The Magicians, Season 4 Episode 10: That Hard, Glossy Armor-Review and Recap
There’s a new sheriff in town and she’s one boss bitch in the annual musical episode of The Magicians.
courtesy of SYFY
All That Jazz was the second best The Magicians episode of all time, second only to of course the emotional Life In The Day. All that changed last night when somehow the writers managed to top themselves with a powerful episode filled with hope, heartbreak, and all too real veracity. This season has meandered a bit in the early part. There were some doubts (even from me) that the writers lost their way. All that was denied with a resounding “Hell the fuck no!” as Margo rode into the desert village on a Flock of Seagulls and overturned the patriarchy. Okay, I got carried away she passed out from a lizard acid trip and dehydration, but you get the point.
On her quest to find the axes needed to exorcise The Monster from Eliot, Margo managed to maintain her place as High King. It’s hard to keep a good woman down. Summer Bishil has been amazing all season as the wounded but still made of steel Margo. She has always been the most fun to watch with her snarky witticisms and cutting one-liners. Perhaps her single best line to date was uttered last night with,” Pussyphobic chuckledicks”, and yet that was not her best moment. This season she has seen more than the lion’s share of loss, and with that has had to reign her emotions in. She is a stoic. That Hard, Glossy Armor allowed her to show her vulnerability, her sensitivity and her self-doubt all while showcasing her immense strength. This is what this series does best. It allows the viewer to relate. The audience enjoys an intimate connection as we remember she is us and we are her. Her teary speech did far more to magnify the dangers of male toxicity than the overtly political desert village plot. Her memory of her father’s treatment, although not obviously problematic, is a common story. He called her his “princess” and told her she could be anything she wanted until she started thinking for herself. She is no one’s princess to be glorified and controlled, but rather a Queen to be respected and she certainly earned that respect.
Her saga through the desert and a seemingly insurmountable task allowed her to grow as a character and face her demons. It was poetic that after all the machinations from those on Earth to attempt to thwart The Monster it will be a woman who actually possesses the tools necessary. This episode was blunt as a hammer when it came to its message, but like any good fan of anthemic battle cries and female empowerment, we are holding out for a hero (we need a hero…cue bad ass tractor chicken scene). That hero is Margo. She is fair, smart, determined, and yes, very sexual. The Magicians has never shied away from sexuality. This episode was no different. Her sexuality is as much a weapon to be wielded as any knife. To use that weapon against such a pig was powerful even if the moron didn’t realize it was the beginning of the end for him. The desert settlement for too long has allowed men to control everything for fear that women would become to emotional and powerful. All that changed with Margo’s ability to listen and one hell of a soundtrack.
If the feminine rage heard around the world wasn’t enough, that music sure did the trick. There was a misstep, The Pretenders Don’t Get Me Wrong, a personal favorite of mine, seemed to serve no purpose other than showcasing just how cool Hale Appleman is. Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again was much more effective in selling the overall tone of the episode, plus holy pipes Kady. Jade Tailor got another chance to show off her voice. This was the musical montage to prepare for the big battle. It was the Eye of the Tiger, Bill Pulliam’s speech in Independence Day before beating those aliens and Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing in Armageddon. It’s cheesy and theatrical but you have to admit you are ready to throw down. The highlight of course was Gnarls Barkley’s Storm Coming which solidified our groups commitment even if they are apart. With the exception of Kady most of our group are not gifted singers but when you pick the right song at the right time it doesn’t matter. The time is now and the message is clear. Tell The Monster that Margo is coming, and Hell is coming with her.
Back on planet Earth there was great deal of stage setting. Zelda has finally gotten with the program and realizes The Library and The Order is up to no good. How this will play out moving forward could be interesting with her hedge witch past and connection to Everett. The escape room although a nice piece of window dressing felt more like a mediocre opening act. Back in the day that would be O town opening for NSYNC. O Town wasn’t terrible, and they had one song that was fun, but you were there to see Justin and the boys so Bye, Bye, Bye. That’s what the Irish hi-jinx was, something shiny to look at while the set was being placed for the next scene. The cheeky and obnoxious leprechaun lost her head, Enyalius still lost his stone, and the team minus Margo, Fen, and Josh are all back together. The only niggling little tidbit is the cancer patient The Monster has taken. Likely, she is the vessel for his long-lost psychopathic sister. It would explain why a great actress like Magda Apanowicz would show up in this nothing scene. If what Penny saw is true, the sister is far worse than The Monster, and he is an unfortunate side effect. The Binder which Julia now has courtesy of the ever resourceful Alice is an after thought. Her brief conversation with Alice does nothing to change that either as both women are nonplussed by their overwhelming, but boring tasks. Viva la Rebellion and go get your inner Goddess girl. We are tired of waiting.
The Magicians gave us an episode for the ages. What Rocky and Creed did for young men, Season 4 Episode 10, That Hard, Glossy Armor did for women. If by the end you were not ready to get that promotion, have that baby, finish that degree, make that team, or just show somebody that you can be anything and everything you want, than you weren’t paying attention. Every person is different and their dreams are as varied as snowflakes. They all have validity and deserve to come true if we find the strength to make them happen and believe in ourselves. Beautiful dreamer, dream unto me a world where women can be anything they want, and aren’t their own worst enemy. Spoiler Alert: I have a strong theory for how the season will end. Do not scroll down if you want to be surprised.
The Monster will be convinced to jump into Julia because she is invincible and the axes will be used on her, thus exorcising The Monster.
It’s just a theory, but you know it kinda rings true……….
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.