'The Secret Circle' preview: Melissa is empowered, and drunk Ethan spills the beans

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tsc-drunk-ethan.jpg "The Secret Circle" fans, we know you've been put through the ringer this week after Nick's surprising death in last week's episode, but don't expect things to slow down! Losing Nick was the catalyst for some big changes coming to Chance Harbor - starting with Melissa ( Jessica Parker Kennedy).

"Nick transformed Melissa, in a way. Melissa starts out this kind of mousey girl in the shadow of a bitchy girl and ends up forging the most real relationship on the show," executive producer Andrew Miller tells us. "She ends up stepping out of the shadow and blossoming, and being empowered by Nick's love for her, or at least, his attention. It's a pretty amazing gift that he leaves her, which is her finding herself, and we're really proud of that. I'm proud of Louis for doing such a great job conveying that."

Without Nick around, the Circle is broken -- but more importantly, the kids involved in the Circle are completely devastated.

"The Circle is going through two things at the same time," Miller explains. "On one side, I think the idea of doing magic at all is terrifying to them. The whole point of [Nick's death] was to ground the show in a reality. If you're messing with forces like this -- if you're taking suppression spells out of comatose women who have demons inside them, and if you're trying to exorcise demons, you're doing things that are going to have consequences. They'll never really be able to do magic in the same way without having this experience come through their heads. They're shell-shocked. They're also physically weaker, when it comes to their powers."

As if these kids didn't have enough to deal with, Adam ( Thomas Dekker) and Diana ( Shelley Hennig) are in for another shake-up. We spoke with Adam Harrington, who plays Adam's father, Ethan, about the ripple effect of Nick's Death.

"Ethan's been attempting to keep the past at bay, and we're starting to see that that just can't happen anymore," Harrington tells us. "Nick's death triggers Ethan to start drinking again at Nick's wake. Unfortunately, he ends up telling Diana something that's going to seriously affect her relationship with Adam."

Over the next two episodes, the secrets that the adults have been keeping for years are in danger of coming to the surface. "Someone from Ethan's past comes to town, threatening to tell Cassie part of the past," Harrington says. "Ethan's relationship with his son is already kind of tenuous, but it takes a big turn. Everyone kind of thinks of Ethan as the town drunk, but we're starting to see that the reason why he drinks is to try to ignore the past. We're going to learn some surprising things."

We're just glad to see that Ethan's back in the mix, as he hasn't been on screen in a couple of episodes... but we're even more glad to hear that his boozing may finally lead to some answers about what happened with the older generation. "He hits the bottle hard and it triggers all the events that happened 16 years ago," he says. "In episode 7 (Oct. 27) we get a big hint as to what Ethan's been hiding."

Tune in tonight at 9 p.m. EST.
Photo/Video credit: The CW