The Magicians never ceases to surprise, amaze, scare and amuse – sometimes all simultaneously. The series has continuous ongoing and overlapping storylines, yet each episode takes characters and plot to a different level. One does not know what to expect from week to week, except that there will be surprises. Episode 11: Remedial Battle Magic does not disappoint; once again presenting enthralled viewers with multiple jaw-dropping WTF moments.
The Beast quite clearly has drawn battle lines and raised the stakes. The button that Quentin found has done more harm than good; if our Brakebills heroes had targets on their backs before, the size of the bullseyes has pretty much encompassed their whole bodies. The Beast does dreadful things, especially to Travelers, and more than one life is shockingly lost.
Quentin, Alice, Elliot, Margo, and a reluctant Penny have to search out someone who can give them or teach them battle magic. It leads to a sad reunion. Kady does not fare well this episode, as she faces more than one heart-tugging confrontation. Elliot is beginning to face some tragic truths about himself, and in doing so starts pushing away the one he loves most. There will be game-changing consequences for all of them tonight.
Julia discovers other magical beings inhabit our earth, and is sent on a quest by “pastor” Richard to find a deity. It seems that Julia is indeed a special snowflake; you won’t believe just exactly how special she is. Despite how dark the world of magic seems, Julia may be the flashlight into something so brilliant that even Brakebills can’t hold it.
The episode was directed by Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary) and she does a masterful job of putting the cast through an emotional wringer. There will surely be explosive consequences in the remaining two episodes of the season. This is a show I look forward to every week, because I never know what to expect, and The Magicians deliciously dishes out the unexpected.