Previously on The Magicians, ‘The Strangled Heart’
Every time Quentin gets what he thinks he wants, it sucks. He learns magic is real and he’s a magician, but he has The Beast trying to kill him and everyone he knows. He learns Fillory is real, but The Beast is there. This week, Quentin gets to spend time in the house of the man who wrote his beloved Fillory books, and he learns that man was a monster.
Penny had the missing Fillory manuscript after all, and though he tossed it after spilling beer on it, he did read it first. It was written by Jane, who wanted to set the record straight on all the things the prior books written by Plover got wrong. She talks of a magical button, which is also a key to Fillory, and it’s in Plover’s home in England.
Through the eyes of the spirits who reside there, including the missing Chatwin children, the students witness Plover’s crimes and his sister’s sadistic assistance in keeping them hidden. Plover was a child molester who may still be alive and trapped in Fillory. Does this mean Plover is The Beast?
Julia accepts Richard’s offer to use the magic she knows to do some good. The same spell she used to enter Quentin’s mind allows her to enter the head of a hedge witch, Kiera, who is living in a vegetative state. Julia writes down the steps to a complicated spell Kiera was working on before she fell ill. While sitting in the park in Kiera’s mind, Julia reveals the best moment of her life was time spent with Quentin as children. They drew a Fillory map under a table. Kiera advises Julia chase that joy, which may find Julia reuniting with Quentin in Fillory now that he has the magic button.
This was one of the darker episodes of the season, and The Magicians does well to reside in those shadows. It’s infinitely more compelling when the students are facing true life-and-death situations than when they’re going through newbie hazing rituals or playing practical jokes. Julia made the painful decision to grant Kiera’s request that she help her die with dignity, and it was the most likable Julia has been all season. Eliot’s deadly actions last week have had an effect on him, and it has turned the character into someone more interesting to watch as he flexes his power. When Alice tearfully pleads that they remain at Plover’s to figure out a way to free the children’s spirits, Eliot practically hisses at her in response.
“Life isn’t fair. Why the fuck should death be any different?”
Now that Quentin and company have a better idea of who and what they’re dealing with, plus a way to Fillory, a showdown with The Beast can’t be far off, and I can’t wait.
The Magicians S1E9