This The Magicians evaluate accommodates spoilers.
The Magicians Season 5 Episode 8
Is everybody able to roll again that smug conviction we had final week in regards to the Darkish King’s duplicity? We should always know by now that The Magicians likes to play with our expectations, and the Fillory storyline not solely gave us an excellent Freaky Friday sequence between Margo and Eliot; it additionally had us questioning whether or not assassinating Sebastian, impermanent although it was, was the suitable transfer. Plus plans are being laid for Alice and Quentin’s world-building seed, an excellent reference from the ultimate entry in Lev Grossman’s e-book trilogy, The Magician’s Land, which builds enticingly on the nod to a personality from that e-book within the type of Hamish Bax, who’s shortly rising on us.
Fortuitously, the condescending Hamish quote from the e-book, “I’m going to say a phrase you don’t know,” is attributed to a spore-possessed taxonomist right here within the present, becoming fairly properly with The Magicians’ penchant for tackling mansplaining head on. Nobody ought to go head-to-head with Alice in educational information anyway, however the truth that her instincts paid off in attaching nice significance to Quentin’s unfinished work offers her a beautiful new quest within the again half of the season that has all of the marks of finally being related in any combat in opposition to the tip of a world.
The spores suppose the plant drawing is vital, so it should be, and though that’s all we actually have to know, “Backyard Selection Murder” added in a enjoyable body-snatching journey for good measure. Involving Fogg 17 within the investigation was a pleasant contact, too, and The Magicians is ready to plant (so to talk) the expectation that we have been about to see a zombie plague at Brakebills. Alice’s epiphany through the dialog with Hamish subsequently had a twin objective: it gave us extra bonding between these two over their grief, and the concept “it will get quieter” results in the spore dilution concept. A properly constructed setup!
Comparable narrative acrobatics are on show in Fillory the place Eliot’s misgivings about utilizing his inside man standing to take out the Darkish King result in a promise from Margo that she’ll preserve his arms clear. Not solely does it obliquely tackle the “bury your gays” trope that Eliot is in peril of embodying a number of occasions over in The Magicians; it additionally supplies an impressive alternative to see every actor’s impression of the opposite’s character in a body-swapping plot that provides to the drama by threatening a everlasting change in the event that they inform anybody who they are surely. This grew to become notably satisfying when Josh shortly realized that Margo wasn’t appearing like herself after which turned tragic when Eliot-in-Margo was pressured to offend the poor man as a way to end the hunt.
additional studying: The Magicians Season 5 And The Hazard of Extra Magic
In the meantime, seeing Sebastian’s self-sacrificing method via Margo-in-Eliot’s eyes pressured a brand new perspective on the viewers that the characters themselves haven’t but acknowledged: the chance that the Darkish King’s half in summoning the Takers is extra complicated than a 300-year lengthy con to stay in energy that all of us thought was in play. The shock ending of the episode through which Seb springs again to life after being impaled by Julia’s sword might imply loads of issues, however the seeds of doubt have been sown regarding the place the evil really lies.
Bonus factors go to the wonderful use of Charlton as conscience and counselor, first to Eliot and now to Margo, who fortunately is now conscious of the association. The apparition’s recommendation to Margo as she used Eliot’s physique to attempt to get near the Darkish King was invaluable, and the ensuing “softer contact” mirrored properly with Eliot’s deference to Josh as they mentioned Margo leaving him up to now. The Magicians reminded us in these moments that these two bosom buddies have reverse however complementary personalities, and so they each clearly nonetheless have rather a lot to study from and about one another. Nevertheless, they’re every uniquely suited to know how heavy lies the crown on Seb’s head.
As for Julia’s being pregnant (presumably through Penny), the decision remains to be out, however kudos to The Magicians for dropping that into the combination whereas nonetheless permitting the ex-goddess to be the one to conquer the enemy, nonetheless quickly. It was additionally the proper technique to contain Fen, who’s uniquely suited to supply recommendation on troubled motherhood. There’s possible nonetheless some trauma for Julia related to having a toddler, and now she additionally has to cope with the truth that Penny 23 and she or he simply broke up. Horrible timing, however one thing tells me Julia will make a decision that has her getting via this life altering occasion even stronger.
And so The Magicians redeems final week’s extra predictable episode with new storylines and a foiling of viewers expectations. Whether or not the seed that Alice will little doubt be looking for might be a method to changing Fillory after its demise or a catalyst for saving the magical world stays to be seen, however the transition to the brand new quest has been efficiently navigated on this pleasant episode. Though we’re nonetheless questioning how Kady and the hedges in addition to Plum and her mysterious sign play into all this (to not point out who this mysterious “The Couple” is), religion has been restored within the potential of this sequence to weave the entire varied threads collectively into a creative tapestry.
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Michael Ahr is a author, reviewer, and podcaster right here at Den of Geek; you’ll be able to take a look at his work right here or comply with him on Twitter (@mikescifi). He co-hosts our Sci Fi Constancy podcast.