The Magicians, Episode 9: The Writing Room

Idols fall and heroes die. That’s sort of the loose theme tying together the pieces of this episode, where Julia discovers her ever-increasing magic and Quentin loses the magic of Fillory. Man, stuff just got DEEP, fast.

this is how heroes die tweet

Quentin, or “Q” as Julia calls him, and Alice are intent on finding the lost Fillory and Further, Book 6, which Jane Chatwin might have helped with but, you know, the Beast killed her rather spectacularly in the last episode. Eliot, brokenhearted over having to kill Mike to stop the Beast, decides to tag along after confiding to Q that he and Margo have a portal to England that dumps into their favorite pub (naturally). Eliot swigs from a flask continuously through this episode and I have to confess, I’m a little worried about him. Margo needs to return STAT. Thankfully, Penny joins the crew, too, after Q and Alice discover that Penny is the one responsible for losing Book 6.


Meanwhile, Julia meets a magician locked inside her own body. Kiera can no longer communicate, so when Julia repeats her little party trick of diving into someone else’s mind she learns that Kiera has created an entire world for herself out of the best day ever. Kiera, played by the exceptional Yaani King, was an MIT student and tells Julia that she doesn’t need Brakebills to become a great magician.

In Merry Olde England, our fearsome foursome heads directly for Christopher Plover’s house. Do not pass go, do not collect a bunch of weird old kiddy ghosts that seem to be holding the place hostage! Penny explains that the house is a series of time slips—places where ghosts are reliving their worst moments again and again, without end. Eliot and Alice discover that Plover’s sister drugs and kills the kids when they bother Plover’s writing. Penny finds out that she has a “quiet place” that would put the Blair Witch basement to shame. And poor Q—he discovers that Plover was a gross, nasty molester! Martin Chatwin is subjected to some rather unspeakable treatment and suddenly, Q makes a connection: Martin’s fear that Fillory was rejecting him may have been tied up with his anguish over being assaulted by Plover. And the realization that Plover was hoping to find a way back into Fillory with Martin, so that they could, uh, hang out some more together, was an even bigger fear!

Eliot observes that the Plover house is a "vaguely whimsical horror show"

So Fillory has turned out to be a little bit of a nightmare factory.

Meanwhile, Julia’s own nightmare has come into focus: Kiera has a bunch of spell mechanics to relay to Julia, then she has asked to die. Julia is anguished that she has been drawn into this, because she obviously doesn’t want to be involved in any more deaths, but Kiera’s resolve is pretty strong, and Julia ultimately respects this wish. It’s a real turning point for Julia. Kiera’s observation that the world hasn’t had much to offer smart women rings true for Julia—she realizes she has to let go of her rejection from Brakebills to move forward and create a life for herself, magic or not, that will help her realize her own potential.

Finally, after digging up a dead body in the cellar, Q locates the magic button that supposedly opens a door to Fillory. Penny being Penny, however, cracks open its case and grabs it. His instant disappearance means that the next episode may be even wilder than this one—and that’s saying something.

If you’re not watching the “inside the episode” extras on YouTube, you’re missing out—the actors do a great job of explaining their characters’ inner thoughts and motivations. Here’s this week’s video:



About the Author:

Erin Downey Howerton is a public librarian in Kansas. Follow her on Twitter at @hybridlib.

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