The Magicians returns with no magic, bunnies, and a quest! – review

Syfy’s hit series The Magicians returned tonight for its third season and with a bang – well, not so much a bang. More like a sparkle of magic, because all magic is gone in the realm. With the exception of the Librarians (Penny can still travel, despite dying from magic radiation) and the Gods, there is NO magic left. Okay, so maybe, Julia still has a lick of magic left, but it’s just a spark. But, this leads the team – I mean, Q and Josh, to find out how they can bring magic back.

The mood throughout the first episode is brilliantly written. The color scheme throughout the episode was dark and deary to represent a world without magic. If you compared the previous seasons to this one, there was more life and color in Fillory. Now, the lighting has gone soft and everything just looks dull. Even during the party scene with Bacchus, the God of partying and wine, there was so much strobe lights, but still felt dull against the character’s faces, but, when Julia begins doing some magic, we see a bit of brightness again.

As for the writing, the team is still sharp and witty in the characters’ styles. Margo and Elliott, despite being taken over by fairies, are their piquant selves using their own pop culture-language to get their messages across. The wardrobe department also stepped their game up with Margo’s clothing and new eye-pieces. Even with the dull ambiance, it could not hide Margo’s stylish outfits. She looked good.

The writing did not ignore another important duo in the story – Q and Julia. Although the two have been on the ins and out throughout the first two seasons, this episode reminded us on why they became friends. After drinking heavily, they remember a childhood dance that allowed them to enter Bacchus’ party. It took them working together to get in.

What I love most about the show’s writing is the little details. You have to really pay attention to everything being said. For example, why does Julia still have her powers? Julia and Q have an intense conversation – even briefly mentioning her sexual assault. Julia believes it could have been a fluke from Our Lady Underground – given to her when she gave her shade back. Q is open to other ideas. It did trouble me that Q mentioned the assault, but Julia handled it with such decency.

Another small detail that the writer want us to notice was when Penny went to claim the overdue book from a former Magician who also had an invention by Mayakovsky and claims there are creatures coming to attack them all. Wait, does this mean Mayakovsky may have had something to do with magic being gone too? He was cursed to Brakebills and this finally got him free. Mayakovsky is a smart man and had a back-up battery. I wouldn’t doubt he had tricks up his sleeve. Of course, it’s going to take Harriet (Marlee Matlin), the deaf Magician who helped Kady and Penny previously, to find out the truth. I also have a feeling she’s involved in this.

Another detail that was quickly mentioned was Bacchus mentioning there being a backdoor to magic… or a brothel. This will be important.

Bunnies, which are the sidekicks to real Magicians, are the messengers for the Magic world. Not only are they pregnancy tests, but they also deliver messages between worlds. This seems to be important for the season, especially since we are still between worlds.

Of course, the main story is the quest, given by the Great Cock of the Darkling Woods. Yes, this wouldn’t be The Magicians without a penis joke. I do like how ‘cocky’ they made the character. I also do like how they included Josh into the quest. I love that Josh is now part of the group. I also can’t wait to see Elliott pull the team together, including Alice, who looks like she’s involved in some dark stuff trying to escape the lamprey.

The Magicians came back hard in this episode for the third season. I can’t wait to see what else their quest has in store.

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