We had a female-centric episode that passed the Bechtel test and then some.
More Josh. 'Nuff said.
Did we mention a sentient tree ship with a diva attitude?
The anthrosaurus and sex orgy, while interesting as distractions, did not really move the plot forward much.
We're still not sure why Emily didn't own up to what she did and save everyone a lot of time and trouble.
We’re about as sure of The Magicians 3X02 “Heroes and Morons” as Eliot is about his possible daughter Fray
In this week’s The Magicians, following the command of The Great Cock (Faran Tahir), Eliot (Hale Appleman) announces to the court (and the Fairy Queen) his intentions to sail for an outlying island. While he claims it’s for taxes, it’s really to get the first key. Ever the suspicious dictator, the Fairy Queen (Candis Cayne) insists Fen (Brittany Curran) accompany him on his trip. She also sends her spy and their purported daughter (surprise!), Fray (Madeleine Arthur). Prior to leaving, Margo (Summer Bishil) imparts a warning to her bestie. Upon arriving, Eliot finds a surprisingly accommodating tribe. They tell him that their leader, Father Poe (Haig Sutherland) holds the key (yes, THE key) to their survival from a terrible flying monster. After witnessing an attack, Eliot reveals that Father Poe has been using illusion magic to trick them into giving him power and leaves with the key.
On Earth, Julia (Stella Maeve), Quentin (Jason Ralph), and Josh (Trevor Einhorn) are trying to return to Fillory to join the quest. They decide to find Mayakovsky (Brian F. O’Byrne), but when they track him to a hedge witch bar, he’s married Emily (Abby Miller) before being turned into a bear. They convince a reluctant Kady (Jade Tailor) to join the hunt by promising to help save Penny (Arjun Gupta). When they realize that a female magician is casting magic around NYC, they run into Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) before figuring out it’s Professor Lipson (Keegan Connor Tracy). After saving her throwing herself off a rooftop, they realize that Emily has one of the batteries. Kady reaches her first and steals it before finding Penny near death. Later, Quentin finds himself in a dark alley and attacked by the lamprey, who takes him as its next host.
With so much subtle details, it’s easy to gloss over some important points. Shall we take a closer look?
The lamprey may be out to kill her, but even it ships Alice with Quentin
Yes, niffin Alice went a little too power hungry and was more Evil Queen than Maleficient during the last season. We saw how easy it was for her to manipulate Quentin, and he’s the one who is closest to her. Of course, you don’t get to romp around acting high and mighty without making a few enemies, and in Alice’s case, she’s earn the ire of a lamprey. Without magic and having alienated her friends, she is in grave danger. We didn’t know much about how the lamprey worked until now, but taking over a human body like a parasite is bad news. Clearly, Alice knows about this little trick, and we have one very dead kitty to prove it (RIP Fluffy). We have no idea how it knew to go after Quentin next, but the way the last host dropped like a stone has us really worried for him!
Alice: “I needed a pet. Is that so weird?”
This body takeover is concerning in more ways than one. First, the lamprey is now in a body that Alice inherently trusts, even if she doesn’t like him very much right now. He’s more likely to get close to her without suspicion, and we wonder how much of Quentin’s thoughts and memories are accessible to it. Second, the lamprey could derail more than Alice’s survival. It could cause chaos to the quest to bring back magic, since it knows Alice is more vulnerable without it. Of course, considering that the construction worker walked around like a zombie, we’re hoping the squad will figure out something’s wrong. That will be especially important, since we’re not sure if Quentin can survive having the lamprey removed. We’re just hoping he survives in one piece, and it finally brings the lovebirds back together.
Nothing says defiant teenager like serving your parents’ worst enemy
We’re sure Eliot thought the worst personal crisis he would face is watching Fen cuddle random objects swathed like their baby. After all, he is essentially a powerless figurehead for Fillory at this point, serving the invisible and irritating Fairy Queen. Upon getting some (hopefully) sound advice from The Great Cock, he is preparing himself for the first part of the quest. He must sail to the outer island to retrieve the first of seven keys, setting sail on the sentient Muntjac. To his dismay, Fen is persuaded by the Fairy Queen that she should accompany her husband on the trip. As if that’s not enough, she presents her trump card – a teenage girl she nicknamed Fray. She announces that the girl is loyal only to the fairies and will protect her interests. Oh, did we mention that Fray is supposed to be Eliot’s daughter?
Fen: “We’re a family!”
Eliot: “We’re certainly f*cked up enough to be.”
Our jaws dropped lower than Eliot’s when he sees a new conquest when this bomb was dropped. The small moments of comedic relief it brought to an otherwise somber episode was great. Fray makes a perfect wild card in this tug of war between fairies and the Earth children, and Madeleine Arthur definitely portrayed the sullen but intelligent teenager perfectly. While we do see that Fray tries to keep to the Queen’s wishes, Fen wears her down with her motherly (or is it mothering) love. We were interested to see her help her father solve the mystery of the monster, and it made us wonder. Can the Queen’s influence be undone? Will she shift her alliance to her parents eventually? Or is she just another pawn in the Fairy Queen’s chess game? We’re not sure even Fray knows…
A woman is like a diamond – beautiful, multi-faceted, and will cut you
This week wasn’t a good one for the guys. Eliot is dealing with a dictator, the start of a quest, and a teenage girl with some major daddy issues. Quentin is still struggling with the fallout of bringing Alice back, and the loss of magic is taking its toll on him too. Penny…well, Penny’s still dying. Even our resident Russian Romeo Mayakovsky has finally suffered the consequences of his philandering ways. Meanwhile, the women have stepped it up this week, and these girl bosses are ready to fight. Julia’s got the magic spark, Fen knows the power of love, and Kady’s taking on magic cancer. We might not like what the Fairy Queen is doing, but you’ve got to admit she’s got some serious style. Even Emily and Professor Lipson are standing up for themselves…even if they are a little off their respective rockers.
Josh: “I honestly wake up in the morning and pretty much nothing that I think is going to happen, happens.”
If there is one lesson to be learned from this week, it’s that you should never underestimate what a woman can do. When properly motivated, she can face the most difficult of challenges without nary a flinch. John McNamara empowered the female characters in this episode and also showed you can be powerful and soft at the same time. It doesn’t hurt that Maeve, Tailor, Curran, and Cayne all carry the weight with aplomb, giving their characters their own personal interpretation on strength. While Alice hit rock bottom this week, we don’t doubt that she’ll rise to the occasion. What we’ve seen of Fray has us excited to see what she’ll be capable in the upcoming season. 2018 is being called the Year of the Woman, and The Magicians is helping to lead the charge!
Final Verdict: The Magicians 3X02 “Heroes and Morons” is a scattered puzzle we have to put together
While overall we thought this was a good episode, we have to admit that we were left feeling a little unsettled. Seeing so many of our female characters come into their own this week was amazing. We also didn’t forget about Eliot, who finally stepped into the shoes of the High King with the first key. It was also nice to see Quentin refusing to give up and fighting to right the wrongs. Still, there were moments here and there that felt a little underwhelming, but perhaps it was because the premiere was so amazing.
With an episode that is designed to set up the conflicts for the season, we’ve got plenty of questions. Is Fray really related to Eliot and Fen? What does the Fairy Queen have in store for the three of them? If Kady has the magic battery, then how will the rest of the friends end up back in Fillory? Will Harriet’s book really help save Penny from dying? Will there be more exploding kittens?
Like we mentioned earlier, there were moments where we felt a little disconnected from the storyline. It seemed like we spent too much time in the Central Park orgy, and the same goes for the anthrosaurus. Yes, they were a nice distraction from the more serious moments, but in certain moments, they felt more like filler than content. We’re also not sure why Emily just didn’t own up to the fact that she turned her new husband into a bear. What was the point of that?
Nonetheless, the good outweighed the bad for the most part, and it was still a good start to the quest ahead. We enjoyed seeing the female characters take center stage, and we’re all for having more of Trevor Einhorn’s Josh. Madeleine Arthurs has us intrigued to see how Fray grows during the season as well.
With the lamprey in Quentin’s body now, we’re curious to see how it will affect the quest for magic. Will someone figure out what’s happening before he loses his life? Just how will the entire squad come back together? Will Josh finally get to go along for the ride?
We’re waiting to see what happens to lamprey-Quentin and the rest of the squad. Will Kady relinquish the magic battery? Will they find some other way to get to Fillory? We can’t wait for the next episode to be here!
While we’re hiding from the shadow bat, shall we pass the time with some questions?
- Is being taken over by a lamprey lethal? Asking for a friend…
- Could Fray just be there to spy on her parents, or does the Fairy Queen have another job for her?
- Just what is in that book Harriet gave to Kady so she can help Penny?
- Will Alice get another kitten? If so, will she find a way to make this one explode-proof?
- Will the Fairy Queen find out what Eliot and the squad are up to?
- Could we have more sassiness from Tick?
- Yes, we kind of want Margo to get some Bingle action, because when the moment comes, she’ll yell…
- We’re still waiting for a CGI mockup of the anthrosaurus…someone pass the memo along!
THE MAGICIANS RETURNS ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24th, 2018 AT 9/8C!
The Magicians 3X02 “Heroes and Morons” has a little bit of both, but hey, nobody’s perfect.The Muntjac is ready for her next adventure, so let’s not keep her waiting. Tune in to each episode and keep the fun going with weekly roundtables, reviews, and live tweeting!
The Magicians [3X02] Review “Heroes and Morons”