The Magicians: Mendings, Major and Minor   Books Included 
February 17, 2016 8:48 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Although everyone should be training for the upcoming Welter's Tournament, the students are each dealing with a personal distraction that keeps them from staying focused.
posted by aabbbiee (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The "Mentors" thing is an odd non-book addition...I mean I guess because it's magical "grad school" it makes sense...a little....

So Quentin is now Josh too? Or at least breaks out Josh's black hole spell at the welters game.

Poor cancer puppy!
posted by Captain_Science at 10:26 AM on February 17, 2016

Yeah, Quentin pulling Josh's trick really made me feel that we're definitely not getting Josh. Which is too bad, he was a great character. It does make me wonder who is going to be the new second king of Fillory after Quentin, or if they have even planned that far ahead.

Cancer puppy, on the other hand, was one of the best things in the show so far. It helped that while, we were watching the cancer puppy scene, my wife was like "oh no. He's going to cure cancer puppy and then not have enough energy left to cure his dad." and I hadn't thought of that was immediately convinced that that was exactly what was going to happen. So the quick cut to "you killed cancer puppy?" had us literally doubled over with laughter.

I also really liked Quentin showing his dad his magic, though it was a little bittersweet knowing that his dad would inevitably wake up the next morning and rationalize it away as a brain tumour induced hallucination.
posted by 256 at 10:41 AM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think giving that black hole spell to Q makes sense. Josh got it because he was so self-conscious about being a screw up. Quentin totally owns that plot now. This episode felt a little too Hogwarts-y to me. The thing with Quentin's dad seemed extraneous, except fixing the plane was a nice touch. I'm interested in where they're going to take Julia. Having her boyfriend forget her was great.

I like not knowing where they're going. I enjoyed the books a lot, but not to the degree of a Harry Potter or something where it's offensive to see big changes. I think it helps that the series borrows so heavily and so admittedly from previous fantasy books. It's halfway to being a remix itself.
posted by rikschell at 10:51 AM on February 17, 2016

Yeah, I like it when they remember to bring the funny. Cancer Puppy was great.

I think Penny may be drafted into Fillory in Josh's stead. I don't think we'll get the Neitherlands.
posted by rikschell at 11:02 AM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

That would make sense, if they skip both the Neitherlands and the extended post-graduation bacchanal.

I guess that positions Kady to be the replacement queen, if they don't kill her off before then.

I do wonder how many seasons they are planning for. Have any of the people involved talked about that?

I feel like, at this pace, season 1 is probably going to end with the gang first finding their way to Fillory. But then the second half of book 1, with the assault on the Beast's lair, doesn't feel big enough to fill an entire season. And, of course, they're using a lot of the material from book 2 now with Julie's plot. Hmm, I wonder if Julie will end up coming along for the initial foray into Fillory. I'm not sure what they would do with her otherwise.

Overall, I really like that the show is deviating enough from the books to keep me guessing and, by and large, I don't hate the changes they have made.
posted by 256 at 11:25 AM on February 17, 2016

I'm really loving this show. It's actually really interesting to see how they're adapting the story to the screen, and that they haven't felt obligated to follow the books exactly. It's a little like the first couple of seasons of Dexter, which I think surpassed the books they were based upon. I'm not sure that this show is better than the books yet, but it is definitely standing on its own IMO.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:46 PM on February 17, 2016

I regret that the Welters we saw actually kind of made sense, instead of being a non-sensical game where stuff basically happened randomly with stupid meaningless rules. Like Quidditch.
posted by Justinian at 5:11 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

"You killed cancer puppy?" is going to be a thing in our house for a really, really long time. I love this show so much.

I really liked the addition of mentors- It made more sense, and let them show us more of the world. In the books, we see the rest of the magical world through the lens of Alice and her parents- which would be really, really difficult to shoehorn into the season. Mentors let them give us a kind of end game, a sort of 'what are these characters going to do when they grow up' now that they have magic. I loved how indignant Q was about people choosing to be magical podiatrists, and thought the comment about there not being enough magical quests to go around really captured the feel of the books.

The way they've adapted to a visual medium has been really interesting, particularly given the fact we basically wallow in Q's head for all three books. The actor does a faaantastic job of capturing his unease and anxiety. The dad felt a little bit of a reach- I mean, it does happen in the books, a lot further down the line- but I think it helped as an anchor for the story. It also gave them a way to have Alice reconnect with the group. The offhand comment from his dad betting him $20 there was a Fillory book in his bag had a great pay-off at the end when he pulled out the exact book they needed.
posted by Torosaurus at 7:39 PM on February 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

I hope that when I'm a dad, I'm the sort of dad who will hold onto a broken model for twenty years so that I'm sure to have it on hand when I need to make a super-clumsy analogy to my kid.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 7:45 PM on February 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

I am loving it! I think the cast as a whole has really good chemistry and energy, I like the feel of the show has a lot of heart and I like the way they are bringing to life the difficulty and complexity of what different kinds of powers would mean, the risks, the burdens, and the sheer joyful excitement. I've enjoyed feeling like we're getting to know the characters in this way-- it's fun and yet the heavier aspects of the show don't get in the way of casual everyday humor and relationships. Dig it.
posted by xarnop at 9:14 AM on February 18, 2016

I gotta say, I think Alice is the weak link. I can't tell if she's horribly miscast, or if she's a decent actress hobbled by horrible wardrobe and direction i. e. if the character is supposed to be modest and awkward, why does she look like she just left a lolicon (super short skirts, Peter Pan collars, heels so high she can't walk naturally, high maintenance and impractical hair style). Why are all of her expressions and postures so weird? Why is she seemingly incapable of having a normal interaction? Is this a new imagining of Alice as autistic?
posted by bq at 11:22 AM on February 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

Personality-wise, that describes Alice to a tee. The physical aspects are maybe to make her a not totally unappealing character. In the book, she was well matched with Q because she was just as antisocial. I always thought of her as more misanthropic than awkward, but the way they're headed could pay off.
posted by rikschell at 12:47 PM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

The one-liners here are pretty great:

"Friends don't let friends drink Long Island Ice Teas."

"Get ready for the first spanking you won't enjoy."

"You killed Cancer Puppy?"

I was at first really put off by the Cancer Puppy thing because it felt like a really cheap appeal to the part of us that responds to puppies and cancer, but the horrified laugh was worth it.
posted by rhiannonstone at 8:02 PM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Ah, yes. Your hedge witch friend. I'm going to kill her." [Laughing] "I'm f*cking with you, Quentin."

In-show Dean Fogg is the best Dean Fogg.

Justinian: I regret that the Welters we saw actually kind of made sense, instead of being a non-sensical game where stuff basically happened randomly with stupid meaningless rules.

Except it's not linear or orderly, and Black Hole trumps everything. So I'd say that puts it ahead of Quidditch.

Parasite Unseen: I hope that when I'm a dad, I'm the sort of dad who will hold onto a broken model for twenty years so that I'm sure to have it on hand when I need to make a super-clumsy analogy to my kid.

I'm just now reading the 3rd book, and when I came to the bit about Quentin's discipline, that scene and the title of this episode clicked. Minor repairs, aha!

And now I realize I'm ready for my super-clumsy analogy moment - I have half-built models that I can still build well enough for my boys to break, or take the lazy way out and blame their broken state on them as babies. Parenting win!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:24 AM on March 4, 2016

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