The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 11: “The Rattening”

The Magicians – Season 2, Episode 11: “The Rattening”
Grade: B

In the eleventh episode of season two of The Magicians, we’re close to the end of the season and things are ramping up toward the finale. Though this episode paled slightly in comparison to the others, mostly from a view of frustration with certain plot points, overall the episode was good, though not spectacular. I’d wanted to like the episode more than I did.

The episode follows Julia and Quentin finding the dragon, an ancient one who can give them passage to the Underworld to find Julia’s shade, though once there, they find Julia’s old friends whom Reynard killed, learn that Our Lady Underground is actually Persephone, and instead of taking Julia’s shade, Julia decides to take Alice’s to help Quentin bring Alice back. Meanwhile, many people in Fillory are turned into rats, Margo finally tells the truth about her deal with the faeries and is imprisoned—then sent to the faerie realm to be trapped, and Eliot is kicked out of Fillory. And Kady and Penny deal with Reynard’s son, the Library, and a new sarcastic teen Librarian who has an important, mystery father whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing about soon.


The dragon was fucking cool
and hilarious. The show’s special effects are usually pretty great for a show, especially a Syfy one (which has been getting better and better) and the dragon, though shrouded mostly in shadow, was excellent.


Remember when Margo and Kady
would just disappear for an episode or two in the first season? They just weren’t in that episode and that was fine. Sometimes, I wish they would do this with Eliot and Margo. Sometimes what’s happening in Fillory just isn’t that interesting. Sometimes the show just isn’t great at juggling so many storylines. The whole “rattening” thing was sort of boring, but what happened within that was good: Margo finally telling the truth because of the magic serum and Eliot throwing her in the dungeon was a great scene—I don’t think we needed all the rest of it to lead to that, but it was good.

The Underworld,
though quirky and funny and very “Magicians” it didn’t quite work for me. We’ve seen the “underworld” or where you go when you die or the mid-place as a lobby or very business-like/retirement home/office setting so many times in fiction, I think it’s tired. And I didn’t care enough for Julia and Kady’s old friends who worshipped Our Lady Underground to see them again, but I liked the moment with Richard—actual Richard, not Reynard using his body Richard—which made for an interesting  on the actor playing the two characters (almost felt like I was watching Orphan Black).


First Julia and Quentin
took like eight-point-three seconds to find out what an “ancient one” is—something alt-Alice said she didn’t even know—and then we open up the next episode, presumably not long after, with Quentin and Julia finding said “ancient one.” Sometimes the show just rushes through stuff that doesn’t make any sense. Why did these seemingly take no time at all but the other Alice was clueless? It’s just not that believable that Alice, the smartest one, the one who’d been searching ever since everyone died to find everything about shades after becoming obsessed with them, hadn’t gotten that far—but Julia and Quentin did within a short period of time.

Why not both shades?
Why not take Alice and Julia’s shade back with them? They paid the dragon just for transport, not for just one shade, and unless they need something to hold a shade in place (which they didn’t explain in the show at all), then why not take both? Why did there need to be a choice for Julia at all? It just bothered me that now Julia doesn’t get her shade and giving it up to bring Alice back only made enough sense as she was doing it for Quentin—but what about her? Why not take both? They should’ve explained that. But couldn’t there have been some sort of way? If you can trap a niffin in a box, you should be able to do the same with a shade.


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