After final 12 months’s finale, The Magicians had quite a lot of weight to shoulder going into the Season 5 premiere. Final season ended with the dying of Quentin, who sacrificed himself to save lots of Eliot and produce again magic. It was a divisive resolution, particularly when it got here to the Quentin/Eliot relationship, and now Season 5 has to show that it was value it.
Wednesday evening’s season premiere, “Do One thing Loopy,” takes place a few month later. Quentin’s dying was technically profitable — however perhaps an excessive amount of so, as a result of now the world is plagued with highly effective “magic surges” which were killing magicians. Or, as a newly sober Dean Fogg places it, “There’s an excessive amount of goddamn magic.”
One welcome facet of Quentin’s dying is that it permits the collection to spend extra time on the others, significantly Julia, who is commonly underutilized however who will hopefully have a bigger, extra attentive run this season. Julia is maybe struggling essentially the most, not solely as a result of she’s recognized Quentin since childhood however as a result of Quentin’s dying granted her magic once more — as we discovered within the finale, magic comes from ache. “I solely have magic as a result of I misplaced Q,” she tells Penny (after they go on a date!). “I simply have to search out one thing to do with it that’s value that.”
A solution probably comes within the type of a literal sexist pig who visits from Fillory, in search of Quentin. The pig creature is on a “mission of dreadful significance,” explaining that Quentin wants to save lots of the world from the apocalypse. (All regular Magicians stuff, to be sincere.) Julia provides to do the hunt herself; in any case, she was as soon as a goddess. However the Fillory pig received’t settle for her assist as a result of she’s a girl. Fortunately, throughout a later dialog with Penny, Julia realizes that she will select her personal quest and chooses to determine what’s inflicting the apocalypse and cease it.
In the meantime, in Fillory, Margot and Eliot have a reasonably lackluster storyline to date. A magic surge messed with the timelines, touchdown them 300 years into the longer term and the throne has been taken over by a “darkish king.” They attend an annual ceremony celebrating “The Unshackling,” full with a enjoyable little play expositing what we’ve missed and cosplaying as our heroes. There’s solely a brief, unsatisfying dialog about Quentin the place Eliot refuses to open up — he doesn’t keep in mind a lot from when the monster took over his physique, and he doesn’t “actually need to discuss” Q’s dying — and Margot precisely calls him out on being “gloriously medicated and in some textbook denial.” However earlier than we will get extra, the duo’s mission as soon as once more turns to determining to save lots of Josh and Fen from dying (prior to now), time journey, and take again the crown. Once more.
As for the opposite characters? Kady continues to be teamed up with Pete within the hedge witch world, serving to to heal a person who had his arm blown off when attempting to take away his Reeds mark. Although the marks had been presupposed to be eliminated, the library — which has its personal host of issues — hasn’t gotten to it, and hedges have gotten more and more determined to make use of magic once more. So her and Pete go on a mission to discover a technique to take away them which, I assume, will take a number of episodes.
Then there’s Penny. Dean Fogg reaches out and explains that as a result of an increasing number of folks have been discovering their magic potential, extra have been accepted into Brakebills, inflicting overcrowding. It additionally implies that there are extra college students from the rarer disciplines like touring, which causes Dean Fogg to recruit (and trick) Penny into turning into a Professor. Penny is hesitant, worrying that one in every of his college students will die below his watch. “With out your instruction, one in every of them will completely get killed,” Dean Fogg replies. Merritt, one in every of Penny’s new college students, tells him about these traveler “indicators” she’s been listening to which causes Penny to journey towards his will. It’s considerably fascinating, however I want it was extra related to the remainder of the storylines.
Lastly, there’s Alice, who has been in a depressed (and I think unshowered) funk since Q’s dying, holed up in her mom’s home. She will get roped right into a small mission serving to the library, declines to take part in a seance with Julia, and takes up smoking simply because Quentin used to, typically. Her mom provides recommendation about grief, stating “Nobody will get to let you know the way to grieve … If it’s good to do one thing loopy to get by means of it, do one thing loopy.” Which, sadly, is perhaps not one of the best recommendation to offer somebody like Alice — the episode ends along with her making a Quentin Golem which absolutely isn’t going to finish properly.
All in all, the Season 5 premiere was superb, welcoming us again to a enjoyable world that’s extra of the identical. On the one hand, the issues that work for The Magicians — the quests, the relationships, the enjoyable Fillory world — are nonetheless in place and nice to see. Alternatively, it’s laborious to not want that there was one thing extra, one thing completely different sufficient that actually explains the aim of Quentin’s dying and introduces us to how precisely the season will work with out him.
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