Eliot and Margo, plotting via pop culture references. Nuff said.
That adorable Quentin and Julia song and dance number? Adorable and DEFINITELY fun.
The Great Cock. THE GREAT COCK.
Still not big on Bacchus or how necessary that whole party scene was.
Not enough Rafe screen time. That sloth-serving Fillorian needs more attention.
Magic may be gone in Fillory, but we’re still enchanted with The Magicians 3X01 “The Tale of the Seven Keys”
It’s been a very long year, but Syfy’s The Magicians is finally back! Season three picks up with the disastrous fallout from our team’s attempt to save Fillory from the goat god brothers. Magic has disappeared (for all but one), and humans in all worlds are stuck without their power. When last we saw our squad, Margo (Summer Bishil) and Eliot (Hale Appleman) faced invasion by the fairies, led by their Queen (Candis Cayne). Julia (Stella Maeve) and Kady (Jade Tailor) fell out because the former didn’t kill Reynard (Mackenzie Astin) as planned. Quentin (Jason Ralph) brought back his love Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) but doesn’t get the warm reception he expected. Then, there’s our resident Traveller Penny (Arjun Gupta), who gets shocking (and deadly) news.
So, how is everyone faring now? Well, Penny is an ailing indentured servant to the Librarians, but Kady hopes to save him with Harriet’s (Marlee Matlin) help. Julia can still do some basic magic, but no matter how hard she tries, nothing more. Quentin is dealing with Alice’s abandonment and desperate to bring back the other thing he loves – magic. Josh (Trevor Einhorn) takes them to see Bacchus, but after a night of partying, they are still magic-less. Meanwhile, after being sent on yet another demeaning errand, Margo recruits Eliot to dethrone the Fairy Queen. They realize she is using the eye she took from our High Queen to spy on them, and find an ingenious way to communicate. Eliot goes in search of The White Lady but The Great Cock (Faran Tahir) instead. After a double entendre filled conversation, he sends the squad on an epic quest.
That was quite an episode! Sounds like we should give it another go. How about it?
Who needs magic when you can have Great Cock?
It’s been a tough go for Eliot recently. He was forced into marriage in an attempt to kill The Beast, inadvertently trapping himself in Fillory. After taking on the responsibilities of being a High King, his wife announces she is pregnant. He ends up in a coma after using his doppleganger to help Julia, and wakes up to discover his bestie Margo traded his firstborn to save him. As if that wasn’t enough, the fairies invade his kingdom. Now, with Fen back but in no shape to be by his side, he’s dealing with a bankrupted Fillory and a condescending Fairy Queen. Magic is gone, crops are dying, and Margo…well, she’s still Margo, but minus an eye.. Determined to set things right, he takes Quentin’s approach and goes in search of the White Lady. Instead, he finds her brother. The Great Cock.
TGC: “The Great Cock of the Darling Woods.”
Eliot: “The Great…”
While we love Candis Cayne as the big new baddie in town, it’s still no match for this adoration-seeking creature. Faran Tahir brings the big (yup, we said it) personality to life, and we are here for it. He’s every bit the preening peacock, but also delivers some major wisdom to the High King. For now, he seems to be on the magicians’ side, giving them a way to bring magic back and take back Fillory. Of course, we have to wonder what’s in it for him, since Eliot didn’t technically capture him like Quentin did with the White Lady. No matter what, he sets the tone for the rest of this season, and we admit that we’re hoping for more *ahem* interactions between him and our resident High King of Free Sex. Just sayin’.
What goes up, must come down, and when it comes to magic karma, it’s all about Julia and Alice
Last season, Julia was put through just about everything under the sun. Not only does she lose the people she cared about, she is raped by a prankster god. She then discovers she has been impregnated by him. A risky termination later, Julia wakes with no Shade. She proceeds to take her anger out on everyone, but when the moment came, she chose forgiveness rather than revenge. As a reward (maybe), she is the only one of the magicians who retains a small amount of magical ability.
Alice, on the other hand, successfully killed The Beast and became a niffin. It fed directly into her desire for knowledge, and she basked in the power it gave her. She did some rather questionable things, things that are now coming back to haunt her. We find her coping poorly with being human again and not having magic. Desperate for her addiction, she allows herself to sink pretty low in seeking information on how to protect herself from the lamprey.
Quentin (to Julia): “I am the official sidekick to whatever it turns out you are.”
This switching of roles is a most interesting one, and can be seen as a study in opposites. Julia was the black sheep, turned away from Brakebills and forced to seek validation and knowledge in shady ways. Alice was the promising talent, gifted with great natural ability and enjoying her status as a star pupil. They’ve both had to learn a lesson in humility in their own way, and while Julia rose like a phoenix out of the ashes, Alice tumbled down the rabbit hole. With both Stella Maeve and Olivia Taylor Dudley capable of powerful performances, we’re excited to see how each will lead their characters this season.
Three words: Pop Culture Revolution.
With Fillory in shambles and their power as High King and Queen undermined by their fairy dictator, Eliot and Margo are desperate to fix things. Fen’s grief has caused her to go temporary insane, leaving her babying a sharply dressed log while her husband tries to find a solution. Margo’s eye is still in the Fairy Queen’s possession, and she dangles (we know, we know) it in front of our sharp witted lady boss. Fed up with the creature’s demeaning demands, she insists her bestie help her out. They attempt to convene secretly in a wing of the castle that fairies are allergic to, but before their plan can be put into place, the Queen gives it back to them in a blow-by-blow fashion. Realizing that her eye is being used to spy on them, the two engage in an ingeniously coded conversation.
Eliot: “Whatever your Marsden would XOXO, Cersei XOXOs.”
Margo: “How do we Lizzie Borden the s*** outta this thing?”
Just when we think the show has outdone itself, The Magicians take it up another amazing notch. Sera Gamble and John McNamara always bring the magic (pun totally intended), and this scene alone proves why this show has such a following. They knew they had amazing talent in Hale Appleman and Summer Bishil and ran with it. The resulting exchange is nothing short of epic. Not only do we get the most pop culture references crammed into a minutes long conversation (Guinness Book of Records, are you listening?)…WE GET SUBTITLES! With only one episode down so far, we cannot wait to see what else Gamble, McNamara, and the rest of the writing team has in store for us.
Final Verdict: The Magicians 3X01 “The Tales of Seven Keys” is nothing short of a f*cking good time
We can’t say enough about how excited we were to finally lay eyes on the first episode of season three. After a year long wait without one-liners, full on musical numbers, and so much sass, we weren’t disappointed. The premiere had all the makings of the show we’ve come to love, crammed into sixty way too short minutes. Director Chris Fisher pulled together Gamble and McNamara’s script with aplomb, reminding us that the show has some of the best crew around. Oh, and that ending? We’ll be counting down the days until the next episode.
One of the things that The Magicians is so good at is keeping us on our toes. While some of the questions have been answered (yes, Penny’s still alive, Margo’s eye isn’t gone), others are raised. Who wrote The Tale of the Seven Keys? Is it a coincidence that there’s exactly one quester to every key? What diet did Bacchus go on since his younger days to look so slim and trim? Most importantly, why bunnies?
We suppose if there’s something to nitpick about, it’s the whole scene with Bacchus all together. Perhaps we’ll learn more about why the visit to him was so important, but for now, it seemed unnecessary. Julia and Josh could have bonded over drinks back at Brakebills. Quentin’s sad parting with Alice certainly could have occurred in a typical flashback. This little scene irks us, but we hold out hope that more will be revealed.
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When it comes to season premieres, The Magicians has their formula down. They threw in all the old tricks, but brought in some new twists. After all, you’d be lying if you said you weren’t going to watch that Eliot/Margo convo on repeat to memorize it for later. Brilliant delivery by Bishil and Appleman. Snaps all around. Let’s also not forget (not that we could) The Great Cock. Seriously. Cock. F*cking genius.
Now that we know an epic quest is coming, the obvious questions come to mind. How will they keep Penny alive and Alice from running away? Who will be their captain? Will there be alcohol? Oh, also the mystery of the keys, blah blah blah…
So, take home points. We’ve got the squad back together, a quest to bring back magic, and a Fairy Queen to overthrow. What could go wrong? Tune in next week and find out!
Quick! While the Fairy Queen’s eye is turned, let’s ask some questions!
- With invisible fairy rulers, how will Fillory fare without their High Kings and Queens?
- How are Eliot and Margo going to get their friends from Earth back to Fillory without magic?
- Will we see more (pun totally intended) of The Great Cock?
- Will the lamprey make an untimely entrance and try to take its revenge on Alice?
- Is there some way Josh can join on the quest?
- What do the seven keys unlock?
- Seriously, who hides a magical book at the New Jersey Public Library? Who?!
- Will Kady find a way to save Penny’s life? Even more important, will she ever say the L-word?
- Can someone post a Youtube video teaching us the choreography for the dance Quentin and Julia did? We predict a flash mob in the future…
The Magicians 3X01 “The Tale of Seven Keys” is just the proper send-off for the journey ahead!If this episode is any indication of how the rest of the season will go, we’ll work our own magic to make sure we’re there for every minute! Let’s grab our sailing gear and get ready with weekly roundtables, reviews, and live tweeting!
THE MAGICIANS RETURNS ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018 AT 9/8C!
The Magicians Review [3X01] “The Tale of the Seven Keys”