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The Magicians: The Secret Sea

Alice: “Being an adult doesn’t mean that you have to throw away what you used to love.”
Quentin: “Then what does it mean?”
Alice: “Seeing the world through new eyes.”

The Magicians has always been a show full of disappointments and betrayals. Friends, strangers, ideas, worlds—over and over again. Which left both the betrayers and the betrayed in sucky and sometimes perilous situations. How can you gain back someone’s trust after dismantling it? How can you care for someone, help someone, sit next to someone after they fell so below your expectations?

Quentin struggles with this head on when he thinks he needs his former childish wonder towards Fillory to save the day. He needs to show he truly loves Fillory in order to get the Fillorian reservoir’s garden to grow so they can drink the magic water and power up. But the problem is he doesn’t love it the same way he used to—he’s not sure he loves it at all after all it’s taken from him. Alice helps him by explaining that he doesn’t have to let go of all his previous notions and beliefs in order to be mature and adult-like, he just needs to “see the world through new eyes.” And, in yelling at a plant, Quentin realizes that for him this means realizing the idea of something can sometimes be powerful and important, something the reality of it cannot completely tarnish. Because the idea is still there, and it still saved him.

The scene with Quentin and the garden was so powerful not just because it was so well-acted and well-written (which it was) but also because I think so many of us have been there. We’ve built something so much in our heads and the idea of that dream being realized is enough to get us through the day or the week or our lives. But reality is almost never like a dream, so it almost never measures up. So this idea of holding on to the dream, the idea, the story is such an important one.

In the poison room, Kady once again finds herself betrayed by The Library. Turns out, it had a cure for the poison the whole time, one Zelda knew about and could have used on Penny 40. Zelda maintains that this isn’t her fault, especially because the place is called the Poison Room, and the unfair protocol was created by an “authoritarian” leader. But Kady points out that no one gets a pass for their actions just because they are a part of a fascist organization—Zelda could have chosen to save Penny 40, just as she could have chosen not to rebel against The Library sooner. Zelda thinks The Library can be reformed under new leadership, just like Plover thinks he has been reformed and should no longer be seen as a pedophile. They both have a point; it is important to allow for chance to reform as an incentive for change. But Kady has one, too. In some instances, maybe you can’t change or you’ve done something so terrible you shouldn’t have a chance. Can there be justice and the opportunity to reform?

For Zelda, it seems the idea of The Library may be enough to warrant this chance. To her (and, if he’s not lying, to Everett) the idea of The Library has always been of the pursuit of knowledge. She still believes in that idea, she still believes in herself, so she may be willing to help Everett get his promotion so she can take over The Library, forming it back into the just organization it was supposed to be. But sometimes a place or a person is too far gone and an idea might not be enough. Unfortunately for Zelda, this might be one of those times.

Finally, the monsters are also struggling with their fair share of disappointment and betrayal. The Monster managed to revive his sister by moving her (soul? shade? consciousness?) into Julia. But his sister finds herself disappointed in what he’s become. He cares too much for humans. He’s disappointed that she doesn’t just want to be with him like he wants to be with her. Problem is: she feels betrayed by the old gods; the ones who created them and labeled them mistakes. She wants her brother to help her get her revenge. But Monster Eliot doesn’t understand how they’d kill them. They’re more like ideas. And, as we learned with Quentin, ideas can be powerful and hard to quash.

Which brings us to our cliffhanger: the monsters go on a rampage at The Library to find the scroll that can help them kill the old gods, Alice and Quentin meet them with everything they need to depossess Eliot and Julia and vanquish the monsters. Margo’s stuck at the apartment with a werefish.

Bits and Pieces

-- Our Lady Underground finally returns to help Julia—only she doesn’t help Julia. She just tells Julia she can do nothing and Julia has to decide whether to go back to being a goddess or a human. It’s nice that Julia finally gets a choice in who she is and what happens to her, but OLU could’ve been some help. Maybe told Julia that sooner? Welp, she’s dead now. So RIP OLU, I guess.

-- I’m still not sure how I feel about Margo and Josh (or Julia and Penny 23, for that matter), but I like the emotional arc this has given Margo. She’s always been walled-up and quick to hide her “soft” emotions, so it’s cool to see her struggle with caring for and loving Josh. And they do have a lot of chemistry—when he’s in fish form, I mean.

-- Stella Maeve looks so short next to Hale Appleman. Also, they both gave great, creepy performances. But mostly she looks so tiny!

Margo: “You’re saying Josh is a fucking fish!”
Fen: “Of course not! He’s a Fillorian dying fish. A Fillorian fucking fish is totally different species.”

Kady, reading about Poison Room history: “Damn, the history of this place is depressing as shit.”
Zelda: “Most world histories are.”

Plover: “Did you know centaurs view necrophilia as a way of honoring the dead?”

Monster Eliot: “Tell me. Do I have a name?”
Monster Julia: “Why would you need one?”
Monster Eliot: “....Starbucks, mostly.”

Quentin: “The idea of Fillory is what saved my life! This promise! That people like me—people like me can somehow find an escape. There has gotta be some power in that. Shouldn’t the idea of loving Fillory be enough?”

Four out of four Fillorian Dying Werefish, not to be confused with Fillorian Fucking Fish.

1 comment:

  1. "Starbucks, mostly." Too funny.

    I was already feeling tremendously impatient about getting Eliot back. And now I also feel tremendously impatient about getting Julia back, too. Soon, please!


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