In ‘The Magicians’ Season 3 Finale The Quest Goes Upside Down

On the season three finale of The Magicians, the questers finally make their way to the castle at the end of the world to bring magic back. But they find out that there’s a good reason why this place is so hard to find and that what’s locked within can never ever get out.

Here are the unforgettable moments from the epic thirteenth episode of season three.

The Magicians

Julia Becomes a Full-Fledged Goddess

After Our Lady Underground placed her son Reynard’s magical spark in Julia, the hedge witch has been slowly leveling up this season by helping those in need. At the beginning of this episode, she is hearing voices as the questers talk about the last chapter in the Tale of The Seven Keys. She gets up trying to discern the sounds when suddenly the room grows quiet and she is greeted by Iris, a Greek messenger goddess. Everyone else has vanished and Jules asks the other woman who “Our Lady of the Trees” is. Iris explains that’s her and that likely she was named that for bringing the forest back in Fillory. The goddess further says that Julia fulfilled the task OLU gave her and now instead of the spark she is the flame. Unfortunately not everything is peachy as she now needs to leave her friends to do work as a full on goddess. Before that though she bids Quentin adieu and as a parting gift she gives him a hit of magic to use when needed on the quest.

On a different world, Julia is adjusting to life as a goddess with Iris explains what they do. This locale is the messenger goddess’s lab where she goes to think, create new worlds, answers texts and other magical things. She tells Jules that the work they do here is much more vital to the big picture, but they find that healing a kid or two a few times a week is good for morale. The former hedge witch asks why she can still feel her friends and Iris answers that it takes some time for the connection to fade. The other goddess adds that she needs to expend her energy on the big stuff like creating a world where fairies won’t be harmed instead of just saving a handful.

The Magicians

Finding the Architect

Josh figures out that the witch in the Tale of The Seven Keys is actually an architect. Taking things one step further, Q then realizes that she’s the architect that Reynard was talking about who built the castle that housed the gods’ mistake projects. The remaining questers then collectively start jotting all the gods of architecture down to try and figure out who it is. Alice says that they forgot to add Calypso and Margo adds that she was the witch who imprisoned Odysseus. The Greek hero was trapped on the island of Ogygia and it dawns on Josh that it is the company behind his favorite game app Candy Collider. Margo, Q, and Josh head to the game company’s headquarters and somehow manage to get a meeting with their CEO. Calypso says that she’ll talk to them because she promised Prometheus she would. For the record though, the nymph thinks they are a part of the reason why her beloved is dead. She begrudgingly explains that the prison was the highlight of her career and when she said that she needed the best jailers, Prometheus offered to help by creating a quest. The truth was that the knight offered himself freely as bait for his daughter to come and save him. The daughter in the meantime also stayed in the prison of her own free will and that she could leave any time she wished, but stayed to perform a sacred task to keep the world safe. Prometheus had channeled every ounce of his power into the keys (essentially horcruxing himself) because he saw a time to come when humans would save them if they had magic. Well that’s not ominous at all. In a weakened state, the god was attacked by his enemies and died soon after. Calypso then shows them a drawing and it turns out to be how Fillory originally looked. When Ember and Umber arrived they turned the world upside down and built on the other side. There was a theory that the dwarves who built Whitespire based it on another castle that was perfectly designed – Blackspire. The structure is still there, just underneath Fillory as they know it. The nymph gives them one final warning that what’s locked in the castle can never ever be allowed to escape. Well if Q 23’s vision comes true, it does.

Fen is Acting High King of Fillory

Back in Fillory, Fen is acting ruler as both Margo and Eliot are on the quest. The fairy queen comes to her asking for aid because someone is hunting her people. Six fairies have vanished and she had found a part of a magical device that helps humans see in the dark. The two women arrange a trap for the hunters with Fen donning a fairy robe and walking alone at night. The culprits turn out to be Irene and Gavin (the douche traveler librarian). Fillory’s acting high king entices them with a deal back at Whitespire. This turns out to be the fairy queen offering her life to save her people. Within her body resides the magic of fifty fairies and in exchange for a new agreement that her people cannot be hunted by any non-fairy creatures ever. In tears Fen protests that there must be another way, but the magical monarch says this new arrangement will finally ensure the safety of her people. She then kisses the blademaker’s daughter goodbye. Irene and Gavin agree to the bargain and Ms. MacAllister kills the queen. My heart is a melted sad puddle of emotions.  I hope Irene gets a wicked horrible rash that lasts forever.

Quentin Inceptions the Knight

Stepping up to the plate, Q decides to use the power that Julia gave him to dream communicate with the knight inside Blackspire. He explains their quest and that they are looking for a back way into the castle to get to the fountain/back door to magic. Aura, the knight, says that she can’t help unfortunately and that all the other prisoners are gone except for one. She explains that her charge killed all the other inmates and that’s why she can’t aid him because it’s too risky. After their dream conversation, Q goes back to the group and fills them in on his plan. Aura is going to open a secret door so they can go to the fountain, turn magic back on and then get the hell out. In the meantime, he’s offered to take the knight’s place as jailer because she’s been in there for centuries. Margo, Eliot and Alice protest, suggesting that they shoot the creature with the god-killing bullet instead. Quentin however believes they need to do this the hard way. Alice died for them, Eliot volunteered to stay in Fillory forever and now it was his turn to take one for the team.

Alice Asks Dean Fogg For a Favor

After learning what Q intends to do at Blackspire, Alice goes to Dean Fogg asking for an experimental potion that wipes a person’s memory and creates a new personality. She shows him the vial of fairy powder that Zelda had given her and she doesn’t want to use it (but she has too). Then ex-niffin further says that when magic returns, she’ll always be tempted and it seems that she’s scared of it dominating her life again. Given her feelings on how too much power corrupts, it’s understandable that she wants to rewire herself. Alice states that the path she’s on is a bad one and she wants to step off. The dean gives her the potion and says that after she’s snorted the fairy powder, she should drink the mixture and then give it about a day for everything to get rebooted. After Alice departs, he goes to the school’s library where Zelda is waiting for him. Dean Fogg tells the librarian that they need to talk about their arrangement. Well this can’t be good at all.

As the team heads to Fillory on the Muntjac, Alice tells Q privately that she plans on using Fogg’s potion after they finish the quest. As she tells him that she still loves him, he says that he’ll remember their love for the both of them. This moment is perhaps the closest we’ve gotten to seeing Alice’s old personality. The question is whether she’s being genuine or is this just another ploy? Despite giving Q the siphon and thereby going against her deal with the Library, Alice seems very much a wildcard still. Her motivations and agenda remain very much her own.

Enter Castle Blackspire

The questers see the bottom half of Fillory, a land full of volcanos and ash, befitting the location of the universe’s most secure prison. After letting them inside through a hidden entrance, Aura takes them to the throne room where the fountain is located. From this point on, multiple crazy things happen and of course everything goes wrong. The knight takes Q to meet her charge, the ridiculously powerful mistake of the gods that killed all other beings trapped within Blackspire. She tells him that she’s still alive because she fulfills the creature’s need to be served, loved, and coddled like a child. Meanwhile Margo and Eliot have their own side plan going on where El is to follow Quentin and use the god-killing bullet.

Aura explains to Q that this being was created to want and if it is unleashed with its appetite uncontrolled then even the gods cannot stop it. Hidden nearby but separately are Eliot and Alice. The ex-niffin snorts the fairy powder because she and the former high king might both be thinking of saving Quentin for a life of servitude. Except that El gets to it first and shoots the powerful creature to Q’s horror. But the dude isn’t dead and jumps into Aura’s body instead.

The two then return to the throne room with Alice close behind. She then uses fairy magic to take the keys and begins to drain them of their power. When Quentin asks why, she said that he talked her out of working for the Library and she realized there is no good side. Magic just makes people different shades of bad, selfish, irresponsible, and that they can’t handle it. Once the keys are just keys, she runs off and is found by Aura possessed by the creature. However, Margo and Eliot are hot on her heels and drag her back to the group. Then suddenly Julia appears despite Iris telling her to let go of her friends. The goddess tells Alice that she knows the other woman thought that she was doing the right thing, but she’s wrong. Jules then kneels by her best friend and explains that it was his bravery that made her realize what she needed to do. One by one, she takes the keys and infuses it with her godly energy to once again give the objects fuel. Once finished, Our Lady of the Trees tells the questers to hurry and then use the them to power the fountain. Whether or not Julia still has any power left remains to be seen.

However, as magic is turned back on, Irene appears with Gavin and Dean Fogg by her side. Seems that they used the fairy queen’s mojo to power the siphon and it sucks up all the magic from the fountain. She then magically chokes the questers when the dean intercedes saying that they had a deal, unless she wants to take it up with the Library. Reluctantly Irene releases them and the Brakebills head uses his potion of forgetting on the group.

The Library Controls Magic, A Lot of It Anyways

In the aftermath, magic has returned but the Library controls who gets to have it and how much. Dean Fogg goes to Zelda after negotiating to get some from a school in Calgary that wasn’t using all of their allotment. He then asks if he could see Alice who is currently being held as a prisoner because of her broken deal. We find Alice is in a state of panic as she asks Fogg where the others are. He calmly answers that per his deal with The Order, the questers are all safe and the MacAllisters can’t find them. If they tried, the Library would enact retribution against them. But Alice isn’t talking about Irene, she’s more concerned about the creature because she knows it can jump bodies and that if the others don’t know who they are and don’t have magic they can’t protect themselves. Fogg asks hypothetically what if it did get out, why would it go after them? Alice answers that it knows magic is back and it knows them. She angrily tells Fogg that this is his fault as much as it is hers. He needs to get her out and help her stop this powerful being.

Indeed, we see that Margo (who know goes by Janet, her character’s original name in the books), Josh, Julia, Kady, Penny, and Q are all living ignorant and magic-free lives as ordinary humans with new names and identities. Josh is some kind of Uber or Lyft driver, Margo is an executive of sorts, Julia is working on a new art center in Tribeca, Penny is a DJ, and Kady is a drug dealer. We see Quentin coming of a bookstore (his name is now Brian), when he is stopped by Eliot who says that he’s finally found him. Well oh crap balls because El’s possessed now by the creature. He follows “Brian” and says not to be afraid and that he’s so excited since there’s so much for them to do against all those who deserve their wrath. After all, everything is so much more fun when you do it with a friend.

Final Thoughts

Quentin 23’s vision from the seventh key indeed came true as Julia was partially responsible for letting the creature out of Blackspire. As likely the main adversary for season 4, this powerful being isn’t your typical bad guy. It seems to be quite childlike and driven by the instinct to want. Why did the gods even create this dude? So, it must have jumped into Eliot’s body at some point and hitched a ride when he and the others were returned to Earth. Cleary though Fogg’s potion had no effect on it whatsoever. We also know it’s been searching for Quentin ever since. Prometheus must have seen this as well because he had told Calypso that he saw a time when the magicians would save the gods if they had magic. It could be from this creature. However, was it inevitable that it would be freed from its prison? In this timeline it was just done by the very group that got the gods to turn magic off in the first place. The gods concoct this super deadly entity eons ago that even they themselves are afraid off, lock it up, get pissed that Q kills Ember, shut off magic, Q and the others go turn it back on and unfortunately let out the creature, it causes chaos, and now Q and the squad now must somehow save everyone (but wait they have mostly forgotten they are magicians in the first place).

Julia – Is her godly magic completely gone now? Or maybe they are just dormant after expending so much energy powering up the keys? I’m hoping it’s just the later and eventually she’ll be back to goddess mode again. Did she see all the things that would happen after she re-powered the keys? Since she told Alice that she would understand one day that bringing magic back was the right thing to do, I’m hoping that Jules also saw that eventually everything would work out.

Alice – after the disastrous events at Blackspire, has she had a change of heart regarding the necessity of magic? She also now seems to care a lot about what happens to the rest of the team after spending most of this season being self-absorbed. Why does she now give a crap when she’s safe inside the Library, albeit as a prisoner. Is it guilt that she’s largely responsible for screwing with the keys and forcing Julia to give up huge amounts of magic when the goddess could have easily stopped Fogg, Irene, and Gavin when they showed up? I think Alice may be coming to terms that what she did was selfish and now she must deal with the deadly consequences of her actions.

Margo – from a mean girl to a high king, Margo’s character has gone through such a transformation from season 1 to 3. She’s still the same feisty, smart, and quick-witted woman, but she’s also responsible, loyal, and resourceful. Come next season, I bet the fairy eye that the fairy queen gifted her will become incredibly useful. It might even show her that magic exists even if she’s forgotten about it.

The Great Blank Spot – so now that we’re in the territory of “The Great Blank Spot” was using the siphon and controlling magic for everyone just a total overreaction of The Order/Library? Or did they see an opportunity in the midst of all this chaos? Zelda herself seems to harbor some disdain towards the gods and so what if her group actually intended for the creature to come out to potentially attack the greater magical beings? Just a thought. If her side controlled the output of magic and then gods were out of the picture, who would be able to stop them from accomplishing whatever it is they want to?

The long wait for season four now begins and I can’t imagine how this all turns out. Needless to say though it’s been one hell of a ride and then some! The Magicians continues to push creative boundaries on television and is one of the most innovative shows to hit screens in a long time. Let the hellatus begin.

The Magicians airs on Syfy Wednesdays at 9 pm.

Nicole C
Nicole C
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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