And then there were five.
Excuse us while we scrape the remnants of our jaws off the floor. The Secret Circle's coven of teenage witches finally learned how dangerous their magic can be in tonight's episode: Taking a cue from its lead-in, The Vampire Diaries, the show killed off one of the circle's six members. Yes, five episodes in and The Secret Circle already has its first major casualty. Clearly, they came to play.
We chatted with executive producer Andrew Miller about the decision to kill off the fan favorite, how the circle will be impacted by his death and the new guy coming to town to stir up some trouble for the coven...
When did you make the decision to kill off Nick (Louis Hunter)?
From the beginning. I'm learning at the feet of the master [Kevin Williamson]. The reality is, we had this show about a group of people connecting with one another in order to achieve great things. It felt like you couldn't fully understand what that meant without breaking that connection somehow. It just felt that for the stakes of the show, what would separate it from other shows in the past, was doing something like this...we're binding the circle, binding together six people stronger, but the world of our show has to be a world where the danger they find themselves in, the danger that bonds them and the danger that finds them, is enough to stop them. So, it was really important to us from the very beginning to establish those rules.
For fans of the book, us included, Nick was definitely a favorite. Were you nervous about killing such a popular character?
Yeah...I'm nervous about killing anybody, but particularly a character that people like. I think at the heart of the books was the idea of kids getting involved in something that they shouldn't be. It just felt that in order to sustain that idea over the course of season after season, you just really needed to establish the stakes. We didn't want to make a show where at the end of every week, everything would be OK [or] they could just kind of crinkle their nose and make everything better. We wanted to show that there were risks and they couldn't just run around amok with power...they had to be careful. There are consequences to every action, and with these guys, because their actions are so much more heightened, you just have to also heighten those consequences.
On a lot of supernatural shows, actors actually get more work after their character dies. Is there any chance we'll see Nick again?
There are no plans for that—I think that is dangerous territory and you have to be careful with how you deal with that. As a fan, you don't want to feel like people are messing with you, so we're playing this for real. In episode six, they're dealing with the subject of his death in a really real and emotional way because again, in the interest of grounding our show, people deal with that all the time and you don't often see that on a supernatural show. Even though it's a supernatural show we didn't want to be like, "Yeah, people died, no big deal." We had to do an episode where they all kind of looked at each other and go, "Oh, s--t. What have we started?"
How will Nick's death impact Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and the rest of the coven?
The impact of his death is huge on all the characters, particularly Melissa. We were trying to give a four- to five-episode arc between [them], and by this point in this episode they really came to a great place together as a couple. Her possession in this episode hits him harder than anybody and ultimately his death is going to hit her harder than anybody. That has a reverberation that affects her relationship with Faye (Phoebe Tonkin)...death causes you to ask questions that you never would have thought to ask yourself before. That's what we want to deal with in six and episodes that follow.
When someone dies, does the bound circle break? Will they get their individual powers back?
It's an issue. How they deal with one of the six dying and the bound unbroken aspect is definitely something that they will deal with in six. The problem with witchcraft is it's just so damn complicated. [Laughs.] There is no easy answer, but mythology-wise, Chris Zylka's character will contribute to the idea of what a bound circle is in a surprising way.
Zylka, who is playing Jake, makes his first appearance in episode six. What can you tell us about his role?
Nick's death will cause reverberations within the circle, but it will bring in new complications from outside the circle, from outside of town, and that will be embodied in the incredibly body of Chris Zylka! [Laughs.] He's coming to town because of Nick's death [Jake is Nick's older brother, E! has learned], but because he's coming to town, the circle will get messed up.
Yeah, he doesn't offend our eyes or anything. How is he going to impact the relationships within the coven?
He's going to shake up Adam (Thomas Dekker) and Cassie (Britt Robertson), he's going to shake up Diana (Shelley Hennig) and Faye, and he's going to shake up Melissa and Faye. He's going to shake up everyone because he has a history with all of them that will really change up the dynamic of our circle. We'll discover that Adam has a very specific and angry past with Jake, and we'll get into their relationship. The second that he rolls back into town it's going to be a problem for Adam.
What did you think of tonight's episode of Secret Circle? Were you sad to see Nick go? Sound off in the comments!