The Magicians: The Bad News Bear

Who knew someone could look so evil while holding a puppy?
“Why am I a monster and you’re a God?”

Our magicians are back and they’re just as angsty as ever.

Magic is back, but it's controlled by the library. Julia lost her god powers (or at least it seems that way; I’m still hoping she still has a spark). Eliot’s been taken over by an evil, murderous, all powerful monster. And it seems even Quentin’s dad can’t catch a break. So what do our magicians do with all their grief and anger and frustration? They hatch a harebrained scheme, a prison-break, and plan a deicide, of course.

Through the library robbery we get a nice relief from the characters’ pitiful lives. The card game seemed kind of boring (like War, but with magic cheating), but Quentin’s final move was pretty baller, and who knew Quentin could ever be called such a thing? The actual heist using the bad luck bear was even greater. There is nothing funnier than seeing Quentin get a paper cut from a paper towel. The best part of the whole thing was seeing so many of our characters acting as their real selves, together.

Monster Eliot, Margo, and Josh, however, are separated from the group for much of the episode. They’re on their own mission: operation drug Bacchus so the monster doesn’t kill everyone. Josh is reluctant to do this; Bacchus is his friend. But Eliot’s Margo’s friend, so she can’t consider any other plan that might put Eliot’s life in danger. Even if he might already be dead (which he better not be.)

Margo’s put in a tough position and she makes her decisions full force, like she always does. She’ll make Josh sign his friend’s death sentence, she’ll threaten a whole village of people, anything to protect whatever’s left of Eliot. She doesn’t seem happy about it, but she doesn’t make any excuses for it, either. Which is all very Margo. The problem is, when all is said and done, she’ll have to answer to the choices she’s made. Much like Dean Fogg with his library deal, Alice with her own betrayal, Quentin with his dad’s fate due to magic’s less than ideal return. After the big bad’s dealt with, regardless of the outcome, those choices, sacrifices are still there, waiting to be dealt with. And you can take the Dean Fogg route: pass the blame onto someone else; the Alice route: risk your life to save the friends you betrayed; or the Julia route: accept the consequences and the choices you made that may or may not have led to them. Sit in a room with your best friend, supporting him, while he handles his own harsh reality affected by his very own choices.

Bits and Pieces

-- It’s great to have our magicians back, identities intact and all. Minus Eliot, of course :(

-- It’s cool to see the way the characters are still affected by their former identities. Kady considers (and seems to complete?) payback at Marina for what she did in her timeline because she thinks Sam Cunningham wouldn’t have hesitated herself. Quentin wishes his life could be as clear and soft-edged as Brian’s, especially now with how their world has exploded since they woke up. I hope we get to see more of this.

-- We learn a lot about how magic under library-rule works. Deweys and black-cards and such. And lots of paperwork and oversight. I like the touch of the batteries being called “Deweys” (Dewey Decimal System, get it?)

-- I loved seeing Julia and Quentin’s hug when she found him, then seeing her delicately handle Bad Luck Quentin, then seeing her support him as he listened to his mom’s voicemail about his dad. I just really love their friendship and seeing them on screen together, in any capacity.

-- These episode descriptions are great. Last episode’s was “Dean Fogg gets a new suit.” This episode’s is “Kady gets a puppy; Quentin meets a snake.”

Santa Claus: “So you’re telling me they have books that describes every damn thing everyone does or ever will do, when you’re sleeping, when you’re awake, naughty or nice? You know how much time that would’ve saved me?”

Quentin: “Where have you been? We couldn’t find you.”
Julia: “Enrolled at Brakebills, she said fully aware of the irony.”

Librarian, seeing Santa Claus whisk Alice away in a flying sleigh: “The fuck?”

Quentin: “Did a bird just bring you a sandwich?”
Frankie: “Yeah, I guess she did. You want?”
Quentin: “Well, I mean, y-yeah but—”
Julia: “But what the fuck, Frankie?”

Three out of four bad luck bears.

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

I felt bad for Josh. He really liked Bacchus. And Quentin with his bear. OMG, what are the puppies for? Do I even want to know?

Melvil Dewey was actually an unpleasant person, even though he was famous. I'm a librarian and am familiar with famous librarians. There really are famous librarians. Although maybe they're not famous famous.