The Magicians Season 5 Episode 2:The Wrath of The Time Bees-Review- Quentin’s Back, Kind Of
The Magicians hits hard with a poignant reminder of all we’ve lost, what we have found, and what we still need to recover.
Sera Gamble and John McNamara normally ease us into the pain and suffering The Magicians dole out like drugs to an addict. We are junkies for the kind of sadness, joy, and mental suffering they bring each season. There have been deeply moving moments like A Life In The Day, Julia’s rape in Have You Brought Me Little Cakes, or the most profound character death in decades in the season finale last year. We knew season five would look radically different and not just because we would be missing Quentin. We didn’t know they would crush our tender hearts so early.
Still lost 300 years in the future, Margo finds herself locked in a cell with Josh’s ghost. Eliot found a ghost of his own when he comes across Fen’s spirit. Brittany Curran’s Fen that started out as a meek little girl has developed into a force to be reckoned with. Fen is resourceful, resilient, and tough. Even dead she funny and she gives Eliot the idea to fix time, or at least save her and Josh.
When Eliot tracks down Jane Chatwin he runs away with more than just her stolen magical timepieces. She cautions Eliot not to change time to save Quentin. It will cheapen his sacrifice. Jane explains to Eliot she saved Q 39 times until he finally was able to complete his purpose. It’s a reminder of the type of person Q was.
A nifty bit of high dollar perfuming keeps everything Margo and Eliot do in the past to avoid harming them in the future. It’s a fantastically simple solution to the complex time paradox. The first several attempts at saving Josh and the Kingdom are disastrous. Margo forgets about Josh’s bee allergy and The Takers storm the castle on another occasion.
As amusing as the failed efforts are, due in large part to Trevor Einhorn and Brittany Curran who play off one another so well they are like a two-person comedy troop. These two earned their places as permanent members of The Magicians for a reason, and it wasn’t just to be sidepieces. Their affable humor even faced with death is a good foil for Margo’s sarcastic hardness and Eliot’s distress.
After being worn like a meat suit by the Monster and losing Q he is a raw nerve. He’s lashing out at and Margo’s hope is salt in his wound. It is too hard to accept that Margo found love in Josh than face the loss of Quentin. No one can possibly understand how deeply they cared for each other or what he meant to Eliot. Keeping one-time stamp to mail to Quentin, Margo uses the last stamp to say goodbye to Josh. She gives him the information he needs to save Fillory. Margo understands that the best way to help herself and Fillory is to reunite with Josh and the others though. Per her instructions, he went to the Clock Dwarf with Tick, Rafe, Fen, and the rest of the cool people bringing ham sandwiches. The group is back together but the Dark King still reigns.
Kady gets to do what Kady does best and kick some ass. After a random hook up leaves her and her conquest with blank memories she enlists the help of Penny. The fact that there is an equivalent of a magical roofie is troubling to the extreme. The Magicians has always done a good job of showing the highs and lows of sexuality. this episode was no different. It’s not just physical drugs and diseases that you should be wary of now.
Magicians with power and malintent could easily subdue partners. It’s a sobering thought especially for Kady who was targetted specifically. Her date from the night before turns out to be a memory wiper for hire. He wipes his own as a way to deal with what he does for a living. For Kady accountability is everything, and she tells him a conscience is for keeping you from doing shitty things. He and Kady square off with Kady getting the best of him.
The fight scene makes the most of the set and Kady borrows a page from Into The Badland’s The Widow by doing it all in a set of awesome chunky-healed boots. When he determines she won’t let him go he performs a self destruct spell and kills himself. They will have to find out some other way who stole the book depository and went after Kady and Pete’s memories. Whoever it is they are very powerful with a lot of resources.
For too long Jade Tailor wasn’t given enough to do. Kady is a spectacularly interesting character that is a compelling mix of strength and insecurity. Her struggle with addiction is something almost everyone can relate to. When things are rough we all self medicate with alcohol, shopping, sex, exercise, and a whole host of other things. Some are better than others for us, but they are all a crutch. Her concern for her ability to lead is something that is very relatable. Tailor tough but vulnerable speech to Penny was a highlight and a reminder of why we love Kady.
Time is not always on our side even when we are young and feel like we have forever. Alice, who often gets maligned for betraying her friends and insisting she is the only capable person in the room creates a Gollum of Q. The catch is she created twelve-year-old Quentin. Olivia Dudley Taylor has the thankless task of breathing life into the annoying character everyone despises. She isn’t even the character we hate or love to hate, but the one that’s just a nuisance.
Just two episodes into season five and she is asserting herself as more than just Q’s off again on again girlfriend and the know it all Hermione of the group. She is beginning to come to terms with her grief. She has had a lot in her life. Quentin’s loss is the most impactful. Even from the grave, he is helping her become a better person. Yes, bringing a clay Q back to life is a very Alice thing to do, but this time it’s a sympathetic choice and by the end, she is better for having done it.
She may have intended to bring back adult Quentin, but without knowing it she brought back the Q she needed. Twelve-year-old Q is lighter than adult Quentin but just as wise and sweet. He is less broken down by time and circumstance. When Julia shows up and discovers what Alice did she is angry. Preserving Q’s peace is of utmost importance. She calls Alice selfish which she is. However, grief is selfish. It is all-consuming and she is suffering. As Alice realizes Baby Q’s purpose we are left with yet another scene that will stay with us forever. When Alice says goodbye to Quentin so do we. The Magicians will miss Jason Ralph. The Wrath Of The Time Bees was well written and beautifully paced. It allowed us to grieve without being manipulative. It also furthered storylines without excessive expository.
Julia now has a name of a meta mathematician who can help control the excess of magic. Her journey is beginning. Endings are the worst part. Losing Q crushed everyone. The viewers included. This is the first page in The Magicians new book. It is tattered and torn, tear-soaked, and missing pages, but it is ours and we love it even without Q. Catch up on all our coverage here.
- Josh’s mustache and fried chicken days are not a good look.
- How long before Pete and Kady hook up. They have a nifty vibe that I would love to see explored especially now that Penny is out of the question.
- The Best line of the night goes to Jane Chatwin. “Time is a motherfucker, isn’t it?” You aren’t kidding sister!
- The most powerful line of the night if from Baby Q. “The gift he gave you wasn’t his life it was yours.” I CAN’T EVEN………
- I’m not entirely sure what cock blindness is but I’m pretty sure I suffered from it a time or two in college.
- Jesus, if Julia looks like someone’s Grandmother I must be the crypt keeper.
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.