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The Magicians - The Flying Forest - Review: "The White Lady"

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The Magicians Season 2 Episode Guide
2.01 "Knight of Crowns" - Review
2.02 "Hotel Spa Potions" - Review
2.03 "Divine Elimination" - Review
2.04 "The Flying Forest" - Review
2.05 "Cheat Day" - Airs February 22
2.06 "The Clock Barrens" - Airs March 2
2.07 "Plan B"
2.08 "Word as Bond"
2.09 "Lesser Evils"
2.10 "The Girl Who Told Time"

The Magicians 2.04 "The Flying Forest" - Review:
Directed by Carol Banker & Written by David Reed

With Alice's death hanging over this episode, Quentin and Penny teamed up to try and find a way to bring her back. It was an entertaining hour that dealt with Quentin's grief as well as seeing Eliot and Margo deal with problems caused by the Death of the Beast in Fillory, splitting the tone well. Julia's story, now Beast-less, may have lost some of its momentum but it was still an effective one, as she attempted to come up with a backup plan to take down Reynard.

First off, it was great to see Alessandro Juliani from Battlestar Galactica and The 100 - two of my favourite shows, in this episode. Juliani, who's playing a centaur here, may not have the biggest role it was nonetheless a vital one as after nothing less than five surgeries he was able to heal Quentin and keep him alive, giving him a wooden arm in the process. But he is unwilling to give Penny his hands back, because the magic that was cursed on the hands was something that even the Centaurs are afraid of. This leaves Quentin and Penny with only one apparent option that might not only save Penny's hands but also bring Alice back, The mysterious White Lady who makes the Flying Forest her home, a fawn-like creature with the powers to grant a wish to a hunter who captures her. So Penny and Quentin set off, after Penny has Quentin chop off his current hands because they are rapidly creating more and more problems. The Flying Forest too is problematic for both Penny and Quentin to navigate as they end up getting high whilst walking through it, and it's only after Quentin believes that in order to save a girl he's here to rescue he should take the path that nobody has taken before that he is able to escape. He ends up shooting the White Lady, giving them the wishes that they need.

However, unfortunately bringing someone back from the dead is something that The White Lady cannot do. It's impossible, so Quentin asks for the next best thing, to be happy. But this will come at the cost of his memories of Alice and he will eventually fall into sadness again, so Quentin eventually declines that wish as well. Things are looking slightly better for Penny who has regained the use of his hands, and hopefully, after a good four episodes of this problem being a consistent thorn in Penny's side, it looks to be resolved for now. If this problem is indeed permanently resolved it will be interesting to see where the writers take Penny over the course of the second half of the series. A highlight this episode for me was probably the scene where Penny and Quentin were working together in the woods not knowing that they hated each other and it lead to a really fun dynamic that hopefully the show returns to in the future.

It was also great to see the return of Kady in this episode who has been absent for a while now. After Julia helps her get clean she ends up drawing Kady in to helping her stop Reynard, which is going to be even harder without The Beast and the God-killing Knife. Understandably Kady is surprised when Julia reveals to her the fact that she's frozen Marina's dead body, but there's a reason for this - they plan to use Necromancy from a ritual found inside a library book to bring her back to life. They succeed at least temporarily, bringing Marina back just long enough for her to tell them that 40 years ago a girl banished Reynard once before and that they need to find her in order to do so. So it looks like this will be the aim for the middle act of the season, finding out the identity of the girl who can stop a God. Maybe this has something to do with the title of the final episode of the season, "The Girl Who Told Time?".

It's also important not to overlook Eliot and Margo's storylines this episode as both of these two had important roles to play. It's Margo who helps Julia copy down the contents of the library book when she learns it can only be copied down by hand as the two overcome their differences for the most part, and it's Margo who also helps Eliot get some clay to form a clone/golem of Eliot in order to help him overcome the problem restricting the movements of all the Kings and Queens of Fillory at the same time. The Golem certainly makes an interesting new addition giving Eliot in particular a lot more freedom, and an excuse to get away from the troubles of Fillory politics.

Eliot decides to use this opportunity to return to Brakebills where something troublesome is happening and that both the students and teachers alike - including Dean Fogg himself, are having problems with their magic. However Eliot is more concerned with the fact that Todd has taken over the cottage, however that doesn't stop him from hooking up with a second year guy named Javier. Whilst having sex with Javier he experiences some sort of vision where he's having sex with his wife in Fillory, as if he was jumping back and forth between bodies. It doesn't bother him too much - at least for now, but the vision is something that may come back to haunt him further down the line.

Ultimately whilst The Flying Forest may not have been the most exciting episode of The Magicians ever it was still a quieter approach that fleshed out Quentin's character a bit more as he went through his grief process following Alice's death. He actually decides to walk away from magic, something that for anyone would be hard to say no to, and it's going to be fascinating to see what direction he goes in next now that he's back in the real world with the knowledge that magic can't solve everyone's problems. How long he'll be there remains to be seen, but for now it certainly was an interesting choice that will no doubt cause further problems for the remaining Kings and Queens in his absence.

What did you think of The Flying Forest? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to check out the next episode of The Magicians at 9pm on SyFy!

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The Wire, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, The Magicians, Narcos, Preacher, Star Trek Discovery, Star Wars Rebels, The Shannara Chronicles, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV. He also occasionaly writes book reviews at his own site, The Fictional Hangout and ontributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic. He also regularly watches and reviews films on Letterboxd, and you can find his ever-changing list of 250 favourite movies here.
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