‘The Magicians’ Review: Plot Twists, Pocket Worlds, and Pregnancy

In this week’s episode of Syfy’s The Magicians, the team splits up to locate The Couple, acquire a pocket world, and translate some instructions.

Ember and Umber Return Again, Sorta

After Josh, Eliot, and Julia get back to the apartment from Fillory, everyone is playing catch up regarding Rupert Chatwin, pregnancies, Hades, and saving lives. Josh and Margo patch things up after he tells her that risking her sanity to save him warrants a clean slate for them. Meanwhile Julia and Penny are on the balcony trying to figure out what having a baby means for their relationship. He wants to be there for his kid especially after his own father didn’t stick around for very long. Alice suddenly interrupts their moment though to announce that Fen and Eliot suddenly passed out unexpectedly.

It turns out that Fen, Eliot, Margo, and Josh have all been summoned via dream by the emanation of Ember, triggered every time Fillory is about to face a catastrophic world ending event. Of course Margo already went through this before. The group is brought here because they are all the former living high kings of Fillory, though Alice ought to be included in the list no? In any case they were all brought together because the current ruler is the one causing the pickle (Rupert) and he explains that the dead drain life while also contaminating everything they touch. Problem is of course that the only way they can kill the Dark King is by destroying Fillory to which Ember isn’t opposed to. Suddenly knocking is heard and the god claims that it’s only a mouse. Eliot goes to open the door and finds Umber. Looks like this manifestation was designed to intervene in case his idiot brother did something like blow up the planet. The other god explains that he created pocket worlds that could transport all Fillorians to safety, rescuing them from the chaos that is Fillory. The two siblings then slap each other for hours.

A New Fillory

When the foursome wakeup, they fill in Alice, Julia, and Penny 23. It’s the ex-niffin who has the idea of using the world seed to create a new Fillory. She works on finding the seed, Jules tackles deciphering the instructions, while Fen, Margo, Eliot and Josh will find the pocket world. Unfortunately, Penny 23’s traveling abilities are still not functioning so he removes the stasis charm from Hyman who rejoins the physical world. The reunion between the two men is a big aww moment. Hyman then gets his own set of tattoos so that he can transport team pocket world to Vancouver. By chance he ends up chatting with Fen who looks conflicted. He tells her that he thinks that she’s bothered about the magicians’ plan because its zany and if she tries to speak up they won’t listen to her. Hyman confides in her outsider to outsider that this feels like the part where the good guys are just wrong because while their hearts are in the right place they haven’t learned the lesson yet which almost makes them as bad as the villain.

After Hyman takes them to Vancouver, Eliot quickly dismisses him that they’ll call him when their done. Margo quickly follows leaving Fen and Josh as the nicer individuals who feel bad for the traveler but go inside themselves. This is interesting because these two of all people know what it’s like to be the sidekick characters. When the four get to Umber’s door, another Umber appears. This one appears to be some kind of magical butler program that begins to tell the tale of a tigress (blind in one eye) came to a lonely shore and looked upon this raw world. He trails off though and its Fen who saves the day, explaining to the group that this is a Fillorian scripture, the birth of Ember and Umber. She finishes the story by saying that the tigress drowned herself in the ocean and as her body disappeared two shells washed ashore. From those two shells came Ember and his shadow Umber. Ghost butler then allows them entrance into the house.

Eliot leads the group downstairs but all the pocket worlds seem to have disappeared. Ghost butler soon appears again though and Josh explains that Umber sent them there for the arc. It then surfaces a number of snow globes and presents them with a challenge, that if the god really sent them they would know the correct one to pick. However should they choose poorly the consequences would be more explosive as for copyright purposes this security precaution is only inspired by Indiana Jones. As Margo snaps at Fen to hurry up and pick one, the other woman stands up for herself and tells them to figure it out on their own. A little later, Eliot goes upstairs to talk to his wife and she says that she can’t give him permission to destroy Fillory because of all the things that they (Fillorians) can’t take with them. If it had been Earth the magicians would try a lot harder to find another way. Eliot sympathizes and asks if she has any other ideas because they are all ears. She didn’t have any and he gets real with her that having a voice means having to make difficult decisions. He wasn’t going to sugar coat it for her and she would need to choose whether to save the people of Fillory or some rocks and trees. Suddenly though they hear a triumphant Margo who thinks she found the correct snow globe when they all start exploding one by one. Fen rushes downstairs and manages to save the actual arc, the globe with a seahorse in it because that was how Ember and Umber first brought people to Fillory in their stories.

Meanwhile, Kady and Alice consult with Pete about trying to find The Couple. He tells them that the only other person who believes that they are real is Marina. Last time they saw her though they screwed her over the moon and stopped the harmonic convergence that she was going to use for some heist of the century. Pete clarifies that he doesn’t think the other hedge with would help them, just that she’s the only one who can. The two make their way to Marina’s new pad and but when the homeowner opens the door something has clearly changed. She hugs Kady and apologizes profusely for all the times she’s hurt the other woman. Then she invites them in for cookies. Inside, Marina explains that she’s made some bad decisions and went to a trans healer who put a blocking spell on her. The spell suppressed parts of her personality that was aggressive and caused self-destructive behavior. Alice asks for help to find The Couple because they have an object they need. Marina of course knows that it’s the world seed, possibly the most valuable thing in the multiverse. This had also been what she was trying to steal before they stopped the harmonic convergence. She also reveals that the seed is hidden inside a hotel called The Nave that she and her partners were planning to rob. They had worked on a detailed map of the building for months but things went terribly wrong and now she didn’t know where their heist book was. Although she does bring them to Gavin, who suffered serious injuries from their attempt and was now at the hospital. He informs them how Marina sent them on a suicide missions where one of their associates died. The traveler has no plans to help them. Kady and Alice try to get Marina to convince Gavin to aid them but the other woman refuses to use her leverage against him. So as a last resort, they threaten to remove his mental wards with Alice’s less than perfect casting with circumstances still being wonky and her recently amputated fingers. The ex-librarian gives in and says that Anna has the book.

The three women head over to Anna’s (who happens to be Marina’s former girlfriend) where the two former love birds are having major disagreements. Understandably Anna reveals that Marina told so many lies that she doesn’t know if any of it was real. The hedge witch though tries to convince her ex that she’s better now and that she was a terrible sociopath but had started doing things on the other woman’s list to get better. But still the ex is unconvinced because why was Marina here asking for the heist book. Alice tries to intervene and explains that it’s really her and Kady that need the plans. But this current incarnation of Marina cannot lie and adds that she would still help them because they need her. The ex-niffin takes even more drastic measures by proposing to Kady that she remove Marina’s blocker because they need her to lie to Anna in order to get the book. Before that though she creates a word is bond contract so that they don’t get betrayed. They watch evil Marina lie to her ex-girlfriend who falls for it and agrees to hand over the book. Before they leave, they get a wink from the mistress of manipulation.

Julia Makes a Discovery

While Professor Lipson is examining the passed out foursome, she also realizes that Julia is pregnant and does a quick check. All looks ok but the other woman has accelerated through the first two trimesters and since the baby is a hybrid there could be complications. The teacher advises that Julia come to Brakebills so she can run more tests and the hedge witch says she will as soon as she can since they are currently dealing with stuff. Also it looks like she’s had some psychic aftershocks, though Julia has already set up every mental ward she knows. This news seems to greatly alarm Penny 23. He notices that Julia is having another psychic episode but she quickly brushes off that she’s fine. Penny 23 then goes to Hyman to ask him if his own mother had any mental problems from being pregnant with him. The answer was no but it’s because she had a lobotomy. He then gets the other traveler to help him with an urgent task.

It turns out that they went to get some food (Chinese and ice cream) as well as the circumstances control panel, Penny 23 figuring that The Couple would need it in order to cast appropriately. In addition, since Lipson needed to run some more tests she could do it with both Julia and the control panel there. Jules though is annoyed that she is being trapped there without being asked when the former traveler just wants to make sure that both she and the baby are ok. Hyman intrudes on their private moment though and is told to respect boundaries but the hedge witch adds so does Penny 23.

Later on the Penny 23 finds Hyman trying to put his body back into stasis and the traveler admits that having a physical form back is not that great. Before he had been a part of everyone’s narratives but now he was a minor character in his own story. Penny 23 says that the trade off to not listening in on other people’s intimate moments was that he gets to have his own. But Hyman notes that would only work if someone wanted to talk to him. If that was the case he wouldn’t have been spying on people to begin with. He then asks Penny 23 if he’s doing that thing where he gives advice but it’s really for himself, causing the other man to realize what he needs to do. The former traveler makes Hyman give him the locket and suggest he be honest and go have a conversation with someone.

Meanwhile, Julia finds Sir Effingham at the Brakebills lab. Apparently Todd had not turned out to be the hero he needed and so he’s bestowing the quest upon her. His vision of Fillory’s demise has become clearer as the villains have visited his land many times through a tree. Sir Effingham adds that the scoundrels plan on spiriting away every soul in Fillory before destroying the world. She realizes that he must be talking about a portal tree. Julia asks the Fillorian how exactly would they obliterate the world and he answers that they would turn back the clock. When she also questions if the fiends would succeed in taking the people and building a new world for them Effingham realizes that he did not mention the latter. Plot twist! The quest she was on to save Fillory was actually from herself and her friends. The Fillorian then angrily parts adding that the death of his world would come at a cost and they would lose their loved ones.

Penny 23 finds here at the lab later on and the two have an honest conversation. Julia says that she’s been irresponsible but is just scared that she no longer has any control over her life and that what if Lipson finds something wrong with the baby. He reveals that around the time when his dad left his mom started having episodes with disorientation and hearing things that weren’t there. Doctors thought it was because of his dad bailing on them but he thinks it’s because of him. What’s happening to Julia looks just like what happened to his mom and it only got worse after he was born. Penny 23 adds that when his mother burned down their apartment it was when he was first thrown into foster care and she tried to get him back but then she’d get sick again. Eventually the state took him in for good and he was always more scared for his mom because he screwed her up for life. He doesn’t want what happened to her to happen to Julia. She understands and agrees to go through the scans and treatments. Jules assures him that it won’t be the same for her because they know about magic and will have ways to deal with this. Penny 23 in turn promises not to put her in a cage.

When Penny 23 returns to the Physical Kids cabin, he finds Hyman with a bloody nose. It seems that he tried talking to Fogg (from a different timeline and had broken out of his cell) who punched him. The dean is now working for The Couple and is there for the control panel. Julia comes in soon after and Fogg asks if Penny 23 stupid enough to try and stop him. Now that he has to protect his child and her mom, he lets the dean walk out of there. Uh oh The Couple have everything they need and they need to steal the world seed stat.

Final Thoughts

  • We’ve seen so many versions of Marina over the years and she’s just the character you love to hate! And at least she really did try to change her ways this time in the name of love.
  • What a plot twist that the team was actually the ones responsible for at least one of the possible destructions of Fillory.
  • I’m really not ready for the final two episodes. Will Q come back??


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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