This review may contain spoilers
Eben (Sammi Rotibi) will exchange Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) for a crystal. Without all six no one can make the skull weapon. He's hanging out at the abandoned ferry (why is it still there?) for the poetic full-circle-ness of it all.
Diana (Shelley Hennig) doesn't want to make the skull because John (Joe Lando) does, but Cassie (Britt Robertson) convinces her it's the only way to save Faye. They make it and Cassie is immediately drawn to it like Gollum to the one ring. She wants to hold it; she wants to use it.
John knocks them out and takes them back to the Briar Hill and surrounds them with a mystical barrier. He has no intention of bothering to save Faye; after all, his intention is to kill all the non-Balcoin witches. They're weak and in the way, so that he and his spawn -- there are four others he created from the other circles -- can form a perfect circle and rule the world. The skull is the key to the witch killing spell. Cassie can't stop him without Diana's help; so she force chokes Diana until her dark powers activate. They don't try working together using regular magic first, going straight to the activate or die. Together they use the skull to kill John.
Meanwhile, the others have charged off to the ferry to hide and wait for the skull and no backup plan but skulking around. Jake (Chris Zylka) decides that he cannot bear the thought of Faye alone with the witch hunters and wants to charge in. The circle unbinds at this point and they have individual powers again. Jake and Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) go to rescue Faye, who was almost doing a reasonable job of rescuing herself. But then Eben catches them all and recreates John's execution with them all tied to the same pole, surrounded by magic deadening ash and starts another fire on the ferry.
Simultaneously, Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) and Charles (Gale Harold) go to Kate (Stepfanie Kramer) to beg for their powers back so that they can save the children. Those powers are gone but she can give them hers. Charles finds Eben waiting outside the room watching the kids burn and sends Dawn to a flanking position. Charles sucks the demons out of Eben into himself. Dawn puts out the fire and frees the kids. Jake finds the depowered Eben and stabs him to death. Demon-riddled Charles dramatically throws himself off the ferry with the words "Tell Diana I love her."
The kids convene at Cassie's house with the skull and without any parents or grandparents to offer any guidance. Where's Dawn? Ethan? Melissa's gran? They decide that the skull must be disposed of to prevent another attempt to use it for genocide. No thought is given towards breaking it back into component crystals; Adam (Thomas Dekker) is going to wrap it in lead and drop it into the ocean. Cassie wants to rebind the circle so that she can't get sucked into the dark circle that is coming for her and Diana, but Diana wants it all to go away so she runs off with Grant (Tim Phillipps) without binding the circle.
Points Of Interest
1. Because their powers are linked to their family crystals, when the crystals are broken to make the skull, their circle unbinds. The kids all feel it when it happens. Would not the parents and grandparents feel it when the crystals are broken too?
2. When Jake and Melissa are about to charge onto the witch hunter occupied boat to rescue Faye and Adam is going to see if Cassie and Diana are dead, they share a desperate hug.
3. When the elders stripped the parents' circle of their powers, those powers were destroyed, not transferred to anyone or anywhere else.
4. Using a ritual involving blood and cut palms, Kate is able to transfer her power to Dawn and Charles. Why does she not go to the ferry and use her own powers there?
5. After Charles' apparent sacrifice, Kate retrieves him and proceeds to cut the demons out of him with a sharp knife.
6. Faye invites Melissa over; they are going to dive straight into alcohol-fueled, magically-enhanced hedonism.
7. Jake gets a package from Grandpa Royce with a note: "The circles are coming together, your fight is far from over," along with a vial of what looks like ash.
8. Diana is disquieted when she notices the Balcoin brand on her right palm.
9. Cassie has noticed hers and seems to get off on it.
10. Adam touches the skull and gets instantly and completely seduced by it.
11. Four young people with the Balcoin brand have gathered together from a distant vantage point to look at Chance Harbor. \Two definite boys and one definite girl based on the silhouettes. The last one was probably a girl.
One can only surmise that all the disinformation about the crystal skull was spread by John 16 or more years ago, plenty of time to sink into the subconscious and become "fact" or legends that everyone knows.
John's multi-generational plan can only be admired for it's duration, scope and utterly ruthless execution.
What Didn't Work
John has some kind of weird prejudicial issue with non-Balcoin witches. He actually refers to his soon-to-be-complete Balcoin circle as a "pure race." All fathered by him, with all the other witches dead, that is going to be a tiny, tiny gene pool to build out from. Mystic ability seems to be hereditary; so breeding with witches should be better than breeding with muggles. If all the other witches are weak, then keep them around as breeding stock.
Jake's about-face from sacrificing himself to the witch hunters for Cassie's sake and scorning Faye at every turn to being Faye's devoted and considerate boyfriend was whiplash inducing and without any noticeable cause.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"The Secret Circle" stars Britt Robertson, Shelley Hennig, Joe Lando, Phoebe Tonkin, Chris Zylka, Thomas Dekker, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Natasha Henstridge, Gale Harold, Stepfanie Kramer, Sammi Rotibi, Tim Phillipps, Jared Keeso. "Family" was written by Andrew Miller and Andrea Newman, and it was directed by Dave Barrett.
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