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The Magicians - Plan B - Review: "Bank Robbing 101"

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" - Review
2.06 "The Cock Barrens" - Review
2.07 "Plan B" - Review
2.08 "Word as Bond" - Airs March 15
2.09 "Lesser Evils" - Airs March 22
2.10 "The Girl Who Told Time" - Airs March 29
2.11 "The Rattening - Airs April 5
2.12 "Ramifications - Airs April 12
2.13 "We Have Brought You Little Cakes - Airs April 19

The Magicians 2.07 Plan B - Review:
Directed by Chris Fisher & Written by Christina Strain

This show due to its largely magical focus has often stayed away from storylines that you'd typically find in a normal police procedural show but here it came the closest yet as the team decided that to put their differences aside for a change and unite with one main goal in mind, robbing a bank. Given that Julia has Reynard's baby inside of her she's willing to do anything to get it out of her body, and with the help of Kady they find people who will be willing to help them, but first they have to acquire one million dollars, which is rather expensive, and Julia and Kady know that there's no way they're going to find that sort of sum on their own so Julia turns to Quentin for help, whilst Kady enlists Penny. Quentin in turn recruits Margo and Eliot, who are having problems of their own. It turns out Fillory is in debt and the decision to declare war may not be the wisest of choices, because they still don't have full access to the magical wellspring and Lorian troops are on the warpath. The bank robbery could be a boost for them all, so they agree to put their differences aside.

However there were problems that Julia and Kady faced before they could participate on the bank heist. It turns out that their Haxenpaxen was attacked and killed whilst they were staking out their initial target by invisible monsters not unlike Supernatural's Hellhounds, meaning that now Reynard knows where they are again and they're unable to hide. For safety precautions Dean Fogg has them brought to Brakebills, and now Julia is staying in Alice's room. It was a good way to get the characters on separate storylines crossing paths with each other and worked in a way that also created tension between the evil, Niffin Alice inside Quentin's tattoo. It turns out that she's understandably growing increasingly frustrated about being locked up in the tattoo with only Quentin who is able to see and interact with her, but it quickly turns out to be a welcome addition to the series. The exchanges between both Evil Alice and Quentin were incredibly fun and they played off each other really well so it's going to be great to see what she can get up to going forward as there's plenty of opportunities for the writers to explore with this direction. Either way this allowed for a great reunion between Quentin and Julia, who have been kept apart for far too long.

There was some really nice manipulation of time in this episode. I love it when shows show alternate stories to how a particular scenario could have played out differently and we got the same thing to happen here during the bank heist after a clever use of spells made short work of the defences. The Mission Impossible reference was also quite a fun moment, especially as it was put down as being unrealistic by Eliot as magicians could easily levitate. Now I wonder how different the series would have played out had Ethan Hunt gone to Fillory... I'm sure that's an unexpected crossover fanfiction waiting to be written. The particular bank heist played out very similiar though to Person of Interest's "If-Then-Else", one of my favourite episodes of that show, as all the different possibilities of the escape from the bank vault were explored. However, there was a catch. In order to save Penny from the vault Quentin had to agree a deal to Evil Alice - going forward she'll be in control of Quentin once an hour each day. This is something that is certainly no doubt going to lead to much bigger complications in the future, especially as in the process Eliot's golem is also wounded, causing his real body to have a seizure, and Julia came under attack as well in the process meaning it was certainly a pyrrhic victory for the team.

It turns out however that they were able to get what they wanted, and Julia was able to have the baby exorcised from her body, but it didn't go smoothly. The consequences were left unexplained but it'll be interesting to see what they were when the show answers them in this Wednesday's episode, as this was a mostly fun diversion from the main plot to rob a bank in a way that united the different storylines under one banner. How will this change the momentum of the series going forward? Will we see a diversion again between the Fillory and Reynard plots? The whole episode brought about an element of fun to the proceedings that The Magicians is known for, all the while keeping a dangerous undertone. The throwback to Margo's days as a teenage bank robber was also cool here as she seemed in charge of the situation, and also provided a welcome addition to the series. It also turns out that the choice to keep Alice around a a Niffin rather than remove her from the game for good is quickly proving to be one of the best decisions of Season 2 so far, as she's rapidly turning into one of the show's best characters. Olivia Taylor-Dudley was really on fine form here and I can't wait to see what direction this show takes as she's allowed more control of Quentin's body.

What did you think of Plan B? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to check out the next episode of The Magicians this Wednesday at 9pm on SyFy.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, The Magicians, Preacher, Star Wars Rebels, The Shannara Chronicles, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV and will be covering Castle Rock, Counterpart, Jack Ryan, Snowfall, Succession, Star Trek Discovery and Tales From The Crypt. He also contributes 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 great movies here.
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