The Magicians Season Finale “Will You Play With Me?” Review


THE MAGICIANS — “Will You Play With Me?” Episode 313 — Pictured: (l-r) Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson, Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater — (Photo by: Eric Milner/Syfy)

This season of The Magicians admittedly came and went pretty fast. Though it was one heck of an action-packed adventure for that short amount of time. Credit where it is due that they could produce what has so far been the best season for the series, and the use of magic wasn’t major in contrast to the seasons before. Now with all the keys aside from one collected, the big decisions come rolling in when opening the door to magic will either return it, or do so while also welcoming a greater threat. Exciting right? Especially when we know better than to expect happy endings to this story.

“The Fillorian Candidate” took some big steps forward to explore the mystery of the gods, and the fun in politics. Right now is the anticipation in looking forward to it being all or nothing in this quest to restore magic. Chapter eight took us deeper into the story of this quest which has actually been neglected up to this point. Nice animation, and added plenty of context to what we had to expect from this last stretch. Taking a step further, the group looking for this castle was the kind of exploration we needed when all personal matters were set aside. Since the quest began, it was always going from one key to another. I loved how in this final hour we were able to take a step back and get to a place where a full explanation could be given towards what led to this quest, and what lies at the end of it. The impression we were given at the start of this season was that the Tale of The Seven Keys was a wheel set in motion long ago. It was only a question at this point as to where the story originated. Who they encountered to get this full story added to the complexity of this quest.

The effects were quite stunning when it came to the journey to the castle. I would assume that without magic this season, they had a whole lot of time to put into what did require CGI and what not. Not a second was wasted in the way they rendered the castle inside and out. There was a chill immediately when they entered the castle since there was no telling how this would play out. Nothing could have prepared us for the things that would go right,or the things that would go wrong. You knew who would become a problem, but everything else that stacked up on top of that obstacle was crushing. What came after the completion of the quest I was shocked wasn’t predicted after a few peeks at a possible future.

The Magicians being renewed for another season gives us a lot to anticipate knowing that everything we once knew about this world and the characters has been flipped on its head. I mean each season the status quo has changed in some drastic way, but nothing like way this season finale shakes things up.

THE MAGICIANS — “Will You Play With Me?” Episode 313 — Pictured: (l-r) Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz, Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson, Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice, Trevor Einhorn as Josh Hoberman, Hale Appleman as Eliot Waugh, Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi — (Photo by: Eric Milner/Syfy)

Alice fearing herself so much with the conclusion of this quest has taken her in the most questionable direction in contrast to the rest of the magicians. To some extent you might understand her perspective of magic and the use of it, yet on the other hand you can see how she ignores the reality of her situation in contrast to everyone else. Especially when finding out that she is making enemies of the wrong people. In this finale, Julia finally comes to accepting what she has been groomed to become. A fitting title she was given as well. She has come a long way from the magician who was crawling for any scrap of power and ready to get it at any cost.This growth came with Julia showing what it means to forge your own path without being told what is right. Where Julia’s adventure takes her was a bold next step taken towards what was assumed to be her claiming the full role as goddess. What she does with this claim made everything about this quest worthwhile. Sacrifice takes many forms in this world and hers was genuine when it mattered most. Other characters stepped up to the plate, while others disappointed in a way you didn’t think possible.

The fairy problem that followed caught me off guard. I knew there was going to be something following their move to Fillory, but with the importance of the quest you couldn’t have braced yourself for what they would actually sacrifice for the sake of their continued safety. The Fairy Queen has been quite memorable this season, and I’m glad she found relevance in some way, every step of the way, even if dropping her guard led to some emotional revelations. As for the problem with the library, this was already a thing, though at the same time wasn’t something you expected to blow up as much as it did this season. I don’t know whether to call them third-party or fourth-party involvement, but regardless their actions hit you where it hurts the most. There’s been absolutely nothing to like about them. Not the way they treat knowledge, or magic like currency. To think that this is a story where they could ever get what they want blows your mind. How they insert themselves into this final act sets them up to become major players whether you want to see more of them in the season to come or not.

The Magicians “Will You Play With Me?” was gut-wrenching because in this world you don’t want to be right when you say that there is no happy endings. Not when humans are their own enemies, when gods create monsters who prove their negligence, and not when everything good comes with a price. I’ve always loved the idea that magic comes with a tab, but The Magicians twist that concept into regret  in the best of ways.

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