El Ministerio del Tiempo has always established that the doors can only take you different eras of Spain’s history, being all of them located in the Iberian country. But of course, if once you’ve travelled to another time, you decide you want to take a boat and go somewhere else, that’s entirely up to you, and it is what we saw for the first time in ‘Time of Magic’.
The greatest thing about this episode is that it combined fact and fiction in the best possible way. Allow me to explain: in 1924, the marquis of Santacara showed to his intellectual friends that his son, Joaquín Argamasilla, had X-Ray vision, and his son was now on the way to New York to meet Houdini, who was quite interested in Argamasilla’s “mutant” powers. Of course, Argamasilla is an agent of the ministry, and the team is sent to 1924 because they suspect that Argamasilla has betrayed the ministry and is going to sell the secret to the Americans. Our friends infiltrate the Argamasilla social circle in Madrid by pretending to be journalists (Amelia and Alonso) and magicians (Pacino, who goes by the hilarious name of ´the Great Benito’).
Our friends join Argamasilla on his trip to New York, where they discover that the crooked agent is meeting J. Edgar Hoover to tell him all about the ministry –luckily, our friends convince him that America is not the great country he expects, and they tell him about how they will build an atomic bomb to end WWII and all that ensued. You see, Argamasilla was upset about the state of Spain in the 1920s, convinced that the country was dragging on to the memories of the past and all that. But they convince him, which is what matters.
Problem is, Darrow knows the agents are there and they now want to kill Argamasilla because he has turned out to be a nuisance. But here’s what happens: Houdini is present in the lunch party where Argamasilla is going to be killed, and the magician decides to help our team after Amelia whispers to him the words that only he and his late wife knew, so Houdini helps the team escape in something that very much resembled the time-turner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Which leads to Amelia telling Houdini about the ministry to do something very special for him. You see, besides missing his late wife, Houdini also missed his mother, and spent his entire life trying to communicate with her. As a gift, Amelia takes Houdini back to 19th century Hungary so that he can see her again. It was a heartbreaking scene, and the perfect culmination to a brilliant episode.
In the meantime, in the ministry in 2016, Irene has finally realised that Susana is the worst and that she is working with Darrow, so she tells everything to Ernesto (who has received a telegram from Amelia already informing him of all of this) and decides to bring back Salvador (finally!) and throw Susana in a dumpster. And now all is right in the world.
Oh! And next week we will finally get to see what Julián has been doing in Cuba.
-Hugo Silva really has a gift for comedy. When he first pretends to read the mind of that medium was priceless, but when he next does it and adds the Danny Zucko movement from Grease Lighting, I was rolling on the floor with laughter.
-The director of this episode is Paco Plaza, who directed the REC movies, and here he included a couple of nods –the fisheye sequence in the mirror and the beginning, when we see the scene through the camera on the agent’s glasses.
-The password to access the clandestine bar is “swordfish”, like in the stateroom scene from A Night at the Opera.
-“Incompetence is like intelligence, kindness, stupidity or greed…neither of them belong to a specific sex.”
-“You! Your aura!” “My aura? What aura?” says the medium to actress Aura Garrido.
-“There’s something wrong. Either the mic is not working, or someone’s singing Jesus Christ Superstar.” Pacino trying to listening to the bug he put in Argamasilla’s pocket, which is now in the pocket of a black woman.
-My review arrives a day late thanks to the air controller strike, which had my flight cancelled and forced me to fly to Norway and spend Monday night there. Jerks.
-Here are the Ministry’s files!