tsc darkness adam cassie diana 'The Secret Circle' spoilers: 'Darkness' makes Cassie so much coolerWe really loved the mid-season finale of “The Secret Circle,” so we’ve been wringing our hands since November anticipating the new episode. We were left with some major cliffhangers, including the identity of Cassie’s secret (circle) sibling and the degree of her dark magic powers. Usually, cliffhangers make hiatus even more unbearable, but in this case, we actually had fun theorizing over the break about Cassie’s family ties.

It’s a good thing we don’t mind the speculation, because Thursday’s (Jan. 5) episode, “Darkness,” doesn’t answer that pesky sibling question. It does, however, give us a glimpse into what Cassie is capable of now that she’s beginning to explore her dark side. The CW asked us to keep a whole lot of things about “Darkness” under wraps, but just to whet your appetite, here are five things you can expect from this week’s “Secret Circle”:

1. More Chris Zylka. We haven’t exactly been subtle about the fact that we totally love Jake Armstrong and we think his presence in the show has made it infinitely more entertaining — so we were a little bummed when he sailed away in the mid-season finale. We figured we’d have to endure some separation anxiety… but luckily, Jake shows up to warn Cassie about impending doom very early in the episode. Sort of.

2. Cassie and Adam continue their song and dance. If you’re not loving Cassie/Jake as much as we are, don’t fear! Cassie and Adam seem to be getting closer, as he’s the only member of the Circle she wants to confide in when it comes to her scary lineage. They even spend a little time lounging around in her bedroom, for those of you who get a kick out of that sort of thing. Unfortunately, the mood is kind of crushed when she accidentally tries to kill him with her brain. Don’t you hate when that happens?

3. Grey Damon makes his first appearance as Lee LaBeque. “Friday Night Lights” barely used Damon, and we didn’t even care, because his lack of significant screen time meant more minutes spent on Tim Riggins and his hair. In his first guest starring appearance on “The Secret Circle,” though, Damon has definitely turned our indifference around. LaBeque is a sketchy guy who uses magic for money, running an business out of his garage that caters to naive types who, as he tells Faye and Melissa, “want to set the mean girls who stole your boyfriends on fire.” Fortunately, Faye sets him straight and informs him that they are the mean girls, thankyouverymuch. And then sexiness ensues. If the ritual he performs on Faye doesn’t get you all hot and bothered, you’re probably made of stone.

4. Meet hot Granny. Stefanie Kramer stars as Charles’ mother, Kate. Whereas the last elder who came to town, Henry, seemed to be a bit out of his league, Kate totally has Dawn’s number and isn’t going to let her get away with any funny business. We absolutely love Kramer in this role — her ability to shift from concerned grandmother to HBIC is effortless. There’s a particularly great stand-off between Kate and Dawn, but even that pales in comparison to what happens when she realizes Cassie’s potential. We can’t wait for you all to see Britt Robertson’s performance — we were blown away by how awesome she is. Dark magic makes Cassie so much cooler.

5. We see a shift in Charles and Dawn’s relationship. We were getting a little tired of him following her around like a kicked puppy, so we’re glad to see that the dynamic between Charles and Dawn is balancing out a bit. Where he once seemed to have a long-lingering crush on her, he now has a very keen awareness of her cold nature — and, dare we say it, his objection to her power-lust may just outweigh any feelings he has for her.

Tune in this Thursday at 9 p.m. after a new “Vampire Diaries” episode. Prepare for awesomeness.

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Posted by:Carina MacKenzie