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Molly Templeton

“Nobody ever gives up magic because everything’s peachy.” The Magicians, “Cheat Day”

The farther we get into season two of The Magicians, the more season one feels like the prologue. Finding out magic is real, that magical worlds are real, and that not everything magical is nice and wonderful—that’s the introductory text. The real meat of this story is what happens next: How do you rule the magical kingdom? What do you do when magic fails you and you want it back? And how do you deal with trauma that, while magical in origin, is trauma all the same?

In Quentin’s case, the answer is, essentially, “poorly.” But “Cheat Day” gives us someone who’s even worse at processing grief than Quentin is:

Emily Greenstreet.

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Now We’re Just Grownups: The Magicians, “The Flying Forest”

“Now magic is failing on earth, because of shit. Proving once again that comedy and tragedy can coexist in the same goddamn sentence.”

Dean Fogg with The Magicians’ thesis statement, everybody! This week’s episode is prime Magicians: goofy set pieces involving body doubles and stoner trees mixed with really heavy emotional work. After last week’s wrenching battle, our semi-heroes are in difficult places, each facing hard truths about themselves. “The Flying Forest” is very much about grief, about physical healing, emotional struggle, making dubious choices, maybe getting high to erase all the feelings for a while, and coming back down to face the thing that never goes away: you.

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This Week in the Arrowverse: Racing, Russia, and Revolution

Oliver Queen is always going back to Russia, it feels like—but this time he takes his whole team, with mixed results. On The Flash, Barry and Wally can’t stop arguing about who’s the fastest and the bestest, while the Legends are pretty busy trying to save America. Yep, the whole country. What would Washington do?

The answer is clearly “get a pep talk from Mick Rory.”

Spoilers for all three shows follow!

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The Regicide is the Fun Part: The Magicians, “Divine Elimination”

I can’t even tell you how many feelings I had to eat in order to fortify myself to think about “Divine Elimination.” These are dark times, my friends. How much control does Julia really have over the Beast? How many people have to get hurt while she and Team Fillory power-struggle about which enemy should die first? How much chocolate am I going to cry into over the course of this season?

But before the true darkness, a little regicidal levity.

[“You’re acting like this is your first regicide.”]

This Week in the Arrowverse: New Faces, Old Problems

Team dynamics are so complicated. And so much fun, at least where the bad guys are concerned. Team Flash bickered amongst themselves (welcome, Julian; aren’t you glad you joined?), Team Arrow gained another player, and Team Legends figured a few things out—but Team Evil, camped out in their Evil Lair (you know it’s evil because the light is all that gloomy blue-gray), fought their way through a truly delightful power struggle that’s probably not really over yet.

All that, and Arrow was still the best of the three shows this week. The flashbacks are just about caught up to Oliver Queen’s present-day life, and I just have this feeling there might be … repercussions.

Spoilers for all three shows below!

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Agricultural Tales and New Tats: The Magicians, “Hotel Spa Potions”

What if the start of a show’s second season … was really the end of the show’s first season? “Hotel Spa Potions” has a really specific feeling that I can only describe as “seems like it should be the third-to-last episode of a season, where everyone stocks up on what they need for eventual battle.” A moderate number of intriguing things happen, but mostly, we’re deep in the legwork: For Quentin and the gang at Brakebills, it’s figuring out pixie riddles and how to control Penny’s hands; Julia is coming to terms with the Beast’s endless singing and possibly good ideas; and Eliot, well, he’s got to remember a childhood he’d really rather forget.

Oh, Good King Fertilizer. What would Fillory do without you?

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This Week in the Arrowverse: Save Star Wars, Save the Timeline

While Arrow and The Flash returned from the winter break with perfectly serviceable episodes (with bonus super-fierce Felicity), Legends of Tomorrow came back with laser pistols blazing. This week’s meta-commentary about art, inspiration, and the power of stories to change lives—oh, and the Spear of Destiny, and what a poor villain Vandal Savage was—wasn’t just the show at its best. It was the show at better-than-we-ever-expected.

Spoilers for all three Arrowverse shows follow!

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Kings, Queens, Tricksters, Fools: The Magicians, “Knight of Crowns”

After an intriguing but flawed first season, The Magicians is back and not messing around. Season two doesn’t take even the tiniest breather, but picks right up where we left off: everything is terrible, and everything hurts. We’re far out of book territory here—and so far, that seems to be a good thing.

Spoilers abound in the enchanted forest!

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This Week in the Arrowverse: Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Villains

Apart from a few references to what happened last week, the Dominators are well and gone from the Arrowverse, their influence only really apparent in a sweet moment Arrow (where Thea Queen continues to be the linchpin holding Oliver’s dual lives together). We’ve got other villains to attend to, and a Legion to assemble! But not without a couple of very special holiday moments. Unless you’re a time traveler, in which case no presents for you.

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Freezerburn: The Flash 3×07, “Killer Frost”

Since neither Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow aired this week, The Flash gets all the attention! With more speedsters, more underused Iris, and more emotional drama, “Killer Frost” is a mixed bag. Despite a couple of excellent performances, it highlights how the show is struggling with its once-bright(ish) tone.

Spoilers for the episode below!

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Magic, Danger, and Makeouts in Syfy’s The Magicians Season 2 Trailer

The Magicians‘ first season played fast and loose with Lev Grossman’s bestselling books—for better and for worse—and it looks like we can expect more of the same from season two. Syfy’s new trailer has more spells, more ominous proclamations (“The fate of the world is in your hands!”) and, naturally, a few serious makeouts.

[“Dude, that is crazy vague.”]

This Week in the Arrowverse: Monsters of All Kinds

Who becomes a villain, and why? What makes a monster monstrous? The Flash meets another monster that isn’t what it seems; Arrow introduces another DC character; and Legends goes to a tricky part of the past (with zombies!).  With just under a month to go until “Invasion,” the massive crossover week, it’s a little surprising how few hints have been dropped—other than that message from the future, which plays again this week…

Spoilers for all three shows!

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