When last we saw our favorite Magicians, none of them were who they once were, and Alice (Olivia Taylor-Dudley) is still in Librarian jail – her cell next to Santa’s. Last week brought some of our magicians back together, but this episode starts to see them split again.
In this week’s episode, we start with a brief glimpse the Monster and Brian, aka Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Quentin (Jason Ralph). The Monster asks Quentin to retrieve a pig from the woods. He claims it must be captured by human hands – and sweat. Q initially refuses to physically kill the pig as a sacrifice but is eventually convinced. It only takes the Monster breaking Q’s bones to do so. When the God arrives, a dude who looks like he might be straight from Duck Dynasty, the Monster demands “it” back. We don’t get any acknowledgment of what “it” is, only that the Monster wants it enough to eviscerate the god he has summoned. Only, the “god” isn’t who the Monster was looking for, but rather a servant.
Speaking of servants, this episode finds Alice using her cockroach in an interesting way. By sticking her arm up a tube taken from the wall of her cell, Alice is able to access some of the library’s magic. With this magic, she puts her consciousness into her prisoner cockroach. As the cockroach, Alice finds her way to the Head Librarian’s office. Before she’s crushed under a boot, however, she spots the fact that the librarian has a fireplace and chimney. Well, Alice has a Santa Clause.
In Fillory, Janet/Margo (Summer Bishil) wanders through the woods, totally lost, until she comes across a pond. Instead of finding vodka, however, she is dragged under the water Shape of Water creature “Lord Fresh”. Lord Fresh informs the High King that she holds her birthright box, but that she can’t touch it because of the spell on her. He also reveals that she will learn to “live and rule alone”. Things aren’t looking too hot for our favorite High King.
After leaving the creature behind, Margo is arrives at Castle Whitespire where Acting High Fen (Brittany Curran) is skeptical of her claims – seeing the façade of Janet – but reveals what is troubling Fillory. The normally opium tinted atmosphere has been altered so that there is a higher concentration. This change has caused a multitude of deaths. People are falling asleep at inappropriate times, and dancing in the nude. Recent sightings of the presumed dead Ember cause Fen to think he is behind it, so they set off to Hare on the Ass Inn where he is presumed to be found next. Only it’s not Ember at all, but Bacchus, who for those who don’t remember, is the God of Good Times and Instagram Influencer. Really when we heard about “Ember’s” orgy at the Sky Nunnery, we should have known better.
Back on Earth, Marina (Kacey Rohl) realizes that she won’t be able to easily reverse the spell on the others. She is able to, however, reveal that DJ Hansel aka Penny (Arjun Gupta) is a traveler. She uses his skills to travel directly into Dean Fogg’s office. While on the hunt for an antidote, Marina finds the potion that created everyone’s false identities. She uses the serum on Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy), who has twenty-four hours before it comes into effect.
Dean Fogg admits to Todd that while he could reverse the potion, he won’t because doing so would put the lives of the students he is protecting in jeopardy. Barely functioning alcoholic Fogg makes good use of his remaining hours, however! Fogg wanders around Brakebills slapping colleagues, paying off gambling debts, and detailing to Todd everything that should be in his memoir. When Kim/Julia (Stella Maeve) approaches Fogg, asking if she is one of the students he feels bad about taking the identities of. He doesn’t deny it. Though he claims, “all forms of intimacy horrify me,” Fogg definitely has a soft spot for Julia.
After getting her affirmation from Fogg, Julia takes Todd in search of the source of what is keeping the disguise spell in operation. With magic rationed, they determine that Fogg must have some sort of eternal magic battery. And guess what? They find it.
The disco ball-like battery exudes power. When Julia touches it for the first time, it knocks her across the room and kills her. She doesn’t stay dead for long, however, and tries to touch it again and again. After all, it has to run out of battery eventually, right? You might be right Julia, but can we focus on the fact that you aren’t dying?! Is this the nature of the battery, the spell, or the fact that JULIA IS STILL A GODDESS? I can only hope.
Finally, after dozens of attempts, Kim manages to power down the battery. The charade falls and she is Julia again. Not only is she back to herself, but so is everyone else – with the exception of Eliot.
In the last moments of the episode, Quentin relates to the Monster that he misses his friends. This doesn’t sit well with the Monster who we finally learn is looking for something, some kind of knowledge that the gods all took from him. The Monster sees Q’s friends as his enemies. At the end of the episode, the Monster brings Quentin to Marina’s loft. And finally, all our magicians (except Alice of course) reunite.
There are two things I love most about this episode. The first is the amount of Margo we get. In past seasons Margo mostly stood as half of the Margo/Eliot team. Now alone, we’re finally seeing Margo and what she can actually achieve. If we believe Lord Fresh, Margo may soon be living and ruling alone, but if anyone could handle it, it would be take-no-shit Margo.
The second thing I love most about this episode is the fact that the magicians finally got their identities back! We all knew it was only a matter of time, but by placing the transformation at the end of the second episode, we have the rest of the season to dig deep into the story of the season – which might be focused on the monster.
Speaking of the monster, we didn’t learn much about what was taken from him by the gods, but we did learn something. The monster doesn’t know what was taken, but he knows it was some sort of knowledge. The question is, what knowledge? If all the gods took a part of whatever he is missing, is it possible it’s their actual godliness that they took from him? Or am I thinking too hard on it? Something tells me that this “monster” might end up being less of a monster than he currently seems.
Other thoughts of note: give me more Fen, and my god I never felt the weight of Q’s emotions more than in this episode. Great acting on the part of Jason Ralph. I miss Eliot as well.