The final showdown between the students and The Beast turned out to be nothing like you thought it would be.
On The Magicians Season 1 Episode 13, everything became twisted and a whole lot darker.
While this finale wasn't exactly satisfying, the storytelling was so phenomenal that at a certain point it didn't even matter that we didn't get to see a big battle between Quentin and The Beast.
It was an excellent deception the writers cooked up for us, leading us to believe that we were going to witness an epic fight and have Quentin (or Alice) defeat The Beast once and for all.
But what we got instead was a story much more nuanced and mature than a big battle between good and evil.
What The Magicians has been attempting to do all along, and finally succeeded in doing, was to create a dark, adult fantasy world.
Previous episodes touched upon dark themes, but the execution was so terrible and sloppy that the darkness was neither believable nor impactful.
In the finale, however, everything was firing on all cylinders: the acting, the writing, and the directing. All of the juvenile and trivial character quirks and subplots were thrown out in favor of big risks that paid off in a huge way.
Let's start off with Quentin. Quentin was plagued all season with an inferiority complex coupled with a feeling of never really belonging anywhere, an unhappiness that never resolved itself no matter what.
Nothing made him feel better, not even learning that magic was real. He always thought he was special and was waiting for someone to tell him so.
You're the volunteer tomato.Jane
But finally, when Quentin receives the gift from Ember, he becomes mature enough to realize that he is not, in fact, the "chosen one" and recognizes that it's Alice who is the better magician.
While his epiphany is quite sudden, it is believable that it would take him this long to really understand what magic is and how he fits into the magical world.
I want to be the one. But it's the adult part of me, the part that really understands how magic works, that tells me it's you.Quentin
Julia's story, on the other hand, doesn't end on such an uplifting note. It seemed like the goddess subplot was too neat and happy on The Magicians Season 1 Episode 12, and that's because it was. The actual events were horrific and so much darker than I could have imagined.
It's especially terrible in light of how mature and at peace Julia was earlier. Remembering the horror she unleashed destroyed all of that and it looks like she is right back where she started at the beginning of the season: desperate, and in pain.
Her desperation caused her to jeopardize the entire mission of killing The Beast. It was a great twist, and the whole confrontation scene at the end delivered one surprise after another.
I was certainly shocked when The Beast managed to gain the upper hand so quickly and even more shocked when it was Julia who turned out to be a Master Magician.
It was a little disappointing to have no real conclusion with The Beast, but it does promise that next season will be even more exciting.
Because so much time was spent on Quentin and Julia, the rest of the characters were a little neglected. Eliot and Margo's storylines were wrapped up, with Eliot choosing to stay in Fillory because he had nothing going for him back home.
Their goodbye was sweet, and I did feel for Margo (only a little).
Fillory needs meds way more than magic.Margo
Penny rescued Victoria, but didn't do much afterwards. I suppose his hands will be repaired in much the same was as the Dean's. As for Alice, she flubbed her big moment pretty badly when she couldn't even keep track of her blade.
I do wonder how she will survive after losing so much blood.
I am actually really looking forward to what the writers will do next season. Now that all the character introductions and world-building are out of the way, they can really focus on more of these thrilling, dark stories and less of the silly subplots.
Hopefully they will continue to take risks and eschew the flashy, superficial nonsense for this kind of compelling television.
What did you all think of the finale? Do you think Alice will survive? Were you shocked when Julia made a deal with the Beast? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Don't forget, you can watch The Magicians online right here via TV Fanatic!