The Magicians 2x09: The Time is Now, The Day is Here
I mean. What am I even supposed to say about that episode. That my adoration of Eliot has sky rocketed to a new level? That everything Margo wears, says, and does, speaks to the core essence of my being? That having a musical break for no apparent reason in the middle of this episode felt so goddamn right that all I can think about is an entirely musical episode of The Magicians?
I won’t play coy with you, let’s get right to it. In Fillory the war plot with Loria is back in action and in order to prevent further loss of life and funds Eliot challenges King Idris of Loria (daddy of Prince Ess and in general) to a duel. In an effort to motivate Eliot before the battle, Margo orchestrates a kingdom-wide singalong to One Day More from Les Mis. BECAUSE WHY NOT. All things considered this was a pretty fabulous musical break, I was pleasantly surprised by the singing chops of a few cast members and everyone else looked too great for it to matter. This musical number not only set up the battle scene but it also highlighted another narrative thread that has been developing in Fillory. You want me to expand with a close reading of the song and performance?? Well, if you insist.
Even though Eliot was the star of the number, the song did a lot more to highlight what has been going on with Fen. As she said earlier in the episode when presenting Eliot with sword and spell, she has always put her family first and is doing so again now that Eliot is her family. However, Eliot only seems to have a middling interest in her despite the fact she is carrying his child. In ‘One Day More Eliot’ chooses Margo to sing Cosette opposite his Marius, leaving Fen to sing Eponine’s mournful refrains alone. Near the end of the song Fen takes over Cosette’s part in a bid for Eliot’s attention but he continues to ignore her and she is literally and metaphorically left behind.
Fen’s character is coming to a crisis point, now that we know about her relationship with the rebels, it feels more and more likely she will be pushed to change her allegiances. Margo’s selling of Fen’s unborn child to the fairies (oh btw there are fairies now) feels like the perfect catalyst to push Fen over the edge. As if this isn’t enough Eliot has also decided to marry King Idris in a bid to unite the kingdoms and also get the d back in his life (too much? Not sorry). Poor Fen, all she ever wanted to do was love Eliot and isn’t that all that any of us want?
But putting the musical number aside (I know it’s hard), there was also something else in this episode I was really looking forward to seeing. We saw a bit of Alice as Quentin as played by Jason Ralph in a previous episode, but I was hoping for a full scene and it was finally delivered unto us. I love when actors get to stretch in weird ways like playing another character (or having to carry a musical number) and Jason did not disappoint in his pitch perfect portrayal of evil!Alice. I would welcome more body swapping in the future, from any characters that feel up to it.
Speaking of evil!Alice, she finally flew the Quentin coop at the end of this episode. Quentin’s despair coupled with the ambiguity of Alice’s true intent made for a surprisingly powerful moment, and I am curious to see where this storyline will lead. As with all things on the Magicians, it could be anywhere.
Meanwhile Julia, Kady and Penny locate and kidnap a popular US Senator who happens to be Reynard’s son. It’s strange that a plot point like that could be the least interesting part of an episode, but thats the Magicians folks.
After having that little taste of musical Magicians I am now starving for a full musical episode. Or maybe an episode of all body swapping? Or maybe both? A song about tutting? A song about sloths? A song about Peter Pan collars? I have limitless ideas writers, call me.
PS if you want to watch that number again and again until you die, Vanity Fair has it here.