The Magicians – S04E04 Review + Analysis

We run into Alice who’s been whirled away by none other then …… Christopher Plover. Who offers Alice an interesting deal. He, needing an extra pair of hands, and her needing to find her friends books. This brings in some interesting thought experiments, as Plover tells us, he wants to engage in a quid pro quo with her, requiring ‘an extra pair of hands’

Plover: ‘You didn’t leave with Santa Claus, because you were looking for your book. Yours and your friends. The books are in the revision room, I happen to know where that is. You help me with my ‘little something’ and I’ll take you there. Deal?

After Alice’s rebuke of him and the things he’s done, the realities that his actions created the consequences for, he was held captive and immobile in Fillory by Martin Chatwin for an uncertain amount of time, we can garner that it was at the very very least, 10-15 years, realistically much more then that. With regard to our own earthly version of justice; does this, not quite exonerate him, but has he paid his debt to society? Depending on the country this happened in, he could have gotten anywhere between ten years imprisonment, to a lifetime imprisonment, or capital punishment, in the few places where that still exists. It raises the question, given the extent of his actions and their predatory pedophilic nature, is there any kind of retribution or payment that can occur to balance the scales in this supernatural world? Is it possible he has atoned? Are his crimes something that morally can ever possibly be atoned for?

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Josh enlists Margo to advise or help him decide what to do given his recent diagnosis of lycanthropy, commenting, rather wittily, that it’s ‘Like I’m trapped in a game of Marry, Fuck, Kill, only Marry is off the table! [and Fuck involves infecting another with his condition.] Margo’s response is… as per usual flawless:

Margo:  ‘Okay, here’s the plan, we’re going to fix this bullshit. Are you gonna sit back and just let this shit happen to you? Huh? This ain’t prom night. And the only thing I know for sure is you’re not going to fix anything if you nutsack out on me.

Josh:  ‘I won’t… ‘nutsack’ out.’  – Our delightful and somewhat gender-neutral ‘High-King’ of Fillory breaking down Gender-Barriers and stereotypes with progressive oppositions and colloquialisms from the modern societies of 2019.

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Back to our moral dilemma regarding Alice and Plover. When Alice asks him what world he is looking for, he responds, ‘one where I can be happy. Where I can belong. It’s not what you think… [I think we can admit we were all picturing him talking about a faraway land where perverts and paedophiles can continue predating away with no consequences or accountability…] I’m not interested in that, I just want to go somewhere where I can do no harm. I’d never do that again, I swear on my life.’ Pretty logically Alice regards this as bullshit. His response is what kick-started the thoughts about the very concepts of crime and punishment, justice for crimes and rehabilitation of criminals.

Plover: ‘I spent years being tortured by Martin. Plenty of time to think on my actions. And regret them.’

But here’s where it gets dicey again…. Plover: ‘Did you ever unintentionally hurt someone you love Alice?’ Because in no way was the relationship between Plover and the many kids that he sexually assaulted consensual. It’s one thing to unintentionally harm or cause emotional distress, or physical pain to someone without meaning to. Its an impossibly big difference to perpetuating paedophilic assaults on numerous children, knowing that the most realistic result will be mental and emotional trauma, physical health problems, PTSD.. to name a few. There’s also the harsh reality that a high percentage of people who are sexually assaulted as a child go on to become child molesters themselves. Either unknowingly or knowingly trying to rectify the power balance and vulnerability they experienced by reversing it.

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Julia, requiring some help from the magical medical advice, Josh suggesting the Maynads, Bacchis-followers, they’re kind of high-priestess/ nurses of the gods. She encounters an especially frantic follower, Shoshanna, who, up until conversing with Julia and Penny was about to commit suicide. The ritual that would help, requires someone who…. Worships you. Body and soul. Time for Penny to step up. We find out that Julia does indeed have power, though she might think she doesn’t. Shoshanna says she’s never seen anything like it. Which is saying something considering she was the follower of a pretty powerful God. She then takes the knee and calls Julia her ‘new deity’.

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Quentin finally breaks his control in regards to dealing with his father’s death. After NotEliot breaks some things, because he sees the ridiculousness of the situation and the futility of their current predicament. A rare moment occurs, an unexpected comradery and support from a seemingly-impossible source.. Though we find out through Alice’s sleuthing… that Quentin’s book ends the following week, spelling his immanent death.

GIF by Mia for The Game of Nerds Via The Magicians on Syfy

Something that we’ve been holding onto for the past few episodes is the hope that Eliot was alive somewhere inside NotEliot. But the megalomaniac sociopath reveals to Quentin that his friend Eliot is dead, that he felt the moment when his soul died. But this is followed immediately by our Eliot showing the FUCK UUUUUP in some sort of uninhabited land, in the mother of all cliff-hangers. Take a bow Syfy.

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