The Magicians is off to a FANTASTIC start with “The Tales of the Seven Keys.” In one of the best written episodes of television I’ve seen, our lovable ragtag team had the rug pulled out from under them, in the most brilliant fashion. Season three isn’t messing around, jumping right in with a grand epic quest to bring magic back and several foreshadowed side confrontations. The writers behind “The Tales of the Seven Keys” packed A LOT into this episode, which was the perfect way to kick off the season on this well established hit. If the “The Tales of the Seven Keys” is anything to go off of, this will be an exciting season with a set clever and cohesive stories arcs to come.
Even though we are on a new season, magic is still gone and all of our characters are still adrift without it. Eliot and Margot are struggling to keep their kingdom running without the aid of magic (not to mention that b***h Fairy Queen moving in to torture them), Penny is still dying & Kady is not taking that well, Alice has resorted to selling blood to vampires in skeevy back allies, even Josh is deeply depressed. Not to mention the Deans’ frustration at the Brakebills board of trustees deciding that they might have to close the school down for good. There are two characters with a tiny glimmer of hope: Quentin and Julia. Though everyone wants to bring magic back, those are the only two with a real sense of optimism, because they both know Julia still has a spark of something.
Though Quentin and Julia have had their many differences and disagreements in the past, “The Tales of the Seven Keys” is a wonderful reminder of just how close of friends these two once were. Being the only human left with a touch of magic, Julia’s temperament has changed for the better, and she offers a breath of life into Quentin — she ignites in him the desire to focus on bringing magic back, particularity since it’s his fault that it disappeared in the first place. After so much betrayal and forgiveness (on both sides) between these two it was absolutely wonderful to see them back as close friends, getting drunk and recalling a terrible tenth grade dance that gets them started on their portion of this quest, admittance to the Bacchus’ party.
This is where the writers start beautifully weaving together multiple story lines, finding a way to unify the story. After whipping out the tenth grade (horrendous) dance moves, Bacchus ends up neither being helpful nor totally dismissive of Quentin’s pestering about magic. Julia is even able to help Josh and his depression over losing his magic culinary skills. Bacchus mentions that Prometheus might have known a possible “back door” into magic (or possibly a brothel – small details) but it’s at least a starting point for them. First Julia’s spark of magic ignites Quentin and then she uses it to cheer up Josh — I hope that her spark remains inspirational and nobody slips up and tells the wrong people (or the Dean) that she can still do small spells.
We don’t see too much of Penny or Kady, but even their small arc in this premiere is done insanely well. We haven’t seen the last of this story line and the sheer potential it has is awesome. It’s hinted that Mayakovsky possibly manipulated the events leading up to the magic outage, so he could break free of his own personal hell that was Brakebills South. Plus Harriet returns and gets Kady on a new mission of her own, yeah she has to have magic for it, but she’s given a book with the premise that it can save Penny’s life. Alice also only makes a small appearance, giving away blood in exchange for an early warning system against the lamprey. She too wants magic back, but feels more on the outside or farther removed than the rest of our main cast, is it possible she won’t be joining Eliot’s epic quest and instead taking on a task of her own?
Eliot and Margot are struggling in their own sense, running a Kingdom in Fillory without magic is no joke and their people are dying. Poor Fen has lost her mind after spending too much time in Fairy land and these Fairies have already worn out their welcome. Though not directly under attack, Eliot and Margot are at war with these fairies, a war they cannot win without magic back. After the best secret lingo conversation in the history of television, where Eliot and Margot use references such as Battlestar Galactica, Harry Potter, Buffy, and Game of Thrones to discuss exactly how that wretched Fairy Queen is spying on them, Eliot goes looking for The White Lady. This is how Eliot comes across the Great Cock — The Magicans never pass up a moment for a good cock joke or two — and he bestows on Eliot the information to begin an Epic Quest that will bring magic back, giving Eliot the tools he needs to deal with Queen Fairy Bitch for good.
The Great Cock tells Eliot that he cannot complete the quest on his own, he needs to gather a team of his friends to complete the tasks and find the keys:
The One-Eye Conqueror
The Lover of Tomatoes
The Torture Artist
Given Eliot’s reaction to “The Torture Artist” that might be a new character we haven’t been introduced to as of yet. As for “The Warrior” my first assumption is Kady, which leaves Alice either out of the group or her taking on the role of “The Torture Artist.” There has been some hot debate about this though, so I would love to hear your thoughts on it! Eliot is able to get a message to Quentin via inter-dimensional messenger bunny about this Epic Quest they need to begin. The first stop on this Epic Quest – The New Jersey Public Library. Quentin and Julia go looking for a book called “The Tales of the Seven Keys” which of course is blank…
Need help. Love Eliot — Inter-dimensional Messenger Bunny
Yeah it was a lot to find into one regular length episode, but damn did The Magicians do it and do it well. If we use this episode as a gauge for the rest of the season, be ready to have your socks knocked off every week, because this season is going to be even more epic than the quest that has begun. The Magicians is a fantasy/sci-fi show done by and done for people who love fantasy & sci-fi. For instance “The Tales of the Seven Keys” uses a conversion solely of coded pop-culture references to unveil the big twist on how Queen Fairy was spying on them, it was sheer brilliance and the acting was also completely on point. I will follow The Magicians down whatever rabbit hole they take us this season — starting with an epic quest to bring back magic!
The Magicians airs on Wednesday night at 9pm on SyFy.
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