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Race Against Hellspawn and Bureaucracy in S4 'The Magicians'

By Joelle Monique | TV | January 30, 2019 |

By Joelle Monique | TV | January 30, 2019 |


The Magicians, one of SYFY’s best original programs, is back and everyone is fucked. What else is new? In the hands of showrunners and pop-culture enthusiasts Sera Gamble and John McNamara, the fourth season promises bigger twists and turns than ever before.

Where’d we Leave Off

When we last joined the kids of Brakebills, they were scaling the limits of possibility by killing gods and coming to terms with the end of magic. Margot helped free the fairies, but their queen sacrificed herself in the process. Alice briefly became the smartest person on the planet, but in exchange lost all of her humanity and made an entire species extinct. Elliot spent a lot of time seducing potential partners and running Fillory. Kady tried to keep Penny alive. Penny died, but an alternate reality version of his now lives with the crew. Julia rebuilt the keys, but lost her god powers. Quentin hunted down the seven keys and was imprinted on by insane, all-powerful evil child demon. The library owns magic. Dean Fog can see again, but he had to make some pretty shady deals to get everyone out of this alive.


Now the crew is living in the real world without magic and disguised even to themselves. Also, that barbarous demon took Quentin hostage and plans to kill the rest of the crew. It’s a race against hellspawn and bureaucracy in Season 4 of SYFY’s The Magicians.


The entire crew has been saddled with new personalities thanks to a clever spell by Dean Fog at the demand of the library. Julia is now Kimber D’antoni. Kimber is as inquisitive and headstrong as Julia. Unlike Julia, she’s struggling to learn magic. Like, couldn’t get one answer correct on the entrance exam to Brakebills, struggling. But Dean Fog made the mistake of not admitting Julia once and she was exposed to unbelievable cruelty. He’s determined to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately, Julia seems to have lost all of her ability to use magic. The teachers and student now refer to her as a Squib.


At the end of season 3, a lot of fans were worried that Kady was going to revert back to her old addiction habits. Turns out, in her new persona, Kady is Detective Sam Cunningham. Feels like Jade Tailor is doing a dope homage to Detective Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) from Brooklyn 99. She’s hot on the trail of a low-level druggie. After capturing him multiple times, but never being able to stick a collar on him, Kady’s able to corner him. He gives her the basic witches-and-spells-do-exist speech. She tears off his protection medallion and then he’s immediately hit by a tuck. Later, while trying to research the information he gave her, Kady discovers a fourteen-year-old book called A Flock of Lost Birds. Inside is her story and Margot’s story. She tracks down Margot to figure out what she knows. Every time they get close to the truth of who they are, an object flies at them. They round up Penny and Josh and decide to look for the author of the comic James Tiberius R. Martin. Of course, you can’t mention hedge witches without Marina turning her head. Marina tries to lift Dean Fog’s spell but winds up blowing everyone back and knocking the entire team unconscious.


Margot is Janet Pluchinsky, a Fashion Editor for the very chic and anorexic dream journal, Hipbone. As High King of Fillory, an energetic emanation of Ember has been activated by a disturbance of great magnitude. The alarm system was set up in case of world war, pandemic, arrival of hostile or uninvited gods on Fillorian soil, a revolt of dwarf, or a mass rising of the dead. Ember gives her a single goal, “Fix this now.” When Margot explains that she’s not in Fillory and she doesn’t know what he wants fixed, Ember sends her to Fillory alone, with no magic and no memory of being king.


Alice is under lock and key at the library. Shrouded in hues of grays, her world view has become dreary. After nearly destroying magic and putting her friends directly in the path of the unnamed creature, Alice is now trying to convince Fog or The Librarian to intervene on their behalf. The Librarian has a domination kink for Alice’s future. The Librarian sees Alice as the next great librarian and plans to use the time Alice is imprisoned to force this new lifestyle on her. Trapped in the cell next to Alice is Santa Claus, though he would prefer you just call him Nicholas. Hearing the pain in Alice’s voice, Santa reveals his own dark path. Later, using the same technique Santa did, Alice pulled the corner of her lunch tray off and slit both of her wrists. When Alice is returned to her room, there’s no visible proof that she ever attempted suicide. Also, for reasons, I don’t yet understand, she captured a cockroach - they’ve begun infesting the library. Can cockroaches be used the way messenger bunnies hop between dimension?



Oh sweet, little naive Quentin, now known as Brian. How I love him so. Unfortunately, he is now being held captive by the aforementioned evil spirit inhabiting the body of Quentin’s one-time lover, Elliot. Elliot/evil spirit is happy to kill anyone who crosses him. Quentin is trying to convince him to play a different game, but Elliot is intent on killing Q’s friends for their transgressions against him. Quentin knows something is wrong, but whether he’s too scared or too intrigued by the demon remains to be seen.

1. Kimber’s guide through Brakebills explained that the librarians rent out magic like books. Piss off a librarian and access to the limited stream of magic could be severely delayed. With that much control over the magical community, I’m beginning to wonder what kind of Nazi-level scheming, organizing, and torture the library has in store for its magical citizens.

2. If Alice’s cockroach is a message carrier, who is Alice trying to reach out to? My guess is either Quentin or perhaps Dean Fog — who has decided not to visit so as to avoid lying to her further.

How power hungry is The Librarian? I’d list her as lawful neutral. No matter how sadistic her actions may seem, she’s always doing them in the best interest of her belief in the Order. Would she be willing to kill for that belief? Also, is she mourning her daughter — who presumably died in season 3? Where is her head at?

3. What role will Santa play in the overall story? I’d like him to break out and help restore magic to the good. Will we have the best Christmas episode ever? Could it be another musical episode? Am I asking too much?


5.Is anyone else turned on by new murderous Elliot? Just me and Quentin? OK. I’m going to go hide in a corner now.

Header Image Source: SYFY