DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians episode “The 4-1-1” contains more spoilers than the number of times Hyman has spied on our crew. That perpetual peeping tom! You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Fillorians! The Magicians aired its 11th episode of the season this week. Can you believe Season 4 is almost over? It feels like only yesterday we were still pining for its premiere. Time flies when you’re meddling with old gods and fraternizing with dangerous Librarians. Julia opened the Binder book and learned a thing or two about thing or two. Meanwhile, Quentin and Alice teamed up for a trip to Brakebills South on an unexpected side quest. Quentin finally discovered his magical Discipline. Alice snogged the present Quentin whose body was overtaken by past Quentin’s consciousness. Only on The Magicians would something as bonkers as the aforementioned sentence make perfect sense. Dean Fogg talked into a banana, but who doesn’t talk into bananas? They’re the fruity equivalent to a phone.
Alright, ready to delve into “The 4-1-1?” Just be sure to refer to Margo’s ice axes by their proper names: Sorrow and Sorrow. Otherwise she’ll ice ax you, and it won’t be pretty.
We open with Margo (Summer Bishil) regaling Quentin (Jason Ralph) with the tale of her epic sojourn through the desert. Of course, said tale included her acquisition of her most prized possessions: Sorrow and Sorrow. Julia (Stella Maeve) arrives and Margo launches into another retelling of her story. Penny (Arjun Gupta) follows suit with food, thus rendering yet another animated recap of Margo’s desert journey. However, when Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) enters the scene, Margo is in dire need of a smoothie break. Regaling your friends with your bada** tales is thirsty business.
Next, the gang plots their next move in the Save Eliot campaign. Quentin doesn’t believe that Margo’s jars she nicked from the Foremost’s village will be enough to incapacitate the Monster. Alice informs the crew that an incorporate bond spell should do the trick.
Later, Alice pays a visit to Fogg (Rick Worthy), the only person she knows to successfully cast an incorporate bond spell. He was the one who tethered Professor Mayakovsky to Brakebills South. However, Fogg reveals that Mayakovsky himself created said spell and Fogg tricked the latter into casting it. Of course, Mayakovsky is currently a bear and won’t be much help in his present state. Unless he were a talking Bear of Fillory like Humbledrum.
Then, our gang reconvenes their brainstorming session. Fogg revealed to Alice that once magic returned, Mayakovsky also returned to his human form. Mayakovsky left his wife and sequestered himself away in Brakebills South. Margo volunteers Q and Alice to travel south to confer with the curmudgeonly professor. Naturally, Quentin is opposed to this plan since our former lovebirds are not on speaking terms. Alas, the show must go on, dear Q.
Next, Penny travels Alice and Quentin to Brakbills South. Suddenly, they encounter an unconscious and bleeding Mayakovsky (Brian F. O’Byrne). Mayakovsky awakens and appears to be immensely confused. He spits out rapid-fire Russian at our pair. How’s the cell service in Antarctica? Google Translate, y’all.
Meanwhile, Zelda (Mageina Tovah) needs Kady’s (Jade Tailor) assistance in snagging Everett’s book…from the Poison Room. You know, the very same room that killed her boyfriend. Zelda believes that Everett has something treacherous up his sleeve. Otherwise, why hoard magic? Kady begrudgingly obliges.
Then, we see Julia finally open the Binder book. Time to get some answers! The gang learn that the text within won’t appear without human blood. Thankfully, Mother Nature has taken Margo into her bosom for that time of the month. This is why we bleed, folks. To elicit ancient texts in strange books. Once the text appears, Penny reads a Latin incantation. Suddenly, a man breaks free from the Binder book. A whole man was trapped inside a book. The Binder (Matt Frewer) is intrigued with Julia.
Next, Kady is in disguise as a Librarian back in the Neitherlands. Everett (Brian Markinson) is taken aback by Zelda’s appearance, but the latter pulls him aside with some faux dilemma.
Later, Julia hopes to snag some answers from the Binder. However, the once captive man appears to be short circuiting. The Binder refers to himself in the third person. After some time, he begins spewing incoherently, and subsequently faints. Our trio notices that a few pages are missing from the Binder book, hence why the Binder passed out. But who would steal pages of ancient text? Margo hears something peculiar and sneaks into one of the bedrooms. She notices flower petals are strewn about and sensual music is playing softly. Suddenly, a floating vase whacks her on the head. Rude!
Next, Josh (Trevor Einhorn) regales Fen (Brittany Curran) and Tick (Rizwan Manji) with a strange tale. Josh entered the throne room to find a TV crew ready and waiting to film his supposed new series “Eating Out with Josh Hoberman.” Josh turns up the charm and films a segment on the spot. I’d watch that show. However, Fen and Tick cite that the Winds of Fate are at it again – brewing up fantasies. One doesn’t even need to dabble in drugs. I like it. Cut out the middle man.
Anyway, Fen lists other peculiar happenings in Fillory. Fillory’s ecosystem is all kinds of whack right now. Tick mentions that a nyad was caught murdering a slew of people and is currently in Whitespire’s dungeons. Since nyads are water creatures, she may have answers. Time to find out! Our trio questions the volatile nyad, who slaughtered the farmers as a warning: the “Thirteenth” is coming. Fillory’s water is moving, and the “Thirsty Thirteenth” is to blame. Cryptic!
Meanwhile, Alice reveals that Mayakovsky was developing a Time Share spell, one that can transport one’s consciousness into their past or future bodies. Thus, Alice believes that Mayakovsky performed the spell on himself but made a few errors as far as the math is concerned. Hence why Mayakovsky appears to have no memory of who he is or who they are. Q comes up with a grand plan – he’ll travel to the past and ask Mayakovsky about incorporate bonds. He performs the Time Share spell, and we see his past “consciousness” travels into present Quentin’s body and vice versa.
Next, present Quentin is nestled within past Q, and we see Alice sneak discreetly into his room in Brakebills South. This is during their initial lessons with Mayakovsky as First Year students. Alice begins taking her clothes off and straddles Q. However, Quentin shrugs her off and disappears, claiming he doesn’t have any condoms. Awkward.
Meanwhile, Alice is tending to past Quentin in the present. She finds a task for them to do – tie a bunch of intricate knots with the massive ropes before them.
Then, we see Fogg stumble into class, clearly inebriated. He teaches his students a simple cloaking spell but then proceeds to rant about the Library. He stumbles about while “cloaked,” making a mess of his classroom. Back in the Neitherlands, Everett is alerted about Fogg’s behavior. He leaves Zelda to check in with the sloshed Dean of Brakebills. Zelda discreetly steals his key to the Poison Room. Success!
Later, Penny and Julia find the bedroom fit for any Marvin Gaye fan. They find Margo bound and gagged in the closet. She can see a ghost in their midst with her fairy eye. Penny astral projects and runs into an old pal – Hyman Cooper (Daniel Ingram). Of course! That fiendish rapscallion! Hyman admits that he left Brakebills in pursuit of “the action,” and now he wants in. He longs to join and partake in our group’s exploits. Oh, and he has some advice for Penny – get it on with Julia. Life’s short and both of them have sacrificed their collective happiness one too many times. I concur.
Next, Fen, Josh and Tick confer with the nyad once more. Tick threatens her by drinking water in her presence. A real slap in the face when you live in the water. Fen figures out who the “Thirsty Thirteenth” is and launches into a nursery rhyme about Thirsty Roderick and bears. Apparently, Fillorian children played hopscotch but with bears? After Tick and Fen recite the rhyme in tandem, Josh is struck with an idea. Perhaps a large reservoir of magic lives underneath Whitespire, and that’s what’s causing all the magical glitches.
Meanwhile, Quentin finds past Mayakovsky in his office drinking. As he does. Q reveals that he needs to learn everything he can about incorporate bonds. Naturally, Mayakovsky is suspicious and proceeds to insult Quentin for not taking the opportunity to horizontally tango with Alice.
Then, we see all systems are a go at the Library. Zelda unlocks a shelf that contains vials of insects. She informs Kady that they must drink the insects, being sure not to chew them. Said insects will eat up whatever poison enters their bodies. The pair forges ahead into the poisonous fray after a slimy but satisfying bug meal.
Meanwhile, we see Q and Mayakovsky are drinking and thinking. Mayakovsky figures out that Quentin is from the future. He tries to elicit info out of Q, but the latter refuses to budge. Revealing pertinent information about the future could launch an irreparable ripple effect through time. Mayakovsky relents and proceeds to write down the incorporate bond spell on a piece of paper. Quentin finally learns his magical Discipline: repair of small objects. Sounds a bit dull, but I’m sure it’ll come in handy when someone’s pocket watch breaks.
Later, Q runs into a distraught Alice. She wonders why he refused to have sex with her after sending all those signals. Quentin reveals that he’s from the future, and that the current relationship between them is non-existent. Alice vows to perform a memory wipe spell on herself if Q will spill the beans on their future. Quentin hesitantly gives Alice the vague CliffsNotes version of their story. Prior to Q leaving, Alice reveals that he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her, and he’d do well to remember that while dealing with present-day Alice.
Then, we see things heat up between present Alice and past Quentin. The two share a steamy smooch, but present-day Quentin returns mid-kiss. It’s abundantly clear that Alice is not over our Q.
Later, Hyman returned the stolen pages from the Binder book. The Binder is revived and he commences to tell his story. He’s actually a Librarian in pursuit of emanating the powers of the gods for mere mortals. The Monster’s twin sister was slain and separated into four stone organs – each piece went to a different god. Bacchus, Iris, Hecca and Angus were initially human prior to snagging pieces of the Monster’s sister. The quartet eventually trapped the Binder inside his book for fear that he may take their newfound deity status away.
Now, Julia has a choice to make: have her goddess status reinstated or revert back to total humanity. Decisions, decisions!
Meanwhile, Zelda finds Everett’s book in the Poison Room. She skims through it and finds a shocking tidbit within – Everett is trying to become a god, and according to his book he succeeds. Unfortunately, her and Kady are trapped inside the Poison Room. Time is running out, and who knows how long they have until the poison takes hold…
Later, we see Josh engaged in an intense game of Fillorian bear hopscotch. He ultimately wins and recites some lines that unlocks an ascending secret staircase. The stairway to heaven, perhaps?
Now, Julia and Penny are cozily canoodling while discussing the former’s options regarding her deity status. The pair decides to take Hyman’s advice and live a little. They share some tender smooches. Finally! My Julenny heart is so happy! They both deserve some happiness. Unfortunately, Eliot Monster (Hale Appleman) appears and kidnaps Julia. He needs a more durable body for his sister, and Julia is ripe for the taking. Well, that escalated quickly.
Later, Quentin shows off his newfound Discipline by repairing a broken coffee mug. The fence between the former lovebirds appears to be on the mend. Q repairs the mug, and he reveals to Alice that he feels he helped it “wake up” and “remember what it was before.” The two share a lingering, charged look. Hmm. Interesting.
Something Alice said in the last few minutes really struck a chord with me. She told Quentin that he doesn’t have to question who he is anymore – perhaps he knew it all along. I hope that’s alluding to Queliot, but Quentin’s final line about “waking up” has me thinking otherwise. The highlight of this episode for me was the Quentin and Alice pairings – how each present coupling interacted with their past counterparts. Oh, and Matt Frewer should guest star in any and all genre shows. His performance in Orphan Black was top-notch, and I was tickled pink to see him as the Binder. I hope we see more of him.
Do you think Eliot Monster will succeed in using Julia’s body as a vessel for his sister? Will Margo finally use Sorrow and Sorrow on the Monster to free Eliot? How will Zelda and Kady escape the Poison Room? 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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