The Magicians: Divine Elimination   Books Included 
February 9, 2017 7:43 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The Brakebills Royalty (and Penny) prepare to face The Beast, again, while Julia conspires with The Beast and their new ally. Nothing goes as planned, but we saw some of this coming via the books, right? [Warning: fake magic violence to an animal]

SyFy TheMagicians magicians magic FinallySomeTutting InsideOutCat
posted by filthy light thief (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Collider had an interview with The Magicians showrunners Sera Gamble and John McNamara, and they confirmed that Alice's death is final ... in as much as it was final in the books, because that element was pulled from the books semi-intact.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:55 AM on February 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

First and (god willing) only use of "InsideOutCat" as a metafilter tag.

Having read the books this was expected (plus the "previously on" reminding us of niffins was sort of a clue, still I was hoping they would mix it up a little like they have done with other plot points and make it someone else. Not sure how Quentin's caco-demon was able to kill her (though it remains to be seen if niffin-Alice will just get up and bugger off for the time being anyway).

What is up with Ember? He was sort of a jerk in the books, and even more so in the last one, but TV Ember is super jerky and seems to be up to something (be interesting to see if that something is vaguely along the same lines as his plans in Magicians Land).
posted by Captain_Science at 8:32 AM on February 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

What is up with Ember? He was sort of a jerk in the books, and even more so in the last one, but TV Ember is super jerky and seems to be up to something (be interesting to see if that something is vaguely along the same lines as his plans in Magicians Land).

TV Ember is Umber, basically. A child-like God blissfully unconcerned with most of the consequences of his actions.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:27 AM on February 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

Divine elimination. . Like when an angel poops?
posted by some loser at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

The cat mutilation/killing and torture of Marina were pretty much the low points of this episode. I totally could have done without it.

Alice's death was spoiled by io9's "Morning Spoilers" page this morning, specifically the creators talking about the permanency of her death. Doh. I just need to avoid that thing when I haven't watched my television shows. How it happened remained a surprise and despite the "she's dead dead," I can't fathom she's actually dead dead. She'll be back, eventually. One doesn't die in a magical land that doesn't grant some wild loophole or ilk. So it was unsettling, but not alarming.

Based off my comments last week, I was pretty satisfied with how they handled the curse. The gang immediately picked up on it, but not before succumbing to it in the process. That worked for me. I am, however, officially tired of the enchanted hand business. Is that in the books? Does it end soonish?

The Beast's death, I liked it! Well, the part where the moths all flew out of his body cavity.

Julia and the Fox, argh. Besides being the worse part of last season, that it keeps to continue on is disappointing.
posted by Atreides at 12:51 PM on February 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

This was fun, but I'm not sure they needed to cram all this stuff into one episode?
posted by bq at 1:37 PM on February 9, 2017

Alice's death was spoiled by io9's "Morning Spoilers" page this morning, specifically the creators talking about the permanency of her death.

And it looks like Collider spoiled it in the initial posting here, where the title on the webpage currently reads "‘The Magicians': Is [SPOILER] Really Dead? EPs Sera Gamble & John McNamara Weigh In," while the URL is ""

Regarding the permanency of her death, I was really hoping their extended Collider interview would include Gamble and McNamara confirming that they will also be working the 3rd book in, or seguing from the second season into a 3rd to cover the 3rd book, but no luck. Perhaps it's too soon to talk of a 3rd season, only 3 episodes into this 13 episode season. But the talk of getting a new visual effects team to up the appearance of Fillory makes it sound like SyFy is either spending more money on this season, or is getting more bang for their buck, which again makes me hope this lasts longer, because then we should get to see the return of Alice (in theory).

This was fun, but I'm not sure they needed to cram all this stuff into one episode?

In that same extended interview, the showrunners talk about how they pulled some things that appeared in this episode from where they would have been in the season finale for last season, which the interviewer felt was a bit of a let-down in terms of season-ending oompf. And as the title of the A.V. Club review/recap, it felt like there were "finale-sized risks in a mid-season episode," except this isn't even mid-season, it's less than a quarter of the way into the season.

Now what, indeed? (Well, in re-reviewing the plot via Wikipedia, there's a lot to cover in book 2.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:41 PM on February 9, 2017

They better bring Alice back and de-Niffleize her! NO ALICE NO PEACE.
posted by Justinian at 3:30 PM on February 9, 2017 [5 favorites]

The Penny hands plot is annoying but dear god I loved him trying to de-cursify the four. He is consistently one of the few characters to make me laugh.

I wanted way more Marina and I'm disappointed that this is (maybe) where her story ends. Also the cat was Not Ok.

Alice's niffinizing was telegraphed really hard in the previously-on, which undercut it. (Yes, I've read the books, so I knew it was going to happen, but the recombinations have left the possibility of change open.)

Between Penny, Marina, and Margo, I evidently really enjoy watching snarky assholes.
posted by athenasbanquet at 5:55 PM on February 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

I don't really know which thread to post in, as I read the books and almost immediately forgot them, but I was quite alarmed by this episode. Killing Marina, Alice, the Beast and the wellspring of magic in Fillory seems like a lot. (I hid in my pajamas for the whole cat business: too much.)

Soooo ... I guess we're gonna have to get the team back together to kill Reynard, because Julia can't do it alone (even accounting for her eventual ascent, I think.) Do we even think the other Fillory royalty is that good at magic?

Sorry, y'all, I really don't remember the books that well.
posted by purpleclover at 8:06 PM on February 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, I want them to bring the Dean and Amber from House to Fillory.
posted by purpleclover at 8:07 PM on February 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah I can only think of her as 'cutthroat bitch'.
posted by bq at 10:18 PM on February 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've read the books but my significant other has not, and I had to explain to her about the niffle thing, so I think they were smart to include it in the previously-on segment. They didn't really explain it very well in that one episode, though, and as far as I remember they never went back to the concept as a refresher either, so the whole thing came across as pretty confusing to her, and I imagine I'd feel the same way if I hadn't read the books. Maybe they'll have the characters do a recap in the next episode.
posted by whir at 5:59 AM on February 10, 2017

I'd actually forgotten entirely about the niffin thing from the first season, so the reminder, which jogged my spoil laden memory (I'd read the wiki on the books last year - cuz...I hate myself) and the result was not as heavy hitting as it should have been. It would have been better to have planted it in the prep up episode, perhaps as a word of warning by the pixie or something (and you could toss the flashback in the 'previously on' for that episode).
posted by Atreides at 7:31 AM on February 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

When Alice taunted the Beast that he would not have lasted five minutes at Brakebills the jab felt pretty empty to me, as everyone involved in that conversation knew that the Beast had been to Brakebills a couple of times, and he had never needed five minutes there to absolutely wreck everyone there.

I am ambivalent to whether or not Alice returns. I don't care about Quentin's sad boner, and I will not miss being distracted every episode by how ridiculously unsuited for whatever she's doing her outfit is. This show has a decent roster of female characters, so I'm comfortable with one of them stepping into the limelight that Alice had previously filled; I'll miss Marina more.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:52 PM on February 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm thinking of starting a webfan campaign for an Ember spinoff. We so need a show about a wacky god wandering through the multiverse making poop jokes. Think a scifi/comedy central Curb Your Enthusiasm.
posted by sammyo at 10:18 AM on February 12, 2017

I won't miss pre-Niffin Alice, but I really liked Niffin-ized Alice. I would have liked to see her wreak more havoc before Q,the ultimate wet blanket, smacked her down.

I was really sad to Marina go. She was a fun character. I am glad, however, they spared us watching her death as I had a hard enough time with the cat.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:38 PM on February 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

The death of the Beast was particularly impressive, especially that last blue moth coming out of his mouth.

I've really had it with Julia. I can't remember now if in the book she seemed more sympathetic but I'm not feeling it any more. Margo/Janet, now she's more like it.
posted by Ber at 7:22 AM on February 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Julia's hesitation with Reynard plays badly for me -- I guess I could see some argument about a need to inhabit and maybe even relish the confrontation while empowered, but she's smart, she knows there are hazards with limits to the Beast's power, and she's also on fire with desire for revenge. I don't understand why the knife isn't in Reynard right away, and that goes double as soon as the Beast says "he's fighting it." Her delay feels like a contrivance to draw out the conflict.

And I don't just say that because it makes Marina's death inevitable, though I *am* also sad to see Marina go. She's been possibly the most interesting and believable mix of ambition/hardness and humanity in the whole cast for me. She deserved better than this, particularly in a season that is setting itself up to be primarily about tension between hardness and humanity.

And I'm actually sad to see The Beast gone, too. I understand he's a monster, and having Alice rip him open to reveal and release the moths underscores that, but I was starting to like him, and Martin's story has *always* had a sympathetic edge with his backstory.
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:12 AM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Julia's hesitation with Reynard plays badly for me

I agree - it seemed really drawn out. I wonder if she will confront hesitating later on?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:55 PM on March 18, 2018

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