The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4 Review: The Flying Forest

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It turns out befouling a magical wellspring comes with lasting consequences.

But it wasn't just the people of Fillory having issues with magic on The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4, "The Flying Forest."

The effects of Ember's deed reached Brakebills.

Dean Fogg's spell - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4

It was great seeing consequences in the "real world." You know it's a bad sign when the professors are struggling to do basic spells.

On the other hand, doesn't it feel like the show is playing a little too fast and loose with the rules of magic? Why can Julia and Kady bring Marina back from the dead, but Dean Fogg can't manage a locator spell?

Supernatural plot points need to remain consistent unless they want to risk the audience side-eyeing every new convenient problem that pops up.

Royal Council: With the Beast dead, there's a power vacuum in Fillory.
Margo: Power vacuum? Hello! High King and Queen right here.
Royal Council: We, of course, recognize your rule, but others--
Fen: Everyone assumes you'll be dead soon or you'll run away or vanish or go mad.
Royal Council: There are stirrings of rebellion in the southern orchard. The outer islands refusal to pay the crown's taxes.
Margo: You know who loves paying taxes? People with broken legs.

At the moment, Eliot has a much bigger problem than the loss of magic.

Thanks to quick thinking by Margo, along with magic, Eliot found the loophole to escape Fillory. Only to discover being back at Brakebills wasn't what he expected.

Hale Appleman continues to rise to new levels of fantastic as Eliot's carefree mask slips.

He lets us feel Eliot's pain, his confusion, his desire to do the right thing, and the warring inside his head as his former persona tries to take control.

New plan. I give up on Fillory and dedicate myself completely to destroying Todd.

Eliot

He's not just the party boy anymore. He's the High King of Fillory. He has a wife and a kingdom to rule.

But given how abrupt the changes in his life came about, how could we blame him for being confused or for trying to push his boundaries?

Thankfully, he's got good people in his corner. I love that Dean Fogg wants to turn saving Fillory into a thesis. 

Margo Helps Eliot - The Magicians

And of course, Margo would do anything for her BFF. But what about everyone else?

That's a question Julia asked this week when the two ladies got into a heated argument.

I'm Team Margo, always. But that doesn't mean Julia didn't make a few good points.

Margo's not as selfish as Julia accused her of being. She has a heart. She feels guilty for what happened to her friends.

Julia: You actually think because you go to this bullshit school that you're better than me.
Margo: I think that I didn't get my friends killed.
Julia: You don't have friends. You have people that are so afraid of you they'd rather be on your side. There's a difference.
Margo: And you have no one. And you deserve no one.

More importantly, she feels guilty for the way she treated Alice when she was alive. 

That must be why she helped Julia. Now if only Julia could start paying it forward.

We could argue that she already is by giving Kady an out. Something Marina never got and lost her life because of it. 

So Julia can and does learn from her mistakes, too.

Julia's studying - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4

Now the question is where do Julia and Kady go from here?

They know there's a way to send Reynard to another planet. They just don't know how. Presumably, they'll have to track down the person who sent him away the first time.

I hope they don't try to do it alone. The little thawing with Margo should be the first step toward joining forces with the Brakebills' magicians.

Quentin takes aim - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4

Both sides could use extra help at this point, eEspecially since Quentin may have checked out for good.

I appreciate how much the show manages to weave comic relief into the heaviest of storylines.

Quentin lost the woman he loves. Penny lost the ability to use his hands. They don't like each other.

Obviously, a trip through a magic forest that makes them both high is exactly what they needed.

Quentin: I must be an adventurer.
Penny: [laughs] No, you're not.
Quentin: What? I have a bow and arrow. And a cool questing outfit. And a man servant.
Penny: You did not just say that, white boy. Besides, what kind of servant has no fucking hands?

As funny as those scenes were, the emotional ones were even better.

Penny's not one to mince words. 

For Penny to come right out and say he needs Quentin is the equivalent of a hug, reaffirming what I've been saying about Julia and the others all along.

They're stronger together. They need each other. The obstacles are too much for one person.

Forest Bargaining  - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4

The meeting with the White Lady surprised me.

I love that she was sassy. Everyone in Fillory seems sassy, even Fen. I suppose that's a good coping mechanism for people in a magical world where everything always goes wrong.

While I didn't think it would be that easy to revive Alice, I assumed there'd be something she could do.

But like Quentin, I should have known better.

Everything I've ever wanted, I've got. Magic is real and it can fix anything except what I need. I loved a girl. My entire life I've dreamed of Fillory. That I would be like Martin Chatwin. I'd find a way to stay here forever. Send me home.

Quentin

Nothing about Fillory's been what he thought it would be.

One of the show's strongest, and smartest, messages is that magic is not a fix-all solution.

And just because characters receive their heart's desires, there's no guarantee they'll be happy.

It's a little depressing when you think about it, which is why it's hard to blame Quentin for asking to be sent back to the real world.

Childhood hero? - The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4

He's lost without Alice, but it's more than that.

Quentin gives up too easily. Sometimes, that's a good thing. Like when he realized Alice had to be the one to stop the Beast on The Magicians Season 1 Episode 13.

But Quentin can't give up now. Not on Fillory. Not on magic. And definitely not on Alice.

Even if he can't get her back, which I still think he will, he owes it to her to keep fighting the good fight.

Tell us your thoughts on the episode. Do you think Julia was right to call out Margo? Will Eliot succeed as High King? How long will Quentin stay in Brooklyn?

If you need to catch up, you can watch The Magicians online anytime!

The Flying Forest Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Magicians Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Margo: For whatever stupid reason, you're the high king of an entire land. You have to be responsible, Eliot.
Eliot: Since when are you Fillory Clinton?
Margo: Since I'm me. My crown is just as heavy as yours.

Royal Council: With the Beast dead, there's a power vacuum in Fillory.
Margo: Power vacuum? Hello! High King and Queen right here.
Royal Council: We, of course, recognize your rule, but others--
Fen: Everyone assumes you'll be dead soon or you'll run away or vanish or go mad.
Royal Council: There are stirrings of rebellion in the southern orchard. The outer islands refusal to pay the crown's taxes.
Margo: You know who loves paying taxes? People with broken legs.