The Magicians: Homecoming

Penny, being a bigger nerd than he lets on.
Dream Quentin: “I respect the shit out of you both, and you are leaders, and you're people, and I'm a feminist.”
Khaleesi Alice: “If you would just shut up for two seconds, this sex dream would pass the Bechtel test, Quentin.”

Tensions are running high. New relationships are starting, old friendships are fracturing, and antagonists are forced to work together. Plus, there’s still that Beast issue.

Quentin and Alice are still figuring out how to make their relationship work, which becomes harder to do when Alice has to introduce Quentin to her sex-obsessed parents. In order to get Penny back from the Neitherlands they need the help of traveler Joe, the third in Alice’s parents’ poly-amorous relationship. Joe has a spell that can light the way to Penny’s exit, but Alice and Quentin need to have sex to make it work. And they need to both orgasm at the same time, which is apparently an issue. This leads to what is ultimately an incredibly adult and constructive conversation. There’s a lot of defensiveness going on at first, but in the end they are able to speak from a nonjudgmental and caring perspective allowing them to better understand each other, what they each want, and hopefully how to deal with relationship conflicts in the future. It was cool to see a real conversation about sex and relationships happen on screen given how easy it would be for the show to have milked it for drama and humor. In the end, Quentin and Alice manage to pull off the spell and Penny portals to back to them just at the time of climax for maximum comic relief.

Julia and Kady also manage a mature conversation despite the emotional history between the two. Since Julia’s stint in rehab she has been hooked to a chatroom for magicians called Free Trader Beowulf, headed by Richard the chaplain. When the group finally meets in person Julia finds out Kady’s a member. At first, there’s a lot of anger and blame coming from Kady and a lot of guilt and shame from Julia. And really, who could blame either of them? But then they start to speak honestly about what happened, how they feel about it, and where they’re coming from. Kady’s able to ask Julia her questions about her mother’s death and Julia tells Kady that Hannah loved her. And then they work on some spells. What I liked here is that they weren’t fast friends after this, all wasn’t forgiven and forgotten, but they were able to reach a point of tolerance so they could work together. There aren’t easy fixes, but now resolution may be possible. And now they can help the other Free Traders summon a god so they can fuel a time travel spell to fix their past mistakes. That should go well.

Eliot and Margo don’t have such success in mending their issues. This isn’t surprising because, even though they may have the most close-knit relationship, neither ever seems interested in real, intimate conversation. Eliot is avoiding reality all together with a variety of drugs (including chocolate sunshine because he likes the name). So when Margo needs his support in dealing with her creepy ex who made a golem (or clone) of her, all Eliot has to offer are sarcastic quips. The two almost have it out twice: once, when Margo addresses the conflict directly and Eliot bitingly says this is how they’ve always supported each other, and then when Eliot admits to Margo that he thinks he’s broken, but when he finds out he was actually talking to Margolem (get it?) he decides not to bring it up again. Although it’s sad to see the two fail to deal with their conflict, it’s heartening that they do still try. So much of Eliot and Margo is hidden behind wit, sarcasm, and drama; it’s not surprising that intimacy would be a struggle. But, given time, the two will hopefully end up back on the same page.

Bits and Pieces

— We also get a glimpse at the Neitherlands and the Library. Apparently, the Neitherlands is the in between of the different worlds. The Library is fiercely protected by its head librarian and contains a copy of everyone’s history, among other things.

— The librarian says she’s seen Penny before even though this is his first time in the Neitherlands.

— To get out of the Neitherlands Penny incepts Quentin’s mind. Quentin’s having a sex dream featuring Alice as Khaleesi, Julia as Princess Leia, and himself as Indiana Jones. I don’t have anything to say about it other than that it was hilarious.

— Julia’s been hitting up the chatroom a lot, leaving her house a mess. Richard asks her when she last powered down, which is obviously almost never. At first, I took this as more of Julia’s addictive relationship with magic, but then I realized this is really all she has right now. She’s got no job, she’s not in any educational program, she’s on the outs with Quentin and her ex-boyfriend doesn’t remember her, her mom is apparently evil and her dad is far gone, and she’s thoroughly burned off most other relationships. She’s still got her sister, but she didn’t seem like the type to stick around. She’s all in on the magic because it’s all she’s got left.

— Which made it all the nicer to see Julia’s excitement at meeting her new Free Trader friends. It was great to see her around people who support her and value her. That is until Kady arrived.

— Alice has a highly emotional confrontation with her mother. She can’t understand her mother’s lack of interest in the cause of her brother’s death. Her mother did come off as cold and unnerving as Alice suggested in most aspects, but I understand her perspective here. I wouldn’t want to know that my son’s humanity burned up and then his niffin body was boxed after he attacked by daughter. She’s right, that knowledge wouldn’t bring him back.

— Teenage Alice had the Garden State soundtrack because it was cool when it came out.

— The episode’s title “Homecoming” seems to refer to Alice returning to her parent’s house, Julia meeting the people from the Free Trader Beowulf chat room (which she now sees as home), and Margo finally coming back from Ibiza. Did I miss anything?

Neitherland resident on Earth magicians: “So... tell me, what brought you here? Hmm? I've pretty much seen it all – enchanted capes, rings. This one guy, he rode a sled pulled by flying – what do you call them? Not zebra. Reindeer.”
Penny: “Santa Claus?”
Eve: “Yeah. You know him? He's a really nice guy, right?”

Quentin: “Dreams are weird. People are naked, and animals are smoking cigarettes.”

Librarian: “People who read their books often discover they don’t like the main character and are rarely happy with how it ends.”

Three and a half out of four Indiana Jones/Game of Thrones/Star Wars crossover sex dreams.

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