Magi Episode 16: Solomon’s Wisdom
“I’ll always reach my hand out to you.” -Aladdin
Summary: With Kassim transformed into a Dark Djinn using the dark Rukh, and Alibaba reluctant to fight him, others start to influence the battle. With Judal, Sinbad, the Balbadd palace guard, and Morgiana each contributing for better or for worse, in the end it’s up to Aladdin to save his friend.
Impressions: True story: it took me more than half the episode to realize why Aladdin looked so weird to me (his turban/fly carpet is missing.) But other than that (and the wild fluctuation in the animation quality), this was a pretty gripping episode. Not only does Aladdin come back, but so does resident master of the crazy/angry face Judal, who’s up an’ at ’em again. And there was more Morgiana, which is always a good thing.
With all the bitterness, hatred, and resentment floating around Balbadd, it was easy to transform Kassim into a so-called Dark Djinn. Since a regular Djinn draws it’s powers from the regular rukh, a Dark Djinn is formed from the dark rukh. Alibaba is hesitant to fight what once was Kassim, but he does at first get a couple of good swipes in. It’s just too bad that because the atmosphere is so infused with the dark rukh, Kassim is able to use it in order to regenerate any lost limbs, in addition to his control of gravity (i.e. he can fly.) Alibaba has a really tough time fighting him at first, even with Morgiana backing him up. It’s Sinbad who finally is able to ground Kassim, even though he get’s pretty badly injured for his troubles. While Alibaba fights with himself about possibly killing his friend, the Balbadd palace guards also join in to help their king. When he sees them, fighting for their home it kinda solidifies his resolve. By strengthening his will, Alibaba is able to feed even more power into Amon, which results in what look like gauntlets being formed on Alibaba’s arms (I can’t help but wonder if once Alibaba has truly mastered his Djinn equip if the end result won’t be a huge ass sword and a full suit of armor of some kind.) Right as Alibaba is about to strike the final blow to Kassim, who should finally wake up but Judal. Of course. He blocks Alibaba’s attack, and because he can control the dark rukh he is also able to assume control of Kassim. Judal also draws strength from all the dark rukh being produced by the rest of the city, making him even more powerful.
Things are looking pretty bleak for our heroes at this point. Sinbad is pinned to a wall with some of Judal’s ice spears, Morgiana is helping Alibaba dodge attacks, and Alibaba recklessly allows himself to be thrown up to the hovering Kassim and Judal in the hopes of finally landing one blow on them. Judal continues to draw power from the dark rukh and channels it into Kassim, who grows and becomes even more of a demon. Balbadd is on fire and corpses litter the streets. In one final attempt, Morgiana launches Alibaba upwards only to have one of Kassim’s energy balls of doom crash into him, breaking Alibaba’s sword. This is the moment of rock bottom; where things can’t get any worse because that would be crossing the line from happy adventure show into gritty tragedy. And it’s at exactly that moment that Aladdin finally comes back from his spiritual travelings. Echoing the first meeting between Aladdin and Alibaba, Aladdin offers his friend his hand, and the tides suddenly seem to be shifting in Alibaba’s favor.
Judal is understandably upset by Aladdin’s arrival, especially since Aladdin seems to have picked up a few tricks since the two last fought such a short time ago. Using heat magic, Aladdin is able to strike a pretty substantial blow against Judal and Kassim. This isn’t the same naive little kid Aladdin that we’ve seen so far. He’s learned magic and now has an air about him that speaks of confidence that he can get the job done. Even though, that might not actually be the case. Even though he’s able to use magic now, Aladdin himself acknowledges that he’s still not strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Judal. At least, not by himself. He and Alibaba are going to have to work together in order to defeat Kassim and Judal. Aladdin shows a dejected Alibaba what’s happening in the city as the citizens of Balbadd start to fight back against the violence that has taken over the city. Their hope and strength creates rukh to fight against the darkness swallowing their city. Aladdin starts to channel this, as a giant swirl of light energy surrounds him, and a very familiar seal appears on his forehead. The Arms Dealer, who had been watching the whole thing play out from afar, seems shocked that Aladdin has acquired this ability, which he refers to as “Solomon’s Wisdom.” What exactly this strange power is remains to be seen, but from everyone’s reaction it can only mean good things for Team Alibaba and not-so-good things for Team Judal. Next episode should hopefully see the resolution of this conflict. Will Alibaba be able to save Kassim? What exactly is Solomon’s Wisdom? Will the three thieves ever find Sinbad so that they can give him his stuff back? Hopefully next episode we’ll get the answers to these questions. And maybe the animation will be a little bit more consistent.
Final Thought: For one second, when Aladdin’s forehead started to shine with light at the end of the episode, I almost expected a little crescent moon to show up and for him to have a transformation sequence. Hey, ya never know.