This episode had to be amazing, didn’t it? Just to make it even more awful for me to say goodbye. Ugh. Family wasn’t altogether shocking; in fact everything that happened was kind of to be expected. Predictable doesn’t adequately describe it though, because it was all stuff that had to happen. The Secret Circle was headed in the right direction, characters were even more appealing than they were before and the future looked bright. One thing’s for certain: season two would have been amazing.
In the last episode of the series, ‘Family’, Cassie and Diana use Blackwell to activate the crystal skull to save Faye when she’s kidnapped by the circle. Trapped inside, Faye asks her mother, Dawn for help, who tries to regain her power, but at a huge cost.
There’s was very little left to learn in Family. Everything of value had been divulged in bit and pieces all year, but the way that all of the information was presented here tied everything up quite nicely, with Blackwell’s full plan reaching fruition, and the truth about their parents’ deaths making more sense than it did before. The only new information here was the revelation about the Balcoin circle. The possibilities it could have provided are endless, and it was a wonderful way of ushering us into what was supposed to be the show’s sophomore year. With some new blood and a fresh take on the show’s group dynamics, who knows what could have happened.
Like a lot of episodes, this one dedicated a lot of time to the exploration of dark magic. One thing I don’t’ get is what possessed Cassie to hurt Diana like that, even if she was desperate to get her to stop their father? And why was Diana so reluctant to use hers? It was great seeing them face Blackwell together, but I have no idea what the consequences could have been for them individually. Would Diana have had to fight her inner darkness like Cassie? From what I could derive from it, the last scene with Cassie seems to point at her becoming a lot more personal with her own dark magic, probably giving the new Blackwells the opening they needed. So many questions that can never be answered!
After watching this episode, I don’t know why the circle wasn’t unbound before. Group magic was never really used to its full potential at all, just a few mass chanting sessions here and there, but the solo magic proved far more exciting and volatile, even just from what we got to see here, not just exploding light bulbs and floating raindrops. There was a lot of fun to be had with it, and it helped bring this episode to a satisfying climax.
It’s hard to analyse any of the cliff-hangers we were left with, considering they’ll never really go anywhere. I’ve discussed Cassie, and the new Blackwell off-spring already, but it seems as though Adam was about to follow Cassie down the seductive magic road. Faye and Melissa’s scene was really great, full of all that fun and magic that I’ve talked about before, with their solo magic making things even more fun than it did when they were bound. Charles seems to be falling into Heather’s footsteps, and Jake’s final scene was a little bit too vague to derive anything from it, other than the crystals were being replaced with other annoying magic item. I don’t think Diana would have found any solace other than a few moments to herself on her trip with Grant. Her bond with the circle is far too intense, and she’s much too moral to leave the rest of her circle hanging when they would have undoubtedly gotten themselves in danger.
Over the past year I’ve really grown attached to these characters, which is strange considering how difficult so many others found it to connect with them at all. Faye was awesome from the start, taking sassy to a whole other level. Cassie was immediately engaging, even if she went a little brain dead for a while there. The biggest surprise was Diana, someone who started out so straight forward, but grew and blossomed into one of the show’s defining personalities. The parents were a little harder to get used to; popping in and out and muttering about crystals wasn’t enough to solidify them as integral parts of the cast. Family was the first episode to bring them into the fold properly, even changing Charles into a martyr, sacrificing everything for his daughter. If there was one thing this show did best, it was giving us an easily accessible cast.
Now that it’s all been said and done, and the show’s fate is sealed, it’s hard to pinpoint where it all went wrong. Why didn’t it catch on? Was it the lack of Ian Somerhalder? Not enough carnage? Did you just not connect with the characters, or was it just not your thing? Despite a few misfires, the Secret Circle’s first season proved far more cohesive and consistent than the Vampire Diaries’ first attempt. It may not have been as throttling, or as crazily paced, but I wouldn’t say it was inferior. The Secret Circle had its own identity, it’s just a shame it wasn’t one that found its own audience. I can’t really blame the CW for renewing other shows over it either, but I can’t wait to see Beauty and the Beast tank, just to spite them. I’m not getting my hopes up for it returning in another format either, which is a shame ‘cause if there’s any other show more deserving of a second chance, it’s this one.
Family was exactly the finale this season/series needed. Despite the fact that the circle was splitting apart, the show itself felt more bound together than it ever had been before and the prospects for next season were incredibly exciting. I’m really going miss this show, and Faye, and Diana, hell, I’ll even miss Cassie’s dark magic/constipation face. RIP The Secret Circle, you’ll be missed. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cry into my book of shadows.