Wednesday, January 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Margo Reunites with a God in Fillory While Julia Harnesses Her Power in 'Lost, Found, F...ed'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 4.02 "Lost, Found, F...ed"

Dean Fogg gets a new suit.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Syfy's The Magicians.

"Lost, Found, F...ed" was written by John McNamara and directed by Chris Fisher

And just like that, the central twist of the fourth season already appears to be over. That's surprising. And yet, this creative team has always shown an interest in shaking things up and not exploring the conventional path. It could have told stories about the main characters trapped in these alternate identities for awhile. Magic still existed in this world. Marina showed Penny here that he is still a traveler. That comes in handy when it comes to executing her plan to get the antidote from Dean Fogg. However, it may also be for the best that this twist is so short-lived because the audience is already keenly aware of the dangers that are coming for the main characters. Quentin has been held hostage by the Monster all of this time as well. He was never able to comfortably live as Brian and have the nature of his reality questioned like his friends did. Instead, he was subjected to even more dangerous horrors. He had to capture and then slaughter a baby pig just so the Monster could summon and torture a god for something. That's very cryptic. It immediately presents the Monster with an agenda though. It's not just some sinister and powerful creature that is just wreaking random chaos throughout the world. It is after something. Quentin aspires to learn more. However, the Monster is very volatile and childlike as well. It doesn't want to believe that Quentin could be better friends with anyone else. It's a huge betrayal when Quentin reverts to his old ways and wants to protect his friends. That ensures that things end on a very precarious note. The spell is broken here thanks to Julia's determination. Sure, it's absolutely crazy that Dean Fogg was the one who had a perpetual magical battery in his office that was powering this spell. That seems like something the Library would want to keep a close watch over to ensure that nothing compromised these individuals. And now, Julia only succeeds because she is a god and cannot die through conventional methods. Sure, that freaks out Todd for a moment. It quickly becomes commonplace for him though because she is committed to exposing her true identity and understanding exactly what is going on with her. Dean Fogg was glad to have her at Brakebills despite her inability to perform magic because he wanted to finally teach her in this timeline. It was a pleasure for him. But it's a role that is very short-lived. He is compromised and placed under the same spell. That means he is living under a new identity very quickly. Sure, he embraces the freedom of not having to deal with the consequences of being Dean Fogg anymore. It opens him up in a very honest way to make his legacy very clear to those who work closely with him. But again, all of this does end with Julia successfully destroying the magical battery which allows the spell to wear off. It's chilling to watch as the faces of the main characters dissolve back into their normal selves. But it also means they are once again presented with this threat from the Monster because Eliot hasn't taken control over that body once more.

Meanwhile, Margo is off on her own journey in Fillory. Some of it could be seen as plot setup for the future. This episode explains that this version of Marina came from a different timeline. Moreover, Fen and Tick confirm that Ember has risen from the dead somehow. Of course, the audience already knew that the former was true while the latter seems very improbable. Yes, Ember did appear in the season premiere. However, that was just in a dream state to Margo where the gods simply chose a vessel she had seen before and had associated with being a god. Ember isn't back in the same way that he was before. In fact, the story here reveals that this version of Ember is just going wherever the party is. That leads to the revelation that it is actually just Bacchus in disguise. He has traveled to another world after life on Earth no longer tolerated his partying ways and Instagram fame. But it also means that a god once again poses a significant risk to the safety and security of Fillory. They have been down this path before with Ember. And now, Bacchus is polluting the air with even more opium. That's very dangerous and has already led to some significant side effects. When the spell wears off, everyone immediately respects Margo as the High King of Fillory. But that's not a role she is able to retain for very long. She is once again whisked away to another world. She seems to be at the complete mercy of some whimsical gods lately. They are competing with each other to disrupt her life. The old gods understand the threat coming to this world. The new gods don't want anything to change their ways. Margo and Fillory just happen to be caught in the crossfire. Plus, the rationing of magic by the Library may ensure that there isn't an easy solution to any of this. That may have helped Julia and Todd come up with the explanation for how the identity spell was still functioning. However, it also proves that the Library has no real understanding of what's going on in the outside world. They don't have any sense of the threat that is coming or how to best arm themselves against it. Alice is the one who tried to deliver a warning. And now, she is barely coming up with enough magic to use a bug as her spy. It still works for now. But she and Santa are still trapped in their respective cages - though a possible path to freedom has been illuminated.