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‘The Magicians’ Review: Dragons, Dreams, and Drama

THE MAGICIANS -- "Home Improvement" Episode 408 -- Pictured: Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice -- (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

In this week’s episode of The Magicians, Alice reunites with her mom Stephanie, Fen and Margo try to figure out Fen’s prophetic dreams, and we meet the East River dragon.

THE MAGICIANS — “Home Improvement” Episode 408 — Pictured: (l-r) Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice, Mageina Tovah as Zelda, Rick Worthy as Dean Fogg — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

Alice, Fogg, and Zelda Make a Deal

Alice goes to Dean Fogg to get help in rescuing her friend Sheila who was taken by the Library. However, she learns that Zelda has also approached Fogg to enlist her aid in finding Harriet in the mirror world. Fogg suggests that they come an understanding. If Zelda agrees to free Sheila, buries her book and Alice’s, and gives Brakebills a month’s worth of extra magic every month, the younger magician will help. Reluctantly the librarian consents and Fogg is able to provide a spell that will make any ordinary object into a beacon, however only Alice would be able to cast it because of her unique experience having been a niffin who lived in the mirror world for a time.

Unfortunately, the spell can only be cast by a mother and daughter and thus Alice is forced to go to Stephanie. Things between the two women are still dicey especially after Daniel’s death. The elder magician agrees to perform it, but it doesn’t work despite five tries. She is especially eager to get Alice out of her house because of her best friend’s Carol’s impending arrival. Carol of course was electrocuted by Alice and Q the last time they saw each other. As the ex-niffin is apologizing to the older woman for her past actions, two librarians show up and she activates her father’s protective wards. Alice is livid thinking her mother turned her in and the two argue. Stephanie reveals that she had actually turned Carol in because the other woman was selling voodoo dolls in the guise of intimacy aids. However, Alice realizes that maybe they could use them on the librarians outside. It just so happens that Stephanie has the DNA required for the spell since the two bureaucrats had been over to her house earlier that day. Once Carol goes outside to retrieve the coffee mugs, mother and daughter continue their argument. Stephanie says that there is nothing Alice could do that would ever make her turn her child in because the younger woman is all she has left. They try the cooperative spell once more and this time it works because Alice understands that she had been the one who gave up being Stephanie’s daughter. With the librarians incapacitated outside due to voodoo dolls, Carol makes her escape with Alice doing the same through the back door.

Back at Brakebills, Alice discovers that Sheila has joined the Order and is now a librarian herself. Zelda informs her that Sheila’s book is now in the Poison Room as a junior librarian and so won’t implicate Alice’s own book for inconsistencies. She’s devastated that Sheila doesn’t seem to care that the Library has done awful things because the other woman is convinced that she’s doing good work to help people as a whole. Eventually Alice gives Zelda the mirror compact that she and her mother did the spell on so that Harriet can be rescued.

THE MAGICIANS — “Home Improvement” Episode 408 — Pictured: (l-r) Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson, Brittany Curran as Fen — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

Fen and Margo Go on a Side Quest

This week, Fen embarks on a side quest to find the mysterious person in her prophetic dreams. However, just as she sets off, Margo sneaks up saying that all those dreams actually relate to her so she needs to join in as well (the high king claims this has nothing to do with her not wanting to deal with Josh at the moment). They come upon a woman wearing similar green robes and Margo immediately suspects something fishy is going on when the mysterious figure tells Fen that in order to get the prophecy she needs to fix various things around her property. Eventually Fillory’s high king traps the woman in some vines and she is forced to come clean. Apparently, the individual they are looking for is a dream prophet or sorts called the Napster and she can only be captured in a state of sleep. So Fen pops an Ambien and is able to catch the elusive Napster (who is a catlike creature FYI). It is revealed that Fen will need to seize the throne from Margo, if necessary by blood to save Fillory. Well that’s going to be real awkward.

THE MAGICIANS — “Home Improvement” Episode 408 — Pictured: (l-r) Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz, Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi, Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

Poppy is Preggers

Meanwhile, The Monster wants Q and the gang to find his missing body piece from the Mandrake god (who is dead) and so Kady suggests they talk to Pete (aka Lovelady) since he deals in magical artifacts these days. Julia isn’t quite thrilled to be reunited with Marina’s former lieutenant, while The Monster agrees to give Q one more day. Pete shows Kady and Quentin images of three items with the last one being the correct item The Monster needs. Said object turns out to be inside the hoard of a dragon who resides in the East River. He’s arranged for them to talk to the dragon’s herald at 9 am the following morning and they need to bring in something to trade. While Q goes off to try and find a worthy trinket, Pete chats with Kady and tells her that he’s willing to be loyal to the right person and that could be her. He asks if she’s ready to graduate from helping her college buddies to solving a real problem like what’s happening to the Hedge Witches. The two have differing views though when it comes to other hedges. Kady thinks they should turn in Whitley who blew up the Library branch in Modesto to take the heat off everyone else. She says Pete can do it because she’s on the Library’s wanted list.

The following day Julia and Quentin meet with the herald of the East River dragon and the poor guy is super busy. It turns out that an elixir was taken from his mistress and they are willing to give anything to the individual that retrieves it. The only clue they go on in a dart that Q recognizes as one that originated in Fillory. And he knew exactly possessed it – Poppy. So he casts a locator spell and finds her inside the Physical Kids cabin, oh and guess what she’s pregnant. Julia follows up and heads to the cabin as well (which is pretty weirdly empty) and finds her best friend with a bowl of chili. She sees that Poppy is preggers surrounded by heat lamps and apparently the baby is Q’s.

Kady and Penny 23 return to the cabin with Julia and they are all super confused and wonder if this is an act. Kady notices a comic book called The Dragon Riders of Porn written by Poppy herself and they begin to put two and two together that the elder Brakebills student seems to have inseminated herself with the East River dragon’s elixir in order to get pregnant. Whomever then touches the dragon baby immediately feels the need to protect it, hence Q’s crazy paternal instincts. Poppy explains that they lied and that dragon sperm are universal donors so to speak and that’s how she got preggers. The field researcher claims that this is a first human-dragon hybrid and so her baby is going to be epic. However, Kady discovers upon reading the comic book some more that dragon eggs take three years to gestate and Poppy stole the elixir only last week. This would make her human-dragon pregnancy impossible. True enough they find the actual fertilized dragon egg and the redhead comes clean that she lied again so that they wouldn’t find Falcor (Q names the dragon egg after the delightful creature from The NeverEnding Story). While Kady and Julia distract Poppy and Q, Penny 23 slips on some oven mitts and grabs the baby dragon to be but soon falls prey to its pheromones as well. Apparently it initially causes an uncontrollable urge to lick the egg. He then hands it to Julia who fakes out the others but low and behold, she actually isn’t affected because of her more than human state. She and Kady (who still has Sam’s gun) are able to stop the other three from following them as they race to the East River. Poppy, Q, and Penny 23 catch up when the dragon finally makes an appearance as Julia threatens to drop the egg into the water. The magical creature at first is annoyed because she feels way too young to be a mother. Poppy interjects that it’s hers and that she won it off the Seine River dragon which makes the East River one reconsider and take it. The massive beast does wonder though how the former goddess is able to hold the object without being affected by it but nonetheless instructs her to put it into the basket.

THE MAGICIANS — “Home Improvement” Episode 408 — Pictured: Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

Julia Catches a Break

With the effects of the dragon egg pheromones wearing off, Penny 23 chats with Julia at the apartment while holding an egg as a remedy for dragon withdrawal. He asks if she’s ok with not knowing what’s going on with her and she shrugs it off saying that it’s useful at least. The two have a real bonding moment as she reveals how it’s going to be lonely outliving everyone else. Penny 23 chimes in that travelers aren’t quite human either and that they are often both alone and yet not at the same time.

Meanwhile in the other room, Poppy tells Q that she never even thought about being a mom and had no maternal instincts until she fertilized the egg. She then developed an attachment to her own unborn child after the dragon egg was taken away. Poppy had been planning to abort it but forgot after being invited to see a Haitian spiked toad mating ritual. He asks if she’s sure she wants to keep it and she instead says that unconventional parents can be cool. Q offers the chicken egg and asks her to sleep on it before making a final decision. But she declines and says that he’s convinced her that she and Dakota or Draco or Misty will crush this. Q then finally asks if the kid is his and she says no but did he want it to be? He admits that he would like to be a dad in the future but for now he is godfather to baby Kline.

As everyone else is passed out in the living room, there is a knock on the door and Julia opens it to find the herald of the East River dragon. He presents her with the rock artifact courtesy of his mistress. The man also relays a message to the former goddess that the magical creature wishes her good fortune and the recovery of her truth. She advises Jules not to accept her current circumstance and it would be best for her and all of their kind if she makes this stage she finds herself in temporary. Julia asks if the dragon has any advice on how to do that and he suggests that she look for The Binder.

THE MAGICIANS — “Home Improvement” Episode 408 — Pictured: Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)

Final Thoughts

  • So Julia is not a goddess anymore but she’s going to be some kind of magical creature if the East River dragon considers her one of their kind.
  • I super love that Q wanted to name the dragon egg Falcor from The NeverEnding Story.
  • Excited to see what kind of twist happens in Fen’s storyline.
  • How many people have seen the Napster in their dreams? What is the larger scheme happening that all these individuals are having prophetic dreams?

The Magicians airs on Syfy Wednesdays at 9/8 central.

About 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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