Episode 1.04 Heather – Review

**** Please be aware that the following Article Contains Spoilers *****

With the stakes lifted after the Circle’s run in with Zachary the fisherman in the previous episode, Loner, episode 4 Heather follows up with some breathtaking blows. After whetting our appetites with the prospect that Cassie’s Mom, Amelia, may have done something terrible to Zachary’s old friend, we find exactly what she did in this episode, entitled simply ‘Heather’. And it does not disappoint.

If we thought that the Circle’s only problem was going to be the agenda driven grown-ups, Dawn and Charles, here we are presented with an episode where they don’t feature at all and the threat is something a hundred times more creepy. The episode opens in familiar territory with Nick and Melissa getting amorous together before school. They look like the relationship is an a much better place than its been in up till now, with Nick being all tender and affectionate instead of dismissive and cruel. As the episode unfolds however they have their ups and downs with Melissa getting all jealous and dumping him after Faye makes sure she catches him ‘talking’ to another girl on the dock, but by the end they are firmly back together and things look like they couldn’t be better for those two……

Heather 1However I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. This whole episode has a fairly simple premise. Can the circle find Heather Barnes and can she tell them what happened on the day of the fire? Well the answer to the first question is a resounding yes. After a bit of research Cassie is quickly able to establish that Heather has a brother called Wade living in Finn Creek. Its a bit of hike from Chance Harbor, so she agrees (with Diana’s consent) for Adam to drive her there so see if they can find him. Finn Creek is an unsavory looking place and Wade’s home is nothing more than a corrugated shack. But he’s home – and so is Heather. He invites Cassie and Adam inside to talk to her, but something isn’t right. Heather is sat with her back to them, and she doesn’t respond to their voices. “She hasn’t moved for 16 years” says Wade, bitterly. Horrified and puzzled Cassie is shocked as suddenly Heather lurches forward and grabs her arm, moaning loudly. Cassie breaks free after a moment of panic and they leave, but not before Cassie notices a symbol tattooed on Heather’s wrist.

Heather2Later Cassie reveals that she has seen the symbol before. Adam calls is a sigil, and she shows him her Book of Shadows (not a euphamism!). The sigil is drawn within the pages of the book along with a spell. Adam calls it a suppression spell of some kind and there seems to be a spell to undo it as well. So armed with this knowledge Cassie presses to go back to the shack and reverse the spell her mother put on Heather. However she meets resistance from Diana who insists that they should not mess with something they don’t understand. Frustrated, Cassie turns to Faye for help. In order for Cassie to perform the spell she needs another witch to be present now that the Circle is bound, and when Faye finds out about Cassie’s Book of Shadows she is only to keen to help, in return for a look inside.

So Faye and Cassie return to Finn Creek and perform the reversal spell. At first it seems not to work and when Wade returns home, the pair skulk away, disappointed. However after a few minutes something starts to happen to Heather, something starts moving under her skin then suddenly she is awake and attacking her brother. It seems that Diana was write to be wary. She has found out more about the spell Heather was under since talking to Cassie. Her own book of shadows tells of demons, black magic and possession. Insects and lizards act at vessels for demonic entities to enter the body and a sigil, such as the one Heather has, is meant to stop it coming back out – a suppression spell.

Heather is possessed by a demon.

Unaware of this Cassie and Faye at back at Cassie’s reading through her Book of Shadows, when Heather appears looking for Amelia. She seems lucid, but she doesn’t know Amelia is dead, however she does realize that Cassie is Amelia’s daughter – apparently the same daughter that Amelia wanted to take far away from Chance Harbor all those years ago. As Heather talks she becomes more and more erratic as the demon inside her takes over. But she reveals that Amelia was trying to protect her, trying to protect all of them. The night of the boat fire something bad happened and evil escaped. It went inside Heather and it hurts so much. Amelia cast the spell to make Heather’s pain go away. But now the spell is undone and Heather can feel it again. It is a disturbing and brilliant performance from Camille Sullivan, (Last seen in Hellcats) which sent a shiver down my spine as I watched her get thrown around the room by the demon. Loved it.
Heather2Things escalate from there as Heather shoves Cassie to the ground, knocking her out then Faye appears to distract Heather before she can finish her off. Faye and Heather race around the house, with Heather exhibiting supernatural jumping skills and with Faye powerless to protect herself now that Cassie is unconscious. In Cassie’s bedroom Faye goes to the window to try and scream for help. Melissa and Nick see her and quickly run over to Cassie’s house to find out whats going on. Heather seems unstoppable however as Faye and Cassie (she wakes up and tries to help Faye) try to escape -but as they make a break for the front door, they run into Nick and Melissa and its only when Heather sees Nick does she appear to relent and runs out into the street. In time Wade appears and calls Heather’s name. She hesitates in the road and a car comes out of nowhere to mow her down.

Phew!

Heather is dead, but philosophically she is at peace. But remember when I told you things look to be going great for Nick and Melissa, well I forgot to mention something. As Heather is wheeled away the demon inside her frees itself, slithering into Nicks coat and in the closing scene we see it slither out , up the bed bypassing Nick before sliding easily into Melissa’s ear…..

And the Credits Roll.

Summary.
This is a powerful episode and one which opens up the world of Chance Harbor and the Secret circle to a whole host possibilities. Magic is not something to be taken lightly and there are entities out there that are drawn to it. One of them has inhabited Melissa and that doesn’t look good – after all if Amelia couldn’t get it out of Heather all those years ago what hope is there for Melissa now. The grown ups were conspicuous by there absence this episode, where was Cassies Grandmother when all this racing around her house was going on? And what was it about Nick that first made the Heather run away and second, made the slithery snake thing bypass him in his bed, instead choosing to possess Melissa?

Air Date USA: 06/010/2011
Air Date UK: 19/10/2011

Written by David Ehrman

Directed by Dave Barret

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