Friday, February 10, 2017

The Magicians, Season 2, Episode 3: Divine Eliminations

Well that episode was epic… and depressing. Both and powerfully so.

It starts more comedic – see we learned that the Beast had cursed Fillory. Turns out he had put a curse on the four thrones so that anyone sitting on them hates and fears the other kings and queens of Fillory

For a kingdom that requires the co-operation of four co-rulers, that’s a pretty clever and cunning curse that explains a lot about why Fillory has utterly fallen apart

That leaves Fenn (Elliot’s wife) and Penny to try and get the gang to not kill each other. This involve getting in the way, wasting 2 caco-demons and shooting Margot with in the backside with a crossbow bolt. This is all amusing – but really could do without Margot’s insults here.

Eventually Penny comes up with a plan to inject everyone with near-death stuff and then inject them revivy stuff. This may not be an ideal plan but the whole hostage situation falls apart when the kings and queens of Fillory all have an inject fight. Margot wins (was there any doubt?) and then the curse is so powerful that she injects herself

This leaves Penny free to resurrect everyone with the revive injections and restore everyone to something resembling sensibleness. Only down 3 caco-demons. Oops.

Still the gang does finally get together and start making plans for taking down the beast. It’s a decent plan, they make with characteristic snark and all is prepared

Also making plans is Julia, the Beast (and his singing) and Marina – though Marina does not trust the Beast. And for good reason. They both intend to use Marina as bait – but Julia intends to rush in and save her at the last minute while the Beast is more of the “let’s get him while he’s chewing on her entrails” school of thought. Julia objects

So the Beast messes with their little plot to make it happen – including teleporting her away while Marina is invoking Renard’s fake goddess persona (with a perfect dead pan). It seems not to work but the Beast figures out Renard, if summoned, would likely stalk Marina.

He’s right – but the Beast and Julia end up being locked out by Marina’s wards – while Renard is locked in. This isn’t good for Marina. It’s worse for Marina’s cat… throughout the horrendous ordeal Marina is awesome. Deadpan, snarky, perfect. All respect to Marina

The Beast and Julia break the words, the Beast freezes Renard and it’s time for Julia to deliver the killing blow…

Which is when the Fillory gang put their plan in place, Penny teleports in, grabs the beast and brings him to Fillory to be nuked by Alice. Except Julia jumps in so Quentin tries to save her and Alice merely maims the beast instead of killing him. Awkward.

The Beast flees, Penny returns Julia home – and she’s blazing because they can’t kill Renard without the Beast. She rips off the chains controlling Penny’s hands so who even knows what’s happening to him. But it’s too late – when she returns to Marina, she’s already dead.

Damn… after seeing Marina be so toweringly awesome, that’s just an utter kick in the teeth.

In Fillory things are better – they realise that the Beast will go to the wellspring to try and heal. So no-one’s dead yet. Eliot and Margot go to the god Ember to try and get a refill on god power (we’re not speculating on how they intend to do that) while Alice and Quentin run to the wellspring, ready to defend it from the Beast

Along the way, Quentin tries to rekindle their romance – and it’s a genuinely sweet and meaningful scene of him recognising he needs to improve and change and grow to be worthy of her. What I love about this is that there isn’t an expectation of her taking him back or that she should or that he thinks she should do it now: he accepts he has some way to go yet. And she has some awesome things to say about the language of “losing a woman” or “winning her back.” She’s not a prize or object to be won or lost.

All the while she is doing some amazing acting of the terror of basically facing down the Beast with no real plan.

At the Wellspring the Beast is delayed by the god Ember, provider of godly sperm. Who has shit in the wellspring

Oh Magicians keep it classy

Whatever this means for Fillory, and it’s definitely not good, it means the Beast is not drinking that

Which is when Quentin and Alice arrive. Weak and injured – and missing a hand and a finger (magic in The Magicians is very much based on hand movements) he is a lot weaker though still dangerous. Quentin is severely injured throwing himself in the way of an attack meant for Alice.

And Alice opens up on the Beast. And she’s good and dangerous and even winning. But to actually win and save everyone she overloads on magic, becomes terrifying and mighty and awesome…. In her amazing power she kills the Beast in epic contemptible fashion. And then turns on Margot and Elliot. Quentin tries to talk her down but can’t…

He’s the last one with a Cacodemon. He unleashes it against Alice.

Alice is apparently dead.

Nooooooo no no no. You can’t end all that epic like that?! You can’t raise her up so amazing, empower her so totally, let everyone be clear how awesome she is, even put her and Quentin’s relationship back on track and then kill her?! Noooooo

This episode… argh. I’m amazed this is episode 3 and not a finale of some kind. I am frustrated. Marina and Alice both rose to amazing heights this episode, utter, amazing, stellar heights. I cheered both of them, celebrated both of them… and now they’re both dead. And their deaths were tragic and awful and gutwrenching because of how awesome they were. I don’t think either has been sold short by their deaths… but to raise up two of the show’s female characters like this just to cut them down?