Welcome back, Fillorians! We’ve reached the end of our second season journey with the Brakebills gang. The Magicians finale was all shades of crazy! Quentin killed a god and thus all magic was snuffed out. Margo lost an eye trying to save Fen (but she rocks that eye patch). The fairies held our High King and Queen hostage, prepared to start a war with Fillory. Penny is dying (nooo)! In short, the proverbial fan is chock full of more shit than the Wellspring used to be. So, let’s get to it. One last time for Season Two! Friendly reminder that Ember relishes in whimsy spoilers, so be wary.
We open with our favorite chaotic god Ember (Dominic Burgess) giving us the lowdown on the series of events leading to the finale. How Fillory was conceived – apparently, its original name was “Filigree,” but Ember was intoxicated so “Fillory” became its name instead. See what happens when you drink, Ember? Anyway, he also admits to all the crimes, practical jokes, etc. he’s committed since Eliot and Margo took the throne. Ember is also bored of this realm he’s created and plans on destroying it. Not if our heroes can help it!
Meanwhile, at Mayakovksy’s residence, Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) is sitting with her hand outstretched over a candle flame. She’s attempting to harm herself to feel something again. We see cuts on her wrist as well. Quentin (Jason Ralph) witnesses the sight and gives Alice a liquid to drink that will prevent her from injuring her own body. Alice asks Q why he brought her back. He replies that he loves her, just as she tried to revive her brother Charlie out of love. I’ve said this once before, but Alice’s post-revival journey is so reminiscent of Buffy. She was essentially yanked out of paradise (niffin magic).
Later, we see Penny (Arjun Gupta) is resting in the Brakebills infirmary. Professor Lipson (Keegan Connor Tracy) and Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy) reveal that Penny is dying from his trip to the Poison Room. Lesions are rapidly growing on his spine. While the two educators are doing everything they can to cure Penny’s ailment, he must rest. But he’s our boo thang, so of course he won’t. Kady (Jade Tailor) goes to visit him and is obviously upset that Penny is dying. Penny makes the executive decision to leave the infirmary and help his friends with their god-sized problem. Also, who wants to spend their last moments in a hospital bed?
Meanwhile, Julia (Stella Maeve) is curled up on the couch in her New York apartment, looking like she’s seen better days. Eliot (Hale Appleman) pays our girl a visit. He too notices how forlorn she looks. She explains that she is whole again, that she has a Shade. Thus, Julia is feeling everything at once, with anger and sadness taking the lead. Eliot sympathizes with her. Remember how depressed he was in the first season? I love this little moment – seeing two characters who hardly ever get screen time together finding a way to relate to one another. Anyway, Eliot tries to persuade couch prisoner Julia to help him save magic from a mad god. Julia relents, because Fillory needs saving, dammit.
Later, Kady and Penny make a pit stop at Mayakovsky’s residence before jetting off to Tahiti to enjoy Penny’s last weeks (sob). Kady runs into Julia, and promptly ignores her former best bitch. Penny hunts down Eliot and gives him the skinny on the Blank Spot – where every living person’s book ends in twenty empty pages. Penny tells our High King that he read the latter’s book, and the current events line up with what Eliot is experiencing now – looking for a solution to fight Ember, for example. So, our Traveler tells Eliot to do something different to counteract what’s happening in his book.
Then, Penny tells Kady he has one loose end he needs to tie up. Kady protests, saying he’s done enough for everyone and deserves to relax. But before they can continue to hash out the issue they are transported to the Neitherlands library. Our Head Librarian (Mageina Tovah) informs the duo that regardless of Penny’s current health situation, he’s still bound by his contract with the library. Therefore, dude’s gotta work. Remember, he’s bound with the library, even post-mortem. The Head Librarian gives the two a moment to say their goodbyes, but that moment is cut short when Kady is transported back to Mayakovsky’s house.
Meanwhile, Margo (Summer Bishil) and Josh (Trevor Einhorn) are attempting to save Fen (Brittany Curran) in the fairy realm. Josh informs Margo that the fairy realm literally exists in the same space as Castle Whitespire, but in another dimension. Science, y’all! So, our gruesome twosome locates Fen, who’s chained up in a cell and looking pretty emaciated. Fen tells them that the fairies took her daughter. Josh frees Fen of her shackles and attempts to carry her out when a fairy brings the rescuers to the Fairy Queen.
Then, we meet the Fairy Queen (Candis Cayne) in all her bathtub splendor. Yes, she’s taking a rose petal bath in what is the throne room in Fillory. Margo demands Fen and the baby are returned to Fillory. The Fairy Queen reminds Margo that the baby is hers. She changes the subject to Ember and his boredom with Fillory. If they don’t do something to stop the god, their realm will be destroyed, with everyone in it. Margo informs the Queen she has been trying to contact Ember for months, with no response. Our Fairy Queen gives the duo a weird plant that contains an irresistible smell for Ember. They must bake it into little cakes, since pastries are the god’s Kryptonite. This is how you schmooze a god, folks.
Meanwhile, Eliot meets up with Quentin. He asks Q about Alice. Quentin believes he might have done the wrong thing by reviving Alice, that he damaged her somehow. Eliot consoles him and tries to convince his friend to join his fight to save Fillory. He sends Q to Umber’s (Nico Evers-Swindell) house, to ask the god for help.
Later, Eliot waltzes back into his throne room to find Prince Ess (Arlen Escarpeta) sitting in his throne. Our true High King tells the Lorian Prince to get off his throne; however, the latter demands to know where his father is. King Idri (Leonard Roberts) strolls in, completely human. Eliot threatens to put his awesome new broadsword skills to the test, but Prince Ess storms out like a moody teenager who isn’t allowed to date yet. Once the throne room is empty, King Idri and Eliot decide it’s high-time (heehee) they test the smooching waters. They might die soon, so why the hell not?
Meanwhile, Quentin is sitting with Umber in his Vancouver residence. He’s trying to convince Umber to help him save Fillory. Umber wholeheartedly believes the realm is beyond saving, however. He appreciates Quentin’s pluck and his big ol’ heart, and hopes to capitalizes on those qualities by bringing Q to the Pocket Dimension Formerly Known As Cuba. I think Cuba was a great name, real country be damned. Umber then whisks Quentin away to his new world, in the hopes Q will provide him with solid notes. Umber is nothing if not a perfectionist.
Later, Eliot is brooding on his throne when a portal opens. Out plops Josh and Margo. Eliot rushes to their aid, where Margo reveals that she’s missing an eye. Apparently, the Fairy Queen granted them an exit from her realm, but not without a toll – the price being our favorite High Queen’s eye. Margo tells El that Fen and the baby are still trapped in the fairy realm, but she will free them. She also reveals that first they must strike a deal with Ember, and they have the bait for it.
Then we see Margo sporting an eye patch, which honestly makes her look more badass. I didn’t think this was possible. Our royal best friends try to hash out their issues, the invisible wedge that’s been slowly dividing them. Eliot reveals the future will not come to pass unless they do what they do best: throw a massive rager to attract a god. Maybe if the realm is still intact they can start to work through their problems. I hope this isn’t the downfall of these two – I live for their fierceness and witty banter.
Later, we see said massive rager in full swing – couples of the realm bowing before the High King and Queen, aerial dancers, orgies, music, food. Josh brings in his baked confections containing the god-attracting plant. He waves the scent toward the entrance in the hopes Ember will appear. We hear a string arrangement of “Best Day of My Life” playing, which is very appropriate given the circumstances.
Meanwhile, Quentin and Umber are in the middle of the Pocket Dimension Formerly Known as Cuba. Umber is desperate for Q’s opinions. Q comments on how “linear” it is. Very tidy, very simple – the opposite of Ember. They sit down eat linguine, which Q describes as having a bland taste. Umber thinks that bland is “safe,” versus the chaos that Ember would surely create in that world. Q touches a nerve by commenting on what Ember would do. Umber yells at Q to never speak of his brother. Someone has a temper.
Later, Eliot notices the cake bit isn’t working. He wonders if they should sacrifice someone to get the god’s attention. Ugh, sacrifices are so last year. However, we hear someone yell “Little cakes!” and see Ember munching on Josh’s creations. It worked! Everyone bows down before the god. Initially, he seems upset that Eliot is back after being banished, but Ember changes his tune to one of giddiness. A surprise twist! Those are always fun.
So, Eliot and Margo begin their pitch to Ember. A new chapter is dawning, called “Shit Tons of Drama and Fun,” where the High King and Queen make sure Fillory stays interesting for Ember. I’m intrigued. There’s still so many fun twists and turns living within the realm. Margo urges Ember to recall when he first created Fillory with Umber, which strikes a nerve. Ember goes on a tangent about his “late” brother…
…and so does Umber in his new world. Boy, do they hate each other. Then, Ember goes on to say everything Eliot and Margo said reeks of whimsy, and it’s whimsy he’s tired of. Thus, he begins destroying the world he created. We see Castle Whitespire begin to crumble as everyone flees, save Eliot and Margo.
Meanwhile, Umber reveals to Quentin that he couldn’t bear to return to Fillory. Q informs him they are in Fillory, much to the god’s surprise. Ember yells “Apocalypse!” repeatedly in glee as everything is destroyed around him. Julia appears, holding Umber’s globe. She shakes it up. In the pocket dimension, Quentin and Umber begin toppling sideways as Julia continues to shake it. Umber, in a rage, jumps atop Q and begins choking him. They both appear in the throne room, Umber looking identical to his brother, a goat god once more. Ember is shocked to see his brother alive, but also surprisingly content. That contentment, however, quickly turns to rage.
Then, Ember jumps to conclusions, claiming Martin Chatwin and Umber struck a deal. Ember’s banishment for Umber’s life. He thrusts Umber against the wall and knocks Quentin, Margo and Eliot aside. Umber pleads for his life. Ember kills his brother, for real this time. Julia activates a god-killing sword and distracts Ember by taunting him. He begins choking her, which gives Q a chance to nab the sword from her and plunge it through Ember’s side. He topples over, dead. Quentin just killed a damn god, y’all! Fillory is saved!
Later, Eliot and Margo suggest that, since Fillory is now god-free, they draft up a constitution of their own. They set their council to the task. Cue a Hamilton sing-along. I still want my entirely musical episode of The Magicians. Maybe Season Three?
Meanwhile, Quentin brings Alice regular, non-bland food to eat. He presents to her a platter of bacon, which most people cannot resist. To me, that’s foreplay. She succumbs to the Will of the Bacon, eating the entire platter. Alice notices her hands are greasy and Quentin begins wiping them dry. She questions why the action feels good, which soon leads to kissing. Let the sexy times commence!
Later, Kady tracks down Harriet (Marlee Matlin) with a request. She wants the latter to help her save Penny, and in turn Kady will provide Harriet with info to bring down the Neitherlands library permanently. Harriet agrees to this. Here’s hoping it works! I want my Penny alive, dammit.
Then, we see Alice and Quentin lying in bed post-sexy times. Things seem to be getting on track for our Q – he killed a god, saved a magical realm and banged the love of his life all in one day. In fact, life seems to be too good for Quentin Coldwater. Not to worry, Alice dumps a monster of a revelation to fix that! When finding out Q killed Ember, she reveals how stupid of an act that was. Gods like Ember and Umber have parents, the old gods that created the universe. Alice learned a lot during her niffin days. Basically, Q royally pissed them off.
A magical plumber (no other way to describe him) promptly goes to all the magical hubs and switches off magic. We see Professor Lipson teaching a class at Brakebills when our magical plumber arrives, erasing the presence of magic entirely. In the Neitherlands library, he appears and does the same. The Head Librarian grabs a nearly unconscious Penny and hustles him out along with the other members of the Order. Aw, my poor Penny. Let him live!
Now, fast forward to two months later. We see Alice, Quentin and Josh in class with Dean Fogg. They continue to study magic even though everyone is bereft of it, in the hopes it will return someday. Well, it better, Otherwise this show might need a new name.
Later, Alice runs into Friar Joseph (Jamie Harris). You can tell she misses being a niffin and experiencing all-powerful magic. Friar Joseph notices she is now human. He warns her that she pissed off a lot of powerful beings when she was a niffin. One of those foes knows where she is and is currently en route to take her out. Oh shit. Friar Joseph disappears, while Alice takes off into the night.
Meanwhile, Eliot and Margo are having dinner and trying to figure out how to rule a magic-less realm. Both have differing opinions on the process. Margo, perhaps fueled by her badass eye patch, believes in reinstating martial law: strict curfews, capital punishment, the whole she-bang. Eliot, on the other hands, wishes to take a more compassionate approach: inspire the masses, not lord over them. We see the rift between our best bitches widening more than ever.
Suddenly, Fen arrives, hobbling into the throne room. Eliot is surprised to see her. She reveals she lost a few toes as payment to return home. She came to warn Eliot that the fairies are coming. Unfortunately, her warning came too little too late, as they are surrounded by a horde of fairies in the throne room. All of them are brandishing weapons in their direction. We see the Fairy Qeen is outside the castle with her fairy army, as they sit and wait to strike. Uh oh. Fairy takeover!
Meanwhile, Julia visits Q at Brakebills. She seems incredibly content, for the first time. Julia tells Quentin she quit law school, because she wanted to show him something incredible. We see her hold out her hands to cast a spell. Quentin stops her, knowing that nobody possesses magic anymore. Suddenly, a spark ignites. Julia still has magic, albeit it is weak. If she possesses even an inkling of magic, that means it still exists! Time to find out…
Guys, this finale pushed all the right buttons. We had action, suspense, mystery, romance, comedy – the whole nine yards. Not to mention oodles of magic (before it was snuffed out. THANKS Q.). Story lines were resolved while new threads opened up, leaving us waiting with baited breath until Season Three premieres. Will the gang be able to bring magic back? Who are the old gods, and will we see them? Where did Alice run off to? Is Penny still alive (we didn’t see him in the flash forward)? I’m not sure I can wait till next year. Thankfully, the gods of Netflix have been kind and granted us the ability to re-watch our favorite magicians whenever we wish. Until next year, folks…