Friday, February 3, 2017

The Magicians, Season 2, Episode 2: Hotel Spa Potion

So the gang makes it back to Brakebills, easily passing through the fountain portal because convenience.

They’re greeted by Dean Fogg who has been waiting for them and they quickly fill him in – they have to kill the Beast (so he doesn’t suck the wellspring of Fillory dry, destroying all magic) and to do that they need some uber battle magic – and they found a work book in the armoury that suggested a connection to the school

Battle magic has been outlawed at Brakebills for many years because of some pesky deaths. But when it was taught it was taught by a 500 year old pixie who said they’d need her one day. Being both a mischievous pixie and fond of “I told you so” she makes the whole gang – including Dean Fogg and Professor Sunderland, go through a lot of tedious and difficult clue searching to track her down. I actually really like all this clue hunting, it’s clever, it’s fun yet still manages to carry how hard and tedious it is. And though Bigby is a bit of a shallow sexual stereotype, there was a decent portrayal in the snapshot we had of her of a being whose culture is just rather alien to ours

Still no hard feelings (or hard feelings if you want to go the innuendo route and follow the many many times Bigby talks about when she and Dean Fogg had sex) and she is convinced to hand over the mega death spell that will kill the Beast to Alice and all her handy god like power she has at the moment.  So long as she makes sure no-one else is within 20 feet. That sounds like a fun spell.

But that power is slowly fading – and she hasn’t mastered the spell yet

To add some oomph, Dean Fogg has some extra painful and unpleasant ways to give them more power in the upcoming battle. Because if there’s one thing that is always clear here –magic is always unpleasant

Well, except for Professor Sunderland’s aphrodisiac oil, massage and light bondage cure for Penny’s hands. He tries to take the next step and she considers it – after graduation

I… applaud and am vaguely surprised. This show. This show. This show which can’t even claim a shred of decency draws the line at teacher student sex? I mean, great the line is drawn and it should be but it’s surprising that a show that has students “empowered” by magical rape and semen guzzling finds a moral conscience anywhere.

The clue hunt takes up a large chunk of the episode and is kind of fun – but in Fillory, Elliot is definitely not having fun

His castle has some very old very smelly corpses lying around funking up the place, he can’t invent champagne (of course his first priority because this show is terrible) and there may even be a curse on the castle.

Also his queen, Fen, wants to be a happy obedient servant since that’s what she thinks a good wife should be – thankfully Eliot rejects that since the last thing he wants to be is a cult leader. Which is of the good. Even better the queen has a much better sense of priorities – the people of Fillory are starving. They always used magic to farm – and without magic they have no idea how agriculture actually works.

Which brings up King Caricature’s history on a farm and his knowledge of farming methods – including fertiliser (much to the horror of the people of Fillory who have never put shit on food crops before) all while being incredibly melodramatic and lamenting the lack of Zoloft.

He also plans to get round his whole enforced monogamy thing by having a troop of hot people he can watch while having sex with Fen – though she objects. Whether he has sex or not is in doubt: he apologises to her the next day and mentions needing to find a way to blow off steam which suggests if they did have sex it wasn’t satisfactory

I have to say, yet again, what an utter hot mess of homophobia this is. And it’s actually exacerbated by Eliot “growing up” and being competent – while still being a stereotype (because gay comic relief is rigidly enforced) he’s also only allowed to be effective at anything now he is being “straightened” with a forced relationship with a woman.

And to Julia and the Beast. Who has started singing to be extra extra annoying. I actually admire a character this dedicated to being a pain in the arse. His method for killing Reynard involves using a hedge witch as bait. Julia completely rejects this, clinging to her humanity even as he continually tries to convince her to get rid of her Shade and joining him in merry evil and not feeling any of the pain of their past. She’s resisting…

Even when he brings in Marina to be bait. Marina wants nothing to do with it, even when Julia buries their antipathy and tries to recruit her by pointing out Reynard is a threat to both of them. The Beast urges kidnapping, Julia resists. So far

Marina does realise there is a threat and tries to rally another powerful Hedge Witch – only to find that Reynard has got there first and murdered her. Marina changes her mind about not getting on side.

She is also annoyed by the singing

And Quentin manages to sneak out to warn Julia in a terrible way –he tries to warn her to not be near the Beast when they attack because of the whole blast radius thing – but in doing so he dismisses her pain and why she may need the beast as well as the killings Reynards is inflicting. Quentin, you are not a people person

Julia grudgingly tells him about the ill defined curse on Fillory castle after he points out he did kind of come to her just with helpful heads up and she responded with threats. Their relationship is not a healthy one