‘The Magicians’ Review: One Problem at a Time

In this week’s episode of Syfy’s The Magicians, everyone gets their old selves back, the dean comes really close to living life underneath a bridge, Alice hatches an escape plan, and Fillory gets a god.

Quentin Needs To Get a Pig

At the ruins of a temple in Greece, Creature Eliot tells Brian/Quentin that he needs to go into the woods to get a pig, the younger the better. Presumably, this will be the sacrifice performed to entice a certain god to appear before them. The powerful ex-prisoner of Blackspire explains that the deed must be stained with human effort. Brian/Q is able to get a little cute piglet and Creature Eliot asks him to kill the little one but he refuses. So while he doesn’t get killed, his arm gets really mangled. Eventually Brian/Q gives in and the animal is slain on the altar. After some hard praying, another god (presumably) appears and Creature Eliot pounces. However, the powerful entity soon gets bored of their banter and slices open the new god’s body. He thrusts his hand into the other’s chest cavity in search of the item that was stolen from him. But it turns out that the guy is not the god Enyalius but his servant.

Side note: Enyalius is another name for Ares, Greek god of war, but he also had a son who used that moniker with the Greek goddess Enyo.

Marina 23 Figures Out Who the Mysterious Foursome Are

After failing to get a peek inside, the spell triggers an automatic recorded angry phone call from Fogg, Marina 23 puts two and two together realizes that the group must be the dean’s favorite students. She has Kady/Sam and Isaac/Josh go to the kitchen while she puts the amulet on Penny 23/DJ Hansel and has him raise his arms. She then is able to view a tattoo that is on Penny 23 (not on his fake persona) and is able to activate it so that the traveler can teleport again. Or she might have just removed a ward that was preventing him from tapping his traveler powers. Of course we know that Marina 23 is going to use this knowledge for her nefarious purposes.

They teleport into Fogg’s office where she quickly knocks Todd out. After that the hedge witch takes a small bottle from a previously locked cabinet. When the dean enters some time later, he finds his student slumped down on a desk and wonders out loud if he’s drunk. Marina 23 then comes out of nowhere and stabs Fogg with a syringe. She’s injected him with the same potion he gave to the others and that she advises he better take the antidote quickly. When he says there isn’t one, the former Brakebills student says that since it takes about a day for the potion to kick in he’d better get to it because she isn’t going to make his new persona anyone good. As Marina 23 and Penny 23/DJ Hansel leave, Todd comments that they need to get Fogg some help stat.

Margo is Being Stalked in Fillory

Meanwhile in Fillory, a very confused Margo/Janet is still tromping in the woods trying to figure out what to do next when she stops by a lake for a sip of water. Suddenly she is pulled in by the same slimy hand that we saw at the end of last week’s episode. As she struggles for air inside an underground cavern, we finally meet the individual who had been stalking her. He addresses her as your majesty and seems to know that she’s not herself at the moment. Meanwhile he introduces himself as the lord of all Fillorian fresh water, but she can call him Lord Fresh. She asks why she was pulled down here and he says that he’s here to give her birth rite box. Strangely enough Lord Fresh explains that the events that have transpired to her were kind of according to some plan. He confirms that he knows about the spell and that at the moment she cannot touch her birth rite box because it would kill her. For whatever reason it was dictated that she would be absent from Fillory, lose herself, and her return this day and hour. However, it also predicted that she would learn how to rule and dictate alone. Well that can’t be good. Lord Fresh comments that the enchantment on Margo/Janet is very strong but in order to claim the box she needs to find Ember. He takes her back to the surface and tells her to follow the mountains and to return when the spell is broken. The creature even provides her with a fresh fish for lunch. Soon though she is captured by Fillorian guards.

She is taken back to Whitespire, which is convenient for her as she eventually meets Fen and Tick. Fen is currently acting high king since Margo, Eliot, Quentin, and Alice were all out of Fillory. The duo head to the prison to meet this woman who claims to be High King Margo, but when he tries to explain Fogg’s spell gets angry. Margo/Janet then says that she’s not claiming she’s who they aren’t talking about though she did have a dream about a certain goat god. The two Fillorians then reveal what’s been happening in their land and it seems that their air has gotten even more saturated with Opium, resulting in a lot of deaths with people falling asleep at the most unexpected moments. So is this what triggered Ember’s in case of emergency apparition? Or was it actually the release of the Blackspire creature since the castle does reside below Fillory? Margo/Janet then makes it very clear that she doesn’t care, but because she needs to find Ember herself she’s ready to do this and help them find the god.

They set up a map and Tick lists where Ember had been spotted around Fillory. Based on the previous sightings, Margo/Janet surmises that the god is moving east and asks Fen and Tick where the next debased hot spot is in that direction. Tick answers The Hare on The Ass tavern. When the trio arrive there, a party is in full swing and Margo/Janet confronts the person with the goat horns who turns out to be a familiar face. It’s Bacchus dressed up as Ember. Curiouser and curiouser.

Alice and Santa Work Together

Back in their cells at the Neitherlands branch of the Library, Alice and Santa come to an agreement of sorts as he tells her that he can get her magic. Turns out magic flows through the air tubes that the Library uses to get messages across their facility. She’s able to dismantle one of the casings and sticks her arm into it. Granted she’s cut from the effort and begins to bleed. But through that she’s able to cast a spell to control the cockroach and uses it to walk around the Library undetected. The bug then is able to find Zelda’s office which just happens to have a fireplace. Soon though the Librarian kills the insect with her shoe. Alice has been able to see enough and asks Nick if the stuff about him and chimneys are true. He confirms and it looks like they may just have a way out of there.

Dean Fogg Has Todd Work on his Memoir

Determined to walk the moral high ground, Dean Fogg has no plans to try and reverse the spell he did on Q and the gang and instead will go through with his own personal transformation into a new personality and forget his old life. But before that he has Todd follow him around as he ties up loose ends so that the student can record it as a part of his memoir. He tells one professor that the other man was his best drinking buddy ever and that he had a very rare bottle in his office that he was handing over. Next he pays back some gambling debts with another faculty member while admitting that he’s a degenerate gambler. Fogg dictates that magic has been a brutal series of disappointments and having lived through 40 timelines finds that it was all for nothing makes. However it makes leaving this life oddly liberating. He then comes up to another professor, sucker punches the guy, and tells him to tell Jennifer goodbye. Fogg apparently had an affair with the dude’s wife. He then goes on to say that he was raised by his grandmother but could never tell her how much he loved her because all forms of intimacy terrify him. Back inside his office, Kimber/Julia comes in and basically comes out to say that she thinks she should leave because he’s the only one who believes she belongs here and he’s on his way out.

He tells her to sit down and begins to explain that his life has been a series of regrets, one of the biggest one is something he did to a group of very millennial students of his recently. By saying that, the spell got triggered though he quickly counteracted it. So it looks like he does know that Kim is actually Julia and says that he created a spell that gave the students new identities because their lives were in danger. Now unfortunately, the same spell was being used on him. He’s in a predicament because if he revealed that there was a way to reverse it someone would perform it on the group and ensure their deaths. Fogg refuses to let this happen and so must accept this grim circumstance. Meanwhile it looks like he knew that Marina 23 had been spying on him this entire time. Back at her condo she had been watching with Penny 23/DJ Hansel over a bowl filled with oil.

The dean gets a visit from his tailor Etta who’s come to fix his torn suit. She also then shows her latest work for him that’s still in progress and Fogg gets super choked up after he smells it. He says that the scent is his grandmother’s huckleberry pie. As he tells Etta what he’s done to Quentin, Margo, Kady, Josh, Julia, Eliot, and Penny (23), and that he’ll soon be sharing a version of that fate himself, she tells him that he has a very loving heart. She knows that he’s used her bespoke suits as an armor all this time. Awww.

While walking one of the school hallways by himself, Fogg is confronted by Kimber/Julia who comes to the conclusion that she’s one of the spelled and that he needs to undo it. He won’t do it but urges her to be more careful than ever. His parting words to her are that finally getting to be her teacher has been an honor.

What happens next is heart breaking as we see a raggedly dressed man begging for money outside a building. Marina 23 comes out and the homeless individual is Fogg. She greets him coldly and says that he’s now the saddest loser she ever buried, her dad. So there’s definitely a story there too. She even takes the little change he’s made and walks away.

Todd and Kimber/Julia Try to Save the Dean

After Fogg left Brakebills, Kimber/Julia confides to Todd about the spell cast on the group and how she’s trying to undo it to save the dean as well. After glass breaks inside the Physical Kids cabin even though magic is off, Todd has a massive realization. Apparently the former head of the school had been working on a perpetual battery over the years and perhaps he had finally finished it. The duo find the battery hidden inside one of the classrooms and as Kimber/Julia touches it she gets hurled forcibly against a wall and dies. Todd freaks out and calls for a medic, but the woman soon returns back to life with a loud gasp. It looks like some of Julia’s goddess juice is still in there because they can’t be killed easily. Her plan is to keep trying to short the thing out by repeatedly touching it. Todd watches on in horror at first though soon grows incredibly bored. After multiple attempts, she succeeds and the battery drops dead.

As everyone then turns back to their respective true selves, Margo confronts Bacchus in Fillory and asks why he wants everyone to think he’s Ember and he sends her back to Earth. Quentin is still with Creature Eliot who explains that the gods took a part of him that knew things. Q agrees that the gods were wrong and it was unfair. Unfortunately he makes a wrong move when he asks the entity if he could get Eliot back once the former Blackspire resident had what he wanted. This throws the guy into a fit of anger and the two go to Marina 23’s condo. Kady, Josh, and Penny are there and Creature Eliot says that he’s not here to play.

Final Thoughts

  • Julia saves the day again. For everything that she’s been through she still genuinely wants to help people and that’s why I hope her goddess powers return in full force at some point.
  • Now that the gang are themselves again, they now have to deal with Creature Eliot and his tendency to kill things right away. Will everyone escape unscathed? Probably not.
  • Dean Fogg kind of got lucky that Julia was able to kill the battery that was powering the spell. Marina 23 is just as vindictive as her timeline 40 version and it would have been rough living life as a homeless man.
  • Who else is on Creature Eliot’s god kill list? Suspect that Bacchus may be in there since why else did he suddenly decide to go to Fillory and impersonate Ember?
  • What could be in Margo’s birth rite box? And more importantly who set it up for her??

The Magicians airs on Syfy Wednesdays at 9 pm.

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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