The Magicians “A Timeline and Place” Review
Last week’s The Magicians was a tearjerker for a lot of these characters now realizing what is at stake and the price of being vulnerable. However, as I also said, there was also a greater mystery at play here that was seeming to fly under the radar. Fortunate for us that this week just so happens to be the episode where what was questioned could now come to light.
This week’s episode was much different from what you would have expected. A lot of the things that have been neglected this season were finally given the room to be explored whether it be Penny 23 and Marina’s place in this timeline, the current state of Fillory, or the uncertain future of Alice. Let’s start with Penny 23 and Marina. That was one of the more unique twist that came this season because there was no telling who was coming after these two or for what reason. The fact that it was both of them definitely would have led one to conclude that this has something to do with them not belonging in this timeline. This subplot was intriguing for everything that would lead to an emphasis on where Penny 23’s relevance stands. I hate to say it, but I kind of enjoy this Penny more because he shows a lot more personality, and did so in such a short amount of time. It doesn’t hurt to care, and he cares a lot. If anyone questioned whether he might be used as some throwaway character down the road, this episode made you think twice.
Which brings me to our Penny. They told us that we would eventually see him again in what I think was actually this episode. It was very enjoyable to see how he has changed since his time with the Underworld branch. He knows some things, but he too understands where he belongs in the grand scheme of things. How they handled two Pennys interacting with each other was entertaining for everything about these two that was put on blast.
The state of Fillory is always going to be something for us to come back to. For a place where time moves differently, it mattered to be able to keep up with what has been going either right o wrong on this world. Predictably things would go wrong, but it’s not very interesting if there wasn’t something to challenge Margo and company in ways they haven’t been tested before. Adding Josh to the mix made for a great balance as well when someone has to be able to even out the bitch who resides within Margo. This part of the episode did leave me with some mixed feelings with that said. On one hand you can’t get enough of Margo taking charge and getting things done her way, on the other hand it was odd how easy it was for her to slip back into some troublesome habits. Maybe this is because she refuses to properly manage her feelings about losing Eliot, but it stings to see her take a step backwards.
After last week’s episode, there would of course have to be some response to understanding that Eliot is still alive somewhere in there. This was the right kind of motivation that Quentin has needed in this story and shakes things up because this is the first time in a while that he has truly put his heart into fighting for someone. It was one thing to see Eliot come to terms with the direction of his affections, but it was another thing entirely to see this from Quentin, despite his actions being so indirect. There’s probably a build-up to the actual words coming out, and right now it should be worth the wait.
Up till now I would have assumed that Alice’s story would have ended with her imprisonment in the Library. Who would have guessed that she would find a way to break free? Or this all still part of her story and she will ultimately end up back in that cell? Who knows! And that is what makes the future of Alice so uncertain. After leaving Quentin and the rest, it was anyone’s guess where her story would take her from there. Where it did was an excellent choice for what has also been neglected about the problem that is the Library. Through Alice we were somehow able to experience the wonders of magic once more, while also diving into the pitfalls that come with the wrong people in charge of it. This season hyped up a fight for magic, and now was better than later to start giving us a taste of what that looks like. Or at the very least assure us that the Library was still a threat.
The Magicians “A Timeline and Place” covered a lot of bases that you would have thought this season would not have been able to handle initially. I remember at some point saying that there was too much going on at once, though this week’s episode put me at ease that some things you just have to be patient for. There’s still the question of the whereabouts of Kady and Irene, but all good things come in time.