The Magicians: The Balls

“So repress the overwhelming urge to sing while stealing shit. Eighth grade all over again.”

A magical, musical heist episode with a Santa Claus getaway. I’m really gonna miss this show.

So, what happens: Pretty much every character minus Julia and Penny (:() put on a heist to steal the World Seed from the Couple. The Couple are hiding the World Seed in this intensely secure hotel, so they have to use a conductor spell to communicate during the heist. Turns out, this also causes them to sing their feelings. After lots of twist and turns and a couple emotional numbers from Alice and Eliot, they manage to steal the Seed. Elsewhere, Julia and Penny try to figure out what’s up with the traveler baby-mother connection and things get pretty sad.

So, the good: The biggest emotional moments hit pretty well. It was nice that they acknowledged the trauma of Alice’s torturing; a lesser show would’ve just completely moved on from it. Alice’s reaction is also very in keeping in character. She’s always the smartest (or at least one of the smartest) ones in the room. Even after the Beast held everyone captive in the season one finale, she managed to stitch everyone up. This is a rare moment when Alice had zero control and felt she had to give in to the big bad. In this way, she’s kind of similar to Julia, who has also been struggling with an inability to plan her way out of every situation. Eliot comforting Alice by reminding her she’s not alone, she doesn’t need to solve this herself, was perfect for what she needed to hear and in keeping with our season’s themes so far.

On the non-musical side of things, Penny and Julia were reminded of a similar lesson. When Penny’s forced to confront his mom to gain information about her condition, we see where Penny got his need for complete independence. We’ve seen both Penny’s struggle with accepting help and showing vulnerability, and here we learn this likely stems from him being unable to rely on his mom while feeling simultaneously responsible for his mom’s condition. Once again, his mom disappoints him by refusing to try to sever their connection out of fear. But Julia reminds Penny over and over again that this is different; he’s not alone. He may not be able to rebuild his relationship with his mom, but he has Julia. And he needs to learn to rely on her, to understand everything doesn’t fall on his shoulders, just as Alice learns the same.

Some smaller things I liked about the episode: Everyone threatening the pig man after he threatens Julia. Half the cast hated Julia just three seasons ago, and now they're ready to go to battle for her. The first musical sequence. Fen and especially Zelda visibly enjoying the musical numbers. While this is completely expected from Fen, Zelda’s reaction was a fun surprise. The heist book. It was just cool. Crawling out of the suitcase Fantastic Beasts style.

So, the bad: Julia and Penny not being in the musical. I kept hoping Alice sent an SOS to them so they could join the last big group sing, but then she sent it to Santa Claus instead. Never thought I’d be disappointed to see Santa Claus. I also wish there were more emotional numbers and that they focused on more than just Alice. I was excited for the characters to reveal more about themselves via song like in the Buffy musical episode and, while I appreciated getting a glimpse into Alice, I wish we could have also dug deeper into characters we were less in tune to emotionally, like Kady, Josh, or Julia. Speaking of Julia, I also wish we were able to see how the pregnancy and complications were affecting her instead of focusing on only Penny. Julia’s been through a lot this year with her best friend’s death, struggling with stopping apocalypses, an unplanned pregnancy, and now potentially losing control over her mind; I feel like we haven’t spent too much time on where she’s at with everything. That said, Julia also often copes by taking action, so maybe we haven’t seen her emotional response because she’s driving everything into figuring out a solution, which here involves visiting Penny’s mom.

Bits and Pieces

-- I’m going to forever have “I Wanna be Sedated” stuck in my head now, aren’t I?

-- We finally met the Couple. Apparently they’re just rich people with an unfortunate last name.

-- Multiple hedge witches were killed/maimed during Marina’s scheme. Marina put Kady’s mom on the hook for getting multiple hedge witches killed/maimed during her scheme. Although I guess that wasn’t the same Marina.

-- This week’s episode description: “Margo sees a purse she hates. Alice writes a letter. We couldn't get Prince.”

Paloma (one part Couple, on why they want the Seed): “We’ve made powerful enemies here on earth, and one cursed us, making us…”
George (one part Couple): “Unable to have children. But on a new world, beyond the reach of our enemies, we hope to have a family.”
Fen: “Uh OK. I have to admit that’s not a motive I could have guessed, but do you really think you’d make the best parents?”

Marina: “You see? This is why I don’t hang out with you people.”
Zelda: “But on the bright side, we were pitch perfect.”

Fen: “I love your blades.”
George: “You’re a strange girl.”
Fen: “Thank you.”

Margo: “Fen, where the fuck is the Seed?”
Josh: “Why are you running so weird?”
Fen: “The Seed is somewhere warm, very humid, even moist.”
Josh: “Oh, whoa.”

Three and a half out of four important, world building seeds kept in Fen’s... hot pocket.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

One bright point you didn't mention was Josh's attempt to follow Kady's 'vault' through the luggage cart, and then failing - it was so Josh!

Anonymous said...

Kady can really sing punk. Interesting that Eliot sang the Kate parts of "Don't give up". Kate as in Kate Bush. It suited the story.
I wish Julia could do more than be preggers.
Hey at least Marina's gf got wise and dumped her.