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Recap: “The Magicians” Episode 3×4: Be a Penny

THE MAGICIANS — “Be The Penny” Episode 304 — Pictured: (l-r) Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz, Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker, Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi — (Photo by: Eike Schroter/Syfy)

After last week’s stunner ending, this episode opens with a shocked Penny staring down at his body as Kady freaks out and becomes hysterical. Julia tries to help her to no avail. Penny tries speaking to Kady, trying to reach her, trying to reach anyone, but no one can see or hear him, because, like, he’s totally dead.

Dean Fogg, Quentin, Julia, and Kady hold a wake, of sorts, for Penny, and they realize they don’t know very much about him. Penny’s spirit, or whatever he is, is super annoyed, because how many times did he save their lives? “Appreciate me!” he calls out, but of course no one hears him.

Penny then finds himself in the Underworld version of the library, where the shelves are mostly bare and the place is trashed. He witnesses two guys tearing up books, and talking about the fresh meat of a librarian waiting outside for them to feast on. Penny is decidedly WTF, and follows the two men. Lo and behold, who does he see but Eliot, Fen and Fray. The key they used to escape the ship has taken them to the Neitherlands and they find themselves about to be pounced on by cannibals. It’s always outta the frying pan, into the fire. Of course, they don’t know the guys are cannibals at first, and the men invite the trio to partake of some of their dinner….

After the death of her father, Alice moved back into the cottage. Quentin is pleased to find her there, but Alice is morose. She can no longer live with her mom, who blames her for her father’s death (see episode 3, “The Losses of Magic”). She misses her dad. She crushes Quentin’s hopes of a reconciliation, telling him she’s not that girl he first met, she’s no longer the girl Q fell in love with, and she’ll never be that girl again. She also believes it might not be the best thing to bring magic back after all. They screwed everything up with it before; who’s to say they just won’t screw everything up again?

THE MAGICIANS — “Be The Penny” Episode 304 — Pictured: (l-r) Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz, Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker — (Photo by: Eike Schroter/Syfy)

Kady in her grief and desperation, shoots up an overdose of drugs. A mysterious spirit awakens Julia, who has been sleeping on the couch, and urges her to go to Kady’s room. Finding the door locked, she breaks it down and uses her magic to save Kady.

Penny sees the spirit, and the spirit sees Penny. He introduces himself as the Pervert Ghost of Brakebills. His name is Hyman, and he’s from the 1920’s. After a prank gone wrong while Hyman was astral projecting, his body was hidden and eventually died. He and Penny determine they are not ghosts, but something else.

As Quentin and Julia pour through the Legend of the Seven Keys books, Hyman hilariously comments on the Brakebills pairings. Quentin is his favorite, the “duck’s nuts” (aside: turns out the duck’s nuts was an actual phrase in the 1920’s, meaning “the best in a category.” Now you know). Hyman totally ships Quentin and Julia.

Kady and Alice visit Harriet again, and she tells Kady there isn’t much she can do for Penny. She can allow Corpse Eaters to consume his body and send his spirit to the Underworld Library for all eternity or destroy his body which will leave his spirit in limbo forever. Kady has only a few days to decide what she should do.

THE MAGICIANS — “Be The Penny” Episode 304 — Pictured: Arjun Gupta as Penny Adiyodi — (Photo by: Eike Schroter/Syfy)

Hyman tells Penny he can put his consciousness into any object he sees. He goads Penny into putting his conscious into a penny…because of his name, see? (Penny didn’t think it was amusing either.) After a final, brutal insult, Penny manages to accomplish the feat, and even makes the coin move.

Penny figures out he has to put himself in something other than a penny if he wishes to communicate, because nobody talks to or listens to a penny. He recalls the Margolem (from season one, remember?) and although Hyman tries to dissuade him, Penny finds Margo’s doppleganger in Josh’s room. Unfortunately Penny can’t make the Margolem produce any sounds other than groans and shrieks and noises like the thing is having seizures. The animated doll trips Julia and Kady out; Quentin grabs an axe and works out all of his anger and frustration by hacking the Margolem into bits and pieces. Quentin and the others had no clue their friend was inside and Hyman gleefully tells Penny, “I told you so.”

Speaking of Margo, Quentin has sent her a messenger bunny telling her Penny is dead. She is bummed, because she had hoped to bang him one day. (Penny, in spirit form, says “Me too, girl. Me too.”) She is, however, currently hatching a plot to kill the Fairy Queen. Right now she is trapped aboard the Muntjak, on course to Whiteshire, back into the Fairy Queen’s clutches. Although Margo squished her own eye in the previous episode, so the Fairy Queen has no means of spying on her, she is pretty sure the FQ is devising something equally as torturous for her. She devises a plan to make a magical soap that will render the FQ powerless.

Julia and Quentin go to Dean Fogg for help with the key. The Dean tells them the clues in the book lead to a long buried dorm which was the scene of a magician’s murder. The dorm was haunted, which wasn’t cool back in the day, and so it was hidden. They go off in search of the dorm and the ghost, with Hyman telling Penny that it is a dangerous big mistake.

It turns out Lance (McAllister) Morrison was having a love affair with Rupert Chatwin. At first it seems Lance is the benign ghost, and Julia and Quentin begin to feel safe…until dear old daddy McAllister shows up and begins deriding his son, whose gay romance has brought scandal to the oldest and most respected name in the magical community. In a rage he begins to choke the life out of his son. Penny tries to intervene, but a shout out from Hyman alerts Daddy Ghost to the other presences in the room. He turns and is about to pounce on Julia and Quentin, but they manage to escape just in time.

Upon returning to Dean Fogg, they tell him about the McAllister connection to the key. He says they should go pay his descendant Irene a visit. She has been threatening to close Brakebills if proof isn’t presented to her that magic still exists. The trio goes to Irene’s lush mansion, still powered by magical servants, running off a magical generator the family had built for emergencies. While Q distracts Irene with sleight of hand, Julia uses her real magic to trace the key. She finds it, although she is completely unaware of the two fairy agents spying on her.

Kady goes to take care of Penny’s body as time is up. Alice urges her to let the Corpse Eaters have the body, because even though the Underworld means eternal slavery, it really is vast and not all that bad. Alice tells her (and a listening Penny) they even have a bowling alley, according to Quentin. Penny is not swayed by this lameness and does not want to be trapped in the library for all eternity, so he puts his consciousness into a candle and burns his own body.

Dean Fogg goes to the cottage and gives Quentin and Julia the bad news: their ploy did not work and Irene McAllister has closed the school. He grabs a bottle of bourbon and leaves to get totally sh*tfaced. Shortly after he leaves, Penny, Fen and Fray blow into the room. They have managed to get rid of the cannibals, by offering up a ghostly version of Eliot’s dad as a meal. (Oh well, he certainly wasn’t very nice anyway.) Quentin shows Eliot the second key. Julia tells him they think the key is like a key of truth. He holds the key in front of him, and sees a figure on the stairs. “Oh. Hi, Penny,” he says as the screen fades to black…

The Magicians airs on SyFy Wednesdays at 9/8c.

What was your favorite quote from “Be A Penny?” Hyman’s favorite ship is Quentin and Julia; who is yours? Let us know in the comments below.

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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