“The Magicians” Recap: Team Up for a Take-Down

Another season of The Magicians comes to a close answering many questions and posing even more. The battle for Fillory’s life comes down to those who love it the most and the fate of magic itself has never been more at stake. The season ended with a bang (or ten) and leaves a whole new set of problems in store for our heroes come Season 3 next year. “We Have Brought You Little Cakes” was written by Sera Gamble & John McNamara and directed by Chris Fisher. Here’s what went down in the Season 2 finale.

FILLORY’S LAST STAND | Fillory is a sneeze away from crumbling all together and Eliot (Hale Appleman) needs everyone’s help. And “everyone” includes Julia (Stella Maeve) who is full of her Shade and all the emotions its absence had been protecting her from. Initially, Eliot came to her for her amulet of hiding from gods but upon seeing her in that state, he recruits her to join Team Fillory to make sure she isn’t alone right now. He then finds Quentin (Jason Ralph) and sends him to Vancouver to plead with Umber for assistance in saving Fillory. Umber seems less than interested and has already moved on to his newest creation that he requests Quentin’s honest notes on. And my “request” he means “given no choice in the matter”. Off in the fairy realm, Margo (Summer Bishil) and Josh (guest star Trevor Einhorn) find Fen (Brittany Curran) and try to rescue her but she refuses to leave without her baby. Before they can argue, they are summoned to speak to the Fairy Queen (guest star Candis Cayne) herself who is only entertaining speaking to them because of their shared interest in making sure Ember (guest star Dominic Burgess) doesn’t destroy Fillory. She sends them back to Fillory but in exchange for passage she takes Margo’s eye. She is fitted for a bedazzled eye patch and takes her place as resident pirate queen.

Eliot and Margo make up and use a plant she got from the Fairy Queen to bake Ember’s favorite little cakes to lure him to the castle. Once he arrives, they try to convince him to hold off on destroying Fillory with the promise that they can make it more interesting. He is intrigued but doesn’t like the idea of doing any kind of work – his brother was always the “work” one. Speaking of Umber, he and Quentin take a test drive of Umber’s new world and Quentin points out that it’s a little bland. He tries to convince Umber to go back to Fillory but Umber refuses. Thankfully, Quentin saw that answer coming and had Julia carry the palm-sized world to Fillory herself and shake it like a snow globe sending Quentin and Umber cascading into the throne room at right to Ember’s shocked feet. The brothers argue and Ember strangles Umber to death. Right as he does that, Julia uses the spell she learned to take Gaines’s power to suck Umber’s life power into a sword. They play a game of “look over here” to distract Ember and Quentin runs him through with the sword, leaving the brothers dead on the floor next to each other. They think they are successful but what they don’t expect is that Ember and Umber were just teeny-bopper gods compared to their parents and they’ve made those gods angry. In retaliation, all magic is stripped from the world both Earth and Fillory alike. Flash forward to two months later and Fillory receives a visit from the fairies, led by the queen, who are pissed. On Earth, Brakebills continues to teach magical theory but without any actual magic, all the light is gone from the students. One night, Quentin is paid a visit from Julia who has something to show him. She concentrates and causes sparks to shoot from her hands making her the only known source of magic in the entire universe.

VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE | Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) is still holed up at Brakebills South and is still angry at Quentin and the world in general for her current human state. In an attempt to keep her from hurting herself, Quentin gives her a potion but it will only stop the physical injuries. He shows up after they kill the god brothers with a peace offering in the form of a giant plate of bacon and for the first time, she actually seems to have a sliver of happiness when eating it but it is immediately followed by disgust at the greasy mess it leaves behind. He wipes her hands off gently and she realizes how good the contact feels and one thing leads to another and they end up in bed together. He brags about killing a god but Alice, having seen the universe, sits bolt upright realizing the magic confiscation that is about to take place as a consequence. Sure enough, they run out of the room just in time to see the magic plumber turn off magic at their location. Two months later, Alice continues her studies at Brakebills but is paid a visit from the Niffin she had been training with. He warns her that she made many enemies when she was a Niffin and now that she is weak, they will all be coming for her.

DEADLY DEALINGS | The effects of the poison room on Penny (Arjun Gupta) appear to be permanent and he will likely die in a matter of weeks. He isn’t about to lie around and wait for that to happen so he and an emotionally exhausted Kady (Jade Tailor) decide to take off. They stop by Brakebills South first where Kady refuses to talk to Julia and Penny finds out the gravity of the Fillory situation from Eliot. Penny decides he can’t just leave but before Kady can argue, they are both poofed to the Library where apparently Penny’s eternal servitude doesn’t include sick days. The Librarian (guest star Mageina Tovah) gives them a moment to say goodbye before poofing Kady back to Brakebills South. Furious, she tracks down Harriet (guest star Marlee Matlin) and strikes a deal with her. She will make Penny an spy for Harriet (without his knowledge) and in turn, Harriet will save Penny’s life. Two months later, we have no idea what happened to either Kady or Penny or if Penny even survived long enough to get there.

• Previously On feat. Ember and his lack of tact spoke of the Candy Witch paying off. Is that a Season 3 thing or…?
• Line of the Night is Eliot’s motivational call to arms for Julia, “Wanna put some pants on and help me save all of magic?” What makes it even better is the end of the episode when it is revealed she is one who can actually bring it back.
• It is ALWAYS appropriate to break into Hamilton, especially when talking about politics.

So what did you think? What kind of magical (or non-magical) shenanigans will next season entail? Will they meet these uber-gods that took magic away? Where are Penny and Kady?! How long before all of Alice’s enemies from her time as a Niffin come back to get her? What happens when other former magicians learn that Julia has magic again? Let us know your theories in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Eike Schroter/Syfy