‘The Magicians’: Being unkillable is my discipline

The Magicians
“Lost, Found, Fucked”
January 30, 2019

“Go in the woods.  Get a pig.”

The Monster could just conjure one, but it has to be caught with human hands and stained with human effort.  A wild pig. The younger the better. Enyalius won’t come without a sacrifice.

Brian balks when the Monster tells him to kill the pig and spread its entrails on the altar.  He is traumatized and covered in (more) blood and he has reached his limit.  He tells the Monster that he is not his pal nor his playmate and he’s not afraid of him.

The Monster is aghast at Brian’s suggestion that he should just kill him.  He’s wounded by the very thought.  He would never do that.

But he would snap Brian limb by limb until he gives in.


The one arm is all it takes. 

Brian prays and Enyalius appears.  When the god won’t give back what was taken from the Monster, the Monster tries to take it.  He splits the god’s belly open and roots around in his innards, but it’s not there.  Because he’s just a man, a servant to Enyalius, sent in the god’s place.

Marina 23’s phone begins buzzing as Trevor, Hansel and Sam slowly come around from the no peeking aftershock.  Dean Fogg shouts at her from a pre-recorded message.  He says the enchantment is NOT to be tampered with.  It will not be circumvented or defeated. Walk away now … or death is certain.

The only thing missing from the message is a MWAH-HAH-HAH.

bob's burgers evil laugh

Or Dean Fogg just coming out and saying the spell is cloaking his favorite students.

Marina 23 shoos Sam and Trevor into the kitchen and gets handsy with Hansel.  The locking spell on his arm confirms her hunch of who he is. She tells Hansel she’s making him useful as she burns it off.

Trevor finally realizes that Janet is missing.

She’s tromping through the forest, tromping through the forest, tromping through the forest.  She comes to a lake (that she hopes is full of vodka) and bends down to drink.  That seems like a super unwise thing to do in Fillory—confirmed when a ghostly white arm shoots out of the water and pulls her in.

Janet hauls herself onto the stone outcropping of a cave.  She finds herself at the feet of a manphibian (which, what’s up with the fish dudes this season?) who apologizes for the suddenness of their introduction. Lord Fresh is the keeper of High King Margo’s birthright box.  Janet misinterprets Lord Fresh’s intentions towards her “birth box”. 

“Ain’t happening.  So back up, Shape of Water.”

blobfish ted cruz

Lord Fresh clarifies. Her birthright box, the MacGuffin which helpfully filled in all the details of her absence, her loss of self, and her return to Fillory.  And kudos to writer John McNamara for finding a way to skip to the end on that one.

Lord Fresh warns that the birthright box also predicted that the High King would learn what it is to live and rule alone.  Janet takes the revelation in stride.  Alone is her jam, grenouille.

“And no matter what, I rule.”

The spell takes that as a poke. Tremors begin to rock the cave.  Lord Fresh tells Janet she must find Ember before leading her back to shore and flinging a live fish at her.  


Enjoy lunch!

Alice uses a spoon to unscrew the joint between the two sections of pneumatic tubing that run through her cell.  She pulls them apart and sticks her arm in one of the sections, scraping a bloody gash on the sharp edge. 

She uses the magic flowing through the tube to cast a spell on the cockroach she’s been hiding. She uses the insect as her eyes and discovers a way out of the library.  

Zelda has a fireplace in her office.  Nick says he’s never met a chimney he couldn’t crack.

Todd is slumped over his desk outside Dean Fogg’s office.  Fogg wonders if Todd is drunk. It’s all the distraction Marina needs to run up on Fogg and jam a syringe into his neck.  She says it’s the same potion he gave Hansel, so … give himself the antidote.  Fogg snaps that there is no antidote! 

Hansel begins to crow from the other side of the room.  Everything Marina has been telling them is true!  Fogg pings on the plural before jumping back to Marina herself.  She sasses the she’s from the timeline where Henry owes her child support.  She says she’s kidding, but the spell is no joke.  She guesses Fogg has a day before it kicks in.  He better get to a lab and get to it.  

Because he won’t like the new him.

Instead of reversing the spell, Dean Fogg spends the day putting his affairs in order.  He instructs Todd to record his activities in minute detail for his memoir.  

He starts with Walter, who Fogg calls the best drinking companion he ever had.  Walter is like, thanks? We only drank together twice?  Fogg explains that he’s a high-functioning alcoholic who prefers to do his serious drinking alone, so when he weeps he can wallow in self-loathing without embarrassment. 


Did you get that Todd?  Yes?  Fantastic.

Fogg hands a large roll of bills to Ashley in the library.  He says it’s not her fault he’s always broke; he’s a degenerate gambler who could use magic to alter the outcome of any game, but then he couldn’t relive the secret shame he’s held since he was 2-years-old.  What he craves most in the world is the degradation of losing.  He thanks her for every single moment of that.

Ashley tells him he’s $56 short.

Todd smiles as he scribbles away.  Gold.

Later, Fogg sits in his office making edits to Todd’s handwritten draft. Kim comes in and tells him she doesn’t belong at Brakebills.  He’s literally the only one who thinks she does … and he’s leaving.

“ … TODD.”


Fogg admits he probably owes Kim an explanation.  He says his life is made up mostly of regrets—a fact he is suddenly forced to face.  And his greatest regret is what he did to the most maddeningly millennial students he’s ever had.

The liquor bottles on the side table prepare to fling themselves at Fogg and Kim’s heads.  He magics them back. An advantage of being the spell caster.

Fogg tells Kim that he will never be able to correct what he did to them … but one day, she might.  And if having his own identity erased is the cost of keeping his students safe—keeping them alive—then he will accept it.

He shares his final few hours with his tailor, Twin Peaks’ Audrey Horne.  She tells him that he’s been perfecting his identity spell as long as she’s known him.  The bespoke suits and hand sewn shirts are his armor and disguise, to keep the world away and hide his heart.

Dean Fogg leaves Brakebills and finds himself on the street outside of Marina 23’s building.  His suit has been replaced with shabby, threadbare clothes.  He holds a plastic change cup.  Marina tells Fogg he’s now the saddest loser she ever buried.

“Hi, Dad.”

Tick pulls acting High King Fen from a council meeting to attend to an urgent matter.  Royal guards arrested a fish poacher who claims to be High King Margo. He silently mouths the word because, unlike Fen, the spell only has to tell Tick once not to poke it.

They readily accept Janet’s story when she tells them Ember told her she had to get to Fillory quick and dirty. They’re elated at the news that Ember has returned from the dead. Fen explains it’s necessary that they find him. 

Since the god’s return, the naturally occurring levels of opium in Fillory’s air have become saturated. For some it’s tolerable. Others find themselves nodding off at inopportune times—like council meetings—and yet others dance about in the nude. Fen says it sounds lighthearted, but it’s actually resulted in a number of deaths, so.

They plot the risen Ember’s movements across the kingdom from party to orgy to party.  If he continues moving east, he should end up at the Hare on the Ass Tavern.

Kim realizes that she’s one of Fogg’s spelled students and enlists Todd to help her reverse it.  The Library’s magic rationing gives them their first breadcrumb. A spell that big would need an uninterrupted supply of magic—like say the juice from a perpetual battery.  

They find the blinky, glowy, gently pulsing orb in Fogg’s office.  Kim slowly reaches up to touch it … and gets zapped off her ass and thrown across the room by a massive pulse of energy.  She crashes into the wall and crumples to the floor, dead.

With a gasp, she comes back to life moments later.

“Well … maybe being unkillable is my discipline.”

Kim keeps touching the orb, and being flung across the room, and dying—much to Todd’s consternation—until she succeeds in overloading it and shorting out the battery.  Everyone’s reality and identities are returned to normal, with Margo getting a magnificent HBIC moment as her crown and kingdom are restored to her.  

All hail the King.

And her first act as High King is to ask Bacchus what he’s doing in Fillory and why he’s impersonating Ember.  In answer, he zaps her back to Earth.

The Monster is pleased to have Quentin back.  He was getting a little tired of the Brian game. It’s good to have a friend who understands him.  Quentin is like yeah … and maybe when you get back what the gods took from you, you can give me back my friend Eliot …

The Monster is vexed—VEXED—that Quentin misses the friend who tried to kill him.  He realizes that Quentin misses all of his friends. 


The Magicians airs Wednesday at 9/8 p.m. on SyFy.

Whitney also watches Supernatural and Legacies.  Follow her on Twitter @Watcher_Whitney.

2 thoughts on “‘The Magicians’: Being unkillable is my discipline

  1. LOL – oh dear Thor, that Crowley GIF! That fake hand is so painfully obvious in GIF form.

    Thank you for recapping these, Whitney! I’ve been watching this season and finding everything very difficult to follow – too many threads, too little segue, too quick editing, too many small children interruptions in my house. Your recaps help me immensely to keep up.

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