Synopsis of 2×12: Alice is back, but she’s not so happy about it. Sylvia helps Penny infiltrate the poison room with a virulent end and Eliot helps Quentin discover the first door to the world between the walls.


So here’s the skinny:

  • After receiving some justified badgering and reminders of his condemning mistakes, Mayakovsky uses his batteries of magical energy to help Quentin and Julia revive Alice. She unwillingly reunites with her shade, but she’s not very comfortable in her skin and hates Quentin for ending her Niffin state.
  • Penny finds a way into the poison room thanks to his supervisor, Sylvia. They each find the books they’re looking for, but they’re poisoned by the room and Penny grudgingly leaves Sylvia to die. He collapses as soon as he brings the book to Kady.
  • Josh gets a brief stint as the High King of Fillory since every one else has flown the coop. It goes well, for a day or so, until Prince Ess comes looking for his father. The Lorians attack once they learn of the king’s transformation, but Josh escapes to the fairy realm to rescue Fen.
  • Julia and Kady finally corner Reynard with a well devised ruse. Julia holds him at gunpoint with a god-killing gun loaded with the one bullet made from the late Senator Gaines’ magic. Before Julia pulls the trigger, Persephone makes an appearance and pleads for Reynard’s life, since he is her son. A bit of Oedipal action, me thinks. Julia lets him live and Persephone rewards her by returning her shade.
  • With Eliot’s company, Quentin locates the original door to Fillory. The old grandfather clock has been purchased through an auction by no other than Umber, god of Fillory. Umber admits that he did nothing during the chaos in Fillory, but it was never meant to be fixed and any day Ember may end it due to boredom. With this, he lets them use the door to Fillory.

Quentin and Julia come to Mayakovsky with Alice’s shade. He’s reluctant until Quentin dredges up his past, thereby pointing out his connection to this catastrophe. Mayakovksy’s magical batteries offer enough magic to summon Niffin Alice and put her shade where it belongs, but Alice isn’t so chipper about it when it works.

As the only human left in Fillory, Josh becomes the high king. He goes 0 to 100 real quick and adjusts to the power instantly. It doesn’t take him long to light his bong to trap music and adopt “Hakuna Matata” as his ruling policy in all matters. On the one hand, the throne room does look lively under his leadership and the council is loving it.

Senator Gaines tells Julia and Kady of Reynard’s love for Persephone, which makes the torture of Persephone’s followers a lot less random. Now it’s time for some good ole’ demigod against father action. In the left corner the maniacal fox-god Reynard! In the right corner the young demigod Senator Gaines!

“The first portal is still open.” Eliot and Quentin attempt to unravel the dragon’s riddle. Quentin realizes that the clock he saw from his graduate school interview may have been the clock the Chatwin children used to visit Fillory the first time. He must find it.

Sylvia and Penny find the Neitherland fountain for the poison room. It’s locked with magic protection that Penny’s never seen, but she cracks the spell in seconds. Apparently, it’s not her first time fountain spelunking. The fountain drops them in a room filled of relics. They begin their search.

Reynard pushes Senator Gaines’ even further away with his fatherly lessons. Gaines doesn’t respond well to news of his wife’s death and dismemberment at the hands of Reynard.

Fillory’s first door leads Eliot and Quentin to a nice home in Vancouver. A man answers the door and turns them away, but Quentin impresses him with a passage from the Fillory and Further novels. Apparently, there was also a screenplay for a Fillory and Further film adaptation, but the studio pulled out of the deal. Talk about breaking the fourth wall. Quentin and the man bond over the differences between the book and the film adaptation. Yet, Quentin catches the man’s slip and Eliot uses a spell to see the man’s real identity. It’s Umber! What?! Umber, the god of Fillory, has been hiding out on Earth.

Alice laments being back in her body instead of being a Niffin. At least in this way, the show has finally remained true to the novel’s habitually superior plot. Here’s why Mayakovsky is pretty much the worst role model of Brakebills. He gives her Adderall to help her mind focus as she strives to regain her magic prowess and says, “Drugs are fun.” 

Senator Gaines makes Kady sacrifice him for the ritual to take his power. She doesn’t take it lightly, but it needs to be done.

Umber tells Eliot the truth about Fillory. He was never meant to save it and it’s only a matter of time before Ember destroys it in a childish fit. He’s quite the fickle god, but aren’t they all. Umber gives Eliot and Quentin the grandfather clock.

Before Penny and Sylvia can get the hell out of dodge, the poison weakens them. She tells him that he must leave her to survive and that her book revealed she would die here. Penny returns to the physical house with book in hand and collapses in front of Kady.

The Lorians come a-knocking for their king’s whereabouts and the truth sends them into a murderous rage. Stab first, ask later. They slit throats and Josh locks himself in a room with the two council members we ever really take note of.

Julia seals Gaines’ magical energy into a bullet. Julia’s going to turn a gun into a god killing weapon. 

After inhaling his own smoke distraction, Josh sees Fen and swallows the fairy realm tincture to follow her.

Julia and Kady cast a giant storm to lure Reynard out in the hopes of seeing Persephone again. It works way too easily. Julia holds him at gunpoint. The storm suddenly stops and Persephone appears. Of all the times that you should’ve stepped in, this is the time you decide to. Really? You’re a real piece of work, Persephone.

Persephone begs Julia to spare Reynard and admits that he is her son. Reynard’s eyes dart from one to another like a child awaiting his form of punishment, beating or time-out. Julia lets him go and Persephone takes him away for the latter option. I know Julia took the higher road by sparing him, but Kady just killed an innocent man for all of this so she’s beside herself with rage. Maybe you should’ve went through with it Julia, but I guess I’ll commend your strength and decency. Julia gets her shade back, a gift from Persephone.

Eliot’s plan is to find a way to stay in Fillory forever without being banished and stop Ember from being able to end it. Quentin compares it to the Beast’s plan, but he invokes silence when Eliot asks for a better idea.

What did you think? Have you even seen a bigger brat than lil’ tot Reynard or did you appreciate the acknowledgements The Magicians made to their awful changes from the novels? Let us know. We’d love to hear it. Especially if you’ve seen the light and prefer the source material, my comrades in the land of creative license.

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