Wednesday, March 27, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Margo Goes on a Musical Journey Thanks to Her Birthright Lizard in 'All That Hard, Glossy Armor'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 4.10 "All That Hard, Glossy Armor"

Margo hits her step count.

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.

"All That Hard, Glossy Armor" was written by John McNamara & Mike Moore and directed by Shannon Kohli

Two core missions have developed over the course of this season. First, Quentin and company have been helping the Monster on its quest in the hopes of saving Eliot. And second, Kady and Alice have been trying to expose the corruption of the Library and how they control all of magic. Both stories dovetail with each other in fascinating ways - even though the main antagonists have largely been kept separate. It will continue to be interesting to see if that holds true in the future with the Monster and Everett. Here, Penny23 delivers the warning from Eliot that the Monster is actually rebuilding his sister instead of a new body for himself. That suggests that there is an even more dangerous threat coming. That is a familiar tease for the show because magic has gotten increasingly more complicated for the many characters with each passing season. But now, the Monster has all of the pieces to assemble this body. Plus, it has the awareness of what it is actually trying to do now. It has those memories once more. That too is a sinister threat. However, Margo is armed with her own weapon that can be used against it as well. The pressure has been placed on Julia to figure out what she is and how to ascend as a god once more. She may be the only hope of saving the world from the Monster's destruction. She isn't any closer to cracking the secrets of the Binder after Alice delivers it to her. It's all written in a code she doesn't quite understand yet. She will more than likely figure it out soon though. That will also increase the tension for the final episodes of the season. It's just more important to spend time with Margo as she goes on this unique journey all by herself. The show undercuts it a little bit by cutting away to a number of other stories going on - like Zelda exploring the Library or Quentin, Julia and Penny23 having to solve an escape room. Those are simultaneously amusing while simply advancing the plot forward a little bit. It has felt like there has been more of that this season which is a little bit of a bummer. It's all signaling a complicated ending once more. But it's also just much more fun and entertaining to watch the central conceit of Margo's journey. She still doesn't quite know what to do with her birthright lizard. All the other talking animals have spoken again. That too could be seen as an infuriating plot device. It's meant to keep things a secret until later on for some reason. However, the lizard is the one that orchestrates this year's big musical moments. This is the second year in a row in which the show has produced a full-on musical number. Sure, it's a little bit more contained this year. It doesn't bring every plot together for one epic conclusion. Instead, it's simply Margo hallucinating her friends as they perform these rousing numbers to keep her forging ahead. It's all happening in her head. But that also highlights the vitality of music and how it can motivate people into action. It points Margo in the right direction so that she gets all the answers she needs to potentially save Eliot. But she also learns more things about herself while rescuing the women of this new oppressive society. She believes in order to succeed she has to be devoid of all emotions. That's the way for any woman to make it in society without being given a nasty label. And yet, she is perfect just the way she is and should be allowed to experience life anyway she wants. People will still be there to support her and help fix whatever is going on. So that means exposing the lie that has been told in this community for so many years. This desert actually has spirits that wish to help all women. That's very socially relevant which is yet another personal way this show incorporates songs here. It's very entertaining while also being badass to see Margo walk away with the new weapons. She may always live in fear and anger but that can motivate her in so many ways as well - which has only led to more success for her and the friends she cares so much about.