DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians episode “The Secret Sea” contains more spoilers than the number of times Quentin has relied on his extensive Fillorian knowledge to wiggle his way out of sticky situations. Knowledge overpowers all, my friends. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution. 

Welcome back, Fillorians! The Magicians delivered their high-stakes penultimate episode this week. Julia is in full “Dark Willow” mode, and I’m here for it. Eliot Monster finally found a vessel durable enough to hold his formidable sister. Kady and Zelda escaped the Poison Room by the skin of their teeth with none other than Christopher Plover in tow. Yes, that creepy children’s book author. Margo donned a familiar facial accessory – an eye patch. Josh was turned into a fish thanks to the magical reservoir underneath Whitespire. Oh, and Qualice rose from the ashes like a phoenix taking flight. Sorry, Queliot fans. 

Alright, ready to delve into “The Secret Sea?” Just be sure to accommodate Fish Josh’s specific culinary tastes. He loves to eat muffins vicariously through Margo. 

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We open with Julia (Stella Maeve) waking up after Eliot Monster (Hale Appleman) zapped her away from Penny. We see the poor woman Eliot Monster kidnapped from the bar lying unconscious on a rock. She’s in the clutches of death, unable to hold the essence of the Monster’s sister. Eliot Monster begins the process of transferring his sister’s spirit to Julia when time freezes. Our Lady Underground appears and frantically reveals that Julia has a choice: become a goddess again or remain human. There are no right or wrong answers, only choices. However, before Julia can answer the aforementioned spirit enters her body. She’s possessed by the Monster’s sister, and she’s ready to wreak havoc. Julia Monster starts by killing Our Lady Underground. Well, that escalated quickly. Julia will feel immense remorse for that later. 

Meanwhile, Penny (Arjun Gupta) fills Quentin (Jason Ralph), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and Margo (Summer Bishil) in on what happened. Who knows what the sibling Monsters have planned, and our crew needs to act quickly. Penny is already armed with Margo’s ice axes and the demon jars the latter picked up from the desert. However, they’ll need a heaping helping of magic if they’re to stand a chance against the sibling Monsters. 

THE MAGICIANS — “The Secret Sea” Episode 412 — Pictured: (l-r) Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater, Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice — (Photo by: Dean Buscher/SYFY)

Next, we see Todd (Adam DiMarco) informing Fogg (Rick Worthy) to steer clear of his office. Everett (Brian Markinson) and his fellow Librarians are keen on arresting our dean. But, Fogg is steps ahead of the Order. He orders Todd to send a specific book through the Library book chute – one that Fogg disguised with a spell. Quentin and Penny later observe as Everett carts Fogg away with the dean’s thumbs in cuffs. What better way to prevent a magician from utilizing magic than to restrain their fingers? 

Then, Kady (Jade Tailor) vomits the last of her insect protection from the toxic atmosphere of the Poison Room. She stumbles upon a peculiar sight alongside Zelda (Mageina Tovah). Christopher Plover (Charles Shaughnessy) steps out of the shadows and reveals that he can show the pair how to survive without protection. For a price, of course. Kady and Zelda must allow Plover to tag along should they pinpoint an escape route. There’s always a catch with this dude. 

Later, our crew are back at the apartment plotting their next move now that Fogg is out of commission. Suddenly, a bunny drops from the sky, exclaiming that magic has been found. We learn that Fen sent said bunny from Fillory. Obviously, Margo has been banished from Fillory after she was dethroned by Fen. Thus, Q and Penny travel to the magical land to get to the bottom of this discovery. 

Now, Fen (Brittany Curran) reveals that Josh has been turned into a fish, hence why she’s carrying a fishbowl with her. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. Quentin and Penny stumble upon a garden underneath Whitespire that appears to bloom and wilt at will. Fen leads our pair past the garden to the golden ticket: an immense magical reservoir. All of the magic of the gods in one discreet location. A sea beneath a castle. However, before Quentin can dip a finger into its waters, Fen warns him that Josh morphed into a fish by interacting with the contents of the reservoir. A true fish out of water. I’ll see myself out. 

Next, Fen brings Fish Josh with her to the apartment. She explains to Margo that he’s transformed into a breed of Fillorian fish that must maintain incessant eye contact with their mothers or they’ll perish. Fish Josh bonds with Margo instantly, which is a surprise to no one. A match made in heaven indeed. 

Meanwhile, Quentin is brainstorming with Alice and Penny. He divulges a tidbit from the Fillory and Further books regarding a mass of water called “The Secret Sea.” The Secret Sea was pure magic, just like the reservoir underneath Whitespire. Alice uses Fen’s bunny to call upon Sheila (Camryn Manheim), her former Modesto buddy. Alice beseeches Sheila for help in the form of loaning massive amounts of magic from the Library. Well, more like stealing. Sheila declines, however, citing that she doesn’t want to botch what she has with the Library. So, there’s that. 

Now, we see Fogg about to enter his prison cell when he pulls out all the stops in his magical suit. He uses his tie clip to make his Librarian handler vanish. Then, Fogg’s suit transforms into appropriate garb for a Librarian courtesy of a magical button on said suit. Tony Stark’s got nothin’ on Dean Henry Fogg!

Later, in the Poison Room, Plover reveals that he consumes moss as a means of counteracting the poisonous atmosphere. Moss is ever pervasive in the Poison Room. However, both Kady and Zelda’s bodies appear to be rejecting the moss post-consumption. It’s as if the poison is eating them from the inside out. Zelda lets slip the potentiality of a cure, which sends Kady off the rails. She chastises Zelda for having kept the cure a secret while Penny 40 was dying. Of course, Zelda believes that Penny 40 ignored all warnings regarding the Poison Room and paid the price for his actions. 

Meanwhile, Margo explains Fish Josh’s situation to Quentin and Alice. She reveals her “friends with benefits” status with Josh, which was news to Q and Alice. It’s here that Margo realizes she truly loves Josh. King Margo the Destroyer, Wielder of Sorrow and Sorrow loves one Josh Hoberman. Feelings are weird. She snags the number of the hedge witch veterinarian that helped Kady and Pete, hoping that he’ll have the cure for what ails Fish Josh. 

THE MAGICIANS — “The Secret Sea” Episode 412 — Pictured: Camryn Manheim as Sheila — (Photo by: Dean Buscher/SYFY)


Next, Quentin drops a truth bomb on Alice: he doesn’t want her to leave again. He likes having her around. He confesses that he’s changed quite a bit since they first met – he’s trying desperately to suppress his childish urges and become a bona fide adult. Quentin asks Alice if she’d like to hit the restart button on their relationship. Naturally, she eagerly agrees to it. The pair snogs for the first time in a while – well, at least while being in the same time period.

Then, the sound of Queliot fans’ hearts breaking could be heard far and wide. While I do love me some Qualice, I thought our Powers That Be played it safe with this one. Could you imagine Quentin and Eliot reuniting after the latter is freed from the Monster’s grasp? Perhaps Alice is merely a plot device, a wrench thrown into the Queliot wheelhouse. We’ll find out soon enough. 

Meanwhile, Zelda passes out while in the Poison Room. She wakes up to Everett towering above her. Everett explains that he’s not hording magic for his own greedy purposes – he’s trying to preserve the integrity of magical knowledge. He plans to elevate himself to god status so he can share everything he knows with the Library, since the current gods are very withholding in the informational department. Everett also plans on promoting Zelda to Head Honcho. She’ll oversee the entire Library herself. But first – he must break the curse that’s protecting the magical reservoir in Fillory. However, only Quentin Coldwater can take on this enormous task. Q to the rescue!

Later, Zelda wakes up from her brief nap to Fogg saving the day. He sneaks into the Poison Room undetected and ushers the trio out to safety. Even Plover joins in on the fun after he vows to take our heroes to The Secret Sea himself. He’s still useful, I suppose. Unfortunately, the sense of safety our crew feels is short lived. A handful of Librarians confront Fogg and the gang. Fogg urges Zelda, Kady and Plover to flee to the Earth portal while he holds them off. Fogg performs a variety of battle spells to fend off the Librarians. First the Iron Man suit, now this? Can we all agree that Henry Fogg is a certified bada**? Alas, his former Librarian handler catches Fogg and escorts him back to his cell. 

Then, we see Kady’s hedge witch veterinarian giving Fish Josh the once over. He’s shocked to discover that Josh is not only a fish, but also a werewolf. Oh, and Margo’s a werewolf with a fairy eye. Only on The Magicians, folks! The vet doesn’t have a proper solution such as a spell to revert Fish Josh back to Human Josh. However, he does suggest that Margo pop out her fairy eye so it can keep constant contact with Fish Josh. Margo proceeds to extract her fairy eye. The vet gives Margo a pirate’s eye patch to wear. We’ve come full circle, Fillorians. Margo Hanson is a pirate. 

Meanwhile, Q and Alice reunite with Kady, Zelda…and Plover. Of course, Quentin and Alice are not too thrilled to reunite with the author. As our crew wines and dines together, Plover reveals that quite a bit of the plot points and magical attractions in Fillory were fabricated, much to Quentin’s dismay. We see his face fall as Plover rattles off bits that were revised, such as the Chatwins encountering the Flying Forest and the fabrication of The Cozy Horse. Then, Plover reveals the Drowned Garden that looms before The Secret Sea is the only entry point to the magical reservoir. One must truly love Fillory in order to make the flowers in the Drowned Garden bloom. Naturally, everyone assumes Q is up to the task. Zelda asserts that only Quentin can get the magic they need from The Secret Sea. 

THE MAGICIANS — “The Secret Sea” Episode 412 — Pictured: Mageina Tovah as Zelda — (Photo by: Dean Buscher/SYFY)

Next, we see Penny encouraging Kady to accept whatever remedy is available to combat the poison in her veins. However, Kady doesn’t want to be cured. Her hope is that she’ll die and be reunited with Penny 40 in the Underworld. If this confession doesn’t break your heart, then nothing will. How gut-wrenching it must be for Kady to stare into the face of a Penny, but not her Penny. Here’s hoping her friends can convince her to take the cure. 

Later, Julia Monster and Eliot Monster are strolling through Central Park arm in arm. Julia Monster believes that Eliot Monster has changed – he’s more “human” than ever before. Eliot Monster reveals that he killed the gods who stole her power. Bacchus, Iris, Hecca and Angus. But, Julia Monster won’t be satisfied until their parents, the old gods, are dead as well. She informs Eliot Monster that a scroll lives within the Library that contains the coordinates to their parents’ realm. Time to go on a road trip!

Then, we see that Plover has led our crew to the Drowned Garden. Quentin attempts to list all the things he loves about Fillory to the flowers, but nothing happens. Alice gives him a pep talk – she mentions that Q’s childlike wonderment is what she loves about him. That being an adult doesn’t mean you have to lose that sense of imaginative wonder, you just “see the world through new eyes.” This overarching sentiment seems to be pervasive throughout The Magicians. Once Alice and Penny give him some space, Quentin really unleashes fire and fury on Fillory. He’s disappointed that so much of what he thought was real turned out to be fake. He laments that it should be enough to love the idea of Fillory. Thankfully, it is. We see a solitary flower bloom. Q ushers in Alice and Penny. He gives Penny a leaf that’s supposed to cure Fish Josh of his fishy state. 

THE MAGICIANS — “The Secret Sea” Episode 412 — Pictured: (l-r) Mageina Tovah as Zelda, Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz — (Photo by: Dean Buscher/SYFY)

Next, Quentin and Alice enter the magical reservoir. They each guzzle up the waters within, and we see their eyes glow with godlike power. I’m getting Season 1 vibes again!

Meanwhile, Julia Monster and Eliot Monster are wreaking havoc on the Library, slaying innocent Librarians left and right. Sheila witnesses the whole thing and sneaks away to discreetly send a bunny to Alice. Once Q and Alice receive said bunny, they make a beeline for the Library. Julia Monster and Eliot Monster find the scroll they’re looking for in the Poison Room. We see them split off after retrieving it. 

Then, Penny returns to the apartment to find Margo cooking for Fish Josh while her fairy eye watches him closely. Penny doesn’t have time to unpack that, but he does give Margo the leaf that will cure Fish Josh. She declines going with him, citing that she wants to fully cure Josh before fighting monsters. Understandable. She is in love, after all. Penny takes the ice axes and demon jars and zaps out of there. 

Later, amid the murderous chaos, Julia Monster wanders into Fogg’s cell. Thankfully, Fogg knows that it’s not the real Julia. She’s about to kill him when Quentin beckons her elsewhere. Yay, Fogg can live another day! We see Q and Alice armed and ready to fight. Julia Monster stands opposite them. Sh*t is about to go down. 

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It’s hard to believe that next week is the season finale of The Magicians! This season has been jam-packed with oodles of humor, heart, action and magic. I loved the ties to the book trilogy in this episode – especially the Drowned Garden scene and the Cozy Horse discussion. The Magicians Powers That Be are very adept at sprinkling book tidbits throughout the series in tandem with new plot lines and story arcs. It’s a fine balancing act, appeasing book fans and embracing a new audience. This show manages to tackle both successfully. Ralph is my MVP for this episode – his monologue to the Drowned Garden really embraced the essence of this show. The heart of it all – finding magic in the mundane and keeping our inner child into adulthood. 

Do you think Quentin will have to kill Julia and/or Eliot in order to slay the Monster(s)? Will Margo successfully revert Fish Josh back to Human Josh? Will Kady take the cure? Join me next week as I recap The Magicians Season 4 finale, here on Geek Girl Authority. 

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



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