless you are prepared to do the "Smooth Criminal" dance IN ITS ENTIRETY, you best GTFO.

Outside, Melissa's looking for Faye, but one of the witch hunter assistants kidnaps her! Using chloroform!! How old school! Upstairs, Joey Donner 2.0 nicks one of Cassie's trinkets right before Faye straddles him. Joey Donner 2.0, how do you know that isn't one of 800 Forever 21 necklaces that Cassie happens to wear twice before forgetting? It's probably not that special!

While Joey Donner 2.0's distracted with Faye's boobs, Cassie's rooting around his room. She finds his witch-huntin' dagger! Too bad Joey Donner 2.0 picks that time to come back to his room.

I thought you guys might like to know that only 36 minutes have elapsed so far. Sigh.

Time to talk about the dagger! Joey Donner 2.0 unwraps a whole plethora of witch hunting tools, and then pretends that they were actually Cheesehead's. Cassie, of course, believes him. He's just about to talk her into handing over the dagger until Faye interrupts them with the news that she can't find Melissa.

Meanwhile! Calvin tries to contact Cassie to explain that she's in Great and Terrible Danger, but he's interrupted! By Joey Donner 2.0! Who isn't too happy that Calvin broke his promise! Calving just has time to tell Joey Donner 2.0 that Cassie has dark magic inside of her before Joey Donner 2.0 kills him!

"Oh my god, SHUT UP! And then what happened?"

Meanwhile! Diana gets chloroformed by one of the witch hunter assistants.

Meanwhile some more! Cassie's looking for Melissa and Diana . . . and gets chloroformed by Luke! So much chloroforming! So very old school!

Cassie wakes up in a derelict boathouse building with her fellow witches. Luke and the Goateed Fellow are working on their witch-murderin' spells. But then Joey Donner 2.0 shows up outside! They'll never be able to kill Cassie with this spell, he says! And then her power will just grow stronger! Her DARK MAGIC power!! But Goateed Fellow will not heed his warning!

Inside, Luke's just about to off Diana first, in between bouts of monologuing as to why he hates witches (undetermined), when Cassie shrieks and the spell glass breaks. She's just like Dawn in Buffy! get out Get out GET OUT!! Luke's like, GREAT. Now I have to sweep up this glass later! He starts over again - until Cassie manages to light him on fire using only the power of her tonsils. Man, think about what could have happened if Dawn could have lit people on fire just by screeching. Buffy would have ended in Season Five!

Outside, Joey Donner 2.0 does some ritual blood-letting . . . which allows him to pretend he was also jumped by Mr Chloroform. None of the Circle seem to believe him. I think. It's dark and I haven't had enough wine to try to parse these people's reactions.

Show! Diana's getting changed in her room when Adam comes in and tearfully pleads for her to come back to him. She's his home! He wants to decorate her with his lovejizz! But Diana just can't believe in their relationship, because of how he and Cassie are, groan, written in the stars. Diana, you are dumb. I mean, Adam's no prize but to dump him because his drunk asshole dad seems to think you're not part of the star equation is just LAME. If we didn't date people because their parents didn't like us that much then NO ONE WOULD EVER DATE ANYONE.

Cassie is cleaning up her party mess when Joey Donner 2.0 shows up to try and charm her. It's probably going to work eventually, but for now she shows him the door. But then! She gets a mysterious envelope on the door! And in it? Some ancient scrolls signed J.D. Her dad? Or Jack Donaghy? OR JACK DANIELS??!

Meanwhile! Teen Grandma has FINALLY made it to the cabin where Henry lives. Damn! That took forevs! But Henry's unconscious on the floor! So Teen Grandma finds Henry's MAGIC CRYSTAL, which is seriously hidden in the same place you'd hide an extra key, in order to revive him. But then! Someone hits her on the head and takes the crystal! We don't see who, but my guess is Principal Lesbian Lover.

That's it! I have to say, I did enjoy this a bit more! I think Joey Donner 2.0 is a real bonus to the show. At least he looks like he's having FUN with it. It's still nowhere near The Vampire Diaries (even season one of TVD) in either quality or watchability, but it's improving. If they start killing off most of the cast (they can keep Faye; I like her and she's pretty) and replacing them with guys from 10 Things I Hate About You, I'll like it even more!

Thoughts? Theories? Leave 'em in the comments!

Next episode: "Beneath"

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.