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The Magicians: Cheat Day

Quentin: “It's like, what's the point? You know? ‘Cause it feels like for every one thing that we fix, five shitty things spring up in its place.”
Emily: “Because each spell is just another complication.”
Quentin: “That we cast another spell to fix.”
Emily: “Repeat, repeat, repeat.”
Quentin: “Until there's no spell left and you're just, you're left with...”
Emily: “A big fucking problem.”

So life pretty much sucks for our magicians (as it always does) and magic is making it worse.

Quentin is still reeling from losing Alice. Dean Fogg set him up with a corporate job so he can live his life out magic-free. But then he runs into Emily Greenstreet (who left Brakebills after Alice’s brother died trying to reverse a spell she used to make her more attractive to Mayakovsky) and they enjoy a little cheat day. It starts out innocent enough, with spells to remove stains and create cool images out of cigarette smoke, but soon those images start reminding Quentin of Alice. Things continue to get worse as they start doing bigger spells, involving transforming into the people they lost. And then the question becomes, how can Quentin move on when magic can always allow him to relive his memories with Alice? He can’t have the real thing, but he can always turn to hollow substitutes.

Magic is also causing Julia trouble. All she wants is a simple expulsion of a pesky trickster god, but now she’s also got a pregnancy to deal with. At first, she and Kady think it will be easy; she just needs a common procedure and then they can move along with their plan. But it isn’t that easy, because it never is when magic’s involved. Whatever’s inside Julia is protected by magic, and it kills the doctor administering her abortion. Julia becomes increasingly frustrated this episode; her problems just won’t seem to end. It’s easy to feel her hopelessness and to become enraged with her. Julia started off so determined, level-headed, and lively. And magic took much of that away from her. Obviously she made her own choices, but things were never easy. Julia is still determined, smart, and terribly stubborn, but she’s also much darker than she was before she found magic.

Quentin and Emily discuss the detriments of magic before completely falling off the wagon. They say that, for any little problem magic fixes, millions of others crop up in its place. And that seems true here. Quentin was able to spend a short time with his memory of Alice, but he feels so much worse for it. I’m not sure if magic ever did much good for Julia, but her life is certainly a mess now because of it. And similar sentiments can be said for the rest of the characters. Now that magic is apparently on the fritz, you’ve gotta wonder if it would be such a bad thing to lose. Professor Mayakovsky suggests Penny embrace his new inability to do magic. Maybe that isn’t such bad advice.

Bits and Pieces

-- Off in Fillory, Eliot and Margo struggle to deal with a prisoner who tried assassinating Eliot. They agree to execute him after their research shows execution to be the most successful method of dealing with these situations, but Eliot goes against the plan and lets him live. Once again, it’s easy to see both sides. Eliot wants his future kid to grow up in a better world, one that doesn’t execute its problems. But Margo just wants her friend to live. Given the fact that Eliot hasn’t cared much for his life in the past it’s easy to see why Margo is so desperate to protect him.

-- It was great seeing Kady comfort Julia as she stressed over the abortion. Kady is usually super closed off so it was extra meaningful that she disclosed her own experience with abortion to Julia.

-- Margo and Eliot add Ned Stark to their list of successful executions.

-- Fillory’s revolters call themselves “The Foo Fighters.” Margo cannot take them seriously.

-- Apparently Fillorian pregnancy tests come in the form of talking rabbits.

-- Everyone in Quentin’s office seems to use their rooms to masturbate during work hours. That is really gross and Quentin’s right to feel uncomfortable.

-- It was so sad to see Julia laugh when the doctor, suspecting potential abuse, tells her no one’s above the law. You can see how powerless she feels.

-- I’m glad we didn’t have to hear Quentin’s attempt at a Russian accent.

Tick: “I urge a public execution, today.”
Gillen: “Might I suggest strangulation? For the symbolism.”
Tick: “We don't wish to fall to his level. The Bed of a Thousand Spikes should do just fine.”
Rafe, translating for Abigail the sloth: “Her Slowness suggests tying each of his limbs to a centaur, and as they stretch him, inch by inch, a fifth centaur sets the spike, if you will.”

Kady: “I remember the night before. It-I felt I felt lonely.”
Julia: “Yeah.”
Kady: “But you're not alone. I'm your best bitch, remember?”

Three and a half out of four psychotic sloths.

1 comment:

  1. Mayakovsky and Penny were just perfect together. Q and whats-her-face, not so much -- the thing with Alice was just too sad. The abortion -- you just know it will all go wrong, but omigod.


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