The Magicians Syfy, 10:00 p.m. — Well, it's finally here. The last musical episode we'll ever get from this show. apparently, some kind of curse causes the group to emit their feelings, Glee-style and Margo has it out with a hideous purse.
Chicago Med NBC, 8:00 p.m. — Dr. Charles thinks Dr. Halstead is repeating his past mistakes when he takes on an Alzheimer's patient admitted to the ER. Meanwhile, Dr. Manning and Dr. Marcel argue over the best course of treatment for a terminally ill patient.
Survivor CBS, 8:00 p.m. — A select group gains an edge over their fellow castaways and one tribe tries a different approach to an immunity challenge.
The Goldbergs ABC, 8:00 p.m. — Barry and Erica convert Murray's store into a college hangout while Beverly bonds with Adam over a bicycle.
The Masked Singer Fox, 8:00 p.m. — Will Arnett Joins the judging panel as Group C members perform one last time with only three will moving on to the Super Nine.
Schooled ABC, 8:30 p.m. — Principal Glascott angers his former mentor when he redesignates the old principal's parking spot to be used as a community garden.
Chicago Fire NBC, 9:00 p.m. — Severide investigates a suspicious motel fire as the rest of the firehouse becomes internet sleuths after stumbling upon a Reddit post about one of their own.
Motherland: Fort Salem Freeform, 9:00 p.m. — The unit travels to Salem Town where chaos erupts as Tally questions her decision to join the military.
SEAL Team CBS, 9:00 p.m. — The team prepares for a three-month deployment but problems at home involving the future of Jason's career and Sonny's impending disciplinary hearings cause tensions to run high.
American Housewife ABC, 9:30 p.m. — Katie recreates her first apartment with Greg after finding an old piece of furniture.
Chicago P.D. NBC, 10:00 p.m. — The team pulls out all the stops to build a case against the leader of a dangerous drug cartel but the investigation comes to a h when Rojas realizes someone close to her may be involved.
S.W.A.T. CBS, 10:00 p.m. — The SWAT team must protect a hotel full of civilians after a joint task force mission with the LAPD Gang Division goes wrong, and the city's most dangerous gang leaders scatter across the building to find an escape.
Awkwafina is Nora From Queens Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. — Nora heads to China after her app is bought by a company oversees and Grandma befriends an injured pigeon.
If you ever wanted to watch a musical version of an Oceans movies set in a hotel not unlike The Continental from John Wick: Chapter 2, then look no further than this episode of The Magicians. We start “The Balls” in the gang’s New York City apartment, where Marina walks everyone else through the intricate plan they must enact in order to steal the World Seed from The Couple’s stronghold in the Nave Hotel.
I won’t go into many of the delightful details of the heist here suffice it to say it involves a knock-off purse with magical incubator properties, a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck, and overcoming golems who can sense microaggressions, except to note that the gang will all be able to communicate during their elaborate robbery through a Conductor Spell that Zelda knows.
Given that this is this season’s musical episode, we’re ready for it when the spell, given the wonky magical circumstance on Earth, goes a bit wrong. After Zelda casts it, the gang is visited by everyone’s favorite sexist pig, Sir Effingham, who wants to shoot Julia for being the force that will bring the end of Fillory. Things get heated although luckily for Sir Effingham, Julia along with Penny23 are the two who aren’t part of the World Seed heist, and the strong emotions cause the Conductor Spell to go awry, forcing everyone—including Sir Effingham—to take part in a song and dance number of Nick Lowe’s “Too Cruel To Be Kind.”
This group musical performance is the biggest one of the episode; unlike previous years The Magicians has a musical episode in each of its five seasons, the songs in “The Balls” are mostly smaller affairs, more intimate ballads between a handful of characters rather than full-out musical showstoppers. Season 5 has been a quieter and sadder season than years before it, however, and this relatively toned-down musical performance emphasis on the world “relatively” fits the overall arc and mood of the season.
The songs also don’t seem to be as plentiful as previous musical episodes, though I admit my memory could be off here. Even if I’m remembering correctly, however, fewer songs are okay—we still get oeuvres that move us, such as Eliot and Alice’s rendition of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s “Don’t Give Up,” and we also still get exciting ensemble pieces, such as the aforementioned “Too Cruel to Be Kind” and a golem-fighting finale where the gang breaks out of the Nave with the World Seed to the tune of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.”
Also unlike some other musical episodes of years past, there was a non-music-infused storyline this episode as well—Penny23 and Julia track down Penny’s mother in order to better understand how having a Traveler baby will impact Julia’s sanity. Both of their interactions with Penny’s mother are...