Secret Circle Boss Defends [Spoiler]'s Death!

[Warning: If you haven’t watched this week’s The Secret Circle yet, what’s your excuse? But seriously, the following contains major spoilers, so go catch up and then read on.]

The Secret Circle made a bold move in this week’s episode, one akin to its Thursday night companion The Vampire Diaries, by killing off a major character. Below, executive producer Andrew Miller shares with TVLine why he chose Nick (played by Louis Hunter) as the show’s first big casualty and what it means for the other characters — his sort-of girlfriend Melissa, in particular — going forward.

TVLINE | That was a big episode. Do you consider it a turning point in the series?
Yeah, I think it is. It was a very, very difficult episode for us because, obviously, it was a huge thing to kill one of our characters ,and none of us took it lightly. But it felt like a turning point because we wanted to set the story in a certain direction, and it just felt like you couldn’t do that without really grounding the reality of the show and setting up a real sense of consequences for actions.

TVLINE | The demon could have infected and ultimately led to the demise of any character. Why did you choose Nick?
Again, it was an impossibly hard decision. Looking at Cassie and Adam, their relationship or their story almost seems like it’s just starting. All the stories are just starting, but with Nick, we wanted to craft a four-episode arc where he starts as being this kind of mysterious, sort of jerk. And in a very short period, we wanted to take him from that place to this sort of romantic hero. And it just seemed like he was the best guy to do it with. And particularly with his relationship with Melissa, which became one of our favorite storylines, it felt like he was the perfect guy to do it with because we could make a very concise arc – a kind of coming-of-age and then, unfortunately, meeting a horrible end.

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TVLINE | Did you ever waver, or was it always going to be Nick?
We knew it was going to be Nick from the beginning. Louis [Hunter] is a terrific actor and was really great about it and understood where we were going. I think he did an amazing job in last night’s episode and certainly all the episodes up to that point.

TVLINE | Did the other cast members know he was going to be killed off? Or was it a surprise to them?
They knew a little bit later. We talked to Louis first so we could discuss what the plan was and where the idea came from. And then we went through and told the rest of the cast. Everybody was very sad about the whole thing, obviously, but they were great about it.

TVLINE | You have very passionate fans, because of the books. What would you say to the ones who are upset that you’ve strayed from the source material?
I’m a huge fan of the books too, so I certainly know where they’re coming from. For us, the books are an amazing base for character and world and ideas, but they only go so far, because it’s just a three book series. What we’re shooting for is, hopefully, something that will run for many, many years. Because of that, we need to make changes. You can’t follow the books that closely because the books are going in a very specific direction, and we can’t do that. So there’s going to be changes. It’s not like Game of Thrones where there’s so much material to tap into for season after season. In this case, by nature of the fact that there are only three books in the series, we’re going to have to make some changes no matter what. All those changes are going to be difficult. Even the idea of limiting the circle to begin with was heartbreaking to me because there’s so many other characters that I just love from the book series. But again, it’s just the necessity of the television world and the nature of doing 22 episodes each year. So I sympathize. I understand. I feel much the same way. But I’m hoping many of the changes we make, people will love and, hopefully, there’ll be more of those changes than the changes people are sad about.

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TVLINE | Going forward, how is Nick’s death going to affect the group and their desire to use magic and find answers about what happened 16 years ago?
That was an important thing for us because it feels like a lot of “fun and games,” this magic. The next episode really explores what it means to lose someone. It’s something that was important to me to tackle early on and, again, define the emotional reality of our world. You can’t look at magic the same way again after something like this happens to someone you love. That will affect how they proceed and what their goals are for their gifts.

TVLINE | How will Melissa cope with the loss?
Not well. It’s tragic for everyone, but so tragic for Melissa because she, for the first time in her life, found someone who really did understand her by the end and could see that she was more than just an appendage to Faye. I feel like Melissa has been living in Faye’s shadow for their entire friendship, which goes back forever. This is the first time she’s been stepping outside that shadow, and Nick was there to receive her. It was such a wonderful thing. Losing that person is going to be devastating for her and will affect the way she sees herself and the way she sees Faye and some of the others.

TVLINE | Melissa and Faye had their differences over Nick. Does this bring them closer together or push them apart?
What we’ll explore in the next episode is how everyone reacts to death in different ways. Sometimes, it seems callous. And sometimes, it seems inappropriate. Sometimes, it’s exactly what you need. You can never anticipate the way you’re going to react to this situation. Faye and Melissa will struggle to find the right balance, how to help each other through this tragedy. And in finding that balance, hopefully, their relationship will get stronger — but it may take a little while.

TVLINE | It seems the dangers of magic are more real not only to the kids now, but also to the parents. How are Dawn and Charles, especially, coping with what they’ve done?
Like with the kids, the tragedy affects them very, very deeply. They each react in very different ways and as parents. While Nick wasn’t one of their own, it was basically like one of their own. It brings what their plan is really to the forefront of their minds. It will cause them – at least some of them – to question what they’re doing and how to move forward. And that could become a problem in their relationship in ways they didn’t anticipate.

Secret Circle fans, are you sad to see Nick go? Was the death a shock to you?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Danielle says:

    Bring our character back, the vampire diaries writers brought jeremy back, and the secret circle writers resurrected sally themselves, so why this? Everyone is sad and upset, you need to bring him back to the show, use the crystal! We’ll be more upset if you don’t, just admit that this is a mistake and we won’t judge.

  2. kay says:

    Agreed! Nick was no big loss IMO.

  3. kay says:

    My bad. Agreed with Tarc that Nick was no big loss!

  4. Alex Miley says:

    Ok so here’s the thing… This show just started and it killed off a main character? What’s the point? The episode didn’t make me feel anything. We’ve barely gotten to know him so it was like killing off a side character. In my opinion, go for blood when you kill off a main member and do it later in the season when the audience has formed an attachment. Like the way they killed off Aunt Jenna on Vampire Diaries. Plus, I liked the way they had two guys in the circle. It added a different dynamic to what is most definitely now a very female show. Secret Circle is definitely no Vampire Diaries. I’m hoping they do something to really boost the show, because I love the idea of it all.

  5. Didi says:

    *Spoilers* I guess I think the thing that was most shocking about it was the way it happened. I understand the process by which writers/showrunners decide to kill off a character. I thought Vicki being killed off was masterful and still resounds with the show today. For Secret Circle, I think it was intense enough that the character died while still being possessed by a demon which was tragic enough. They had to add the layer of a parent killing this teenage kid who he knew already lost of his parents tragically. And if that wasn’t even bad enough, it was a parent who was drowning the teenage friend of his own daughter. I know a lot of the interviews say that this was a great arc for the character where he went from a jerk to a romantic hero, but what I saw was a teenager who had been through hell meet a tragic end which is just plain sad. I know, it’s a show but damn that was cruel.

  6. opus says:

    A HUGE mistake!!!!! Nick was becoming one of the most interesting characters on the show even with less screen time than the other five in the circle. Also, this show already needed more male characters. Why would you kill off a male? Now there is only one male in the circle and one weak male adult character of any consequence. I don’t understand what you were thinking!! And your “explanation” was pure crap!! If it is true you are bringing in Nick’s brother to complete the circle again was there a problem with the actor who was playing Nick? Certainly there is no hint of that in the article above. It just looks like idiocy to me.

  7. Cassie says:

    THEY KILLED THE SHOW. They so totally shouldn’t of done that I liked the show and the messed it up. I am not sure if I want to watch the show anymore. There was suppose to a love triangle between nick Cassie and Adam. It seems like they are making the show all about Adam and Cassie. That is not fair

  8. chel says:

    I didn’t even know how important the character Nick was in the books because I never read it. I AM ABOUT READY TO STOP WATCHING THIS SHOW!
    Even without knowing Nick in the book I really loved the nick on the show!!
    He was so interesting, he had potential, he was the ONLY one of the circle i found interesting. faye is annoying, melissa is boring, don’t even get me started with the cassie/diana/adam triange
    only character that was intriguing was nick and they killed him off!
    stupid and biggest mistake ! Obviously, there adding a new character on who is probably going to be like him but honestly why even bother with that storyline it was pointless and they really shouldn’t have killed him off

  9. Anonymous says:

    It has been two days already and I can’t seem to get the last episode out of my head, haha. Reading all the comments previously posted, I’m going to write out my thoughts. I hope you guys read it!

    I know Nick played a big role in the books, but I think it was clear that the writers were heading in a different direction with him in the series, hence why he was so much more involved with Melissa. His character was growing on to me, and I was sad when he died, but I feel like it was necessary…

    Yes, I felt it was necessary. If you look at it as a bigger picture, Nick’s death sets up a whole new take on the show and what’s to come. What’s going to happen to the circle? How will they all cope as a group and individually? What is his brother, Jake, going to add to the story? Will Nick’s death attract outside attention (witch hunters? more demons? Casey’s father?) What will happen when the circle finds out it was Dawn and Charles who really killed him?

    Also, how will this affect Dawn and Charles’ plan to regain power? With Nick gone, does this means they regain individual power again? I don’t think Jake, Nick’s returning brother, will want to join or bind with the circle right away, nor will Faye after knowing what happens. Basically, Nick’s death, while tragic, opens up a lot of new doors for where the show can go. So I don’t think anyone, especially those who are fans, should quite just yet. Take some time to see where it’s going…

    From what is seen in Episode 6′s preview, Adam and Jake get into a fight. For those of you saying Adam is boring, did you consider Jake coming in, falling for Cassie and making Adam dismayed will make this whole love triangle (…or square?) a lot more interested and will give progress to the show.

    I for one am really interested in seeing how Nick’s death impacts the show and where it’s headed and how Jake is going to affect the story and if he’ll be the new member of the circle…

    On a final note, if I’ve learned anything from watching The Vampire Diaries, it’s ALWAYS possible for characters to return, even after death. It just takes time. After all, if Nick came back to life at the end of “Slither” how would we be able to take death seriously on the show? Anytime a character dies, we’ll just say, “Oh, there’s a crystal for that!” So, Nick’s death set up realistic stakes for the show, and I take that as a good thing. It keeps you on edge! At least for me it does

    All I’m hoping for is that viewers don’t give up on the show just because Nick died, because I really wouldn’t like the show to lose popularity and end up getting cancelled. I just hope we can all give it a chance and see where it leads to. Besides, if one character’s death (who in the show didn’t have much of an important at the time) can have viewers riled up for days, then this show must be doing something right and has a lot of promise.

    If TVD turned out great, I have high hopes for TSC :)

    Yeah, I think I’m done now, haha. Sorry this was so long!

  10. Lila says:

    None of the characters are all that compelling yet (including Cassie) so I’m not very upset that Nick was killed off. Which is unfortunate, because Nick dying should matter to us because we’ve become invested in these characters. I hope they develop the characters much more in the next few episodes. We need to see what value Melisaa brings to the circle because right now she’s just a sidekick (and this show will work better as an ensemble cast, not another played out love triangle; Brit is just not talented enough to pull off a lead; its one of the reasons her other show failed). Also, would like to see that Melissa is not just a thrown in token character of color.

    I was drawn into the world of TVD in the very first episode and Secret Circle has not done that for me yet. But I’m willing to give it a few more chances since most TV shows do take several eppys to find their rhythm.

  11. Lacy says:

    Can any fans of the book tell me this. In the books do the individual characters have unique powers pertaining strictly to the individual (you know, kind of like Captain Planet), or are their powers all the same?
    Seems to me like one of the show’s major problems is that the magic seems to have no limits. Take Buffy for instance, Willow couldn’t practice magic without suffering consequences– it came at a price and it took her like, five seasons to develop into an uber badass, all powerful witch. With TSC it just seems like the characters can go around and do whatever they please with their magic. There need to be set limits or guidelines, or at the very least, consequences.
    As for the comparisons to TVD, don’t ya’ll remember the fourth episode, “Friday Night Bites?” To me, that episode showed a lot of promise for the series– it was fun, irreverant, and twisty (when Damon killed off that douche-y Coach). Of course it wasn’t until the episode where Vicki died that it sealed my interest in the series, but at least by the fourth episode the show proved that it had potential. So far, TSC takes itself far too seriously and tries way too hard to be like its more attractive CW cousin (TVD). And could that dude Nick seriously have drowned after being held under water for ten seconds? I mean seriously…

  12. Sade says:

    I have to say that this death did make me question my want to watch the show for the rest of the season. Melissa and Nick are the most interesting couple on this show to me. The triangle of Cassie, Adam, and Diana does nothing for me. Faye usually gets on my nerves somehow.

    They said they wanted to change the tone with this death but the show has only been on for a couple of weeks. If you’re watching you either didn’t have time enough to get attached to Nick to care or you have gotten attached and now you’re pissed because they killed off a character that you liked for no reason. If they had made his death mean something then I would maybe try to watch it out but they already have a replacement for him in the next episode.

    You can’t really compare this to TVD because that show actually makes their character deaths mean something.

  13. M says:

    I see alot of people using Vicki’s death on TVD as a reason to excuse away Nick’s death on this show. You can’t even compare the two. Vicki was a minor character who also died in the books whereas Nick was a major character. He dated Cassie in the books. In fact, I was a huge Nick/Cassie fan from the books. It’s a shame they had to completely sacrifice that relationship. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have brought in another minor book character and then killed them off for drama.

  14. Kate says:

    Honestly, I don’t understand what is so upsetting about one character being sacrificed to add some much needed depth and darkness to the show. Sure he was the brooding bad boy, the likes of a Dylan from the original 90210, but he was clearly set up as a temporary character. I think a show doesn’t necessarily need to follow the original literary works; in fact they should define their own path in order to ensure interest and sustainability. Who would watch a show that follows every detail to the point that you’re in essence rereading a book that you’d already read. You’d soon turn the channel and negate the purpose of network’s creation of the series. I believe that this death is just what the show needed to emphasize the dangers that the group will face in the years to come. Without it the show would have become too contrived.

  15. JJ says:

    I don’t know why you people keep comparing SC to VD besides being written by the same author it has nothing in common one is about witches the other about vampires so please stop comparing them… with that being said I agree with the fact that they should have cast more characters from the books it would have made SC more interesting, why adapt the book to a tv show if you are going to change the best parts of the books the only similarities I’ve found so far is the title of the book. All the TV shows and Movies do to books is ruin them so my advice is stick to reading :)

  16. Laura says:

    Great episode, fantastic article, love the site. One little bit of constructive criticism?

    There’s little point in being so careful about spoilers in the title and snippet published before the break if you’re going to include the spoiler in the URL itself!

  17. D says:

    I agree with some of the past comments.

    I do not understand that everyone just accepted Nick’s death, without trying to save him – by CPR or grandma’s crystal.

    Could that mean that he is not really dead? Just gone for a season? I suppose we will see if there is a funeral for him in the next epsiode with an open casket. If we do see his body, then I still don’t understand why they didn’t try to save him, just to give some closure and keep things similar to when the other girl Sally almost died. Maybe they didn’t try CPR because noone wanted to risk getting a snake demon to crawl in their mouth?

    Maybe Nick with Demon inside(I forgot his name A – something) leaves for awhile/season because he realizes he needs to recoup, because the witch who summoned him years ago, just plotted to strangle him and he knows that his suitcase of demon snakes are gone and he needs to find more to finish his plan.

    I am enjoying this series. I ‘ve read the books so long ago, that I don’t really remember them, even though I do have them in my basement and plan to reread them eventually. I also really love the Vampire diaries and read that series years ago as well.

    Thanks for sharing your comments! It’s nice to see I’m not the only only looking for answers!

  18. Kristen says:

    I’ve watched this series since the pilot, and up until last night had never read the book. For probably the first time ever, I think the writers/producers/etc. made a horrible mistake not following the storyline given to them. I loved the aspect of having 12 coven members, and they could have easily made Kori likeable enough to kill her off a few episodes into the season. Not to mention the backstory on Adam and Cassie makes way more sense in the book. I get that they are destined to be together, but it makes Cassie a bit more likeable by showing she connected with him before knowing of him and Diana. I like that both her mom and grandmother support her being a witch, and they are both alive. Even though I liked Nick’s tv character better than I do his book character so far, I think I’ll get there. Also, in the book it makes it seem like there’s a slight budding attraction between him and Cassie. As much as I love romance, I’m intrigued what Cassie and Nick could be. I’m not going to stop watching the show by any means, b/c I do enjoy it. I do think they should have followed the course of the books, and then deviated from the written ending and continued the television series.

  19. Naty says:

    Serious? I really can’t believe that.
    He’s my favorite character.
    Why didn’t kill Adam? Adam is so boring and graceless.
    It’s a shame that Nick might not return. He’s one of the reasons I watch the series.

  20. JLCOLLINS says:

    This show is dead to me. Forget the bs about only so much from the books you can work with. There’s so much in the books they have completely IGNORED! After killing off one of the most crucial characters, you’ve mangled the story in the worst possible way for fans of the books. I hope this leads to a quick death for the show. LJ Smith’s true fans are reeling at this disaster of a show.

  21. Melissa says:

    I was really confused and kinda angry, but now that i read this interwiew i totally understood the way that Andrew Miller sees it.if he’s planning on making the tv show longer he can’t do exactly what the books says, none tv show does that -TVD it’s definitely not the exception :p- It’s sad that Nick’s dead but it’s for the best of the tv show :)

  22. mariee says:

    i wonder wats gunna happpen to the circle if jake is only in 5 more episodes? if it needs six idunno but i love this show its definitely interesting,

  23. Mary S says:

    I had not read the books, didn’t even KNOW there were books, but I liked the series and was sorry to see it go. I didn’t know this site existed at the time and so am very late in asking the question, but: Why did it end with so many unfinished storylines?? Did they not know until after the last episode was aired that it would not be renewed? I really hate it when networks do that to the viewing audience!!! We should always be given some sort of wrap-up, even if it’s as lame as those of CSI: Miami, CSI: NY or Rules of Engagement. And, as for Law and Order, NOBODY seemed to know it was the series finale until the night it aired; I heard no announcement prior to the show, but did wonder why everybody was there, even those who had been long gone!
    I know this question is LONG overdue, but can somebody answer it for me, anyway? PLEASE?? … and Thank you!