Saturday, March 17, 2018

Magicians, Season 3, Episode 9: All That Josh

Musical episode. Well kind of. I mean it’s an episode with maybe one or two songs? I kind of feel if you’re going to do a musical episode you should go for it.

And I know a lot of people hate these things but I have to admit to a secret joy in them.

So last episode things didn’t end well: Margot and Elliot are on trial, Penny is missing, stuck in the underworld and no-one knows where he is: and Harriet and Victoria are presumed dead via mirror bridge.

This is only mentioned in passing before everyone is forced into the next stage of the quest. But it’s important to remember because I think the characters, especially Kady, do a really good job of maintaining the pain and grief of this even as they are distracted by the singing.

Quentin and Kady are also not thrilled with Alice as she was in the Library and they don’t know why and haven’t ruled out that she’s working for the Library.

The book shoots out the next clue for the next key - and it’s some code with Alice rightfully identifies as Medieval sheet music. She is sure she’s playing it right but thankfully Kady knows more about music than Alice does (because her mother was a stripper, danced to music but also loved her work, loved music, gave Kady piano lessons and no-one better judge her). She plays the music and everything changes

Physical House is now full of people partying led by Josh (supported by Todd) who joins the party with a musical number and he’s pretty decent. Quentin is duly horrified. More concerning is the paintings of various famous people through history repainted as Josh - oh and there’s no door.

Josh and Todd arrive, celebrating because magic is back! Yes, they can all use magic to perform several really shiny party tricks which is a great fun and a massive relief to the magicians who have been without magic for so long. And the only rule is keep having fun

Which is a problem because Alice, Kady and Quentin quickly realise that magic outside of party tricks doesn’t work, they can’t leave and, Kady especially, is super on edge and upset after the disasters that have afflicated them. She’s not in a partying mood, but every time they stop partying the crowd of partiers all turn on them and move like an ominous cloned army. Only by singing and partying can they placate the crowd.

Josh and Todd are unaffected.

They decide to question Josh but first they need to distract the crowd - so it’s time for Kady’s musical number along with a Burlesque strip show, a shadow performance and using magic to keep it going while she joins the rest of them in questioning Josh

Except first they need to dredge through a lot of his complaints. The man who once abandoned them in Fillory because of cowardice is super upset that they ditched him at Bacchus’s party. He’s been texting and calling and they haven’t responded to him and he feels super neglected and left out. He also pouts how none of them really know anything about him. They try to point out to him the obvious flaws of his party world - that other magic doesn’t work etc but he’s determined to recite his whole history of being ditched and badly done to. He does reveal that it was Todd who led him to the party - and he went along with it because they did the same hostile clone army thing whenever he didn’t party. And then because he loves to party and they sort of have magic back. Despite this wanting to keep it going, he does admit there are flaws

Supernatural, Season 3, Episode 15: A Most Holy Man

This strange combination of noir and mob story kind of comes together to form… well… a rather pointless mess with some added theology on top which just… doesn’t really work in the canon of the show.

We open with someone deciding to steal a saint’s skull from a nunnery in Malta - and smack a nun at the same time.

Over to the Winchesters who are grappling with their portal spell - they need Lucifer’s grace (only don’t know where he is), fruit from the tree of life (Castiel is in Syria looking for that) and the blood of the most holy man. Which is kind of vague, as Dean points out. They hit on needing a saint, which opens the big dark internet realm of the holy relic black market. Apparently Sam is able to discern who is genuine and who isn’t somehow. Personally I would have thought Castiel would be the one to actually discern if there’s any actual holiness going on. They’re looking for the blood of a saint. Which is rather a problem because saints are kind of a posthumous title and long dead corpses tend not to have a lot of blood

Oh and Dean seems to actually gag on a pizza - Jensen Ackles’s tastebuds rebelling to Dean’s diet.

They travel to find a dealer, Margaret Astor, who says she knows someone who happens to have a stock of saint’s blood. And she’s happy to point them in the right direction with lots of flirting between her and Sam and lots of eye rolling from Dean

They go to see the next terrible person in the chain  who is very posh, very rich and apparently does have saint blood. Since Sam and Dean blatantly do not have the small fortune he would charge for it, instead he offers chicanery - them to go steal that skull we saw in the opening credits - which has been stolen by a mob boss, Santino Scarpatti.

Sam is really unhappy with this: he doesn’t want to become a thief. While Dean kind of shrugs it off. You do what you have to do - in an imperfect world you can’t stick to impossible standards when you have important goals.

Except when they manage to track down the thief they find that he’s already been murdered. And there’s a very obviously fake cop who tries to frame them for the death. Handcuffs don’t hold them for long though because maybe the Winchesters have been kidnapped and captured so many times by now they should be more skilled than Houdini.

Now things just get more convoluted because we’re going full on noir here. The mob boss who is just made up of rather dull shallow tropes, drags them into a meeting so he can intimidate them (which doesn’t work - which makes sense. Dean has literally been menaced by Lucifer, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and God’s not very happy sister - mob bosses should barely even feature on his threat radar. If anything this should have been emphasised more). Like posh guy Greenstreet, the mob boss also wants to hire Sam and Dean to find the skull

And at this point I don’t even know why so many people really want an old skull. More, I have no idea why all these fabulously wealthy people have decided to hire complete strangers for illegal activities (and they could be undercover cops for all they know). I mean doesn’t a mob boss have contacts for this kind of thing? None of them have even the slightest indication that the Winchesters are competent for these tasks.