The Magicians: It Begins Recap

Synopsis of 2×13: Fillory has reached its end, as far as Ember is concerned, but our magicians aren’t going to let it go without a fight. Before the world in the walls can take its last breath, everyone finds an opportunity to mend the relationships they care about the most.

Rating:

So here’s the skinny:

  • Penny’s poison room encounter has given him a form of magical cancer, a cure for which Brakebills’ best is unable to synthesize. Kady secretly meets with Harriet, the hard of hearing copy editor they met earlier in the season, and she agrees to help save Penny if Kady gathers whatever information she desires from Penny, unbeknownst to him of course.
  • Josh and Margo return from the fairy realm, only she gave her eye as transit fare. They enact a plan with Eliot to lure Ember to Fillory to plead for its survival. 
  • Ember and Umber meet again when the former Brakebills’ students’ plots lead them. Ember kills Umber in anger over his fake death and betrayal. Julia and Quentin tag team to kill Ember.
  • Alice reconnects with Quentin… because of BACON!! After nookie, Quentin tells her of his impressive feat and she responds with news that the gods have plumbers who can cut off magic everywhere in existence. Soon after, the plumbers arrive and shut down magic in every realm known to us. Two months later, after everyone has been attempting to continue life without magic, Julia reinvigorates Quentin’s hope with a small show of magic sparks.

So the season finale has finally come. Let’s see what SYFY’s adaptation of Lev Grossman’s modern magician tale has to offer. As the episode is titled, it begins.

Make space, Neil Degrasse Tyson. We’re learning astronomy with Ember, the god of worlds. Ember recaps the whole series to date over a visual representation of Fillory’s big bang and The Magicians‘s bigger moments. He’s had a bigger hand in all of Fillory’s shortcomings, more than we thought.

Quentin goes to see Alice and the topic of his reasons for reviving her resurfaces. He gets just as annoyed as I am over it’s persistent frequency.

Fogg and Professor Lipton inform Penny that a magical cancer has left him with two or three weeks to live if it can’t be solved. Kady acknowledges his impending death.

Julia lays in her apartment smoking and having flashes of painful memories. Eliot comes by for the amulet of invisibility. Don’t worry, it’s not actually called that. Eliot invites her to come on his last ditch effort to save Fillory and forgives her for betraying them earlier.

The whole gang reunites at Brakebills South. Kady bids Penny to escape to Tahiti with her. The Neitherlands librarian jumps Penny back to the library and requests for him to join the all-hands-on-deck emergency. Kady is sent back to Brakebills alone.

Meanwhile, Josh and Margo seek Fen in the fairy realm. They find her chained up in the fairy realm’s version of Castle Whitespire. The queen calls for them and a fairy escorts them. The fairy’s throne room is infinitely more wondrous than the Fillorian counterpart. They meet with the Queen and Margo denounces the original plan she made with the fairies. She wants the baby and they don’t want to release her.

The queen suggests they offer something to Ember instead of their usual approach of asking for things. Man, Earthling privilege. We all have it, but isn’t it something. She gives them an herb to use in little cakes for Ember. So apparently everyone just knows this god’s love for little cakes and, I’m sorry, but does anyone know what little cakes are? I’m completely dumbfounded. This is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and turkish delights all over again.

The Queen is some match for Margo and her classy air of superiority renders Margo’s typical attitude relatively immature.

Quentin heads back to the only Magicians inhabitant who’s ever matched his levels of extreme geek-dom: Umber. Upon opening the door, he utters Quentin’s best title yet: Sad little nerd king. Can that stick please?

Eliot walks back into his throne-room to his new stepson playing pretend on the throne. You know how the stereotypical children of divorce are, never ready to accept the new parent. That is until Prince Ess’ father, the King, walks in and flashes his parental authority.

Quentin seeks allegiance from Umber, but he’s uninterested in revealing his false death. He offers Quentin a chance to lend his voice to the construction of the world formerly known as Cuba.

Josh and Margo literally drop in on Eliot. Oh and Margo’s eye has been taken, leaving a sealed scar in its place. Margo also gets some new eye bling, a patch to cover her eye gloriously and takes a hard (unappreciated) stab at Jack Sparrow a.k.a Johnny Depp. Eliot forgives Margo and admits he was scared of the power her decisions wielded. Margo feels their relationship isn’t the same and sadly, I must agree.

Quentin stands in “Cuba,” Umber’s new world and gives him notes. Quentin makes a statement for spontaneity or chaos, as Umber sees it. 

Ember shows up for the little cakes. Rather than being angry, Ember appreciates the surprise of Eliot finding a way back into Fillory even though he was banished. Margo and Eliot pitch a new version of Fillory, complete with drama and intrigue. Julia brings Umber’s new world into Fillory’s throne room and unleashes its two inhabitants in the midst of Ember’s destruction.

The reunion between the brother gods is tense, to say the least and Ember kills Umber. As the power wanes out of Umber, Julia absorbs it into a sword. Her and Quentin kill Ember. So now, both the gods are dead and the whole world is saved, yay!

Quentin brings Alice some bacon from the farm where Fogg gets his weekly portion. Alice bombards it and cleans the plate. Bacon saves the day, always. The bacon grease on Alice’s hand reminds her that every good thing, no matter how little, is “married to something disgusting.” Quite the apt and often indisputable observation.

Kady surprises Harriet, the hard of hearing businesswoman her and Penny met earlier in the season. I’m glad to see her again and I hope that she becomes a more prominent figure on the show. I know, one representation of a minority does not diversity make. Still, you have to start somewhere. Although, I am disappointed that Marlee Matlin seems to be the same actress always used in roles such as this, evidenced by her stints on My Name is EarlSwitched at Birth, and even Family Guy.

Quentin and Alice reconnect. Quentin confesses he killed Ember, but Alice’s reaction is frighteningly foreboding to say the least. Rather than glee or at least indifferent acceptance, she’s livid because even gods like the Ember and Umber have powerful parents. She claims that to them, humans are no more significant than cells. The gods have plumbers who can shut down all magic in the world. So they visit every realm and do just that.

Two months later, Josh, Alice, and Quentin are back in a class taught by Fogg. We learn that the world has been without magic and it is gone without further notice.

Joseph the Niffin visits Alice while she’s walking home alone and tells her he’s dying. All magical creatures will remain, but anything that has drawn from the wellspring is dying. Joseph warns Alice that she is being pursued by a powerful creature whose family she wronged during her Niffin days.

While Margo and Eliot disagree on ruling procedures in the wake of universal magic loss, Fen resurfaces, shortly followed by the fairies, who I assume have come to Fillory to take over.

Julia comes upon Quentin taking a drag on Brakebills’ campus and they make small talk. Somehow Julia produces a few sparks from her fingers. Magic is back, maybe not for everyone, but for some it seems.

What did you think? Did you know The Magicians has been renewed for a third season?! I know my nerves are spasming in anticipation, what about yours?

I will say, the decision to hint at magic returning at the very end was a decision I don’t agree with. After all, the show is called THE MAGICIANS, so it’s pretty obvious magic would be returning in some capacity next season. Weak move, Ms. Gamble.