The Magicians S3 – E1 & 2 Review: Tale Of The Seven Keys, Heroes and Morons
Director: Chris Fisher
Starring: Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley
Writer: Sera Gamble
Review by Jason Payne
Syfy’s The Magicians is finally back in our lives. The second season finale sparked several questions, the main one being how Fillory and the human world will cope with the loss of most of its magic. Fillory is also has an elf invasion to deal with.
The first episode’s primary focus is to establish the new status quo. We check in with Penny and his new library duties. Quentin and Julia seem to be rebuilding their relationship while on their quest to find Mayakovsky. Eliot and Margo have the worst luck of the bunch since the subjugation of Fillory by the elves is in full swing.
Eliot and Margo have made numerous attempts to plot the queen’s demise but have been foiled at every turn. They think there’s a snitch among their inner circle but figure out that the elf queen is using Margo’s eye to spy on them. The writers use a clever work around for our characters to communicate their plan using pop culture references including Buffy and Battlestar Galactica. By the end of the episode we learn that Eliot and Quentin will be attacking the same quest from two different angles. Eliot meets with the Great Cock who sets him on the journey for the Seven Keys.
Unfortunately, Episode 2 isn’t as lean as the previous. Outside of Eliot, it feels like most of the characters are just mulling around. Which is normal for this show but at this point it sometimes feels like it’s done to justify their episode count. Quentin, Julia, Josh, and Alice spend most of their time not making much progress on the Mayakovsky front while the real story at this point is what’s going in Fillory with Eliot and Margo. Josh is slowly becoming one of the more interesting characters on top of being the most level headed. He continues to bail the core group out and it’s obvious Julia and Quentin would be kind of lost without at him at his point.
Season 3 seems to be moving at the same slow pace as the second season. Syfy should have considered a two-hour premiere. By now the audience is accustomed to the team being split between the human world and Fillory, but with what’s happened an entire episode devoted to one place would have beneficial to establishing what’s going on with the characters. There’s also pieces in the subplot of the second episode that could have have been cut to make room for the greater story which is bringing magic back to both worlds.
Overall the first two episodes were good but hopefully that’s all the setup we’ll need to get to the meat of the story.