Wednesday, March 18, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Magicians' - Margo, Eliot, Josh and Fen Receive a Vision From Battling Gods in 'Be the Hyman'

Syfy's The Magicians - Episode 5.11 "Be the Hyman"

Slap fight! Josh eats a pickle. Dreams are weird.

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.

"Be the Hyman" was written by Mike Moore & David Reed and directed by David Reed

It was apparent throughout the season that there were many antagonists and threats present that didn't always coexist together. It felt segmented in a way where certain characters were off dealing with one concern while other group was elsewhere doing something different. They weren't always working towards a collective goal. Yes, there is the reassurance that every single action taken was building to something important that would have an impact on all of these characters. They had to rally their powers together in order to save the Earth and Moon from destruction. That came with a serious consequence though. That may be beneficial at the moment because Penny23 understands that the ability to perform stable magic is a precious commodity. That just makes it unfortunate when he losses that ability because the various villains have teamed up. Of course, that is an action that occurs offscreen. It's built to be a surprise. It's shocking when the villainous Fogg shows up and Penny23 can't fight back. That places an immediate sense of urgency onto the proceedings heading into the next episode. This hour is largely about establishing the need to craft this heist. The team comes up with a strategy to save the citizens of Fillory even though they plan on blowing up the world and replacing it with a new model. That too could have far-reaching consequences for magic across all the realms. Fillory is a place full of wonder and opportunities. It has provided so many joyous and heartbreaking moments for the core characters. Saying goodbye could be significant. They aren't really allowed to have those emotional moments just yet because they have to prioritize getting the actual tools in order to make it a reality. Fen feels the urgency to step up and defend the culture of Fillory when the magicians from Earth just get onboard with this plan too quickly. She needs that personal agency as well. She can't be forgotten during this time. Her culture can't be ignored either. She has valuable insight into the way that Fillory operates. She is a smart and compassionate leader. She isn't always recognized as such though. Hyman doesn't immediately know who she is even though he has been spying on the main characters since they first stepped foot onto Brakebills. He has been doing so with all the students for the past century. That was the life afforded to him because he was trapped on the astral plane. He is freed here. Penny23 and Plum made that a possibility for him. He was stuck in stasis for all that time. And now, he has the freedom to live life once more. The world has changed though. He was always a lonely and isolated man. Those qualities may only be amplified more now because of how fast-paced the world has become. Penny23 gives him solid advice of being a genuine person who isn't afraid to have conversations and engage with life. But again, that comes at the expense of everything the magicians are hoping to achieve. Time is running out for them to stop the Dark King before he destroys the barrier between the living and the dead. But again, everyone has to take a step back to analyze if their actions are the ones that could be seen as apocalyptic and deadly. The looming threat Julia was warned about was actually the plan her friends have now created. That puts things into a new perspective. She has always clashed with the messenger of this quest. His sensibility on the world is outdated and irrelevant. And yet, he still requires people to think about what they are currently doing. Time won't always allow that. It is moving quickly and the characters have to compromise their values in order to possibly succeed. That means Alice and Kady are willing to revert Marina back to her devious self just in order to get what they want. That is horrifying. Those still seem like valid choices. But again, they will have costs that ensure the protagonists may never fully escape the pattern of needing to save the world and each other no matter what happiness they could have instead. Penny23 is worried about Julia now that she is pregnant. He knows the consequences that come from having a traveler baby. They can prepare for that now. There just may not be the time to ensure that personal relationships are maintained and strengthened when the world is on the brink of collapse once more because of nefarious but well-intentioned forces. The Dark King doesn't see himself as a villain the same way Fogg27 and the Couple do. And yet, his grand scheme is the reason all of these threats are now coming together in climatic ways that threaten the very existence of the multiverse.