Last week The Magicians officially confirmed what we knew all along: Fillory is a real place. What we didn’t know is that The Beast is holding at least one of the missing third year Brakebills students there, which makes it far less enticing to visit. Jason Ralph also gave another outstanding performance as Quentin dealt with his father’s terminal diagnosis–though we all know the real star of the episode was Cancer Puppy.
Tonight’s “Impractical Applications” is one of those episodes that shows just how wonderfully weird The Magicians can be. No matter how dark the subject matter is–and this episode certainly has some dark moments–the show is never guilty of taking itself too seriously. It’s that self-aware aspect that makes it so likeable.
Here are five intriguing hints about this week’s new episode while we await its arrival and secretly cry over the loss of Cancer Puppy.
Quentin can’t stop thinking about Fillory
After Penny dropped the major bombshell that not only is Fillory real, but that The Beast is currently residing there, Quentin is thrown into a serious funk. With Penny (Arjun Gupta) refusing to go back, and the terrifying thought of encountering The Beast again, Quentin’s childhood fantasy has been tarnished and everything he thought he knew about the other world has been thrown out the window. Major bummer.
It’s time for First Years Boot Camp
The Brakebills Upperclassmen take over the school to implement a series of trials set to weed out First Years who can’t make the cut. Remember how bizarre the entrance exam was? Yeah, these trials make those exams look like a basic algebra quiz in comparison. Quentin, Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Penny and Kady (Jade Tailor) are all forced to think way outside the box and their comfort zones.
However, the real stars of the trials are Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo (Summer Bishil). The lovably sarcastic duo are undeniably the comic relief stars of the episode as they relish in their duties as examiners. Appleman and Bishil are a real joy to watch on screen, even when their storylines are stuck in perpetual “supporting” status.
We learn more about Kady’s past
How did Kady get involved with Marina (Kacey Rohl)? Why is she helping her steal from Brakebills? We finally get the answers to these questions and more about Kady’s pre-Brakebills life in this episode when she confides her secrets to the last person you’d expect. We can certainly tell you that it’s not Penny, who continues to feel closer to her in this episode.
Julia seeks revenge against Marina
Life isn’t getting any easier for poor Julia (Stella Maeve), especially now that her boyfriend James (Michael Cassidy) no longer recognizes her thanks to Marina’s spell. In response, Julia plans a counter attack, seeking any help in the Hedge Witch underworld she can get in order to infiltrate Marina’s safehouse. In doing so, she meets a fellow Hedge Witch who wants revenge against Marina just as much.
Personal secrets are revealed
It’s not just Kady whose deep, dark secrets are in the spotlight. In the last part of the trials the First Years are forced to bare all–in more ways than one. Think Breakfast Club with less library books and more ritualistic nudity. The results will dramatically alter the way the students view each other, and will lead to a real metamorphosis of character.
Will everyone make it out of the trials in one piece? Share your predictions in the comments below.
The Magicians airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Showcase and Syfy.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.