Wow! Where do you even start with an episode that was as jam packed as "Family?" The Secret Circle didn't go out with a whimper, although more than one of our witches could be heard doing just that as their lives were hanging in the balance.
Should we be blessed with a second season, there would be no reason to revisit the slaughter of the circle's parents, or to wonder what happened to the living parents' magic. There would be no drinking games at home with the word crystal (sorry, drunkards) and the circle wouldn't be looking over their shoulder for Eben.
A whole new era of The Secret Circle was opened by the time the show ended, and I would tune in without hesitation.
How could they save Faye?
That was definitely the biggest question of the night and the circle was divided. Together their magic was strongest, but the skull, if they put it together with Blackwell, was supposed to be the most bad ass weapon against witch hunters on the planet. If it was only John who said that, doubt would have crept in, but they had Jake's grandfather to consider, as well. Why would he lie about its powers?
As half the circle went to the ferry to try to rescue Faye, Diana and Cassie went to Blackwell to attend to the skull.
Putting the skull together was a piece of cake. Cassie and Diana felt the force of its magic immediately, and it seemed to also give them a great BS barometer, because for the first time Cassie was able to see through Blackwell's crap. He had no intention of saving Faye and soon the girls were kidnapped. It was so awesome when Cassie tried to kill Diana to force out her dark magic. She took a pretty great chance there. If Diana hadn't resorted to her dark side, I think Cassie would have just murdered her.
Thankfully, Diana was a little peeved after hearing about their four Balcoin siblings spread across the U.S., along with learning that the skull was meant to kill all witches but them and seeing their friends burning to death in front of their eyes. Hi Adam! Thanks for coming to save us, sorry your skin's burning. Be right with you. The plan worked and she kicked Cassie clean out of their holding circle. Two Balcoins are better than one and soon it was Blackwell burning, and dead, in front of them.
Meanwhile, back at the ferry...
Once their circle was unbound Faye easily escaped, but she was trapped inside the ferry. I couldn't believe that Melissa had never been there. Didn't that shock you? All those years and she had never had the urge to see where history went down? They were caught once more and awaiting help from Dawn.
Oops... your magic was destroyed
Charles' mother let him and Dawn know that when she and her friends took their magic back in the day, it was destroyed, never to be returned. So what was it that Charles had been doing with the matches and all that? Voodoo? Did he learn some death tricks by match in the back of a comic book? Help me out because that part was lost on me. Whatever they did, she gave her powers to Charles and Dawn and promised to help Charles redeem himself in Diana's eyes.
Charles took the demons from Eben in the same way Nick took them from Melissa, and then he "killed" himself. Except he turned out to be as dead as Nick. Who knows how that will turn out, but he's going to have some nasty scars. Thanks, mom! Thank goodness he had better spells than demon/undemon or something. He sounded very professional as he took those demons, even if I had no idea what he was doing at the time.
The circle decided to remain unbound. They didn't really have a choice since Diana left town with Grant. They also chose to keep the crystal skull intact in the event they needed it. Jake tasked the boy scout, Adam, with disposing of it properly, but the way he was rubbing it like he had just run into Bruce Willis on the street and couldn't believe his good fortune, I think they may have an addict on their hands. Faye and Melissa are girls who just wanna have fun again, ordering hot cab drivers to their door.
Jake got a gift from his grandfather with what looked like a dead person's ashes and a note to beware the circles that are coming. At the same time, both Diana and Cassie noted the Balcoin symbol burned into their palms and four strangers stood holding hands looking into Chance Harbor.
So. The four Balcoin kids have to had known about each other long before the skull came together. How would they find each other practically overnight? Not to mention be so close as to hold hands on a cliff side? Once again, Blackwell couldn't be trusted. They obviously weren't scattered about as he told Cassie and Diana. Had he gone to them first? Was their magic less powerful as they weren't half siblings?
Will Adam start wearing the skull around his neck like bling and think nobody will notice? Maybe Jake will wear the amulet full of ashes, as well? Cassie was left without a guardian again, and no Charles to take her in. Maybe Dawn will draw the short straw since she has some magic back. Will the new kids walk through the halls of school hand in hand? So many questions, no renewal in sight!!
Yes, I'm making fun of some of the silly possibilities, but it was an excellent finale to a really well thought out season. With a little bump in the road just before the mid season break, things came back under control and on a perfect path for maximum entertainment. No matter what happens with The Secret Circle I will not regret any of the 22 hours I spent watching it. It was great suspense and fun!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.