The Magicians S01 E04: The World in the Walls


Book sex! “The Magicians” is full of surprises and on last week’s episode: books got down and dirty; Penny learned that he’s a metaphysical traveler; Alice found her brother and, Quentin and Julia fought. This week, Quentin finds himself in a dangerous place; his dreams.

The Spell

What if your life was all a dream and, you woke up to find yourself living a nightmare? This is exactly what happens to Quentin when he finds himself at the Ellsworth Downs hospital with no way out. All of Quentin’s friends are there, but they’re just as crazy as him, except for Penny who is the orderly on Quentin’s ward. Nothing is right in this dream. Alice thinks she’s an alien from “Star Trek,” while Eliot is into water coloring. Quentin’s attempts to explain that he is a magician are ignored by his psychiatrist (Tembi Locke). Is Quentin crazy? The fluttering wings of moths give hint that he isn’t.


Julia is in the dream, but her life is different. She tells Quentin that she is engaged and at Yale. Quentin’s reaction, once again, reveal his deep affection for his childhood friend. All seems hopeless, when Quentin is over medicated to keep him docile, but then Jane Chatwin visits Quentin and tells him that the answers are in the book. There is only one problem. His loony roommate has torn out the pages. No one will give him tape to repair the book.

What do our dreams tell us about ourselves? I’m always saving people in my dreams, or I find myself back at the Academy of Natural Sciences preparing for a class and I have no supplies… crazy dreams that reveal so much about us if we could only figure them out. There are people who can interpret our dreams and there are plenty of dream interpretation books out there to help us decipher the meaning of our dreams. I know what my dreams are telling me. What do your dreams say about you?

Luckily, for Quentin, he never accepts that his magical life is an illusion. We kind of figure out that Quentin’s real life was only endured by his building a series of walls to protect himself from the drudgery of everyday life.

Suspecting that a spell has been cast on him, Quentin must figure out how to break it. A trip to music therapy has Quentin breaking out in a song and dance routine to the discomfort of Penny the hospital orderly who doesn’t like songs getting stuck in his head. I wasn’t expecting this scene, but I’m glad they added it.


Arjun Gupta’s Penny is awesome in this episode and it’s his gift of metaphysical travel that pulls him into Quentin’s dream where he has to hear his doppelganger, Penny the orderly singing a Taylor Swift song. Penny’s abrasive personality is not only enjoyable as a counterbalance to all the confusion inside Quentin’s dreamscape, but it is also a way to escape Quentin’s dream.

The Magicians - Season 1

Jane Chatwin returns one more time with a clue about the Madness Maker, Ellis Wirth Down, a magician who created puzzles that could not be solved. Jane figured out how to trap the Madness Maker with a game of chess.


This episode circles around Julia’s and Quentin’s thirst for magic and it reveals their true nature as they each grow more powerful. Julia with the help of Marina was responsible for casting the spell on Quentin as a diversion in order for Marina to steal back her memories from Brakebills. Kady and Julia seem willing to do whatever Marina orders them to do, but it was Kady who led Professor Fogg and Penny to Quentin… Julia seemed not to worry until she thought that Quentin might die.


Before he can be lobotomized, Quentin breaks free from the dream with the help of a Matarese bug and Jane Chatwin. The lure of magic is strong because it is addictive, but while Quentin is in awe of magic, he won’t use magic against humanity. On the other hand, Julia (played deliciously by Stella Maeve) seems to be heading to the dark side. Hedge Bitch, Marina, kicked Julia out on the street, but I’m not too worried. I think Marina has met her match with Julia.


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