About a week ago, I asked Facebook if I should binge watch The Magicians or Westworld. It was pretty neck-and-neck with responses, but I opted for The Magicians since there were only two seasons and The Magicians Season 3 started this week.
This series is Harry Potter on crack. Like, maybe actual crack. Plus a healthy dose of other magical drugs with a side of witty snark and enough pop culture references to go around.
(But without wands, which is sort of nice. In fact, I get some solid The OA vibes from the magic on this show. Which makes me want to write about how I think the magic worked in the end of that series…)
I’ve wanted to jump back into writing about TV for a while now, so what better way than with a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, right? That means I don’t have to take myself too seriously, too, right?
(If you haven’t seen the show, you can watch The Magicians on Netflix. That’s how I binged it. Fair warning: if you’re not a fan of profanity and penis jokes, stick with the OG wizards from Hogwarts.)
Spoiler Alert: I’m going to pretend you’re already familiar with the series from this point forward, so you might learn things you don’t want to know yet. ::shrug emoji::
At the end of The Magicians Season 2, Quentin has killed Umber who killed his brother Ember who was already believed to be dead but who was secretly in hiding and collecting artifacts from Fillory and the gods are displeased, so magic has been erased from the world. Oops!
That’s the setup for The Magicians’ Season 3 and its Quest for the Keys. I can’t imagine it taking an entire season for this merry band of magical misfits to reclaim magic thereby saving everyone and everything they loved, but hey. Someone felt a need to break the last Twilight book into two movies, okay?
Also, there’s this lovely little exchange which tells us that we’re gonna be on this adventure for about 13 episodes:
Eliot: How long is this going to take?
Great Cock: About a season.
While I was not in any way disappointed with how fun the premiere was, I think the trailers gave away just a little too much about what we’d discover in episode 1.
We knew Eliot would meet the Great Cock of the Darkling Woods and learn about the Quest for the Seven Keys before the episode aired, so most of the hour felt extraneous.
Quentin and Julia party with Bacchus in hopes of asking for a meet with his parents, because that’s a reasonable thing to do when the gods hate you so much they took away the one thing that made you different, but we already knew that wasn’t going to be the focus of the season. It really served as a backward way for us to find out that Alice has left Brakebills–and Quentin–because “she just can’t.”
What she can’t do is wait around for the lamprey to find her because of whatever she did while she was a Niffin, but, in true serial dramedy fashion, she’s not going to tell anyone what she’s doing because she’s far, far too proud to ask for help.
This is a common TV trope, this idea of being a lone wolf, and sometimes it irks me. This irritation is not in any way limited to this series. It happens in all of them. What could be solved in 10 minutes takes 10 episodes because characters can’t bring themselves to have a discussion.
We’re on a Quest for some Keys now, with Quentin, Julia, Eliot, and Margo passing messages back and forth through magic rabbits in the one wing of the castle the fairy queen can’t visit. (Sidenote: How did Julia, Quentin, and Josh get the magic rabbits BACK to Fillory? 🤔)
Margo’s help is limited because her eyeball is a spy.
Yep. Her eyeball. Kept in a little cage around the Fairy Queen’s wrist.
This discovery was the BEST part of the episode which was Margo and Eliot speaking in pop culture to hide the fact that they know the Fairy Queen’s secret spying methods. It was so good I watched it twice, and I love that it was subtitled for those of us who may not speak nerd.
Does anyone but me get major Gwendolyn-Christie-if-Brienne-of-Tarth-were-evil vibes from the Fairy Queen?
Julia still has sparks of magic, and she appears to be the only person who does. Except for Penny. But Penny’s magic comes from the fact that he’s not quite human. Something in his DNA which allows him to Travel exists outside of magic.
The trouble is that every time he travels, his Super Cancer progresses more rapidly, meaning the longer he’s away from the library, a place where time stands still, the faster he dies.
I need to rewatch because I don’t remember when Marlee Matlin said she had the cure for Penny’s illness, but Kady believes she does, or at least that she knows how to find the answer. She’s not to be trusted, so there’s virtually no way this goes well. Hopefully, they’ll still be able to cure Penny. And maybe he’ll ditch the suit and get back to wearing his open-front shirts and scarves in the process.
What I think we’re going to find when they’re all on this Quest is that the magic is within them all, and this idea is actually a callback all the way to Season 1.
In mythology, when Prometheus gives fire to man, the gods and goddesses of Mt. Olympus cannot take fire back. They punish Prometheus for giving away the sacred source of their power, but they don’t take that power away from men and women.
Magic isn’t bestowed like a gift. The gods have spread that rumor faster than the Michaelsons spread the Sun and Moon curse around the globe.
Julia still has magic because of the trauma she endured at the hands of Reynard. (Hey, OLU, maybe you want to give these mortals their magic back for all the stunts your son pulled? Maybe?) That’s why she has these little sparks the others don’t.
Slowly, as the others face their trauma, their powers will be restored as well. But not before mayhem ensues.
The question now is who will get their power back first?
Do you watch The Magicians? What did you think of The Magicians Season 3 premiere? Anything specific you’d like to see me talk about? Let me know!