The Magicians Episode 5×04 Review: “Magicians Anonymous”

The Magicians Ep. 504 "Magicians Anonymous"
“Magicians Anonymous” Ep. 5×04: Julia summons Melody, the Goddess of Music (Source: Syfy, 2020)

The Magicians “Magicians Anonymous” drops its “grieving streak” and amps up the classic quirky humor and mystery in the fourth episode of the season!

The past three episodes of the fifth season of The Magicians have been great, although it should be noted that they have been slightly weighed down with the death of Quentin. Obviously, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, it would have been incredibly strange and pretty disrespectful had the show decided to move on from the death of their leading man without as much as a shed tear. 

Thankfully, The Magicians allowed for the characters to properly mourn the loss of one of their own. And while I’m sure that we’re going to be hit with emotional notes in regards to Quentin in future episodes, “Magicians Anonymous” did a fantastic job with pulling away from the heaviness of grief by returning to familiar stories and characters that The Magicians fans have come to know pretty well throughout the years. 

My favorite scenes this episode were the ones that revolved around Julia. Now, we all know that Julia has had a troublesome past with gods. The Magicians has done a great job with reinforcing the fact that gods in this show’s universe are actually the worst beings imaginable and this episode only helped further prove that point. 

Julia kicks off “Magicians Anonymous” by summoning the Goddess of Melody, Clarion, because she knows that she’ll need somebody powerful to help stop the apocalypse now that the harmonic convergence is looming overhead. Unfortunately, gods don’t do anything without wanting something in return. And what does Clarion want? She wants to be human. Not for any innocent reasons, though. She just knows that as the Goddess of Melody, she’ll be able to successfully become a rockstar with all of her knowledge of music. 

And while it seems easy enough, things ended up getting screwed up because Penny-23’s psychic abilities begin to kill him. As a result, Julia is forced to switch up her deal with Clarion. Instead of turning Clarion human in exchange for her help in stopping the apocalypse, Julia is forced to forego the saving the planet in exchange for saving Penny. 

Personally, I thought that this was an interesting full-circle kind of deal. At the end of season 3, Penny-23 gets rid of Julia’s magic. And now, Julia gets rid of Penny’s psychic abilities and traveling power. Although, I’m pretty sure that this isn’t going to stick. Penny-23’s whole story-line this season has been about the mysterious signal inside of his head and I don’t know where the writers can take him now that it’s completely gone.

The Magicians Ep. 504
Kady and Fogg seek out a mysterious brown bunny (Source: Syfy, 2020)

So, the episode title from this week’s airing, “Magicians Anonymous”, is taken directly from where we meet up with Kady and Dean Fogg in the episode. As it turns out, there’s an “alcoholics anonymous” for Magicians where a few of them meet up to talk about their sobriety and problems regarding magic. Kady explains to the group that she’s on the hunt for a missing building, but that the only way she will be able to find it is by taking drugs…because apparently acid opens up access to a whole trippy, magical realm. 

Honestly, Kady’s story this season (thus far) has been really hit or miss with me and this episode was definitely a miss. What really bothered me was that Kady starts off the episode talking about how well she’s been doing with sobriety, but then immediately takes the drugs with Fogg for no reason, other than she would have had nothing else to do this episode. And then by the end of the episode, Kady gets the information that she needs at the expense of Fogg having to stay behind in the “acid realm”. It all just seemed rather pointless in the grand scheme of things. 

In Fillory, we dived deeper into the mystery of The Dark King. He certainly seems more suspicious this time around compared to what we saw of him last week. In my review for episode 3, I said that the Dark King seemed “nice”. And well, he definitely still seems that way. He hasn’t really done anything yet to show that he’s a crazed, violent dictator, and he seems to have taken a serious liking to Eliot. 

However, that certainly doesn’t mean that the Dark King isn’t incredibly suspicious. In this episode, the Dark King heads straight into the forest with his troops to rescue Fillorian mapmakers from Takers. The only problem is that the Takers are all immediately brought down by the Dark King’s skillful magic. This is what I found to be really interesting, because it seems as though the Dark King doesn’t even need troops to help him. He’s powerful enough to do whatever he wants, and it almost seems as though the troops and “official Fillorian business” is just for show to please the Fillorian citizens.

But what was most suspicious came at the end of the episode. As the Dark King and the majority of his troops cleared off back to Castle Whitespire to recuperate, Margo was forced to stay behind with a couple of other soldiers as they searched for a hidden creature left behind. As it turns out, the hidden creature is a fairy and Margo is forced to capture and shackle the fairy to be kept as a prisoner. 

I think that the episode was specifically set up in such a way to make it seem as though the Dark King is innocent, meanwhile his army-men are up to no good behind his back. But I’m thinking that the Dark King actually draws his incredible power from captured fairies. After all, this really wouldn’t be such a stretch of imagination since we saw this same kind of thing done before in the third season of The Magicians when the McAllisters’ ground up fairy bones to increase their magic.

Alice and Zelda protect The Library
Alice and Zelda defend the books of The Library (Source: Syfy, 2020)

Additionally, Alice’s scenes this episode felt disappointing, but only because they were significantly less interesting than her adventure with Eliot to the top of the Mountain of Ghosts in the last episode. Basically, Alice’s journey this episode amounted to sneaking into The Library in an attempt to collect as many books as she could about the upcoming “Harmonic Convergence”. But instead of scoring help, she ends up trying to defend The Library from malicious thieves with Zelda. 

But despite the fact that Alice’s scenes this time weren’t as exciting, I will say that I enjoyed the speech that she gave to Zelda in an effort to help her move away from focusing her entire life on The Library’s existence. And as a result, we received the best scene of the night’s episode with Zelda deciding to literally snap the entire Library ablaze, destroying all of the books left behind so that the thieves couldn’t take them for themselves. 

But what did you guys think about this episode of The Magicians? Leave your comments down below! 

Author: Rodney

Rodney has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Aspiring to one day write television shows and novels, he’s an avid slash-shipper and enthusiast for all things gay. Rodney’s especially a lover of magic, mystery, and superheroes—holding Harry Potter, the X-Men, and Scooby-Doo close as his own personal favorites. But when he’s not fantasizing about how cool it would be to have magic, he’s busy writing fanfiction and re-watching old TV shows.

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