The Magicians Episode 5×06 Review: “Oops!…I Did It Again”

Eliot in Ep. 506 "Oops!...I Did It Again"
“Oops I Did It Again”: Eliot gets trapped inside of a time-loop.

How bad can things get when the apocalypse is stuck on a Groundhog Day replay loop? Eliot and Margo find out in the sixth episode of The Magicians’ fifth season, “Oops, I Did It Again”.

Tonight marked the premiere of two brand new episodes of The Magicians, and while the fifth episode of the season gave us a magical moon rock heist, tug-of-war over the actual Moon, and a mission to stop the apocalypse, this episode gives us the apocalypse….over and over again….all thanks to the fact that Eliot and Margo get stuck inside of a time-loop. 

“Oops, I Did It Again” is a really fitting title for this episode for multiple reasons. For starters, it takes a page out of an previous episode of The Magicians (Season 2, Episode 7: “Plan B”) by giving us another instance of the characters having to repeatedly skip back in time in order to correctly achieve some kind of goal. Not only that, but the show is not a stranger to time loops. After all, Jane Chatwin went through over 40 different time restarts before Quentin and the gang were able to successfully take down The Beast.

In the previous episode, the apocalypse brought upon by the Harmonic Convergence was stopped because the Moon was successfully brought out of its alignment with the Earth and other planets. We can all thank Eliot and Marina’s desperate tug-of-war for the Moon’s positioning. And yet, while that apocalyptic threat was averted, the tug-of-war ended up splitting the Moon in half, hurling Moon remnants down to Earth. And so, the characters must figure out a way to save the planet from the cataclysmic rainfall of Moon fragments with only 12 hours to spare. 

Ultimately, the first go-around ends in failure. But luckily, Eliot and Margo wake up 12 hours prior to the failure, realizing that they both are now trapped inside of a time loop. As far as they know, they have an unlimited amount of attempts at stopping the newest apocalypse, but as they quickly go through many, many, many different plans, they both soon find that nothing seems to be working. 

Now, this episode seemed as though it was split in half (like the moon). The first half was lighthearted and hysterical, which I’m so thankful for. Honestly, a “Groundhog Day” kind of episode can only really work if some fun is to be had. And after multiple failures to save the planet, both Eliot and Margo realize that they get their best ideas when they’re doing what they used to frequently do back in season one—throw a party at the Physical Kids’ cottage, drink, and hook-up. 

The second half of the episode was way less lighthearted. Things became gradually darker and started to really explore the troubles of Eliot’s fragile emotional state, as well as his own internal struggles with the trauma left behind from the events of the previous season. All the while, he keeps pretending as though he’s perfectly okay, dismissing Margo and his other friends whenever they attempt to get him to talk about what is clearly on his mind. 

I thought that the duality of the episode really worked out as being a strength, because it allowed for the audience to feel the weight of the situation. At first, everything is simple because there’s a time loop and by extension, there’s all the time in the world. It’s all fun and games, and despite the horrific end of each “loop”, there’s a joyous quality to watching the characters get increasingly lax once blessed with the knowledge of how everything is going to end. But as the loops continue on, you start to feel just as tired as the characters. 

For Eliot, throughout episodes 5 and 6, he keeps hallucinating the “Monster” that possessed him in season 4. He keeps hearing whispers, seeing “bloody” writing on the walls, and seeing a mysterious door that is begging to be opened. Naturally, Eliot thinks that this is the monster, stuck inside of his subconscious and waiting to be set free yet again. Initially, Eliot tries to ignore it all, but after a pep-talk from Josh, Eliot decides to finally face his fears.

Now, I really enjoyed the way that this was done. This entire episode of definitely focused on Eliot. I feel like this is something that we all missed seeing in season 4. At that time, Eliot was possessed and so every time that his character was on screen, it wasn’t actually him. And by the time that Eliot was rescued from his possession, the season was completely over and everybody had to mourn the loss of Quentin.

So, personally I’m really happy that the writers of the shows took the time to not only show Eliot’s grief regarding Quentin in episode 3, “The Mountain of Ghosts”, but also showed us that Eliot is not yet done with being afraid of the monster that took control over his life for months. And luckily, when Eliot opens the mysterious door, he finds out that the monster really actually is gone, and that the person creepily sending messages to him through his hallucinations is none other than Charlton, the man from his subconscious “Happy Place”.

Once Eliot finds out that the monster is not trying to resurface, the episode kicks back towards its lighter, funnier tone. We find out that whales (yes, actual whales in the ocean) are ancient Magicians that are doomed to forever carve protective sigils onto the ocean floor to keep a Kraken locked up. And when the Moon fragments crash into Earth, the Kraken is released—thus restarting the time loop.

Alice, Julia, and Eliot move the Moon in "Oops!...I Did It Again"
Alice, Julia, and Eliot successfully move the Moon in “Oops, I Did It Again” (Source: Syfy, 2020)

Eliot masterfully convinces the whales to free the Kraken early, which shifts the time loop parameters to include the moment when the Moon is accidentally ripped in half. This time around, they are able to knock Marina unconscious and successfully move the Moon out of its alignment so that the Harmonic Convergence cannot take place, thus avoiding both apocalyptic threats. 

I have to say that this is officially my favorite episode of this season. It will be really hard for the show to top this, but I’m always ready to see what The Magicians has in store. But personally, this episode was made-up of everything I enjoy the most about the show. Margo and Eliot being the best characters in show? Check! A crazy apocalyptic threat? Check! Comical cartoonish elements: the whale magicians and Groundhog day? Check! You really can’t go wrong. 

But what did you guys think about this episode? Let us know in the 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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About the author

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.

Comments

  1. I loved these. After the final episodes of season 4 pretended Quentin and Eliot were never a thing, season 5 has exceeded my expectations.

    But I have a question about episode 5. Mayakovsky’s daughter said she’d help Alice and Julia if one of them gave up her shade. They apparently agreed to this. Neither of them appeared to be shadeless afterward. What did I miss?

    1. Kady was pretending to be the daughter; no one had to give up their shade as they didn’t move the moon rock.

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