The Magicians Review: Ruling Over Fillory and Further

That’s right, The Magicians is easily one of my favorite Syfy shows ever. I tuned in out of curiosity and the series cast its spell on me. I f**kin’ adore it!

While I understand selling the show as an “adult Harry Potter,” that’s where the comparisons should end. Brakebills is no Hogwarts. The Beast’s backstory is way worse than Voldemorts. The Magicians themselves are far more damaged, sexual, and beautifully diverse than Harry and his pals ever were. I guess what I’m trying to say is, this series is not some cheap knock off. Surrender to the inventive storytelling and you will soon forget all about Jo Rowling or C. S. Lewis’ books. By the way, this is coming from a huge Harry Potter fan. I’ve read all the books and watched each movie at least twice. Lev Grossman’s world is uniquely its own and I feel the criticism that it’s “derivative” is totally unfair.

The Magicians - Season 2 Episode 1 "Night of Crowns"
Courtesy of Syfy
For a little under a year, we’ve been wondering how our young Magicians survived The Beast’s vicious attack. The image of Penny losing his hands is still burned into my mind’s eye. Ouch! Now we know that thanks to Alice drinking ram-god Ember’s spunk, she was unkillable. Margo’s line, “swallowing has its privileges” was perfect. Alice brought everyone back to life and cauterized Penny’s severed hands. That was easy enough, right? I’m wondering if the “healer” Quentin gave his blood to will play an important role later on. Her warning was pretty damn ominous if you ask me. It was cool that Quentin stuck up for Julia despite her betrayal.

Meanwhile, Jules struck a deal with Martin Chatwin/The Beast. It was downright goofy, yet super creepy that the negotiations took place in a kids romper room. I have to say, though Charles Mesure is phenomenal as The Beast, he was much more intimidating last season. Watching him crack jokes about Twitter and eat pizza somehow diminished the fear factor… Oh well. Julia was pretty ballsy though and you’ve got to love her for it. She also made sure Quentin and his friends were safe from the show’s big bad. Is it possible Chatwin really “likes” Julia? In spite of her questionable actions, I like Julia and I’m rooting for her.

The Magicians - Season 2 Episode 1 "Night of Crowns"
Courtesy of Syfy
The crowning ceremony was ridiculously emotional. After the silly pop-culture questions and Eliot doing Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, I mean. Jason Ralph, Hale Appleman, Summer Bishil and Olivia Taylor Dudley all knocked that scene out of the park. I confess, my eyes watered up big time. That sequence alone earned the installment the five stars I gave it. The cast has such wonderful chemistry, with each actor born to play their particular role. They’ve all come such a long way since the pilot and each one has found a place in my heart. I will watch The Magicians as long as it’s on the air. Here’s to many many more seasons Syfy!

Yes I felt awful for Penny by the end, but he was an absolute douche to the river watcher. Clearly Penny’s journey this season is about learning a little humility. Actions do have consequences, dude. It was awesome when the river watcher told Penny to go ‘eff himself. Ha!

The children of Earth marching into the castle to begin their reign was brilliant. The VFX on this show never fail to impress me, though the armory needed a makeover. Syfy has been doing such a stupendous job with the visuals of their recent television series. 12 Monkeys, The Expanse, Killjoys, Dark Matter are not only eye-candy, but represent a new era of storytelling for the network. I realize Syfy lost their way a few years back and became more about B-movies and Sharknado than quality programming. However, they have more than proven they deserve MustGeekTV eyeballs again. Don’t continue holding their misfires against them. Tune-in LIVE and support these spectacular new shows, so they can continue to bring us high quality genre TV.

Closing Thoughts…

I’m thrilled The Magicians is back and while I’m terrified one of my favorite characters won’t make it out alive, it’s going to be one intense ride. The Champagne King and his friends have quite the journey ahead of them. That final scene between Eliot and Quentin was proof they’re just getting started tugging at our heartstrings. Will Penny’s hands ever be able to cast again? What danger awaits Julia in her quest to kill Reynard the Fox? Can Martin be trusted and what is his endgame? All I know for sure is, I won’t miss a minute of the kookiness.

The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Syfy.