“Oh Oh Oh...It’s Magic”
Written by Katherine Lingenfelter
Directed by Adam Kane
Ned’s half-brothers invite the gang to their magic show. Chuck wants Ned to embrace his brothers, but he’s still resisting. Chuck also wants to verify that Lily is really her mom, but since her strategy is posing as telemarketers with weird accents and Lily is an old grump, she gets nowhere. A magician colleague of Ned’s brothers hires Emerson to solve the murder of his assistants. His animal assistants. Emerson is not impressed, until the magician offers to pay him top dollar. Lily is terrified that Vivian will discover that she slept with her fiancé and had his baby. The shady Dwight Dickson from last episode knows that secret and will tell Vivian if Lily doesn’t procure Charles Charles’s pocketwatch for him. The gang realizes that their magician client was the real target of whoever was killing his animals, and on the fourth attempt, the murderer succeeds. Their first suspect is his stage assistant (the human one), but she points them to a rival magician whose thing is swallowing and regurgitating non-food items. Vivian brings Dwight Dickson to the Pie Hole for a date, where he learns who has the pocket watch. When the coroner busts open the cement that would’ve contained the magician’s corpse, they find no corpse! Ned explains to Maurice and Ralston that their dad was just a dead-beat, and they deal with that a little as brothers. Ned realizes that the magician is actually dead, and the killer swapped the cement blocks to make it look like it was just a permanent disappearing act. The competitor magician turns up dead too, and they’re back to suspecting the assistant. She still denies it. Ned and Chuck chisel the first magician out enough to interview him about his murder. He tells them what happened. Turns out the other magician is still alive and takes Olive hostage. He killed the first magician because he was jealous of the dude’s fatherly affection for the twins. Ned brings Chuck to Lily and Vivian’s house. Olive helps them stage a conversation between Chuck and Lily so that she can have a conversation with her mother. Dwight Dickson digs up Charlotte’s coffin and finds it empty.
Even though Emerson and Olive don’t have much in the way of an arc going on, that’s okay because the aunts are back! Episodes tend to suffer without them. Also, Ned’s brothers are adorable, so it was fun getting to know them better, and that ended up connecting to Plot A (because the murderer was a man who couldn’t get over his dad-related issues), so it made for a two-pronged attack on Ned’s baggage about his dad. Nice!
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
I loved the scene where Ned talked about how hard he tried to hate his dad, but all he could really do was love him and be sad he abandoned him. Ned’s getting better at introspection all the time.
Chuck’s arc is kind of the opposite of Ned’s. He wants to avoid anything to do with his father, and she wants to get closer to her mother in any way possible. Neither of them is very good at achieving those goals.
Even though Emerson didn’t get any progress on his missing daughter arc, he was still fantastic. I loved how unimpressed he was with magic because he’s so observant that the tricks never actually trick him.
It’s awesome that even characters who are kind of on the sidelines like Lily and Vivian get to have multiple character arcs. The main arc for them in S1 was overcoming their depression and agoraphobia so that they could start swimming again and enjoy being alive. Instead of dragging that out or making them relapse, the writers gave them new things to do. Vivian is getting braver about standing up to Lily’s crotchety ways, and she’s even brave enough to ask someone out on a date! Lily is wrestling with the secrets she’s keeping from her sister while still trying to grieve the daughter she has to pretend is her niece.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.