The Secret Circle 1.21 "Prom" Review

How do you follow up a series-best episode? It's not the worst problem in the world to have, hitting your creative stride and subsequently raising your game, but it is a problem that could trip up any promising show. You want to continue growing and expanding the central plot while doing the things that have worked well for you recently, a sort of one-foot-on, one-foot-off approach to storytelling that could be the difference between propelling forward and narratively stalling out. After a season heavy on promise and light on delivery, The Secret Circle peaked last week with "Traitor", a funny, suspenseful episode of television that stacked their typically interesting visuals with equally impressive plotting and a real sense of danger. But could they keep it up on this, the penultimate episode of their debut season?

In a word, yes. "Prom" may not have hit quite the highs that "Traitor" did, but it nonetheless felt like a leap forward in both quality and momentum from where the series had been earlier in the season. The cliffhanger from "Traitor", the discovery that Nick was still alive, brought a lot of tension to the episode, due to the fact that there was something not quite right about him post-resurrection. His mere presence shook Melissa and Jake up, as to be expected, and the wild-eyed glare that he had in his eyes made every second of screen time the character got crackle with uncertainty; though a part of me was disappointed that Nick (or, the demon still inside Nick) met his untimely end, his death brought a lot of (needed) change and closure for Melissa. Admittedly, I thought that The Secret Circle would play on the typical "Melissa as victim" plot that has been trotted out multiple times already, so be still my heart that she was the one that put the dagger in Nick to save Jake, using another sharp object to have a go at her lingering feelings for her former love. It was such a cathartic moment to see her stand up for herself and make the choice to live instead of wallow in her pain, possibly a sign that the Melissa we see going forward will have just a bit more inner strength to her after doing some major growth here. On a series as centered on the past as The Secret Circle, it can be hard to look to the future, but Melissa may have adjusted her focus just in time. Read More...


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