The Magicians “Acting Dean” Review

What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the seventh episode of this season of The Magicians. I did not think that at this would be the kind of season where we would get treated to two quests. Normally we are either saving one or the other. Yet here’s our magicians after saving the Earth being told that the main quest was actually to save Fillory. From what? The Dark King? Well there’s only one way to find out!

The first step taken towards addressing the Fillory problem was great because once more it was Margo and Eliot of course setting the stage. First of all, their reaction to the news was priceless. You know these two hate putting their Fillory business on hold, and this was the worst slap in the face that they could get after everything they have just been through. With that said, the next step they took was great for the fact hat they were really buckling down on both ends of their plan to figure things out. Eliot for one jumps back into Fillory with a new drive for answers. Maybe not for the same reason as Margo, but all the same you respected that there was visible growth after last week’s episode. This shined through when Eliot slipped back into the mindset of someone who knows how to think on his feet again. Enough to ask the right questions, and look where no one else is looking. It helped that he also had someone he could engage with who could say the things he was not willing to fully admit to himself.

THE MAGICIANS — “Acting Dean” Episode 507 — Pictured: Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

As for Margo, she got a whole lot bolder making contact with those who have suffered under the reign of the Dark King. An inevitable moment for someone who was supposed to prevent a lot of the problems now experienced. This was a special episode for the fact that no one has been able to get her this fired up before. Margo in most cases will accept when she is wrong, but she is not the person to accomplish this without some attitude. What she got this time around was someone who was not willing to let her get away with not feeling full guilt. That is even if there wasn’t much she could do about those 300 years she was absent.

By the end of this episode I appreciated that they finally gave everyone something to work with when it came to this Dark King. When so many signs point to this guy being evil, there was only so long you could drag the question out before losing some viewers along the way. I know I would have felt bothered if someone like Eliot was that desperate to see the good in someone that he wasn’t seeing all the red flags that everyone else was seeing. That even the guy in his head was even seeing.

THE MAGICIANS — “Acting Dean” Episode 507 — Pictured: Rick Worthy as Dean Fogg — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

Now with this episode being titled “Acting Dean”, this had to mean that someone was really stepping into the role of dean with Fogg out of the picture. Obviously that person had to be Penny, and I have to say that whether it is our Penny or Penny 23, responsibility looks good on him. Everything about his path this season has been great when we are finally seeing this Penny looking for something that has real value to help with. Given his current reluctance to keep giving himself to quests, why not take a more active role with the school? Not the job he wanted, but who else do you genuinely think is going to give a crap about the chaos the state of magic has unleashed on the students? Where things go interesting was seeing how wrong things could go when everyone realizes just how much work Fogg put into keeping the school in one piece.

As for Julia, I loved how sh got tangled into all of that. She could have easily gone off to Fillory to focus on a world that actually needed saving, but it was better that we see more of this version of her who can’t help answering the call to duty. To some extent you could understand how she is slowly becoming by the need for purpose. However, this is a world where you really have to ask yourself. If no one else, then who? At the same time it was exciting to follow someone like Julia who didn’t make you scream at the television wondering why everyone else wasn’t seeing what you were seeing. She saw things wrong around her, asked questions, and stayed true to what hr instincts told her.

THE MAGICIANS — “Acting Dean” Episode 507 — Pictured: Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

The best takeaway from this episode was seeing how the world changed after moving the moon. There was no way they were getting away with this without consequences. What challenges they faced now made sense, though it was refreshing to see that it was Alice more than anyone else who was active in tackling this. Of all the things she herself could get into, I think this was a perfect decision. It has been a long time since Alice was put in her element. This created new situations for her, and put her in the path of characters she would not have interacted with under different circumstances.

The Magicians “Acting Dean” reassured us that no one’s job is done yet. As one quest ends, more pop up big and small. Whether on Earth or Fillory, there are new problems, and heavier responsibilities. This next stretch of the season should be exciting since we really don’t know where this is all leading to. Before this week, we knew that the moon was endgame. However, that has now passed. It’s a whole new frontier now to explore.

Jideobi Odunze Author

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