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Episode Recap: Phoenix


On this episode of Close Up Kings the magicians trek to Arizona, home of the wild, wild west. While the guys are looking forward to expanding their horizons, a lack of props in the desert might pose a challenge. First up, the Kings head to Uptown Phoenix for some modern day inspiration. Johnny Blaze treats two women to a card trick. He asks one woman (on the left) to pick any card from this deck and write her name on it. While her friend holds a clear and empty (key word: EMPTY) card holder in her hand. Johnny then places the woman’s card back into the deck and gives the cards a good shuffle. He draws out a random card (5 of diamonds) and places it into the clear card holder on the friend’s hand and then gives the card holder a slight shake and the card changes to the card the woman wrote her name on (6 of hearts). The two women are thrilled and honestly, so are we.

Then, in a scene right out of a modern day musical set in Phoenix, the trolley driver decides to get in on the action by performing a trick that entails making a cigarette vanish. Not one to be one-uped since the show is called "Close Up Kings" dammit - Magick shows the trolley driver how a sleight of hand king from NY gets down. Next, the City slickers head to a saloon (their words not ours) in Phoenix and perform a few tricks for drunk customers. Magick performs a coin trick for two girls where he makes a coin magically appear underneath one girl’s watch by simply blowing on the coin. Not one to be left out of of the action Loki shows off his skills. He has a girl write her name on a dollar bill. He folds the bill, blows on it and the bill turns into a quarter. But wait, there’s more!... Loki then places the quarter on a stack of coasters and sets the coasters on fire. The quarter disappears and for some odd reason the smoke alarm doesn’t go off. After removing a few coasters from the stack Loki reveals that the quarter burned through and inside one of the coasters is the dollar bill with the girl’s name on it.

Still searching for “inspiration” the guys head to the desert to ride some ATVs, goof off and get “inspired” by the Arizona nature scene. Magick is feeling so bad ass that he decides to drive through the desert blindfolded. Later, the guys have a meet and greet with members of the Shaman community and get Indian names. Loki is now “Desert Turtle” and Johnny Blaze “Wild Coyote”. Loki is so inspired by the naming ceremony that he has an idea for a mentalism trick. He uses a dream catcher as a prop and has a young man from the Shaman community think of a nightmare - but tells him not to say it out loud - and then summarize that nightmare into one word. He writes down the word “fear” and Loki places the paper underneath the dream catcher on the ground. he then tells the guy to think of a positive thought. While focusing on the positive thought, Loki sets the dream catcher on fire and then asks the young man to pick up the paper and when he does the positive word he was thinking of - mother - is now written on the paper. The Shamans are impressed and so are we.

Trying to one-up his own magic, Loki decides to incorporate 4 Arizona Black bark scorpions - the most venomous scorpions in North America -into his final trick. Four of the scorpions are hidden in one of these black jars by one of the ranchers while everyone - including Loki - turns their backs so they cannot see which jar contains the scorpions. Loki tries to figure out which jar hides the scorpions by placing his hand in each of the jars because…well, we’re not sure why he’s doing it but it’ll be a neat trick if he lives to tell the tale. He has five people from the group select numbers at random. The numbers chosen represent the order in which Loki sticks his hand into the jar. Luckily (!!) Loki was able to figure out that the scorpions were in jar #2 before sticking his hand in and being stung to death. But how’d he do that? By using a little thing called mind control, Loki was able to influence which numbers people chose from the bag so even after shuffling the bag and drawing different numbers no one ever chose the number 2.