THE MAGICIANS Review: “The Flying Forest”

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The Beast is defeated, Fillory is in a shambles, and Alice is dead. Will anyone on be able to save Fillory, or is it too late? Julia still needs to find a way to stop Raynard, and the only person she has left to help her is Kayde. Are they strong enough?

The Magicians continues to be a funny and irreverent take on the magical school and land tradition brought to us by Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. I don’t know another show on television dropping as many f-bombs per episode. Sure they’re muted during broadcast, but you and I both know what they’re trying to say. Imagine if Harry Potter got into a tight situation, turned to Hermione and said, “We are so f’ed right now.” I like that The Magicians doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is what I really loved about the books when I read them. Margo is always ready for a funny or witty put down or observation, like when she turns to Eliot while centaurs are fixing Quentin and things don’t look so good for him while the horse/man doctor fixes him and says, “I know we’re being serious now, but that surgeon has the biggest dick.” It’s this mixture of irreverence and seriousness that keep me coming back for more. It grounds the show, and helps it walk a find line between being too serious or too ridiculous. It’s a smart and entertaining choice by the creatives in charge of The Magicians.

This show has no trouble killing off characters. Last episode alone we lost Alice, Marina, and Martin Chatwin. Are they all gone for good? There’s no way Alice is dead/dead. It’s too big of a loss, and besides, she’s in all of the books, so it’ll be interesting to see how her death is dealt with. Will someone be able to bring her back, or will Alice find a way back on her own, but as some kind of altered being? Marina is dead for sure, but Julia and Kayde bring her back to life momentarily so they can get a message Marina was trying to give them before Raynard killed her. Martin Chatwin must just really be dead. I thought the show was going to do a lot more with Martin, but Alice certainly killed him last episode before she kicked the bucket herself. Maybe the show will find a way to revisit characters in either an afterlife or as a magical alteration of their former selves. It’ll be interesting to see what they do.

Out of spite, Ember shat in the magical well on Fillory as a last ditch effort to keep Martin from drinking from it and healing himself. The problem is that the waters have become so foul from his excrement that it’s not only impacting Fillory, but has somehow had an impact on magic on earth. The term that’s used by a teacher at Brakebill’s when Fogg notices problems getting spells to work is a magical “brown out”, which is appropriate since we’re dealing with poop. Eliot and Margo are on their own to fix the problem, but they need help outside of Fillory, and Eliot cannot leave. The solution Margo comes up with is to make a Golem of Eliot out of magical clay which he can then magically send his consciousness into in order to leave Fillory and go back to Earth. It works, but with a hitch; Eliot experiences a split in his reality and finds he can feel experiences from both worlds at the same time. It leads to a simultaneous and awkward sexual session in Fillory with his wife, and on Earth with a Spanish guy he meets. Fogg agrees to help Eliot save Fillory and Earth in any way he can.

Magical centaur doctors have fixed Quentin’s arm, and he’s recuperating when Penny arrives to have his hands healed. His arrival doesn’t do much good to Quentin, who’s still angry Penny and Alice had sex. With his hands going out of control and trying to kill him, Penny doesn’t have too many chances to heal the curse on them. The doctors won’t even touch them, so Penny goads Quentin on until he cuts them off with an axe. His hands won’t be able to kill him anymore, but now he’s stuck with stumps. Quentin sees a magical questing beast that can grant them both wishes if they catch her. They decide to hunt the beast. If they catch it, Penny will ask for his hands back, and Quentin will ask the beast to bring Alice back from the dead. There’s a hilarious episode where they track the beast through something called the Flying Forest, which turns out to get you stoned while you’re inside of it. Penny and Quentin are tripping big time, and end up walking in circles for hours before they exit the forest and catch the beast. Penny gets his hands back, but there’s nothing the beast can do to bring Alice back from the dead, so he asks to be sent back home, to Earth.

Julia needs help killing Raynard now that Marina is dead, so she tracks down Kayde and rescues her from a drug den. Together they figure out a number Marina scrawled on her arm correlates to a book in the library at Brakebills, so Julia brakes in and copies the book. It’s a necromancy spell that allows them to bring Marina back from the dead momentarily. She warns them to banish Raynard from Earth before it’s too late. Evidently he’d already been banished for forty years before Julia mistakenly summoned him.

Will Julia be able to finally get rid of Raynard with Kayde’s help? Can Eliot and Margo save magic, or are they too ill equipped to deal with all of the difficulties in Fillory? Quentin has given up and gone back to Earth now that Alice is dead. Is there any way for him to get over it, or is he finished with magic?

TB-TV-Grade-B+

Season 2, Episode 4 (S02E04)
The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9PM on SyFy

Read all of our reviews of The Magicians here.
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For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @OfSoundnVision
Keep up with all of Jeff’s reviews here.

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