Last week I complained about The Magicians season premiere feeling a bit rushed and like we didn’t get to spend enough time with the groups new identities. It seemed like a waste not to use any of the new actors they brought in for their glamours in any real meaningful way (especially Neal Grayston). This week closes that thread completely and moves us forward, firmly into the meat of the season.
Had these first two episodes aired together I think my issues with the premier would have gone away. By the end we would have known that their alternate identities didn’t really matter and was just a bump in the road to where the story is actually taking us. My major issue this week came down to Dean Fogg’s story. . . *Note, I’m assuming you guys have seen the episode already, I’ll be jumping around a bit*
First, let me say that I did enjoy the episode. Like last week, I thought it was a solid entry outside of a few minor issues. Getting back to Dean Fogg. . . Marina, who was helping out our main group, is able to remove the ward preventing Penny from transporting and the pair hop over to Fogg’s Office. Marina injects Fogg with the same spell he used on the gang expecting him to give up the antidote, but he doesn’t.
This is where I’m confused about the choices they made here. Fogg doesn’t want the antidote getting out because it’ll put the group in danger, but he tells Julia/Kimber that he hopes she’ll be the one to break it. I’m not sure I understand his reasoning. The only pieces that I can put together than make sense is that if he allows the antidote to get out, the library will know and put out a kill order for the gang. . . if that’s not it, I dunno.
So Marina turns him into some homeless dude and after what seems like maybe a few hours, Julia is able to overload his battery which causes the spell to drop because of the magic rations.
Everyone reverts to their original selves, including Fogg. . . making that whole thread seem rather pointless since he’s not really suffering any consequences now. While I’m sure that will change in the next episode, it just felt like too short of a run here.
I think if he had been turned earlier in the episode it would have worked better, but here it just kinda felt pointless. . . even though his reasoning may have been sound.
Pretty much everything else about the episode I really enjoyed. The gang all sitting around discussing their lives, Margo and the Shape of Water dude. . .
. . .finding out that Bacchus was impersonating Ember and had saturated the air with opium. And of course Quentin and the monster.
I’m not sure what it is that the monster is after, but it’s very obvious now that he doesn’t just scare regular people, he scares the gods too. I’m thinking that might play into why Bacchus is now in Fillory. Also, while we’re talking about the monster, I have to talk about Hale Appleman’s performance. He is absolutely one of my favorites on the show. His nonchalant malevolence and almost, but not quite childlike fascination with Quentin instantly makes you understand the kind of evil that we’re dealing with.
I have mixed feelings about everything going on with Alice right now. On the one hand, I’m really interested in what she and Nick (Santa) are going to be up to when they eventually escape . . . but the lead up to the escape is kinda boring me a bit.
Overall, it was another solid episode outside my few gripes, but again, I think I might have felt a bit differently about most of those if these first two episodes had aired together. Now that the spell is broken, we’ve got 3 main stories we’ll be following; Eliot/The Monster, Bacchus in Fillory, and Alice/Nick’s escape from the Library. The past seasons have done a great job of seeing our group split-up while dealing with different issues that all eventually intersect, so I’m definitely looking forward to see the rest of this season. . . especially now that the monster is not here to play.
One last thing. . . I hit up Neil Grayston one Twitter and asked if he was going to be popping up again this season and he basically said no. I’m pretty sure their wrapped, so take that into consideration with his answer.
What about you guys? Do you agree with my complaints? Did you have other issues that I didn’t touch on? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.