The Magicians — Six Short Stories About Magic — Review

By: Michelle Harvey
season 3 syfy The Magicians

The Magicians delivers with yet another unique (and spot on) narrative with “Six Short Stories About Magic.” Just as the title implies, this hour long adventure features six different viewpoints of one overarching story-line with Penny as the grounding point. I am happy to see that even with his astral-projection mishap Penny is still being utilized well in the group and more characters are actually able to interact with him. In attempt to find the missing key, Penny projects himself into a book and gets send to the Underworld branch of the library. At great personal risk to himself I might add, let’s not forget he still owes them many years of employment that he has skipped out on.

Poppy, Eliot, Harriet, Fen, Alice, and Penny each take the reins for a mini-story. These stories both dive more into each character (especially in Harriet’s case) and work to collectively tell the over-arching story. It not only was stand-out writing, but accompanied with solid performances – and once again shows why The Magicians is and deserves to be on top.Personally, I loved Fen and Harriet’s stories, both are characters that we haven’t seen as much of and the weight of what they are each dealing with shows just how strong they each are. It’s refreshing to have “side” characters that actually have character. Fen has been betrayed and deeply hurt by the fairies, but she still agrees to go with Julia and help investigate why the McAllister’s seemingly have some imprisoned. Even more frightening is the fact that she cuts off their limbs, grinds it up and snorts the fairy dust to gain magical abilities. How long as this been going on and does the Fairy Queen know? Don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of her, but the way these fairies are being treated is far from okay – I am happy that Julia and Fen are working together to figure it out. And so proud of Fen for being able to help when she feels so hurt, lost, and betrayed overall.

THE MAGICIANS — “Six Short Stories About Magic” Episode 308 — Pictured: Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice — (Photo by: Eike Schroter/Syfy)

Harriet gets more and more interesting at every turn. I’m not typically a fan of flashbacks, but within her story we discover so much more.  Harriett is actually the daughter of The Librarian. Sheltered in her youth and stuck near to mom, she begins rebelling right away. She doesn’t want to be stuck in one spot, learning from books when she could be out there creating her own story. As she ages we see her question why The Library restricts knowledge instead of sharing it. And the damaging relationship she has with her mother now. In a bittersweet reunion they butt heads once again but it was a beautiful scene. All of Harriet’s flashbacks were totally silent, relying on American Sign Language to move the conversation and it was so well done. Thank you Syfy and the writing team for making sure those flashbacks were perfect.

THE MAGICIANS — “Six Short Stories About Magic” Episode 308 — Pictured: Mageina Tovah as The Librarian — (Photo by: Eike Schroter/Syfy)

The Underworld branch has their very own Alice…uh, Cassandra – who writes the books of the lives of everyone. With magic gone, she is stuck to writing everything by hand and by herself. Penny gets frustrated with trying to figure out why she looks like Alice, who she really is, or why she can’t write anything useful to him in that very moment. Cassandra is frustrated with having to meet someone she wrote about and his inept ability to spot the information he needs. Sure, Penny had Sylvia to help him but that turned out to be more harm than good. After completing his part of the plan she turns him in – just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he can skip out on that enslavement deal. What will this mean for Penny as part of the Epic Quest gang now? Especially since it seems like The Library doesn’t quite want anyone to complete it…


THE MAGICIANS — “Six Short Stories About Magic” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi, Roan Curtis as Sylvia — (Photo by: Eike Schroter/Syfy)

This beautifully done and intricately woven story deserves a second, and even a third watch by viewers. It opens up more questions than it does provide answers, which leads me to believe that the last couple episodes of season 3 are going to be completely intense. What were your thoughts about the episode? I’d love to hear from you!

The Magicians airs Wednesday night on SYFY 

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