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'Magicians' Recap: Bad News Bear Ain't Dicking Around

By Joelle Monique | TV | February 7, 2019 |

By Joelle Monique | TV | February 7, 2019 |


What’s Happening?

Margo, Josh, Evil Eliot:

Marina gets the f*ck out of dodge when Elliot shows up, but she isn’t so cruel as to allow Margot to go up without a warning and a little bit of advice. Get the demon god to sit in the golden chair, ring a bell, and he’ll OD on ambrosia. Margo has a different plan. She needs to save her best friend, Elliot, and she needs to get rid of Bacchus. Josh is pissed, Bacchus has been the light of Josh’s party-animal lifestyle. Bacchus is a good friend and he’s terrified of Demon Eliot. Margot knows that killing the host won’t eliminate the god. They’ll need more time. Josh, Margo, and Evil Eliot blast off to Fillory to catch a god.


They discover Bacchaus’ and his merry dancing followers in a swamp. Begrudgingly, Josh agrees to make the god’s favorite drink, a margarita, and lace it with he ambrosia. “You know what’s incredible? How you can be such a good friend and such a terrible friend at the exact same time,” Josh spits as he storms off. Overhearing this, Evil Eliot connects with Margo. “You’re like me,” he tells her. “I hate being alone. I don’t like being left with my own thoughts, such as they are. I need friends.”

E.E. feels trapped because he also has a desperate need to kill everyone who has harmed him. Margo, in the second deal of the episode, says she might be his friend if he allows her to speak to the real Eliot, or even better, finds a new host body. But the creature is comfortable where he resides. “I like the way people look at me, and you and your friends care so deeply about what happens to it. Why would I ever leave it?” he taunts.


It takes Josh two tries to poison Bacchus. He loves his friend. But Margo ain’t letting Eliot go without a fight. She would poison and kill all of Bacchus’ followers if it meant she had a chance to save her friend. Josh pussies up and poisons the best friend he’s ever had. With Bacchus laid out before him, Evil Eliot begins his inquisition. Tickled by the fact that Evil Eliot can’t remember who he is or what he did, Bacchus reveals no new information. “We have the same parents. Why am I a monster and you a god?” asks E.E. From Bacchus’ chest, E.E. draws what looks like a glowing liver. Whatever it is, it burns Margo’s fairy eye, like looking at the sun.

Quentin, Penny, Kady, and Julia


The rest of the crew, Quentin, Penny, and Kady stay behind to figure out what Marina knows. Marina, of fucking course, has been hired by the McAllisters to bring back the students dead or alive. Quentin, back in fighting form, agrees to secure five Deweys for Marina in exchange for being left alone. Named for the most famous librarian, Melvil Dewey — of Dewey Decimal System, Deweys are small batteries the library grants to trusted magicians. But, Marina warns, she has trackers on everyone, so they best not step out of line.

Back at Brakebill, Dean Fog is having a reckoning with Julia. Rightfully, she boils with anger. Not only did she not need the protection spell, “Even without their powers gods are hard to kill,” she reminds Fog, but the Dean gave them over to the McAllisters with too much haste. Remember, Julia, sacrificed her power so that everyone could have magic. Then the library, with the help of the worst family since the Tudors, The McAllisters, siphoned it off from the rest of the world, making themselves supreme overlords. Dean Fog did what he could so that he wouldn’t have to watch his favorite student die again. Julia, even without her power, radiates righteousness, and will not rest until the balance has been restored. Fog casts a locator spell to help her find the rest of the crew.

She discovers them in the apartment, and they begin crafting a plan to collect the Deweys. The McAllisters have been given a free pass, known to hedges as black cards, to get as much magic from the library as they need, when they need it. They can’t steal it without setting off a ton of alarms, so they decide to forge it. Introducing Frankie, a magical counterfeiter, and the only person who can recreate the black card they need. People love to hate Frankie. He parks illegally, things magically come to him in ways even magicians are surprised by, but he’s willing to help.

In order to make it work, he’ll need a special sauce. Frankie isn’t interested in making a solid forgery, he crafts with luck. He’s done the incantations so often he’s become a cute, fuzzy, Black leprechaun, overflowing with magic. To make the forgery, Frankie needs two minutes with a Black card to make a mold, two Philly cheese steak sandwiches, two liters of cherry cola — not store brand, and at least 1/3 of a dewy coin to get started. To get the Black Card, they’ll have to play a game of Push, a magical version of the card game war.


Yes, card playing Quentin has returned. Q and Penny head to an abandoned warehouse where a bald man and his creepy crow await. Penny’s traveler’s services are wagered, 48 hours a month, no questions asked, to enter the game. Played tournament style, one on one, Q has to play three highly skilled players. The final boss being the creepy crow guy.

Unlike most card games, cheating is an integral aspect of gameplay. Using probability magic, players can switch their cars around in the deck or even swap cards with their opponent. When he gets to the boss, Q created a snowstorm inside the building, using the last of the magic, forcing the boss to play a fair final hand. But none of the magic users consider the possibility of sleight of hand. Q carries a queen in his sock that looks a lot like Alice. He wins the hand, a set of D&D die, the cufflinks that killed Bobby Darin, and the Dewey coin.


Penny steals the black card, Frankie makes a mold, and they’re ready to go to the library. In order to counteract the good luck, the cardholder will have, someone has to stay behind and hold the bad luck bear. Being a goddess, Julia agrees to do it, but the bad luck won’t touch her, so it’s up to Q. Kady and Penny dawn porn level disguises, a bleach blond wig and a bad faux mustache. They decide to take twelve coins, five for Marina, five for Frankie, and two for the group. They get the coins, but Eliot stays behind, tortured by a boa constrictor from the toilet, a falling chandelier, and his father, sick with cancer, dies.


Kady, off-screen uses the rest of the good luck. She’s ordered to destroy the bear, but that’s never shown. Instead, Marina is contacted by someone who, “has been looking for her for a long time.” A woman gives Kady a free puppy, she still possesses the black card and appears to be leaving the library, and Marina’s kick-ass apartment belongs to Kady, now.



Fog visits Alice in her cell to let her know The Great Blank Spot has ended. The librarians will be updating everyone’s books, which means they’ll be able to find and wipe their memories again very soon. Alice decides its time to break out, collect the books, and rejoin the group. Santa is flabbergasted to learn that there are books with everyone’s story already completed. He would have been able to find good people by flipping a couple of pages. But, he’s ready to be free, too. Alice cast a spell using paint chips and saliva to disarm the charm keeping the door locked. They make their way to the collection of everyone’s books, but the teams’ books are already being filled in. Santa flees, but Alice stays behind. With his reindeer and their jingling bells he flys away. As Alice searches the shelves, a hand reaches out and grabs her. WHAT THE HELL?!


1. In this episode, the season’s theme becomes abundantly clear. Alone together is a fear carried by most humans. Our decisions and their consequences weigh on us. Margo was warned by Lord Fresh last episode that she would know what it is to rule and live alone. Her absolute rule over Josh and how they’ll save Eliot is the first step on this isolating path. Alice is left behind by Santa, Kady makes an executive decision that affects the entire group, and Quentin lost his father. In Q’s final speech, he wonders if all of their sacrifice was worth it. How much longer can our team stay together before this wave of depression breaks them apart?

2. Julia can’t die, she doesn’t seem to be a high priority target for E.E., will she be our saving grace again?

3. The last mysterious hand we saw, Lord Fresh and he was there to help. What are the chances Alice’s mysterious hand friend is also here to help?

4. As one of the most criminally underused characters, it’s exciting to see Kady taking some initiative, but also what the hell is her plan?

5. OK, the shows been batting this question around for a while: what was stolen from Evil Eliot? Why did he eat his own people? Can his bloodlust be sated?