‘The Magicians’ Review: A New Chatwin is Revealed

In this week’s episode of The Magicians we see the return of Zelda, Julia makes a difficult choice, Kady gets high, a new Chatwin is revealed, and we spend more time with the Dark King.

Kady Meets Archie

Kady is at a magical AA meeting where she explains that she’s been clean for a year but now finds herself in a complicated situation. She tells the group that she’s a hedge and about the Reed’s Mark that’s on a bunch of their people that the Library can’t fix right now. Everyone’s looking to her to solve their issue and she found a spell that could do that in a book depository. Problem is that the building’s vanished and the only way to do that is to move it through the aetheric realm. Now comes the complicated part because one can only access it through a specific kind of acid called RCH, nicknamed Archie. As she contemplates what to do after the meeting, she is approached by a fellow attendee who turns out to be Dean Fogg in disguise. The principal is there for his own alcoholism and apologizes for how he’s been negative towards hedges all these years. He asks to see the pills, which Kady reveals she has two pieces in case it doesn’t work the first time. Fogg suddenly magically transports one of them into his mouth and swallows it aiming to make amends. In a rash decision, the hedge witch takes the other pill and says that he’s not going to do this alone.

The duo go through the streets of Manhattan high as kites and eventually spot a brown rabbit that they feel inexplicably drawn too. As they walk around there are balloons, animals, clowns and all sorts of super whimsical things. They are given some cotton candy by a random woman who says they should go find the emperor because he’s the only one who would know where anything is in the realm. As luck would have it, they follow the brown bunny who leads them to a beach where the emperor is. He greets them and we find out that he’s taken a peek into their thoughts as soon as they got to the realm. If he liked what he saw he would then let them see the bunny. The emperor has taken to both of them and explains that as long as they were here the high would never go away. He even prompts Kady about the book depository which he can provide the location for but there’s a price. One of them will have to stay and he’ll delve further into their minds to decide that. The emperor though is unable to pick as both are pretty messed up and so he lets them make the choice. Fogg and Kady argue with the principal saying that it’s enough for him to have gone through 40 crappy timelines, he’s sick of his students and he’s earned the right to step off. She says that she wants this as much as him and as soon as Fogg is given the location for the book depository, but she’s interrupted by the emperor. He says that Kady’s revealed she’s hanging on to a thread of responsibility which just isn’t going to fly in this realm so the dean stays. She apologizes to the principal that she had no right to do this to him but he says that the seemingly senseless pain he’s been through wasn’t for nothing because it guided him here and now he’s home. They hug and promises that she’ll be back and then she’s sent back to Earth with a crumpled piece of paper. Written on it is Hell’s Kitchen.

Julia Makes a Difficult Choice

Back at the apartment Julia, Alice, and Penny 23 try to figure out what more they can find out about the harmonic convergence. The traveler though starts to feel the effects of the mysterious signal again and heads to Brakebills to get it under control. Alice then tells Julia that the Library has tried to summon her dozens of times for help and so she’ll head there to find every book they have on the convergence. They even gave her a special key that will allow her to get in any time she wants. Well now another magical key! This is good for Alice to be part of another quest to help her do something useful as she still mourns Quentin’s death.

Meanwhile at the Physical Kids cottage, Penny 23 is with his student Merritt as he works on another patch to block the signal. Interestingly the two are starting to hear some sort of words as the signal is stronger. He thinks it should work but then he suddenly disappears only to reappear again moments later having seemingly gone through some kind of war zone. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember where he went and explains that the pain suddenly came on really strong and when he thought he was going to pass out he teleported.

Julia in the meantime decides she’s going to try to summon a god on her own. I don’t know if this is the most advisable course of action given her past experiences but it works and the goddess of melody, Clarion, appears. She has a proposition for Jules, she’ll stop the harmonic convergence but in exchange she wants to become human. Clarion confesses that she worships Julia, the woman who became a goddess who became human again. Apparently there is a cloak on the humanization process that even a powerful being cannot see. When prompted the goddess explains that she can’t actually feel music and this is why she wants to be one of them, plus she thinks she can be a rock star because she knows everything there is to know about tunes. She ends up bringing the binder out from his book and he’s understandably pissed that she didn’t burn tome as requested. But she offers him her own deal where if he’ll help her with her goddess situation she’ll give him a lighter to do with as he please.

She ends up being called to Brakebills to help Penny 23 who is in bad shape as the signal keeps making him spontaneously travel and he’s trying really hard to control it. Clarion joins and says that the signal is coming from a place that she can’t reach but she can save the traveler. Problem is Julia will need to choose whether to save her boyfriend or save the world because their deal is for one miracle. Apparently there are strict rules for their agreements with humans that the goddess didn’t make up. Pissed, Julia ends up choosing to save Penny 23.

Alice Reunites With Zelda

In the Library at the Neitherlands, Alice is skulking around looking for books when she notices that there are other nefarious looking people inside. She ends up making a ruckus and is quickly pulled by Zelda into another room and told to help ward the door. The former librarian explains that the folks outside are Visigoths who have come to ransack the place. So where has Z been this entire time and why is she suddenly back in her old stomping ground? Alice doesn’t have time to find out though as the looters break through their defenses and the elder woman takes her to yet another section of the Library. It turns out to be a room full of everyone’s books and the marauders want it to get their hands on them to profit and create destructive mischief. Alice tries to convince Zelda to leave with her because her life is worth more than books, but the librarian doesn’t feel that she has the courage to let go because she’s dedicated her entire life to this at the expense of being a mom and a friend. Just as their second wards are shattered, Zelda does the unexpected and all the books erupt in flames. Seems that she would rather they were destroyed than to let them fall into the wrong hands. The phosphormancer then uses the key to transport both of them to safety.

Eliot and Margo Get Closer To the Dark King

Eliot has returned to Whitespire to talk to the Dark King who ends up offering him a job as court magician. The former high king doesn’t reveal that he studied at Brakebills when the current sovereign asked who trained him and only says that he picked up bits here and there. The Dark King (who is also currently looking at a jacket by his seamstress) then tells Eliot that when they are alone he can call him Seb. The monarch also adds that he didn’t mean to deceive the other man but a king needs to be careful who to trust. Eliot himself also says that it must be a relief to not have to wear the burden of wearing a crown every single second. The chemistry between these two is pretty electric. The newly hired court magician bows, gives the Dark King a smoldering look, and leaves to settle in.

At another part of the castle, Eliot and Margo reunite in their new gear (El as a court magician and Margo as a centurion guard). She knows her bff has a crush on the current ruler of Fillory but reminds him that the guy is called the Dark King and they need to find out what he is really all about. El can use his new position and the fact that the king likes him to his advantage while Margo will try learn something from her fellow gossipy centurions. Is the Dark King a benevolent dictator by necessity or psychopathic despot by choice? If he turns out to be the later, she’ll bury her axes in his back.

Margo goes off with her new unit whom are tasked with retrieving some royal mapmakers. The new centurions along with the Dark King go off to save them all the while the public watch via scrying bowls. Eliot back at the castle gazes via bowl-vision with other castle subjects as his bff and new crush work on vanquishing the Takers. Thanks to her fairy eye, the only female centurion is able to see that they are surrounded and they all split off. Margo ends up facing two of the creatures and is also overpowered when the Dark King ends up taking it and more out. She goes to him impressed by how legit his abilities seem when he collapses into her arms from exhaustion it seems like. The head of the centurion unit then tells the Dark King that they’ve secured the site and that he should return with the mapmakers. Margo and two others stay behind with him and enter a nearby house.

At Whitespire, Eliot goes to Seb to make sure the other man was alright. When El comments how incredible the Dark King was out there and his highness responds maybe once but now it was all just a holding action. When the court magician asks about the other centurions, his majesty is already fast asleep. Speaking of the elite guards, Margo is still back at the small cottage where the mapmakers were. Her captain is looking for something and her fairy eye sees that there is a fairy hidden in the floorboards. Unfortunately, that fairy ends up making a noise and is discovered. Curiouser and curiouser! Her superior asks Margo if she knows it and the magician’s street acumen kicks in answering no and she wouldn’t mind putting on the shackles. It seems like she’s trying to impart to the fairy to be cool just for the moment as she’s trying to figure out what the heck is happening.

Enter Another Chatwin

As Penny 23 wakes up, he finds out about Julia’s deal with Clarion. His life was saved by the goddess taking away his psychic abilities. He can still travel but he would be doing so blindly. The goddess in the meantime takes the Binder as her prize with a big screw you from the hedge witch. Penny 23 though realizes the irony of this situation as last season he had to make his own very difficult choice in restoring his girlfriend’s humanity. Suddenly Merritt exclaims that this is all her fault and she didn’t realize that it would get this bad. With great anxiety the young magician reveals that her real name is Plum Merritt Chatwin and she knows why she’s being targeted. Impulsively Plum rips off her patch and tells Penny 23 that he was right before suddenly disappearing.

Later on at the apartment, Zelda and Alice are with Penny 23 and Julia as they discuss the harmonic convergence. The librarian informs them that she’s read most of the books on the subject and knows how they can stop it though it won’t be easy. Alice asks her to spill and the elder woman explains that all they have to do is to move the moon.

Final Thoughts

  • Taker theories – could the Takers be fairies that somehow became altered through some kind of magical disease?
  • Is Seb the Dark King using fairy bones for magic the way the MacAllisters did?
  • Could Seb also be a Chatwin? Or as a commenter suggested last week, could he be one of Quentin’s descendants from the other timeline?
  • Will Plum be a descendent of Rupert Chatwin as it is in the books?
  • I’m glad Dean Fogg gets a break and enjoys himself in the other realm!
  • Does the mysterious signal have to do with other timelines since they previewed timeline 23 at the beginning? And why is this signal after Plum?

The Magicians airs on Syfy Wednesday at 10/9c.

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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