Wednesday, January 29, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Alice and Eliot Express Their Shared Grief Over Quentin's Death in 'The Mountain of Ghosts'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 5.03 "The Mountain of Ghosts"

Eliot and Alice go for a hike. Fen gets a haircut.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"The Mountain of Ghosts" was written by Sera Gamble and directed by John S. Scott

Alice and Eliot both had strong and moving love stories with Quentin. His death is a profound loss for both of them. It's not stopping them from being active characters. There remains a world that still needs saving. However, their grief can remain at center focus for both of them. They are dealing with the burden of not being able to say goodbye. Alice did something crazy in order to ensure she didn't have to. It didn't work. Meanwhile, Eliot finds himself unable or unwilling to let go of the potential of changing the past. They know just how messy and complicated time magic can be. It may not be good enough to just keep moving forward no matter what. Threats may continue to pop up. Right now, it's an open question how many times these characters have to save the world from the apocalypse. Every time they do so, it seems to create a different situation that is just as dire. They have dealt with some severe consequences along the way. And yes, Quentin's death is the most significant to date. That's what is putting these questions and concerns at the forefront of the storytelling. He sacrificed it all to save his friends. Did he do so just so they could embark on yet another quest that may eventually lead to their deaths as well? Or did he die so that they could live rich and fulfilling lives? The purpose of the narrative has always been on the adventure and the need to save the balance between magic and the worlds. And yet, the universe has always been precarious. Once a person becomes obsessed with the need to save it, it can be hard to walk away from that incentive when it comes over and over again. That's what Julia and Penny23 find when they recruit new allies in the hopes of predicting when the surges will happen. There is no exact science that can make things simple for them either. But the story certainly increases the stakes in saying that two weeks from now a cataclysmic event will take place that could actually kill millions. That should be the main concern for everyone. Julia and Penny23 gather this information. It is the most pressing and urgent quest as well. Magic has grown too unpredictable. There may never be any safety with it anymore. That may be the cost of getting it back in the first place. The world may be destined to die. That is certainly a bleak telling of this story. People refuse to give up that hope though. That's how they remain inspired by Quentin. He never lost it even though magic contorted his life in so many ways. It was a rewarding journey for him. Sure, his friends may delight in calling him messy when it came to his love life. Alice and Eliot are fully aware of just how much Quentin meant to both of them. They can recognize and acknowledge that pain and the love that they still feel. They can be there for each other during this difficult time. They get to the top of the mountain in the hopes of being able to let go of Quentin for good. There is no guarantee that any of it has worked. They may hold onto this pain for the rest of their lives. That is tragic. It shouldn't stop them from living though. Again, there are these numerous threats that demand their immediate attention. Alice and Eliot meet the Dark King here. He guides them along their journey and helps them reconnect through brutal honesty. It's still a shock when he reveals his true identity to them. He may be a powerful individual descended from Earth who knows how to wield power to his benefit. Alice and Eliot may have conflicting feelings about him. And yet, Margo and Fen see firsthand the sexist court that he leads back at the castle. They take part in this ritualistic battle to determine who can serve as security in Fillory. Margo succeeds in the end. But both women showcase their physical prowess. It just may come at the expense of their personal feelings because they are forced to be brutally honest about the hurtful actions they have made as well. It shouldn't tear them apart for good. Unity is required right now against these threats. But again, the questions have to be asked about how much these individual characters care about each other and how far are they willing to go to provide a better future? They may not show their concerns in obvious ways. Nor may they see the world they are striving to save. But hope can always prevail in the end if they are determined to preserve it no matter what. It just may do some significant personal damage along the journey.