What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the third episode of this season of The Magicians. As I’ve said for the past couple of weeks, do not listen to the doubters of what this season has to offer. The quests don’t end with Q, the dangers don’t end with him, the personal growth, and the world does not stop turning. What has been set-up for the rest of the magicians so far is just as exciting because underneath the troubles they are currently dealing with? They are the same as they have ever been. Everyone in their way is going to have to prepare for that.
That said, Julia’s storyline so far is what I find myself investing in most. Some of the most memorable moments that I believe we experience most is when these magicians are embracing the thrill of the next quest. For Julia this may be more of her trying to find purpose in the magic she wouldn’t have back without Quintin, but regardless someone was going to have to give a crap about the state of magic in the world that is clearly out of whack. In other words, as I said above, the quests don’t end. Julia’s new quest is one that you have waited for a long time now when how she tackles obstacles is different from Q. She doesn’t give up, she knows how to reach people, and she doesn’t allow you to forget what is at stake. We talk about wanting more Q, but if this was him in her position? He would have been so easily intimidated to turn around.
Through both Julia and Penny, I appreciated that by the end of this episode someone also addressed that there should be something to be concerned about when it comes to balancing the life of a regular person versus the life of someone with a greater purpose. Where do you draw the line in the sand between the time you give to one part of your life, or the other? This is a question that I hope they take their time answering through the course of this season, because I believe many of these characters will have to begin answering that soon. It helped that on this quest Julia and Penny could see firsthand what happens when you become consumed with that need for greater purpose, to answer that call to action.
Now if there was one character who needed to bounce back, it had to be Alice. And if there was one character who simply needed to exist for us, then that character was Eliot. There was no better pairing to put together in this episode, and it is welcomed that this happened sooner rather than later. When this group of magicians has been through so much, it is impossible even at this point that they wouldn’t cross paths. Especially in the case of Eliot and Alice who both still need to properly grieve over the loss of Quintin. What brought these two together wasn’t too convenient either. It brought them on an adventure to a place we’ve never been to, facing dangers no one has experienced yet, and meeting some interesting residents of Fillory along the way. While I welcomed a further push for Alice to take that next big step in her healing and becoming a better person, I truly admired what we got out of Eliot. More than anyone in this cast he needed to face someone who could make him feel again. Whether it was frustration, anger, grief, or sadness, he needed to express this to someone. The dynamic between himself and Alice was there to allow him room to do so. Well to be fair, this new face they ran into help him some. Though not in the best of ways that you would have thought healthy by the end of the episode.
What took me by surprise was how much of a big week this turned out to be for Fenn and Margo. There was nothing about what unfolded here that you could have braced for. Let’s start with Fenn, because that was the one thing we were somewhat prepared for. Fenn is a character you appreciate because for the most part she is the one person who tends to not be so riddled with problems. You love to see her be the ray of sunshine in the room when everyone else is being mean-spirited and nasty to one another. This was a great week to take advantage of that when we have the opportunity to see just how formidable she can be in a fight with knives. The choreography was excellent, and you had fun because she did too. Now where things got good by the end of the episode is when we finally saw what happens when that sunshine is cast out. It breaks your heart, though it should be interesting to see where that takes her from there.
As for Margo, this was for the most part a fun episode when she also found herself in her element. If there’s one thing we know about Margo, she does not like to lose. Even if she didn’t look like the most capable fighter on the surface, that would never stop her from showing you why you shouldn’t underestimate her, or what she will do to fight on an even playing field. With that said, all of this paled in comparison to what we were truly preparing ourselves for this week. That being what happens when Margo slows down enough to actually feel. Of a lot of heavy things we were hit with in this episode, there was no punches pulled when she shut down and did her thing again where she pushes to save herself from being vulnerable.
For only being the third episode of the fifth season, The Magicians “The Mountain of Ghosts” knocked it out of the park on an emotional level. These are the times where you love this show best because these characters are being real with the emotions they express. It’s never easy, and almost always will be messy, but every reaction and response comes from a natural place because of it.