Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Magicians, Season 3, Episode 5: A Life in a Day

So Penny is sort of dead but not, sort of a ghost but not and Alice decides the best thing to do is to take the key of Penny seeing to Kady. Also so she can get out of the Physical House while everything is so weird

Unfortunately Kady is… not in a good place. She can use the key to see Penny. The man whose love and death drove her to nearly kill herself with an overdose and now be shut in a mental institution. She describes herself as “broken” from trying to save Penny and she blames him for her being in there. It’s not exactly fair, but it is very human and she storms out. Penny is not happy

To make matters worse, videos of her arguing with the air did not convince the people who run the institution that she should be allowed outside - and when she tries to escape, resort to drugging her against her will. Oh I hope she gets her magic back and starts mauling people.

So that’s a trainwreck. Which is Magicians.

In Fillory, Margot is not having a great time. I mean no-one in Magicians has a great time but the women seem to get it in the neck especially (see, well, every single scene with Julia, ever. And Alice died. And while Elliot is having cruise, Margot is having to deal with the fairy queen’s ever more annoying whims. And Kady nearly died and has been imprisoned against her will).

She has her minion Trick to prepare her fairy poison because she is SO DONE WITH EVERYTHING. Except the fairy queen has decided to make things awkward again - by arranging Margot’s marriage - she quickly sends a bunny asking for help to Elliot and Quentin but, like everything else, pretty much has to deal with it herself

So the queen wants her to marry the prince of the floating mountain. Only because magic has gone, the floating mountain is no longer flying and it’s more like an island with some issues. They don’t have a lot of resources, but they do have a huge army

Margot isn’t thrilled - and nor is Prince Ess of Loria who kind of wants to know why their ally (due to his dad’s marriage with Elliot) needs this army. He and Margot also have issues over their failed marriage and history. Also Margot is as diplomatic as a sledgehammer. Also she’s in a  really bad mood. So it doesn’t go well.

The fairy queen seems to realise that Margot is 3 inches from done so introduces the Queen of the not-floating mountain people (the Stone Queen), her future mother-in-law. Who turns out to be super nice and wise and reasonable. She’s clearly in contact with the Fairy Queen and decides Margot is having a case of nerves and decides that it will help Margot to meet her son

First we have the younger son Prince Fomar who she vetoes because child! But the Stone Queen again shows some shocking reasonableness and introduces her older son, actual betrothed person and he’s super searing hot. Margot is still suspicious and she questions him to see any lurking misogyny - turns out the Stone people are matriarchal (and have a lot of sex metaphors) and he expects to be submissive and obedient to his wife. He doesn’t realise the rest of the world doesn’t work this way and Margot is happy to keep that ignorance.

Things are finally looking good - except there’s an assassination attempt on hot prince. Margot does not react well and throws Ess in prison (along with awesome burn that he isn’t even in her “top 50”) before moving on to the wedding. And this time the hot prince is murdered

The perpetrator is Fomar, the baby brother. And because of stupid tradition, not only does he not get stabbed repeatedly for murdering his brother, but he now gets to be the one to marry Margot. And Margot is actually visibly shaken upset and maybe even a little broken at yet something else going awfully for her.

We shall return to Margot after joining Elliott and Qunetin and my utter joy. And annoyance.

So they’re on a quest for the next key and with Quentin’s knowledge of the Fillory books points to them having to return there: they need to complete a mosaci that reflects the beauty of all life (which Elliot rightly sums up as gloriously vague). In the books, Jane Chatwin (she who later had the time turner and dies horribly) found the mosaic - but found it completed.

While deciding what to do they also get a bunny message from Margot insisting they help her with her wedding woes. So to Filliory! Using their portal clock and one of the other keys which are useful magical mcguffins.

They arrive in Fillory - and can instantly sense magic. Which is awesome- but also means they’ve come through a one way portal to several decades in the past. Oops.

They find the mosaic and they can’t use magic to fix it. They have to manually make the mosaic, they have no idea what it’s supposed to look like and there are literally decades worth of combinations.

Elliot is surprisingly positive about their decades quest here and they running through many many many combinations in different ways, with some snark, some fun and lots of giddiness. We also meet Ariel the fruit seller. After a year (yes a year) of working on patterns together, Elliot and Quentin kiss! Yes, living together they have grown super close and are in a relationship

I was so happy, I couldn’t wait to see the montage of their relationship and at last a good same-sex relationship on this show and… Ariel the fruit seller? No no no no, why?

I’m not going to let this ruin Quentin/Elliott for me - but I’m vexed that the show felt the need to introduce a non-character (she’s female and sells fruit, she appears for 10 seconds) just because we simply couldn’t have had two men together. They did this to Elliot with Fen - it’s the same kind of shenanigans that Da Vinci’s Demons pulled. If you’re going to show a same-sex couple we need to quickly bounce to an opposite sex couple to reassure the audience.

But fine, I can live with this, I can focus on Elliot and and Quentin living together with the son Quentin has by Ariel and even if we don’t show any more romance or particular family moments - kid calls Quentin dad, a really easy touch to cement that family. Or have them have more than one kiss or not follow that up with Elliot saying “live your life here” with obvious implications for wanting to go further and Quentin interpreting that as getting with Ariel. Look, there are ways it could have been better, could have been more - but we still have a lot of care and long life together and it is beautiful and we almost have a complete Up montage here… especially when Elliot dies after they spend decades together working on the mosaic until they become old men

And it is heart breaking

When digging Elliot’s grave, Quentin finds a special tile and it alone completes the mosaic (the pattern representing the beautify of all life can very much be seen as a reflection of their life together). He gets the key - and a young Jane Chatwin arrives (and Quentin calls Elliot “a friend” and aaargh, no, you’re refusal to commit to this, Magicians will not ruin this for me!). She says how much she needs the key to power her time-turner watch will be later used to power all those time loops. Quentin agrees to give her the key, but he has another plan.

Back to a newly married Margot who is putting off “consumating” the marriage by insisting on examining all of her wedding gifts. Among them is a key (not the mosaic key, the first key) with a note from Quentin basically saying he and Elliot are dead. But she needs to go to see Jane in the clock barrens (where she’s alive because of timey-wimey woo-woo).

Jane is there and has the key but can’t give it to Margot because it powers the clock barrens. But thanks to Timey-Wimey-ness there is another key out there - one on the body of Jane Chatwin on Earth. Which means Margot has to go grave robbing. Because everything is terrible for her

Jane does have an awesome pep talk for her, especially how she will have her own story and it will be fabulous and awesome. She isn’t doomed to be the secondary character, she will be the hero. And Margot needs this because she is like 2 feet from being broken (but can still snark about having to rob cradles and graves. Because she’s Margot)

Margot gets the key - and can then stop Elliot and Quentin from going through the clock in the first place because she already has the key. So that whole beautiful (if not enough) relationship, didn’t really happen! Or only happened in an alternate time line.

I have... feelings about this

One redeeming feature of this is mysterious appearing fruit gives Elliot and Quentin the memories they had. And I’m going to need this to have some kind of effect on the show: but I’m leery because when thinking their lives we get “I died” which makes sense. “You had a wife”. Ok I can understand mentioning this. And “We had a family” oookay, yes the son matters. But not “we were a family”? They had a multi-decade relationship, we need a nod to this. It cannot be forgotten

Now to Julia doing research into religion as much as magic - as Alice is possessed and whatever possesses her says “help Alice”

Ok, not spooky at all. So Julia drops the books and they go drinking to talk and get to the bottom of Alice’s identity issues. She used to define herself as good as magic - and she was, she was by far the best of them. But then magic turned on her and she became a niffin. And no sooner did she find herself human again then magic disappeared. She has no anchors or way to define herself.

They make a not too difficult leap that Julia’s magic comes from Our Lady Underground and Alice suggests she uses the truth key to figure it out. Using a mirror, Julia gets an interview with the goddess and the truth about her magic

The magic that turns her eyes yellow, like Renard’s

Yes it’s not good. The goddess has planted a seed of Renard inside Julia - and while she makes a big point about it being Julia’s power now, not Renard and how Julia earned it with her mercy (aaaaargh); Julia is stuck on it being a piece of Renard, inside her, without her consent and she is REALLY not happy about that

She tells Alice, fuming - but Alice is focused on the fact it’s magic. She’d accept it in a heartbeat.. To which there is a suggestion of transferring the magic to Alice

So wishes from here:

Quentin and Elliot acknowledge what happened here. Because a one episode nod when they lived together for, what, 50, 60 years? Raising a child together and at least one hint to a romantic relationship? That should leave a mark

I NEED Margot to get a win, because she has just been a victim for too long this season. I need the Fairy Queen humbled at her feet. I need her new husband to be thoroughly minced. I need her to win.

I loathe loathe loathe that Julia’s power yet further comes from lack of consent and her rape. But I’m not sure about her losing the powers either. On the one hand I completely agree and cheer her rejecting anything to do with Renard on the other I think I’d be happier seeing her truly making that power hers and making all the gods take notice

I need Penny to be back, even if he’s astrally around, fine - but give him power and involvement, don’t let his astral nature be a way to sideline her

Kady needs to be remembered by the others, like Penny, and not left in her prison.