Spoilers The Magicians Season 4

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It wasn't just about the mechanics of keeping Josh alive -- it was that Margo realized she cares for Josh and needed to be there for him.
     
  2. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Margot is more caring than even she thought. I miss the real Elliott.
     
  3. FreezeC77

    FreezeC77 Commodore Commodore

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    I guess the reveal that they weren't actually God's explains it though. The four of them are just magicians who stole 1/4 of the power of a powerful God and used it to become Gods. Not really sure why all the other Gods accepted that. Unless most of them came from stealing power from something amazingly powerful as well. Maybe there is no such thing as an actual God and they're all just originally mortal beings who found a way to become insanely powerful.

    I actually thought with how much Alice or Quentin talked about his old self that they would use the spell he used to go back in time at Brakebill's South and bring back the "innocent" version of Quentin from the past.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, that was an unexpected ending. And according to the producers, it's not a cliffhanger or a setup for a new quest, but a permanent change to the show. A pretty courageous choice to make, but that's not unusual for this show. (Although as soon as Q and Alice reaffirmed their love moments before going on an incredibly dangerous fate-of-the-universe mission, I kinda had a feeling...)

    It's actually kind of refreshing that they didn't end on a cliffhanger, aside from the brief setup of what's gone wrong in Fillory and what's possibly next for Alice. I like it when finales are actually finales, when they're a meaningful resolution to the season's storyline rather than devoting a lot of their time to the setup of the next.

    I think this is the second time in the past month or two that I've seen a TV show use a cover of "Take On Me," but I can't remember what the other one was. Honestly, I'm not a fan of that song. "Take on me" is a strange way to put those three words together, and I really don't know what the refrain means, and I don't think the melody and the lyrics sound that good together. Some words sound better when sung as sustained notes than others, and "take" is not one of them. Well, at least they didn't try to do the falsetto bit, which is the most annoying part of the original.

    Oh, I just remembered another place I heard the song a bit less recently, which was the trailer to the Ready Player One movie, where it was arranged partially orchestrally. Which was a coincidence, because I saw the trailer right before Black Panther, whose main theme is almost exactly the same melody as the "Take On Me" refrain.
     
  5. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    To me the song is about a guy making a desperate plea to get someone to connect with him but has been failing and feels the opportunity is slipping away. If you accept that interpretation it's not the worst metaphor for Q and the situation. (Plus, it gives the cast an excuse to sing...)

    The odd phrasing could have something to do with the band being Norwegian.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sure, but I wish it had been a better song.


    Yeah, I suppose so. You know, I heard that song on the PA all the time when I worked at the university library, and probably in other contexts over the years, and I could never figure out what the refrain was, because "take on me" would never have occurred to me as a possibility. I thought the bit after that was "Lay it on me," but I couldn't figure out the rest. It was only after seeing that Ready Player One trailer a while back that I decided to try to track down what the song was called, and I was surprised when I found out.
     
  7. FreezeC77

    FreezeC77 Commodore Commodore

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    I read an Interview with Quentin's actor and he said that he was actually the only actor who knew how the season was ended and that they had filmed a fake scene which would have had Quentin return (or offer the possibility of return). It wasn't until a few days before the season finale that the actors were informed of how the episode actually ended.

    I think this was a bad decision by the show staff. I think back to probably one of the most memorable death scenes in television history with Henry Blake dying in MASH. Basically the head writer/producer decided that the cast would not know he was dying until the final scene was filmed because he didn't want the actors to show overly sad 'goodbyes' to a character who was going back home because they actors knew he was actually going to die.

    I think the fact that the actors knew/thought Quentin was coming back because they had the scripts for the final fake scene kept the 'Take On Me' memorial not emotional enough IMO. I think if they had known it was actually the end there would have been more emotion.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I read a review that pointed out that the scene of Underworld Penny greeting Quentin on his arrival was the same scene as the end of the episode where Penny set that privileged white guy straight (or so he thought) about the error of assuming that the heterosexual white guy is automatically the center of the story. In retrospect, we can see how that was foreshadowing this, because they've now written out the (mostly) hetero white guy who was the lead character up to now.

    Let's see, going by credits order, I guess that would make Stella Maeve/Julia the series lead now. Which would explain why she had to be made human again, since having the lead character of your show be a goddess would make things a bit too easy, or at least a bit too unrelatable for the audience of mere mortals.

    Although I think that if I'd been in Penny-23's shoes, having to decide for the unconscious Julia whether she should be made divine or human, I would've made the other choice. If I chose human and it turned out she wanted goddess, then she'd be out of luck, as we saw. But if I chose goddess and it turned out she wanted to be human, then as a goddess, she'd still theoretically have the power to find some way to make herself human on her own. So I think that's the choice that would leave her the most freedom of choice overall.
     
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, that was not how I expected things to go. I think it's pretty impressive that they actually managed to keep Quentin's death a secret. I saw something about there being a big shock in the finale, but I had just assumed that it would be Eliot or Julia who died.
    All of the people all over the world all working together to help with the incorporate bond was a pretty cool moment.
    I loved Eliot's big speech to the flower in The Secret Sea.
    I wonder what they're going to do with Christopher Plover now that he's back from the Library?
    I love that it was Quentin's specialization in fixing small things that ended up saving the day.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I kinda saw that coming -- the way they kept dismissing it as some little thing made me expect it would have a big payoff eventually. And the fact that the finale's opening recap made a point of mentioning it was the clincher. Sometimes those "Previously" things telegraph a bit too much.
     
  11. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Quentin was sort of the focus in the early shows, in that everything was shown from his point of view, mostly. But, as the seasons passed, he has had less to do. Once everyone was getting used to how Fillory works, he didn't have to explain everything all the time and others were able to shine. Margo has become the one to watch lately. I think he was the one of the original Brakebill's students that could be sidelined the easiest. Everyone else was more interesting than Quentin lately. Once he and Alice got back together, I got a Whedon vibe and sure enough...
     
  12. kitik

    kitik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wow, that was one of the most amazing season finales of all time. It totally felt like a series finale, because, you know, the main character died. This show really has become spectacular, and this episode is clearly up there with the "Q and Eliot grow old" one as one of the best of the series. All the scenes that happened after Quentin died were what made it special, and they were the payoff for watching 4 seasons of the show.

    How in the world they're going to top this next year is beyond me, but I wish them luck.

    Huge props for having the guts to kill off your lead. It really sets up next year for a no-one-is-safe type of vibe.
     
  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I hadn't noticed that, but you're right. He really did seem to be becoming less of the driving force in the stories, especially this season.
    EDIT: I forgot to add this to the post before, but Io9 has a statement that the executive producers released about Quentin's death in the finale.
    I have to admit, it did kind of get to me a bit when the other characters all started singing and throwing the stuff in the fire.
    Oh, and I don't think I've said it yet, but Fogg is an awesome fucking badass. I liked Rick Worthy in his numerous Trek roles, but he had just been killing it as Fogg these last couple seasons.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019 at 2:06 AM
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not to take away from The Magicians, but The Gifted did much the same thing in its season (and series) finale -- had the top-billed character sacrifice his life to save the others. Although whether they intended it to stick if they got a third season is unclear.

    Of course, a number of shows over the decades have killed off or written out their leads due to salary disputes or what-have-you, e.g. Earth: Final Conflict or Blake's 7. But it's good to see a show doing it because it was the right creative choice, rather than having to adjust their creative choices to fit real-world politics or business or whatever.
     
  15. kitik

    kitik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Every time he goes off to do something for the gang, or save their asses from the latest fire they got into, I think to myself "this is where they're finally going to kill off Dean Fogg". And yet he just keeps going. It's truly shocking that he actually outlasted Quentin!

    I don't think they were planning to bring him back (without naming X-Men characters so as not to spoil anyone still intending to watch it), but I view that show as much more of an ensemble, and while Magicians certainly is too, there's no doubt Q was the star. That said, it's the X-Men, character deaths are par for the course, and that one was the textbook definition of a season finale death. This one felt like so much more. Both a culmination and a celebration. Certainly Q was a character that we as fans actually cared far more about and identified with.

    But to your main point, yes, main characters have died on other shows before, but this one really felt emotionally earned, and properly respected.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I disagree -- The Magicians is very much an ensemble show. Thinking back on the season, the stuff that comes to mind first is the stuff with Queen Margo and Were-Josh and Monster Eliot and Kady's hedge witches and Alice escaping and fighting the Library and Zelda uncovering the conspiracy and so forth, and it took me more thinking to even remember what Quentin did this season -- I guess it was largely dealing with Monster Eliot and his father's death, patching things up with Alice, and discovering his specialty. He was the glue that bound the others together, but his role lately was largely in support of the other characters' arcs, and a lot of characters had big stuff going on that had nothing to do with Quentin. It felt like the show had already grown beyond him, to an extent.

    Whereas in The Gifted,
    it also felt that the show had grown beyond Reed, but that it didn't realize it and arbitrarily kept him central even though his story arc wasn't all that interesting. And in the finale, they made the very obnoxious choice of nerfing Polaris, making their most powerful character illogically helpless (come on, she's the Mistress of Magnetism and they were in a garage full of large metal vehicles) so that the bland white male lead could be the one to save the world. So that when they did kill him off, it felt like a relief.

    So the difference is that The Magicians already served its full ensemble equally well, while The Gifted focused too much on its leading man out of proportion to his value to the ensemble and the narrative.