DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians episode “Magicians Anonymous” contains more spoilers than the number of times Julia has interacted with gods. Hey, even a former goddess still mingles with deities every once in a while. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Fillorians! The Magicians blessed us with another thrilling installment this week. As Episode 3 dealt with the grief process, Episode 4’s subject matter revolved around addiction. Well, addiction and autonomy. Kady and Fogg faced their addiction demons while they traveled to another realm via magical acid. Julia made a decision to save Penny over the world, and the end result stripped the latter of his powers. Talk about déjà vu.
Meanwhile, Margo had her first shift as a Centurion and captured a fairy. Eliot became privy to the Dark King’s Christian name (it’s Seb). Oh, and Penny discovered that one of his students is a Chatwin descendant. Those darn Chatwins and Brakebills go hand-in-hand.
Alright, ready to delve into “Magicians Anonymous?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Kady (Jade Tailor) attending a Magicians Anonymous meeting. She reveals to her group that she’s been clean for a year. Good on her for maintaining her sobriety.
However, she also reveals that she still finds herself craving heroin, which is natural. Kady explains her conundrum regarding the book depository, which contains the cure needed to eradicate the Reed’s Marks plaguing hedge witches everywhere. The only way to access said depository? Drop some magical acid and travel to another realm. One girl scoffs at Kady. There’s always one.
Later, said sneering girl reveals herself to be none other than Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy). He’s maintained anonymity while attending these group meetings. He wishes to aid Kady in her search for the depository. Thus, the pair drop magical acid together. This should be interesting.
Meanwhile, Julia (Stella Maeve) is filling Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) in on the Harmonic Convergence dilemma. Alice believes the Library may have the information Julia requires. They probably have quite a few books on the subject. Now, Julia also wishes to summon a god to ask for help. We know how that ends, Juls. Not well. Penny (Arjun Gupta) is having issues with his psychic block patch. Basically, the patch isn’t blocking anything of the psychic variety. He blips out to seek help at Brakebills.
Next, Penny is reapplying a new psychic patch while his student Merritt (Riann Steele) observes. If you’ll recall, Merritt initially approached Penny when she began hearing a peculiar signal. Since Penny opened himself up to her psychic stream, he’s also been inundated with the incessant signal. Penny casts a new spell on his patch and applies it to the nape of his neck.
Suddenly, Penny zips out, as if he were traveling. Then, he reappears in the next room, bleeding and covered in dust. He tells Merritt that he didn’t voluntarily travel. Something incredible happened. But what?
Later, we see Eliot (Hale Appleman) and the Dark King (Sean Maguire) are chatting away in the latter’s bedchamber. The Dark King wishes to hire Eliot as his court magician – he can defend Whitespire from malicious outside forces. Oh, and he’ll teach our El what he knows about defeating the Takers. Oh, and please, when in private call him Seb. You know it’s serious when he gives you his Christian name. But the Dark King sounds so much cooler!
Next, Margo (Summer Bishil) urges Eliot to use the mutual attraction with Seb to his advantage. Find out what the Dark King’s true motives are. While he does that, Margo is going to her first meeting as a bona fide Centurion. Get it, Margo the Destroyer!
Meanwhile, Alice is in the Library. It’s a desolate building now – not a soul to be seen or heard. That is, until she spots a group of strangers mucking about the space. Zelda (Mageina Tovah) pulls Alice inside her office. She begins casting wards to keep the invaders out. Yes, invaders.
Later, Julia summons a goddess by the name of Clarion (Juliette Goglia). Clarion is the goddess of melody. Hey, that’s my name! I have my very own goddess, y’all. Anyway, Julia beseeches Clarion for her help in saving the world. Should the Harmonic Convergence remain unimpeded, everyone will die. Multiple catastrophic events will wreck havoc across the globe. Clarion is willing to help – for a price. She wants to be human like Julia. So, Julia’s gotta help a goddess become human. Should be easy, right?
Then, we see Fogg and Kady with their heads in the clouds – and that magical acid is kicking into overdrive. They’re now in the realm that apparently houses the book depository. There’s people in furry rabbit costumes hopping about, cotton candy that tastes like everything at once, and distorted neon shapes to make your tripped out brain spin. Kady and Fogg follow a particular bunny that has its eye on them. Adventure time!
Meanwhile, Margo is at Centurion camp. The Whitespire mapmakers are trapped with a horde of Takers surrounding them. Thus, the Centurions must rally together to save them. Margo learns that the Dark King essentially has a camera feed on a loop playing throughout the kingdom 24/7, so they can see how handy he is at slaughtering Takers. Speaking of which, His Majesty joins the Centurions and everyone embarks on their sojourn to free the mapmakers.
Next, Julia summons the Binder (Matt Frewer). He’s disdainful of her for not destroying him last season as per his wishes. However, Julia needs his help in turning Clarion human. The Binder is reticent to do such a thing, until Julia weasels him into teaching her how to turn a goddess human. Frewer is such a terrific actor, and I’m tickled pink to see his character resurface this season.
Then, we return to Zelda’s office. She explains to Alice that the aforementioned group of strangers are known as VisiGoths. They travel to every noted event in history and scavenge it. Pick it clean of whatever knowledge or sacred objects they can obtain. Suddenly, the group is at her door, and they pierce through Zelda and Alice’s wards. Their leader (David Anders) introduces himself and claims the VisiGoths are only in pursuit of high knowledge – hence pillaging the Library. First Sean Maguire, now David Anders? Is this the unofficial Once Upon a Time reunion?
Later, we’re back in the tripped out magical realm with Kady and Fogg. We find out where socks go after we lose them in the wash, which is good to know for the next time I do laundry. Then, our pair meet the Emperor, who rules the realm with a joint and a “let the good times roll!” He urges them to stay as long as they like. Kady inquires after the depository, and the Emperor is willing to disclose the location. However, only if one of them stays. Now, we know Fogg and Kady have a predilection toward self-medication, and how this realm feels like heaven to both of them. So who’s going to stay forever?
Meanwhile, the Dark King, Margo, and the Centurions arrive at a cottage where the mapmakers are being held hostage. Suddenly, they’re surrounded by Takers. Everyone braces themselves for combat. Go team! Margo takes on two of the buggers and manages to ax them both in tandem, like the bada** she is. However, when they clamber back to their feet seemingly unscathed, she begins to panic. But Seb, our Dark King extraordinaire, comes to her rescue. In one fell swoop, he slaughters the lot of them. Just like that. Takers go bye-bye. Then, he collapses in Margo’s arms out of pure exhaustion.
Later, Fogg and Kady debate on who should stay and who should go find the depository. Kady regains some semblance of coherence. She realizes that staying in Happy Acid Land isn’t exactly embracing her problems and working through them. More like fleeing from them. However, Fogg volunteers as tribute. Kady leaves, but not before hugging the dean and vowing to return for him. She’s dropped back in NYC proper, with a crumpled note in her hand with the words “Hell’s Kitchen” scrawled on it. That must be where the depository is.
Meanwhile, Zelda and Alice flee from the VisiGoths and attempt to wield another set of wards to keep them at bay. They’re in the corridor of the Library that contains everyone’s personalized books – every being that’s ever lived and died in the history of the universe. Zelda is terrified – she thinks this is the end. She tearfully admits that, if she could do it all again, she’d try to be a better mother. Tovah is magnificently heartbreaking in this scene. Alice gives her a piece of sage wisdom: the love that’s taken from us never truly leaves us. That hit home. This show is so adept at handling grief.
Later, Penny is starting to go haywire from the piercing signal. Julia arrives at the Physical Kids’ Cottage. Clarion also appears, and she reveals that Julia has a choice – save Penny, or save the world. Apparently, the signal is killing him, and he only has seconds left. Julia urges Clarion to do both, to save Penny and Earth. However, their deal is a strict trade-off. Julia plans to give her the Binder, and in turn Clarion performs one act for the former. Naturally, Julia chooses Penny.
Next, Penny wakes up. He learns that Clarion had to eradicate everything regarding the signal, and that included his psychic abilities. However, Penny is relieved – all is quiet on the western front. He remarks on how this situation mirrors the one where he made a life saving choice for Julia. Thankfully, Penny can still travel, albeit he relates it to “flying blind.” Clarion leaves with the Binder so he can turn her human, but not before Julia tells her to f**k off. Yes, my goddess!
Then, Merritt reveals a shocking secret: her full name is Plum Merritt Chatwin. Yes, Chatwin. She’s a descendant of that notorious family who discovered Fillory. Merritt wholeheartedly believes that she must face the signal, as it’s obviously intertwined with her family name. She removes her psychic patch. Next, she vanishes into thin air. Uh oh.
Meanwhile, the VisiGoths penetrate Zelda and Alice’s wards a second time. However, Zelda issues a warning to the Lead VisiGoth – she hopes he’s a fast reader. Suddenly, she snaps her fingers and all the books burst into flames. Baller move, Zelda. Alice whisks her away before the raging fire engulfs them both.
Later, after the Centurions successfully rescue the mapmakers, Margo’s superior asks her to stay behind with a slew of others. He reveals that someone or something is inside the cottage. Margo utilizes her fancy fairy eye to scan the area. That’s when she finds a lone fairy hiding beneath the floorboards. Unfortunately, she’s caught by the other Centurions. Margo is tasked with shackling the poor fairy as they escort her back to Whitespire. A fairy in Fillory! 300 hundred years into the future, at that.
Next, Penny, Julia, and Alice fill each other in on the day’s adventures. We learn that the books destroyed in the fire will have to be rewritten. While, unfortunately, the Harmonic Convergence books in the Library were decimated, Zelda still recalls quite a bit of the information they held. She reveals to the trio that they must move the moon. Yes, physically move the moon in order to prevent the Harmonic Convergence. Should be easy.
Now, I’m actually digging the direction of this season thus far. It’s still strange not seeing Quentin center stage, but I’m slowly adjusting to his lack of presence. Julia has effectively stepped into his shoes and I’m loving it. She’s a character I initially despised, but then she grew on me something fierce. Her tenacity and sheer determination to do good are beyond admirable traits. So far, every story arc is intriguing. I can’t wait to see how everything plays out.
Do you think our crew can successfully move the moon? What’s the deal with the fairy the Centurions captured? Where exactly did Merritt go? Join me next week as I recap The Magicians, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 10pm on your SyFy affiliate.
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