Wednesday, February 5, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Julia and Dean Fogg Make Significant Decisions for Others in 'Magicians Anonymous'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 5.04 "Magicians Anonymous"

Julia lends a book to some lady. Fogg finds a sock.

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.

"Magicians Anonymous" was written by John McNamara and directed by Geeta V. Patel

Julia was a goddess. And now, she isn't. Penny was a traveler. And now, he isn't. Eliot and Julia were kings of Fillory. And now, they are expendable members of the Dark King's security guard. Zelda was a dedicated Librarian. And now, that sacred institution has been completely destroyed along with the majority of its prized books. Quentin was frequently the chosen one destined to save the world. And now, he is dead. It's fascinating to watch as the show in its fifth season tries its best to break out of some of its known storytelling patterns. These distinctions were once important to these characters. Julia gave up her god powers in order to save her friends. She wanted to protect them for as long as possible. The other gods didn't understand that choice. But now, she meets one who does and actually wants to be human herself. It's just a cruel joke where she is yet another trickster who positions Julia with an impossible choice. She can either save the world or Penny23. The mysterious voice that is disrupting his powers has been a vague threat this season. In fact, this episode cools some of the momentum given that Julia and Penny23 found out they only had two weeks to save the world from the looming apocalypse. That may be playing out in real time and the protagonists have until the next episode to successfully move the moon. That is a daunting task. They may have all the people necessary to make it happen. They have made profound sacrifices as well. In fact, that continues to be a strong component of the series. Dean Fogg goes on a journey with Kady. Again, there isn't a whole lot of progress for her specific mission. It's just more important to see the choices these characters make. Their sobriety has been built up as important. But that temptation is present. It feels as if they can only handle the responsibilities of power when they are drunk and high. They can only enter this alternate dimension by consuming a specific drug. Dean Fogg is willing to stay behind to live out a life at that high as well. That is an incredible sacrifice. One he makes for a student he had failed. He has a newfound respect for hedge witches and understands the importance that Kady has in leading them. She is on a mission. Meanwhile, he is aimless and no longer engaged with life as dean of Brakebills. That is no longer fulfilling. In fact, it is more of a hassle than ever before. And yes, tragic things continue to happen to the students. Some of them are even concealing secrets. One happens to be a member of the Chatwin family. That ensures all of this will probably connect back to the roots of the show. Jane has already appeared this season. The protagonists have reflected on the journeys they have been on ever since this timeline proved to be the one capable of defeating the Beast. They have endured a lot of pain and tragedy. Some of it they have refused to accept. Sometimes they can deflect from it by focusing on the specific missions. Eliot is trying his best to get close to the Dark King while Margo handles things on the ground level. She sees a fairy in hiding. That too places an emphasis on the stories that have happened before. All of those threats and deals made could be coming back to haunt the main characters. This season aspires to be transformational. New threats have been introduced. But the sacred institutions of the past are no longer reliable. The world is changing. The characters have to as well. They can't focus on the past to the detriment of their futures. But again, some things remain a little too vague and scattered in order to build into a cohesive narrative. That is seemingly more apparent this season than in the past. The show is without its tether. Quentin didn't always bring everything together. The other characters are just as vital and capable of carrying the storylines. It just means the disruption feels aimless beyond these thematic points that signal something of vague importance is on the horizon as it is destined to bring everything together somehow.