The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5 Review: Escape From The Happy Place

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Eliot is dead! Or so The Monster wants us to believe on The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5. However, all hope is not lost, since Eliot is actually in The Happy Place. The Happy Place is somewhere that The Monster cannot come, and it's filled with all of his past remembrances. 

For the most part, Eliot seems unaware of what's going on, which wasn't what I was expected compared to the end of The Magicians Season 4 Episode 4. It's sort of forgiving that Eliot isn't aware of everything that's going on, but it's offset by the fact that Eliot has to go through all of his dark memories and find the one with a door. 

The sequence where Eliot goes through all of his memories with remembrances of particular instances of  Fen, Margo, and Quentin actually plays a little bit like a clip show. It's not a bad use for the format. 

Eliot and Charlton in Front of Chalkboard - The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5

The scene where Eliot actually finds the door is actually really sweet.

Quentin and Eliot's relationship has changed and evolved over the seasons, and eventually in The Magicians Season 3 Episode 5 "A Life in a Day," they did embark on a romantic relationship. When "A Life in a Day" ended, the audience never really got closure to how those events in the past played out. 

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Eliot's memory was a very interesting way to bring us that closure. It also felt appropriate that Eliot's memory that he was the most ashamed of would be one where he was confronting his true feelings. The shift really comes when Eliot says:

If I ever get out of here Q, know that when I'm braver it's because I learned it from you.


The moment that Eliot is able to go through the door and regain control of his body is a rewarding moment. 

I have praised Hale Appleman's performance this season and this scene solidifies it.

The moment he goes from being The Monster to Eliot there are subtle changes in his demeanor as he tries to convince Quentin that he is alive. 

Even the moment when Eliot goes back to his Happy Place with Charlton and he says "I hope so" is heartbreaking.

Eliot and Charlton Look Seriously at a Chalkboard - The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5

Tied into Eliot's escape is Alice's return and Julia's continued "god problems." Let's start with Julia's continued confusion as to what exactly she is.

Getting an answer in plain and simple English feels great, but not when it comes with a threat. 

Julia's primary role this episode, other than receiving the message from Iris, is to distract the beast with a trip to the library.

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The actions that were taken in her absence results in the deaths of both Shoshana and Iris. These are two characters the audience barely had a chance to know and yet, it's easy to start mourning one of them. 

Shoshana, the maenad, and now Julia's follower seem poised to help her but also slightly oblivious as to the best way to do so. It's not surprising that Shoshana died at Iris's hand this episode.

She warned Julia that Iris wasn't to be messed with and even alludes to a beef Iris had with Bacchus, but seeing Shoshana step in front of Julia to protect her from the one real threat to her hurts a little.

Taking into consideration that Julia is immortal and Iris warns that she'll see everyone she loves die this has to be the first of many wounds Julia will have to endure. 

Julia and The Monster - The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5

Iris's death is, by comparison, less of a loss. Viewers only really saw Iris at the end of The Magicians Season 3, before Julia left to help her friends. We aren't that attached to her, and she was going to kill Julia.

Put one tick in the column for reasons to be glad they didn't send The Monster back to Castle Blackspire. 

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Now, we need to talk about Alice. Alice is on a redemption arc this season and she's not doing a great job when it comes to looking for that redemption. 

The start of this episode sees the end of her partnership with Christopher Plover. As stated on The Magicians Season 4 Episode 4, Plover wanted to go to a world where he could be truly happy, but Alice was worried that since he was a pedophile he would harm a child. 

Instead of leading Plover to a world where he could be happy, she takes him to The Poison World fountain and after he jumps in, lets the rope fall.

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It's not hard to understand why Alice does this. We know her time as a niffin has led her to make many enemies and that she tortured some creatures.

She also betrayed her friends at Castle Blackspire and left Quentin after he and Julia brought her back to human form. Alice is not scoring a lot of points right now. 

Alice Looking Serious - The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5

Yet, Alice has spent the first few episodes of this season berating herself for her actions.

Murdering Plover doesn't feel like one that is going to put her in the black. Neither is proceeding with the plan to trap The Monster when it was clearly Eliot and not The Monster at that moment. 

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The magicians have each other's backs, but one thing that is made abundantly clear where allegiances lie.

Quentin will do anything for Julia and Eliot. Alice has a myopic love for Quentin. Quentin loves Alice but isn't ready to forgive her.

As she continues to make choices that she thinks will protect her friends she's missing a larger picture.

If she had doused The Monster with the sone's blood she would have been hurting Quentin, not just saving him. She hasn't quite gotten the emotional intelligence to understand how that choice would have turned out.

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I think a part of Alice's stunted emotional growth comes from her time as a niffin. She's grown intellectually, but she hasn't had all of the same experiences that the rest of the magicians have had. I think she needs to develop that in order to get her redemption. 

What was your favorite part of this week's episode? Were you glad that Eliot was able to warn his friends?

Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below and watch The Magicians online to get caught up on the rest of this magical saga. 

Escape From The Happy Place Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (10 Votes)

Lauren Busser is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5 Quotes

You saved my life. You can save my life fifty times. It's not going to change anything between us. I love you.


If I ever get out of here Q, know that when I'm braver it's because I learned it from you.