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THE MAGICIANS -- "The Serpent" Episode 409 -- Pictured: (l-r) Hale Appleman as Eliot Waugh, Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi -- (Photo by: Dean Buscher/SYFY)

‘The Magicians’ Review: Harriet Returns

On The Magicians this week we learn of a new sinister group called Serpent, Harriet makes a return from the mirror world, The Monster tries to remember things, and Fen makes a difficult choice.

Bloodworms and Serpents

As Pete shows Kady video of a group of renegade Hedges calling themselves Serpent, Alice arrives at the apartment offering to help. She is still on her apology tour and says that when they went on the quest for the seven keys none of them signed up to have good people be enslaved to the Library just for a little magic. She had been on the inside (albeit as a prisoner) and wants to help, especially after the events of last week’s episode with Sheila joining the Order. Kady hands Pete her crowbar and then proceeds to punch the ex-niffin. She then says they are having a crisis and that Alice can stay if she can help. He tells the other magician about the rogue group that has been putting magical bloodworms into other Hedges and when they try to cast a spell, they are burned to death from the inside. This is a fear tactic in order to stop other Hedges from using more ambient magic because the Library provides so little already.

Alice tells them that she had helped burst a magical pipe in Modesto and Pete is livid that she was related to that incident. She comes to realize however that it doesn’t help to just bust one pipe and they would need 50 or a 100 more. Alice then determines that a blueprint of the Library’s magic pipeline system would be extremely helpful. But to accomplish that they need the location of a junction box to drop in a tracer that way they can find weak spots and spots with higher levels of magic. Pete, ever practical says what they must have a mole in the Order.

Meanwhile the Library themselves have taken notice of the Serpent and vote on a temporary solution in the form of the Reed’s Mark. Anyone who has the mark applied on their body will be unable to use magic therefore if they had a bloodworm they wouldn’t be able to accidentally trigger the parasite. They decide that the procedure will be offered voluntarily for those already infected and those living in fear. Once the Serpent group has been dealt with, the mark will be removed free of charge. Hmmm that is a bit fishy. What incentive would the Librarians have to reverse the marking when Hedge Witches aren’t exactly treated as well as card carrying magicians? Back in her office, Zelda uses a drop of her blood onto the compact mirror beacon and starts project it into the mirror world to find Harriet. The magician signs to her mom that she can’t get out but she needs to find Alice again. Audiences see that Harriet has appeared in mirrors to Alice inside the apartment and to Stephanie in her house. Kady is able to translate that Zelda’s daughter is in pieces within the mirror world.

Kady and Alice meet up with Zelda in a park with Pete nearby. The ex-niffin explains that when you stay in the mirror world long enough you fragment. The librarian asks what they want and Kady (aka new Marina) asks for the location of a junction box because increasing magic will help lower the body count, otherwise it will be full on war. Zelda protests that giving more magic won’t necessarily help but Kady said Hedges have always self-policed and she considers it her full-time position. The older magician says that their proposal is very risky but Alice counters so is putting Harriet back together but she can do it, can Zelda do her part? The elder woman agrees at last when Pete comes up and has a private word with Kady. It turns out that the Serpent group attacked an entire safe house and infected everyone within. She wants them to find the leader of this group while he favors getting the Reeds Mark until this whole thing blows over. Kady asks him to give her a day.

Alice then heads to Dean Fogg who informs her the Library has requested for a list of former students as a potential Hedge Witch watchlist. The Brakebills principal decides that even he is not willing to cross this line because it’s all starting to feel like a totalitarian regime. Only now it feels like it? As a result he’s going to have to resign. Alice though provides him with an alternative and reveals that Zelda needs his lab and his secrecy in order for them to retrieve Harriet. He needs to stay in office where he can make a difference and protect those whom he can from within the system. As she looks for information in the library, she overhears Julia, Penny 23, and Q talk about the binder.

She leaves them be though and sets up the lab with Kady and Harriet. There she uses traveler’s blood to draw a glyph on each of the three mirror surfaces. Alice then asks the other two women to leave so she can begin. The new leader of the Hedge Witches has a moment of compassion though and tells the phosphomancer not to die. After the two depart, she seals the room, sets up the prism and the compact mirror beacon then begins to cast the spell. One Harriet soon appears and is able to set out of one of the mirrors, but something goes wrong. The two women aren’t able to communicate and Harriet then forcibly pulls the ex-niffin out of the casting circle just as the prism erupts in sparks. Alice tries to go back in to fix it (despite the other woman’s warning) and she grabs the glowing object when a force pushes her to the ground. When she looks up, another Alice tells her that she’s really screwed this up. We meet the aggressive and know it all version of the phosphomancer! The nicer, albeit more panicked Alice then proceeds to knock out her other self and locks that Alice inside a cell in the mirror world. Well now that was pretty extreme. Harriet tells original Alice essentially that she needs to fix the prism but the younger magician realizes that she needs her other half to do that because she’s become unsure of herself. Forced to go into the mirror world, the two Alices have an interesting chat where arrogant Alice says scared Alice destroyed the keys out of fear. Scared Alice said the other one destroyed her life, but her other half states that they did that together. How poetic. Arrogant Alice is then released from the cell after she asks if the other would rather lock her up in here to die and she can live a boring ordinary life never knowing what they are capable off. As the two head back outside a book with the word binder on the side is thrown out of nowhere. Scared Alice tricks arrogant Alice into picking it up and taking it with them. Once the duo repair the prism, they become one person again and the spell is finished to make Harriet whole.

As Zelda and Kady are waiting outside, we find out that the two both had Hedge Witches for mothers. The librarian reveals that her mentor Everett found her when she was 10 years old in an alley after her mom passed away, he then gave her a new home and educated her. She says however that her choices now seem much worse than when she was younger because no matter what someone gets hurt. Zelda though trusts Kady will make wise decisions because she can sit here with the woman responsible for the death of the man she loves and is able to try and understand her. Once Alice and Harriet emerge from the lab, the librarian tells Fogg that he can consider the list misplaced indefinitely. Kady then takes Alice to get some food while Harriet tells her mom some important things. When she was in there, the former head of Fuzzbeat could see into many places and she learned that the bloodworms weren’t being spread by Hedges but by her mother’s mentor Everett. She explains that he’s using this a means to get the fringe in line or completely out of the picture. Sure enough we see Everett with a Hedge Witch that had attacked Pete and placed a bloodworm in him. Zelda begs her daughter not to do anything crazy and Harriet agrees not to but she needs to do something about it.

The Monster and The Psychics

While Julia, Q, and Penny 23 are searching for any information on “The Binder” per the East River dragon’s mysterious suggestion, The Monster appears and tells the group that the last item they brought him is 100% authentic. However, the good news is that he knows exactly how many missing parts are left and that number is one. So they need to find Enyalius who has the final piece. Julia suggests that they try to figure out what the god’s signature is in order to find clues to locate him. The trio head to the Brakebills library to research where they are observed by Alice. The traveler suggests they find Enyalius and then destroy his part but Q points out that it doesn’t save Eliot so that’s not going to happen.

As Q, Jules, and Penny 23 have been trying to find his missing last piece, The Monster eats and watches TV in the apartment. He comes across a psychic commercial and ends up going through a whole bunch of fakes until he finds a real one that can help him go through his memories. As the threesome return, they find Creature Eliot and a poor man gagged and tied to a chair. The powerful being then proceeds to take the psychic into his mind but the guy just isn’t powerful enough and he soon has a seizure and expires. Q is visibly upset and The Monster notices and says that he’ll get this gross corpse out of sight. Penny 23 then volunteers himself as a psychic for The Monster to use so that others don’t have to die. Julia though takes the traveler aside later on and asks if he’s serious because they just watched another dude croak. Penny 23 is confident though that he can handle this, after all this is his discipline and he had The Beast in his head. He’s touched though that she cares and asks if he can buy her a drink after surviving this. Julia one ups him and says that if he makes it he can buy her dinner instead. Just as the two are about to kiss, Quentin and The Monster return having just disposed of Alan the psychic.

The Monster takes Penny 23 into his memories and they appear in a clearing. As the traveler asks if there was anything else here, the other being remembers that there was an altar and bowls that would eventually filled by the stones. There is also lots and lots of rope. The Monster says that Bacchus, Iris, and Heka were all there scared of him but they needed Enyalius. They lured him there with a defenseless girl who was near death as sacrifice. The Monster is super pissed as he watches his memory but doesn’t know why. Penny 23 suggests that there could be something more there and that Creature Eliot should keep watching. In the meantime the psychic has noticed that a door has suddenly appeared behind them. He goes through and finds the real Eliot who tells him that they don’t have much time and he knows what The Monster’s forgotten. Moments later Penny 23 is being called by the powerful entity and it asks where he’s been. The traveler lies that he was just looking around and in the real world he begins to seizure. The Monster returns as well and says that was helpful and to say thanks, he knows exactly who to get to have Enyalius come to them.

When Penny 23 wakes up, he tells Q and Julia that he saw Eliot in there and that the other man is still alive and poking around like a pro. The Monster’s memories are all still in there and that they’ve been wrong about everything. The stones aren’t to rebuild his body, it’s so much worse than that.

Fen Dethrones Margo For a Noble Cause

Meanwhile in Fillory, Fen wakes up from her Ambien laden sleep chat with the Napster and Margo’s eager to find out what her lizard is for and what her destiny is. Given what we learned in last week’s episode, the native Fillorian isn’t too keen on revealing to the high king what was actually said and instead goes over to Josh. Conveniently, Q has sent over some talking rabbits who tells the trio that Eliot is alive though trapped inside a mind prison while the creature controls the joystick. In addition, another crisis they have to deal with is a wild Fillorian clock tree that’s sprouted in the middle of a village leaving the entire area trapped in time. Fen suggests they call for a council but Josh is one step ahead and has set up a feast to get all their allies under their roof. Margo though clearly doesn’t care about the other stuff and asks if Q is sure that Eliot is still alive in there. Josh confirms and she begins to make out with him immediately. After the love session, the high king is ready to peace out to save her bff when her boy toy asks her to stay for the banquet, especially because he invited a person called the Foremost who has a weapon that can reverse demonic possession.

As preparations for the banquet are under way, Fen meets Ru, the Queen of West Loria, whom we discover was also visited by a prophetic dream. She tells the knife maker’s daughter that her instructions were clear that to protect the health of her land she must aid Fen in dethroning Margo. Ru can tell that the other woman’s prophecy falls in line with hers but Fen shows her reluctance in going through with their destiny. The other ruler though says that she’s willing to forge peace with Fillory as long as Fen is high king. Ru suggests that the only other alternative is eternal banishment, she gives Eliot’s wife until the feast to decide. Meanwhile hidden away, Josh overhears everything!

At the party, the chef tells Margo about the coup underway and she instructs him to hold it off until she gets to talk to the Foremost. She then pulls Tick aside to ask him about the missing guest and he tells her that there is no way the man would have ever accepted the invitation because he is a sworn enemy of Fillory. Her subject comes up with all sorts of excuses not to go get the magical axes for her and so she is forced to do it herself. She then goes to Fen and tells the other woman to dethrone her and to do it now or she and Eliot would never forgive her. Margo needs the banishment to find the southern nomads and claim the weapons that can save her best friend. It’s such an emotional moment for the two as Fen is forced to stay true to her high king’s wishes and take her place. Margo is then branded with banishment and before she leaves she curses Fen’s name but also tells everyone that they should listen to the new high king and be nice to her. As the Earthling is being escorted out of Whitespire with her birthrite box, Josh comes running saying that he should go with her, but she tells him that she can handle herself and he needs to stay and help Fen manage Fillory. He provides her with some delicious danishes, a new map, and a fully charged mp4 player with pop anthems from the 80s. She says he’s a good man and they kiss goodbye for now. Her parting words are that she’s going to try to live through this because it feels like they have some more banging to do (to which he whole heartedly agrees) but to not wait for her. Josh interjects that he’s probably going to wait for her so sorry. JOSH HOBERMAN YOU STOP THAT. He then puts the headphones on her and Margon Hanson leaves to Pat Benetar’s We Belong.

Final Thoughts

  • Since Harriet survived in the mirror world, there’s a big chance that so did Victoria. I can’t imagine though that Harriet then won’t try to save the other traveler too.
  • Kady’s ascendance to top Hedge Witch in New York to replace Marina 23 is pretty awesome. She never wanted the role but I think it’s giving her new purpose to do something useful and meaningful with her life after the finality of Penny staying in the Underworld as a librarian.
  • So has Marina 23 really given up her need to have lots of power in favor of love? Seems to be the case at the moment.
  • Who could have thrown the binder book into Alice’s path in the mirror world? I doubt that it randomly happened. Another god perhaps?
  • It’s nice that Alice is kind of back to help out, even if things are still tense at least Kady has become more sympathetic. She even offers to get some food with the phosophomancer after bringing Harriet back.
  • Brittany Curran and Summer Bishil were riveting in the banquet scene together. You could really feel the love between these two that’s developed over the last four seasons and it’s so beautiful!
  • Having women seize control and be the ones leading in all these different storyline lines are amazing. Next up, Zelda needs to dethrone Everett.
  • Fun tidbit, Heka is the ancient Egyptian goddess of medicine and magic.
  • Zelda and Kady sharing a smoke via pipes. Classy.

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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