Review by Lauryn Angel
Warning: This review contains spoilers for season one of The Magicians.
At the end of season one of The Magicians, our favorite Brakebill’s students had finally found their way to Fillory and faced off with the Beast (Charles Mesure), with unfortunate results. Julia (Stella Maeve) betrayed the group by teaming up with the Beast (and stealing the only knife that could kill him, for good measure) in order to exact revenge on Reynard (Mackenzie Astin), the trickster god who raped her. The season closed with the image of Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo’s (Summer Bishil) necks broken, Penny’s (Arjun Gupta) hands sliced off, and Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) bleeding out, while Quentin (Jason Ralph) looks on helplessly.
If you can, re-watch the season one finale (the entire season is currently available on Netflix) before watching the season two premiere, as the premiere picks up immediately where we left off. If you’ve seen the previews for the new season, you’ve probably put the pieces together and figured out that while things were pretty dire, magic means that death isn’t always permanent. And while the immediate problems are solved, our characters have to deal with the fallout of that failed battle.
On top of the magical issues, our heroes have real-world problems to deal with. Day jobs, pregnancies, and the day-to-day matters of running a kingdom provide complications. We also get development of characters other than Julia and Quentin. Eliot in particular becomes a more complicated character than the party boy he was last season. This is certainly a welcome development, and Hale Appleman’s Eliot is still my favorite aspect of the show.
Season two is much darker than season one, but it keeps its sense of humor. The bottom line: if you loved season one, season two keeps that same humor and makes the story complex. I’ve seen the first five episodes, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the season.