Wednesday, March 11, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Josh Journeys Through the Takers' World as Penny and Plum Are Trapped in 'Purgatory'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 5.10 "Purgatory"

Margo learns to project. Josh goes to the spa.

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.

"Purgatory" was written by Alex Ritter and directed by Shannon Kohli

The main characters are all essentially trying to escape dire circumstances. They vary as well. Alice, Kady and Fen are trying to help Margo once her connection to her fairy eye starts to cause physical pain. Penny23 and Plum are trapped in a room where a time traveling magician hopes to steal those powers from Plum. Josh is sent to the Underworld by the Takers even though he doesn't belong there. And finally, Eliot and Julia are trapped in the Fillory dungeon unable to perform magic. As such, it's an episode in which all of the main characters have to be practical with how to escape these various situations. It once again showcases just how inventive and clever these characters can be. They are all fun to watch. Even the new additions show promise. Plum's internal conflict is only now starting to come into focus with her abilities growing as a time traveler. As such, she is targeted by Eli, who believes it's his responsibility to strip that power away because too many people corruptly abuse those powers. It's very corrupt. One man has essentially given himself the right to force others into submission because he doesn't think they can abide by the rules that govern over the timeline. Penny23 finds a creative solution for Plum to keep her essence as she is just starting out on her journey. It was once a burden for Penny23 to become a professor and have to deal with students at Brakebills. Now, he is thrilled about helping the next generation knowing that they need these tools to go on their own adventures. Sure, things will be dire. He doesn't always have all the answers. But he trusts that newcomers can replace the current protagonists when it comes to saving the world. Meanwhile, Julia is depressed because she thinks her need for a quest has actually doomed the world with the pending apocalypse stemming from Fillory. She now believes she was delusional and conceited. She needed a purpose for still being alive and using magic to make the world better. She is unique though. She can escape from this prison cell because of the bond she now shares with her baby. That never crossed her mind. Brakebills students don't typically pay attention during that first year sex education class. Charlton literally has to go into Eliot's memories to compile the information for what to do. And yes, this is a scary time for Julia. It feels as if she is no longer the one controlling her life. Her pregnancy has been sped up because she was kept in Fillory. She was imprisoned without the ability to do magic. She is even tricked by Eliot in order to prove that she can travel. That is significant reversal of abilities. It makes her more powerful. But they have to retreat to the safety of Earth as well. The threat from the Takers is still real though. Seb is trying to destroy the boundary between the living and dead. He is doing so to reunite with his lost love. And yet, Hades immediately points out that opening the door will allow so many more souls to depart the Underworld and the lives given to them there. The god thinks humans should be comforted by the fact that they have a place to go after they die. The main characters have visited there and can move with that reassurance. It's where Penny ended up. He can help the other characters as they pass through. He isn't expecting to see Josh. It seems like he has to deliver the bad news to yet another friend. That isn't true though. Josh is still alive. The Takers are being destroyed though. Seb sent Josh to their world in order to poison them. He is singularly focused on the task at hand. He has found a way to reunite with his lost love. That is his sole priority. And yes, so many people can understand that impulse. They want to regain what they have lost because of the cruel twists of fate. It's too dangerous to do so. For gods, they don't know what happens when they die. That's depressing. Alice, Julia and Eliot would do anything to reunite with Quentin. Any potential action to do so though could have costly consequences. Seb doesn't think about that. He is blinded by his love. The pain and guilt of having to keep living is unbearable. But again, he is willing to end the world to have this connection once more. To him, turning down that opportunity would be a betrayal. The magicians are only now starting to see the true threat that comes from Fillory. They may have time to fix it. They may not though. That burden is placed on them even though they too fear that they should no longer be the ones who have to save the world over and over again. But again, the story highlights the need for people of moral courage to stand up and support the institutions that keep the fabric of the world properly functioning. When those are tested, then the world runs an even greater risk of coming apart through disaster.