'The Secret Circle': Chris Zylka on Jake's Motives, Tension With Adam and the Identity of the New Blackwell

The Secret Circle EP Witness Cast in Candlelight - H 2012
Sergi Bachlakov/The CW

The Secret Circle EP Witness Cast in Candlelight - H 2012

Jake returns in a big way on Thursday's episode of The Secret Circle.

After saving the lives of Cassie and Melissa from the school fire in last week's "Fire/Ice," the enigmatic witch hunter will have a lot to deal with in Chance Harbor -- not the least of which includes walking in on Cassie and Adam's kiss. "If there's anything Jake has, it's perfect timing," Chris Zylka tells The Hollywood Reporter.

But Jake, who has been lurking literally in the background for the past few episodes, may not have good intentions for his trip back. "How do you know if he’s back to regain trust? He’s motivated always. The only thing for sure is that he loves Cassie," Zylka teased.

Zylka spoke to THR about what's in store for "Witness," which sees Jake and Cassie team up to find the truth about her past, his theories on who the new Blackwell (introduced in the finale last year) may be and walking in on the Adam-Cassie kiss.

The Hollywood Reporter: This week’s episode, “Witness,” is a big one for Jake. What should viewers expect?

Chris Zylka: He’s back. [Laughs] He even talks. He’s got a lot of making up to do. At the cliffhanger of the end of the last episode, I can’t imagine he’s too happy about walking in on that.

THR: He has good timing, one could argue.

Zylka: If there’s anything Jake has, it’s perfect timing.

THR: Jake and Cassie will be teaming up in search for information on her past. Now that Jake’s around, how dangerous swill things get?

Zylka: Bringing up the past is dangerous for everyone always, in every situation, unless there was a completely happy memory. If my memory serves me correctly, it’s the most tragic memory to all these kids in the circle. It’s devastating for everyone.

THR: Adam and Cassie finally had their kiss, but how will that affect Jake?

Zylka: For the first time, you’re going to see Jake hurt for the first time. He hasn’t been hurt. Obviously he was hurt was his parents died, but he got angry and tried to kill everyone who stood in the way. I can’t imagine his parents would approve of that. If you loved someone and found them kissing ... I know the feeling.

THR: So in Jake’s mind, he’s in love with Cassie?

Zylka: I think he’s in love with her. There’s something so undeniable that he’ll risk everything and continue to save her and be lurking in the shadows for two whole episodes making sure Cassie Blake’s OK. I don’t think there’s any denying that he loves her unconditionally.

THR: In last week’s episode, “Fire/Ice,” viewers saw Jake saving Cassie and Melissa’s lives from the fire. How will that factor into future episodes?

Zylka: It’s pretty obvious that Cassie recognizes his boots, but he’s done so much wrong. He still tried to kill them. If someone was trying to kill you and then they saved you, would that make it OK? Would you want to have a sleepover? Not in a million years.

THR: Will Nick's death come into play later on in the season for Jake?

Zylka: That’s been something that no one’s delved on and I can’t imagine it’s just about my parents anymore. Someone killed my brother. He knew how to swim; he was a witch. I think it’s something that will always be on Jake’s mind. Now will anyone else bring it up, who knows?

THR: In the winter finale last year, it was revealed that there was another Blackwell lurking.

Zylka: If I had any information, or if Jake did, neither one of them would give it away because it’d just cause chaos. Could you imagine Jake walking into the abandoned house and telling the whole circle, one of us is a Blackwell. Faye would run to every spell book, oh my goodness. And Jake’s too smart to do that. He had a long boat ride to think about things.

THR: Do you have any theories as to who this person could be?

Zylka: I’m really excited to see who this Blackwell is. I have no absolutely no information and I like it that way. There’s no telegraphing going on and it’s really nice. First off, who wouldn’t want to be a Blackwell? I would love to be the Blackwell kid, but then Jake wouldn’t be able to be with Cassie. There are other ways to be a Blackwell. It would be really funny if it was just the same last name and a completely different family. Gotcha!

THR: The Adam-Jake relationship will remain tense?

Zylka: There’s always going to be tension. Put two men in a room and have them be fighting over one girl, while three other girls sit there and watch. It’s not good – and they’re all teens. That’s a recipe for disaster there. Adam and Jake, I think they have a bit of an understanding, and they’re always going to try to always one-up each other. It’s too fun not to, even if they were best friends or brothers, it would be fun to do. Who wouldn’t want to be the leader of the pack? Who’s the man?

THR: Is it safe to say that this role is a departure from your part in 10 Things I Hate About You?

Zylka: [Laughs] Yes. It’s a different genre; it’s a different network. The only thing they share really is the demographic. I can say I’m having a blast playing someone with a little more depth. If there was one thing Joey didn’t have, it was depth. He had a lot of density, but no depth. I’d rather be a witch personally.

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