Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Magicians, Season 1, Episode 12: Thirty-Nine Graves

Last week Julia was visited by the mystical Black goddess of holy goodness. This could be a nice portrayal of power and strength if she weren’t cryptic, completely undepicted and apparently dishing out goodies and plot advancing useful shinies. Powerful POC who hand out shiny magical upgrades to white people aren’t a good depiction. That includes the hermit who gets Julia in touch with the goddess. Though I did like her counter that she wants power, but hit back that having ambition is not a bad thing and definitely not something the goddess would be against.

The goddess does come through and does give all of Julia’s friends their shinies (and get them out of the way of the plot line) This being Magicians I am quite sure at some point she will eat everyone’s skin.

This does free her up to be useful to Quentin again. And, let’s be clear, that’s exactly what happened – her friends conveniently vanished, her goddess-given mission happens to somewhat coincide with what Quentin wants

So, to Quentin and co who are terribly awkward after the drunken, magical emotional threesome last week. Everyone is terrible, except Penny who is surprisingly calm and supportive with Alice’s fury. And he has sex with her. Which Quentin hears and is all hurt – he makes a comment which would almost be good (he made a mistake while drunk and magically unable to make good decisions, while she used sex deliberately as a weapon to hurt him). This would be a point – a mistake, or being magically unable to make decisions – is a lot different from sleeping with someone to hurt someone else. Except it’s super narcissist and assumes Alice’s only motive for having sex with Penny is to hurt Qunetin. Ok, I suspect it’s part of the motive, but let’s not forget Penny is an extremely hot guy and Alice is seeking comfort.

Margot does her own dubious statement – announcing she refuses to be ashamed for sex. Which is all sex positive and empowering and, again, completely narcissistic. Sure she’s happy to have sex, but being unable to see why other people may be concerned about sex they made while unable to make reasoned decisions (which, subsequently means they had little real consent), especially when one is in a relationship and the other is mourning the boyfriend he just murdered. Yup, Margot keeps her narcissist crown.

They manage to hold their differences down long enough to travel to the Neitherlands to head to Fillory to find the weapon to kill the Beast – which all goes quickly wrong as they run into the Beast’s minions resulting in Quentin being stuck in Brakebills (with the map) and the rest of the gang being in the library with helpful, reassuring librarian. She spends some time telling Penny how awesome Travelling is (which is also awesome) before kicking them all out when Elliot reads Mike’s book, becomes depressed about it and destroys it in depression and because Margot is still EPICLY UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND

But, yes, Elliot’s endless grief again sabotaged the group.

Luckily they run into another Brakebill’s survivor – one of the missing year of students that disappeared (including Alice’s brother).  He explains what happened, they had an awesome Traveller who decided to take them all to Fillory for a holiday – which was all good and fine until the Beast promptly massacred them. It also looks like their awesome traveller is probably the woman that Penny keeps seeing being imprisoned by the Beast. Thankfully the guy can also show them the way to the fountain which will lead them to Fillory so long as they all keep within Alice’s invisibility spell. Great idea

Except… Elliot. Because drunken useless character sabotage, means they have to fight their way. Thankfully Margot brought a gun because she can shoot 3 times in the time it takes a Magician to manage those hand gestures and emotion control for battle magic.

Everything about Elliot is terrible.

Back to Quentin. He decides to go see the Dean (remember him? The awesome character with big secrets who could have a very interesting storyline as he adapts to his new disability but was then completely banished to the Plot box for so long. And ye gods why is saving the world a task that doesn’t involve anyone but students for crying out loud?! Whyyyyy?!) and not only do we see this neglected character, but we then get him thoroughly abused and demystified by a humiliating use of a truth serum (I’m sorry, are you seriously expecting to convince me that Quentin can pull off a truth potion? Really? He’s competent now?)

Anyway the truth serum means that we get a lot of exposition. The now deceased Jane has a nice time travelling magical artefact from the Fillory books. And, unlike Harry Potter, she is quite willing to abuse this over and over again to reset the time line to find different ways to bring down the Beast. Unfortunately she’s done this 49 times and in all 49 Qunetin has died (explain to me again why this guy is the Chosen One and matters so much? Did I miss this? Because I still don’t get it? I also don’t get why one of those 49 attempts doesn’t involve rallying every wizard in the world with sniper rifles to shoot the Beast until he stops twitching?). And this is the last chance because now Jane is dead so no more time travel (wait, didn’t she have an artefact? Can’t the take it off her body? Is resect for the dead more important than saving the world?)

I do like the Groundhog day joke, that was good.

Qunetin asks a good question – what did Jane change this time round? This time round she kept Julia out of Brakebills assuming that the adversity she faced would teach her new and shiny magic!

And why, it did just that! Yes, all of Julia’s storyline, perhaps the most important and interesting storyline in this show, was all reduced to Julia being a good tool for Quentin. This is why I drink almost as much as Elliot.

So we have a reconciliation – which is kind of good with lots of acknowledgement of wrongness but still friendship. Together they figure out a way to Fillory – it requires Brakebills, time travel, World War 2, and a magical phone box… getting them into Fillory… At last.