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TV Review: The Magicians 1.6 “Impractical Applications”
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The Magicians 106-10

The Magicians
Season 1 Episode 6: “Impractical Applications”
Directed by John Stuart Scott
Written by Leah Fong
Created by Sera Gamble & John McNamara
Based on the novel by Lev Grossman
Starring Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta, Summer Bishil, Rick Worthy, Jade Tailor
Air Date: Monday, February 22nd, 2016, 9:00pm

Last time on The Magicians, Julia (Stella Maeve) tried to use her womanly wiles on Pete (David Call), so he would help her find another witchy group. Quentin’s (Jason Ralph) father was diagnosed with cancer and refusing treatment, so Quentin tried to find a magical cure via the use of an enchanted puppy who died anyway (noooo!!!). Everyone was trying to find a mentor. Eliot and Margo (Hale Appleman and Summer Bishil) wanted Alice’s (Olivia Taylor Dudley) aunt, but in the end all their machinations and ass-kissing failed. Penny (Arjun Gupta) accidentally traveled to Fillory, where he saw the Beast and a girl chained up.

Spoilers below.

The Magicians 1.6 “Impractical Applications” review: Quentin is floored and feeling a little less special (and a little more sane) that Penny confirmed that Fillory is real. So real in fact, that the Beast is holed up there. Kady and Penny grow closer as she reveals some of her family life to Penny, the key being that her mom died when she was young.

Julia is still searching for a magical coven of sorts. After bullying a Marina flunky, she runs into (as in this chick was following her) Hannah, and ex-Marina hedge witch. She brings along some apparently compelling looking spells that will make Marina’s filing cabinets appear before them. They also make Hannah bleed out from every bit of her face and die. Earlier Kady had denounced her mom, Hannah (surprise!), but I’m sure she will be seeking mom vengeance on Julian and Marina quite soon.

But the main meat of the episode are “The Trials,” where all first years have to complete 3 challenges in order to “pass.” Otherwise? Expulsion. Doesn’t it seem like Brakebills goes right to the harsh? Everything is “do it or you leave Brakebills.” Well, it’s not my school. Eliot and Margo run the trials for our “Fab 4.” The first, is a crack the spell code test. Luckily, Penny can cheat by astral projection. Second, it’s a seemingly silly test – cut a tree with a rope, catch a horse with an ax, etc. The trick? Cooperation! Thee guys definitely watched Sesame Street. The third? Naked truth test. of course it is. The couples pair off, get naked, put war paint on each other, and have to tell a real truth in order to pass so the binding ropes fall away. So you KNOW this is where the real drama of the episode is going to happen.

Penny and Kady: They were totally comfortable with the naked. Everything else, though. I think we all knew that Penny was falling for Kady, but he acted so tough, the only way he could admit it was literally being forced to by magic. She was a surprise though. Not the part about admitting her secret treachery, but I thought for sure she was falling for Penny too. Points for this scene. Both actors were great in wearing their 1000 feelings on their face at just the right moments.

Quentin and Alice: Awkward! They are completely uncomfortable naked, as expected. Their truths are less volatile and more apparent than the other couple, but they do beat around the bush for a while, until they realize those ropes are not budging. Alice admits she’s more powerful than she lets on, and Quentin admits he’s really a scared little boy that runs away from everything. Quentin – everyone you’ve ever met knows that truth about you. But apparently that’s enough because the ropes fall away and they turn into birds.

And fly away.

I know.

Of course, although Eliot has a smaller role this episode, he is the verbal snark star, “I am literally losing the will to live.” No you’re not, Elliot. You are entertained and entertaining by yourself.

Special moment – Us finding out that Quentin went to junior cowboy camp. I spit my drink out at that one.

The Magicians does keep it fresh, with interesting Brakebill activities, mixed with the arch of the season.

The Magicians airs Monday nights at 9pm ET on Syfy.

Image Gallery


THE MAGICIANS | Inside The Magicians: Episode 6 | Syfy

The cast and showrunners talk Season 1, Episode 6.

THE MAGICIANS | Episode 106 Sneak Peek | Syfy

Still trying to learn magic, Julia checks out a safe house she heard about through another hedge. Is it just us, or is someone following her? The Magicians airs Mondays at 9/8c on Syfy.

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