DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Magicians episode “Purgatory” contains more spoilers than the number of times Margo has sported an eye patch. Some people were just born to live that pirate life. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Fillorians! The Magicians returns with “Purgatory” this week. Everyone appeared to be entrapped and/or impeded by something in this episode. Josh was stranded in Takers’ Land, which looked like a dystopian wasteland akin to Mad Max: Fury Road. Julia and Eliot were locked in a magic-proof cell in Castle Whitespire for attempting to assassinate the Dark King. Penny and Plum were sequestered away in a room rife with antiques courtesy of that elusive signal. Margo was enmeshed in a world of pain, since her fairy eye served as Josh’s GoPro in a different realm. Fen was trapped by stress. Essentially, peeps were stuck between a collective rock and a hard place.
Alright, ready to delve into “Purgatory?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Josh (Trevor Einhorn) coming face-to-face with the Dark King (Sean Maguire). Good ol’ DK is none too pleased with Josh’s contribution to the assassination plot. Thus, DK gifts Josh with a strange amulet, casts a spell on it, then sicks a horde of Takers on him. Said Takers drag Josh to, presumably, a hell of sorts. Well, that can’t be good.
Meanwhile, Penny (Arjun Gupta) and Plum (Riann Steele) are stuck in a peculiar setting – a room stuffed with antiques galore. It’s as if Antiques Roadshow exploded all over the place. The Circumstances are wonky, so casting spells is like playing Russian Roulette. Not only that, but our duo can’t utilize their traveling abilities. Next, a dude named Eliphus (Robert Baker) pops in for a chat. He’s a time traveler like Plum, and he considers himself to be the unofficial protector of Space-Time. Eliphus sent the signal exclusively for Plum. He orders her to refrain from time traveling.
In addition, he’s well aware of Penny and Plum meddling with the affairs surrounding Hyman Cooper in the 1920s. Their actions are wreaking havoc on Space-Time. Eliphus reveals that he shares a rare blood condition with Plum – their ability to time travel is finite. Thus, every time Plum travels through time, she utilizes a fraction of said ability. So he gives Plum an offer she can’t refuse – the chance to take it all away. He gestures to a mechanism that can deplete Plum of her time traveling gift, but only if she fully acquiesces to it. Naturally, Penny and Plum are rightfully irked, so Eliphus gives them a moment to contemplate.
Later, we see that Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) has all of the fingers on her right hand again. Yay! However, her right hand is essentially useless when it comes to spell casting. Most spells require both hands for effective results, so she’s dead in the water as far as that’s concerned. Kady (Jade Tailor) is immensely grateful for the sacrifice Alice made to save her. She vows to take down the dude who tortured Alice. That’s what best b*tches are for! Fen (Brittany Curran) enters the scene, and she’s in a bit of a funk. She’s fretting over Eliot, Julia and Josh still being in Fillory. Speaking of which…
Josh wakes up in a film noir-esque, desolate wasteland. He’s alive! Unfortunately, he’s not alone. A Taker lunges at him, but Josh’s amulet repels it and ultimately kills it. Taker repellent! He realizes he has Margo’s fairy eye in his possession, so he attempts to contact her. Meanwhile, Margo (Summer Bishil) wakes up in immense pain. Her fairy eye is in another realm, after all. I would be in pain too. Her nose starts bleeding profusely. Thankfully, Alice has an idea.
Then, we pay Eliot (Hale Appleman), Julia (Stella Maeve) and Charlton (Spencer Daniels) a visit in Fillorian jail. Julia is irate that their cell is magic proof. In fact, she’s so angry that she can suddenly hear a different voice inside her head. Well, Charlton’s voice. And it’s actually emanating from Eliot’s head. Anyway, the trio believes that Julia’s baby has Penny’s psychic abilities. Which could mean said baby is also a traveler. Eliot vaguely recalls attending a lecture at Brakebills regarding magical intercourse. He was incredibly high, so he’s not sure how much he actually remembers. Charlton volunteers to search El’s memories.
Suddenly, we see Charlton sitting in on Dean Fogg’s (Rick Worthy) aforementioned lecture. A younger Eliot and Margo are sitting behind him and making snide comments the whole time. God, I love these two together. Chartlon elicits an answer to our trio’s quandary from Fogg, but not the one he truly needed. So, Memory Margo advises Charlton to do the opposite. Back in the jail cell, Charlton reveals that the baby goes into protection mode when Julia feels intense emotion or when she feels she’s in imminent danger. So, if the boys scare her, then perhaps the baby will find a way to extricate Julia from the cell to “protect” her. Worth a shot!
Next, Josh stumbles into a little girl named Ash (Summer Fontana). She was one of the Fillorian children snatched by the Takers in “Garden Variety Homicide.” She reveals that her pals disappeared in a metal monster that goes “ding.” Josh realizes there’s an elevator in Taker Land. But why? The pair embark on a sojourn to locate said elevator. Once they find it, Josh notices that there’s only one button… and it leads to the Underworld. But a Taker spots them and surges toward the elevator, so Underworld it is!
Now, they’re in a lobby of sorts. There’s a plethora of Underworld Metro Cards in a basket, and the “dead” are instructed to snag one. Ash puts on a crocodile tears display and sends an Underworld worker in search of a superior. Penny 40 emerges and is taken aback to find Josh in the Underworld with a little girl. Penny 40! How I missed him so.
Meanwhile, Alice, Fen, Kady and Margo are at Brakebills. Margo is vomiting in a wastebasket. Alice reveals that her fairy eye’s tether is wearing thin, and they must sever the connection lest Margo suffer permanent mental damage. Margo refuses, since this is the only way she can keep tabs on Josh. Kady casts a spell to knock Margo unconscious.
Next, Eliot attempts to elicit spell ingredients from a Whitespire guard while Julia feigns being on the brink of labor. It works, thankfully. Penny 40 reveals that he can’t help Josh, since Hades has vanished from the Underworld. The god has also cut off all contact to the topside Library, meaning that if Josh were to file a dispute citing that he isn’t dead, then said dispute wouldn’t be processed. Josh urges Penny 40 to reveal Hades’ local haunts to him so he can track down the god himself. That’s when Penny 40 enlists the aid of a familiar face. Benedict (Harvey Guillen), Fillory’s dearly departed mapmaker aficionado, of course!
Now, Benedict reveals that Hades demanded he refrain from drawing a map of the gods’ lavish living spaces. However, that would leave a glaring hole on Benedict’s map. Bingo! Josh, Penny 40 and Benedict travel to one of Hades’ hideouts. They run into an employee of his, who claims that Hades just up and left. The god revealed that he may or may not return to the Underworld. Josh spots a wallet that contains an address scrawled on a card. The address is in Queens, New York. Bingo was his name-o!
Meanwhile, Penny 23 and Plum are stuck in Eliphus’ room. Time has stretched on in an endless stream of tediousness. Plum ponders taking up Eliphus on his offer, much to Penny’s chagrin. Finally, Plum puts her foot down. They’re never going to get out unless someone makes an executive decision. Plum decides to take one for the team and plops down in the chair with the mechanism meant to remove her time traveling ability.
Then, back at Brakebills, Alice places a special crystal over Margo’s eye hole. With the help of a spell, the crystal alleviates Margo’s pain and acts as a projector. They’re able to see Josh fully. Kady even spots Penny 40 – her Penny! While they can’t hear the boys, Josh mouths out that he’s alive. In addition, he writes down a message for the girls to read. It claims they must find Hades. Road trip time!
Later, Eliot utilizes a spell to make Julia believe she is in danger. The scenario involves her water breaking, and Julia feverishly attempting to flee outside the jail cell. While Julia’s water didn’t actually break, the misplaced fear acted as a catalyst for the baby to use its abilities. This kid’s already a bonafide bada** in the womb! Once Julia discovers the truth, she’s irate with Eliot. He urges her to use that anger. Suddenly, Julia travels herself out of the cell. For real this time. Success!
Next, Alice and Julia find Hades (Michael Luwoye) holed up in a dingy apartment. He’s the epitome of depression. They learn he fled the Underworld after the sister of the Monster murdered Our Lady Underground. You know, his wife. Hades reveals that gods aren’t meant to die, but on the rare occasion they do, where they go is unknown. Thus, Hades is forever left with the knowledge that she’s dead. And that’s all there is to it. There’s only an Underworld for non-deities. Alice reveals that Josh was dragged down to the Underworld by Takers. Hades informs the pair that Takers are essentially “watchdogs.” They guard the veil between the living and the dead. The Dark King summoned them since he’s trying to revive his lost love.
Now, Hades drops another word bomb – should DK successfully bring his lover back to life, he may risk reviving all of the dead. If the Takers are topside and unable to patrol the veil, then all the dearly departed may burst through. It could mean the end of the world… again. Thus, Hades reluctantly agrees to save Josh. But he urges Alice and Kady to clean up this mess before it’s too late. Always the end of the world with these guys!
Later, Josh and Ash emerge from the Underworld elevator in Fillory. Success! But, they’re greeted by a macabre scene – a slew of dead Takers strewn before them. Isn’t that a good thing though? Meanwhile, Plum is growing increasingly weak from Eliphus’ mechanism. Penny notices that her time traveling “essence” is being collected in a bottle. Eliphus reappears. Penny also notices that Eli’s hand is shaking. The sign of an addict itching for the next fix. Penny accuses Eliphus of luring them to his antiques room to drain them of their abilities for himself. Eliphus reveals that the threat to Space-Time is legitimate, but yes, the time traveling essence is for him. Penny demands he release Plum and allow them to go home, despite the fact that she hasn’t been fully depleted of her ability. Eliphus reticently agrees to this, and he accepts what he can get.
Next, the duo arrive at the New York apartment. Plum immediately collapses, and Kady attends to her. Julia and Eliot are there as well, jail-free. Penny takes note of Julia’s rather large baby bump. Jules reveals they need to have a conversation. Indeed you do!
Now, we’ve only got three episodes left of The Magicians… ever. It’s incomprehensible to me how a show as brilliantly nuanced as this one gets the network ax. This series has left an indelible mark on fantasy as we know it, and its transparency regarding mental health issues is nothing short of revolutionary. We may never see its like again, but I hope I’m wrong. On another note: Margo’s one-liners this episode were pitch-perfect. Never change, my High King Margo the Destroyer.
Do you think our heroes can save the world again from impending doom? Will Julia give birth to a super baby? Will the magicians effectively take down the Dark King once and for all? 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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