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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024
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TV Recaps/Reviews

The Magicians S2E3 Review Divine Elimination

The episode that I was anticipating and dreading ever since I read the first book has happened. RIP Alice Quinn! That wasn’t the only loss we got this episode.



THE MAGICIANS — “Divine Elimination” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Summer Bishil as Margo, Arjun Gupta as Penny, Jason Ralph as Quentin, Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

The curse that The Beast hinted in last week’s episode was revealed in tonight’s show.  As soon as our kings and queens sat on their thrones they became so paranoid that they tried to eliminate each other.  Penny (Arjun Gupta) saves the day by figuring it out after Quentin (Jason Ralph) mentioned what Julia told him.  With the help of Fen (Brittany Curan), who was a little useful this week, he forces Margo (Summer Bishil), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Quentin into the throne room with syringes that will easily kill them and adrenaline that can bring them back.  The only way to beat the curse was to have it run its course.  I’m not surprised that Margo was the last one standing before the curse forced her to kill herself. Penny almost bungled it when his hands started acting up again but he didn’t have to do much thank goodness. The bad part about that was two of the cacodemons were used already.  Penny had to use his to defend Quentin when Margo let her demon loose.

THE MAGICIANS — “Divine Elimination” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Arjun Gupta as Penny, Hale Appleman as Eliot — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

Quentin and crew come up with a plan for Penny to transport the Beast to a designated spot where they will trap him so Alice can use the Rhinemann Ultra spell. With two cacodemons used already at least Alice and Quentin still had theirs right? Nope. Alice let her demon go because she felt it was cruel. *Loved that they included this from the novels! *  The group heads to the forest to start their trap.

THE MAGICIANS — “Divine Elimination” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Jason Ralph as Quentin, Stella Maeve as Julia, Arjun Gupta as Penny, Charles Mesure as The Beast — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

Meanwhile another trap is set for Richard (Mackenzie Astin) aka Reynard the Fox.  Marina (Kacey Rohl) performs the ritual to summon him.  The Beast aka Martin Chatwin (Charles Mesure) whisks Julia (Stella Maeve) away before Richard can appear.  His reasoning is that the God would be able to sense her before they could strike.  By the time Julia and The Beast get back Marina had gone home thinking the summoning didn’t work.  After she turns on her wards though, Richard appears.   The Beast and Julia arrive at Marina’s place and sees her web of protection.  The Beast takes a while to get through them.   Meanwhile Richard kills Marina’s cutie black cat and eats one of her fingers!  Bastard! The Beast and Julia make it in the nick of time before Richard can do some more damage.  The Beast has frozen Richard in place so Julia can finally get her revenge. But before she can kill Richard, Penny shows up to kidnap The Beast.  Julia disappears with them, pissed, leaving Marina and the God killing knife to face a God.

THE MAGICIANS — “Divine Elimination” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Stella Maeve as Julia, Jason Ralph as Quentin — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

Alice hits The Beast with the Ultra spell right after Quentin moves Julia out of the blast pathway.  Unfortunately, The Beast survives but is burned severely on one side.  Julia and Penny transport back to the park.  Penny at this point is struggling to keep his hands in check.  Julia makes it worse when instead of helping him she gets rid of the chains around his wrists which causes his hands to act even more wacky. She rushes back to Miranda’s place but it’s too late. She lost her battle against Richard. The knife is gone too.

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Back to Fillory

THE MAGICIANS — “Divine Elimination” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Jason Ralph as Quentin, Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

The Beast goes to the wellspring to recharge after getting injured.   On the way there Alice and Quentin have a heart to heart conversation.  Margo and Eliot head to Ember’s place to appeal to him for more of his jizz or some other assistance.  The Fillory god is one step ahead of them as he takes a dump in the wellspring so Martin can no longer drink from it.  Weakened, The Beast and Alice have a final showdown.  Quentin saves Alice from being sliced in two so with his shoulder cut deeply bleeding out he’s out of commission.  Alice taunts Martin with badass magic when she sacrifices herself by becoming a niffin.   After niffin Alice takes care of The Beast, Quentin has to use his cacodemon to stop her as she was feeling trigger happy.

We end the episode with Eliot and Margo trying to comfort Quentin as he mourns over Alice’s dead body.  Good grief!


THE MAGICIANS — “Divine Elimination” Episode 203– Screenshot, Mackenzie Astin as Richard aka Reynard the Fox

What I did find clever was the way that Richard was used vs The Beast.  We saw how dangerous Martin Chatwin was last season and a little bit this season.  If he wasn’t so dangerous, Jane would not have had to rewind the clock so many times.  Quentin getting Julia’s help was the thing that changed their fates.  Despite all of that, the Fox God is worse.  The Fox seems to take pleasure in torture and violence whereas the Beast just uses it as an intimidating tactic.  Martin, when he is not killing you, can actually be quite charming whereas the Fox in Richard’s body just comes off as creepy.  Kudos to the writers and Mesure and Astin for bringing some depth to these characters, even though I wanted a smidge more malevolence from The Beast before his end.  There’s more on that later.

I mentally prepared myself for Alice’s death last season so now that it finally came to pass I still find myself sad.  Overall the final battle met my expectations.  Dudley gave me the Alice in the books with her tenacity and badassness.  However, there are a few things I was hoping to see that I feel would’ve made the battle even better.  I’ll have more on that below for my fellow book readers.

For those of you that know me know that I LOVE cats.  As soon as Richard had Marina’s cat I was like:

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I wanted Marina to get revenge for that alone! Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

When Julia hesitated right before Penny showed up, I was yelling at the TV “What are you waiting for Julia?! Kill the SOB!” Sigh, RIP Marina.  She didn’t deserve to go out like that.  I’d like to think that in her final moments she went like a gangster and gave Richard a big FU.  She was bringing the sass before Julia and the Beast showed up that’s for sure.  I was totally wrong about who she turned out to be from the novels but I enjoyed her character while she lasted.  Again great casting with Kacey Rohl!  Who wants to bet that Julia will be even more tempted to remove her shade after this?

I appreciate that the curse was taken care of in this episode.  At least now that the Beast has been defeated, there shouldn’t be anything of him lingering in Fillory.  I do think that they need to take precautions just in case.  It would suck to not be able to sit on their thrones.  This did provide some humor that was needed since the rest of the episode was intense! Also it was fitting that Penny would have to rescue them!  Arjun Gupta gave those scenes the right kind of snark that I love with Penny’s character!  I was wondering though, where did he get those syringes?

As for Ember, the writers gave him a little more to do which I’m grateful for.  However, did his contribution to the final battle have to be so nasty!? *Shivers*

Compared to the Books

*Warning, Spoilers Ahead!* Proceed if you have read all three books!

Yay, the character Benedict has been introduced!  I adored his story arc in The Magician King, especially his friendship with Quentin so I hope the writers will use most of it or they make minimal changes.

I have a feeling that a lot of the budget for the VFX is being used for the dragon that we are going to see later this season.  That must be the only explanation that the cacodemons were smoky versions of gremlins and most of what they did was off-screen.  While the little bit I saw was cool, I was hoping that the show would do more than what was done with them in the books.  I wanted to actually see gremlin like demons darn it!  It made sense that Alice, because of her personality on the show, would be the one letting her cacodemon go immediately after getting it vs Margo.  In “The Magicians” it was Janet, who is like Margo.   And Quentin’s demon? You couldn’t even put in the glasses at least? I enjoyed reading that brief bit of humor in an already tense situation in the first book.  The lack of actual talking animals so far in Fillory is a whole other conversation. I get it through; budget and all that.  Maybe we will get some later this season? One can wish.

THE MAGICIANS — “Divine Elimination” Episode 203 — Pictured: Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

I had high hopes for the final confrontation between Martin and Alice.  I did squeal a little when Alice used some of the lines from the first book.  While in the novels they already graduated, the point Alice made about him being an average magician still rang true.  Without the wellspring water, while still powerful, Martin still came across as weak at the same time.  His knowledge does have its limits despite how long he’s lived and travelled between Fillory and Earth.  Taking a while to get through Marina’s wards was a sign of that.  I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see any zipping Flash like movements that were in the books.  Another thing that took away the battle for me was the fact that the Beast was not just downright nasty.  He was in the 1st season finale when he cut off Penny’s hands but not here.  The cannibalism and nastiness The Beast had in spades during the battle in the first book was hardly a whimper in this episode. What the writers did instead was give that level of violence to Richard.  I understand why it was done though.  Because they are bringing the God hunt onscreen vs off in the books, they had to make Reynard the Fox just downright crazy, the slaughter and rape notwithstanding.

For my readers out there, how do you think the show will bring Alice back? We know how it was done in The Magicians’ Land.  With the changes that were done so far, do you think they will stray from what happened in the last book?  I’m looking forward to seeing what they do regardless.  It will be interesting to see how soon they will do it.  For the brief time that Alice was Queen, I thought she is worthy of being labeled as a great Queen in the Fillory history books.  I was pleasantly surprised that like last week, the writers handled Quentin and Alice’s issues with more maturity.  I’m confident that Jason Ralph will bring in the feels in next week’s episode as he mourns Alice.  He’s already given us a glimpse of it this week.

THE MAGICIANS -- "Divine Elimination" Episode 203 -- Pictured: Hale Appleman as Eliot -- (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)THE MAGICIANS -- "Divine Elimination" Episode 203 -- Pictured: Summer Bishil as Margo -- (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

The 2nd and 3rd books showed more awesomeness for Margo (Janet/Anais mashup) and Eliot than the final battle, although there were a few cool moments that unfortunately did not get added into tonight’s episode. I’m already miffed about Fen so I’m still holding out hope that for all three characters I see more character development and awesome magician skills.

There you have it folks! What did you think of the episode? What are your predictions for the rest of the season? Sound off below in the comments!

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