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The Magicians – S1E11 – Remedial Battle Magic

Previously on The Magicians, ‘Homecoming’

Confession: This show almost lost me. Not as a viewer completely, but I felt it slipping further down the list of shows I must see the night they air. My feelings about Quentin and Alice aside, other aspects of the show began to feel repetitive and somewhat boring. Sure, there were still a few killer moments (brief scenes with The Beast, Elliot forced to kill his new lover, etc.), but everything else felt like some combination of: students do spell/have party/are tested though they don’t go to class, students fuck up spell, hijinks ensue.

Images: Syfy

Images: Syfy

And speaking of students, there’s never much actual teaching going on. If Fogg’s words from the first episode are true, they’re supposed to be turning these people into magicians. Yet, they’re rarely in the classrooms. The teachers only appear to bail them out of trouble or tend to their ailments when a spell goes wrong. Unless the point is to groom them with a less hands-on approach and I’m missing it. That’s fine, too. I just wish it was as entertaining as it was the first four episodes.

Quentin and crew agree to head to Fillory to take on The Beast. A few probability spells reveal they’ll probably die. This prompts Penny’s first stomp out. He’s not alone five minutes before The Beast is in his head demanding he turn himself over. If Penny doesn’t, The Beast will just talk him to death. I love Penny, but damn if The Beast isn’t just the best part of this show. I was kinda down to hear him talk for an hour.

When Alice receives word the Traveler who helped them retrieve Penny has committed suicide after hearing voices, the group realize Penny is in danger. Of this he’s well aware as he witnesses his mentor, Stanley, blow his brains out rather than be controlled by The Beast. It’s not until Penny survives a heart attack and gets a stern talking to (and a temporary Beast voice deterrent) from Professor Sunderland does he return to the group, ready to follow through on their Fillory plan.

Thanks to a spell, the group learns Kady is with Julia and they seek her help in boosting their ability to do battle magic – they all pretty much suck at it and Kady is the only one who has ever successfully used such magic on The Beast. Unfortunately for them, though, Kady is a badass because of a decade of training and they don’t have that kind of time. Not to fear: There’s a spell/potion because of course there is.

The spell seems to cause each person to purge all of their emotions, which leads to some soul baring and an off-screen threesome between Quentin, Margo, and Elliot. Yup. Let that marinate.

The Magicians S1E11
  • 7.5/10
    Plot - 7.5/10
  • 7.5/10
    Dialogue - 7.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Magic & Effects - 9/10


I really hope Alice finding out about Quentin’s threesome doesn’t further slow down our trip to Fillory. I don’t want another hour of these two whisper fighting.

People in our Facebook group seem to think Julia (who had a vision of a missing god) is going to summon The Beast in her attempt to call forth a god to rewind time. I didn’t get that, but I’m here for it. Again, we need way more Beast than we’ve been getting.

I know it sounds like I no longer like the show. That’s not true at all. The pacing hasn’t been to my liking (and Quentin and Alice annoy the shit out of me), but whenever people ask about the show, I’m very comfortable and enthusiastic in telling them it’s worth a watch.

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About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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