DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians episode “The Serpent” contains more spoilers than the number of times Julia has been ogled for essentially being a “magical unicorn.” What exactly is she? We don’t know, but she sure is magical. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Fillorians! The Magicians blessed us this week with a game-changing episode. Fen followed through on her destiny and deposed Margo as ruler of Fillory. Thankfully, it didn’t resort to violence. Margo, being the bada** she is, mic dropped her way out of Whitespire, preparing to embark on a quest through the desert. Meanwhile, Penny 23 took a peak inside Eliot Monster’s mind, and was taken aback to find actual Eliot trapped within. Oh, and we learned of the Monster’s true objective: to compose a body for his sister. Now, said sister was executed by the gods, so we know she’s much worse than the Monster. Alice aided Zelda in her mission to extricate Harriett from the mirror realm which results in resounding success. However, it took a few twisty gravel roads and numerous potholes to get to the finish line.
Alright, ready to delve into “The Serpent?” Just be sure to take notes, Fillorians. We’re in Season 4 endgame territory now.
We open with a masked man ordering all hedge witches to cease their battle against the Library. Now, the Library has turned down the flow of ambient magic to barely a trickle – certainly not enough to cast hefty spells. Masked man holds down a hedge witch and implants a blood worm into the latter’s ear. Said worm not only inhibits the hedge from casting spells, but it also kills him. Masked man once again demands hedges to stop doing magic. We see that Kady (Jade Tailor) and Pete (David Call) are viewing this appalling demonstration on a laptop. Pete reveals that the man and his cohorts are known as the Serpent. Kady is already in fight mode, preparing to do whatever it takes to bring the Serpent to justice.
Next, we see Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) arrives on Kady’s doorstep. She catches wind of the hedge witches’ desire to enact revenge against the Library for slaughtering their kind. Alice wants in. Kady, naturally, is reticent to trust Alice since the latter sold our magicians out to the Library. She delivers a nasty punch to Alice’s face, then accepts Alice’s aid in their battle. Kady just needed to get some violence out of her system. It’s perfectly healthy.
Meanwhile, Zelda (Mageina Tovah) and the Librarians are also watching the Serpent video. Everett (Brian Markinson) suggests they offer to administer Reed’s Marks to all hedge witches, regardless if they were infected with a blood worm or not. Reed’s Mark would serve as a “firewall” of sorts, preventing the blood worm from activating and protecting the hedge from potential future implantation as well. Of course, some Librarians believe the hedges are too proud, and won’t accept help from them. However, everyone is in favor of this course of action.
Later, Kady and Pete fill Alice in on what’s occurred so far. Suddenly, Harriett (Marlee Matlin) appears inside Kady’s mirror. She informs the trio that she’s “in pieces.” Alice’s mom texts her a photo of Harriett appearing in another mirror. Harriett is on the hunt for Alice, it would seem.
Then, the trio meets with Zelda on Earth. Harriett also appeared in Zelda’s office. This “pieces” effect is the result of the beacon cast by Alice and her mother. Kady offers their services in restoring Zelda’s daughter in exchange for one thing: access to a magical pipe box. She explains that more magic would lower the body count, would stop hedges from dying. Zelda reluctantly agrees to Kady’s terms. Pete approaches Kady and bows out of their mission. He feels unsafe casting locator spells with the Serpent on the loose. His plan is to obtain a Reed’s Mark and wait out the current storm. A coward’s plan, of course.
Meanwhile, Julia (Stella Maeve), Penny (Arjun Gupta) and Quentin (Jason Ralph) are hard at work deciphering the dragon’s vague message regarding the Binder. However, Eliot Monster (Hale Appleman) has another assignment in store for them – track down the god Anulias, who possesses the final missing piece for the former’s body. Either they complete the task at hand or Eliot Monster will find new ways to torture Eliot’s body. Yeah, better go with option one.
Next, Fen (Brittany Curran) tries to avoid Margo (Summer Bishil) while the latter grills her for info on her encounter with the Napster. Of course, we know that Fen’s prophecy is to depose Margo as High King and ascend to the throne herself…using whatever means necessary. Josh (Trevor Einhorn) brings in a talking Bunny courtesy of Quentin, one bearing a crucial message – Eliot’s alive. Margo’s now lost interest in the Napster and has a new objective: get her best friend back. I’m all for it.
Now, Josh also informs the duo that, due to the ambient magic in the atmosphere being at near depletion, he’s organized a state dinner for the cream of the Fillorian crop. Margo proceeds to horizontally tango with Josh in front of Fen, all aglow with the news of Eliot. Sexy fun times ensue.
Later, Kady, Zelda and Alice are in a lab at Brakebills. Three mirrors are situated around them, representing the three “shards” of Harriett. Alice will utilize her impressive phosphoromancy skills to cast a spell to pull Zelda’s daughter from the mirror world. Kady and Zelda wait outside.
Next, Alice is in the thick of the spell when Harriett appears in the mirrors, urging Alice to halt said spell. Suddenly, another version of Alice steps out of a mirror. She’s the “evil” alter ego of our Alice. Evil Alice ridicules good Alice for her supposed cowardice. She belittles our Alice. Alice works up the courage to knock her evil twin out cold and drags her through a mirror to the mirror realm. One of the Harrietts is standing outside the realm, once again urging Alice to not do what she’s about to do. Unfortunately, Alice doesn’t know sign language.
Meanwhile, Jules, Q and Penny find Eliot Monster torturing an innocent man for information regarding Anulias. The man passes away from the immense mind probing courtesy of Eliot Monster. Penny volunteers as tribute as Eliot Monster’s next probe victim, since he’s a Traveler/psychic and can withstand the torture. Julia’s not too thrilled with this plan. However, Penny vows that if he returns in one piece he’ll finally take Julia out to dinner. Yay! Julenny lives (my ship name – all rights reserved)!
Now, Eliot Monster proceeds to probe Penny’s mind. The pair wind up in a place deeply nestled in the past. We see four hooded people sacrificing a young girl on a slab. Two of them are the deceased Bacchus and Iris. Eliot Monster reveals that the girl is his sister. Penny decides to surreptitiously escape while Eliot Monster rambles on. He crosses through a door inexplicably situated behind them.
Then, Penny winds up in the Physical Kids’ cottage…with our Eliot! Reunited and it feels so good! Eliot gives Penny the scoop on what’s what.
Meanwhile, Zelda and Kady wait outside for Alice to finish the job. They share a smoke and a story. Zelda reveals that she was initially a hedge witch, plucked from the streets by Everett himself. She was his protege. She also understands the plight of the hedges, and vows to do what’s right by everyone. Kady starts to see that they’re on the same side.
Later, we see our Alice has locked up Evil Alice in a cell in the mirror realm. It appears to be the Library, but “backwards.” Evil Alice chastises good Alice for, once again, not giving in to her inner desires. She can’t be a great magician without her dark side. Alice stands up to her evil twin, holds her ground and essentially tells the latter off. Before Alice departs, she discovers a book entitled “Binder” and snatches it up. However, her evil twin acquiesces and follows Alice back to the real world. She agrees to help fix the botched spell and melds with our Alice again.
Next, the party at Whitespire has just begun. Josh reveals that he invited someone who’s knowledgeable of a man called the Foremost. The Foremost is an aficionado in expelling spirits from bodies. His expertise could help them free Eliot. Boom!
However, Fen’s dethroning plan is already in motion. She tag-teams with a royal from another country whose fate is intertwined with Fen’s. Fen informs Margo of her destiny, and the latter tearfully implores her to go through with it. Both women are in tears, and this scene nearly broke my heart. Margo is officially announced as a traitor to Fillory and the crown is passed over to Fen. Margo’s punishment is eternal banishment from Fillory.
Then, we see Margo in commoner’s clothes, being escorted from the castle. Her plan? Head for the desert and look for the Foremost herself. Find a way to save Eliot. Josh gives her travel essentials and an iPod complete with an ’80s playlist. Pat Benatar‘s “We Belong” blasts triumphantly as Margo walks away, empowered with a quest of her own. God, I love her so much.
Later, Alice waltzes out of the lab with a very real, very tangible Harriett in tow. Zelda is ecstatic. The two reunite. Harriett reveals that Everett is a fraud and not to be trusted. He’s hording magic for himself. Zelda is reticent to believe this, but she attempts to wrap her head around it. We also see that Pete is administered a blood worm and, presumably, bites the dust. RIP Pete. We hardly knew ye.
Meanwhile, Eliot Monster further tortures Penny for sneaking out without permission. However, Q and Jules are able to prevent Eliot Monster from doing real damage. Once Penny wakes up, he informs the pair that they’ve had it wrong all along – the Monster is building a body for his sister, not himself. Penny believes his sister is also much, much worse. Plot twist!
Now, The Magicians never fails to twist and turn in directions I didn’t think possible. Fen actually deposing King Margo? Insane. The Monster trying to resurrect his sister, therefore breaking his promise to leave Eliot’s body? Not what I expected. I really dug Alice’s conversation with her evil alter ego. Dudley really shines here, making us feel for Alice and her pervasive inner turmoil. Not to mention, Bishil is terrific as always.
Do you think Margo will find a way back to Fillory? Will Zelda turn on Everett? Can the gang stop the Monster from reviving his sister? Join me next week as I recap The Magicians, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9pm on your SyFy affiliate.