March 15, 2012 9:00am PT by Philiana Ng
'The Secret Circle' Boss Drops Season Finale Hints and Discusses Cassie's Father Issues, Romance (Q&A)
The Secret Circle returns after a monthlong break from the small screen -- and Cassie's (Britt Robertson) going to have to deal with her father issues.
With John Blackwell (guest star Joe Lando) back in the mix, Cassie and company will have their hands full. In tonight's return episode, "Lucky," members of the circle find out that Blackwell is looking for a tool to drain the witches' powers and is back to his old ways. But that's not all she'll have to contend with as romance lingers on the horizon.
Miller chatted with THR about the progression of the show since it debuted in September, the status of the numerous love triangles and hints to what viewers should expect in the season finale.
The Hollywood Reporter: Now that you’re working through the final episodes of the season, what are your thoughts on how the show has progressed since it premiered last fall?
Andrew Miller: What we always hoped to do was take the lead character and really show a dark side. It feels like when you have any kind of supernatural ability, the temptation is to do fun stuff and to do things to better your life to varying degrees, but at the end of the day, it becomes a slippery slope. When you start to do anything, that starts to affect other people, and when you start doing things for yourself and cheating a little bit, it becomes a quick trip to the darker side of who you are. I feel like we’ve been able to take Cassie to this darker place as we approach the end of the season.
THR: Were there any surprises this season?
Miller: Where [Phoebe Tonkin's] been able to take Faye, it's been a little surprising. She was always meant to be a fun character, but Phoebe took her to an emotionally rich version of that. It’s made it easier to write for her; it’s not just the funny-angry thing. The Faye that Phoebe has created became much richer than that. Shelley Henning has just blossomed as an actress on our show. What’s been surprising is Shelley’s performance and her version of Diana is so heartbreaking that her relationship with Adam continued longer than we had planned because it was too impossible to break them up. Adam (Thomas Dekker) kind of fulfilled his destiny with Cassie and it seemed almost criminal when we kept showing shots of Diana smiling and crying. That was the surprise that changed the direction of the show.
THR: How has Blackwell’s reappearance complicated things for Cassie and the rest of the circle?
Miller: Blackwell has been this boogeyman for 16 years and for Cassie, it’s been dismissible because her mother never brought it up. The last several months, they've gone from not knowing anything to only knowing terrible things about him. He’s become this dark figure and a mystery. His coming back to life, so to speak, is a shock for Cassie and an emotional rollercoaster. She doesn’t remember him coming back for her and saying he wants to protect her, it seems impossible not to want to gravitating toward that. He’s started in the last episode to try and win Cassie over to the degree to which she should or shouldn’t believe is what she and the group is going to explore in the upcoming episodes. Specifically, her relationship with Adam blossoms finally just as the Blackwell issue becomes a thorn in their side. It’s the worst thing that could happen to them as they finally get their shit together and start dating and the devil shows up back in town.
THR: Perfect timing, of course.
Miller: It’s perfect timing dramatically. I feel for Adam. He set up that boat on Valentines Day and set up the perfect night for he, like the end of a romantic comedy. Blackwell showing up just seems like the worst timing of anyone in history.
THR: Can you talk about where Cassie and Adam are headed?
Miller: They are at a state where it’s taken them a long time, but they’re free to explore -- If you hear people say you’re destined to be together for a long time, you might want to give it a shot and there’s no denying from the pilot that they’ve had a special connection with Ethan (Adam Harrington) and everyone else going on about how perfect they are together. It’s finally time for them to make that happen or see where that leads. Adam took a brave step towards that happening on Valentine's and when Blackwell showed up, they’re still headed in that place. Trust is the most important thing that two people in a relationship can have and it's going to be broken by Blackwell’s reemergence. To further complicate things, Jake (Chris Zylka) is Team Blackwell very quickly and that makes things even worse.
THR: Can you quickly talk about Jake and Cassie? There’s a faction of fans who say, “Adam who"?
Miller: What Cassie likes about Jake is that he seems to accept her totally. He’s never been afraid of this dark magic side of her, he’s never been afraid of who she might be. I think we all look for someone who accepts us for who we are. Jake is the only guy who's said to Cassie, “I'll take it,” and Adam’s feelings for Cassie feel more complicated. For Cassie, when Adam is encouraging her to step away from that side of herself, she needs to figure out if he’s saying he doesn’t like who she is or if he's saying there’s a better version of you and that you can overcome this. On Jake's side, he's confused; Cassie is the last girl in the world that he thinks he should like yet finds himself drawn to her and being outmaneuvered by Adam, who’s not a guy he would normally be worried about. He’s got Faye on the side and their relationship is about exercising their anger for everything else in their lives than for each other. He’s been ignoring that so we’ll see how that plays out. The triangle between Cassie, Jake and Adam and the triangle between Jake, Cassie and Faye, we'll be exploring in the next few episodes.
THR: Can you offer any hints as to what the season finale will entail? Will it end on a cliffhanger?
Miller: On one hand we’re gong to answer the mythological question of what happened 16 years ago and we are going to explore finally, why it's so important in terms of what’s happening in present day events. Of course there’s always more to it than we think. There is a cliffhanger element; what we really want to satisfy for the people who enjoy the show is in the beginning we wanted to take Cassie and the audience on this emotional journey starting from a regular person without any magic and suffering the death of your only family to discovering a new family, but one not of her choosing and one that’s complicated. Now that another piece of her family comes into play (referring to Blackwell), the conflict of those two things and where Cassie comes out at end of it emotionally is very cool.
The Secret Circle airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.