Hail, hail, the gang's all here. Well, mostly.
With only T-minus three episodes until the series finale, The Magicians Season 5 Episode 10 wasted no time getting our favorite heroes back together for one final mission.
Except for Josh, who's still in Fillory, but otherwise, they're ready to "ovary up," as Margo would say, and kick some serious butt.
Granted, they still need a plan of action on how to stop
Seb Rupert Chatwin, but at least they have more information.
As Plover revealed during The Magicians Season 5 Episode 9, everything Rupert had done over the past 300 years was so he could resurrect Lance.
Josh: OK, OK, OK, Josh, Josh, calm, calm. You are in Taker home base land, I guess, or never fear -- no reason to fear -- because Taker kryptonite for some reason. Focus, mission, get home. Also, don’t die. When you were lost at Burning Man, what did you do? You called Margo.
Margo: Ahh, Voldemort’s clit.
The details were a little hazy, but viewers got more specifics and some insight into why Rupert was summoning the Takers.
Sure, summoning monsters that only you can stop is a great way to assume the throne and stay in power, but there's more to it than that.
The Takers are essentially guard-dogs that will hunt down any soul trying to escape from the Underworld.
So even if Rupert found a way to resurrect Lance, the Takers would retrieve his soul and bring him right back to the land of the dead.
Without the Takers, though, there would be nothing stopping Lance from returning to the world above permanently.
Rupert and Lance could finally get their happily ever after, and all it would cost is the destruction of multiple worlds.
It's unclear if Rupert knows the extent of the damage he could cause by opening a permanent door from the Underworld, but even if he does, it's unlikely he cares.
This is a guy who spent 300 years carrying out his plan, willing to sacrifice hundreds, if not thousands, of his subjects, just to be reunited with the man he loves.
Hades: Look, there’s nothing to say. It’s not the same, your grief and mine.
Alice: I disagree. I think when you lose someone…
Hades: When you die, you go somewhere. You know how I know? Because I built it for you, to help you. Quentin, Penny, I eased their passage. There’s no Underworld for gods.
Alice: What happens to you?
Hades: I don’t know. We’re not supposed to die, but she did, and that’s all I get to know ever. You see, you die someday, but I won’t.
It probably would have been more prudent for Rupert to try to find a way to die, as his death would only mean the destruction of Fillory, not the entire multiverse.
However, he's made his choice, and it's too late to turn back now, literally as the end of the episode showed dozens of dead Takers.
If Rupert has succeeded in killing all of the Takers, then it's only our heroes who stand in his way.
That is not a good position for them to be in, but they have faced tougher odds.
If there are still are some Takers left in existence, that may buy our heroes enough time to come up with a plan that doesn't end with all of them joining Quentin in the Underworld.
That would be the exact opposite of closure; something fans have been promised by The Powers That Be.
Though saddened by the news of the series ending, I have enough faith in the writers that fans will be satisfied with how things turn out.
It may not be tied up neatly in a bow, but that's life.
Ash: Are you an adult?
Josh: Of course. Do I not seem like an adult?
With only three episodes left and a clear goal in sight, the series has more than enough momentum to finish strong and go out on its own terms.
And as long as other pointless storylines aren't introduced, The Magicians should have no trouble achieving that.
Helping the show attain that goal is the conclusion of one of the more annoying storylines this season: the source of the mysterious signal.
Throughout The Magicians Season 5, the source of the mysterious signal has been nothing but a time-consuming distraction, something that's blatantly clearer in hindsight.
It's also caused nothing but trouble for the characters, as evidenced by Penny losing his ability to travel on The Magicians Season 5 Episode 4.
It could be argued that this storyline allowed for the introduction of Plum, who may serve an invaluable role in the coming episodes, but the same goal could have been accomplished by having her just be one of Penny's student.
Plum could have still been revealed to be a time traveler at some point without all the added nonsense.
Since it's finally over -- I hope -- I will admit there was some enjoyment in how things played out.
Elaphus: I want you to stop time traveling.
Penny 23: Are you like the god of time or something?
Elaphus: Hardly. I’m a time traveler like young Plum here. I have been monitoring you.
Plum: And now you’re keeping us prisoner?
Elaphus: ‘This one will be smart,’ I thought, ‘Cautious.’ Then you had to risk altering the future to save some young pervert.
Penny 23: Is this the part where you draw us little diagrams about screwing up the flow of time or whatever?
Elaphus: Nice thing about the 21st century, you’ve all seen ‘Looper,’ so I can get to the point. We are here because though I would rather be making lamps, I am forced to focus on the most important task there is: protecting the integrity of space-time, which you threaten. I’d have hoped you’d waste your time on something useful, try to kill Hitler at least.
Plum: I was getting to it.
Having the signal be a way to find time travelers was a decent enough explanation, but it was more interesting about why Elaphus wanted to find them.
His excuse about trying to preserve the space-time continuum may have been true years or decades or centuries ago, but now all he wants to do is keep traveling through time.
Elaphus must have used up his plasma factor or whatever ages ago, and it seems the only way to get more is a transfusion of sorts from other time travelers.
Following this turn of events, it was hard not to draw parallels to Jane Chatwin.
Jane, of course, continuously manipulated time to stop the Beast.
While her intentions were noble, she didn't give much regard to the aftermath of a failed timeline, as evidenced by "Psycho" Fogg from Timeline 17 on The Magicians Season 5 Episode 8.
She would just reset time and leave the rest of the humanity to whatever shitty existence they found themselves stuck in, without bothering to help clean up the pieces.
Like Jane, Elaphus hid behind his supposed good intentions, but in reality, it was just about him and his wants.
Penny 23: You’re not a guardian of space time. You’re a junkie.
Elaphus: I wasn’t lying.
Plum: You used the signal to find us, so you can take what we have to use for yourself.
Elaphus: I wasn’t lying about what I do. Time travelers are so rare, but you spend your life chasing them to unflap every butterfly wing, it feels like they’re everywhere. I’m just trying to stop idiots from destroying the entire universe.
Penny 23: Oh, it’s interesting that idiots include everyone except you.
Elaphus: Tell me most people can be trusted. Tell me more power makes people better, no. I thought so. I have been keeping this whole thing together by myself forever.
Plum: You didn’t think you could ask me for help?
Elaphus: Oh, I tried a few times with a few of you when I was your age. I believed in people.
Plum: You mean back before you thought you were better than anyone else.
Elaphus: You can’t understand unless you’ve seen what I have and I wouldn’t wish that on the devil. It’s why I put you here. Maybe, one day you’ll know enough to thank me.
That's not to say Jane nor Elaphus weren't justified in their actions, but it's worth pointing out the wake of destruction they left in their quest.
Maybe it's wrong to compare Jane's actions with Elaphus's, but there is something eerily similar about them when you take a step back.
Personal opinions aside, it was still immensely satisfying watching Penny 23 put it all together and best Elaphus at his own game.
In any timeline, Penny is a badass, though he'll soon be facing a task he's unprepared for: parenthood.
And unlike a regular pregnancy, Penny doesn't have nine months to adjust to the idea.
Julia looks to be between five to six months pregnant by earth standards, meaning Penny has at most weeks to wrap his head around this new development.
Penny, though, isn't the type of guy to abandon a pregnant Julia and shirk his responsibilities.
Though unexpected, he'll step up to the plate and do the right thing.
Julia: Well maybe this baby’s a traveler. That’d be pretty god damn handy right about now, no? OK, we need to quantify this shit: what’s happening, how can I control it, keep baby safe, and get us the hell out of here.
Eliot: I studied this first year. That make us take sex ed, what with inter-magician relations being so fraught with STIs and peril. I think we may have covered this stuff.
Julia: You think?
Eliot: I’m not proud, but I was on a record amount of greenhouse cannabis, and while technically I heard every single word, it was all, you know, song time lyrics. I was there, but in a greater sense was I there?
Charlton: Well, perhaps I can help. If you were as you say there, perhaps the remembrance itself…
Eliot: Is intact in here still somehow. That is brilliant. Can you…
Charlton: Yeah, I can certainly attempt.
Eliot: My imaginary friend is on it.
However, it's unclear if he thinks the right thing extends to being with Julia.
They still care about it each, but it's unclear if a baby will be enough to get them back together.
They had what seemed to be an amicable split on The Magicians Season 5 Episode 7, with both characters acknowledging they were headed in different directions.
Throwing a baby into the mix could change things, as Julia may be more willing to settle down and leave the heroics to the next Brakebills graduates, now that her priorities have shifted.
At this point, it could play out either way.
Either Penny and Julia could end up living happily ever after, raising their child together, or they could take a stab at this modern thing called co-parenting without romance factoring in.
Unlike Queliot or Qualice, Wickodi has never been embraced by the fandom as needing to be endgame or an OTP, most likely because it's a newer 'ship.
Julia: Oh my god. Eliot, I did it; it worked.
Eliot: Yes, now do it for real.
Eliot: I’m sorry.
Julia: You motherfucker. You incepted me.
Charlton: Your baby’s strong. It took three castings to deceive it.
Eliot: I had to make you believe it, so I had to tell you the spell was something else.
Julia: Honestly, fuck the both of you.
Eliot: Get mad later. Use the adrenaline right now. Do it again, now, Julia.
Julia: Go to hell. My baby is awesome.
Eliot: Celebrate later. Escape now. Keys.
However, at this point, it seems only Margosh and Wickodi have a chance at a happy ending, so viewers might as well hop aboard the bandwagon, lest they be disappointed.
Adiyoff could also be a contender, though Kady would have to die for that to pay off, so there's sure to be mixed feelings on that front.
Some stray thoughts:
Can we just acknowledge how hilarious an entire sex-ed class taught by Fogg is? That has to be one of the best, semi-irrelevant plot points of the season, no?
It's not something you'd think would be on the curriculum but after reading the 'do's and don'ts' -- and yes, I paused the TV read those bullet points -- it makes a lot of sense.
Can we also just take a minute to relish how everyone's still friends. This may be the longest period when no one's been the odd magician out. It may seem silly to fangirl over these characters' friendship, but I can't help it.
It just warms my heart that they've continued to be such a big part of each other's lives after Quentin's death, who was arguably the glue holding them all together.
Not only is Julia's pregnancy being sped up, but her baby has "magical powers," so to speak. Two tropes for the price of one. If viewers want to get nitpicky over the pregnancy, the science of it tracks.
However, it'd be too convenient if the Julia via an extension of the baby suddenly had non-traveler powers. Having the baby be a magical catch-all would just be too much at this point.
Though it was only briefly mentioned, Kady and Alice vowed revenge on The Couple. Hopefully, this means more to come on the world seed as most of my theories for the end of the series involve it coming into play somehow.
So what did you think The Magicians Fanatics?
How do you think the gang will stop Rupert?
Are you glad the signal mystery is over?
Which 'ships are endgame?
Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch The Magicians online right here at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.