Warning – contains spoilers for previous episodes!
At the end of last episode Orphans things looked particularly bad for Jimmy, but fret not as the opening of Magical Thinking has him alive and with fingernails intact! That’s mainly because it’s two days before that cliffhanger though, and the form this year doesn’t mean things will end up predictably…
Case in point, as a travelling lizard salesman called Chester Creb becomes a very late-joining character and wants to join the carnival. He may also be a ventriloquist and magician, but with all that’s happened thus far then to gain integration – and to turn both Bette and Dot’s heads romantically while doing so – surely he’d have to be pretty much legendary?
I wasn’t expecting to see a potentially major new character in such an already character-packed story especially so late, but Chester is a genuinely good addition to the troupe and fits in surprisingly quickly. It looks like he’ll have a role to play as we enter the endgame – though in light of the quality of my predictions so far that means he’ll probably be dead before the first commercial break next week!
Given the sheer number of plotlines this season has had so far, it’s surprising it hasn’t gotten tangled and lost, and while the way some characters have been fading in and out as a result of the cast size it’s managed to squeeze in a huge amount of content in an impressively clear way; looking back it feels like we’re approaching the finale of a 22-episode run rather than being 11 episodes in!
The slight downside this week is that the focus seems to be off the biggest of the perceived dangers as set earlier in the run; they do show up but maybe a spoiling of the likes of some of the Who series’ is that it feels a little the lines are being held apart a bit which may not give enough time for them all to supply the level of jeopardy and impact that they were working towards.
That said, there’s still quite a lot of characters left, so next week could bring some big shocks. Or, maybe, even sooner…