A Timeline and Place. Lines like, “She knew the consequences, and still licked the paintbrushes.”, seem like flippant comments from the ever-quippy Marina, but they are actually one more nod to this country’s not always savory past. Radium Girls and their unfortunate demise at the hands of watchmakers abusing expendable laborers for glow in the dark fashion is not a bright point in our history(pun intended). It wasn’t all dark introspection though, as Julia still was able to find jokes in her current desperate situation, Quentin continued to be a steadfast friend even at his own peril, and Margo is still white-knuckle gripping her grief.
Cleverly mixed in with the capers and partnerships were very serious social constructs. The IRL water situation in Flint, Michigan is not a magical problem that exists only in the fictional world of The Magicians. Tonight, inexplicably that social issue, the causes, and the solution were tackled head-on, and The Magicians stuck the landing in a way only they could. Fascism is scary not for the loss of control, but for the overtly paternalistic measures taken in the name of public safety. Alice is Fascism in human form. She has always thought she knew best and even now when she thinks she is helping Modesto she fails to think about the bigger picture. It is her Achilles heel, and one that is exploited again and again. By splitting the pipe and releasing more magic she was able to decontaminate the water(a good thing for sure), but she also put Sheila(Camryn Manheim) in a position with the Librarians that is dangerous. She may have also started a revolution with terrible consequences….
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