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The Secret Circle - S01 E01

Horror . Fantasy . Sci-Fi & Fantasy . Drama

Cassie Blake's world is turned upside down after her mother dies in a mysterious accident, forcing Cassie to move in with her loving grandmother Jane in the small town of Chance Harbor, Washington. While trying to adjust to her new life, Cassie is quickly befriended by Diana Meade, a sweet-natured classmate who offers to show her around and introduces her to mean-girl Faye, her sidekick Melissa and Cassie's next door neighbor Nick. Things get complicated when she meets Adam, Diana's boyfriend, with whom she feels an instant and powerful connection. Upon meeting one of her mother's childhood friends, Dawn Chamberlain, the school principal and Faye's mother, Cassie begins to wonder why her mother never spoke of her hometown. When strange and dangerous things begin to happen, Cassie's new friends are forced to tell her their secret - they are all witches and her arrival will complete the Circle. However, the Circle has not been drawn together again by chance - Diana's father, Charles Meade has plans of his own for the group.

Episode Title: Pilot
Airs: 2011-09-15 at 09:00 pm
  • Robert Lloyd

    This air of familiarity notwithstanding, the pilot is splendidly rendered; effective in the expected ways in a way that makes you forget you expected them.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    In the premiere at least, the story unfolds nicely--and to the tune of a good soundtrack. When the episode ended, I wanted to know more about the Circle, both its history and where it's headed.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    The acting is flat, but the show casts a hokey spell. [19 Sep 2011, p.65]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Mikey O'Connell

    Anxious fans should be pleased, and curious viewers outside the usual demographic might even be surprised.

    Zap2it (Inside the Box) Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    The Secret Circle does exactly what you expect it to do, yet that efficiency ends up being refreshing rather than maddening.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Dan Fienberg

    The Secret Circle may be over-calculated and under-inspired, but that doesn't necessarily mean The Secret Circle is bad. There's something to be said for setting reasonable goals and largely succeeding, especially when there are plenty of shows that aspire to a good deal less and still fail.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    At times, the dialogue stops and unloads for exposition dumps, and a few of the young cast mates could use some more training back in the land of the Muggles.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    A not-bad formula gothic that'll rise or fall on the Dekker/Robertson chemistry; I'm betting on the former.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    Secret Circle is competently performed and produced and liable to entertain anybody not old enough to remember Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty doing pretty much the same stuff in Charmed back in the 20th-century day.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    The Secret Circle isn't stunning out of the gate. It does seem to understand what it wants and needs to be.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    The CW built this predictable teen supernatural romance as a companion to the similar and better "Vampire Diaries.".

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michelle Welch

    Unfortunately, The Secret Circle's first episode doesn't offer much beyond all this plotty set-up. Specifically, it's missing what made other supernatural shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Supernatural successful: funny, quirky, and layered characters.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    What they get is Diaries' less attractive little sister, one that, beneath all the witchcraft, is just another CW teen-driven soap.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    There's nothing wrong with any of this except that it doesn't feel fresh or new; there's no added, bewitching spark to a familiar concept.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    As usual, it's a new kid who provides a wide-eyed introduction to the shenanigans, though nothing in the pilot conjures any genuine magic, TV-wise.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Secret Circle, replete with The CW's usual heavy doses of sappy pop music mood-ruiners, eventually gets around to outlining its basic plot point.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    If this season's "True Blood" hasn't exhausted your patience with TV witches--as it has mine--Robertson's as appealing here as she was on "Life Unexpected." Maybe magic powers will help her keep this one on the air.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    To say Secret Circle isn't spellbinding is an understatement. Originality and surprise are the main ingredients missing from this tepid witches' brew.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    It's the entire supernatural teen-soap-opera template, but the execution is rushed and chintzy, without the languorous gloss that makes "The Vampire Diaries" worthwhile.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Based on a book series from the same author who ginned up The Vampire Diaries and drawing upon every market-tested trope the witchy-poo genre has to offer.

    Washington Post Full Review