The Secret Circle Pilot Recap

The Secret Circle- Pilot


“Destiny is not easy to run from.”

I made a list of characters and short descriptions gathered from the pilot so that you have a reference in case you need one.


Cassie (Britt Robertson)- story’s main character, a blonde teenager who moves in with her Grandma after her mother dies in a fire. World is turned upside down when she learns from strangers that she isn’t like most people and has powers stronger than she knows.

Amelia (Emily Holmes)- Cassie’s mother who tragically dies in a supernatural fire. Escaped her hometown shortly after Cassie was born, Cassie’s father and her husband died in a car crash after her birth.

Charles (Gale Harold)- Diana’s father and member of the old circle. Uses his powers regularly. Responsible for the fire that killed Cassie’s mother.

Jane (Ashley Crow)- Cassie’s grandmother and Amelia’s mother. She takes Cassie in after he mother’s death. Knows about magic and is afraid that her granddaughter might get involved in it.

Dawn Chamberlain (Natasha Henstridge)- Principal at the circle’s high school and mother of Faye. She was apart of the circle and was friends with Amelia. Has a hidden agenda concerning the return of Cassie.

Nick (Louis Hunter)- Cassie’s new neighbor and a member of the circle.

Adam (Thomas Dekker)- Member of the circle, boyfriend to Diana. He befriends Cassie and practices magic with her. It is written in the stars that he belongs with Cassie, they have undeniable chemistry.

Faye (Phoebe Tonkin)- Member of the circle, resident bad girl. Doesn’t want to have control of their powers and would rather use them for personal gain.

Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy)- Member of the circle and Faye’s sidekick.

Diana (Shelley Hennig)- Leader of the circle because she found her ancestor’s magic book first. Dating Adam and wants to do great things with their powers as long as there’s control over them.

Ethan (Adam Harrington)- Adam’s father and was in love with Cassie’s mother. He owns the boathouse restaurant and has turned to drinking since Amelia left.

Whew. There you go! The cliff note’s version of each character introduced in the pilot.

Dark, Scary Road In The Middle of Nowhere Well Not Nowhere

The show starts out with Cassie jamming to Young Blood by The Naked and Famous (which happens to be a fabulous song) while driving and is cut off by a car. The scene takes a scary turn when her car spins out due to a flat tire. (Can we take a brief moment to revel in how calm Cassie was? Her car spins around and she’s on a dark road. I would be freaking out).

The Blake’s House of Weird Occurrences

She calls her mom, Amelia, to let her know and they banter back and forth about her mom coming to help. I’m 18 and I don’t know how to change a flat tire, I’ll Wikipedia it later I guess. As they talk, a creepy man approaches the house (who turns out to be Charles) with a box of matches.  Gale Harold, be any creepier? I dare you. He continually lights a match until the inside of the house bursts into flames with Amelia inside. Charles, where are you when I have trouble lighting a candle? Finally he takes a handful of matches and caboom. If I did that I think at least half of the matches would have broken in half. The man just walks away casually like he was admiring the house’s garden as Amelia dies.

One Month Later…Welcome To Chance Harbor, Washington We Breed Witches Here!

Cassie moves into her grandmother Jane’s house. Anyone else amazed that the car lasted over a thousand miles in one piece AND that Cassie only had a duffel bag with her? Did the rest of her stuff magically appear? I mean I know her house burned down but still. Shopping spree. Side note: Cassie’s grandmother does not look old enough to be a grandmother. We learn that Cassie’s never visited nor had her mother since she left 16 years ago after Cassie was born and after her father’s car accident. We discover that Cassie has a cute neighbor boy who has magical curtain opening abilities. You can throw my curtains open anytime buddy (weird?) Um, Cassie’s mom put billions of those glow in the dark stars on the ceiling of her bedroom when she lived there. How awesome?

Chance Harbor High School of Stubborn Lockers and Weird Teenagers

Cassie meets Dawn Chamberlain, principal and mother of Faye, who also happened to be a friend of Cassie’s mother, Amelia. Small town, eh? Adam(emoish looking kid) and Nick (window boy) exchange very few words about Cassie’s arrival, I sense a bit of a rivalry  between the two. Cassie and Adam share a few heated looks until Faye and her sidekick Melissa show up as she struggles with the lock on her locker. Faye immediately tells Cassie she’s pretty, it was weird. The lock magically works after the two girls disappear. Did you catch the word magically? I think there’s magic going on here! Diana is like the one woman welcoming committee or that girl who is the model student that you want to hate but she’s just too nice to hate. Anyway back to the TV show, Diana invites Cassie to the Boathouse restaurant which happens to be on the water. Yes, she feels the need to tell Cassie that this Boathouse restaurant is on the water. I mean I guess a restaurant named Boathouse could be in the middle of the desert.

Boathouse Restaurant on the Waterfront…Or the Mystic Grill of Chance Harbor where adults get drunk in the afternoon.

Is it weird that this place kind of reminds of the Ice House in Dawson’s Creek? Back to the show! Introducing Ethan (drunk guy in plaid…he may or may not be friends with Alaric Saltzman) who happens to own this establishment and is the father of Adam. Awkward conversation ensues when Ethan tells Cassie that he loved her mother, poured himself a drink, and then told her that their families “were written in the stars.” They are destined to be together? I don’t know why Cassie’s mom didn’t stay with this guy, he’s a total catch! Free alcohol! Pretty blue eyes! Plaid shirts! Anyway, a cute scene between Cassie and Adam ensues…Then there’s Faye. Causing trouble. Telling Cassie to go after Adam, of course Melissa tries to butt in or reign in Faye’s tirade. I take back my first assumption of Melissa, she may be Faye’s lackey but she seems like she could be genuinely nice. We learn that Faye’s dad is dead too and her mother is the principal. Uh oh SpaghettiOs. “And he really does go for the sad, delicate types.” Ouch Faye. Cassie being all awesome shoots back with, “You know, I’m not feeling all that delicate right now.” Then she leaves. I want to be Cassie.

Faye. More magical nudges. Yes, your magical nudge was helpful when dealing with tricky locks but setting cars on fire. Your magical nudges suck. By the way. Let’s admire the view real quick! Wow!

Adam to the rescue! His magical nudge put the fire out! Yay! He carries her out of the car and its perfect (is this too shippy? Sorry!) Cassie isn’t buying Adam’s “the engine blew” explanation and the scene shifts as Diana lays claim to Adam. She tells Cassie that he’s cool. Thanks Diana. Brilliant deduction. He just saved Cassie from a fire.

Poor excuses and power struggles.

More cuteness as Adam drives Cassie home and struggles to come up with reasons to why Cassie’s car caught on fire. Skeptical Cassie ain’t buying any of his explanations. Thomas Dekker is adorable. Wow! Diana and Adam have been together for three years. These kids are like 17? Moving on. That was a beautiful scene between Adam and Cassie. Thomas and Britt have great chemistry.

A little gathering between Faye and Diana (is talking outside of people’s houses a thing now?) where Diana accuses Faye of being reckless and Faye smirks while telling Faye smugly that Cassie’s magical energy connected with hers and caused the fire. Faye’s all for telling Cassie about who she is and Diana’s against it, stating that Cassie needs time. Did I mention there’s a power struggle going on between these two? Faye’s having trouble swallowing the bitter pill cause she clearly doesn’t like having Diana in charge. Phoebe is pure genius as Faye. She really embodies the characters. Faye reminds me of Katherine from The Vampire Diaries.

Does anyone else notice how in this scene with Cassie going to bed her door slowly opens and then when she turns her light back on after noticing the stars moving that the door is open? Goof or magic? I think goof but in this scene it’s really creepy.

Downtown Chance Harbor Where Awkward Run-Ins with Arsonists Happen.

Cassie’s on a mission to find her grandmother and tell her about all the crazy ass events when she runs into the creepy arsonist. Hopefully he’s not carrying around any matches…Charles lends his condolences to Cassie concerning her mother’s accident. What a jerk. I suppose he wasn’t going to say, “Sorry for making you an orphan.” Still! What is happening to society these days? Surprise! This creeper is Diana’s dad which seems SO wrong. Why isn’t he Faye’s father, it makes more sense! I like you Diana but…You are so bubbly and obvious. She just weirds me out! “This town is a freaking side-show.” We know Cassie! There are witchy murderers, boathouse restaurants, and peeping toms! At least the scenery is really pretty? Don’t worry though, Diana is here to the rescue!

Meeting of the older minds, or older witches. Grandma Jane confronts the principal about Cassie’s accident with questions about the kids practicing magic. Of course, like any mom who raises a psychopath she was ignorant of any firestarters or twitchy fingers.

Weird, Abandoned Club House in the Middle of Nowhere Where Witches Stir Their Brew

Too much? Should I have quit while I was ahead? Meanwhile, Cassie and Diana take a trip to the woods where Diana asks Cassie to get the shovel and axe from the backseat. Just kidding!

Broken windows, overgrown bushes, and creaky floorboards…Not shady at all. Wouldn’t someone notice a bunch of kids hanging out here? I get that it’s in the middle of nowhere but it’s still a house! The entire gang is there or the circle…Diana starts a long-winded speech about who Cassie really is and finally Faye bites the bullet and drops the witch bomb. Hagrid was a little more welcoming when he told Harry, “You’re a wizard, Harry.” Faye lacks tact but she saved us all from listening to Diana try to explain what’s been going on. I would like to take a quick moment, this recap sounds as if I don’t like Diana and that’s not true. I think Diana is a lovely character but I’m more like Faye so she’s a little annoying sometimes. Skeptical Cassie is back and not really in the mood to wrap her mind around this one. Their families’ legacy dates back to 1692 for you history buffs out there that is the year of the Salem Witch Trials. Each family has their own book detailing their ancestry and magic, basically a Book of Shadows (I watched Charmed growing up). Diana is the only member of the circle who has her book which in turn makes her the leader. I don’t understand why Cassie is all upset. I would be thrilled if someone told me I was witch, for a while in fourth grade I wanted to be a witch and just like Piper from Charmed. A complete circle becomes a really powerful circle who would have more control over their abilities and each circle is composed of a member from the six families. Cassie is still freaking out, I guess moving stars, curtain opening, lock fixing, and car fires are just normal occurrences. History lesson again (not real history), something bad happened with the last circle with their parents circle that got people killed and ended with witchcraft being abolished. No worries. Adam will show you that magic exists, why didn’t you ask for proof in the first place Cassie? I think she secretly wanted some alone time with Adam.

They made magic!! Well they floated water droplets. I would have gone for something a little cooler but whatever this is neat.

And then this ALMOST happened.

Of course they pull back before anything else can happen and Cassie runs away. I guess she walked home since Diana drove. I wonder how long it took her to get home considering this place doesn’t seem like it’s located in the town square and she just moved her. Maybe she has a built-in witch GPS.

The rest of the circle finds out about their little water floating tryst. Apparently doing magic with someone is something to be jealous of according to the tone of Diana’s voice. There’s this back and forth conversation between the five of them about doing the ritual to control their powers and how Cassie will probably tell her grandmother. Of course Faye being the little troublemaker that she is decides that she’s not interested in finding Cassie but more interested in trying out her new magnified powers. Adam and Diana have their first little fight. Then it’s find Cassie time! Turns out she’s in one of the three places she knows in Chance Harbor.

Answers From The Drunk Fortune Teller and Spells on the Pier

Ethan is kind of adorable in a sad puppy way but a little strange, maybe because he’s constantly drunk. He keeps repeating that he and Amelia were meant for each other and it was aligned in the stars. Is there a skip button on this guy? Also that Adam and Cassie are meant for each other too. I’m curious, had Amelia and Ethan gotten together and had kids would they still be destined for each other? Weird. Another important rule, “You don’t want to mess with fate. Bad things happen when you mess with fate.” Of course Ethan gets the juicy stuff stating that Cassie’s father was a bad man and then he’s interrupted by the arsonist. Thanks Charles! Charles makes it more awkward by stepping in and denying us answers! When it seems like a fight is about to break out, Adam shows up. Good thing too, I don’t know if Ethan is sober enough for a fight.

This little bit here with DNA by the Kills playing and Faye walking down the pier is bad ass. I love this song. Faye uses her new powers to start a BAD thunderstorm. Why doesn’t she just use a spell to get a new wardrobe or something fun and not dangerous?

Diana finds Cassie on the pier and Cassie wants the answers she still hasn’t gotten. Diana explains that “there was an accident sixteen years ago and the people who died were all members of the last circle…their parents.” Diana is all for controlling their powers and doing great things (this is all being said while Faye brews a storm). This is a beautiful scene for Britt Robertson as she wonders why her mother never told her about this life.

Meanwhile Faye is stirring up more trouble. Who gave this girl magical powers?

Diana ends up at the end of the pier with Faye trying to stop the storm when she is somehow injured? She falls over after a pole gets hit by lightning? That was a little unclear. This breaks Faye out of her power-hungry daze and it seems like Faye has a heart because she rushes over to Diana’s side! Diana begs her to stop the storm and Faye tries but fails miserably. Cassie comes walking towards them like a BAMF and stops the storm all by herself. So cool. Then she just walks away with “I don’t want any part of this.” Embrace your ancestry girlfriend! When Cassie reaches her house, her grandma knowingly asks if she’s okay, she lies to her. Grandma Jane knows something is wrong but Cassie isn’t letting up.

Back to the boathouse. Does Ethan live at the Boathouse? Is that why it’s called the Boathouse? Does he know that he could probably drink at home? Anyway, Charles comes back to tie up loose ends or loose lips. You know the saying: ‘loose lips, sink ships’ or witches. The psychotic witch almost drowns Ethan with his abilities as his final warning. What is with this guy? Did he not get hugged enough as a child? Seriously! Charles is probably the single reason for things like The Salem Witch Trials.

The Blake House…With Very Late Visitors.

Grandma ain’t happy with late visitors. Maybe she’ll end up being an actual parental figure in Cassie’s life? Hopefully she doesn’t disappear after a few episodes and let Cassie go around all willy nilly. Late visitor turns out to be Adam! Yay. Boo. He comes to apologize for what happened in the woods and tries to convince the both of them that he loves Diana. Same old speech, it can never happen again (even though it will). Cassie! It isn’t a secret cult, it’s a secret circle! Duh. He leaves with telling her that she’s one of them and she’s not alone. I want my very own Adam! Minus the girlfriend.

Scheming Old People Who Use Children to Do Their Dirty Work.

Charles using his parlor tricks to open the door for Dawn…Is that useful? She had her keys in the door. Secret meeting ensues where Dawn asks about Ethan and Charles confirms that “they spoke.” Yeah that’s exactly how I speak to people too. Gasp! “She’s got the gift.” I really need to know about Cassie’s father, this guy sounds like bad news. She says that Charles did the right thing by bringing Cassie here and how they are going to use the circle to do something for them…Mysterious. These two, I don’t like ‘em.

Fireplaces Make Good Hiding Spots

The stars are moving again along with a loose tile in the fireplace. Aha! Bingo! Cassie finds her mother’s book in the fireplace.

It probably has the worst bedtime stories ever. And then there’s the letter that we heard a bit of in the beginning of the episode. Basically her mom’s like I’m dead if you’re reading this and I didn’t want this life for you AND you’re screwed. Just kidding. She just tells her that she has incredible power and people will come for her. Thanks Ma!

That’s the end of the pilot!

Let me know what you think of the episode! Will you be tuning in next week? I know I will. Any thoughts would be appreciated. If you could lie to me and tell me this doesn’t completely suck as my first recap, I would love you for forever.



Filed under recap, television, the secret circle

2 responses to “The Secret Circle Pilot Recap

  1. Cool recap Hannah. I liked the pilot a lot more than I thought I would.

    Faye and Diana need to get together tbh. Power struggle and underlying attraction, do want.

  2. I’m really glad that Britt Robertson is getting another chance at a lead role – I loved her in Life Unexpected and was so bummed when that show was cancelled. Also loved that they used MNDR’s “I Go Away” in the first scene of the show – really got me excited (watch at

    While I was kind of apprehensive when i read the show description, thinking it might be a little too cookie-cutter, the pilot was very solid. The show has good tone – it’s the right mix of dark without being depressive, and it had excellent pacing, which is often overlooked. I’m excited to see if Britt can take this role and run with it!

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