DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians episode “The Wrath of the Time Bees” contains more spoilers than the number of knives Fen has at her disposal. Never keep a girl from her knives, folks. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Fillorians! The Magicians gave us a stronger second installment this week. That’s not to say last week’s premiere was weak – quite the opposite. For me, I think I’m finally adjusting to a life without Quentin Coldwater. In addition, our protagonists are still very much grieving his loss. I love that the series is shining a light on the grief process. Alice’s story with Golem Quentin was gut-wrenching, and seeing her struggle with letting go was all too relatable. Margo and Eliot’s sojourn to save Josh and Fen was another highlight. Once again, Summer Bishil steals every scene she’s in.
Alright, ready to delve into “The Wrath of the Time Bees?” Just be sure to keep those bees away from Josh. He’s severely allergic.
Now, we open with Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) doing something crazy. She’s attempting to revive Quentin via a golem composed of living clay she nicked from Brakebills. Suddenly, we see a sign of life rustling underneath the sheet Alice draped over the clay body. However, Quentin doesn’t rise up…per say. It’s a younger version of Q. 12 years-old, to be exact. Uh oh.
Next, Eliot (Hale Appleman) hallucinates a dead Fen (Brittany Curran) in Fillory 300 years into the future. She’s hanging by a noose. Now, Fen explains that she wasn’t expecting Eliot to save her. Essentially, she was expecting everyone but her husband to come to her rescue. Suddenly, Fen’s body begins to distort and we hear her shrieking off screen. She is a ghost, after all.
Meanwhile, Margo (Summer Bishil) is trying her hardest to magic her way out of her prison cell. However, said cell is heavily warded against magicians. But not all is lost – Margo discovers a letter discreetly hidden in a pocket within the stone walls. It documents Josh and Fen’s final days. We see Acting High King Fen and Fresh Prince Josh (Trevor Einhorn) being informed of the Takers’ arrival courtesy of Tick (Rizwan Manji). However, the pair choose to do nothing. They’re mourning the loss of their friends, since Margo and Eliot were unable to return to their timeline in Fillory.
Now, we see that Josh inadvertently warded the prison cell against all magicians prior to his hanging by the Dark King. Margo, in her timeline, clutches the letter and quietly weeps.
Later, Julia (Stella Maeve) pays Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy) a visit at Brakebills. She’s concerned about all the magical surges recently. Said surges are slaughtering magicians on the spot, causing them to spontaneously combust. Fogg reveals that there may be a way to predict Circumstances to prevent these surges from killing more innocent people. He urges Julia to get in contact with his ex, a professor who specializes in utilizing math to predict Circumstances.
Suddenly, an explosion wrecks havoc in a classroom on an upper floor. It so happens to be the classroom of Fogg’s ex. Well…that escalated quickly.
Then, we pay Kady (Jade Tailor) a visit in NYC. She’s hanging with Pete (David Call) at a hedge witch bar. Pete scurries off after a beautiful woman, while Kady connects with a young fellow across the bar. The pair do the horizontal tango.
Later, Kady wakes up with a wicked hangover. Her lover leaves Kady with his phone number. Kady finds Penny (Arjun Gupta) in the kitchen, and he asks her about her night. He reminds Kady of her objective in tracking down who stole an entire book deposit from the Library. Oh, and who also stole a building. However, Kady doesn’t remember any of this, even though we heard her chatting about it with Pete the night before. Her memory is wiped clean. In addition, she’s living the sober life and didn’t even drink. Which begs the question – why the massive hangover?
Next, Julia pops by Alice’s house. Since Fogg’s ex blew up, Julia was hoping Alice would be the next best bet. But Alice has her hands full with 12 year-old Quentin. Naturally, seeing Q at that age was quite the nostalgic jolt for Julia.
Meanwhile, Eliot stumbles upon Jane Chatwin’s (Esme Bianco) cottage. She’s got a bevy of time traveling knickknacks laying about. Jane asks where Q is, and that’s when Eliot divulges of his fate. She senses that Eliot isn’t doing as well as he claims. He’s attempting to hold it together, but someday he’ll crack. Prior to his departure, Eliot steals a crate belonging to Jane.
Later, Julia chastises Alice for bringing back young Quentin. She even utilized a piece of his soul that she extracted from the Underworld. Julia urges her to return said piece to its proper home. She also scolds Alice for doing something so utterly selfish. However, Alice claims she cannot move on without him. Oh, and Alice found a peculiar page hidden in Q’s Brakebills belongings. It’s in a language she can’t decipher, so she revived Quentin via golem so he could translate. But young Q rose up instead, and he can’t die until he completes the task Alice has set before him.
Next, Kady meets up with her one-night stand. His memory has also been wiped clean, and the pair decide to get down to brass tacks and figure out why. Meanwhile, Eliot disguises himself and meets with Margo while she’s imprisoned. He criticizes Margo for going “soft” for a boy. She’s so hellbent on rescuing him, and Eliot believes Margo is stronger than that. She doesn’t “need” a man.
However, Margo puts him in his place. That’s the very thing Margo struggled with in last year’s musical episode. Women can be more than one thing – you can simultaneously be strong and soft. We’re multifaceted creatures, and it’s nice to see Margo embrace herself in all her colors.
Anyway, Eliot reveals he stole a crate of Time Bees from Jane’s cottage. He sent them into the past to Josh to relay a message. Now, Margo returns to where she first discovered the letter, and in its place is Fen’s phone. She watches a video of Josh being attacked by said bees and dying. Oh, that’s right…Josh is deathly allergic to bees. Oops.
Now, Julia has a chat with young Quentin. She catches him rereading a Fillory book. Julia notices that he still returns to the beginning after ending said book. Q, even at that age, hated change. He also despised endings. We see Julia holding back tears. Young Q recognizes Julia as someone who looks similar to his friend Julia. Julia urges him to stay by his friend’s side, even if she starts dating questionable boys.
Next, after that failed attempt, Margo finds a set of stamps that will send a letter to any time and any place in history. Thus, Margo crafts a warning letter to Josh and dates it before his untimely demise. We see Josh and Fen reading its contents in the past. Then, Fen and Josh cast a banishment spell against the invading Takers, which appeared to work. However, the spell failed, and everyone in Whitespire was brutally murdered whence the Dark King arrived.
Meanwhile, Penny sets up a spell that’ll bring down Kady and her lover’s mental wards. Together, the duo travels to the night before and watches the events unfold. We see that her lover was under a spell of some sort. After their tangoing, his eyes glow and he wipes Kady’s memory clean. Apparently, he’s a sleeper agent. Then, the same thing happens again while they’re inside their shared memory. His sleeper agent self is unleashed, and he attacks Kady.
Now, the pair are locked in hand-to-hand combat. Kady is kicking all the arse. She pins him down and asks who he works for. However, lover boy has no clue, since his own memory is wiped after completing a task so he isn’t compromised. Thus, in order to maintain absolute silence, the sleeper agent kills himself. He also dies in the present plane. So, there’s that.
Next, Margo hands Eliot a letter containing her farewell and instructions on how to fend off the Dark King for the rest of his days. Eliot can utilize the time stamps and send said letter into the past.
Then, we see Alice and young Q chatting it up. He notices that Alice is reticent to wrestle with her grief. Quentin eloquently gives Alice advice – to think of her life sans Q as a new chapter. Now, Q’s book has ended, but his sacrifice was made so she could start anew. Dear Ember, this scene broke me. The actor playing young Quentin is perfect. His sage advice to Alice is relevant and applicable to grief as a whole. Since he essentially gave Alice what she needed, and she was able to properly say goodbye, golem Q vanished.
Later, Alice reveals to Julia that young Q is gone. She also hands Julia a book written by a friend of her father’s. Apparently, this friend has a very specific Discipline regarding Circumstances. Said friend may be of assistance in Julia’s new quest. I hope we get more scenes with these two. Their shared grief is palpable and important to watch.
Next, Kady and Pete now have a mission: find out who sent sleeper agents to wipe out their memories (Pete was also wiped), steal a book deposit, and an entire building. Pete scampers off, and Kady confides her struggles with addiction to Penny. While she’s clean from heroin, she finds herself craving it even more. She’s not sure she can lead the hedges and fall deeper into this new mystery without some assistance. Penny tries to console her, but Kady brushes him off.
Meanwhile, Josh – the real Josh – shows up at Margo’s cell. Apparently, he received her letter with the instructions, gave the Time dwarf his beloved sandwich and shot himself 300 years into the future. We learn that Fen, Tick and the rest of Margo’s council also tagged along for the ride. Success! Everyone is alive and safe. Margo and Eliot reunite with the others in the forest. Margo urges them to scamper off lest the Dark King find them. We see Eliot lag behind so he can deposit a letter into the past…to Quentin prior to his demise in the Seam. This should be interesting.
Now, The Magicians is finding out how to cope without Quentin, as we all are. I wasn’t even sure a show could exist without him, but the Powers That Be have surprised me. Color me impressed, Fillorians. Thankfully, my High King Margo the Destroyer is still stealing the show. Not to mention, it’s so wonderful to see her reunited with Eliot, even though they were bickering a bit in this episode. Alice and Julia’s grief story is beautifully understated. Kady’s story arc is also promising. I’m curious to see how these threads unravel, and whether our heroes will eventually join forces.
Do you think we’ll see Marina pop up any time soon? Where is Zelda? Will we meet the Dark King? Join me next week as I continue to recap The Magicians, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 10pm on your SyFy affiliate.
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