February 21, 2018
Intense Development in Fillory this week as the season long Chess Match between Margo and Faerie Queen come to a head. On Earth, Quentin, Poppy and Penny try to put the “Find the Next Key In the Underworld” Plan into effect while Alice and Julia deal with the fall out of their magical transplant last week.
Our deep dive recap of The Magicians‘ episode, “Poached Eggs” begins … after the jump!
Fillory. We open in Castle Whitespire with Margo, fresh from reading her hubby a bedtime story, meeting up with Eliot with Tick in tow. The High King and Queen are meeting Q for some kind of excursion and they want to make their absence as inconspicuous to the Faerie Queen as possible. I am not sure that planting the Earthism of “chicken pox” in Tick’s brain is the best move but what are you going to do. Tick urges them not to go for the Floaters (who no longer Float) have taken to pillaging the land. Margo reassures him that there is an order to things and dealing with the Faeries comes before dealing with the Floaters!
Elsewhere in Fillory, Quentin and Poppy are headed to the intrepid meeting of Magicians “by the tree.” Q is telling Poppy that he’s already done the one time trick of paying the Hudson River Dragon to take him to the Underworld so without something to trade, its Plan B – talk to Penny. Alone. He tells her to go back to whatever life she was willing to stab him in the back for (no one holds a grudge like Quentin. Except Alice. And Kady. And Margo. Okay, Most people on this show hold grudges really well).
They rendezvous with Eliot and Margo go back to The Cottage but not before Eliot confesses things are in fact dire and yes, those are hostages in their big bag. “Who the Fuck are you?,” Margo reasonably asks Poppy but before she can get into a really long explanation, Eliot puts a pin it – they really need to make some space between themselves and their “pasty friends.”
Emerging from the clock in The Cottage, the gang, led by Quentin find Alive on the floor still in mid-seizure and Penny still rocking Gloria Gaynor on the Big Mouth Billy Bass. Title Card.
When we return, they have somehow gotten Alice upstairs in bed and she has come around. Q sits bedside while Julia and Dean Fogg throw shade on Alice’s explanation that this was merely a “surge” in her body getting used to Julia’s magic. No, the Dean is pretty sure ot more like the magical equivalent of Organ Transplant Rejection where your body attacks the new body part as a foreign invader. Julia wants a better answer than *shrug* from the Dean but he says ya’ll motherfuckers don’t listen to my drunk ass anyway so why should I ever bother. I like drunk Dean Fogg, he’s all truth bombs and no bullshit.
Julia and Q have a whispered conversation where she convinces him to go get the Key because he’s not really helping and anyway, Alice is hella-stubborn. No, she and Alive started this together and they should finish it. And anyway, the whole Magical world is kind of counting on him to save Magic sooo … you know, scoot.
Downstairs, Quentin, holding the Truth Key, tries to convince Penny to pop down to the Underworld and take a looksie for the Key … seeing as he’s Q’s only dead friend. Nor does Quentin want to split hairs on “dead” versus “astral projection” — Penny’s body is ash so tomato tomato …
And anyway, Q continues, aren’t you supposed to be working in the Underworld Branch of the Library in any case? Penny’s all: see reasons why I burned my body. Quentin isn’t happy about asking Penny for help but he admits that Penny has a good track record in stopping being a dick when the fate of the world is at stake. This kind of flattery works and Penny is in.
But, he says, he can’t just go to the Underworld, they need a gatekeeper. Poppy, who has been eavesdropping on Quentin’s side of the conversation suggests using the Library’s Dragon. The What Now, Q asks? Poppy knows all about it, including its name is the “Bookworm” … which is adorable. Penny confirms that such a thing exists … its how the Library exchanges books between here and the Underworld. Penny says that the Bookworm is too small to send a full size person so Quentin helpfully suggests Penny get to “Being the Book.” Maybe he can be a book about Gloria Gaynor’s Life? Penny throws up another roadblock. Let’s say he gets the Key, when he comes back, it’ll still be stuck in Satellite Library … on another Planet. They need another traveler. Enter Victoria Small world being what it is, Poppy knows the same traveler that Penny and the Gang ran into a couple of years back who had been trapped in Fillory by the Beast while traveling there with some other Third Years (including Josh and Poppy) for Spring Break. If she’s on Earth, Poppy is sure she can find her. One one condition … she gets to come along on the adventure. Fine, Q says, but this doesn’t make them friends. Uh huh. Sure Q.
Brakebills. Julia is studying up on how to help Alice when Dean “the Buzzkill” Fogg comes through. He pokes at her for once upon a time, fighting through a memory wipe to learn magic and now … maybe killing her friend an attempt to get rid of the one thing everyone wants but no one other than her has. She cries foul as its pretty personal and complicated. He calls “Entitled Millennial Bullshit” on that noise and tells her that no matter what she and Alice try, it won’t work. And you know why it won’t work, the Dean continues? It won’t work because this spark of magic was meant for Julia, not Alice and unless she takes it back, Alice will. die. Facts. (I’m pretty sure she knew that already, but sometimes you need someone who is “drunk and mean” to set you straight.) Julia wonders from where she’ll get the magic to do the spell as there is no way Alice willingly participates in this? Dean Fogg knows someone who might help but it won’t come cheap …
The Cottage. Eliot and Margo have stashed the Faerie Embryo Hostages in a cupboard just in time for the return of Fen, Fray and Todd. As you can imagine, Fen had THE most magical time in NYC including their visit to the “Square of Time” where a man urinated next to Fray and got to experience Humans in Grease Paint pretending to be Cats on Broadway. Fray and Fen had very different experiences of Manhattan. For Fen, the highlight was the delicacy of Pizza at an eatery that was done “Family Style.” Eliot is all awkward at this family reunion (Love that Todd called him “dad” in a weird Freudian slip) as only he can be with this bizarre family of his, inquiring if Fray had any fun at all – he wants her “like things you know,” he says. She practically gushes when she replies that she sees he wants to be a good father and she may even grow to despise him less … in time.
Fen is basically bursting with familial pride at this outpouring!! Can we talk about how Fen is wearing an I Love NY shirt?!?! I love her so so much. I cannot say enough how Brittany Curran has become the break out star of this season. The enthusiasm she brings to the naive but caring and loving and maybe not a little mentally imbalanced Fen is the perfect touch and I can’t see anyone else nailing this role as she has. Just another example of the superb casting this show has exhibited time and time again.
Anyway, Margo pulls Todd aside and shows him the cupboard of
Embryos Hostages. He can’t believe Faeries are real! He thought Fray was just nuts … not mutually exclusive homeboy. She’s showing him this so he can make sure that Fray DOES not accidentally find them because that would be No Bueno! Margo, girl, I love you but Todd … Todd is going to fuck this up. Real Talk.
Fillory. The High King and Queen return to finds their Throne Room covered in feathers (the chicken pox …. it spread according to Tick … all I could think was “those poor chickens, what did Tick do to them”) but otherwise, no one is the wiser. Once it was heard an illness was loose, every one retreated from the castle. But Tick, he’s making one of those Tick faces that says “things aren’t great.” Spill it, Margo demands and we cut to …
Six Floaters all impaled on large spikes while flies buzz around their corpses. How do I know they were Floaters, you ask? Because there is a large sign hanging off of one that says “Death to Floaters.” Eliot is right, this did just take a “dark turn.” Commercials.
Castle Whitespire. When we return Eliot and Margo have the Faerie Queen in the throne room and they have laid out their Extortion Offer – the Faerie Babies in Exchange for the Queen’s Bathtub. Mmm, ooo kkkk?!?!? FQ says she shocked at this behavior which is funny because Eliot and Margo were also shocked … by the horribly dead and impaled Floaters. Curious, Margo says, how the Faerie Queen isn’t more upset about THAT development given how she pushed for the alliance and all. So, Margo says, bathtub or “do we start making Faerie and Goat Cheese Omelettes”? Faerie Queen, though, didn’t get to be the powerful hate monger she is without questioning strange deals and Margo elucidates … the bathtub deal won’t be with just Eliot and Margo, no, the Faerie Queen will be making the bathtub deal with all Fillorians … which means all Fillorians will be able to see the Faeries. No more shadow puppeting, Eliot throws in, just straight … puppeting. That didn’t have the aesthetic kick that I think he thought it would in his head.
You could also just leave, Margo offers. The Faerie Queen starts to threaten a Plan C where she finds her babies but … Margo cuts her off, saying FQ has until tomorrow to make the deal or finish her egg hunt. Or else, they’re going to boil and dye the eggs like its “Motherfucking Easter around here.”
Summer Bishil, another kick ass female lead on a show jammed to the walls with them, gets to say the Lines we ALL want to say all the time and she may be the most effective curser on TV. Which, given the immense talent of her castmates and those cray cray motherfuckers over on Happy!, is saying something.
Irene McAllistair. Julia sits in Irene’s office, proverbial hat in hand, asking for a favor to try and get the Magic she lied to Irene about having, back. Dean Fogg, for his part is trying to make Irene feel guilty for stealing his school. She’s not having it … because she’s heartless. Back to the reason for being here, Julia just needs a little bit of Irene’s Family Magic Reserve Stock so that she can take back the magic from a friend who is currently dying from it. But but but Julia, who will pour the magic martinis if Irene runs out of Magic Reserve Power?!? You’re a Monster for Even Asking, Julia!! Irene is in but she wants to know the deets on the Voltaic Transfer Spell. Oh, that can’t be good.
The Cottage. Guess who found the Faerie
Embryos Hostages? Yep, Fray. Todd, you’re the fucking worst. Frays worst fears about humans are reconfirmed, just when she was starting to think maybe they’re not so horrible, they go and steal babies. To which Fen, reasonably I might add, points out that the Faeries Stole Fray from her … as a baby! Irony is lost on a Fillorian so this does not resonate with Fray. At all. Fray splits hairs over a well bargained deal versus base kidnapping and tells her Mother, at least “we have honor.” Fen, in a sincere, loving moment, has to remind her daughter that A. she is not a fucking Faerie and B. the Faerie Queen will never accept you as anything more than human. Todd interjects that the Faerie Queen named her “Frail human” which is pretty cold, even by Todd’s horrendously low self esteem standards. Fen cuts back in that humans aren’t perfect but, she tries to explain to her daughter, Eliot is a good man and he must have had a good reason for taking the eggs.
Victoria’s Apartment. Poppy and Q are greeted at the door by Victoria and a good old fashioned, “fuck you.” Somehow, they make there way inside and we learn than Poppy boned Hoberman while they were on their Fillorian Spring Break while Victoria was still dating him. Poppy can’t believe she’s still mad about that while Q just wants them to focus on the larger picture. But nope, even if Victoria had magic – she wouldn’t help them. Which is when Quentin plays the Penny Truth Key card which always works because … its an impressive trick. Real Talk.
Alone, Penny tries to reason with Victoria who is inclined to help him at least but its complicated. This group she working with, they are all about freedom of information and screwing over the Library but they’ve kind of got something going on … Penny stops her and asks if her boss is in “her 40 something, hot and mostly rolls in ASL.” Oh Harriet, I knew you’d play back into the story sooner rather than later!!
Outside, Penny admits Harriet kind of doesn’t like him but there is one person she likes …
Oh Hai Kady. How is the Insane Asylum! Kady isn’t doing great, you guys. Like super medicated kind of not great. Penny has a worried. Commercials.
Irene McCallister’s Office. Irene agrees to help for a favor To Be Determined. Oh boy, someone has watched the opening scene of The Godfather one to many times … The idea of trusting Irene makes Henry spit is drink out which you know is serious. She says it was either she buy it or watch the “Hewitts” liquidate everything on EBay … interesting, it sounds like her office is inside of Brakebills. So get over it already, sheesh. Turning to Julia, “Do we have a deal?” Julia agrees and Irene hands over a vial of white powder which, while not cocaine – its the excretion of a rare magical creature – she will have to snort it. Henry is dubious, what a bout your batteries. But this is Irene’s Circus and Irene’s Monkeys so its snorting the Magical Creature Jizz.
The Cottage. Poppy, Penny and Q plan a low budget jail break from Kady’s insane asylum cell. Using Q’s and Poppy’s troubling in depth knowledge of the insane asylum retention rules and relying on a certain level of complacency in a state run facility, Quentin believes they can basically walk in, posing as doctors to see Kady and, once Quentin has stolen a guard’s security badge and handed it off to her, she can walk herself out. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey. Lets see how it goes!
Krick Memorial. (The Asylum.) “Dr. London” (Q) and “Dr. Klein” (Poppy) (fake names always make me think of Supernatural, one of my favorite parts of that show were the name Sam and Dean used to come up with) from the Midtown Mental Health Clinic sit down with a very confused looking Kady to “evaluate” her. Unfortunately, their plan hits an immediate snag when a very real Doctor, Dr. Walton, decides to sit in on the assessment. Through a (pretty poor, if we’re being honest) game of footsie, Quentin is able to alert Kady to his desire to pass her the Truth Key under the table. As soon as he does, Penny appears to her and begins explaining the plan … essentially, take the security badge from Q under the table (he was right, he had no trouble boosting it from a security guard as soon as he entered the ward) and then when she’s on break in the day room, use it to get out of the Ward and sneak outside – they’ll be waiting. Cool cool Cool.Except? Kady totally drops the security badge on the floor during the handoff. Ugh!
Of course, the ever observant Dr. Walton notices the badge on the floor. Dammit!
Fillory. Eliot is having all the doubts about their plan but Margo is trying to convince him it’ll be fine. Maybe we should retreat to Earth and regroup? Margo reminds him that they have lost a lot for Fillory, including her eye and she’s not turning over Fillory to the “albino supermodel.” “What if we’re making things worse,” Eliot ponders. Margo isn’t hvaing it, she’s fought for every shred of authority as Queen unlike Eliot on who it was just given and now, NOW, she’s supposed to abandon her kingdom. Nah, boo. Those Faerie bitches want to come for her crown, she’ll “shove it up their fucking eggholes.” Summer Bishil is so tremendous, I love her more every week. True Story! This, at last, is enough to get Eliot on board, anatomical issues notwithstanding.
Krick Memorial. Kady is feeling all defeated and doesn’t understand why Penny is even there, given their last meeting and her pretty definitive “fuck You.” He cops to needing her help to talk to Harriet and how its tied into finding the next Key which is in the Underworld. Which, from Kady’s POV is a full circle from the last time Penny was willing to give up his life and body to solve a problem. She asks him what couple deals with these kinds of problems but all he hears is the world, “couple” like a hopeful dog waiting for a scrap off the table. She tells him its not funny but he disagrees. Which I only mention because Penny doesn’t do “light hearted” often but it suits him when he does, his minimal goody side.
As an orderly walks by, Penny has an idea and tells Kady to start “yelling: at him. The orderly hears the crazy lady yelling at nothing in particular and comes investigating. Inside, she’s make a fantastic, “what, bro” stance and the orderly tells her to ahnd over the “contraband” (the Truth Key). Stunned to see a tall Indian Man now standing in the room with them, Kady takes his moment of confusion to knock him out cold. “Go Team,” Penny intones. The hands down funniest line of the episode. Commercials.
Brakebills. Alice has an awkward reunion with Professor Lipson, recently released from the psych ward and now very sane due to the large number of pills she takes every morning. Lipson has been busy looting supplies and offers Alice a fix. As she twitches like a junkie with the shakes, she asks Lipson what she knows about transplants – enough to know some one would be stupid to try one. Bingo! Reading the room correctly, Lipson snarks that she’s in no position to judge as she almost “blew a werewolf” so he’d turn her. Anyway, she thinks the steroids she has might help stabilize Alice, “says take 2, take 8.”
Krick Memorial. As Kady and enny play frogger trying to avoid detection, Penny chooses now to have his moment. He confesses that he doesn’t regret a second of their time together (“you should,” she spits back); they had great sex, “I got to knooow you” he draws out, I’m lucky.” Your point? “Don’t be mad too long,” he says, he wants her to be happy. Bur she can’t without him, she says. “Isn’t that just adult life, accepting your own misery.” Bleak but true Kady, bleak but true. Alarms go off as her emty room has now been discovered.
In the lobby, Poppy and Quentin are debating what to do as the building goes in to lock down but its cool, Poppy has a plan. She starts a small fire which triggers the fire suppression system (which, apparently, overrides the crazy person escape protocol in the grand scheme of priorities). Meeting up in the lobby with Q and Poppy, Kady (and invisible Penny) and the gang fight their way out of trouble.
Brakebills. Julia tells Henry that Alice is gone and he reminds her of the magical creature cocaine and suggests she use a locator spell. The magic feels different to Julia but the spell works just the same. Before where we (and Dean Fogg) learn where Alice is, we cut back to …
Fillory, Castle Whitespire. Fen, still in Earth clothes, runs into Eliot and Margo and tells them that Fray found the eggs, freaked out and ran away. Bad timing all around given the extortion plan and all. Which is exactly when the Faeire Queen, with Fray in tow, comes in full of knowledge of eggs, and portals, and quests … so much she didn’t know about but does now. They should really discuss. “Oh crap” Margo sums up succinctly. Commercials.
When we return, Fen can’t believe Fray really betrayed them to the Faerie Queen. But, Fray says she was only embracing Fen’s words of family loyalty – she just defines it differently then Fen. Faerie Queen proposes a different offer — don’t jurt my children and I won’t hurt yours.
“Wait, what?” Fray asks in confusion just as Faerie Queen makes her double over in temporary agony. Fen warns Faerie Queen not to hurt her and Eliot cautions everyone to just simmer down and talk it out. Fray isn’t done being confused, “But, I helped you.” Yes, Faerie Queen acknowledges Fray’s help in betraying her own parents, how could she ever trust such a “specimen of human duplicity”? Fray says she just wanted all of this to stop. Which Faerie Queen is cool with. Fen silently appeals to Eliot who turns to Margo and tells her they have to give up the eggs. No, there has to be another way, Margo pleads, its their only leverage. “I can’t be the dad that turns his back on his kid,” Eliot says in response to Margo’s plea to think of the whole country. Fray, having heard this whole exchanged, spits out that she’s not really their daughter, just a human who … we don’t find out the rest because Faerie Queen magically shuts her up.
Come so dice, what now?!?
Margo demands Faerie Queen explain or else “its Poached Eggs tonight.” The jig being up, Faerie Queen confesses that Fen and Eliot’s real daughter died during childbirth. Fen can’t bare it and her whimpers provide the sounds of Faerie Queen’s leverage dying. You better shake on this deal … Margo warns.
Earth. “No, no way,” Harriet (oh hai Marlee Matlin, missed you. Kisses!) is saying as we cut back to her and Kady meeting in the Elysian (I’m thinking the Hoboken, NJ Cafe?) while Q and Poppy (and and unseen Penny I presume) wait outside. Switching to ASL, she says she’s not blowing months of planning to do one favor for someone her never repaid the last favor, in fact still owes said favor! Kady horse trades, volunteering Quentin and Poppy for some assignment in exchange for passage to the Underworld …
Outside, Kady fills them in on said assignment: they are going to steal from the library! Which Poppy thinks is awesome but Penny thinks is beyond stupid. Never one to handle Penny tirades well, Q hands off the Truth Key to Kady, “Uh, Penny’s got some notes.” HEEE! He tells her that she has no idea the defenses the Library has but she counters that he is not the only one that gets to do something stupid. They’re resolved to do their own stupid things, him specifically to go Be a Book and get eaten by a dragon (a dollar for every time I heard that excuse, amiright?), but he tells her he loves her before disappearing.
A Random Car with a Vampire. Turning is the only option Alice has left to keep her magic and would really just like this nosy vamp to take her money and turn her already for fucks sake. Okay, the moralistically judgey Vampire says but before he can really get into his thing, Julia flings open the door and tells Alice that desperate times calls for shitty vampires so finding her wasn’t terribly hard. Alice says “no” like a petulant child and closes the car door. Before she can start with the blood sucking, Julia uses the faint trace of magic still in her from the bump she took and pins the Vamp against his car door. Get out, he says. She didn’t give him enough money to deal with “Hedge Witch Buffy.” HA! This show loves them some Buffy!
Outside, Alice says she doesn’t need Julia or her condescending help but as she goes, Julia throws up a force filed. In a pure rager move, Alice, shrieking all the way, magics Julia 20 feet in the air and up against a container and maybe … killing her. Definitely going to leave a bruise in any case. Commercials.
The Cottage. When we return, Julia – not dead – wakes up and Alice tells her she has transferred all the magic back to Julia. She apologizes for almost killing her. For her part, Julia apologizes as her magic almost killed Alice. Which, I agree with Alice here, isn’t the same thing but Julia is being nice. Alice tries to explain that she’s just been chasing the itch since Quentin brought her back. Julia confesses that she still see Reynard, like all the time, but its happening for no reason other than it happened and shit takes time to heal. Alice tells her that she sees what Quentin always saw in Julia. Her kindness and bravery and ability to deal with shit. Julia says the magic still makes her sick to think about since it was “his.” But no no no, Alice counters, its your Julia – she felt it, whatever the reason, the magic is Julia’s so what is she going to do with it?!?
Fillory. Eliot finds Fen sharpening knives, its how she relaxes. She breaks down that she never heard their daughter cry when she was born … she should have known. Maybe she did know on some level. But, she thinks that if she just willed Fray to be their daughter hard enough, it would be true. Eliot tries to console her and tell her what a wonderful mother she is and what a shitty father and husband he’s been and that she deserves so much more. She tells Eliot she can’t be in Fillory right now, she needs time away.
Earth. Poppy finds Q in the middle of a classic Quentin freak out as he is focusing on all the things that could go wrong and how a mistake here doesn’t just affect him or him and Poppy but the whole multiverse. Poppy thinks he’s worrying about a lot og things he can’t control and B T Dubs, you don’t know magic is gone out of the multiverse, just for sure this universe. Brass Tacks: You know what you need, Quentin? Sex. And Poppy is here to give it to you to help you relax.
Fillory. Eliot and Margo and the Faerie Queen are riding along together catching up on the various parts of the deal. Faerie Queen assures them that the eggs are now safe, Fray chose not to return with Faerie Queen (her fate is her own, she says ominously but doesn’t actually say where she is), and yes, the bathtub now belongs to all of Fillory – long may they all be clean.
What’s your end game, Eliot asks – why the weird demands and the Floater alliance? World Domination Bullshit or just trying to make the High King and Queen look stupid? Margo is pretty sure that now that everyone can see the Faerie Queen, they’ll understand all the weird shit demands were coming from her and not them. “Will they?” Faerie Queen asks in that way that supposes she has an idea of the answer. Sure, Margo says, they can see you now – they can see you too, Faerie Queen responds … again, ominously (that’s the only intonation she really has). She elaborates by saying that the Children of Earth have been making a mess of things for sometime now and she can no longer help them? Help us with what? Margo asks just as the carriage stops and a high power tomato comes crashing into the carriage window (fun fact: the show used a T-Shirt gun launcher to fire that tomato). Outside, Fillorians are marching on the carriage like an angry mob ready to pounce. Inside, the Faerie Queen has bounced as only she can.
The villagers, complete with torches, pull Margo from the carriage and carry her away she is screaming that she’s their “queen motherfuckers.”
Thoughts. Oh Boy, the High King and Queen are in for some political trouble at home next week as the Fillorians have been roused into a fury. I suspect they’ll be able to regain control but it won’t be pretty or easy.
Poppy and Q – yes! Quentin needs to get laid for sure and while I really want him with Julia right now, I am glad that Poppy is calming him down after a fashion.
Alice and Julia (and Dean Fogg) – this little group has been a solid outing the last few episode,s really cut off from the main plotline but now that the magic is back with Julia, I think were going to see them moving back into the larger story as we position ourselves for the season end game.
Penny and Kady. This episode represented the best these two have ever been as a couple and I hope he makes it back some how from the Underworld Work Assignment so they can pick up where they left off tonight.
Fen. I love her and her heart and for all she’s been through, I just want to wrap her up and hug her and tell her its going to be ok. Brittany Curan has done an amazing job playing the every grieving mother, searching for family wherever she can find it. She just about broke my heart tonight with her monologue to Eliot at the end of the episode.
Until next week, Magicians.