Julia’s family is worried about her, but we don’t see her for much of this week’s episode. Instead, we’re sent with the newly transformed geese-students to Brakebills South, a chilly torture chamber of secrets presided over by a drunken Russian magician named Mayakovsky. Back at Brakebills proper, we’re treated to the side story of Margo and Eliot’s dreams of Ibiza, which are thwarted alternately by love and the desire for magical liquor (of course).
Before we get to anything else, this episode was notable for the notable number of partial F-bombs dropped. Twitter lit up, with people asking each other if they’d heard the whole word, or whether it was allowed on TV . . . and an answer from one of the show’s writers appeared. Let me tell you—none of it sounded partial!
Meanwhile, the characters have to put on their thermal union suits and zip their lips, because Mayakovsky’s “welcome to Antarctica” schtick involves a spell to prevent everyone from talking. First, they practice solo, driving nails into slabs of wood (an interesting metaphor for what occurs later in the episode), before pairing up to try and mind-control critters like fireflies and hideous, stinging worms.
Back at Brakebills, Margo is frustrated by Eliot’s new boyfriend—who may not be who he seems—and is angry that this new fling might prevent their Ibiza trip. Nevertheless, they’re dedicated to studying Arabic in order to try and decipher a spell, discovered by Eliot, which claims to produce magical gin.
Unfortunately for everyone, Eliot’s listening skills are not as practiced as his drinking or his make-out skills. Gin sounds awfully like DJINN, or a genie. And that is what they produce. Cue the swears . . . .
And a breakthrough occurs at Brakebills South, where Quentin and Alice discover that they have some furry feelings for each other. The whole fox-transformation-spicy-times scene was handled imaginatively by the show, which is sort of hard to wrap your mind around especially because the characters are only spending a single episode of the show in Antarctica. Also: many furry jokes were cracked.
Perhaps most notably, Kady lets down her guard (literally and physically) and allows Penny to see what has been going on for her. They reconnect, but Kady still doesn’t know her mother is dead (thanks a lot, Julia). Mayakovsky finds out, however, and announces her banishment. Poor Penny has lost her again.
Next week though? EEEEEEEEEEK! Looks like Margo was right on about Eliot’s new boy toy, and the Beast is back. Catch a preview here, and until next week, please remember to study your Arabic.