The Magicians: S4E4 Review: The Flying Forest

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The Flying Forest

Warning: Spoilers


This episode was all about how people pick up the pieces of their life (or don’t), when it becomes something they never expected. The tone over the entire episode was a strange sort of sadness, and despite the normal humor there, Alice’s loss is still very much being felt.


Quentin’s injuries were apparently much more significant than the last episode let on, as he’s had to go through five surgeries, and gain half a wooden arm in the process. There is no guarantee he’ll even wake up, so Eliot and Margo have to leave to deal with the current mess that is Fillory. They are told that there is a power vacuum, despite them ruling: apparently no Earth rulers ever end up surviving/staying, so there is talk of rebellion in certain sectors of the kingdom.


Eliot is completely lost in his own misery, but Margo is not having any of this. The shit Ember took in the Wellspring is literally killing magic everywhere, so action needs to be taken, and Margo is going to take action, damn it. Even if that means yelling at everyone, telling Eliot to suck up his sad feelings, and declaring they were never Alice’s friend. Eliot, for his part, can’t gather up the energy to protest Margo’s take-charge attitude, but simply says that he doesn’t belong here, and wasn’t done being himself back in the normal world. That, however, gives Margo an idea, so she disappears back to Brakebills on a mission. And what mission is that–to make a Gollum, like the one her ex boyfriend made. The idea that Eliot might be able to leave Fillory, even for a little bit…he looks like he’s about to cry. I love Eliot so much, and to see him struggling like this has been heartbreaking. I’m glad to see Margo wanting to help.


Meanwhile, Jules is on the search for Kady, and finds her in a crack den, where she’s been shooting up. I have to say that SyFy usually does a good job on makeup, but the track-marks on Kady’s arm look bad–like someone just drew on her with some red sharpie. Still, Jules gets Kady back to her apartment, and cleans her up, trying to help her once again. Considering how Jules saved Kady’s life once before, Kady really owes her–and Kady knows it.

She started taking drugs out of guilt, apparently, trying to drown out the memory of leaving Jules alone with Reynard. Luckily, Jules has a way that Kady can help her: she has Marina’s body on ice because of something the hedge-witch wrote on her arm before she died. Kady recognizes it as a locator number for a book in Brakebills. Good or bad, Marina was trying to help Jules even as she died, and that hurts.


As Kady was expelled from Brakebills, she can’t go–but Jules can. To make sure they can still communicate while Jules investigates, the girls make cute spelled friendship necklaces (best bitches forever) which allows Kady to watch Jules through a mirror. The book they need, however, can’t be removed from the school and is too complicated to be memorized. So Jules heads to the Physical house to hide out and copy.  

Back in Fillory, Quentin wakes up and has a pretty brutal conversation with Penny. It’s clear neither of them are in the best place, emotionally. We also find out from one of the centaur healers that Penny was cursed by the ‘River Watcher’ –yeah, the weird guy at the river had a name. One of the things I’m loving about this show, more than anything, is the world building that is occurring within Fillory. Information is coming out naturally, instead of being dumped in huge exposition chunks, and I’m truly excited to see how the world expands more.


Margo’s little gollum experiment works, and Eliot is able to transfer his consciousness into the clay body, allowing him to go back to Brakebills with Margo and party. He still seems more than a bit miserable, and Margo is trying to get at the core of what is wrong, but he won’t talk. Instead, he decides to have sex with someone–which results with him having sex in Brakebills and Fillory  at the same time. Never say Eliot isn’t adventurous?  What’s more important, though, is that he and Henry end up having a serious talk, where Eliot finally expresses his fears and concerns about what is happening to him. Henry says that he isn’t alone, and while Eliot can’t leave Fillory, that doesn’t mean that Henry can’t find people to help Eliot learn to rule. So at least he isn’t going to be floundering on his own, any longer.


In the Physical house, Margo finds Jules, and they have it out. Both of them get in some pretty vicious verbal jabs, but when Jules points out that Margo has no friends, just people that are scared of her, it seems to cut the closest to Margo’s heart. We also find out that Reynard has killed over a dozen women, and Jules just wants to stop him, now, more than anything. Perhaps because of the loss of innocent life, Margo provides Jules a way to copy the book, and heads back to Fillory.


Once back in her apartment, Jules and Kady realize that the spell that Marina wanted was a necromancy one; she wanted to be brought back for a short period of time. After they cast it…I cried, readers. Marina is desperate and crying, saying that wherever she is is horrible and she doesn’t want to go back. She’s clearly terrified, and the entire scene broke my heart. Still, before she goes again, she manages to tell them what they needed to know: forty years ago a girl was able to banish Reynard. Jules has to be the one to do it, once more.


Things are becoming more desperate for Quentin and Penny, though. Quentin is losing himself in his depression and Penny’s hands literally tried to kill him. So after getting drunk, he demands that Quentin cut his hands off–which he does. That’s one way to fix the issue. During one night Quentin sees the White Lady, a mythical creature who will grant a wish to anyone who catches her. He’s determined to find her and get her to bring back Alice. Penny gets to deliver my favorite line of the episode, saying, “Go catch the white lady, people like me get shot for saying shit like that.” Well, at least Penny continues to be genre savvy. Still, needing the creature’s help, both of them enter the Flying Forest. If they make it through the woods, they will have a chance of finding her.


The only issue? The Flying Forest makes them both high as hell. Both of them start losing track of where they are, and even who they are. It’s surreal, but eventually Quentin’s’ love for Alice makes him remember himself, and they escape, ready to hunt the White Lady. I am still very tired of Quentin and his attitude. While it isn’t an unrealistic depiction of depression, Quentin continues to be selfish and relatively unlikable.

They finally come upon the fawn-like lady, whose design is utterly amazing. She’s ethereal, but has quite a filthy mouth on her. She isn’t going to take their shit, and simply wants to grant their wishes and then take a nap. Penny gets his hands back and Quentin…is out of luck. Alice can’t be brought back from the dead–that simply can’t be done. She points out that no matter what he does, he may always be sad. Nothing is ever enough for him. So he simply asks to be sent home, which she grants for him.


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