Time is running out for Quentin (Jason Ralph) and the squad this week on The Magicians as The Beast draws ever closer. The villain purposely targets Penny (Arjun Gupta) and all the travelers by being psychically super loud to drive them insane. Meanwhile Julia (Stella Maeve) and the folks at Free Trader Beowulf try to find a way to summon a god.
Through the Martin Chatwin pages that Penny got from the Neitherlands, Q determines that there is a weapon that they could use that would be powerful enough to kill The Beast, whom they believe to be a transformed Christopher Plover. Plover had apparently begun to learn how to change himself so that he could follow Martin into Fillory. In desperation, Martin sought the same man who created the Virgo Blade and asked for another one that could kill the author. Q explains that this weapon could still be somewhere in Fillory because it had never been used. Still, that doesn’t solve their immediate problem of The Beast trying to kill them.
Margo (Summer Bishil), Eliot (Hale Appleman), and Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) vote to make a deal with The Beast by going to the Neitherlands and giving the button to the mercenaries with Penny and Q disagreeing. In order to determine what the right course of action is, they cast a probability spell to try out different scenarios. Unfortunately in seven out of eight tries they all end up dead next week. The only time that they didn’t immediately get killed was when they all went to Fillory and the result was some mysterious whiteout.
Frustrated, Penny decides to try and figure it out on his own when The Beast reaches out telepathically and gives him a terrible ultimatum, come to Fillory now or wait until he is completely mad because it’s going to get uncomfortably loud in his mind. We find out that the travelers are specifically being targeted because the monster wants all roads to his domain on lockdown. Both Joe and Stanley end up killing themselves and Penny overdoses in an attempt to drown out the voices.
Sunderland ends up giving the traveler a kind of disruption patch placed at the nape of his neck that temporarily disrupts the magic flowing into his mind and thus quieting the voices. Penny, who is so used to only relying on himself changes his mind and decides to join the squad again.
Earlier, Q, Alice, Margo and Eliot figured that they needed to learn some real battle magic before going to Fillory since they’d also have to deal with the mercenaries at the Neitherlands. Q and Alice asked Penny to cast a locator spell to find out where Kady (Jade Tailor) was since she actually knew how to properly perform these incantations. They track her down at Julia’s apartment and the former Brakebills student explains that it takes years to learn it properly and that they have to be mentally and emotionally clear to do it. However, she does give them a spell that hedges used to get around that but it’s not a pleasant experience.
This cheat turns out to be a spell that temporarily bottles their emotions so that they can practice battle magic without all the baggage. They can only do this for a short amount of time though and then they will have to drink their emotions back and it will hit them tenfold.
Before heading out, Quentin and Kady both uncomfortably try to ask the other how Julia and Penny are doing. Kady says that Jules is good and that they are working on something that can help a lot of people. Meanwhile, Q says that Penny is the same, just moodier. This is a weirdly touching moment between two people who’ve never really been alone together. You can sympathize for both characters who have people they care about but can’t talk to because of circumstances beyond their control.
Alice and Penny opt to try and learn the battle spells without the shortcut (feeling that the aftereffects were too crazy) while Q, Eliot, and Margo continue with it. In an attempt to cope with their concentrated emotions, the trio drown their sorrows with alcohol and it leads to a crazy threesome (you read that right!) to which Q wakes up the next morning to see Alice staring at them. Awkward. This scene happens in the book as well though I quite like this version better. While it was still a monumentally f’d up thing for Q to do with Alice as his girlfriend, we do see that they were all dealing with the stress of fighting for their lives. But it does show us how ultimately some people operate better than others while under pressure. Poor Q just seriously screwed this one up.
Outside of Brakebills, Julia and Kady learn that the Free Trader Beowulf have been trying to find the gods for a long time. Their leads have never panned out to anything, but this time they have an ace up their sleeves with Julia. Richard reveals that the prayer he had given her back when they first met had never worked for anyone except her, noting that she is somehow a chosen one. Julia and Kady then seek out older children of the gods in hopes that one of them will know how to contact one. They first meet a blood junky vampire who gives them information on a lamia. When they finally track down the lamia, she appears in the form of Hannah (Kady’s mom) and tells both women that the gods are dead and have abandoned them all.
Back at her apartment, everyone else is asleep when she hears her name being whispered. Julia follows the sound to the kitchen where early morning sun rays are coming in through the window. She extends her hands in supplication, when first water starts pouring out of them and then silver coins. When she looks up, a beautiful woman stands in front of her. It’s obviously a goddess, one that Julia seems to be drawn to. The goddess gives instructions to find one of her servants in the docks. She calls Julia daughter before the hedge witch wakes up from the dream.
This episode expanded the universe of The Magicians even more as we saw The Beast’s power extend out to reach all travelers but audiences were also introduced to the real existence of powerful deities. Still with Q’s monumental fail it shows us that humans can act just as monstrous as the creatures they fear. Now poor Alice will have to deal with a broken heart as well. Our band of miscreant magicians are holding on to their lives and sanity by a very thin thread, will going to Fillory save them or break them? Either way, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The Magicians is on Syfy Mondays 9/8 central.
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