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.

Senses of a Magician and Creating Stronger Spells

Most magicians are so happy to have magic in their lives, or are too unhappy in general, to show any interest in how magic actually works. Time is devoted to finding and mastering the art of spell casting. Fingers deftly bending in rhythm with words old as cuneiform in clay tablets. Each motion, each syllable bends unseen forces to the will of the caster. Now think of the role of the caster’s senses and how useful they can be in creating the rhythm of a proper spell.

Most non-magicals in the U.S.A. believe that there are five senses. It isn’t anyone’s fault per se, as there seems to be a trend among educators to teach what textbooks say, regardless of updates by the scientific community. Other non-magicals are aware of at least nine human senses. To recap, for humans not effected by injury or developmental difference, those senses include:

  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Balance
  • Temperature
  • Movement
  • Pain

However, this is not the end of perception and senses for magicians and hedge witches alike. In fact, even some non-magicals have access to perception of other senses through their neural wiring and we are still figuring out how this works. read more

The Blind Palm

Gunpowder in the tray. A flash of light. Face obscured.

Suddenly I’m awake. Same dream again. The bedclothes twisted around me, drenched in sweat. Glance at my father’s watch loose on my wrist: Late for school again. Fuck it.

Aunt Maude’s solution to my problems. The Gravesend prep school. read more

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