Magicians Season 2: Saving Fillory
Hello all you Geek Enthusiasts and Nerd Aficionados!
The party loving, magic-slinging, whiskey drinking troublemakers of Brakebills are back at it again in Magician’s Season 2. The TV series adaptation of author Lev Grossman’s compelling The Magicians trilogy excelled last year in it’s promo season. For as flippant as the show appeared on the surface, it actually delved amazingly well into the world of depression and the traumas that arise from sexual assault. Those trends continue into season 2, especially with the continuation of Julia’s storyline. But never fear it is not all doom and gloom, there is enough laughs to carry you through.
Jumping Back In
Season 2 started up almost immediately after the end of season 1. The first season ended with everyone’s fate left up in the air. Julia decided last second to team up with the Beast, using him to get revenge on Reynard who raped her. But in doing so, she betrayed Quentin, Alice, Eliot, Margo and Penny and prevented them from finally defeating the Beast. So their goal of ending the threat to Fillory, Brakebills and magic in general has been thwarted for the moment.
The Beast left the group for dead, literally, as he sliced off Penny’s hands, broke Eliot and Margo’s necks and bled Alice out while Quentin could only look on in horror at Julia’s choice. His best friend stole their magical knife (the only weapon that could kill the Beast) and fled with him. Even though this screams betrayal, from her perspective, she just went through a major sexual trauma and revenge on her rapist is therapy. So what became of our intrepid heroes? Well magical resurrection of course, because it’s just that easy?
But magical resurrections are not perfect, and consequences spring up whether you intended it or not. It’s brilliant that The Magicians doesn’t rely on such a lazy way to fix thew death of main characters. This is what separates the show from others. While this show might look carefree and crazy, the consequences of your choices are real and tragic. So here sets up act 1 for the cast, and it’s not all castles and coronations. The magical wellspring in Fillory is all but drained, the magical god-killing knife is gone and all hope appears to be a long shot in the face of these odds.
The main plot of these first few episodes is tracking down a way to kill The Beast. We watch each character deal with their choices from the end of season 1. Julia has made her deal with the devil an isd going for revenge. Eliot is dealing with being married and High King of Fillory. Margo is the High Queen, and Penny has cursed hands. With Quentin and Alice, the love is there but decisions made are driving them apart and you can’t always go back to the way things were.
The Standout Characters:
For me it was Eliot. A character I didn’t love as much at the beginning of the season, actor Hale Appleman took the character and ran with it. Eliot was forced to go from a carefree party boy to High King of Fillory, and shoulder the burden of the entire realm’s populace. He became a complex layered character that was great to watch. He is trying to cope with being forced into a monogamous relationship with a woman.
To top that off, he can also never go back home, while his friends can leave as they please. This is not the best combination of events for an alcoholic, selfish, manic-depressive person prone to making bad decisions. Watching how he tackles the challenges, he winds up best character for me. Piggybacking off of him, Margo’s character also gets more compelling to watch as well. Margo recognizes Eliot’s pain and sadness and weirdly becomes a stabilizing force for the whole group.
I also enjoyed the transformation of Alice’s character. Watching her arc this season, plus how her and Quentin have to deal with each other after her resurrection, I thought she excelled. She really dug into the meat of the characters angst and delivered a solid performance. This isn’t to take away from any other performance, they were all great these were just the standouts of the season for me.
How The Plot Turns:
Parts of the season can seem really dark, like Julia’s story of dealing with her rape trauma. However, it is not all doom and gloom. The writers don’t shy away from finding the humor in the situation. There’s a Dirty Dancing gag in the first episode that’s absolutely hilarious, and the song and dance numbers were priceless. I could watch them preparing for war singing “One Day More” every day. There’s twists, turns, and yes even plumbers play a key part in this season’s storylines. Focusing this season on the magical world of Fillory was genius. It was a beautiful set to work on, it introduced a new world of magical creatures for our characters to interact with. As Penny can tell you, Fillory plays by a different set of rules that will test our heroes resolve throughout the season.
The Wrap Up
All in all, The Magicians Season 2 is awesome. The villains turn out to be unexpected, and the twists are well done. No one who deals with magic comes out unscathed, that lesson is well played throughout the season. The Gods can make mistakes, but if everyone was perfect and magic solved every problem, where would the appeal be? So join in the fun with a season full of magical screw-ups and shit jokes, because while magic is real, it really sucks sometimes.
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