Wednesday, February 19, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Eliot Fights for Diplomacy While Penny Struggles with His New Responsibilities in 'Acting Dean'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 5.07 "Acting Dean"

Todd sings a song. Margo gives a foot bath.

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.

"Acting Dean" was written by Elle Lipson and directed by Sterlin Harjo

Diplomacy is necessary in order to maintain any kind of official relationship. It's easy to make big declarations that signify better times ahead. But it takes a lot of hard and consistent work in order to maintain that peace. Margo saw it as a huge accomplishment that she brought stability and freedom to the fairies in Fillory. She found a solution that would allow them to survive in this world without being hunted and crushed into magical properties. But that was 300 years ago in the history of Fillory. She was absent for all of those years too. She is once again trying her best to exert her influence. But she also wants praise for bringing about a better future. That isn't what happened though. The takers came to ravage the land. The Dark King rose. He was then led by advisors who once more wanted to persecute the fairies. They were once again victimized because of the inconsistency of leadership on the other side. Everything seemingly depended on Eliot and Margo remaining in power. They hoped to create a number of meaningful changes and reforms that allowed the government to better reflect and serve the demands of this world. But it still fell under the control of a new magician from Earth who now operates as an autocrat. He was the one who created the problem that has destroyed this land. He uses the gold in order to raise the takers from the ground. It's his way of maintaining power because he is the only person who can seemingly defeat these creatures in battle. He props himself up in that regard by making it seem as if the citizens of this world have to rely on him in order to be safe. That isn't true. Eliot and Margo know the truth now. They expose the heinous crimes being taken against the fairies for no good reason. It comes from one heinous person in a position of power. The hatred of one person shouldn't lead to the persecution of so many. When that person is placed within a high-ranking position in the government though, the entire culture of this world can be under attack. Eliot and Margo continually offer salvation. But it takes more than momentary actions and promises to maintain that. The burden is certainly on their shoulders to restore the world to what they tried to create. And yet, it takes their leadership inspiring the next generation of people, magical creatures and animals to ensure that the reforms endure for as long as they can. This season has been very introspective in that way. It highlights just how easy it is for the world to descend into chaos when people corrupt the systems and institutions meant to prop up stability. Corrosive individuals exist in this world who are power hungry only for themselves. Eliot even falls under the charms of the Dark King. He wants him to be innocent of the heinous actions happening under his reign. He isn't though. He has to be removed from power to ensure a better future. That's what everyone is fighting to create. But again, it places the brunt of the responsibility on the same people over and over again. In Julia's case, she needs to believe that she has magic for a reason. She has to use it for some grand purpose. She has given up so much. She has done so in order to be of service to her world and her friends. That may be the way she operates all the time now though. Penny23 wants the opportunity to relax into a normal and comfortable life with her. One where they aren't the sole heroes who need to save the world from destruction. If that burden is always felt, they can never have peace. They may actually die a lot sooner than they should. The world may always be broken. At some point, it has to be okay for some to walk away knowing that others will step up in their place. There has to be that certainty though. Julia remains concerned about the future. All the other timelines have fallen into perilous realities of chaos and destruction. Those players can cross over to this world at any time to create more havoc. That's what happens here with Fogg17. He believes being a father will change the morality of his destructive actions. They don't justify it in the slightest though. As such, Julia, Penny23 and Alice still have to fight to stop him. It just repeats the pattern that has become common in their lives. Magic is temperamental and may always come with a severe cost. The protagonists are addicted to it though because it has enriched their lives in so many rewarding ways too. But that corrosion may simply create too much damage to overcome by the time the series comes to its conclusion.