Meanwhile, back in Fillory. . .
I love starting with Eliot because he’s really coming into his own as High King. I predict great things from Hale Appleman in season two! Currently, my status is: not disappointed.
Apparently, magic is being sucked out of Fillory, with Fillorian crops as collateral damage. The peasants are used to deploying a little magic to get things to grow and without it, nothing flourishes. So much for Eliot’s wish to become the Champagne King! In beautiful contrast to the malaise he suffered last season, this Eliot springs into action and starts a Royal Dung Delivery service. Guess his background as an Indiana farm kid comes in handy occasionally after all. He also forges a deeper connection with Fen, who feels like she’s falling down on the spousal front. Will her seduction be successful?
Speaking of magic dying, what’s up with that? Apparently, now that the gang has unleashed the Beast (Martin Chatwin), he’s sucking the magic out everywhere. It’s not super clear how he’s doing it, but it’s a good plot point nonetheless. Julia is hosting the Beast at her place on earth, and he’s doing a super job of driving her nuts. He wants some of her shade to feed on, and tries to convince her it’s for her own good. She resists, but it’s wearing thin due to his obnoxious constant. . . singing? Yes, Marty Chatwin loves Broadway, and he sings his way through the episode. After he does a little exploring and brings Marina back to the apartment to help motivate Julia, we see her run back to Brakebills and beg for sanctuary. Trojan horse much?
While all of this stirs around, we find Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Margo back at Brakebills. They make a real it’s Britney, bitch-style entrance into the Physical Kids’ cottage, and immediately set to rooting around for a solution to the Beast problem. Dean Fogg has an answer, of course: battle magic! But Defense Against the Dark Arts—sorry, battle magic—hasn’t been taught since some pixie was at school lo these many years ago, and she hid all the battle magic spells in the library. So, quest time! At least Q and Alice keep questing.
Penny’s hands are still acting up, and it’s up to Professor Sunderland to help him. . . get tied up with delicate jewelry-type chains and receive a massage with magical oils before not looking at his hands for 12 hours to break the curse. It’s a bit much, but honestly, the writers are onto something here with the chemistry between Penny and Prof. Sunderland. Anne Dudek and Arjun Gupta make these scenes pop with heat, despite Prof. Sunderland reminding Penny that they can’t play a little Marvin Gaye and get comfy together until he graduates. Oof!
When the gang reunites, Dean Fogg wants to give them a little protection, so he gets everyone drunk and gifts them something that in the books only comes with graduation: cacodemons! These highly painful tattoos store evil spirits that 1) can only be used once 2) and can blast craters in most evil things should be super helpful when it comes to fighting the Beast.
In the end, Quentin returns to Earth to warn Julia that she’d better steer clear of the Beast because they’re coming for him with turbo-pixie-powered battle magic. Here’s the real dilemma: Julia needs the Beast to help her defeat Reynaud and achieve her revenge, and she’s hell-bent on completing her own mission first. She can’t see the danger of magic disappearing from the known universe. It sets old friends Q and Julia back in their old combative modes of communication, each needing the other to understand where they’re coming from in order to join forces and become collectively more powerful together.
The trailer for next week shows Alice getting insanely angry and throwing huge magics at the Beast, so definitely plan to tune in! Will she niffin-ize herself early in this season? Can Penny manage not to throw himself at Prof. Sunderland every time they meet? Can the Beast stop belting out show tunes? Let’s see.