The Magicians: Lost, Found, Fucked

Dean Fogg: “What timeline are you from?”
Marina: “The one where you owe me child support. I’m kidding.”

The title really says it all.

By the end of the second episode of the season all the questers have their memories back, Alice has a way out of the library, and the Monster wearing Eliot’s body is staring at all the questers, ready to kill. The Magicians has always been fairly fast paced, but this is faster than I expected. And I think it works.

Before the major plot developments we get to spend some more time with the questers (and Dean Fogg) dealing with their mistaken identities. The big question many of them have is: why should they get their memories back? For Sam/Kady, the answer is that their identities are flat and they’ve got some sex kinks they may want to be rid of. Isaac/Josh has a giant … Johnson that’s left some of his partners in urgent care, and Hansel/Penny’s sexual history involves groupies and his step-sister (they didn’t know until afterwards, of course). And, for Sam/Kady herself, it’s because she’s too perfect. She’s a hero, one who stops murderers and drug-dealers, got a girl considering a coat-hanger abortion to Planned-Parenthood. She also sounds like a badly-written, barely passable, “Strong Female Character,” one with no flaws so everyone will be appeased and no one will complain. But Sam/Kady’s right, that’s not real. She’d rather be real. Which, coincidentally, is a very Kady-like desire.

Kim/Julia wants everyone to get their memories back so they can fight. She even throws herself at a perpetual battery that kills her over and over again so she can accomplish this. Once again, this sounds like a very Julia-like thing to do. Even when Julia was overwhelmed by symptoms of PTSD she was still fighting to take down Reynard. Even when she knew Reynard was going to kill her (not realizing he’d do something even worse to her) she called Reynard’s predatory focus from Kady to her. And now, she fights again. She fights through the pain so that she can save all her friends, and they can all fight together.

Dean Fogg loses his memory himself this episode. It seems like fair revenge, yet it’s still heart-breaking seeing him as Marina’s homeless, begging father. Yet, his magical seamstress points out that he’s always hidden his identity from the world. His suits have been his armor. He spends the entire episode giving himself away to others and he appears relieved to do so. His identity didn’t need to be taken, he’d been hiding it himself his whole life. And for a moment, he finally got to be free.

Turns out, the Monster's also had huge parts of himself taken away from him. He tries to tear it out of Enyalius, God of War, but Enyalius sent a servant to answer his call instead. Because he knows about the Monster. The Monster is obviously horribly evil (he makes Brian/Quentin kill a poor pig family), but after seeing our magicians struggle with their lost or stolen identities, he kind of seems right in being angry at the Gods for doing essentially the same thing to him. Identity can act as a sort of anchor. Without it our magicians feel fake, or like failures, or weirdos who slept with their step-sister. And they’re lost. It’s nice to see them finally find themselves. Right before the Monster likely kills them all.

Bits and Pieces

-- Alice finds an escape route from the library by cramming her hand through the magical library shoot, controlling a cockroach, and finding a chimney for Santa to potentially crawl through. Super crafty.

-- Janet/Margo has her own adventure. She meets a frog-like creature, Lord of Fillorian Fresh Water, or Lord Fresh. She learns of a weird birth-right box. Meets up with Fen and helps her track down Ember, who turns out to be Bacchus, who’s overloaded Fillory with Opium (which turns out to be super problematic). And then she’s sent back to Earth. Big day.

-- I loved Dean Fogg’s confessions, but I loved Todd’s reaction to his confessions even more.

-- You’ve gotta feel bad for Stella Maeve, who plays Julia, this episode. She’s probably used to playing emotionally painful scenes by now, but this episode looked super physically painful. She’s definitely a trooper.

-- I liked the small reveal that Marina gave Dean Fogg her dad’s identity. A very vulnerable glimpse into a very guarded character.

Margo: “This pond better be vodka.”

Dean Fogg: “I’m a high functioning alcoholic, Walter. We prefer to do our serious drinking alone so that when we weep we can wallow in self-loathing alone without embarrassment.”

Dean Fogg: “Magic has been a brutal series of disappointments. And after having lived forty timelines, thirty-nine of which ranged from the comically horrendous to the apocalyptically absurd, to find it was all for nothing, well, leading this life actually feels liberating.”

Four out of four amphibious, fly-eating, fancy-British-speaking, Lords of the Fillorian Fresh Waters, or you know, Lord Freshes.

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

I'm so glad they all got themselves back so quickly. Didn't like them all submerged. It was like the cure was worse than the illness. Except Margo was still perfectly kinglike. And Julia was absolutely awesome.

Wow. Dean Fogg unleashed. I actually shrieked with laughter a few times.

I so hate seeing Eliot like this.