How Quentin Coldwater’s Depression Saved Him

Quentin Coldwater provides one of the most honest perspectives on what it is like to have depression. For him, it goes beyond sadness. It is a sense of nothingness, emptiness, a disconnection from one’s inner being.  His battle is twice as difficult than that of usual fantasy protagonists, who are naturally self assured, brave and optimistic . Instead we have insecure, melancholy Quentin. A soon as he is done battling beasts on the outside, he must go on to fight those residing inside his mind.

In the first book,  he goes through a whirlwind of depressive episodes, each one unlocking a new realization. As a high school student, it signals a yearning for something extraordinary. When he graduates, it leads him to seek beyond the hedonistic pleasures. Following the death of Alice, he channels it into mastering spell craft.  He discovers being a magician is all about transforming  the victim mentality into one of empowerment that allows manipulation of reality.

“But you, my friends, you found another way: a way to use the pain. To burn it as fuel, for light and warmth. You have learned to break the world that has tried to break you.” read more

Episode Breakdown: The Girl Who Told Time

The Girl Who Told Time. If I have learned anything this season it is that names of episodes are fairly important. This one is a clear nod to the Fillory books and Jane Chatwin. Will we be bumping into another time or dimension of the Chatwins or are we going to see more about time manipulation from Julia? Or could it have more to do with this new mystery woman who may/ probably hexed a librarian to get into the restricted area?

Episode Breakdown: Lesser Evils

Lesser Evils, is there ever such a thing? Often I think we talk about lesser evils as a way to convince ourselves that our actions are somehow justified because we could have done something worse. This episode is aptly named. This is the part where I want to throw in a snide comment that goes something like this: they could have picked a worse musical number to shove into the middle of the episode. Yes, yes I’m sure we are all musical theatre lovers, but still the plot connection felt weak. Then again, I am a sucker for a musical number…. Ahhhh my cynical heart is crumbling just that fast. Elle Lipson and John McNamara, your writing gets me right in the feels!

Looking Forward from “Plan B”

Last week I missed out talking about “Plan B”; I’m afraid the flu took me down for a few days. So instead of discussing the episode let’s imagine what is to happen next.

“Plan B” is my favorite episode of the season. I have watched it a few times (there are a few benefits being down with the flu) and the plot is totally absorbing. All of our characters are back together exchanging sardonic comments and acting as the dysfunctional magical team that we all know and love.

Episode Breakdown: Hotel Spa Potions

Warning: Spoilers for Hotel Spa Potions

You know how every show has exciting episodes and plot building episodes? For me, Hotel Spa Potions is a plot-building episode. Team Brakebills continues their efforts to stop The Beast and fix Fillory. Meanwhile, The Beast is The Beast in his effort to take up as much space as possible while Julia attempts to find a way to defeat the trickster god. That’s it basically, except for all the sarcasm and character development that makes the show really fun!

In this episode, it seemed like Margo and The Beast were playing the same role for their respective gangs. They both kept pointing out how rough and hard and pointless things are, but with flourish! Margo offered deadpan observations and The Beast delivered most of his message by way of Broadway-style song.

The best part of the episode, the best best part – Bigby! That Pixie is so much fun! She is an expert in battle magic, makes Dean Fogg satisfyingly uncomfortable, and talks about sex nonstop. I haven’t enjoyed a character so much since we met Alice Quinn’s parent’s special friend, the traveller. read more

The Dangerous Truth of Reading Books

With the beginning of season two of The Magicians, I have decided to reread Lev Grossman’s beautifully crafted novels; any excuse, am I right? Today I got just a few pages into the first book when Grossman’s description of the relationship Quentin has with the Fillory books resonated so strongly with me:

But there was a more seductive, more dangerous truth to Fillory that Quentin couldn’t let go of. It was almost like the Fillory books – especially the first one, The World in the Walls – were about reading itself. […] it’s like he’s opening the covers of a book, but a book that did what books always promised to do and never actually quite did: get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better. (The Magicians, Lev Grossman) read more