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The Magicians: Cello Squirrel Daffodil

“We have friends to save, a Dark King to re-kill. Hang with Mad Libs pedophile all you want. I’m going back to double-tap the motherf--ker like he’s Osama, and I’m Seal Team Bitch.”

So, The Magicians is ending and everything sucks. Even though this season has definitely been imperfect and The Magicians has certainly had a good, long run, I’m still going to really miss these characters.
And after losing Bojack Horseman and The Good Place, I’m not ready to lose another of my favorite shows. Networks and streaming services are better at torture than the Couple. But, with this season’s focus on grief, maybe it’ll be a good season to end on. I guess we shall see.

But, back to the show. We finally learn who King Seb is and what he’s trying to do. Apparently, he’s another Chatwin! His British accent should’ve been enough to tip me off. What happened is this: long ago Martin was still trying to stay in Fillory forever, so he tried to tie himself to Fillory via the conduit. Seb realized this, noticed Martin was veering towards evil, and wouldn’t let it happen. Only problem was someone then had to be tied to the conduit, so that had to be not evil (at the time) Seb. A pissed-off Martin cursed him with eternal sleep, but the magic surges woke him up. During that time his only love died. Now he’s alive, king thanks to creating and stopping the Takers, and determined to resurrect his one love. At least I think that’s it. I’ve watched the episode twice now but still feel a little shaky on the details.

Seb seems to be acting as a foil for the gang; a symbol of what might happen to them if they lose themselves to their grief. It makes for a very sympathetic villain, but a villain none-the-less. I especially liked the scene where Julia points out that grief isn’t an excuse to hurt people, regardless of your intentions, and Seb replies by saying she doesn’t understand because she didn’t love the one she lost enough. Yes, he probably was trying to hurt her, but I also think he truly believed that was true. He thinks this is what true grief is. And Julia and Eliot, who are getting excited about Julia’s pregnancy and talking about baby showers, don’t understand. The show does a good job contrasting the gang, who have made progress in their grief and no longer allow it to be the center of all their lives, with Seb whose last three-hundred years has revolved completely around his dead loved one and finding a way to resurrect him. It does a great job showing how far gone he is. And how far gone Fillory is, now that it’s permanently tethered to Seb.

Back on Earth (not the Neitherlands), Alice finds herself stuck in the Matrix. She and Kady inadvertently led themselves right to him, and now he’s trying to torture her into giving up the page. One thing I don’t get about this is as much fun as it is for the show to do their take on the Matrix, why wouldn’t the Couple threaten Kady in the first place? Or at least before they reached take eighteen of the Matrix. He’s got no reason to care about Kady, the show hasn’t made him seem like he’s got a soft, gooey center, and it seems to be the more effective way to do it. It feels a little contrived, like the show is just biding their time so someone can save them, but it doesn’t fit with the character or his motivation. That being said, I’m still pretty interested in seeing how this seed thing works out. Maybe they use it to create another Fillory? One not tethered to Seb?

Bits and Pieces

-- Sure, it was fun to see pedophile Plover tortured by tongue twisters and axed by Margot, but the best part of the storyline was audience member Fen. I would listen to any story if I could watch Fen’s reactions.

-- Penny and Plum struggled with the signal this episode. The time-traveling was a lot of fun and it’s always great to see Hymen, but I still have little idea where this is going. I liked Plum more this episode, though.

-- I’ve never actually seen The Matrix, but I’ve seen enough shows' and movies’ take on it to feel like I don’t have to.

-- Also, I finally decided to start reading the books this week and the show gets cancelled! Maybe it was me, maybe I jinxed it. I’m sorry!

-- This week’s episode description: “Penny only wears vintage; Alice rejects a sandwich; Julia does a thing.” They got pretty lazy this week.

Kady: “My Akkadian’s rusty, but I think this says we can win the moon’s favor if we …”
Alice: “Virgin sacrifice.”
Kady: “Oh, well that’s out.”
Alice: “Not to mention the method of death is pretty gross.”

Plum: “You’re telling me this guy whacks off to people he watches from the astral plane?”
Penny: “Yeah.”
Plum: “Do we really need his help?”
Penny: “Look, in a hundred years, he’s going to be a really nice guy.”
Hyman: “It just won’t feel like Othello until I’m in blackface.”
Penny: “OK, so he’s got a ways to go.”

Eliot: “I attract the best guys don’t I?”
Julia: “You attract basically everyone, and with that broad of an appeal, you’re bound to magnetize a couple of questionable monarchs.” I still maintain that the best scenes on The Magicians are the ones where the characters support each other.

Hyman: “What am I doing? I came to Brakebills to learn. You know the lesson of my expulsion is clear as a creek: Maybe—and I know this is crazy—but maybe it is wrong to spy on people in the shower.”
Penny: “Well …”
Hyman: “I know. Then why did God give you the ability to spy on people in the shower?”

Fen, after Margo re-tongue-twists him: “Did you really have to do that? He seemed like such a nice …”
Margo: “Pedophile. He’s grooming you, Fen, because you act like you’re twelve.”
Fen: “Oh gods.”

Three point twenty-five out of four tongue-twisters.


  1. My guess as to why The Couple didn't start by threatening Kady is that he likes to think of himself as the smartest person in the room and prefers tricking people into doing what he wants. It's not that he's squishy inside, it's just more FUN to toy with people. He finally got bored with trying to play Alice, and moved on to brute force.

    Also, once you've played the kill Kady card, there's no where further to go. He may not know what Alice feels about Kady. Does she really care enough to give up the page to save Kady's life? Or has Alice's time as a niffin hardened her to not caring if people die?

    It probably is a delaying tactic, but there are reasons why The Couple didn't immediately move to violence to get Alice to give them the page.

  2. I just finished watching all six seasons of Madam Secretary, in which the Couple bad guy plays something of a goofball. This is a much different look for him.

    Fingers. Ick. Did they have to do that?


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