Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sami on The Magicians 1.2

The Magicians airs at 9pm on SyFy Monday nights.*

Episode two! Just as neat as episode one! This show hits the ground running and keeps going, and I hope it holds up!

This picks up right where last episode left off, right after The Beast plucked out the Dean's eyes and everyone noticed that Q and Co were able to do something about the paralysis spell that had trapped everyone else. Quentin knows that this happened because they tried to summon Alice's brother and somehow that let The Beast through, but he doesn't want the administration to know because that's forbidden and he doesn't want to be expelled. If he is, he'll get mind-wiped, and he can't handle going back to the ill-fitting mess he used to be. 

But he's not the only one hiding things. Penny has always heard voices, since he's a mind reader, but one of them has always been able to cut through all the noise, and taught him all he knows about magic. He's never met him, but he's his only friend--and he just found out that only friend is The Beast that everyone fears and hates and is evil. So he's determined to leave.

In Magical Fight Club, Julia shows up for her tour and falls into a test-trap. They lock her into a meat freezer with another initiate, and they have to figure their own way out. Julia refuses to give in and does what needs to be done--cutting into a human body that's being stored there--to be able to work the spell they need to not die of cold before they can find their way out. Turns out that other initiate was the one in charge, and she likes Julia's spunk.

Meanwhile, Quinn is a mess waiting to see what'll happen. He picks a fight with Penny and gets a spell he doesn't know how to use correctly tossed back at him--and breaks his arm super bad. And he learns that everyone has a dark past here--Elliot killed someone accidentally because he didn't know he was telekinetic until he was pushed too far, and pushed a bully in front of a car. He says that magic comes from pain--that you have to have bad stuff like that to do it.

And Quin is more and more convinced that Fillory, from the books, is a real place. They know that there are alternate worlds that they can sometimes interact with, and it seems too much to be a coincidence that there's that truth, plus these books full of kids who disappear through clocks written by a man who watched several neighbor kids go missing, and these dreams Quinn has been having that gave him the sigil he needed to do the spell that let the Beast in.

In the end, Q doesn't get his mind wiped, and he gets on probation instead of expulsion. The Specialist likes that he's doing his best and he wants to do magic so badly despite not being super great at it. And unbeknownst to him, she has a talk with the Dean--blind and broken-handed--that implies that she and he were part of something similar to this that happened before. And that's a really interesting way for the story to go--the administration of this magical school doesn't block or deny the kids, but wants them to succeed to do what they couldn't do themselves before. 

And there's moles in Breakbills trying to get info and supplies for the Fight Club!

Two episodes in, and this show has so much story in it, but doesn't feel crammed or rushed or shorthanding. It's giving everyone their moments, and it's implying more without having to explicitly state it all. In fact, no one is explicitly saying anything at all. They're letting all these kids figure stuff out for themselves, which is both exciting and potentially disastrous, and it's so interesting to see how it goes. There's so much going on, and it's going to be so cool seeing how it all goes together as the season unfolds.

I'm really enjoying how this show looks. Breakbills is lit so warm and glowy, and then the city is bland and grey, and the Magical Fight Club is all chilly and blue. Magic looks awesome here, all complex systems and precise hand-gestures. And The Beast! SO GOOD. A man made of moths in a suit who can walk through mirrors. Quinn and Co broke got the other students out and broke the mirror, and the school is redoing all the wards, but apparently Alice isn't meant to be there but hasn;t been magically ejected yet, and The Beast got in once, so who's to say he can't get in again? 

What did you think of episode two? What do you think happens next? Tell us in the comments, or come talk to me on Twitter!

*Because apparently every damn thing needs to be in one hour on one day. But it also reruns later, after midnight, like most SyFy shows do.
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