the magicians season 4 episode 2 recap

‘The Magicians’ Season 4, Episode 2 Recap: Lost, Found, Fucked

Identities resurface, but the game ends.

In last week’s premiere of The Magicians, a few loose threads were left open on a frustrating cliffhanger revealing new identities, lost personalities, failed magic and Fillory. Continuing with the eerie and mysterious tone of the season in Eliot’s strange new form along with veiled threats and mistaken identities, the second episode of the season, aptly titled “Lost, Found, Fucked” delves into strange and complicated plot twists while establishing a dark and foreboding tone for the season through the idea of revenge.

This recap contains spoilers.

Accustomed to Eliot’s strange demands and unsettling presence, Brian (Quentin) seems unsurprised and exasperated on their latest journey. Blood-spattered and annoyed, Brian questions the beast hiding within Eliot on their location and purpose, only to discover that Eliot has transported them to Greece, where they will be summoning Enyalius, God of War.

Confused, Brian asks if he is referring to Ares, only to incite amusement in Eliot, “Say that when you see him, it makes him so mad”, before ordering Brian to capture a young pig after insisting that it must be caught by human hands. After the quick history lesson and a plea to hurry, we transition to the present day, where Hansel (Penny), Sam (Kady) and Issac (Josh) are waking up from Marina’s failed attempt to restore their true identities.

Veiled threats seem to be the theme of this week’s episode, as Marina receives a strange pre-recorded message from Dean Fogg, who insists that the warding spell cannot be circumvented. Marina, however, is aware of Fogg and his games and sends everyone to the kitchen to inspect Hansel, uncovering his traveler’s tattoos. Much to his confusion and amusement, she instructs him to use his ability to teleport around the apartment, hatching a plan in the process.

Before we can delve further into that, however, a quick transition to Fillory reveals that Janet (Margo) is not faring well. After stumbling through the forest, she’s pulled into a pond by a strange creature that insists that she is royalty – addressing her as High King Margo before introducing himself as the Lord of Fillorian Freshwater (or Lord Fresh – for short).

As Lord Fresh attempts to explain the situation in Fillory regarding Margo’s loss of memory, we’re abruptly pulled to Alice’s prison cell, where her neighbor, Santa goes off on a tangent about his identity being tainted by human thought when she reveals that she doesn’t trust him. Instead of shunning her, however, he alludes to the fact that he can obtain magic, but before we can learn the details (another theme for this episode), we’re transported back to Fillory, where a strange magic of its own is revealed.

Margo has a birthright box that has been entrusted to Lord Fresh, which contains information about her and has dictated not only her absence from Fillory, but her loss of self and time of return. Before she can learn more about the strange creature or her identity, the caverns around the duo begin to crumble, whereupon Lord Fresh reveals that in order for her to reclaim her identity she must find the god that summoned her in her dream.

As Janet begins her journey in confusion only to be attacked at knifepoint, another quick transition occurs – this time to Brakebills thanks to Marina who is guiding Penny (still under the guise of Hansel and very much confused about his power).

Ruthless and determined, Marina steals the mind-wiping potion from Fogg’s stores (which are currently being guarded by Todd, who is busy typing away on a typewriter for some strange reason). When Fogg enters the room, Marina injects him with his own serum in an attempt to get him to provide an antidote for the fallen magicians.

As Penny and Marina travel out of Brakebills, Fillory comes into focus from the perspective of Tick (Rizwan Manji) and acting High King Fen (Brittany Curran) who have received urgent news. Janet has been captured by royal guards and brought to Castle Whitespire, and after revealing that she may be Margo (whose name still brings down wrath due to Fogg’s enchantment), she joins Tick and Fen in the search for Ember.

Back at Brakebills, Kimber (Julia) speaks to Todd out of desperation. She’s failing all of her courses, but before she can unload her worries on him, he reveals that he is in a panic of his own. Dean Fogg is leaving Brakebills and Todd has been tasked with jotting down his life, lessons and perceptions of others as he visits with faculty and unveils his deepest concerns. During Fogg’s moment of catharsis before he abandons magic (presumably due to Marina’s attack), we learn that he has battled with substance abuse, alcohol addiction and gambling during his life in 49 timelines, all of which, he claims, were for nothing.

Before we can transition to another character’s point of view, however, Kimber confronts Fogg once more about her fears, only to uncover a kernel of truth – he deeply regrets his decision to steal the magicians’ identities (Quentin, Eliot, Josh, Margo, Julia, Kady & Penny included), though he remains firm in his belief that it was for their own safety. While the spell can indeed be reversed, he would rather give up his life than see them suffer or die.

Quick glimpses at each former magician reveal the cold truth – none of them are doing well. Margo is off on a quest for a drug crazed pleasure enthusiast in Ember back in Fillory (who turns out to be Bacchus in disguise); Quentin is being abused by Eliot, whose body has been possessed; Sam, Kady and Josh are battling with their identity crisis; and Julia is lost at Brakebills. Before Fogg can transition into Marina’s new life for him (which turns out to be that of her destitute father), Kimber confronts him about the truth, recognizing that she is one of the lost magicians.

In another series of abrupt transitions, we see glimpses of each character in the midst of personal struggle. Back in the Library, Alice has used the meager tools available to her to open up tube that magically transports books across the building. With her limited supply of magic, she is able to finally utilize the cockroach she picked up last episode and briefly controls it to enter Zelda’s office undetected (that is, until Zelda gets up from her desk and steps on it).

Meanwhile, possessed Eliot is threatening Brian (Quentin) with pain after breaking his arm for refusing to sacrifice the pig. Unable to fight him, Brian agrees to perform the sacrificial ceremony; shortly afterward, Enyalius (Daniel Cudmore) makes an appearance, whereupon it is revealed that he has something that Eliot wants.

Back at Brakebills, Kimber is at the Physical Kids Cottage with Todd when magic is abruptly cut off during a party. Kimber achieves her goal of information when Todd confesses to know of a hidden perpetual battery that Fogg spoke of after witnessing the dangerous wards on the identity spell occur even though the Library has put a damper on the flow of magic for the night.

While Kimber knows nothing about magic, she is clever, which prompts her to overload the battery. The experiment, which involves touching the battery, dying and resurrecting due to its magical influence, is long-lasting, but succeeds – the battery does overload, causing the spell bound to it to fall apart in the process. In the middle of their respective actions, Quentin, Julia, Penny, Margo, Kady, Josh & Fogg all regain their previous memories and identities, though Eliot, possessed, remains the odd one out and angrier than ever because Enyalius was a fraud – he does not have what the beast is searching for.

As memories slam back into place for every magician, things become more dangerous than ever when the beast inside Eliot is provoked by Quentin, who asks if it would be possible for Eliot to return to his body when the being finishes his quest (and enacts revenge against the gods for taking knowledge from him). Just as everything snaps back into reality for the characters, the creature inside of Eliot decides that it is time to stop playing and returns Quentin to his friends with malice in his eyes.

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Magicians?

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Melissa Ratcliff
the authorMelissa Ratcliff
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