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THE MAGICIANS Recap: The Squad Prepares for the Beast Showdown In ‘Hotel Spa Potions’

THE MAGICIANS Recap: The Squad Prepares for the Beast Showdown In ‘Hotel Spa Potions’

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

The Magicians has taught us over and over again that magic is not the answer to any problem. In fact, it’s usually the cause of all problems! We learned that lesson pretty early on in season one, but it has taken Quentin, Alice, Penny, Margo, and Eliot a little bit longer to learn, slowly but surely. Wednesday’s episode, “Hotel Spa Potions”, saw Eliot of all people take a giant step forward in that regard. Who would have thought that Eliot would become known as the Shit King, literally, rather than the Champagne King? Definitely not us, and most certainly not Eliot himself. The times, they are a-changing, y’all.

Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny jumped through the fountain and made their way back to Brakebills to find the battle magic that a previous King or Queen of Fillory had at the school over a hundred years ago. The workbook detailed a spell called the Rynaman Ultra that had enough power to kill the Beast before he could drain the magical wellspring any more, killing magic everywhere. The gang enlisted Dean Fogg’s help in finding the professor who taught it, since she was fired when battle magic was taken off the syllabus a long time ago. Professor Bigby, a 500-year-old pixie, hid all the battle magic spells in the library on campus, and they had to figure out a bunch of puzzles and anagrams to find the right book. However, Bigby ripped out the spell they needed so they went on a day trip to her home to get it back.


They found found cheerful troublemaker Bigby in Rhode Island, and it turned out that she had a history with Dean Fogg! It was hilarious to see the usually buttoned-up professor let a little loose, giggling with his old flame while Alice and Quentin tried to convince her to give them the battle magic spell she used to help win the Civil War and Rupert Chatwin used to win WWII. With Dean Fogg’s help, she ultimately gave them the spell, but it came with a word of warning: when Alice uses it on the Beast, the blast will kill anyone within 20 feet of them. Since Q knew that Julia was currently teamed up with the Beast, he knew he had to warn her.

Meanwhile, Eliot quickly learned the hard way that ruling an entire magical world is more than just sitting on a throne, wearing a crown and cool clothes, and drinking champagne (which he still can’t get to taste right). His new world was full of issues he had to fix: his people were starving and magic wasn’t the solution but the problem. Ever since it was drained from their land, their crops stopped growing. So he had to dig down, deep down, risking migraines, all to reveal a secret he had always tried to keep buried: he grew up on a farm. That made him the perfect candidate to help Fillory to farm their food naturally and without magic … by using poop to fertilize the lands. It worked, of course, and Eliot’s shit reign began!

Back in the real world, the Beast abducted hedge witch Marina to use her as bait so that Julia and he could kill Reynard. Julia also continued to refuse the Beast’s offer to cut off her shade, which is promising. If she keeps her humanity, there’s still hope for her, right? Marina, refusing to get caught up with a rapist, murderer god with a penchant for hedge witches, escaped and went to Brakebills for asylum, knowing she wasn’t safe from Reynard herself. When Dean Fogg refused to help her after all she had done in the past, she went right back to team up with the Beast and Julia, not knowing she was going to be the bait for Reynard.


Later that night, Q secretly reached out to Julia, letting her know about the group’s plan to kill the Beast and how she can’t be within 20 feet of the blast when it happens, as he wanted to make sure his BFF was safe. But she got angry that they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) wait to kill the Beast until after he helped her kill Reynard. However, that didn’t stop her from making sure that Q knew about the Beast’s mysterious curse on the Fillorian castle, whatever that may be. At least now he has a vague idea to expect something nasty from the castle.

Meanwhile Penny’s hands still suck. No surprise there! Margo made him a temporary quick fix in the form of a potion, but he needed to figure out a permanent solution, so one of the Brakebills professors, Pearl Sunderland, helped him with a spell. He hit on her during the spell, unsuccessfully, but at least the spell itself was successful, as long as he kept some cool silver bracelets on his wrists forever. Somehow I don’t think that’s the perfect solution he was hoping for, but it works.

Then Dean Fogg had a pow-wow deep in a basement of Brakebills with Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny. He got all of them very, very drunk to help with the pain of getting a giant back tattoo where a Cacodemon would live, growing until it was big enough to distract the Beast while Alice cast her big spell. Their Cacodemons were a one-time-use only, though. Those tats are forever!

The hour ended with Q, Alice, Penny, and Margo returning to the castle in Fillory, surprising Eliot just as he was about to celebrate his first big achievement as King. Time to party with poop plants!

The Magicians


  • It’s interesting to note that our core four royals weren’t the first Brakebills students to find Fillory or even ascend the throne, as the battle magic book they found in the castle armory was a Brakebills student workbook.
  • The Beast knows something we don’t about becoming royalty in Fillory, as he told Julia that her friends “won’t be royals long.” Uh oh. Turns out that he put a curse on the castle a long time ago out of revenge since Ember made it impossible for him to take the throne himself. “It’s a royal test that no one ever passed.” Let’s hope our core four pass.
  • Color this one under shocking developments: the Beast loves singing. Like cabaret sung at the top of his longs kind of singing. He sings on the streets of New York, in Julia’s apartment, wherever, whenever … much to Julia’s deep annoyance. He’s got a nice voice, but man is that irritating after a while.
  • Alice’s bracelet started to burn, meaning her “god power juice” was starting to fade. Their ability to kill the Beast had an expiration date, and it is coming fast!

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Dean Fog to Quentin, Alice, Margo and Penny when they return to Brakebills after their failed showdown with the Beast: “You’re alive. What a lovely surprise.”

Quentin looking at a blank patch of grass where the Physical Kids’ Cottage used to be: “Wait the cottage was here, right?”
Alice: “It’s not invisible. It’s just … not!”
Margo after a beat: “Aw shit. Right. End of semester prank to ditch the first-year losers. I should have remembered, it was my idea.”
Penny: “Are you … ? I hate all of you. I hate all of you.”
Quentin: “Let’s just find the cottage please?”

Eliot’s new Fillorian wife Fen: “The people are starving!”
Eliot: “Seriously? Okay we should probably get on that.”

Josh, after deserting everyone in Fillory to escape back to Brakebills before the Beast showdown: “It is good to see you guys.”
Penny: “Yeah, f-k off.”
Josh: “Okay.”

Eliot trying to convince Fen to have an orgy with a bunch of their subjects: “You’re great … for who you are. It’s just, I already told you, my life was different before.”
Fen: “Yeah, and I’ll help you make a new life.”
Eliot: “Well, this is new. And right inside the lines of marriage! We just do what we do in bed, and they do what they do. I only picked people already doing each other. And we get to watch! You guys are all cool with this, right? [All the naked subjects nod] See?”
Fen: “You’re their king! They will do as you wish no matter how –”
Eliot with a smile: “Fun.”
Fen, looking shocked: “Debased.”
Eliot laughs: “Debased? Honey love, I’ve been doing this shit since I was 12. Except on a computer.”
Fen: “I don’t know what that means.”

The Magicians

Eliot: “Boys! The shit.”
Random farmer in Fillory as Eliot delivers bags of “fertilizer” aka poop: “Um … sire, I do not wish to appear ungrateful …”
Eliot: “You’re just going to have to trust your king on this one. Come on lads, many a farm to grace with … our royal dung!”

Penny, as Professor Sunderland rubs his shoulders while doing a spell as his hands are tied behind his back: “I feel guilty.”
Sunderland: “Why?”
Penny: “Letting you do all the work.”
Sunderland: “I don’t mind.”
Penny: “Still if there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.”
Sunderland: “I don’t think you’re in a position to do much.”
Penny, trying to kiss her: “Try me.”
Sunderland: “I might … after you graduate.”

Quentin, wasted and about to get his back tattoo: “Well, I can never get buried in a Jewish cemetery.”
Alice: “Are you even Jewish?”
Quentin: “No. Options.”
Penny: “How much do I have to drink so that I never have to hear your voice again?”

Eliot, as Quentin, Alice, Penny and Margo returned to the Fillorian castle after a long time away: “Your High King has agricultural tales to tell. I give you … the Reign of King Shit.”

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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