Synopsis of 3×06: The key quest takes Quentin on a solo sea voyage, where he meets a friend of a friend. Julia and Alice fervently pursue a method to transfer Julia’s magic to Alice that won’t end in their death.


So here’s the skinny:

  • Julia transfers her magical power to Alice, without an unnecessarily premature death. With her newfound power, Alice attempts to run before walking by creating a body from scratch for Penny. As would be expected, it ends badly, with her convulsing and foaming at the mouth. With Penny as the only witness, her fate isn’t looking too good.
  • Quentin’s solo portion of the key quest consists of a sea voyage by Muntjac. The voyage takes him to an uncharted stretch of Fillorian sea called “The Abyss.” In the darkness, Quentin finds Poppy, a Brakebills graduate who has the fourth key hanging from around her neck. However, when she hands the key off to Quentin, he experiences a “haunting” by a depressing ghost of sorts. He outsmarts the spirit and avoids his own suicide, but the key indirectly claims the life of Benedict, the Fillorian map maker.
  • Eliot drugs Margo’s teenage husband. As weird as that sounds, it gets weirder. To avoid consummation she pricks her husband’s babymaker with a frog’s fangs. The weird meter fills higher, as Eliot and Margo discover a huge nest of fairy babies for a fairy army. For good measure, Margo steals some for possible leverage.
  • As mentioned earlier, Benedict meets his end. Yet, it comes at the jaws of a dragon rather than the key itself. For anyone who’s behind on their “Magicians dragon lore,” dragons’ bodies act as portals. Of course, the portals lead to the underworld, which is sure to be the next step of the quest for Quentin and Poppy.

Sorcerous Sloppy Seconds

We get to start the episode off with Julia’s and Alice’s failed magic transfer. Although, it looks like they’re becoming gal pals. Looking back, Julia’s story arc in the last season caused her to derail the climax of Alice’s arc. Julia inadvertently caused Alice’s death and her transformation into the person she’s become. It’s surprising that Alice has yet to make the connection, but I’ll let sleeping dogs lie.

They pay Dean Fogg a visit for a solution to their failure. He’s doing better these days, but he’s not the same Dean who ran Brakebills. Fogg refers them to an incubus, a male succubus.

Real “Monster-In-law”

Margo’s mother-in-law, the queen of the floating mountains tribe, lures Margo into the dungeon. She leaves Margo to her son with a shudder-inducing statement (I kid you not, the repulsion was real): “Hang your sheets out the window afterward dear.”

Still, I’m pretty disappointed that Margo, aka the one-eyed conqueror, aka the destroyer, could do nothing in her moment of need besides calling for her guards. I get this is the season for everyone to be helpless, but it left me wanting more.

Incubus of Wall Street

Julia and Alice sit in some big-shot, metropolitan office as they watch an incubus berate the voice on the other end of his phone line. They ask for his help and specifically, for his penis. Believe me, I sought a different way to refer to it, but I only found filth and absurdity. Regrettably, that’s as good as it gets.

He erupts in laughter, amazed that Fogg believed him years ago when he must have sown this ludicrous idea. Instead, he offers his tail for a few sniffs of their “stress.” Apparently, he’d take that over sex any day.

Marriage Troubles

Eliot returns to Fillory without Fen and Fray. Understandably so, this leaves the Fairy Queen suspicious and she enlists him to aid in the consummation of Margo’s marriage. He reluctantly agrees, but this is our boi Eliot, so he’ll figure something out.

Into the Abyss

Against his wishes, Quentin finds himself on a sea journey without his friends. This trip is exactly what Quentin needs and seems a better cure for his depression and self-doubt than any professionally prescribed treatment. He’s almost childish with excitement and appreciation until he reaches “The Abyss.”

In the darkness, his hand-held telescope calls his attention to Poppy, a Brakebills graduate from Josh Hoberman’s class. When he tells her of his quest, she unveils the fourth key and gladly hands it right over. Well, that’s an oversimplification.

Oh, You’re Still Here?

Penny’s still lurking around, a passenger to his own life and that of everyone around him. Hyman interrupts Penny as he watches Julia and Alice complete their magic transference ritual. He suggests that Penny leave forever since he has no future sticking around with the others.

The “Douche” Key

When he doesn’t take the key right away, she places it in his hand in his drunken stupor. He awakes to another Quentin sitting a few feet away and criticizing him with grim personal truths.

A brisk return to Poppy and confrontation reveals that the key causes a depressed, pessimistic version of the keyholder to manifest and plague them with bitter comments of self-hate. Poppy also mentions that she was the only survivor left from the group who found the key and three of them owe their deaths directly to the key.

A Deceiving Carriage Ride

Eliot convinces the Fairy Queen to send Margo and Prince Fomar on a honeymoon. During the carriage ride, Eliot drugs the Prince. Eliot and Margo then proceed to investigate a lead Prince Ess provided them by messenger earlier.

In the place of Fillorian orchards now stand a field of mushrooms. Further investigation reveals that every single mushroom is a fairy fetus. The fairies are building an army! But not if Margo has a say, at Eliot’s disapproval she steals a few for insurance.

The Key Claims a Life

Quentin refuses to hand the key off to an unknowing individual because it could lead to their death. Instead, he attempts to withstand the torture of his own mind knowing exactly what to say to drive him insane with guilt and regret. He orders Benedict, the mapmaker, to tie him to the mast.

Once Quentin lets slip the occasionally positive abilities of the keys, Poppy steals it back and tries to escape with it. When Benedict goes to retrieve it from her, shockingly, he wrestles it away with a punch square in the face. Sadly, Benedict is too weak to handle the power of the key, a fact hinted at earlier in the episode by Benedict’s confession of his own daily depression.

Downwards and Onwards

Benedict’s death sucked for more reasons than one. While his character is now gone, his death at the hands of a dragon means his body went directly to the underworld. Sadly for our hero, Benedict had the key on his person upon his death, so the key went right along with him.

Room for Two?

Quentin isn’t the only one who might be going to the underworld. Our last sighting of Alice was her foaming at the mouth and convulsing on the floor. See, after Penny confessed that he was leaving, Alice just casually suggested she make him a new body. Into the credits, we heard the dancing fish sign singing, Penny’s only tool of communication.

Not a bad episode. Not quite the best we’ve seen so far, but definitely one I enjoyed. Felicia Day’s appearance may have had something to do with that, but never mind my possible bias.

As far as her feelings go, Felicia Day had some interesting views on her appearance on The Magicians. Without giving away too heavy of a spoiler, she even compared it to her role in the CW’s popular tv show Supernatural!

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