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THE MAGICIANS Recap: ‘The Girl Who Told Time’ Finally Injects Hope into Season 2

THE MAGICIANS Recap: ‘The Girl Who Told Time’ Finally Injects Hope into Season 2

Warning: the following recap contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of The Magicians, “The Girl Who Told Time.” It is a recap, after all! Don’t say we didn’t warn you …

Remember when Jane Chatwin created a time loop in season one of The Magicians to figure out a way to stop the Beast from killing everyone? She changed one little detail each time to see if the outcome changed, and after 39 times, she finally figured out the one thing that changed everything: she turned Julia away from Brakebills. Julia was a student at Brakebills for all those earlier timelines, and she excelled in every subject. She was Dean Fogg’s star pupil, a meta-composition student like himself. But only Fogg had memories of all those 39 other lifetimes.

In this week’s episode, “The Girl Who Told Time,” we got a heartbreaking glimpse into more than one of those timelines, and seeing how happy and successful Julia was at Brakebills made her current reality all the more heartbreaking. Trapped by her friends in the clean room (the room without magic) for three months (of Fillorian time), with nothing but her thoughts, she realized that living without her Shade was wrong. That’s not to say she didn’t feel bad about how she practically fed Quentin to Reynard, but she knew she was supposed to be feel regret, and didn’t. She knew she was broken, and that meant she was dangerous.

I’m still uncomfortable calling a post-abortion Julia as “broken,” but at least now the show is taking her story in a positive direction. Because thankfully, Quentin while on one of Chef Josh’s magically “rad” drug trips (he took to self-medicating to help deal with the pain of letting Niffin Alice go), was able to see and speak to Julia’s Shade (in the form of her 12-year-old self). Turns out her Shade wasn’t gone, it was just lost. And that meant they could find her and reunite her with Julia. All hope wasn’t lost!


And that’s how those 39 timelines came back into play in a second way in this week’s hour. Fogg remembered that in the 23rd timeline, Alice was the sole survivor of the Beast and became obsessed with the afterlife, trying to get her version of Quentin back. In doing so, she learned quite a lot about Shades. So Julia, Fogg, and Quentin used something called a Tesla Flection to contact that version of Alice, and she told Quentin she learned about Shades after his body and Shade was destroyed by the Beast. She wanted to find his so he could rest in peace, and in her travels, she learned that Shades apparently go to the Underworld. It’s only accessible to the dead, but the living can get in with the help of a gatekeeper, an “ancient one,” a being older than the world itself.

But that’s as far as Alice got (and she even gave up three fingers in the pursuit of that knowledge). And in their research the next day, Julia shocked Quentin with her own discovery: a painting of an ancient one, aka a huge dragon. Because that’s going to be easy to find in the real world! But damn, if The Magicians goes into dragon territory, this season is about to get truly epic.


As for everyone’s shared Reynard problem, after Penny’s contract was processed by the Order of the Librarians and he and Kady were whisked off to the library of the Neitherlands, Kady did some research on how to kill a god. When the librarians told her that no such book existed, she felt hopeless. But after meeting a magician while out on Penny’s first mission retrieving an overdue book, Kady learned that the library did have the knowledge she was looking for … but they just wouldn’t give her access to it.

That same magician, Harriette (played by Marlee Matlin!), also cursed the overdue book she gave back to Penny, so when another librarian stamped it, he was forced to try and open a door to something called the Poison Room. He killed himself before he opened the door, however, and Penny realized just how dangerous his new job really was. Librarians would literally rather die than give out books from the Poison Room to the general public, since it contains knowledge on how to kill people and entire worlds. And of course, that’s where the book that Kady needs to defeat Reynard is: The Art of Killing Gods. Another storyline taking a turn for the hopeful!

Meanwhile, Fen was super cool with Eliot marrying someone else, since three person marriages were actually the norm with Fillorian royals. But she was feeling off about something else … the fairies she felt following her in the shadows. They came to collect their payment for fixing the Wellspring, and Fen was not OK with giving up her baby even though she agreed to do whatever Margo told her when it meant saving Eliot’s life. But a deal’s a deal, and the fairies kidnapped Fen in the final moments of the episode. Is there a way for Fen to get out of this deal, or is she locked in, even though she never agreed to the exact terms in the first place? This is surely going to put a damper on Eliot’s upcoming wedding festivities.



– The smash cut from Penny laughing about how the Order of the Librarians takes four weeks to process a book request so he’s got a long time until they process his contract to join, to Penny and Kady walking through a door and ending up in the library to find out his training started that day, was just perfect.

– Of course Eliot would become a groom-zilla for his second wedding to King Idri.

– I was so delighted by Eliot charming his would-be assassin Baylor into becoming his friend … until it was revealed that Baylor was just pretending to be Eliot’s friend so he could suggest making his second wedding open to the public, allowing the FU Fighters to invade the castle and “red his wedding.” But thanks to Margo being a total badass, she came up with a plan to nip that coupe right in the bud. She tracked the FU Fighter Baylor was passing notes to in his dirty dishes, had Chef Josh whip up a potion so strong it would render the FU Fighters catatonic, and had Josh deliver it to the army. The FU Fighters were not a problem … for the foreseeable future, at least.


– Eliot’s only request for Josh as his wedding chef is to make everyone in Fillory like him. Josh decided to just make a potion and put it in the food to literally make everyone like him, because why put forth any extra effort when you can just magically cheat your way forward? Eliot’s “I need this!” made me laugh way too hard.

– Apparently, “FuzzBeat,” the website that does serious news, listicles, clickbait and cat videos, is actually run by a magician who uses the site as a cover to provide encoded spells and magical education to magicians worldwide. Ha!

– Quentin is just getting dragged through s-t this season. The scene he shared with Alternate Reality Alice in the Tesla Flection was heartbreaking – they couldn’t even touch! At least he got to tell a version of Alice that he loved her no matter what before she disappeared and he broke down in tears. Man, Quentin really needs a win.



Eliot, turning into a groom-zilla for his second wedding: Congratulations, you failed.

Quentin: But wait, I’m not done.
Margo, dumping out his glass of wine: I think you were.
Quentin: Not cool. Those grapes died for nothing now.
Margo: Those grapes died so that you might live, because if you keep drinking, I will seriously cut a bitch.
Quentin: You never yell at Eliot for being drunk.
Margo: Because Eliot’s fun. You’re depressing. It’s been three months.
Quentin: Technically, it’s only been a couple of days on Earth. So …
Margo: Three months on Fillory. Of Emo Quentin. Not my favorite Quentin.
Quentin: I didn’t know that you liked any of the Quentins.

Kady: This is insane. Why the f-k would Fogg let Julia go?
Penny: I mean, haven’t you ever noticed? Fogg actually isn’t that helpful.

Kady: Reynard is my problem.
Penny: We’ve been over this. Rapist monsters are a universal problem.

Quentin: I let her go. I’m fine. I’ve been self-medicating, so. They don’t have Abilify in Fillory but I’ve been improvising.

Quentin: Holy s-t, are we at war?
Eliot: I wish we were at war. These are the place settings for the wedding. Much more dangerous.

Fen: I gather three person marriage isn’t normal on Earth.
Eliot: Not outside of Utah. Or some websites.
Fen: Those are cities made of pixels, right?
Eliot: Close!


Todd: My work study job, I type up Fogg’s memoirs. I guess he has like a crazy book deal. He’s led a seriously weird life. Did you know that he and Bob Ross had a dark artistic rivalry?

Penny: Just tell her we’re from the Order.
FuzzBeat assistant: Is that the new pilates place?
Penny, sarcastically: Yeah.

Margo: Why am I staring at a plate of half-eaten nachos?
Eliot: A question I’ve asked myself very often at 3 a.m.

Eliot: I actually thought I had won Baylor over. I thought I had rehabbed his soul.
Margo: Aw, honey, we both know rehab is about more than nachos and backgammon.
Eliot: Is it? Is it, Margo?
Josh: Wait, so you’re upset because the guy who tried to kill you is going to try and kill you … again?

Margo: Just floating this: would it be weird if I f-ked Josh?
Eliot: I certainly hope it would be weird.

What did you think of this week’s The Magicians? Tweet me at @SydneyBucksbaum!

Images: Syfy

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

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