The Magicians (Wednesdays, 9/8C) returns with our protagonists still stuck in a world without magic – mostly – but there are glimmerings that the situation can be reversed…
With elves still in control in Fillory, High King Eliot (Hale Appleman) and High Queen Margo (Summer Bishil) find themselves needing a break – like someplace to plan without the elves listening in.
Back on Earth, Julia’s (Stella Maeve) flicker of magic has Quentin (Jason Ralph) excited and ready to try to get magic back.
Thanks to a bit of information from Josh (Trevor Einhorn), they’re pointed to a minor god in New York – Bacchus (but he’s far more interested in partying than answering dull, depressing questions).
Meanwhile, Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) has decided to seek out magic on her own – with a very shady character…
As for our Traveler, The Librarian (Mageina Toveh) is keeping Penny (Arjun Gupta) busy retrieving unreturned books – which leads to a spot of bother and an (unsanctioned) brief reunion with Kady (Jade Tailor). And, indirectly, to an appearance by Harriet (Marlee Matlin).
A forest encounter by Eliot leads to something not uncommon in fantasy novels and shows – a quest; a seemingly impossible quest at that. (Of course an easy quest wouldn’t be any fun, would it?)
Written by series co-creator Sera Gamble and directed by Chris Fisher, The Tales of the Seven Keys maintains that balance of gritty reality, whimsical (and not so whimsical) fantasy that has kept viewers spellbound (and, no, I’m not sorry) for two seasons – enough that we now have a third season that promises to be equally entertaining.
As has become usual for this series, drama and drama come from the least expected sources; the characters show minimal (but strategic) bursts of growth, and everything is unpredictable – the way the series takes from the novels without exactly being 100% (or even 75%) faithful to them makes for lovely splinter worlds that work beautifully.
The Tales of the Seven Keys is a better than average episode of a series that has become must-see TV for fantasy fans.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.
Final Grade: B+