Wednesday, February 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Eliot and Margo Are Trapped in a Time Loop Needing to Save the World in 'Oops!... I Did It Again'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 5.06 "Oops!... I Did It Again"

Margo and Eliot have a bad day.

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.

"Oops!... I Did It Again" was written by Hillary Benefiel and directed by John S. Scott

The protagonists are weary. Eliot marvels at how much Margo has evolved as a person. She has so much raw determination and courage to pursue whatever she sets her sights on. He doesn't view those same qualities within himself. He literally saves the world himself in this episode. That is a huge accomplishment. But again, he believes he only got that far because of how inspiring his friends can be. He and Margo want to believe that they were the chosen ones who have fallen into this time loop destined to save Earth from being destroyed by the falling pieces of the moon. That isn't the case though. They are just incredibly lucky. They still have residual time magic on them. As soon as that is removed, they are along for the ride in the background just like the rest of their friends. That doesn't make them powerless though. Yes, this is absolutely a story centered around Eliot and his struggle to actually be open and vulnerable with his friends following a significant trauma. Margo and Josh help him on that journey. Julia props him up with the assurance that he will be respected and loved no matter what he is going through. That makes it devastating when Margo just casually dismisses his concerns that the Monster is still inside him. He fears that Quentin failed in removing the lethal creature from him entirely. That would be a cruel twist of fate. One that Eliot wouldn't deserve but he fears that he does. It's fun in the early going for him and Margo to be trapped in this time loop. The urgency is placed immediately on the situation. The magicians only have 12 hours to save the world. They thought they did so the previous night by moving the moon to disrupt the harmonic convergence. That wasn't enough though. They only created a new problem that ran the risk of destroying the entire planet. That can sum up a lot of what has occurred across five seasons of the show as well. Every time one of these characters saves the world it only creates a new disaster for them to deal with. That has been a driving theme of this season. How many times do these characters have to save the world from the apocalypse? It's clear that some relish the opportunity. They are at their primes as magicians and need to make their influence known to the world. They have to fight to protect their friendships and closest bonds. It has led to devastation for all of them. They are no longer the same people they used to be. They are closer but they are traumatized as well. They are trying their best to cope. And now, the world is ending once more. The Earth is destroyed numerous times in this hour alone. It's Eliot's sole responsibility to save it. He doesn't have to bear that all on his own though. He has Charlton in his head to help better rationalize everything. He needs that direction in order to feel secure in his decisions. It's still all building to him yelling at whales in the hopes that they can release the Kraken to set off a new time loop. That is all insane and ridiculous. But it's also the precise salvation needed in this moment. It provides Eliot with a new sense of clarity that is rewarding for the journey he has been on. He had to open the door in order to embrace the unknown. He feared the worst. Charlton may not be the most beneficial asset. He does help though. He doesn't terrorize in the same way the Monster would have. That is an improvement. Eliot was lost. He fears he's not capable of saving the world without Margo or Quentin or someone else by his side. That isn't true. He does so here. He is passionate and fierce. However, it puts things into context for him about his own self-doubts and fears that his friends have surpassed him. Margo stands by him no matter what. His friends are there and love him so much. That is appreciated and so rewarding. But again, it all stems from this conversation about the near constant need to save the world. Todd appears at the very end to detail how he was bestowed a quest to save Fillory. Julia sighs knowing that these recent actions wouldn't be the end. They never are. It's frustrating and infuriating to her because she is so much more qualified than Todd to lead this quest. At what point has she done enough though? Is her life just suppose to be defined in this way? Or is there more out there for her in particular? Others are more than capable of saving the world too. Sure, there are those who are reckless with magic and the preciousness of life. They will always have to be stopped. There just remains the burden on these protagonists. Even when they have lost one of their own, they still have to step up in this way. They are forever being changed. That can help them grow and gain the necessary perspective. But again, what kind of conclusion is fitting for their lives given everything that has happened to them?