The Magicians Season 3 Episode 10 Review: The Art of the Market

Speaking of Hades, what a wonderful performance from Michael Luwoye, who brought an immediate sense of authority and omnipotence to the role of the god! When the timescale is infinite (or even as long as Penny’s billion-year contract), it’s easy to say, “Spoiler alert: the magic always comes back,” but it’s true. The quest for the keys is obviously very important for those worried about magic returning to their own lives, but it’s not for the gods who use magic as a carrot to control humans. No wonder Penny was persuaded to go in a new direction!

If only it were so easy for the McAllistairs (many Battlestar Galacticastill Michael Hogan), who seek to retain the power they have gained over the centuries through the subjugation of the fairy race. The timescale in the story of fairy slavery has the opposite effect of that of Hades; rather than the 400 years the fairy known as Dust has been with the wizard family in the blink of an eye, they bear the brunt of generations of oppression. After all, as the fairy queen says, “short memory is a privilege of the oppressor.” If even Fen can be persuaded to fight for those she sees as enemies in the face of such evil, then audiences must feel that heightened. A powerful storyline!

Julia’s selflessness, even just removing Quentin’s headache, is notable for what it implies about her growing power. It’s clear that she’s not just looking to harness more powerful magic by being falsely selfless; she truly seeks to become what she is by doing good. Julia’s kindness combined with the sacrifice the Fairy Queen makes to break the deal that long ago ensured her kind’s escape to Fillory and their enslavement on Earth was a powerful mix of emotions. The fairies have been cruel, but how can we ask them to give the key now? Conversely, how can they not?

Margo and Eliot would be furious if they knew about the deal, but sadly, they’re still involved in the less interesting part of the story. As nice as it was to see Eliot again with Idri de Loria, the power struggle between the realms seems somehow petty next to the plight of the fairies. Eliot’s promises to Loria to give them magic don’t ring true, nor do Margo’s threats to the Float Queen. Presumably, the payoff for these maneuvers will come in a future episode, but as a C story this week, this Game of Thrones falls flat.

Brian L. Hartfield