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The Magicians Discussion: Season 4, Episode 2 exposes a few secrets

Contributed by
Jan 31, 2019

Welcome back, fans of The Magicians! Our favorites may have regained their identities and memories, but things are still more than a little precarious in "Lost, Found, F*cked." Yes, most of the group may have been reunited, but Alice is still trapped in the Library, Fillory is dealing with yet another trickster god, and Eliot is still being controlled by a homicidal monster. Cool.

Bring on the opium air and cutting one-liners, y'all. We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer, and we are here to be your fandom guides through every twist and turn.

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Breaking The Spell

Alyssa: One thing I will say about The Magicians — the show moves fast. We’re only in the second episode of the season and thank god, everyone is moving back towards each other. We still have a few outliers, but for the most part, the band is finally back together. I for one am certainly glad that things keep moving along at such a steady pace. You’re never bored watching this show.

Jessica: Boredom and lack of sarcastic one-liners are two things this show never need worry over. The Magicians is a show that loves to inject insane plot twists and then casually move on from those twists just one episode later. It really is one of the bravest shows on TV right now and I’m right there with you on the pacing issue. I’ll miss sassy Margo, but I’m glad we didn’t stay too long with these alter-egos. DJ Hansel was trying my last nerve.

Alyssa: I’m not too worried about missing out on more sassy Margo. She definitely holds down the "sarcastic bitch that I love" department pretty well on her own. But yes, weirdly cheerful Hansel/Penny was just weird. I’m glad everyone is back to their usual depressed but in a hot way selves. I have to say, I found Dean Fogg’s preparations oddly moving. He’s such an enigmatic character, so it was interesting to see that crack in the armor.

Jessica: Again, and I feel like I’m gushing here, but this show really delivers on the character development in such unexpected ways. Dean Fogg’s last living will and testament was a great example. Having him succumb to the same spell he cast over his favorite millennial magicians moved the plot along yes, but the show also used that time to expand on the man of mystery. We don’t normally get a peek behind the curtain when it comes to the guy so to learn about his self-loathing, his destructive habits, his rough upbringing, and the resentment he holds against magic all in one episode — it was, in a word, refreshing. What did you think about his final moments with Julia and the fact that she was the one to break the spell?

Alyssa: His stuff with Julia was honestly my favorite part of this episode. Finally getting to teach her, only to have it taken away. Break my heart, why don’t you! However, I’m not surprised that Julia (and Todd!) was the one to break the spell. The show is really dedicated to showing that even though Julia didn’t make it to Brakebills, she’s the most powerful one of the bunch, so it makes sense that she’s the one to break the spell. Plus, I’m always glad to see her get a win. She’s been through so much! Give Julia the world, show!

Jessica: Well, she is a goddess, so I think she’s faring pretty well. And I’m not ashamed to admit I got a kick out of her magical Groundhog Day routine. Only Julia would continue to poke a magical battery that kept electrocuting her to death. We stan a stubborn and committed queen. How did you feel about Marina’s role in all this? The girl can hold a grudge like no other.

Alyssa: As usual, Marina is always looking out for number one, so I feel like she’ll only be sticking around as long as she finds the group useful to her goals. I’m always interested in seeing Marina and Fogg interact because they really are opposite sides of the same coin: magic above everything, with him being on the side of academia and her on the side of the hedge witches. Turning him into her dad with his disguise was… an odd twist.

Jessica: Right? We were airing out all kinds of issue in this episode. But you’re right, Marina is all about self-preservation so she’ll be useful to the group until she’s not. I admire the level of pettiness she displayed this episode though. She truly gives no f*cks about burning bridges or doing the right thing. It’s a mood. Unfortunately, while she was helping the group uncover their true identities, our poor Margo was traipsing around mud bogs and getting hit on by that guy from The Shape of Water. Margo has been through enough, y’all.

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The High King’s Quest

Alyssa: I feel like that could be said about pretty much every character on this show, but yeah, this episode was not a super fun one for Margo. Hanging out with Lord Fresh at the bottom of a pond was probably not high on her to do list. I am glad that she’s back with the Fillorian court, though. Fenn is holding sh*t down as best she can, but the High King is back. Margo may not have had her memories yet until the end of the episode, but that royalty is innate. Our girl’s the best. Not even opium saturated air can stop her.

Jessica: When she complained about that pond water not being vodka, I died. I hope I’m that resilient if I’m ever thrust into a magical dimension with only a pair of stilettos for protection. I loved that Margo eventually made it back to her court and to her old self, but I’m a bit confused as to why she had to go to Fillory in the first place. I’m assuming this opium overload is going to become a bigger problem as the season goes on or, at the very least, it hints the group will see Ember again fairly soon.

Alyssa: Yeah, the logistics of what’s going down in Fillory is a bit hazy. How is Ember back? Who is this new god that looks like the guy you date when you first graduate from college because you think he’s carefree but then you realize that he’s just a loser? I’m patient to see how things are revealed, but they threw a couple of curveballs this week and I did not catch them all. Here’s hoping they get it under control soon, though, because dancing til your dead is a terrible way to go. That’s a pretty common and horrifying trope in classic fairy tales, so I really enjoyed seeing it pop up on The Magicians. Even if it sounds miserable.

Jessica: Speaking of miserable, I know Alice isn’t in Fillory trying to sort out this opium epidemic, but she is stuck in a cell at The Library transporting her conscious into a cockroach and having to listen to Santa Claus bemoan the fact that people have finally clued into his inherent creepiness so can we all admit she’s got it pretty rough too?

Alyssa: Poor Santa! He’s just trying to make the lives of children better! Albeit in a pretty creepy way. Honestly, most of what I took away from Alice’s bits was “dang, that’s a lot of blood.” They’re playing things pretty close to the chest with Alice. I have no doubt that she’ll find her way out of The Library (and I feel like they’re setting up Santa to take the fall for her at some point), but it’s difficult to see the gears working in her brain at present. Or how she keeps getting her hands on so many cockroaches.

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Eliot’s Search For … Something

Jessica: I think if we’re going to get squeamish over blood it’s going to be because Eliot keeps ripping the entrails from living beings. I understand that bodily organs are necessary for all kinds of spells and sacrifices, but did we have to cut up a baby pig? Couldn’t we have presented the God of War with a snake or a subway rat or something?

Alyssa: Real Eliot certainly isn’t one to shy away from magic that gets messy, but Evil Eliot is taking things to the next level with that poor baby pig and the decoy god. As gross as that was, I loved seeing Quentin back to being himself and how he handled the malevolent being taking over Eliot. The relationship between Quentin and Eliot is one of the high points of the show, and highlighting that fact even when Eliot is less than himself makes me feel like the sun is shining and fresh cookies are baking in the oven in my heart. Quentin’s careful managing of Eliot’s emotions, the casual intimacy. BRING BACK REAL ELIOT SO THESE TWO CAN BE SOFT TOGETHER WITHOUT THE THREAT OF BEING DISEMBOWELED.

Jessica: Agreed. Eliot and Quentin are the OTP of this show so this monster needs to vacate the premises of Eliot’s gorgeous bod ASAP. But I am interested to see how Quentin manages Eliot now that they look to be reunited with the rest of the group. Evil Eliot does not want to share his playmate with people that tried to kill him, plus he seems to be on some sort of time crunch with this mysterious “thing” he needs to retrieve. And, let’s face it, patience has never been his strong suit — I’m talking both Eliot and Evil Eliot here. What do you think he’s after and how do you think his search for it is going to drive the show going forward?

Alyssa: Man, I wish I knew. I guess it depends on what the monster inside Eliot really wants. He’s free from his prison, so I’m leaning towards some kind of weapon or possibly the means to a binding spell of some kind. But, knowing The Magicians, it will be something that I never even considered and will make total sense in a mindf*ck sort of way. All I know is that the monster/Evil Eliot works fast. Fogg was not kidding when he said that he would come for the group the second they were revealed. Things are not looking good for the contingent with Marina.

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What’s Next?

Jessica: Yeah I can’t believe that Evil Eliot plans to sing kumbaya over the fire with the group anytime soon. He obviously cares for Quentin in some twisted way and I think, in his mind, the easiest way to ensure Quentin’s loyalty and devotion is to leverage the people he cares for most. I don’t think he’ll kill any of them — at least, not right away — but no one’s safe at this point.

Alyssa: I think it’s time for Julia to rejoin the group. She’s the one who faced off with the monster last time, so I think if anyone can keep them safe, it’s her. Goddess status and all of that. But, at the same time, bringing that much power around such a volatile presence could also spell disaster. I just don’t know! How much longer until Alice breaks out of The Library, do you think?

Jessica: At this rate, I’d say no more than two episodes to go before she’s a free woman. Make no mistake, Santa Claus is not getting out of that chimney alive, but Alice and Julia seem to be the most powerful of the bunch and the group is going to need all the help they can get to deal with Evil Eliot.

Alyssa: I’m curious to see what happens with Evil Eliot if they make it back to Fillory. That’s where the monster inside of him was banished from, so what happens if it breaths that opium air again? Nothing good, I’m sure.

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