The Magicians Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Impractical Applications

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The truth is unearthed from our main characters on The Magicians Season 1 Episode 6, which opens up the possibility for better storytelling in the future.

The concept of the trials is actually pretty interesting, and a creative way to show us how magicians ought to think and work. The execution, however, leaves something to be desired.

The idea of being able to work together is far too cliche a lesson to learn, and the simple act of exchanging tools was not exactly a clever or subtle way to showcase cooperation. 

Facing the Trials - The Magicians

One of the best things that came from the trials was the final test, where each magician had to bare their utmost truths to one another. This was a great opportunity to move several storylines forward, in addition to revealing character depth.

Kady's character became a lot more fleshed out in particular. We hardly knew anything about her up to this point, besides the fact that she was stealing for Marina. The reason behind her servitude comes out, and the fact that her own mother sold her out to Marina makes her a lot more compelling as a character. 

Now that Penny (and hopefully everyone else) knows that she's been lying to everyone, Kady will be more involved with the story instead of just being Penny's girlfriend.

Quentin's big secret was not very impactful, however. He tells Alice that he is prone to running from reality, and that he still hates himself for some reason, even though he has everything that he ever wanted in Brakebills. 

Celebrate the world you're in, dummy.


The thing is, we pretty much already figured that out from all of the previous episodes. Quentin has proven time and again that his unhappiness doesn't stem from any external factor. It's wholly an internal self-loathing that drives him to mopiness, that renders him unable to enjoy anything in his life, including magic.

It's an interesting facet to explore in Quentin's psyche, to be sure, but it didn't really deserve the hype of being his "utmost truth." I'm hoping the writers will trust the audience enough that we get it already, and will move his character growth forward instead of dragging it out even further.

Unfortunately, Penny and Alice's secret truths are even less interesting. We know Alice is unpopular. We also know that she excels at magic. Again, the writers aren't giving viewers enough credit of being able to pick up on these character nuances, and are insistent on spoon-feeding us what we already know.

As for Penny, his declaration of love for Kady was both far too predictable and much too unrealistic. They've known each other for only a few weeks now? A few months? And during that time, we've never seen them have any kind of relationship other than sexual.

Calling it love is a little far-fetched, and reduces this whole show into some kind of cloying soap opera.

Even though the idea of being vulnerable with one another is interesting, again, the execution was poor. The show treats the act of being nude like the most scandalous, sexy thing they could come up with.

If that scene where Quentin and Alice undress in front of each other was supposed to create sexual tension, then the writers failed utterly and completely.

Ow, the pine needles are hurting my feet.


Once again, Julia proves to be the show's most valuable player. The introduction of Hannah was a great way to show Julia what her life might look like if she continues on her desperate and reckless search for magic.

The fact that Julia initially had qualms over working with Hannah proves that Julia still retains some moral fiber, outraged on Kady's behalf at Hannah's careless methods. 

Hannah's gruesome death was shocking, but who knows whether Julia will learn from her bloody fate, or will continue to obtain magic at whatever cost. If nothing else, Julia must now realize that Marina is an even bigger foe than she realized. 

Since Julia has proven herself to be a powerful witch, I'm wondering if we're building up to some sort of magical war or showdown between her and Marina. That will be fascinating to watch.

Despite all the negatives that still remain (including the annoying Eliot and Margo), the show still manages to improve little by little each episode. For all his faults, Quentin still manages to make me laugh more often than not with his nerdy, awkward quips.

Did you enjoy the trials of this episode? What did you think of each characters' secrets? Were you shocked when Hannah died? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Remember, you can watch The Magicians online anytime via TV Fanatic!

Impractical Applications Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (11 Votes)
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The Magicians Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Celebrate the world you're in, dummy.


FYI, this test is pretty much impossible.