'The Secret Circle': 5 Game-Changing Moments From the Winter Premiere

The Secret Circle Darkness Britt Robertson - H 2012
The CW

The Secret Circle Darkness Britt Robertson - H 2012

The Secret Circle returned after being off the air for several weeks and the first episode back, "Darkness," showed just how far Cassie's dark magic could go.

Here are five pivotal moments that took place during the episode:

[Warning: If you have not watched Thursday's episode, do not proceed.]

1. Dark Magic Becomes Her: Cassie (Britt Robertson) turns to Adam (Thomas Dekker), feeling the need to share her secret that she comes from dark magic via her father's side and may not be able to control it, a fear that gives her major fear. But it doesn't take long before Diana (Shelley Hennig) discovers Adam's secret, which causes Cassie to induce physical harm on her first Chance Harbor crush.

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2. Someone's On to Dawn and Charles: Diana's grandmother Kate (Stefanie Kramer) makes a visit to Chance Harbor, but there's an ulterior motive for why -- and it's not to comfort Diana after her breakup with Adam. Kate, Charles' mother, is smarter than she first appears, threatening Dawn that she'll do "whatever it takes" to find out why she's with Charles (Gale Harold). Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) is tempted to off Charles' mother (killing, in her mind seems to be the best medicine), but he's clearly not on board with the idea: "You can't just kill off all the elders!"

3. Magic 101: Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) is desperate to practice real magic -- and none of this "magic by committee" stuff -- and who's the perfect ally but the still-grieving Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy). The sly witch uses Nick's death to her advantage and pulls her BFF into the quest and the two get into some interesting voodoo. Faye may be feeling some jealousy toward Cassie, making the point that if she wasn't born with power in her blood, "there has to be another way." That's where Grey Damon's mysterious Lee comes in; sparks fly between the two as he tries to incur magic in Faye, who unsuccessfully tries to shatter glass, before she realizes that he indeed is a fake voodoo "expert." There's something refreshing about Lee, who offers Faye his help at episode's end.

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4. Awkward Family Dinner: Kate officially meets Cassie when Diana invites her over to stay the night -- and Dawn drops by to "prove" that she's really in love with Charles, who is 100 percent positive that she's trying to poison his mother. Later on, Kate confirms what viewers may have concluded several episodes ago, that Charles is weak and in a constant state of following another's footsteps. Will this be the push to get Charles to forge his own path?

5. Perks to Having Power: After a midnight encounter, Cassie is easily persuaded by Kate to take part in a spell that would have the dark magic taken out of her. A little too gung-ho, Diana reassures her that Kate knows what she's doing, bringing Cassie to the woods (late at night of course). But Diana soon realizes that Kate is actually a witch hunter and wants Cassie to die. Caught in a life or death situation, Cassie uses her dark magic to help break out of the wooden casket Kate dumped her in. "I don't know," Cassie answers when Diana asks if she's alright after her near-death experience. Now that Cassie has harnessed her power, she's dipping her toe on the dark side and there's a part of her that welcomes it. "Just how powerful are you?," Diana asks. Well, Cassie did successfully summon Jake (Chris Zylka) back to Chance Harbor, if that's any indication.

What do you think was the biggest game-changer?

The Secret Circle airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.