Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Magicians, Season 4, Episode 1: A Flock of Lost Birds

So last season a lot happened - including the series changing from being something that made us cringe on a regular basis to something that was truly awesome and even came with some really super super music.

And Margo.

All hail Margo. All of you - you at the back, get with worshipping.

So magic was removed by the gods after our not-quite-heroes killed Ember and the old gods took an exception. They launched an epic quest which came with a really awesome Queen/Bowie cover and eventually restored magic - which in turn all went pear shaped when Alice decided, in her rather confused and broken way because ye gods she went through a lot and eventually decided all magic was bad and had to be destroyed. Julia stepped in and said nu-uh and since she was a god that stuck and Alice was stopped - but Julia was duly de-godded in the process. And then Zelda lead the librarians into the mess, took control of magic which is now rationed

Finish that all off with restoring magic also reducing a great scary powerful thing that could possess people and out not!heroes all having their memories scrubbed

Except Alice. Alice broke a deal with the Library so she’s locked up by them - where we’ll join her. She’s in her cell, making it clear to Zelda who is both evil overlord and kinda has a conscience so feels kinda guilty about the overlording, that she would like her to die in all the fires, preferably yesterday. While Zelda thinks the library is the bestest fascist all controlling super power ever and she totally wants Alice to join. One day. When Alice doesn’t hate the library, magic and pretty much everyone else

Her main concern is that the monster will hunt down her amnesiac friends who, magicless and without even knowing they’re Magicians, will be squished very easily. She hatches a plan which involves sort of faking suicide and capturing a cockroach. Yes your guess is as good as mine, I’m just going to say that it’s Magicians so this will be a) funny b) disgusting, c) horrifying or d) all of the above. But we may get a song

On the same cell block is Nick, the Magician who became obsessed with finding good people then good children who then worked with elves to try and reward good children and yes we have Santa Claus. Magicians is… odd. Very very odd. He has lots of pep talks for Alice

Henry Fogg also hates the Librarians but he’s more subtle and snarky than Alice so is instead using Passive Aggression of epic levels to remind Zelda he would also like her to die in all the fires - but also carefully taking aim at that conscience and reminding her everything is going to go wrong, our Not!heroes are all going to be hurt and it will be All Zelda’s Fault.

He’s also trying to run a school while he and Professor Lipson are super frustrated by the magic restriction. This also includes recruiting new student Kimber who sets all their sensors up the wazoo despite having all the magical talent of an especially boring probate accountant.

So why? Well our not!heroes all have human lives and Henry has just snared the unwitting mortal disguise of Julia - and is now pulling her into the school to keep her safe. Which is especially poignant given Julia was the one who suffered so much for so long

This disguise and amnesia has other cracks as well. Kady is now a police detective (oh the irony) and her pursuit of criminals leads her to Mark - a hedge witch. Who tries to use woo-woo on her and try to figure out what she’s up to… and it all goes wrong for him ending up with him being squished (but not dead) by a truck, Kady hanging on to his magical protection amulet and having a lot of questions

There’s a twist to this disguise amnesia, it also comes with a scary fuck-shit-up if you question too hard, dropping things on you, setting electricity sparking and generally being A Problem. But with the protection Amulet Kady gains enough space to do some searching on the net and finds herself. A character in a comic book. Pretty strong proof she’s not real…

Margo, meanwhile, is a fashion editor, awesome and has another twist. Since she was elected as the High King of Fillory that comes with mystical shenanigans - including an alarm in her head put there by the god Ember to kick in should certain problems happen. Including:
World War
Unwelcome Hostile gods in Fillory
Revolt of Dwarfs
Mass Rising of the Dead (not actually a threat since the dead are feeble. But they’re icky).

Ember is also not pleased with the High King being a woman while Margo is both massively confused and sarcastic - and her eyes are acting up so she needs to wear an eye patch (a lot of magical shenanigans happened with one of her eyes).

Also there are kittens. Lots of kittens. More portents of doom should come with kittens.

She tries to get hold of the fillory books so she can check these dreams but the disguise spell kicks in again, making it impossible. But since she is also a character in the comic Kady has, Kady manages to track down her, Penny and Josh and use the amulet to stop dying horribly… though it’s still hard to talk about it directly. They wonder at the other characters - especially how many of them have suddenly vanished… and this worries them. Oh and Penny is super chill and happy which is just surreal

They’re also found by Marina, old frenemy, Hedge Witch leader, bad girl, powerful magician and friend of Mark. She doesn’t know them but she does see them COVERED in magic which, in this magic rationed times, is special so is determined to reveal them while in a warded place to control the curse

This doesn’t exactly go to plan and everyone else up unconscious… which means Margo is back in her dream with the Ember Alarm demanding to know why she isn’t saving the kingdom already. When she protests she isn’t even in Fillory Ember promptly dumps her there

An Amnesiac human in an intensely magical world. This will not end well

What will also not end well is Quentin with his own amnesia being kidnapped by Elliot who may or may not have amnesia and that’s moot because he’s possessed by the Big Bad that likes killing people and being really really super creepy. And it likes Quentin and wants to kill alll his friends and any other random passers by. And he wants to flay someone in Greece. Quentin is not having a good time

But I definitely am