What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the eighth episode of this season of The Magicians. Sad time to be a Magicians fan as it has just been announced that this season will be the last for the series. Am I too shocked? not really, but not for the same reason as some others. Other viewers are definitely to blame because one character did not make the show, and neither was one character the only one you could relate to when it came to the themes of the series. It’s sad that this absurd reason is why a show like this couldn’t keep going with character whose stories were not done yet.
The Magicians “Garden Variety Homicide” last week gave us an exciting hour of team Fillory doing the best they could to take down a force that is currently outside of their full understanding. Unfortunately, it was only the best they could when clearly someone named the Dark King is no going to be so easily killed. Excitement was in the air for what would happen next with these Magicians currently unaware that their plan did not work. Fortunately for us, the wait was not long to see the results of “killing” a king. I’m pretty sure we all assumed the worst was going to come for whoever got caught, but once more they managed to hit us with a surprise. I mean, I know I was definitely surprised. I’ve said it time and time again that Sebastian is a mysterious character. Even in the moments when he was about to be killed, you could not tell if he deserved what was coming for him. You see the guy summoning the very monsters which terrorize Fillory, and yet you simply can’t convince yourself that he is as evil as his actions. Could you looking at a face like that? Getting back to the consequence, again that was something which catches you off guard.
It was in this moment that everything began to come together about Sebastian. Not only because he was finally put in a position where he somewhat had been figured out, but because he now had someone who could help him take the next step in his plans. And getting to that next step was a brilliant twist they hit us all with. The execution was on point for the fact that there should have been signs we picked up on, and yet had to have spelled out for us. What we now learned changed the game in a big way. Yet at the same time raised more questions than we had at the start. Mainly concerning where you draw the line between good and evil. By the end of the episode we are genuinely forced to ask if the Dark King is truly the villain. Intentions and methods aside, isn’t he just like anyone else who has and was willing to cross a line to achieve something they desired?
To say that the Dark King was as compelling as I said he was before, was also quite the understatement in contrast to what was revealed this week. Just when you think you have this guy figured out, suddenly you are hit with a discovery which changes everything you knew about him, his intentions, and the state of his moral compass.
Moving on from there, it has been refreshing that with a season like this Kady could be so open to working with more magicians. At a point you get it, sometimes she does do her best work on her own. However, that doesn’t change the fact that she gets a lot more out of interacting with those she normally would not under different circumstances. This time around that person just so happens to be Alice. I couldn’t argue with this because right now their priorities are one in the same. It was actually cool when that moment came that these two would understand this. Not only because wheels were turning behind the scenes that they weren’t aware of, but because there is everything to gain from getting control of magic and creating better circumstances for magic which benefit everyone. That said, even combining their skills can only go so far when asking the right questions can bring some unwanted attention. Its been a while since any one of these magicians went through something truly cringeworthy, and which one of them experienced that was a shocker. Though at the same time you might root for said person for the strength they showed in the moment.
The only two I will speak of who managed to go their own way was Margo and Fenn. What they got themselves into was entertaining for the fact that what started off as an unfortunate situation quickly evolved into a new opportunity they never had before to understand what they were up against. You could call the information dump they received convenient, but you had to admire the writer’s consistency towards everything coming full circle eventually.
That aside, what will intrigue you most is what happens when Penny and the newest Chatwin (Plum) try to make sense of what’s been going wrong with her ability to travel. Now they could have done this the easy way and gave her the same choice as Penny, but that would be too simple, wouldn’t it? There had to be something more in her case, and they made the exploration worth it for the eventual reveal. If there is one thing I admire most about The Magicians aside from the elements of world-building, it is the discovery of all these different disciplines which make certain magicians break from the mold. I remember the first season when it seemed like there was so few ways to categorize what a magician can do. Since then they have pushed the boundaries with each passing season. This episode was no different from the way that there could even be a twist to the way that someone travels.
With that said, this still says nothing about the signal which has been attacking the two. I’m glad that from there they finally put these two in a position where there was nothing in front of them but confronting whatever this is which they need to make sense of. Everything from there really comes down to the pay-off from this subplot. We will have to get something significant out of this development for Penny and Plum if they want all that they have been through together to have been worth the investment.
All in all, The Magicians “Cello Squirrel Daffodil” turned out to be an insightful hour. Which I should say is refreshing when not every episode can be bonkers and magic slinging. Sometimes you just need that one week where the objective is to get everyone asking the right questions.