THE MAGICIANS Review: “Hotel Spa Potions”


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Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Margo all head back to Brakebills on to find a lost book of battle magic so they can defeat Martin Chatwin. The problem is clues have been hidden in the library, and they must search for the answers. Martin annoys the crap out of Julia with his incessant singing and lack of help, but once he brings Marina into the picture things may change.

There’s a problem in Fillory, and if it isn’t remedied it will be a problem on Earth as well. Martin Chatwin has nearly depleted the magic well that keeps Fillory alive. If it goes dry, magic will die in Fillory, which means it will also die on Earth. The only way to stop that from happening is to stop Martin from drinking from it. They have to kill Martin to save magic. In order to do this Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Margo have to go back to Brakebills. The book they found on battle magic in the castle in Fillory had all of the spells torn out, but it was written in a Brakebills notebook from 1893, so they believe Henry will be able to help them find the missing pages.

Julia continues to work on a way to capture and kill Raynard, but Martin isn’t really being very helpful. Other than critiquing her plans he offers no help. He really just wants to wander around her apartment eating sugary snacks like a child, singing at the top of his lungs like a magical Michael Buble until it drives her nuts. He doesn’t think Julia will be able to lure Raynard by herself since he already knows her. They need some bait. Martin disappears and comes back with Marina, who refuses to help and ends up leaving. Marina thinks she and her fellow hedge witches can join forces to stop Raynard on their own, but learns the hard truth when she shows up to work with her fellow witch. Raynard has already killed her, and he continues to travel all over taking down coven after coven killing all of the witches.

Elliot finds being the king in Fillory is not as interesting as he’d hoped. Now that he’s married he’s unable to have sex with men or really anyone other than his wife. He’s also unable to ever leave Fillory again. When I think of this situation it’s a little off putting. It’s like Fillory has imposed some weird conversion therapy on Elliot that only allows him to have straight sex. I don’t remember this at all from the books, and believe it has to be a construct of The Magicians writer’s room. I’m not sure of the purpose of this situation they’ve thrown Elliot into, but it seems like a conservative’s wet dream to force someone to ungay themselves. Perhaps Elliot will find a loophole, but as of now, this is just another aspect of the story I find troubling on par with Julia and Martin being victims of rape and villains because of it.

There are other problems in Fillory Elliot must work hard to remedy. No crops grow anymore because magic has stopped working, and the people there have never had to grow plants traditionally. Elliot must reach deep into his past, and remember all of the aspects of farm life that he’s blocked out for so long. He shows his subjects the ingenious idea of spreading manure all over as fertilizer in order to help plants grow. It works, and he later dubs himself the “Shit King”. The other problem he doesn’t understand yet. Martin has put a curse on the castle that will kill anyone who tries to take the throne. It’s the reason they find dead people in the throne room when Elliot arrives to have the place cleaned up. Every time kids from Earth came to be Kings and Queens the curse kills them. Will they be able to break the curse?

While everyone else searches for the clues left by professor Bigsby in the library in order to find the battle magic, Penny has trouble with his hands. They continue to have a mind of their own, but the librarian believes she may be able to heal them. While she’s doing the spell to mend his hands, there is a moment between her and Penny. He tries to seduce her, and she wants to, but she tells him not until after he’s graduated. Quentin, Alice, and Henry track down professor Bigsby to her home in Rhode Island after finding a clue in the book she’d hidden in the library. It turns out she and Henry had a pretty sexual past together, which makes for some awkward revelations in front of Quentin and Alice. She agrees to give Alice the spell for the battle magic, but Alice is the only one who can wield the spell. Henry also gives them all their own fire demons placed in a sigil in their backs that they can control to unleash on Martin when the time is right.

Quentin warns Julia to stay out of their way when they come for Martin, but she also warns him that if they come before she gets her revenge on Raynard they better watch out. Marina is so scared after she finds her fellow witches dead that she arrives at Brakebills seeking asylum. Henry turns her away. Marina goes to the only place she has a chance of surviving, to Julia’s to work together to stop Raynard. Will they kill Raynard before the rest of the crew shows up to kill Martin? Will things go as planned, or will it get messy?


Season 2, Episode 2 (S02E02)
The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9PM on SyFy

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For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
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