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THE MAGICIANS Recap: ‘Divine Elimination’ Really Went There with [SPOILER]

THE MAGICIANS Recap: ‘Divine Elimination’ Really Went There with [SPOILER]

Warning: this recap contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of The Magicians, “Divine Elimination.” It is a recap, after all. Don’t say we didn’t warn you …

Whoa. The Magicians just went there. They actually did it. Even though book readers knew Alice became a niffin in the Lev Grossman’s books, I have to say I was still doubtful they’d go there on the Syfy show, especially so early. But it happened, in only the third episode this season, “Divine Elimination.” It really, truly happened. I’m still in shock, so let’s recap all that happened before the final scene to give me some time to process my feelings, okay? Okay!

Well, the Beast certainly wasn’t joking about putting a curse on the Fillorian throne room. As soon as all the royal butts touched down on their respective thrones, Quentin, Alice, Eliot, and Margo immediately were wracked with paranoia and began planning the murders of the other three. Thankfully, Penny – the only non-royal – saw what was happening and teamed up with Eliot’s new wife Fen to figure out a way to save them all and break the curse. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do that before Margo unleashed her Cacodemon on Quentin, so he had to sacrifice his own so the two Cacodemons could kill each other and not any of the magicians. And Alice later told the crew she let hers go earlier because she couldn’t stand the thought of it being trapped (aw, Alice). So now they’re down three Cacodemons before they even came face-to-face with the Beast, and the royals were still all trying to kill each other. Things were going well!


Penny’s genius idea to break the curse was to let it run to completion … aka killing all four royals with injections of Potassium Chloride to stop their hearts and then adrenaline to kick start them back up. Not bad! Who would have thought old-fashioned human science could save the day in the magical world like Fillory? It worked, and during their post-curse pow wow they decided to use a first year shield charm spell to help them kill the Beast, blocking them from Alice’s Rynaman Ultra blast. Hmm, does that sound a bit like Harry Potter using Expelliarmus to kill Voldemort? Hey, if it worked for Harry, why not?

Meanwhile, Julia and Marina set up a “fox trap” to lure Reynard so the Beast could kill him. But the Beast teleported him and Julia away before Marina finished the summoning spell so they could follow Marina home, since he knew Reynard wouldn’t just show up somewhere that had Julia’s scent. Unfortunately, that also meant leaving Marina without any protection, so by the time they got to her apartment, he had already started eating Marina alive in a truly horrifying way. But then the Fillorian crew picked the worst possible moment to begin their attack on the Beast, and Penny teleported the Beast (and Julia) out of Marina’s apartment mere moments before that unholy trinity was about to kill Reynard. Gah, they were so close!

In the Fillorian forest, the quintet’s plan was also about to work: Penny teleported the Beast into the middle of their circle, Alice created the Rynaman Ultra and Quentin, Margo, and Eliot threw up a shield spell to contain both the Beast and the Rynaman blast. But Julia refused to let them kill the Beast before he could help her, so she stood in the way, and Quentin dove to get her out of the way of the blast. Since the shield dropped when Quentin stopped casting, Alice faltered in throwing the Rynaman and missed: it only blasted the side of the Beast’s fact and arm. Alice tried to throw it again but the Beast disappeared.


When the group started arguing with Julia, Penny lost his patience and teleported her back to NYC. She ripped off his wrist chains in revenge, and his hands started teleporting him everywhere … and then nowhere. Uh oh. Where did Penny go?! Back in Fillory, Quentin and Alice tried to get to the magical wellspring before the Beast drained it to heal himself while Eliot and Margo split off to petition Ember for more of his “god juice” (ew) in case Alice’s ran out before they got to face off with the Beast again.

At the wellspring, the Beast was outraged when he arrived only to see Ember taking a dump in it. I’ll just present that without comment. At least now the Beast couldn’t power back up, leaving him vulnerable … but not powerless. He tried to slice Alice in half but Quentin jumped in front of the spell, almost severing his arm. As she looked down to see Q bleeding out, that pissed Alice off, and she launched her rage assault on the Beast just as Eliot and Margo arrived on the scene. She tried to throw the Rynaman again but her juice finally ran out, and since she wasn’t controlling her emotions, the magic destroyed her from the inside, burning her alive in blue fire. Quentin, Eliot and Margo knew exactly what that meant, and so did we.

Just as the Beast tried to finish off Quentin, Alice reappeared as a vengeful, powerful, emotionless niffin, telling the Beast she did that on purpose to become powerful enough to kill him. She calmly froze him and literally ripped him apart as hundreds of moths flew away. She did it! She killed the Beast! But now … she’s a niffin, so, you know … that’s not great. She immediately turned on the other three, and Quentin, in pain and his heart breaking, let his Cacodemon go free to kill her, saving Eliot, Margo, and himself. But all he could do after was just cry in Eliot’s arms and Alice’s body lay dead and cold next to him.

And back at Marina’s apartment, since Julia had dropped the god-killing knife, Reynard got a hold of it. Julia arrived back only to find Marina dead and bloody on the ground, with no knife or god around. Her response about summed it up: “F-k.”



  • There’s no way Alice is really dead, right? She niffined out for only like a minute. It’s not so much of a stretch to say we haven’t seen the last of Niffin Alice.
  • I don’t know the proper way of pronouncing “usurpers” either, Eliot, don’t worry. I don’t think anyone really does.
  • I’m pretty sure I could have watched an entire hour of the four royals acting out the curse while Penny could only look on with a mixture of horror and annoyance. Major props to Arjun Gupta, Jason Ralph, Oliva Taylor Dudley, Summer Bishil, and Hale Appleman for their stellar and hilarious acting in all those scenes. I mean, the brilliant, laugh-out-loud twist when Penny learns Margo was actually the first one to be cursed when he thought she was the only one seeing reason? Ugh I love this show.
  • I can’t decide what’s funnier: the four royals trying to convince Penny to help each of them kill the other three or their genuine confusion and outrage whenever Penny wouldn’t go along with their sound, logical plans.
  • Marina’s warning that someone with the ability to “freeze” a god could also potentially break an “unbreakable” word-as-bond spell is definitely important, right? That means Julia shouldn’t be so confident in her agreement with the Beast.
  • In trying to scare Marina, Reynard did a pretty f-king good job when he turned her cat Cupcake inside out … and the poor cat was still alive. Oh my god. I had to pause right here to gag and let out a few tears at the same time. That might be the cruelest, most disturbing thing I have ever seen on TV. As if Reynard wasn’t absolutely terrifying enough before, he sure as s-t is now.
  • Hearing Quentin use an anology of “dicks” while trying to explain why Alice’s plan would work was pure magic. Really, really genius.
  • Quentin’s confession that he was going to try and win Alice back after they killed the Beast was heartbreaking in how honest and raw and real it was. He argued that they both had grown and become different people since they first got together, and he hoped he would get the chance to prove that he could be better and actually deserve her. But now he’ll never get the chance. *Sob!*
  • Ember. S-t. In. The. Wellspring. He s-t in the wellspring! He s-t! In the wellspring! Oh my god.

The Magicians


Eliot: The spell that won World War II is called the Rynaman Ultra? It sounds like a not-so-great beer.
Quentin: Fine, it’s a beer, but it’s a beer that we can use to kill the Beast.
Eliot: Meanwhile Penny comes back with cool, circa 1985 wrist chains …
Penny: Yeah, super cool how they keep me from killing myself.
Eliot: And then Dean Fog gives you all matching tramp stamps?
Alice: I thought tramp stamps were supposed to be on our lower back?
Eliot: God, I feel like I missed out on some crazy party you’ll be talking about for the rest of your lives.

Eliot, showing off the newly cleaned throne room: I missed you all … and I was bored.

Margo, after Eliot was the first one to show paranoid signs of the Beast’s curse: He got like this on shrooms once.

Penny, trying to reason that Eliot wasn’t cursed: Or maybe it was just some primo Fillorian shit that went up his nose and he’s on the bad end of a trip because he’s him.

Penny, frantic: Margo, we’ve got a serious problem!
Margo, slightly annoyed: I know, Eliot’s cursed.
Penny: No, no! Not just Eliot. Alice and Quentin too! Listen, whatever you do, do not sit on your throne, okay?!
Margo: Ugh, fine, whatevs. I have a plan. You going to help me pick these?
Penny: What’s this, an antidote?
Margo: Exactly. For the poison.
Penny: For the … what?!
Margo: For the poison. I have to drink it first or I won’t get Eliot to take it. Jesus. You’re acting like this is your first regicide. Also, it’s not the thrones that are cursed. I sat on mine and I’m totally fine.
Penny: … You sat on your … F-k! Great! No, it’s good. S-t.

Quentin, aiming a crossbow at Margo: What’s so funny?
Margo: You with a crossbow. You couldn’t hit a fat girl with a fat girl-seeking arrow.

Eliot rolling his eyes at Penny’s syringes: Oh goodie, heroin. I always suspected this was how I’d go.

Reynard: Is anyone even going to miss you?
Marina: I tip the pizza guy pretty well.


Penny watching Margo involuntarily inject herself after killing Quentin, Alice and Eliot: Now that is one thorough f-king curse.
Fen: Is it wrong to say I find her death extremely satisfying?

Margo: Well if those horses can get us there before the Beast, I’ll glady f-k them both.
Eliot: Hey, shh. Careful. Volume. I think those are talking horses.
Margo, checking them out: Offer stands.

Quentin: I feel like we could die in an hour and that’s giving me a lot of clarity.

Ember: I’m leaving. I’m going. I just had one or two things to do. Mainly number two. I have … befouled the wellspring.
The Beast: Pardon me?
Ember: I have left my divine elimination in the fount of all magic. And it’s a stinker. I really hope you weren’t planning to drink from it, it’s hardly potable.
The Beast: You … you what?!
Ember: Left my … leavings! A godly floater. Behind. In the wellspring.
The Beast: …
Ember: I pooped in it. Am I not making this very clear?

Quentin: Ember actually took a s-t in the wellspring? Well, that can’t be good for Fillory.

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Magicians? Tweet me your thoughts and opinions at @SydneyBucksbaum!

Images: Syfy

The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Syfy.

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