‘The Magicians’: Breaking things is my discipline

The Magicians
“Marry, Fuck, Kill”
February 13, 2019

“Where do gods go for magical medical advice?”

Josh suggests Julia look for help from the manaeds—high priestesses slash nurses of the gods and followers of Bacchus. Penny 23 is more than happy to transport Julia to Fillory.  They walk through a clearing full of passed out partiers.

Penny says nature isn’t supposed to be this sticky. 

They come upon Shoshanna the manaed just as she is putting her head through a noose. Bacchus is dead.  She has no god to serve. When Penny and Julia try to stop her, she thanks them for having a less than basic understanding of her life’s purpose.

Julia tempts her down with a bottle of peach schnapps.  Through her tears, Shoshanna says Bacchus left it for the talking bears to find.  Julia pours one out and they toast to the god.  She quickly gives Shoshanna the sitrep—she was a goddess who gave away her power and now she can’t use magic and she’s indestructible. Little help?

Shoshanna says she knows a ritual that can help with a diagnosis … but it’s pretty intimate.  The problem is that she can’t perform it because she doesn’t believe in Julia.  She can interpret, but Julia needs someone who worships her, body and soul.

Penny 23 who lost his Julia in their shared timeline is like, 


He’s game for the anointing with oil until the part where Julia has to strip naked.  He turns around and says he’s not really comfortable with it.  Julia tells him it’s not really about him and maybe he should just get over himself because she’s goddamned Julia.

get over it

Anointing with oil.  Anointing with oil.  Anointing with oil, followed by the bathing of feet.  They bring the large chalice full of bath water to Shoshanna. She looks into its murky depths. A burst of flame spurts into the air, burning orange before turning blue-green.  Shoshanna gasps and realizes that Julia wasn’t shitting her about being a goddess.

She says Julia may think she doesn’t have any power, but the manaed has never seen anything like this before.  And now she has a new deity to follow.

“It’s like I’m caught in a real-life game of marry, fuck, kill.”

Josh suspects the violent dreams and bloody animal carcass he’s been waking up to are related to his sexually transmitted lycanthropy and something called “the quickening.”


He confronts the cryptozoology professor who infected him.  She explains that lycanthropy is technically a curse tied to the lunar cycles.  Behavioral changes are mostly nonlethal … except, during the quickening.

Highlander Quickening

Helen says luckily it only happens every 30 years or so.  In the 48 hours preceding the quickening, all lycanthropes experience … urges. It’s the curse’s way of perpetuating itself by compelling a werewolf to have sex with an uninfected person.  Or kill them.  

“It’s quite clever, actually.”

Josh thinks the possibility of raping or murdering someone is the most cunning goddamned thing he’s ever heard!  Helen suggests he try Tinder.  It worked for her. She’s sure he’ll have no trouble finding someone to dance with before the wolf makes a choice for him.

Good luck with that.

Josh confides in Margo; she tells him they’re going to fix this bullshit because she’s goddamned Margo.  She’s not going to let Josh nut sack out on her.  They’ll fix it or die trying.

As he and Margo research, Josh’s phone pings with an Uber booking.  He realizes that he—or his witness protection self, Isaac—had sex with a fare without revealing his L+ status. 

Josh breaks the news to Enid that she might have, oh, caught a herpes-like thing from Isaac, but the only way to know is to check and see if she’s experiencing any symptoms.

As he runs through them, Enid breaks down.  She says it’s been a really hard couple of days.  Josh slowly pushes open the door to her bedroom.  There’s a body torn limb from limb scattered across the blood-soaked bed.  An arm slides off the end of the mattress and wetly thuds to the floor.

“It’s not that bad, is it?”

While Josh is dealing with that, Margo finds an Indonesian spell to prevent transformations.  The main ingredient is the living heart of a Komodo dragon; she’s pretty sure Kanye has one.  They steal his lizard and Josh eats its heart.  

“That’s not the way I thought I’d meet Kanye … it’s actually less messed up.”

As they drive back to the city it becomes apparent that the spell didn’t work.  Josh begins hallucinating and shrieks at Margo to pull the car over.  He runs howling into the woods where he turns a tree into a werewolf.

“It’s not a permanent solution.”

Josh has Margo drive him to Brakebills where he locks himself in the Tyler Lockwood Memorial Werewolf Cellar and Panic Room. With the quickening only a few hours away, going mad and ripping out his own guts seems like the best option.

Margo is like, come on! There are plenty of people who deserve to be killed!  She can think of a half dozen at Brakebills alone.  She’s sure she can get at least one of them down there.

“I mean, Todd totally owes me.”

Josh says the only thing he can live with is dying in the cage.  He yells that he doesn’t want to die and Margo not giving up is only making it harder!

Margo opens up the cage and locks herself in with Josh.  If he wants to do something stupid, fine.  She’ll do something stupider.  Because she’s not going to lose another friend today.  She can’t make him kill someone, but she can consent.

Having the werewolf sexy times. Having the werewolf sexy times. Having the werewolf sexy times.  Josh is still worried about Margo, but she’s not bothered about her own quickening.  30 years until the next one?  “No way I’m going to live that long.” 

“And if I do, Todd totally owes me.”

Highlander Quickening

She kids!  She kids. Josh tries to process what “this” is now.  It’s just casual, right? They’re not … Margo smiles and reminds him that she saved his life, bitch. She kisses him on the cheek and tells him to casual that.

Margo happily snuggles up against Josh.  He tells her he’s sorry they couldn’t find a way to save Eliot.  A tear slips down Margo’s cheek. She says she thinks he might actually be gone. Kudos to Summer Bishil for the dime she turns on to strip away Margo’s defenses and show us her breaking heart.

Alice is sitting in the secret living quarters of Christopher Plover.  He apologizes for the mess—and for snatching her out of the stacks.  He isn’t sure Alice remembers him, but author of Fillory & Further, pedophile, and child abuser who’s responsible for Martin Chatwin becoming The Beast?  

Yeah, Alice is familiar.  

Her skin wants to crawl right off her bones, but Plover isn’t bothered by that.  He needs her help and he thinks she could use his—he knows where the Revision Room is.  

He shows her an atlas—The World Book—that helps locate different worlds via a cooperative spell.  Plover says he wants to go to a world where he can be happy and do no harm. Alice isn’t sure she believes it, but Plover says he had plenty of time to reflect on his actions—and regret them—while he was being tortured by Martin.

Alice admits she’s done things she regrets.  She doesn’t think she deserves happiness and neither does Plover.

He tells her she can help him on she’s on her own. Seeing no other options, Alice relents. Plover takes her to the Revisions Room and explains that, during his study of magic, he found a spell for automatic writing. You feed it a premise and it constructs an airtight storyline. He says they use it in Hollywood all the time.

“That explains Netflix.”

As he mixes the ingredients for the spell, Plover observes that Alice thinks that what she’s done and who she is are the same thing.  When they don’t match up, she hates herself. He tells her they’ll never match up.

“I break things.”

Quentin listened to his mom’s voicemail, and it is as he feared—his father is dead. 

He missed the funeral and everything leading up to it.  He appreciates Julia wanting to come with him, but there’s nothing she can say to his mom that will change that.

Quentin follows his mother into his father’s large study.  It’s full of model airplanes.  She wonders aloud what was wrong with her perfectly normal ex-husband.  Where were his friends?  She tells Quentin there was no one at the funeral.  

Q is at a loss.  He focuses instead on his father’s things—the books, and models, and photos.  His mother says she found a guy upstate who will take them, but it all has to be boxed up by tomorrow.

“Be careful.  Don’t break anything.”

The Monster appears wondering if Quentin is finished with the killing yet.  His father is dead.  The Monster thought perhaps Q would get angry and kill things.  It’s what he would do. 

Also, the Monster is eating a bag of frozen peas.  They’re not what he’d hoped they would be.

Quentin asks for time to finish packing.  The Monster realizes it’s important to Q.  He says the Loving Your Dead Dad Game is very interesting.  He doesn’t understand it.  Q wonders if there’s someone the Monster misses.  In a small voice, he says he doesn’t remember … but perhaps he could learn something from this.

The Monster takes his bag of frozen peas and goes to sit in the corner and watch.  He smiles and says it’s the weirdest thing he’s ever done.  But maybe it will be fun.

It isn’t.

I'm so bored

The Monster flings one of the models across the room.  It hits the wall and shatters into pieces.  It’s followed by a second, larger plane.  He wonders why Quentin’s mother has such power over him.  Q says that he broke an ashtray once when he was a kid and she still thinks that he breaks everything.  He explains that your parents never change how they see you, no matter what.

And sometimes Q thinks she’s right. Things break around him.  Alice.  His father.  All of goddamned magic.

“Then break them on purpose.”

Quentin snaps the wing off the plane he’s holding.  He heaves the body at the wall.  One by one he breaks them all in a catharsis of shattered plastic.  Q agrees that it feels better after you deal with death.  At least a little.  The Monster says he’s going to need Quentin’s help finding more gods.  He’ll be more useful if he feels better so, 

“You should know your friend Eliot is dead.”

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

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

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