The Magicians: Thirty-Nine Graves   Books Included 
April 6, 2016 6:48 AM - Season 1, Episode 12 - Subscribe

The students wake up with foggy memories and regret after a night of drinking; Penny reminds everyone that their lives depend on getting to the Neitherlands.
posted by aabbbiee (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Huge break from the books as Julia and Quentin get to Fillory together, separate from the rest of the Brakebills group.

AV Club reviews the episode here.
posted by aabbbiee at 6:53 AM on April 6, 2016


This episode had some great twists (and zingers) on the books:

The Librarian: Penny, Alice, Eliot, and Janet, you are all late.
Margo: Actually, it's Margo.
The Librarian: This time.

Also, I really liked the way that Julia's exclusion from Brakebills was part of a plan, and not a failure on her part to get out of her own head during the entrance exam. Because even in the books, it's clear that her path was crucial to her development (though not because she helped them stop The Beast once and for all).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:03 AM on April 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


They really threw a lot at us this episode but I think it all sort of worked.

I sort of suspected they were going to go with this being one of Jane's alternate time-loops given the number of people who seemed to have too much an idea what was going on. Though if Quentin has failed/died 39 times why is he so important? Still I loved Fogg's conversation with Quentin and his determination now to never watch Groundhogs day.

So does anyone else think that Julia and the FTB crew's ritual didn't go nearly as well as she suggested? Maybe it's just because we know what happened in the books (and I am more than happy to have a story line with 100% less fox rape) but I could also totally see season 2 being her dealing with say some memory changes/blocks failing and the truth of what happened coming out (which also can get us into the plot lines of book 2...the old gods returning to take back magic).

Was a bunch of book fan service stuff in there too...suddenly here's Josh! Sure why not! And the librarian calling Margo "Janet".

Should be interesting to see how Quentin/Julia get hooked back up with the rest of the crew...I imagine they aren't going to wait around Fillory for 70 years, and I would be very surprised to see a different end for Alice at the end of next week's episode.
posted by Captain_Science at 7:06 AM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, I totally missed that the new Brakebills kid was Josh, but I rather liked the Janet/Margo bit. I also liked the way they worked in Quentin's Minor Mendings:

Quentin: Look, you were supposed to be here. You were supposed to be a part of this.
Julia: No, you know, I think Jane was right. Had I been here living it up, I would have never felt the need to figure out what magic is actually for.
Quentin:Okay, so what's magic actually for, then?
Julia: For fixing things, dummy. Trust me. I, uh, made a lot of mistakes before I figured that one out.
Quentin:Yeah, everything I've been able to fix doesn't matter, just minor mendings and bullshit.
Julia: Yeah, well, if fixing big things were easy, everyone would do it.

I am more than happy to have a story line with 100% less fox rape
Agreed! But that means no Kady as Asmodeus seeking revenge on the fox god.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


(For whatever that's worth.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on April 6, 2016


But that means no Kady as Asmodeus seeking revenge on the fox god.
Yeah...though like I said I do suspect they could end up revealing that the other members of FTB aren't "off on some mission" and either someone else or Julia/Kady(Asmodeus) did something to their memories of the event to try and get on with their lives. They already are doing a season 2 so will be interesting to see how much they stick to the plot of the books or if they veer off that path (I can't really see them spending A LOT of time in Fillory given what it would probably cost to show on screen.
posted by Captain_Science at 7:29 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't really see them spending A LOT of time in Fillory given what it would probably cost to show on screen.

Interesting point - the next arc in the books is all about Fillory, escaping reality and growing up. I'd love to hear more on what they're planning for the next 13 episodes, but all I see when I search for "The Magicians Season 2" is that it's been renewed for a second season.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on April 6, 2016


Josh!

Josh was my favorite character in the first book, because I always thought that his being good at Welters and not much else made him the obvious Harry Potter stand-in. I'm disappointed that not introducing him until the gang leaves Brakebills means that we'll miss that, but I'm still happy to see him.

Why is Elliott suddenly Gilligan? I get that he's grieving, but that can be portrayed without his being a total bumblefuck.

If this series doesn't end with a post-credits scene of Dean Fogg sitting down to watch Groundhog Day, I will be sorely disappointed.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:32 AM on April 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Yes, I brought a gun." That might have been my favorite line from the episode. It's that or, "I was really angry a moment ago, but I have to admit, you two would make a cute couple." Then again, there's, "I planned my outfit around my bottled emotions!"

Elliott, oof, the guy needs an intervention. What I don't know is if his proclivity for drinking earlier was simply as a pastime or if it was just as much as a self-medication as it is now.

I appreciated the time deviation with Josh being from the missing class of a couple years ago and only having been on his own for a few weeks. Is that true for Fillory or just the Nether Lands?

Really enjoyed this episode.
posted by Atreides at 12:32 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Librarian: Penny, Alice, Eliot, and Janet, you are all late.
Margo: Actually, it's Margo.
The Librarian: This time.


What makes that joke even better is that it works within the universe; who better to break the 4th wall than the librarian of all possible knowledge?

Also, she's clearly aware of the time loops, which is why she makes Penny copies.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:05 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


What makes that joke even better is that it works within the universe; who better to break the 4th wall than the librarian of all possible knowledge?

The real question is whether Margo and Janet have separate books in the library. Or, for that matter, whether each timeline's Quentin has one.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:24 PM on April 6, 2016


I like that this is an alternate timeline rather than a straight adaptation of the books, a la the STAR TREK reboot. But it bothers me more than it should that there's only supposed to be one major deviation per timeline but in this one we have Margot instead of Janet and Julia not at Brakebills. That's two deviations! Two! Two is greater than one!
posted by Justinian at 2:46 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just caught up on the show & all the fanfare threads so far. :)

Read the books years ago, so the changes aren't bugging me much (I'm rather enjoying them) although obviously this week's ep diverged in hugely more important ways than previously.

(and I am more than happy to have a story line with 100% less fox rape)

So agree. Although I also agree with you, Captain_Science, that Julia's recollection cannot possibly be accurate. The book version was so unbelievably and unexpectedly horrific; the fact that TV-version Julia's account was over-the-top perfect has to signal that it's also not what really happened.

BTW there was a lot of complaining early on about the premiere's presenting Quentin as the Chosen One when the books clearly rejected that trope. I think the time-loop explains it, and the Chosen One stuff in the premiere was the writers messing with us. Quentin wasn't ever a Chosen One; he was just the one who happened to be there at the time of the Beast's attack (he was the one who summoned the Beast), so he's the one (along with his friends) they have to use in the relooping to fight the Beast. He's just a regular guy, but all the retries are attempts to make him and his friends stronger, more informed, more capable of effecting a better outcome than the first time around.

In the premiere, the Beast says to him, "Let's just nip this all in the bud" and tries to kill him. Clearly the Beast knows they have been looping. Probably the first time round, the Beast didn't recognize Quentin or target him specifically.

I haven't thought this through thoroughly, but I bet on rewatch it would make sense in a lot of ways. I know the creators acknowledged (maybe in one of the interviews linked in an earlier thread?) that Quentin was supposed to be an anti-Chosen One, so I suspect all that stuff early on was misdirection.
posted by torticat at 4:37 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Another observation--there was some discussion after the ghost house ep about whether the ghost kids were in fact being forced to relive abuse over and over, or whether they were more like movie projections.
http://fanfare.metafilter.com/6191/The-Magicians-The-Writing-Room-Books-Included

Given what we know after this episode, that whole bit may have been simple foreshadowing. In any case, what does it say--that discussion between Alice and Quentin outside the ghost house--about Jane Chatwin's morality in replaying the horror of the Beast over and over and forcing Quentin et al to live through it again and again?
posted by torticat at 7:47 PM on April 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm really excited for the finale. Quentin and Julia are in Fillory in 1942 and everyone else is there in 2016 and I assume they are going to fight the Beast in two different times. I also assume they are going to save Jane. So so excited.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:23 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am so so happy that they separated Quentin and Alice to spare us at least some of the drama. And I'm also really happy that they skipped the fox rape (even though I thought that scene was, while not great, at least understandable in the book, it would have been poison for the show).

Interestingly, we seem to be fast-forwarding to the god-touched/dryad version of Julia from books 2 & 3. I do have to agree that the god-summoning must have been more than it seemed though, and I am expecting some fallout at some point.

I do wonder where they're going with the finale and then with season 2. The battle in the Neitherlands this episode was clearly taking the place of some of the battle through the beast's lair in the book, particularly as we got to see Margo's gun and the characters now have blood on their hands. Still, if the finale sees them getting all the way to a direct confrontation with the Beast and defeating him, I can't help but think it is going to feel very rushed. And I'll be pissed if we don't get Dint and Fen. Does anyone know if the finale is going to be regular length? A double-length finale might be able to pull it off. Oh, and I'm taking bets on Josh not surviving the finale.

As for season 2, I can't imagine that we'll get a whole season of the gang playing at being kings and queens of Fillory. It would be such a complete course change from season 1 as to make it essentially a different show, especially since they've used up most of the book 2 material that connects back to Earth. This makes me think that it's likely the Beast won't be defeated in the finale so that they can continue that plotline into the second season. I'm a little worried that season 2 is going to be a real challenge for the writers.

Overall, I was really happy with this episode and I'm excited for next week.
posted by 256 at 6:09 AM on April 7, 2016


I appreciated the time deviation with Josh being from the missing class of a couple years ago and only having been on his own for a few weeks. Is that true for Fillory or just the Nether Lands?

Someone may correct me, but as I recall from the books the Neitherlands was time-dilated in the opposite direction. Penny spends subjective years there practicing his magic while only a few months pass back on Earth.

As for Fillory, "Fillory IS magic." In the books there is no direct formula for Fillorian time dilation. Sometimes you spend a decade there and return to Earth half a second after you left. Sometimes you spend a week there and find that a year has passed back home.
posted by 256 at 6:23 AM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Janet/Margo and Julia is only two changes though if we assume the book timeline is the true one, rather than an altered one that contains Janet, while Margo is in all the other timelines.

Also I agree, with 1942 no way is Jane Chatwin going to stay dead. If nothing else, they'll probably warn her and then she can fake her death later to restart the loop - though that takes some of the drama out of Alice niffinizing.
posted by corb at 9:02 PM on April 7, 2016


If Alice niffenizes.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:07 PM on April 7, 2016


I don't even know how to handle a world without Alice niffinizing. But at the same time, you really don't want her to niffinize to save an asshole like Q.
posted by corb at 11:00 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


You people made me look up niffin. Now I want to use it somewhere else and make people look it up, too.
posted by Atreides at 7:14 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I love that we honestly can't predict where they're going to take this. Is splitting off Julia and Q going to be the show's version of getting to Fillory through the party at the Chatwin house? I think so, since they might not want to cover that territory again (especially after the ghost episode, too). Then again, they've already scouted the location, so maybe we will return. Will Josh stick around long enough to own a Venetian villa? My wife theorized that Alice could niffinize but stick around to haunt Q (in order to maintain the actor in the cast).
posted by rikschell at 8:19 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


So does anyone else think that Julia and the FTB crew's ritual didn't go nearly as well as she suggested? Maybe it's just because we know what happened in the books (and I am more than happy to have a story line with 100% less fox rape) but I could also totally see season 2 being her dealing with say some memory changes/blocks failing and the truth of what happened coming out (which also can get us into the plot lines of book 2...the old gods returning to take back magic).

I think that is a very good insight and is very likely true. I didn't find 'the gods are coming back to take pain away' very... Plausible.
posted by bq at 8:13 AM on April 14, 2016


Why is Elliott suddenly Gilligan? I get that he's grieving, but that can be portrayed without his being a total bumblefuck.
Eliot was the most 'together' at the beginning of the series. Now that he is falling, he's falling apart all the way.
posted by bq at 8:15 AM on April 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Alice wardrobe notes: she is wearing a vagina dentata dress. And will somebody get this woman a goddamn hair clip!
posted by bq at 9:51 PM on April 19, 2016


« Older Podcast: Radiolab from WNYC: D...   |  Podcast: Alice Isn't Dead: Par... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster