The Magicians: Word as Bond Recap

Synopsis of 2×08: Julia’s lost her shade, so she causes some irreparable political damage in the world of Fillory while she seeks a new way to hide from Reynard. After a multitude of dead ends, the gang come significantly closer to finding a key to Reynard’s destruction.

Rating:

So here’s the skinny:

  • Julia lost her shade from the exorcism, so she acts like an apathetic maniac out for her own good and carelessly involves another party in Fillory’s oncoming war.
  • Quentin and Alice bind themselves with the word-is-bond spell. The spell allows Alice enough time in control of Quentin’s body for her to track down a niffin who no one can box. The niffin rejects Alice, but offers to mentor her if she can split from Quentin.
  • After a few dead ends, Kady, Quentin, and Penny are able to identify the man who has taken care of Reynard’s child.
  • Penny signs a contract to join the order of the library of the Neitherlands, which happens to be an infinitely permanent gig. He finally confesses his love to Kady, who’s been pushing him away until then.
  • It takes a while, but Eliot’s mind and his body are faithfully reunited at last.
  • Penny and Kady figure out that Niffin Alice is in Quentin’s mind.

Julia’s exorcism had a complication, now it becomes clear to us. Kady explains to Quentin that Julia’s shade was lost during the procedure. Later on, Julia strolls down the stairs whistling blissfully and she thanks Kady for everything she’s done to help. Kady regards her with skepticism. Julia feels light.

Kady has found information on god-killing spells that protected towns from gods in the past. Kady says that the spells have all failed and might be impossible. Julia decides to write their own and within seconds praises Martin’s fervor for attacking the gods of Fillory. Julia also remembers that Dana, Renard’s victim from before had a son.

Quentin and Alice review the word-is-bond spell. Quentin is very cautious to make sure he has imagined every possibility and Alice is itching to do the spell. They perform it. Margo and Quentin walk the halls discussing Eliot’s golem. Apparently, magic shortages have hindered Eliot’s recovery ritual. A Fillorian works on an enchantment to revive him.

Margo lightheartedly mentions a moment from the Fillory and Further novels. It shows that even with the pressure of ruling a kingdom, she’s still a nerd like the rest of us, just of the Fillory variety. She sends Quentin off to Earth with the magic button so he can take care of Julia because Margo knows that Quentin cares for the former.

Quentin comes back to a livelier Julia. She found a hospital outside of Hoboken that took in an abandoned newborn in 1976. She’s ready to head out and get answers. Of course the others think it’s a bad idea for her to leave the protective wards of Brakebills. Until this moment, it never fully dawned on me how powerful the wards must be to keep out a god. All things considered, Brakebills has some serious powerhouses in its ranks, yet everyone we’ve been introduced to has failed to showcase anything close to such power.

Julia chooses to leave the wards anyway and her unbridled confidence gives her a new look. Although, it is more a complete lack of fear mixed with unchecked hubris. She opens a portal and leaves through it. Like clockwork, Reynard nonchalantly greets her as she passes him on a bench in a wooded park.

Again, her poise is impressive and even Reynard can smell her indifference. He picks up on Quentin’s presence and gives him a chance to run with Julia. Some gods just love playing with their food. Quentin runs to Fillory, where he suggests that she stay until she finds another method to hide herself from Reynard. Margo lets her stay and Quentin returns to Earth to let Alice commandeer his body. As soon as he steps into the physical house, he drops and she takes over.

The royal court confers with Margo on the Lorians’ battle strategy. Julia watches from the sidelines, bored. The Lorian troops have amassed at the edge of the one way forest, a forest of self-aware trees, and their numbers have been exaggerated through the use of illusion magic. Margo is ready to destroy the trees, but the court advises her that it would be an ill move, definite to lead to retaliation.

Julia embraces her inner nerd like Margo and showcases her fandom of Fillory and Further with knowledge from the series. She knows more than Margo and could potentially rival Quentin’s expansive understanding. Margo takes Julia’s advice against the court’s judgement, which leads them to seeking out the forest’s dryad. But don’t forget, Margo’s always in control.

Quentin regains consciousness in the Brakebills library next to a stack of thick books. Quentin reasons that she must have looked for a way to reverse the niffin condition and refuses to admit it. He can’t hide the ray of hope he feels permeate his soul and it’s a welcome sight.

Penny visits the Neitherlands library for the book he was unable to find for Mayakovsky at Brakebills. The clerk leads him to the file cabinets and finds the information for the book. When Penny admits who the book is for and reveals the troubling issue he’s got on his hands, the clerk offers him an alternative solution. She offers to take Penny’s curse off his hands, (Ok, last pun, I promise) if he works for the Order of the Library of the Neitherlands for no less than one million years. Needless to say, that doesn’t rock with Penny and he outright refuses. Still, hearing his disbelief after he read aloud every line of the contract’s “catch” was especially amusing.

Quentin and Kady view the information Julia uncovered, but it leads them to nowhere. Penny shows up and reads Quentin like an open restaurant menu. Penny senses something different in Quentin’s mind, but he has no idea that it’s Niffin Alice. It only frustrates him further when Quentin plays Imagine Dragons in his head to hide her. Oh, why does this show tease me? I’m sure so many of you listen to Imagine Dragons as well, but either way this show’s pop culture references always hit the spot. Quentin rushes out without an explanation. For a moment, Penny actually feels concern for Quentin, but that ends quickly as soon as he reminds himself that Quentin is a grown man.

Kady brings up the relationship between her and Penny. She pushes him away and he puts on a front, saying that he’ll keep it professional even though his look says otherwise.

Julia and Margo meet with the One Way Forest’s dryad. Sexism ensues. First off, the dryad is a man instead of the traditional female counterpart and Julia doesn’t hesitate to point out the difference. Next, they attempt to negotiate and the dryad takes it as an insult that two women came to meet him instead of the king. Margo asserts her authority but the dryad undermines it and still takes her presence as an insult. The struggle against blatant sexism is real.

Quentin, Kady, and Penny continue seeking a path to Reynard’s child. With no options left, Alice suggests that they use a time site. Penny becomes suspicious and wonders where Quentin even learned such a thing. Quentin spends the next glorious minute stammering through a horrible bold-faced lie to disguise the spell’s true source. Quentin’s very visual back and forth with Alice while he tries to cover it up is humor to be treasured. Penny disappears to retrieve the scope they’ll use for the time site.

Margo stands over Eliot’s unconscious body delivering a monologue pleading for him to wake up. It’s hard to decide whether her emotion is reeling more from Eliot’s possible death or the heavy realization that systematic sexism dictates even a world as fantastical as Fillory. Knowing that the world denies her authority simply because she’s a woman is a painfully bitter pill to swallow, a situation that countless women are faced with every day in our world.

Penny, Kady, and Quentin visit the time site with the scope that magically bends light to see into the past. They see the man who took Reynard’s child, but his face has been distorted by Rena. Another dead-end.

Julia waits in the woods outside of the One Way Forest until she can nab the Lorians’ illusion spell-caster. She persuades him to give her a way to hide herself from a god and he gives her a rock he has bewitched.  She then lures the Dryad out of the forest and gives him a small chest to take back to his bosses. He walks off into the forest with the chest and as she walks away, an explosion rumbles from the direction he went in. Julia has just committed mass ecological murder, she’ll be receiving a call from Fillory’s environmental activists soon I’m sure.

Niffin Alice finds a powerful magical creature, disguised as a little girl, alone in a playground at night. She asks the girl for help finding Friar Joseph, a master magician from some time ago, and the girl requests fresh newborn meat for the info. Niffin Alice is short on time, so she pulls out her backup plan instead. When Quentin wakes up to a dead little girl a few feet away, Alice confesses that she used torture techniques to gain information.

Margo speaks to Julia about her reckless massacre. Apparently, other trees in Fillory are peeved and demanding disciplinary action. I’m sorry, but let’s take a moment here. Trees?! Really? Trees have gotten their leaves in a bunch and action must be taken? I understand this means a world of trouble for Fillory, but this is pretty funny. After all, you have to enjoy the little things, rule #32.

Julia claims that she was helping and casually delivers some crazy ideology. Margo acts swiftly and throws Julia in the dungeon. The guards take her out as she laughs it away. You know someone has lost their mind when they respond to bad news with laughter like they’ve heard the beauty of a good pun.

Quentin peruses Brakebills’ library for a way to undo the word-as-bond spell, but he’s out of luck. He has an emotional breakdown and Niffin Alice teases him before commanding his body.

Penny walks in on Kady drinking herself into a careless stupor and he tries his best to ease her fears, but it fails. Kady doesn’t believe that he understands how little she wants a relationship with him. He puts on his front again and she calls him out on it. She tells him that it’s not his chance to prove that he’s a hero. What does he hear? Go prove you’re a hero. But, what guy wouldn’t in that particular situation. We’ll get back to that shortly.

Quentin wakes up with Niffin Alice in a cab in Ireland. She tricks him into walking right into her trap. They meet Friar Joseph at the place of his transformation. Alice begs for the friar to help her with Quentin, who Joseph calls a “crushable little field mouse” before Quentin fails to box him. Friar Joseph is a niffin who can not be boxed. Alice begs to be taught, but the friar refuses to take her under his wing until she can prove her power by finding a way out of Quentin. The friar leaves them and Quentin tries to console her, but boy does she flip on him. Her hatred for him and pure disgust becomes shockingly apparent.

Back in Fillory, a Fillorian magician performs a ritual to transfer Eliot’s mind back from the golem into his body. At first it seemingly fails, but Eliot comes to in style after Margo delivers an empowering speech.

Penny returns to Kady and admits that he’s identified the man who took Reynard’s child into his care. There’s only one twist, Penny got the info by joining the Order of the Library of the Neitherlands and signing their contract. Kady voices her disappointment in his decision, but he drops his armor and tells her that he loves her. She’s almost speechless.

Quentin cuts their moment short and comes in through the door. Penny immediately pushes him about his condition lately. Kady knocks Quentin out and Penny “incepts” him. Niffin Alice yells at Penny to get out and chokes him before he hops back out of Quentin’s mind to tell Kady.

What did you think of this episode? Anything you’d like to say? Leave a comment and let us know, it’d be great to hear it.