The Magicians S01 E09: The Writing Room
On last week’s episode of “The Magicians” we learned that when things appear to be too good to be true… they are. It was a painful lesson for Eliot to learn. This week Julia discovers a new side to magic and Team Brakebills take a road trip to Fillory.
Do you remember that mysterious manuscript that Quentin lost in the first episode? After the attack on Penny, Quentin and Alice are certain that the clues to stopping the Beast are in that missing manuscript, but it’s lost. How do you find something that is lost? I pray to Saint Anthony, but Quentin and Alice use flames which leads them right to Penny. Yes, our shiny Penny had the book, but he tossed it away… bad Penny, not a nice way to treat any book.
Penny is healed and back to his caustic cutie pie self after last week’s adventure with Mike and he tells Quentin that Plover did not write Book Six. It was Jane Chatwin. Jane was looking for a creature a key that enables her to return to Fillory whenever she wants. A magic button! Quentin wants the button and talks Penny and Alice into visiting England and the Plover Mansion which is now a museum.
Luckily, they run into Eliot who is recovering from killing Mike with a new boy toy. Eliot has a magic portal that allows him to visit his favorite pub in England whenever the mood strikes. I wonder if it’s anything like a Starfleet transporter. Team Brakebills is off on an adventure… but sometimes, what you’re looking for isn’t exactly what you find.
Julia, who has been going from one bad situation to another, has found a good adviser in Richard. This Chaplain encourages Julia to not only forgive others, but harder yet, forgive herself. Julia does reach out to Quentin and they make up.
The fact that Quentin hasn’t been more supportive of Julia, especially since they’ve been friends for so long, has been the major reason I can’t get my head wrapped around Quentin. Richard introduces Julia to another magician. Kira is a very powerful magician, but she is in a catatonic state and Julia must enter her mind to learn what lessons Kira has for her.
Quentin is in his glory. He is at the home of the author he idolized most of his life… but it’s never wise to place people upon a pedestal. Our idols have a habit of toppling over. It was fun watching Quentin get in a few selfies as the tour guide leads the tour through the Plover home.
Later that night, Team Brakebills breaks into the museum to find the button. While searching through the files, find out that everything they knew about Christopher Plover was a lie. When the tour guide finds them in the house, he is killed before he can tell them about the ghosts.
Julia has gone the whole nine yards in character development within the nine episodes we’ve seen so far. I wonder just how bad Julia’s childhood was that she felt this unquenchable thirst for magic. Having a cold hearted, narcissistic mother would be one of the triggers that could have set Julia on this quest to be the best at magic. Not even the fact that she’d been accepted at a prestigious college was enough to satisfy her need to control… and magic, if nothing else, is a form of control; be it to survive a dangerous situation or to get back at an enemy. Until Richard and Kira, there was no one to show Julia the joy of magic.
Kira is joyful in her mind’s prison. How can that be? Kira has mastered the magic and uses her happy thoughts to sustain her. When asked if she has a fond memory, Julia remembers a favorite hiding spot of Quentin and hers.
Someone killed that tour guide to keep him from talking; the stitches on his mouth validate that he had said too much. Quentin idolized Christopher Plover, who we learn did not die as was thought. Not only is Christopher possibly alive and living in Fillory by use of dark magic, but his sister Prudence is a wicked woman who has skillfully hidden her brother’s sick desires.
There were children living in that house. Christopher had taken to raising the housekeeper’s children and the Chatwin children after their mother passed away. What Quentin and the others learn to their horror is that Christopher Plover and Prudence were monsters. Prudence drugged the children and mistreated them, going as far as tying them to the chair and her brother; Christopher molested the children. Jane had given the button to Martin with hopes that he would one day be able to enter Fillory, but Martin told little George to hid the button. Horrified, Quentin sees Prudence kill the child if a fit of anger.
Alice wanted to free the ghosts, but the others didn’t think this possible. Eliot explains that what they are witnessing is a spiritual loop. What Eliot is talking about is a residual haunting where a particularly nasty death or event plays over and over. In this type of haunting, the ghosts don’t interact with the living.
The house is remembering the horror that took place, but the children are long gone… some at the hands of Prudence… others finding their way to Fillory. Christopher Plover is possibly the Beast that has been terrorizing Brakebills. This actually makes perfect sense because you are in death as you were in life.
Some people use magic to control others, while some use magic to find their happy place. In Julia’s case she learned more from Kira than if she went to Brakebills, but Kira has a price and, it is Julia who sends Kira to her final happy place. Penny, on the other hand, should have reconsidered before touching the button. It won’t be taking him to a place of joy. See you next week, my little magicians.