The Magicians, Episode 12: Thirty-Nine Graves

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Oh, they just love to play with our emotions! Looking at the title of this week’s episode, one could be forgiven for thinking that this week a giant battle will occur where 39 people will die. (Doesn’t happen.) Or that we’ll find out what happened to the missing Brakebills class. (Hi, Josh Hoberman!) Instead, Quentin (Q) slips truth serum to Dean Fogg and discovers that Jane Chatwin has been playing with time (just like the gang has) to find a scenario where The Beast doesn’t obliterate everyone. So far, Q and Fogg have had this conversation 39 times as Jane keeps winding back the clock—and hopefully, this is the instance in which they prevail. We shall see.

This week’s tweeter to follow is Henry Alonso Myers, one of the show’s writers. His feed is full of fun behind-the-scenes details you might have missed with the frenetic camera action during this action-packed episode (all below). Of particular beauty is the Fillory fountain, featuring (what else?) twin rams Ember and Umber. I was a huge fan of the stacks directional sign featuring part of the Dewey number for magic tricks, although I would have preferred the LC for Lev Grossman’s books. And of course, when Julia and Q have to do a little time traveling to get back into Fillory, they must navigate 1942—nice retro poster!




This week’s supreme queen is Summer Bishil’s Margo, Is she Janet or Margo?who steals every scene she’s in. Honestly, I think they sent her to the beach for a few episodes to keep her from taking over the action! This week she does three major things: reminds Q and Eliot that they should be supremely grateful for their tryst, stars in the margo's outfit was a win, until...episode’s best callback to the books where the librarian reminds them that they’ve been to visit her 39 times (and sometimes she’s Janet, like in the books, and sometimes her character is Margo, like in the series), and whips out a gun to shoot one of the evil Neitherlanders. She’s just totally ride or die the whole time—not distracted by stupidity or emotions and is completely focused on the mission at hand, unless her perfectly planned outfit is ruined by the destruction of her emotion bottle. Hey, she’s a stylish lady, all right?

Other highlights:

  • I was so excited for the new ep I started singing...Goodbye, Quentice! Alice is pretty steamed at Q but she puts the nail in the coffin this week by sleeping with, of all people, Penny! And Q has the nerve to get mad at HER?
  • Of course Q falls back into the fountain—the one thing he was NOT supposed to do. But of course, it’s a great excuse to get back with Julia. Fans of the books were able to catch their breath when they discovered that Julia actually got in touch with Our Lady Underground instead of Reynaud.
  • Evidently librarians hate books on the ground and books on fire and love cats. This wasn’t really news, but it’s appreciated all the same.
  • Josh Hoberman appears and provides an explanation for the “missing” Brakebills class! Maybe keep him away from satyrs and centaurs, huh?

This week Twitter celebrated the a thank you from a fan of the great writingreturn of Arjun Gupta, who plays Penny. He’s been MIA shooting another project and his live tweeting has been sorely missed. He’s just so enthusiastic in his online fan interaction and also gives us incredible behind-the-scenes tweets. It’s easy to see that the cast and crew are having just as much fun shooting the series as we are watching it, and that is a wonderful thing indeed.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about next week’s wrap-up. The season is nearly over and since a second season has already been ordered we might just see a huge cliffhanger. One thing is for sure—not everyone’s storylines can be neatly wrapped up by the end of another episode. And honestly, the changes from the books have made the series take on a life of its own. It’s done the books justice while also honoring the television format with quick action shots and gasp-worthy episode endings that keep the momentum flowing. This will be a nail-biter for sure, and nobody really knows what will happen, not even the dedicated book fans. Syfy has done a great job with The Magicians and it’s been a wonderful experience to follow the series this season.



About the Author:

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

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