‘The Magicians’: The Beast Cometh

The Magicians
Season 1, Episode 8: “The Strangled Heart”
Air Date: March 7, 2016


Back from Brakebills South, the lives of Quentin, Alice, and Penny are changed forever as they begin their second year of schooling only to face a villain from their past. Meanwhile Julia finds magical guidance in an unexpected place.

After their time spent as foxes in the wild, Alice and Quentin return to upstate New York an awkward mess. Alice feels that they need to spend some time apart to figure out if their feelings are real or if it’s just residual animal magnetism. Reluctantly Quentin agrees but goes out of his way to make sure that he ends up in the same study group as her anyways (fyi Penny is the third member of their mandatory study clique). Stalker alert.

Poor Penny is still reeling from having his heart broken after Kady is forced to leave Brakebills for good. She had left after Professor Mayakovsky told her that her mother had passed away and that she was free from Marina but unfortunately the faculty had found out that she had been stealing for her. Showing some empathy, he suggests that she should leave the school because she deserved better than their punishment but that she should also consider that Penny still needs the education (because of his abilities) before asking him to join her. In the end, Kady loved the traveller too much to put his life in danger and decides to disappear alone. Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of her!

THE MAGICIANS -- "The Strangled Heart" Episode 108 -- Pictured: Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice -- (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)
THE MAGICIANS — “The Strangled Heart” Episode 108 — Pictured: Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

While Q and P are outside trying to perform a complicated spell for their new class, Mike (Eliot’s alumni boyfriend) suddenly attacks them. Penny rushes at their attacker and ends up getting stabbed by a wicked blade. In last week’s episode we knew something was up with Eliot’s boy toy as a moth came flying into his apartment and Mike’s eyes turned inhumanly blue.

Quentin is sure this has something to do with The Beast but Dean Fogg isn’t quite sold on it. As Penny’s wound begins to spread we find out that it’s cursed injury. Vines begin to grow out of the cut and Q realizes that the weapon was from Fillory because Jane had been attacked with a blade with the same outcome. In book she managed to survive after a doll that she had been carrying was used as a sacrifice. Thinking it was like voodoo, Alice and Quentin make a mini Penny and burn it but to no avail.

Just as the situation seems hopeless, Eliza suddenly appears in the dean’s office and is told by Henry to fix the situation and then to get the hell away from Brakebills. She meets Quentin and explains to him that the doll didn’t work because it wasn’t something that meant anything to Penny. The curse would only accept something that was precious to him as a worthy sacrifice instead of his heart. Alice and Q raid the traveller’s room hoping to find something that actually mattered to him and stumble upon the wrapper of the candy bar that Kady had gave to Penny in Brakebills South. It was the last thing she left him (aside the forgive me note). They burn it and thankfully Penny is saved.

THE MAGICIANS -- "The Strangled Heart" Episode 108 -- Pictured: Rick Worthy as Dean Fogg -- (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)
THE MAGICIANS — “The Strangled Heart” Episode 108 — Pictured: Rick Worthy as Dean Fogg — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

The most shocking moments of this week’s episode though had to be when Eliza went to chat with Mike and we discovered that she was in fact grown up Jane Chatwin. She immediate says that she can see through his little disguise and we learn that The Beast is most definitely controlling poor Mike. Eliza/Jane angrily says that his plan didn’t work and that Penny and Quentin are both fine and that he can’t hide in Fillory forever. Apparently no matter how many doors he tried to close there would always be a way to get in. Poor Eliza, he had actually been waiting for her to come so that he could kill her (via squeezing her so hard her head explodes). He very nearly murders Dean Fogg as well who was outside the room when Eliot comes to the rescue and is forced to kill the man he has fallen in love with. I want to give him a giant hug.

Quentin comes to the dean’s office after being freaked out about Eliza’s death and the older man says they’re all probably doomed. Great.

Back in the outside world, Julia has been checked into a rehab center where she’s decided to give up magic for good. Unexpectedly Marina suddenly shows up and apologizes for how out of hand the situation got. She had said that she was only defending herself from thievery but that she had actually liked Julia. They ended things as best as it could be expected with Marina saying that as long as Jules didn’t get in her way, she’d leave her alone and end their blood feud. However in a turn of events, the ex-hedge witch meets Richard, a chaplain and Brakebills alum who viewed magic not as a drug, but as a gift left to humans by gods. Julia isn’t really buying it but he gives her something to try out. In the aftermath of the incantation, she tells him that it was a completely different experience where she didn’t feel like she was casting anything but was being cast upon instead and it terrified her. Richard laughs and explains that it wasn’t a spell but a prayer to a local deity. He then lays out that she has a choice on whether she wants to be like the hedge magicians who deal with magic like drugs, or try a different way and approach it as a tool. Julia then asks him if he’s willing to get something into Brakebills for her (likely a note for Q).

MAGICIANS -- "The Strangled Heart" Episode 108 -- Pictured: Stella Maeve as Julia -- (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)
MAGICIANS — “The Strangled Heart” Episode 108 — Pictured: Stella Maeve as Julia — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

This episode was filled with so much heartache for Penny and Eliot who both have not had it easy and in their own ways have put up a front to hide their pain and loneliness. Those two deserve happiness after everything they’ve gone through already. Still, there were some breakthroughs as Alice and Quentin finally realized that their feelings for each other were real after The Beast’s return. There were also so many great little moments between the fearsome threesome (Alice, Q, and Penny) that show how slowly they are learning to trust and depend on one another because they are all inextricably bound.

The Beast was really clever though to target someone outside of the school but still with access. He sought out Eliot and gained his trust in order to be close to the trio as both Q and Alice were Physical Kids. He then waited for Eliza to come to him in order to eliminate her as the only one who seemed to know who he really was and what he wants, although she did tell Quentin that he just wanted control of Fillory and all it’s doors. Now our heroes are in even greater danger and are nowhere near ready to face him alone. It’s going to take all their cunning and ingenuity to triumph over this powerful villain.

Final thoughts:

  • RIP poor bunny who’s was used as a delivery method for the cursed blade
  • Penny calling Quentin a stalker lol
  • Marina apologizing, who would have thought?
  • Penny’s indecent proposal to Professor Sunderland and she was totally thinking about it, it’s ok we don’t blame you
  • Eliot worrying over what to wear to please Mike was so adorable and his expression after having to kill his boyfriend gave me too many sad feels
  • Alice and Quentin getting together in the end, FINALLY
  • Dean Fogg teaching himself magic again, bravo!!!
  • What is the Fairy Godmother from Once Upon a Time doing in Brakebills? Is she consulting?
  • If Quentin only knew who Eliza really was his mind would have been blown


The Magicians is on Syfy Mondays 9/8 central.

For more on The Magicians click HERE.

Nicole C
Nicole Chttps://theworkprint.com
Nicole is the Features Editor for The Workprint. She may or may not be addicted to coffee, audiobooks, and sci-fi.

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  1. I know a straight up adaption would be impossible (for instance, Julia’s story), even though I love the show. It’s just surprising how quickly they deviated from the source material. Jane was supposed to be there until the end at least.

    • I’m not so sure that Jane is really dead. She appeared to Quinton as young Jane and adult Eliza. She told The Beast (Martin Chatwin) that his meat puppet wasn’t fooling anyone. It’s possible that Jane was using a meat puppet also. She did say that “there is always a door to Fillory when you need one.” If Jane is indeed dead, they have truly burned the blueprint and there’s no telling what comes next.

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