What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the fifth episode of this season of The Magicians. For everything that happened in “Magicians Anonymous” the biggest takeaway from that episode was knowing that there is now a way to save the world. Which means that this band of heroes have now reached that point where it is time to drop what they are doing to do what they do best.
We’re always due for that one fun episode in the season, and I feel like this week’s episode is a contender for the most entertaining. This could easily change if they decide to do another musical episode, though for now “Apocalypse? Now?!” holds the title. When Zelda revealed what these magicians needed to do in order to stop the convergence. It felt as though this was the time where things were about to get serious. Don’t get me wrong, things do get serious, yet at the same time not in the way you would have expected. After “Magicians Anonymous”, the big question which came next was how the heck you move the moon? Well the answer to that was crazy, and even crazier than that was the requirements these magicians had to meet in order to be able to move the moon. For anyone who thought that this was going to simply happen with a large co-op spell was surely mistaken. They did not have a problem with peeling that band-aid off right away.
The progression of time leading up to meeting said requirement was fun for the fact that this put the magicians in their most vulnerable state ever. Most of this episode happens within the span of five days. There was a reason why they say Margo found herself missing cocaine. It was creative how they played around with transitional effects and certain cliches which seemed out of the ordinary for the kind of show this is. Now where they got bold was the way the magicians worked their way up to the Convergence. There was something they needed to have in their possession when that time came, which meant that they needed to slip back into a familiar role to accomplish this. They could be using their magic for a lot of things, but you have to appreciate the times where they get risky in spite of what could go wrong.
Where things did get serious would be for the fact that they were all left very vulnerable leading up to the convergence. Many left with their defenses low enough that this was the time where their problems rose to the surface. Sometimes we forget that in order to be considered “okay”, you need to be one-hundred percent upstairs. They were not. So all that energy and strength that any person would put into keeping it together, they did not have. At the same time it did make a big difference that most of them could draw that line in the sand between being broken and being a hero when it mattered most.
With the main quest as the priority, I couldn’t argue with the break that Margo and Eliot were able to take from their responsibilities in Fillory. This allowed them the kind of room they needed to genuinely address some of their issues which are clearly going to become problems down the road if not confronted properly. When it came to Margo, it was excellent that everything she dealt with was right on the surface, As for Eliot, this is where things got real. It was engaging that more than one person could now see that there was something very wrong with where his head is at. The situation the group was out in did make it more obvious but anything could have made this more apparent with enough time. He could easily have still put on that brave face and pass off his struggles with light humor, but whether on Fillory or Earth its hard to get away with this when it puts the lives of everyone else in danger. In general this was a great week to make the statement to those who think that there is not enough forms of grief experienced from those like Eliot after the events of the last season.
This week things came full circle for Kady, and I couldn’t have been happier with where this led her. As usual I had my reservations up to this point because it doesn’t always benefit Kady to be so distant from everyone else and trying to do things on her own. As we have seen, she finds the most success when she actually accepts help from others. This time around it just so happened to be the reluctant Zelda who accompanied her on what she had to do next. It was quite the thrill because who would have guessed how much one needed the other? Zelda overall proved to be just as compelling of a character to work off of as Dean Fogg. Where this led Kady by the end of the episode was great because there was only really one person who we all forgot about who could become such a problem on the hedge side of the world. There was no better time than now with the urgency stronger than it ever has been before to reveal this person and what they were up to all this time.
I didn’t imagine that at this stage in the story we would already be here fighting for the fate of the world. This season is moving fast and hitting it with the momentum. Who is to argue with the action these magicians have gotten a taste of already, knowing that there is so much more to come after? Overall, The Magicians “Apocalypse? Now?!” was another full package with fantastical elements, action, compelling interactions, and real stakes from start to finish.