A great continuation from end of last season.
The attention to detail (like lighting and staging) really made the episode.
Some of the scenes seemed unnecessary (ie the local witch and meeting Tick Pickwick), but may play out later in the season.
The new kings and queens are already in over their heads in The Magicians 2X01 “Knight of Crowns”
Syfy‘s The Magicians premiered last night with 2X01 “Knight of Crowns,” which picks up where the season 1 finale left off. After his friends became victims to The Beast, Quentin (Jason Ralph) goes in search of help. Engaging the services of a local witch, he returns to find Alice has already brought everyone back. They split up temporarily, with Alice and Quentin to help Eliot become officially king while Margo and Penny head off to heal his hands.
The group meets back up in time to crown one another before going in search of their castle, where they hope to retrieve a new weapon. It is there that they discover they must return to Brakebills, bidding High King Eliot the Spectacular farewell as he can never leave Fillory.
Speaking of which, Julia (Stella Maeve) returns with her pseudo-hostage to Earth. She enlists him in a magical contract and he begins preparation for a trapping spell. Of course, he picks up on Julia’s turmoil and offers to take away her Shade, claiming it’s keeping her from fulfilling her potential. She refuses his help, but it is clear that she is tempted to give in.
With everything that we had to catch up on from last season, what really stood out in this season premiere? Let’s find out!
Penny finds more curse than scam at the magic river
Oh Penny, what do we do with you? As if getting your hands severed and walking around with them in a wooden box wasn’t enough, you have to mouth off to the river man. Don’t you pay attention to the books?! After finally regaining the use of his them, Penny (Arjun Gupta) earns him a pair of equally poorly behaving appendages. Sadly, his apology comes too late, and the river man reminds him all actions have consequences. He refuses his request with Penny’s own words, but hints that he will play a crucial role in the future.
It’s interesting to see Penny so vulnerable in this episode. The fact that he did not demand to be made one of kings is a departure from the man we know from Season 1. As a Traveler and skilled with spells, he could have easily bullied Quentin out of his crown. Instead, he chooses to remain in the background, which makes us wonder if his heart will soften a bit this season. In the meantime, we need to keep an eye out for that river man, because you know he’ll be back!
The coronation ceremony is part Monty Python, part I Love the 90’s
For those of us who remember the 90’s, this scene was like a time-tripping dream come true. Our troubled fivesome cross the rainbow bridge (we should all go cross it too) on a quest for their crowns. When faced with the knight guarding the precious headgear, Eliot (Hale Appleman) does what he does best and announces that
I’m the High King of Fillory. I took a blood test.
What follows represents everything we love about the show – an exchange full of sarcasm, witty banter, and pop culture references. When Eliot yanked of off his coat and necktie, who didn’t expect him to lift Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) into the air after his stirring rendition of Dirty Dancing? Boo to the writers who didn’t put that in (but if it was just cut for time, we want that scene!).
And let’s talk about the coronation ceremony! Everything was Quentin in a nutshell, and the others’ willingness to go along with it signifies their growing bond.
“I mean…I just…we should do a ceremony. This is only going to happen once. We are becoming kings and queens. So…it’s important and we should honor it.”
It was lovely to see the four of them make up, and even the normally sarcastic Margo (Summer Bishil) offers a genuine apology to Quentin. With Fillory now being ruled by Eliot the Spectacular, Margo the Destroyer, Alice the Wise, and Quentin the Moderately Socially Maladjusted (oh Margo), what could go wrong?
An unholy union of sorts (Julia, no!)
One of the most interesting aspects of this episode came from Julia’s interactions with The Beast. We already know that it was a very bad idea for her to contract with him, but as Quentin said, she’s not exactly sane. Maeve’s gut-wrenching portrayal of Julia’s vulnerability makes us want to wrap her in our arms and never let her go.
As the two of them make plans to kill Reynard the Fox, The Beast (Charles Mesure) reveals himself to be an odd mix of evil villain and playful toddler.
The Beast: Brilliant. That laptop. The things they come up with when they don’t have magic.
Julia: Yeah, like accounts that tweet police scanner activity.
The Beast: Tweet? Birds have computer accounts?
Julia: Don’t worry about it.
There are moments where you see the damaged boy, the one that suffered so greatly at the hands of his abuser. Mesure does a fantastic job balancing the two sides, so much so that we begin to see him as a human being. Then again, how many of us recoiled when he asked to be dropped off at the ball pit?
It doesn’t take long for The Beast to pick up on Julia’s fragile state, and he takes full advantage of that. He is testing her, trying to figure out what makes her tick and how he can manipulate her. The poor girl is so wrapped up in her own trauma that she can’t see what he’s doing. There is even a television throwing moment when she allows him to reach in and remove her shade. We’ll be rooting for her to stay strong and find her own way for sure!
Final Verdict: The Magicians is as tongue-in-cheek as ever and we love it!
With the fantastic introduction The Magicians brought us last year, we had high expectations. Luckily for all of us, this premiere episode did not disappoint. All the elements of a trademark episode were there – sarcasm, dark humor, drama, friendships, and of course, magic. We had a chance to see friendships being renewed and personal growth from several characters. In keeping with their promise in the first season, we also saw a realistic portrayal of mental illness in Julia’s journey. We’re able to see how the actors have bonded with their characters, and writing has continued to be amazing.
One thing that stood out in this episode was the use of color and lighting. While our intrepid friends are in Fillory, everything is light, colorful, and filled with wonder. When we travel to see Julia and The Beast, they are surrounded by darkness, leaving us feeling as depressed and hopeless as her. In addition, the staging of the scenes were clearly thought out, with High King Eliot sitting in a near empty Armory as he is about to be left behind.
With so many questions yet unanswered, this season opener invites us to visit Fillory and explore along with our magicians. We can only wonder what lies ahead for them, and hope their bond stand ups to anything they will face.
You’ve got questions? We’ve got more!
If there’s one thing The Magicians is good at, it’s leaving us with a bunch of questions. So, here’s what we’ve got so far:
- Who is the river man?
- Where did the books go from the Armory?
- What is Reynard’s ultimate goal?
- Will Penny ever get his hands working again?
- What is Penny’s role in all of this?
- What is that witch going to do with Quentin’s blood?
- Will Margo ever stop being sarcastic?
- Will Quentin ever stand up straight?
- Could we get a musical episode?
Syfy’s The Magicians returns next Wednesday February 1, 2017 at 9/8c.
The Magicians 2X01 “Knight of Crowns” Review