The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 2: “Hotel Spa Potions”
In the second episode of The Magicians season two, Quentin and the gang—sans Eliot, who can’t leave Fillory now that he’s High King, forced to do Kingly things like figure out how to feed the starving population of Fillory by reliving his traumatizing farming childhood—all return to Brakebills to find some battle magic spells to kill the Beast. Meanwhile, Julia works with the Beast to trap Reynard the Fox in order to kill him (the Beast is powerful enough to freeze a god, allowing Julia to do so) and they must use bait that isn’t Julia, so they enlist the help of a reluctant Marina, who finally agrees after she understands the danger she’s in as Reynard is killing other hedge witches.
Overall this was a great episode, returning to Brakebills, going on a quest solving riddles to find the spells, following Eliot’s time as King, and Julia’s journey of trying to find Reynard and dealing with the annoying, singing Beast.
Return to Brakebills
meant getting back to where the show started, seeing some of the teachers and Dean Fogg, and watching the gang, sans Eliot, go on a scavenger hunt to find some spells of battle magic that leads them to an old flame of Dean Fogg’s, a pixie who gives them a spell that will kill the Beast, but only Alice can do it. It was a fun storyline in the episode that brought us back to the origins of the show with Brakebills and the challenges the gang faced back when life had been a little easier for them.
Julia and the Beast’s
journey together does make Julia’s storyline more compelling that it had been in the first season, but with this episode, it didn’t move forward much. Julia continued to try to perform the perfect ritual and the Beast sang a lot—Marina is the one who shined here, more of the focus, which definitely worked in the episode’s favor.
Eliot as High King
is fantastic, as I’d hoped it would be, but on his own, the focus of him being King is just him being forced to help the crops people how to farm with manure and wanting to have sex with men—or at least have sex with his wife in the presence of other men having sex with men. Though great, and funny, it just didn’t work well for me within the episode as a whole.