The Magicians created two battles in one episode, and the aftermath might have changed things as we know it.
The Magicians Season 2 Episode 3 had Julia, Marina, and the Beast focused on luring Reynard the Fox to them. Meanwhile Penny, Margo, Eliot, Quentin, and Alice were gearing up for their plan to kill the Beast once and for all back in Fillory.
I can’t even begin to process what happened in this episode because I’m pretty upset that we lost two powerhouse ladies that made me love the show that much more.
Now the episode as a whole was dark, which isn’t new for The Magicians but it was never that much all at once. In between Reynard the Fox torturing Marina and that chaotic ending where Alice became a niffin and Quentin had to kill her so that the rest of the group could survive, it was too much for one episode.
The Magicians never shied away from some pretty heavy stuff, but maybe it was the fact that it was more spread apart that helped the audience swallow all of it? Quentin’s mental illness was very prominent in the beginning of the show as we saw him shift from a life that he didn’t belong in, to one that featured magic. When the group went back to Plover’s house to find the key to Fillory, the paintings played out a picture of what life was really like back then, with varying degrees of child abuse and death. Finally, Julia getting her memories back about what actually happened when she and her friends summoned a god that actually turned out to be Reynard the Fox.
All of this was very heavy but it weaved into the plot over time, spreading out so there wasn’t too much darkness all at once. But with Marina getting tortured and then killed by Reynard, and Alice sacrificing herself to kill the Beast, I don’t know where the show will go from here.
Essentially I think that the group as a whole made a mistake by trying to tackle two villains at once. Quentin and Julia talked about it, they should have realized that that there was a bigger chance of accomplishing both kills if they worked together. They could have killed Reynard the Fox first, even more successfully if they had more people on hand to lure and attack him. Then they could have went for the Beast, it’s not like Julia was planning to have him stick around after he helped.
And while we are on the subject, I think if we had to choose a villain to follow this season it should have continued to be Martin. He was a complete mystery last season, but then he reemerged into this fantastic villain with a backstory. He could have pulled this season along as a villain again just fine.
Now we have only Reynard the Fox that needs to be killed, a murderer and a rapist. I generally despise this character which is obviously what the show is going for but I think there is something to be said about a villain whose general reasoning we can explore as the show progresses. Watching Reynard the Fox continue to wreck havoc and kill people won’t capture my attention for much longer, it’s very difficult for me to even watch his scenes.
As for Alice, where will the show go from here?
Quentin’s mental state will definitely take a hit. And even though I was never a fan of their relationship, that final scene where he thought he could save her after she died was hard to watch. Eliot and Margo will stay in Fillory trying to fix what the Beast and now Ember (shoutout to his ”divine elimination”) unleashed there. But will Quentin stay with them or will he go to back to Brakebills? Something tells me that he won’t give up on Alice, trying to use magic to bring her back somehow.
Maybe Julia and Quentin will actually talk things through and work together? Although they are both quick to blame one another and Julia leaving with the Beast in the season one finale set up a bad path for Alice from then on. She was never going to survive going up against Martin after that first time.
Right now I want to have faith that going forward The Magicians will get even better, but I’ll definitely need some time to grasp the fact that two of my favorites are gone. Hopefully things won’t continue to be only dark, there has to be some light at the end of this magical tunnel. At least let Penny gain control of his hands again, okay?
The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Syfy.