DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians contains more spoilers than the number of times Margo blurts out various expletives on a day-to-day basis. Our High Queen sure does love to swear. You’ve been warned. Prepare for your quest, and enter at your own risk. 

Welcome back, Fillorians! The Magicians returned this week with an action-packed, gut-wrenching episode. Laughter was had. Tears were shed. Audible gasps occurred. Death came in twos this time around – Alice lost her father Daniel, after he was possessed by the lamprey. Penny passed at the end of the episode, leaving us on quite the cliffhanger. Meanwhile, two boats almost did the horizontal tango. Yes, in Fillory even the boats possess an active consciousness. 

Alright, ready to delve into “The Losses of Magic?” Just be sure to wrap yourself in saran wrap, lest the lamprey decide to ooze into your body via your orifices. 

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We open with Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) quietly roaming through a cluster of trees in pursuit of a lone kitten. Since the last cat exploded once it sensed the lamprey was in close proximity, she’s in desperate need of a new “alarm system,” so to speak. Once she nabs the kitten, we see her ascend a set of stairs leading to a house – her parent’s house. Her mother Stephanie (Judith Hoag) answers the door, but is nonchalant at her seemingly rising from the dead. Apparently, Quentin called Alice’s parent’s shortly after she was resurrected. Way to spoil the surprise, Q. 

Next, Stephanie reintroduces Alice to her friend Carol who, after magic collapsed, morphed into a different person. All of her enchantments fell apart, as they are wont to do without magic fueling them. Alice is immediately suspicious that Carol is possessed by the lamprey. 

Meanwhile, Eliot (Hale Appleman), Fen (Brittany Curran) and Fray (Madeleine Arthur) are en route to their next destination. Benedict (Harvey Guillen) reveals to Eliot that the further they travel from Fillory, the less inclined land masses are to appear on maps. Remember, practically everything is imbued with a consciousness – even seemingly inanimate objects like maps. In short, they’re broaching uncharted territory. Woo, epic magical quests! 

Pictured (L to R): Brittany Curran, Madeleine Arthur and Hale Appleman

Suddenly, we see another ship approaching The Muntjac. There be pirates! Unless they’re amicable (and most pirates aren’t), this won’t end well. 

Next, Julia (Stella Maeve) calls Quentin (Jason Ralph) regarding Kady’s whereabouts. Quentin flatly reveals his father has taken a turn for the worst so he’s on his way to see him. Of course, we know the lamprey has taken residence inside The Hotel Quentin. Julia thinks nothing of it and eventually tracks down Kady (Jade Tailor), who’s not too thrilled to see her former best b***h. Kady seeks Julia’s one magical spark (alongside Mayakovsky’s battery) to help her save Penny (Arjun Gupta), who has seen better days. Remember the spell she procured from Harriett? Well, said spell requires summoning a demon. Time to change that area code to 666!

Meanwhile, Benedict suggests Eliot and his family hide in their chambers. Hopefully they can steer clear of the pirates long enough to send word to Margo. Above decks, said pirates are wrecking havoc on the poor Muntjac and her crew. Eliot notices a key hole within his chambers. He slips the golden key he obtained from the preacher inside, and it fits like a glove. Suddenly, a door frame materializes out of thin air. Freedom! 

Next, Alice finds herself falling over a precipice of paranoia when Carol scares off her kitten. Said kitten flees through an open window. Oh, Carol. We can’t take you anywhere. Of course, this firmly solidifies Alice’s belief that Carol is possessed by the lamprey. Alice finally reunites with her father Daniel (Tom Amandes), and fills him in on her latest crisis. Thankfully, he’s Team Alice and thereby hellbent on eradicating this newest threat. 

Later, in Fillory, High Queen Margo the Destroyer (Summer Bishil) is undergoing a crisis herself. She’s received word of The Muntjac being seized by pirates. She orders Tick (Rizwan Manji) to procure the fastest boat they have for the rescue effort. In addition, there’s also the Fairy Queen’s (Candis Cayne) demands to be dealt with. Her latest demand involves planting a garden of inedible mushrooms. Sounds a little counterproductive, no? 

Next, Margo pays the Fairy Queen a visit in the hopes of receiving the latter’s permission to leave. You know, so she can swoop in and save Eliot. She grants it, and even makes her presence known to Tick and Gillen (Zahf Paroo). Now, Margo’s most trusted advisers could turn on her at any moment, to the side of the fairies. Yay!

Meanwhile, Daniel and Alice have tied up Carol and are attempting to electrocute her. Desperate non-magical times call for equally desperate non-magical measures. Electrocution seems to be the only thing that works on the lamprey. Stephanie, of course, protests the entire operation. Quentin inexplicably appears on the scene, much to the suspicion of Alice. Daniel notices Quentin’s neck move in a peculiar manner, thus igniting a new set of suspicions. Quentin is possessed by the lamprey! Sorry, Carol! Right on cue, Quentin disappears. 

Pictured (L to R): Jason Ralph, Olivia Taylor Dudley and Tom Amandes

Later, Margo and co. are on the overtaken Muntjac. We see the Fairy Queen quietly observing in the background, although it is revealed that pirates can see fairies. Makes sense, considering pirates also make their fair share of shady deals. Tick pulls Margo aside and offers up his expertise in the art of the pickpocket. Meaning, he’ll swipe Margo’s captive eyeball from right under the Fairy Queen’s nose. Thus, she won’t be privy to Margo’s interactions. Margo, my favorite Destroyer, is delighted with the idea and gives it the stamp of approval. Then, she’s taken below decks to parley with the Pirate King. 

Next, we see Alice and her parents camping out in their living room. With Quentin nowhere to be found, Alice seals them in so the lamprey stays out. Daniel gives Alice the idea of utilizing a car battery as extra juice to zap the lamprey. She wraps herself in saran wrap so the lamprey can’t ooze into her orifices. Makes sense. Also, how very SignsM. Night Shyamalan would be proud. Alice heads toward the garage. 

Meanwhile, Julia is out and about procuring the ingredients for Kady’s demon summoning spell. She hands a homeless woman some spare change. Said woman grabs her wrist, her eyes white as pearls. She delivers a message to Julia from a mysterious source. The woman intones that the message hasn’t been received by Julia, and the stakes will be raised. Suddenly, the woman returns to normal and whatever spirit once possessing her is gone. Julia is more than taken aback. What the what?


Later, Alice finds Quentin lying on the floor in the garage, lamprey-free. Apparently, the lamprey just wanted whatever information on Alice was rolling around in his noggin. We see a gooey trail leading outward, indicating Quentin is telling the truth. Alice helps him up and they head inside. 

Then, Penny wakes up for a brief chat with Kady. She fills him in on their demon summoning, and how it may be their only hope in saving him. Penny thanks her, while simultaneously seeming at peace with his potential death. Hey, I’m on Team Save Penny. 

Meanwhile, Margo meets the famed Pirate King and lays down all the charm on her. Of course, the Pirate King is indeed picking up what Margo is putting down. However, Margo demands they parley first. You know, business precedes pleasure. But, Margo promises to rock her world. I’m all about this. Margo asks to see High King Eliot.

Pictured (L to R): Rizwan Manji and Summer Bishil

Well, High King Eliot is nowhere to be found. Instead, Benedict has donned Eliot’s royal garb and is pretending to be him. We know Eliot and his family have escaped through the secret door. Margo is rightfully taken aback by this. 

Next, with Quentin lamprey-free and inside with everyone else, Stephanie loudly voices her concerns with the whole operation. She feels Alice is merely overreacting, stirring up drama where none exists. Alice is infuriated and reminds her mother who the real monster is. She reveals she tortured and killed the lamprey’s family as a niffin, because she wanted to and was capable of doing so. Stephanie flees her daughter, clearly spooked. 

Later, Margo and the Pirate King partake in some good ol’ fashioned parley. Margo orders they release The Muntjac from its captivity. However, the Pirate King explains that their ship is attracted to The Muntjac. Well, The Muntjac has a beating heart, after all, so why not raging hormones to go along with it? So, the Pirate King believes their ships should bone. You know, as boats are wont to do. 

Then, Margo seeks the advisement of Tick, who informs her that ships can be unpredictable if they don’t get what they desire. Meaning, they could simply not sail where they are asked to, or eject passengers at random. Tick advises that they allow the Pirate King’s ship to copulate with The Muntjac. Yay boats! 

Next, Quentin enters the uncharted territory of the kitchen, wrapped head to toe in saran wrap and wielding the electrocuting stick. He finds a weeping Stephanie, lamenting how her life is falling apart at the seams and inhaling her glass of wine. Quentin, always the shoulder to cry on, reluctantly listens to her woes. 

Then, Julia and Kady perform the summoning spell once all the puzzle pieces are in place. With the help of Mayakovsky’s battery that Kady nicked and Julia’s limited magical supply, they effectively summon the demon. Said demon (Julian Richings) may be recognizable to Supernatural fans – he’s Death! Anyway, the demon promises to eradicate Penny’s super magical cancer. He punctures Penny’s stomach with his talon-like fingers, and we see Penny astral project as a result. 

Meanwhile, Margo decides to consult the heartwood of The Muntjac. She voices her concerns of allowing the Pirate King’s ship to take advantage of hers. Unless, this is what The Muntjac wants. Consent is important. We see the Fairy Queen listening in on Margo’s monologue.

Later, Stephanie decides to lay the moves on Quentin in her wine-soaked state. Alice and Daniel barge in on the two mid-kiss. Quentin asserts she kissed him and he was attempting to evade her. Alice electrocutes Stephanie, thinking the lamprey is now taking residence in her mother. However, Stephanie merely lays there unconscious, with no gooey worm-like insect leaving her body. Quentin beats Alice to the punch and electrocutes himself to convince her he’s lamprey-free. That only leaves Daniel, who is now possessed by the lamprey. The lamprey reveals to Alice that her father has a weak heart and won’t be able to withstand electrocution. However, Alice shocks her father regardless.

Now, effectively shocked, the lamprey oozes out of Daniel’s mouth. A weak Daniel urges Alice to kill the lamprey. She obliges with gusto and shocks the worm itself, promptly killing it. 

Meanwhile, Margo is shocked to see a field of dead pirates strewn across the cabin floor. We see the Fairy Queen has just slain the Pirate King. Aw, she was going to have sexy fun times with Margo! The Fairy Queen reveals she overheard Margo’s monologue to the heartwood and was impressed. However, she knows that Tick nicked Margo’s eyeball and demands Margo return it. Hand outstretched, Margo crushes her own eyeball. Now, the Fairy Queen informs her that one, it cannot be repaired. Two, that wasn’t the only way she was keeping tabs on Margo. Our ethereal Queen summons Gillen and plants an irritating song in his ear, which will slowly make him go mad. In short, the Fairy Queen is not here to play. She gives Margo the duration of her voyage back to Whitespire to contemplate her actions. And with that ominous demand, the Fairy Queen disappears. 

Pictured (L to R): Candis Cayne, Summer Bishil, Rizwan Manji, Zahf Paroo

Later, Alice creates a liquid concoction meant to elicit vomiting, like ipecac. Quentin is seen throwing up in the kitchen sink. Said concoction will hopefully dispel any eggs the lamprey has potentially lain within him. He asks Alice to explain why she left him at Brakebills. Alice reveals that yes, the sex was enjoyable, but she doesn’t love him anymore. She’s a completely different person since coming back from the dead. Well, death changes everyone. 

Suddenly, Stephanie screams Alice’s name. Our two former lovebirds run into the living room and find Daniel splayed out on the floor, clearly dead. Quentin attempts to perform CPR but to no avail. Daniel is gone. 

Meanwhile, the demon is still attempting to extract the cancer from Penny’s stomach. Finally, he pulls out a tangible, bloody mass of disease. Success! He advises that Penny take some time to heal. However, we see Penny begin to slip away. Unfortunately, the demon was too late in extracting the cancer. Penny too is gone. Kady lets out a gut-wrenching sob. We see astral projection Penny standing over his now lifeless body. “S**t,” he says, in typical Penny fashion. 

The Magicians just gets better and better. Seriously, Season 3 is shaping up to be the best of the bunch. As an avid lover of the trilogy by Lev Grossman, I can appreciate the series’ faithfulness to the overall plots of The Magician’s Land, while still enjoying the deviations throughout. Summer Bishil was a standout this episode, as well as Candis Cayne. Their scene toward the end might be my favorite of the episode. Of course, Judith Hoag is always a delight whenever she appears and does not fail to entertain. We’ve effectively raised the stakes for the remainder of the season, and I expect nothing but excitement to come our way as a result. 

Do you think Julia and Kady will be able to revive Penny? Will Daniel’s death cause Alice to lose whatever shred of humanity she had left? How will Margo retaliate against the Fairy Queen now that the latter has asserted her dominance? Where did Eliot and his family run off to, and will they continue their quest to procure the golden keys? Join me next week as I continue to recap The Magicians, here on Geek Girl Authority. 

The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9pm on your SyFy affiliate. 





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