There is just so much to talk about in this episode! Here we go!
Quentin (Jason Ralph) is placed in a cage for protection by Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy). Professor Lipson (Keegan Connor Tracy) gives him a quick exam using these colored lenses. Result: He’s dying fast. He needs to get rid of niffin Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) quickly. Q is being stubborn and refuses. Penny (Arjun Gupta) steals Q’s button to Fillory and travels with Kady (Jade Tailor) to spring Julia Shadeless (Stella Mauve) from the joint. They tell her that they have found Dana’s son, who is US senator John Gaines (Christopher Gorham). Watching a speech of his, Penny notes how much the magic is oozing off the demigod.
The group decides to go to the senator’s office and introduce him to magic. Both Kady and Penny try to talk Julia out of ruthlessly killing Gaines to steal his magic energy into a small ball. When the senator justifiably freaks out, he knocks the trio off their feet with some inner demigod power. He faints after that display. Penny holds Julia back from taking advantage. Instead they commit a felony and kidnap the man. Reynard is on the hunt though and is working on disabling the wards shielding the school. Using telepathy, Reynard reaches John introducing himself. Kady and Penny explain to him who Reynard is and take him to the infirmary to stop the god’s communication with his son. Quentin also ends up in the sick room when he collapsed after Alice (as him) talks with Julia.
All hell breaks loose when Reynard does break down the shields causing a lockdown at Brakebills. In one of the classrooms Kady explains to the senator how he has used magic his entire life instinctively, especially given the profession he chose as a politician. Not that many senators get the bills they want implemented passed in Congress. As he remembers things from his childhood, he starts seeing the possibility of his power.
Through the chaos of everyone moving to the lab room, Julia brings Q outside and throws him past the wards for Reynard to find. Q still refuses to let Alice out. Meanwhile, Penny and Kady realize that Julia is not in the room with them and find Q in serious danger of getting murdered. Penny goes in for the rescue when Reynard freezes both of them, using the spell the Beast (Charles Mesure) used on him several episodes ago. John followed Kady and Penny and assesses the situation. He agrees to go with his father. When both disappear, Julia screams in frustration. Julia later wakes up in a “clean” room that blocks magic. She will stay there for the time being because of her actions.
Margo (Summer Bishil) and Eliot (Hale Appleman) are the “least trusted monarchy in the history of Fillory.” Because of Julia’s arbicide, their army is deserting by droves. For Eliot to become the most popular high king ever, he would need to defeat King Idri of Loria (Leonard Roberts) in a duel to the death. Abigail the sloth suggested that choice. The problem is even though Eliot can use magic there is a chance he could still die because of the brown-outs they have been having. Margo cautioned but Eliot decides to proceed with the duel, even though he lacks sword fighting skills. The High Queen becomes even more worried about Eliot’s decision when her intel reports that King Idri has never lost any of his 14 duels. With barely a day to prepare, Fen (Brittany Curan) gives him a sword crafted by her grandfather which includes an incantation that will make him a master swordsman. Well that helps!
To aid Eliot with getting into battle mode, Margo creates the musical number “One Day More” from Les Miserables. Several of the Council and Fen were in on it. Skipping some parts, they reach the crescendo of the song at the meeting place with the Lorians, King Idri and Ess looking on confused. After ending the song, Prince Ess mentions he played Inspector Javert (not surprising to Margo) when he was in school on Earth. The duel barely begins when King Idri runs away into the woods.
Both kings fight and King Eliot gets the upper hand until a bad brownout occurs. Eliot runs away and hides up in a tree. Idri starts cutting the tree down. The two kings discuss their woes and how much they don’t want to kill each other. They even find each other attractive.
Meanwhile Margo gets called away to see the human ambassador for the fairies who fortunately decided now was a good time to meet when usually the date is months away. Margo met sloth Abigail the night before who brought up that the fairies could fix the wellspring but all negotiation goes through their ambassador. Negotiations take a bad turn when Margo unwittingly questions the ambassador on the fairies terms and will accept the current bargain which is fix the wellspring in exchange for the High King’s first born child. Oops. Bright side: the child will grow up knowledgeable and powerful in magic. Margo manipulates Fen into agreeing to do as she says in order to save Eliot. Deal made, the fairies get to work and fix the wellspring.
Seeing that he is able to use is sword, Eliot jumps down from the tree and plans to resume fighting, but they realize that as kings they don’t have to fight. A deal is made. Eliot walks in unscathed, much to the relief of Margo and Fen. Eliot has decided to marry King Idri and give him access to half of the wellspring. Now for the hard part, Margo explaining about the agreement with the fairies. The episode ends just as she is about to explain.
“One day more
Another day another destiny
This never ending road to Calvary…”
That song is now stuck in my head thank you The Magicians! The musical number was such a nice surprise! The only thing that would’ve made it even better was if King Loria sang the Inspector Javert’s part. Both his and Prince Ess’s reaction was great and the reference that Ess played the part when he was on earth was fine too! I’ve seen the musical Les Miserable live before and I recommend seeing it wherever you get a chance, whether on Broadway or a local production. “One More Day” gets a repeat every time I listen to the movie soundtrack album so I enjoyed the song choice very much. The lyrics, especially what Fen sang, was relevant to her story arc the most which was a nice touch! She sang beautifully too. Hit those high notes girl! I feel like she should’ve sang “On My Own” too! Although Margo may sing that next week if Eliot reacts the way I think he will. Brava Elle Lipson and John McNamara, here’s hoping for another song in a future episode.
The Lorian War was VERY different in the books. By the time the war happened in the third novel Eliot had some battles under his belt and I would have wanted to see the book duel on screen. The sword fight in this episode just does not compare. Eliot had Idri cornered, he could’ve killed him even when the brown out happened! What did he run away for?! I do believe that Eliot didn’t want to kill anyone so wanted to delay it for as long as possible. I will still pray that novel duel will come to pass maybe with another enemy or something.
Those fairies were creepy! The ramifications of Margo’s decision will potentially have long term effects. The timing sucked! Eliot and Margo may do some inside espionage but King Idri can do so as well with Fen, especially since she will be required to give up her baby once he or she is born. Fen is getting two husbands! A decision that unfortunately she could not be a part of. I think she was just making headway with Eliot but now she has to compete with not only bestie Margo but King Idri as well. At least Idri is handsome as hell and will probably let her inner freak fly even higher! I love Leonard Robert’s voice! I tripped out when Eliot called Idri a DILF!
Margo and Fen were just starting to get along as well. It sucks that Margo’s decision halts that blooming friendship. Ugh! I want more conversations though between Margo and Abigail please! I love that Abigail appears more on the show. Her Languidness keeps it real!
Julia should just be referred to now as Shadeless. Damn Julia, you have hit a new low. When she was more human, she felt guilty about putting Quentin in the spell where he was in a mental hospital. Now without qualms she puts Quentin in harm’s way just because he has niffin Alice on standby. What did she expect to happen? Of course, to prevent Reynard from killing Q and Penny Senator John would go with him! And when they went to the senator’s office, why didn’t they disable the cameras? They just robbed a bank a few weeks ago, how could they forget something so basic? Julia was just so cold blooded about casually killing the man for his energy. I felt bad for John in this episode. Gorham was a good choice for a guest appearance. I hope he lives and turns on Reynard because the god needed to go yesterday! Also, Jason Ralph did an excellent job acting like Alice in his conversation with Julia. Both Alice and Julia have more in common now since their human side is gone. It would be nice to see them interact with each other more if Alice didn’t want to leave the group so bad.
Quentin may be stubborn but I agreed with his decision to not let Alice go at that moment with Reynard. Quentin saw Alice die once already. As powerful as niffin Alice is, she still may not have been able to defeat a god. Seeing her die twice would have devastated Q. There was also the possibility of Alice joining Reynard’s side instead heading toward the friar’s. She could learn powerful magic from a god including avoiding a niffin box. Hopefully we will see niffin Alice with the friar occasionally just to check up on her. Be free Alice! I felt bad for Q in that scene. He literally doesn’t want to let Alice go. Just the possibility of interacting with her, even dealing with her attitude, is better than not having her at all to him. This does mean though that he can fully concentrate on Julia’s situation.
Poor Kady. She was in denial for a minute there about how ruthless Julia became. It took her seeing what Julia did with Q and Penny putting himself in danger to help her see the light. I think Kady is always going to feel obligated to Julia because she saved her life. However, she is also realizing that Julia being shadeless has complicated matters. On another note, it was nice to see Kady use magic to knock the guard out instead of her go to punching when her and Penny sprang Julia from Fillory. Can Margo have her button back please?
What are your thoughts of the episode? Is John going to survive his Dad’s clutches? What other songs could the show do in future episodes? Sound off below in the comments!