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Recap: The Magicians Episode 3×02 “Heroes and Morons”

After last week’s incredible third season debut in which our heroes are given a quest to restore magic to the world, Quentin (Jason Ralph), Julia (Stella Maeve) and Josh (Trevor Einhorn) engaged in a little bacchanalia to try to win the favor of a god; Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) is giving her blood to a vampire in exchange for information about the lamprey who is after her; Penny’s (Arjun Gupta) super cancer is getting worse as Kady’s (Jade Taylor) heart breaks; Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo (Summer Bishil) develop a pop culture code speak to evade the ears of the incredibly vindictive and bitchy Fairy Queen (Candis Cayne); and Fen (Brittany Curran) has lost her mind and is cradling a log. What a way to kick off a season!

Episode 2, titled “Heroes and Morons,” picks right up where we left off. Opening with a beautiful animated sequence, the episode tells the first story in “The Legends of the Seven Keys” book. The book tells them the story of a young girl whose father has been imprisoned by an evil sorceress and of the Quest to After Island, which is where Eliot is intending to head to find the first key. Quentin, Julia and Josh discuss finding Mayakovsky to get one of the batteries full of stored magic, and what do you know, Josh gets wind of a Hedge Witch Bar that had some magical chaos go down just a night or two ago. It seems Mayakovsky has been turned into a bear and his magical battery has been stolen.

In another scene, we see a construction worker literally get some sort of supernatural bug up his butt. What could it be, and why are we seeing this?

Meanwhile, Alice is in a pet rescue, looking at kittens. From the start, you just know this is not a good thing, especially for the kitten she adopts. Alice is still full of malice, unforgiving of Quentin for killing a god and losing all the world’s magic. She’s none too happy about the Lamprey stalking her ass. In short, Alice has an Attitude, with a capital A.

After discovering that Mayakovsky had walked into the bar with Emily (Abby Miller), Quentin goes to pay Mayakovsky’s former student/sexually abused/lovestruck crazy woman a visit. Yes, she’d seen Mayakovsky – in fact, she’d even married him! Apparently he wanted to right the wrongs he’d done to her, so he put a ring on it. They were at the bar, but another woman came in all in a dither and she stole the battery from Mayakovsky and it’s assumed that that is the person who turned him into a bear.

Back in Fillory, Eliot is getting ready for his voyage to After Island and is introduced to his magical ship, Muntjak. The Fairy Queen insists log-cuddling Fen accompany him, against Eliot’s protestations. The Queen also insists someone she trusts accompany them – a young woman she introduces as Frail Human (Fray for short). Then she drops the bombshell – Fray (Madeleine Arthur) is actually Eliot’s and Fen’s baby! Time moves differently in the Fairy Realm (obviously!). Fray proclaims her loyalty to the Queen and tells her parents they mean nothing to her. This doesn’t stop Fen’s maternal instincts from taking over; it isn’t long before she’s falling at Fray’s feet. Eliot, Fen, and Fray depart for After Island, with Margo imparting words of wisdom: “The only difference between a hero and a moron is one dumb mistake.” Margo is staying behind to keep an eye on the Fairy Queen, and the Fairy Queen is keeping an eye on Margo – literally.

Back in the city, Julia, Josh, Quentin and Kady split up to track down rumors of magic surfacing in certain parts of town. Josh and Kady go check out St. Brennan’s, a school for special needs children, where a dinosaur has been spotted. Julia and Quentin go check out a park where an epic orgy is taking place. Quentin runs in to Alice, who is also tracking the source of the magic. She won’t even let Quentin speak to her and responds to queries about the kitten in the carrier she’s holding (wait, is that kitty getting bigger?) with, “aren’t I allowed to have a pet?” She reluctantly joins the team when they get word that the person they are looking for is on a rooftop getting ready to jump.

On After Island, Eliot and company meet a group of terrified villagers, led by Father Poe (Haig Sutherland) who possess the fist key. He refuses to give the key to Eliot, saying it’s the only thing that is keeping the village safe from a monster. Sure enough, almost as soon as Poe finishes speaking, a monsterous, inky creature appears in the sky. Everyone hides while Father Poe drives the beast away with the key. Unfortunately one of the villagers is killed.

Quentin tries to talk a broken Professor Lipson (Keegan Connor Tracy) down from the roof. It was she who had the battery, and it was she who made the frivolous magic, knowing it was something Mayakovsky never would have done. Lipson said the batteries were hers by right, as she did all of the work to design them. She does deny turning Mayakovsky into a bear though. Quentin saves her, but drops the battery which shatters into pieces as it hits the ground.

While talking to the police after the incident, Alice’s cat seems to have gotten bigger still and becomes increasingly agitated until it….explodes. I’m guessing the kitty was Alice’s early warning system and it just went off. Splat.

On the island, Fray tells Elot that the man who was killed was not killed by a shadow bat, and she knows shadow bats from the Fairy Realm. Fen, as the daughter of a blade maker, confirms Fray’s assessment. Eliot confronts Poe; he has figured out that the not-so-good Father has been using the key to summon the beast and then appear to destroy it to keep the villagers worshipping at his feet. That all ends when Poe takes the key and demonstrates it to the villagers. Eliot takes the key, leaving Poe to become … nevermore.

Quentin figures out there must be another battery, and he knows who has it. He goes to confront Emily again, and find her post concussed. Yes, she had a battery, and it was she who turned Mayakovsky into a bear. But Quentin is too late; Kady also figured it out and stole the battery from Emily. Kady is at her waitress job when Penny shows up dying in the back alley. Kady shows him the battery.

The episode ends when the “bitten” construction worker shows up while Quentin is reading the Legends book in a dark alley (what’s with these alleys?). He attacks Quentin and passes along whatever bug or demon was inside of him. After the attack, we see a possessed Quentin crack his neck…as if whatever is inside of him is adjusting to his new body….

Watch The Magicians on SyFy Wednesday nights at 10 pm ET.

Written by Arlene Allen

Hello, my name is Arlene Allen, and I love all things nerd: genre tv and movies, books, loud rock and roll music, kittens, conventions, books, graphic novels and superheroes, RPG and tabletop games, and did I say books? Oh, yes. I spent 25 years as a librarian (nerd) mainly working with youth (creating nerds), a number of years as a teacher (more nerd indoctrination). I have my own spawn, leveled up to 22 and my partner in nerdiness. As a nerdy writer, I have found a home at Talk Nerdy With Us.

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