The Magicians: Impractical Applications   Books Included 
February 23, 2016 7:51 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The Brakebills Students must endure a series of magical trials, while Julia finds a powerful new ally.
posted by aabbbiee (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
This episode was really gross! I've been waiting for people to write about anything but that, but I don't watch gross stuff so that's all I can really think about. Yikes! I might have to wait out a few episodes and ask after how gross the rest are before watching the rest of this which sucks because I like other parts of the show a lot.

Was there a lot of death and violence in the books?
posted by xarnop at 8:45 AM on February 23, 2016


YES. Death, violence, sexual assault.
posted by nicebookrack at 11:55 AM on February 23, 2016


On the one hand, my mom was talking about watching an interview with the author about how the goal was exactly that, to show how fucked up magical problems would really be (bad paraphrase) and I think that's a good thing. I think with or without magic there is the age old problem of seeking power first rather than having a worthy goal first before you even examine what power you might try to handle.

I find this is my fundamental dislike of Brakebills with it's elitism and focus on those with the most power as the most worthy of being taught. A foundation in ethics and compassion and using power for worthy goals would be more important to me in finding those worth teaching, and I would think there could be a way to teach "low level" magic classes to those with less innate ability for the purpose of helping them deal with their powers. I mean if someone has magical power they don't know how to deal with, it would seem the right thing to give them some knowledge, teachings, or assistance with protective barriers or management of their abilities. I'm talking in the books area because I've read the plot synopsis of all the books and I don't want to accidentally give away spoilers in the thread (and because I want to hear discussion of the books too) but I haven't read the books.
posted by xarnop at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2016


I think the visual aspect of having this on screen really hammers home the drug addiction analogy. It was clear in the books as well but I feel it more here where in the books it was an intellectual association. Safe houses are essentially crack houses. Sad, run down, full of cast-offs and broken people looking for their next fix.
posted by Justinian at 5:18 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I do not understand Marina's character - why is she so nasty? I seem to remember the hedge witch cruelty in the book being more about exploitation - taking advantage of people who wanted to know what you did, lots of unsavory trading. She just seems like a Bad GuyTM.
posted by congen at 5:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I felt like this episode was spinning its wheels in the Brakebills segment and I really hated magic truth or dare as a cheap character development and nudity stunt.

That said, I thought Julia's story was good this week and I am excited to see Brakebills South sooner than I had anticipated.
posted by 256 at 7:42 PM on February 23, 2016


"Were there any talking animals?"

I enjoyed this episode and the reveal of the failure of their spell to steal the spells of the other safe house did catch me by surprise. I couldn't help but feel kinda bad for that third guy at Penny's and Quentin's table. What is the attrition rate of incoming classes?
posted by Atreides at 7:35 AM on February 24, 2016


I can't believe they liked that lame scene in the premiere where Quentin hides from a party and a girl goes and jollies him out of it well enough to put it in ANOTHER EPISODE.

I enjoyed Penny and Kate, not so much Quentin and Alice.

Hooray they turned into birds!
posted by bq at 12:10 PM on February 24, 2016


Those aren't birds, they are geese. Which are just filthy vermin with wings.
posted by Justinian at 12:14 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


The trials generally were off-putting, but the forced nudity just seemed so stupid that I assume some executive forced that nonsense in there. The tonal contrast between Brakebills and the hedge witches mostly serves to make Brakebills look weirdly dilettante-ish, too.

Penny remains the most sympathetic character by far.
posted by tautological at 1:16 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


The nudity was in the books as a lead-up to turning into geese, too, though it was really not sexy and didn't involve pairing off or truth ropes or any of the rest of it.

Brakebills South is light on the clothes all around, in fact. I reread the first book recently and thinking how uncomfortable and inconvenient Brakebills South must be for women. Or maybe female magicians have a way of dealing with that kind of thing.
posted by aabbbiee at 1:33 PM on February 24, 2016


I'd think curing periods would come before podiatry.
posted by bq at 6:13 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I liked this one exchange:

"You know the thing that attacked us? That ripped the dean's eyes out? It seems like it might be from Fillory."
"Jesus! That is not totally consistent with the books!"
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:06 PM on February 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


I think it was "tonally" not "totally" but I liked it too!
posted by Justinian at 12:28 AM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah, "tonally" makes more sense (and is even funnier)!
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:27 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think I actually liked this episode a lot. I was worried they were closing up the Julia shitty times and were going to give them their own safe house, but instead it is more like setting her to be on the run.

Kady hates her mother, but how thrilled is she going to be that Julia got her killed?

I am now bracing for the foxsex.
posted by corb at 1:57 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


This episode was really gross!

Eeek, sorry. I feel bad because I told you it wasn't that gory not too long ago. In my defence this episode wasn't out then.

These trials feel super arbitrary. In fact, everything about this whole situation seems arbitrary and honestly pretty thrown together. I don't know where the dean gets his moral compass or sense of purpose, but what the hell is even going on? You bring in random kids, teach them magic, some of them die, give some others amnesia, and send them all out in the world to what? Cause some shit seems like the most likely result.
posted by ODiV at 9:18 PM on February 28, 2016


The bit about blowing the horse was pretty good though.
posted by ODiV at 9:19 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


bq: I can't believe they liked that lame scene in the premiere where Quentin hides from a party and a girl goes and jollies him out of it well enough to put it in ANOTHER EPISODE.

Quentin said it best himself:
My friend Julia said that I-- I couldn't run away hard enough. She's right. I run and I... I find secret doors-- Whether I'm alone or in a group, it doesn't matter. I--Like, I'm here. I'm in this amazing place. I have literal magic in my life and I'm still running. I'm still this person that I f*cking hate.

Justinian: I think it was "tonally" not "totally" but I liked it too!

This transcript lists it as "tonally."


xarnop: Was there a lot of death and violence in the books?

Yup, the show is actually a bit light on all that (so far). For instance, Julia isn't as much of a junkie for magic, which is another source of sex and misery in the books.

Speaking of the books, I keep waiting for some Free Trader Beowulf folks to show up. So far, I've though Pete and then Hannah would be the one to bring Julia into the fold, cutting out the online bit (which could make for some dull TV).


congen: I do not understand Marina's character - why is she so nasty?

Going back to the idea of teaching people about managing magic and the power it brings, I think she's a sociopath who overstepped the limits of acceptable magical use at Brakebills. She was accepted into Brakebills and was kicked out three months before graduation, so she made it through all the winnowing processes there, and she knows that puts her ahead of most practitioners of magic. But she wants more, and is happy to use any lesser mortals to get what she wants.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:54 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


FanFare: I am now bracing for the foxsex.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:13 PM on July 7, 2017


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