The Magicians Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Consequences of Advanced Spellcasting

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A lot happens on The Magicians Season 1 Episode 3 as we continue to discover more and more about the world of magic and the secrets it holds.

I thought this episode was a definite improvement from the premiere. It didn't focus so much on the scandalous nature of magical youths, or on placing each character into a neat little stereotype box.

For the most part, all the lead characters are starting to act more organically, and we're seeing everyone's motives come to light.

Overwhelmed By the Power - The Magicians

Alice in particular was a lot more interesting this episode. Although her little awkward quirks are still annoying (talking quickly, walking like a robot), we see a lot more emotional depth to her character.

Her desperation at the end when Charlie is lost forever really comes through. She's also got quite the singing voice, although you have to wonder if the writers shoehorned that song in just for the sake of showing off her pipes.

Quentin, on the other hand, is becoming more and more unlikeable. First of all, there's really nothing much to him, besides his happiness that his magical fantasies were all real. He's bland, doesn't have any memorable traits, and doesn't really have an interesting backstory, either. Maybe that's the point, though? That someone as generic as he is can still be a magician?

But there's more that bothers me about Quentin. His whole confrontation with Julia was really uncomfortable, mostly because he was acting like a huge, self-entitled jerk. It's hard to believe he could be so condescending to someone he used to consider his best friend.

What's more troublesome is that he seems to blame Julia for being nice to him despite knowing that he had a crush on her. He's acting like he deserved her love because he was a "Nice Guy."

And now he's punishing her for never liking him back. How incredibly sexist. Having a protagonist who's hard to root for may not be a wise choice for the show going forward.

I've also got to side with Julia on this argument, too. I don't understand the logic behind Brakebills decision to cut off people with even a modicum of magical ability.

Aren't they encouraging them to go rogue and become Hedge Witches? If the Dean is so concerned about the misuse of magic, then wouldn't it be prudent to accept everyone and teach them properly?

Being a magician has always been about, in part, accruing power. Power over yourself, the elements, the future. But power, as you all know, does not come cheaply.

Dean Fogg

In terms of the actual plot this week, I thought the exploration of Charlie was pretty interesting, as is the idea of a niffin (except every time someone says the word "niffin" I want to laugh).

Emily's story was a pretty lame reason for his death, and I feel like there's more to the story than we know. Something must have happened to turn Charlie into a raging maniac.

The dialogue still leaves a lot to be desired, and that especially goes for Penny. He's supposed to be a tough guy, but getting his panties into a bunch because he hears Quentin singing Taylor Swift doesn't really help that image.

Having tattoos and hating Taylor Swift does not make you a badass. 

We don't get to see a lot of the Hedge Witches this episode, which is unfortunate. Julia and Marina are easily the most dynamic and interesting characters on the show so far. It's going to be really interesting to compare Quentin and Julia's very different journeys to magic. 

You have to mean it for magic to work.


We also don't have any mentions of Fillory, either. The novelty of Brakebills and the existence of magic is starting wear off, and including a fantasy land that is even more unbelievable than Brakebills will do a lot to keep viewers interested.

I'm also hoping we start learning more about The Beast, because he was definitely the best thing about the premiere. 

What did you think of this episode? Was it an improvement from the premiere? Do you think Alice is really dropping out of Brakebills? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Don't forget you can watch The Magicians online anytime right here at TV Fanatic!

Consequences of Advanced Spellcasting Review

Editor Rating: 3.2 / 5.0
  • 3.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (20 Votes)
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The Magicians Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Being a magician has always been about, in part, accruing power. Power over yourself, the elements, the future. But power, as you all know, does not come cheaply.

Dean Fogg

Phosphoromancy, bitches!