DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians episode “Do Something Crazy” contains more spoilers than the number of killer outfits Margo owns. Margo slays all day when it comes to fashion, y’all. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome, Fillorians! The Magicians is finally back on our screens. Admittedly, I was simultaneously anxious and excited for the Season 5 premiere. I miss our Quentin dearly, as I’m sure you all do. How could this series possibly fill the Q-shaped hole when he was such a pivotal character? To me, he was the heart of The Magicians.
However, I was pleasantly surprised with “Do Something Crazy.” It was a bit clunky, but that was to be expected. But I’m so happy we still have Margo and Eliot, who stole the show for me. Not to mention, the episode honored Q in a graceful and tactful manner. I’m sure we’ll get to watch our protagonists endure the grief process throughout Season 5.
Alright, ready to delve into “Do Something Crazy?” Just be sure to refrain from doing something crazy until you watch this episode.
Now, we open with Julia (Stella Maeve) dressing up for a date with Penny (Arjun Gupta). She’s plagued with flashbacks of dear Quentin. Only a month has passed since his death. Penny whisks Julia off to another planet, where the sky is streaked with a plethora of meteorites. The spectacle is breathtaking. Penny slightly pressures Julia to make a decision as to what to do with her magic. He believes she should use it for the betterment of humankind. Julia asserts that the decision is hers and hers alone. Got that right!
Later, Fogg (Rick Worthy) shows up at their apartment. He has a proposition for Penny. Next, we see the pair meandering through the crowded front lawn of Brakebills. Apparently, the uninhibited return of magic has brought new magicians in droves. So many that there is an actual overcrowding issue. In addition, more students are showing an adeptness for time travel…like Penny. Fogg wants Penny to teach a group of potential Travelers on the regular. Professor Adiyodi has a nice ring to it.
Meanwhile, we see Margo (Summer Bishil) and Eliot (Hale Appleman) drinking and whining in tandem 300 years into the Fillorian future. Oh my Ember, I’ve missed these two so much. This scene is reminiscent of Season 1 days at the Physical Kids’ cottage, when Margo and Eliot would drink and crack witty one-liners like the kings they are.
Anyway, the new ruler of Whitespire runs a tight ship, and there’s virtually zero access to the castle. Margo is desperate to figure out what happened to Fen and Josh. Perhaps sneaking into Whitespire will shed some light regarding their fates. Suddenly, a group of revelers parades by. One of them is dressed as Fen, and she believes Margo and Eliot are “cosplaying” as themselves. There’s a party at the castle, so Margo and Eliot tag along.
Later, we see Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) is in a slump. She’s living with her mother Stephanie (Judith Hoag). Alice’s mom barges into her daughter’s room to dump more mail from the Library. They really, really want Alice to run it. However, Alice is entrapped by her overwhelming grief, and needs time to heal. Suddenly, Julia shows up on her doorstep.
Then, Penny begins his first lesson. He beseeches his Traveler students to steer clear from Traveling. Next, after dropping off his dire warning, Penny flees the scene in the perfect mic drop moment. I’ve been missing Penny 40, and it was nice to see some of his signature spunk in Penny 23.
Meanwhile, Alice and Julia grieve together. Julia hands Alice one of Quentin’s Fillory books as something to remember him by. This scene was beautifully written and performed. It’s also a stark reminder that grief affects us all in different ways.
Next, we check in with Kady (Jade Tailor) and Pete (David Call). A hedge witch arrives with a severed arm in tow. Apparently, he amputated his own arm in an attempt to remove the Reed’s Mark that was initially applied courtesy of the Library. Kady reattaches his arm. She brainstorms with Pete over ways to remove Reed’s Marks without relying on amputation. Pete reveals that he knows someone…and that someone is most likely shady.
Later, Kady and Pete meet with the latter’s contact. As it turns out, Gavin (Daniel Nemes), the surly Librarian from previous seasons, is the contact. Now, when the Library essentially collapsed last season no thanks in part to the Monster siblings, Gavin believed his contract with the Library was null and void. He’ll tell the pair where to look for information in the Library, but no more than that.
Meanwhile, Margo and Eliot are subjected to a crude play inside Whitespire. The Fillorians refer to The Shackling as an event that officially marked their freedom from the Children of Earth. 300 years prior, Acting High King Fen and Fresh Prince Josh were decapitated. A new magician took the throne and has served as the king ever since. Now, Fillory refuses to bow to Children of Earth. Margo and Eliot are horrified by the display.
Later, Margo reveals that, in the center of the world, a dwarf created Clockwork Trees that can manipulate time. Perhaps they can convince said dwarf to turn back the clock, oh, say, 300 years. Thereabouts. Margo finds a long, spiral slide that literally leads to the center of the planet. Thus, our High Kings ride down the longest slide known to man.
Next, Alice summons Phyllis (Jewel Staite), one of the Librarians who used to work for Everett. While Alice refuses to accept the offer to run the Library, she will do the odd job here and there. Phyllis claims she needs a phosphoromancer for an undisclosed task.
Meanwhile, Margo and Eliot finally reach the end of the longest slide ever. They meet the famous dwarf behind the Clockwork Trees. Unfortunately, he reveals that he can’t turn back time 300 years. An apocalypse like no other would destroy Fillory if he were to turn back time (Sorry, Cher.). However, he can take them 300 years into the future, which seems counter-intuitive.
Then, Margo urges Eliot to reveal how he’s feeling. He refuses to properly mourn Quentin. Instead, he’s heavily self-medicating in the form of booze and drugs. Margo is frustrated that he can’t be authentic with her. Thus, she storms off to cool down.
Later, Alice is in the Library with Phyllis. The place looks desolate, in utter ruins since the Monster siblings wrecked havoc last season. Alice is tasked with utilizing her phosphoromancy gift to remove a ward from a book. The text is hidden. After she does this, Alice sneaks out, finds another book and discreetly shoves it in her purse. Stealing is bad, Alice!
Meanwhile, Fogg gently threatens Penny to return to Brakebills. Essentially, Penny is in yet another binding, seemingly unbreakable contract. If Penny refuses to fulfill his end of the bargain, then Fogg could sue. Thus, Professor Adiyodi will have to resume teaching after all.
Then, Julia finds an unexpected visitor rummaging through her refrigerator. It’s a pig dressed as one of the bourgeoisie, a high-class fellow hailing from Fillory. His name is Lord Effingham (Sean Maguire), and he’s here to speak with Quentin Coldwater. Julia informs him that Q has unfortunately passed. However, she’ll help Effingham with whatever he needs. He replies that the apocalypse is nigh, and he was going to bestow a quest upon Q. Julia eagerly wishes to take up the mantle, but Effingham is overtly sexist and shuts her down. 2020, dude. Get with it!
Later, Penny takes his students to another world altogether. He allows them to bask in the beauty of Traveling, because there are some positives to it. A girl approaches him claiming to hear a signal in her head. Penny drops his psychic wards and allows himself to hear what she’s hearing. Suddenly, the signal becomes overwhelming. Penny disappears and then reappears, utterly disoriented and frightened. What exactly did he hear?
Meanwhile, a guard roaming Whitespire notices Margo’s banishment brands on her wrists. He clocks her on the noggin and imprisons her because, you know, she’s banished from Fillory. Who knew those brands didn’t have an expiration date? She sees the ghost of Josh (Trevor Einhorn), sitting in the corner awaiting his execution 300 years ago. Margo attempts to hold him, but he disappears. The scene is utterly gut-wrenching, and once again Bishil knocks it out of the park.
Later, Alice and her mother are smoking together. Stephanie reveals how distraught she was after Alice’s father passed away. She had the impulse to do crazy things. Stephanie urges Alice to “do something crazy.” Anything that will help Alice cope with her grief and help her get by.
Now, with her mother’s approval, we see Alice do something crazy. She has the book she stole from the library on hand along with a body molded from living clay. She begins casting a spell. Uh oh. Looks like someone wants to bring Quentin Coldwater back from the dead.
Now, this episode fell slightly flat for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were wonderful moments in this episode, especially the Margo/Eliot scenes. In addition, watching Alice struggle with her grief hit home for me, as I’m sure it did for others. I think this was to be expected – when you lose your lead character, it’s difficult to move on. In a way, the show itself is grieving the loss of Quentin. However, that being said, there’s still quite a bit I’m looking forward to in Season 5.
Do you think Julia will successfully take on the quest, despite Effingham’s disapproval? What did Penny hear from the signal? Will Alice succeed (most likely not) in reviving Q? Join me next week as I recap The Magicians, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 10pm on your SyFy affiliate.
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