Synopsis of 2×05: Quentin attempts to make some semblance of a life without magic, but fails spectacularly while Penny tries to regain magical use of his hands. Eliot survives an assassination attempt and Julia experiences a little Rosemary’s baby action.
Here’s the skinny:
- Eliot survives an elimination attempt made by the Fillory Foo Fighters, a rogue anarchist party within Fillory (yes, you read correctly and you may commence a hefty session of snickering).
- Eliot also learns of his wife’s, Fen’s, pregnancy.
- Julia makes a startling discovery that she is pregnant as well… with a sadistic god’s child and tries to get an abortion, which fails.
- Quentin meets up with Emily Greenstreet and befriends her before they have sad, enchanted sex.
- Penny comes to Mayakovsky for help with the loss of his spell-casting abilities and “bonds.”
- We get a brief mention if Fen’s past as a foo fighter.
What could be more boring than sitting in an office looking at portfolio overviews?
Quentin sitting in an office reviewing portfolio overviews. If you’re unsure of what a portfolio overview may entail, suffice it to say that you wouldn’t possess even the slightest iota of interest. Quentin gains the attention of Emily Greenstreet. This name might not ring a bell for many of you, rightly so, because she was only a minor character of the first season whose mistake guilted Alice’s brother into becoming a niffin from performing a spell far too powerful for him.
Penny visits Dean Fogg for aid with his spell-casting and is pointed towards Mayakovsky instead of the former. It seems Fogg isn’t feeling Dumbledore-ish these days. Yes, I used Dumbledore as an adjective and it shall catch on, I promise you.
Julia and her intermittent bestie, Kady, scour old newspapers to find evidence of a magical occurrence powerful enough to have banished Reynard from Earth decades ago. They’re interrupted by Julia’s morning sickness, which results in them using a pregnancy test to confirm that she is indeed pregnant; but with what?
Eliot gets a surprise of his own when Fen uses a bunny to announce her pregnancy. Apparently, it is able to tell with absolute certainty when someone is pregnant. Just another productive use of magic and abilities of fantastical creatures. Eliot turns pale faster than Usain Bolt’s 100 meter dash.
Quentin meets with Greenstreet and they actually get along nicely. They vent about the inconvenience of magic and all of the problems it creates under the guise of fixing them. One thing The Magicians has consistently done since early on is show that even magic can not permanently fix problems, it’s just a temporary tool like any other. So for that, the creators deserve a pat on the back. I present one very willingly. Quentin and Greenstreet’s lunch date goes swimmingly until she spills wine. Instinctively, he uses magic to fix it and it rubs her the wrong way. The first friend he could relate to in the real world and he lost her in the span of a few minutes.
Eliot admits that since he never had a good father figure, he fears his impending failure as a father. To which he is answered with a cord around his neck as a native of Fillory attempts to assassinate him. Margo saves him. Eliot, Margo, and the powerful families of Fillory discuss how to deal with the assassin, but fail to reach a unanimous decision. Everyone suggests a painful death, each suggestion more ruthless than the last, until Eliot and Margo voice their disapproval of such violent methods.
Penny visits Mayakovsky and walks straight into a trap that pins him up in the air until further notice. The professor eventually reveals himself and promises to help Penny regain his casting abilities, under the condition that Penny help him with a project of his.
Julia takes a trip to the gynecologist’s office and begs to be given an abortion. And so begins this episode’s comments on abortion. Sensing fear from domestic abuse, the doctor insists that Julia is safe there and that no is above the law. Oh poor doctor, you have no conception of the magical world and the insanity of a powerful god with a sadistic need for over-compensation. Julia convinces her and the doctor reluctantly agrees to give the abortion on short notice.
Mayakovsky evokes Mr. Miyagi as he gives Penny seemingly meaningless tasks such as reducing a table to sawdust with nothing but a file and removing the knots from a pile of ropes twice his size.
Quentin stares at his computer monitor waiting to push send on a letter of sorts he wrote to Alice’s parents informing them of her death. Greenstreet apologizes for her disgust with his magic earlier and her attempt to push him away. She suggests a friendship between them and he would… “like that.” She pulls him away from the computer and they take a drunken walk through central park. They grow closer through their pain, suffering, and a blunt. Emily even shows Quentin a spell to become a master at enchanted smoke tricks, which leads to some sexual tension. Even through their sexual tension, it is still easy to see the shared grief that is the glue of their relationship.
Of course it can’t end there. It never does. They return to her apartment, complete with mature decor and a keurig machine. I would make a joke about how apparently these coffee machines have become synonymous with adulthood, but sadly I must admit it is true, as I frequently pay a visit to the keurig machine in my kitchen.
Mayakovsky offers Penny a break from his “wax on, wax off” and they begin to bond over vodka. After about half a bottle, the Brakebills professor admits that he has been magically tied to Brakebills South with no option of leaving, due to sleeping with various students and finally sleeping with the wrong one.
Greenstreet shows Quentin another spell, this one only capable of being performed naked in a shower. Her spell turns the object of it into whomever the caster wants to see and we get a bomb dropped in the most subtle of ways. When Emily performs it on Quentin, he turns into Mayakovsky and we able to put the pieces together that Greenstreet was the student Mayakovsky slept with. She takes her chance to make love with Mayakovsky one last time.
Afterwards, Quentin performs the spell and is met with Emily in Alice’s form. They go at it again.
They wake up the next morning and Quentin darts out like it’s a classic one night stand. His reasoning is sadly justifiable. He enjoyed the night tremendously and feels that he may have needed it, but it has only left his heart aching more for Alice.
Eliot reveals his decision, of letting the assassin live, to Margo and the other prominent families of Fillory. It is met with outrage, especially from Margo, but Eliot stands his ground.
Fen meets with the assassin and we learn that they knew each other very well. Apparently, Fen was a foo fighter until she married Eliot and pledged herself wholeheartedly to their marriage. So, she lets her old buddy off with a fatal warning. Fen, you never disappoint.
Julia returns to the gynecologist’s office to receive her abortion. The receptionist is beyond rude and tries to goad Julia out of the office after deleting her appointment and pretending that one was never made. This is all solved with a call to the doctor, who confirms Julia’s appointment and invites her up. Once Julia is prepped for surgery, the doctor has a case of what seems to be severe butter fingers, but then shows itself to be border-line possession. The doctor takes a piece of medical equipment and plunges it into her own eye. By the time Kady reaches the room, the doctor is dead, so Julia and Kady depart with plans to get rid of the body. Unborn baby: 1, Kady and Julia: 0.
Lastly, Quentin catches a glimpse of a damaged, wraithlike Alice asking for help and almost gets flattened by a bus when she disappears and he steps into the street to follow her.
This episode had some pretty strong views of abortion and clearly took some stands for pro choice, as can be seen from the bitter portrayal of those against abortion. Quentin tries to live a life without magic, but it is a challenge and the world of magic refuses to let him go. My guess is that he will continue to be pulled right back into it and this will not be the last time we see Alice grace the screen.
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