The idea that Penny 40 is reading what his friends are up to and making the connections that they (and we) can’t necessarily see is somehow comforting, and this storytelling technique, although reminiscent of last season’s “Six Short Stories About Magic,” is much more successful in creating a sense of a deeper importance beneath what we’ve witnessed so far. The narrative trickery also manages to highlight the audience’s own tendency to place more importance on what Quentin and Alice are doing versus what the “side characters in epic quests” happen to be up to, whether they’re white or not.
What’s interesting is that despite the insight we gained into the characters of Zelda, Kady, and Fen, none of these storylines reaches a full resolution, and that’s okay. But the ending that reveals that Penny’s interrogation of the new guy is actually a test conducted by a seasoned veteran of Penny’s own abilities as a Librarian has an oddly unsatisfying conclusion. Promoted to Secrets Taken to the Grave? On the one hand, we get to see that Penny 40 has accepted his death and servitude in the Underworld and is doing well, but whether there’s more to it than that remains to be seen. Perhaps Penny’s new post will reveal even more relevant details later.
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