Television The Magicians

The Magicians – S05E06 Review & Breakdown

“I’m feeling the wrong kind of boned right now….”  – Margo

This is easily my favorite episode of the series so far – and I’ll be pretty surprised if that changes later on – even with the whole added nostalgia as it’s the final season of this heavenly series. Picking back up immediately after the breaking of the literal moon at the end of last week’s episode.

Though this episode was obviously filmed many months ago – it pretty closely mirror’s one of Trump’s idiotic speeches about averting disaster… which is highly entertaining given his most recent and laughable claim that the US has nothing to fear from the Corona Virus. Within the Magicians world, their televisions report “NASA estimates just hours before the first pieces reach our atmosphere. In a tweet, the president stressed the need for calm. Saying ‘We will fix the moon decisively. The American people have absolutely nothing to fear.” The Magicians have never been shy making overt political stances in opposition to pretty much everything that comes out of the current ruling zealot. Many obvious links between the corona Virus and the moon – entities that exist and will attack those anywhere in the globe, they don’t differentiate between rich, poor, different ethnicity, races, gender identities, etc. they’ll come for humanity and are not picky on which.

We’ve come full circle and have arrived at … duh duh duhhhh! Yep, a no holds barred Time-Loop episode! We watch the moon debris zip right to earth and a literal apocalypse occurs. But next thing you know – we’re back at Margo’s title quote – all over again. But Elliot and Margo are the only ones awake inside this time loop. What results is a series of redo’s over and over – each with highly entertaining consequences before the same result occurs again.

GIF made by Mia for The Game of Nerds
GIF Created by Mia for The Game of Nerds

An extra-sinister layer has snuck into the time loop – the knocking and voices inside Elliot’s head. After about twenty failed loops Elliot suggests taking a break and letting loose as a means to distract & possibly come up with highly irregular and outside of the box solutions, and also… to try to escape the voices in his head, if his brain is full of drugs, he reckons it might mute certain strains. Not too surprisingly, things take a little turn for the worse, Margo sobers up after a handful of drink and drug-fueled loops, but Eliot spirals further and further down the rabbit hole. With the voices seeming to grow in strength and regularity. Elliot’s spiraling leads Margo to do several research trips solo – with one specific place standing out: Fisher Beach. Because once that loop ends, Elliot wakes up, alone. Margo’s there but no longer in the loop. This reality hits Elliot hard, now not only does the world need to be saved and he has to tackle the demon that’s still inside him, but he’s now alone in doing so. His best friend, a partner in crime Margo – for reasons unknown has been removed from being awake in the loops.

This sends Elliot into free fall. Whilst engaging with an intense staring match with a mirror, we hear someone on the radio – talking succinctly about a problem faced by all humans: and one that Elliot has been locked in a seemingly endless battle with – “This world is flawed. We each have good in us and bad. Every day we fight to let the good win.. But this, this is the last day..” Josh surprisingly comes to the rescue – and becomes Elliot’s partner for the current loop. Who it turns out is a hella nerdy for Time Loops – after coming clean about his fears that the monster is still in him, wanting to get out – Josh asks why he hasn’t tried letting it out. Keeping the thing or things that frighten you in a locked box in your mind usually turns out to end up far worse than it would if you don’t suppress these things, ignore them or drink them away. Facing them head-on, meeting the thing you fear most head-on. Now that’s how you break the cycle.

The fact that Elliot comments that his brain is “a snake eating it’s tail” during his drugs binge is no mistake. Referencing the ancient symbol of the Ouroborus. A symbol of a snake, or two snakes caught in an unending circle, eating their own tales, symbolizes life and death, mortality but also the cyclical nature of these mortal struggles. Sounding pretty damn relevant to anyone else? How you break an addiction, a problem, a loop. The advice the series doles out both literally and metaphorically, subtly and overtly is a layer that a lot of Syfy series don’t ever attempt. Indulging in this series episode by episode it can open your eyes a little bit too comfortable and … more likely, uncomfortable truths, life lessons, and advice that actually holds. AS Josh says “A lot of the times, in these movies, the solution to the problem is facing the thing you’re most afraid of.”

GIF made by Mia for The Game of Nerds
GIF Created by Mia for The Game of Nerds

Surprise, surprise – its Charlton! Who hilariously thought to whisper “Let Me Out” and writing the words in what looks like blood was simply the polite version of requesting he be let out. Which now actually seems pretty hilarious. Happily, Charlton who is now in his general conscious as opposed to the safe place Elliot has locked up in his own mind leads Elliot to the next piece of the puzzle, which gloriously winds up being whales. The Time-Loop is actually of their own devising: “Our ancestors made a pact with the Old Gods, and so we spend our lives tracing sigils into the ocean floor. This task is crucial – to ensure the Kraken stays dormant. Should the Kraken ever awaken it would soon consume the world. When the moon collided with earth it obliterated our protective sigils, causing the Kraken to rise. Fortunately, our ancestors implemented a fail-safe; if the Kraken awakens it sends earth back twelve hours to allow another chance, to avert catastrophe.”

What’s the Kraken you ask? Hit it Josh – “Well, you have your Lovecraftian god Krakens, then there’s the D&D Kraken, then of course – Clash of the Titans, both original and the remake with the very famous line…” Sadly he’s interrupted before he can say the line we all just said in our heads right now reading this, and whilst watching the moment in the series. Elliot reasons that if they let the Kraken out early then the 12-hour rewind could happen early enough that he could go back and prevent the moon from breaking in the first place. We come full circle with the theme or motif of the episode and the solution to the problem – as Josh told us earlier – but Elliot now relays: “Maybe, we need to let out the things that scares us, maybe we need to… to…..” [Josh] “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” Early enough, to a time before the heist.

GIF made by Mia for The Game of Nerds
GIF Created by Mia for The Game of Nerds

Though we end on another teensy-weensy little cliff-hanger surprise surprise! We averted the apocalypse… just not the right one. We saved earth today, so tomorrow’s job is the Fillorian Apocalypse. But the heartening end of the episode, Elliot finally opens up to Margo about what he’s been struggling with, and gets slapped in the face with the oh so obvious reality that, “without you… I am utterly miserable.” Here’s to the single best relationship in the entire world within The Magicians. Books and television series. These angels.

GIF made by Mia for The Game of Nerds
GIF Create by Mia for The Game of Nerds

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