“The Magicians” Recap: Unconventional Field Trips

Take a trip to The Underworld this week on The Magicians as Quentin and Julia try and track down Julia’s lost Shade and find way more than they bargained for. Fillory is hit with a series of seemingly random hijinks that end in heartbreak and some serious relocation. Penny finds an unlikely ally in his mission to get into The Poison Room and Reynard’s son learns more about what it means to be the son of a god. “The Rattening” was written by Mike Moore and directed by James L. Conway. Here is what went down.

TAKE A NUMBER | Quentin (Jason Ralph) and Julia (Stella Maeve) set out to find The Ancient One aka an actual dragon and it leads them to a sewer that can only be opened by baby teeth (because sure). Luckily, Quentin still has one so they are granted entrance to the dragon’s lair but the great dragon isn’t done yet. She agrees to transport them to The Underworld in exchange for the Chatwin’s button, taking away their only way in and out of Fillory. Julia refuses but Quentin is determined to help his friend get her shade back so he agrees. They have 24 hours to get her shade and get back to the portal before she eats them, as dragons do. Their first stop is Reception that looks exactly like a hotel lobby complete with bellhops and pamphlets that don’t quite help anyone. They watch an orientation video that directs any Shadeless people to see a Bellhop but they watch another Shadeless gentleman be forcibly removed and decide that might not be in their best interest at this time. The go to reception to be checked in and because of the confusion with time loops, must hang out at a waystation until their paperwork is all sorted. Julia just so happens to know some recently departed souls and asks to be sent to their waystation. She and Quentin arrive at a cosmic bowling alley to find her friends who were killed by Reynard last season and they are all delighted to see her, including Richard (Mackenzie Astin) who has no idea about what the trickster god wearing his skin is doing up on Earth. Julia enlists his help to figure out where the Shades are being kept and while he creates a distraction, she and Quentin get what they need from Reception and head to Elysium, home of Persephone and a Shade orphanage of sorts. There they find hundreds of Shade children who perform small miracles for needy people in case the fact that they were children wasn’t tugging on enough heartstrings. A Shade boy points them in the direction of Shade Julia and they go looking for her but not before Julia sees a painting of Persephone and realizes that she is Our Lady Underground that she and her friends were trying to summon when Reynard showed up. Quentin finds Shade Julia (guest star Imogen Tear) and brings her to Actual Julia but she isn’t alone either. She stumbled upon Shade Alice (guest star Ava Telek) who is delighted to see Quentin again. They can’t spend long there for fear of being eaten by a dragon (this show!) so they must bid Shade Alice farewell as they can’t take both of them. Julia tells Quentin to go through the portal first and then follows him hand-in-hand with not her own Shade, but Alice’s. He tries to stop her from giving up her only chance at getting her Shade back but she insists saving Alice is more important. The three of them get back in the elevator and return to Earth together.

WHAT’S IN A NAME | Penny (Arjun Gupta) is still trying to figure out what is in the Poison Room all while relearning magic by using sphincter magic (because this show can). The Librarian (guest star Mageina Tovah) gives him his next assignment as well as introduces him to his supervisor, a sarcastic teenager named Sylvia (guest star Roan Curtis) who is far more similar to him than he would like to admit. Kady (Jade Tailor) and Penny share a literal sex dream or InceptiSex if you will, and after they talk about the Poison Room and plot how to get in it. Penny figures that if he can read the Librarian’s life book, the code should be in there somewhere but he doesn’t know her real name. He tries to get it out of her first by flirting and then by stealing her lunch bag when that doesn’t work but it is Sylvia that gets him the name he needs. Because it could never be that easy, he finds a card where her book should be informing him that the book has also been moved to the Poison Room. Back to square one, he has a dream date with Kady again but this time they are interrupted by Sylvia, who somehow knows how to brain hijack him and offers her assistance. Penny isn’t for it but Kady likes the girl’s moxy and convinces him to give her a chance.

OH RATS | In Fillory, Eliot (Hale Appleman) is stressed to his breaking point with Fen missing and his future husband Idri (guest star Leonard Roberts) arriving in the castle. Idri tries to help calm Eliot but before he can have any real fun, he and several other members of the castle (including Abigail the Sloth) are turned into rats with no explanation. Margo (Summer Bishil) accuses the fairy ambassador of being responsible but he denies it and tells her the fairies aren’t the only ones annoyed with them right now. He also tells her that Fen is still very much a human and is with the fairies in their realm. In an attempt to get to the bottom of it, Eliot spikes the wine with truth serum and starts questioning the council. Margo was dosed too and admits to the deal she made with the fairies. Eliot is furious and betrayed and has her locked in the dungeon. There she is visited by Abigail’s handler/companion who gives her a potion that will transport her to the fairy realm so she can save Fen. She takes it and disappears. Elsewhere in the castle, Eliot, with no warning, is transported back to Earth and to the Physical Kids’ Cottage. It would seem he has been kicked out of Fillory and with Margo gone as well, Fillory is currently ruler-less.

JEDI MIND TRICK | Gaines (guest star Christopher Gorham) has returned to his normal day job as a senator but now with Reynard (also Mackenzie Astin) by his side whispering in his ear. He doesn’t appear to be too thrilled about it and still resists using his powers to get his way now that he knows he has them. Reynard convinces him to use his powers to get a much needed bill passed but he overdoes it and leaves the man with chest pains. He panics and tries to tell his wife the truth but accidentally uses his powers of suggestion on her as well to make her support him. He does some research on Reynard and learns of all the horrible things he’s done and when Reynard pays him another visit, tells him that he is done using his powers. Later, he goes to find Kady at Brakebills and tells her he wants in on whatever plan they have for taking down Reynard once and for all.

• Line of the Night is the easiest it’s ever been with a literal dragon saying, “F*cking Millennials.”
• I would like to give a round of applause to the effects department for the Shade Holes and the DRAGON.
• I have more Julia feelings than I know what to do with and they just keep piling on with every selfless act she does, Shade or no Shade.

So what did you think? Did Julia really give up her last chance at getting her Shade back? Will this work to bring Alice back? Who is behind the mischief in Fillory? What is in the Poison Room? Let us know your theories in the comments below!

Be sure to catch The Magicians Wednesdays at 9/8c on Syfy!

Photo Credit: Eike Schroter/Syfy