The truth behind Sky's enslavement and the Fairies terraforming of Fillory may have set the magical creatures free, but no good deed goes unpunished according to The Magicians Season 3 Episode 10.
There have been questions about the connection between the Earth fairies and the Fillory fairies, as well as how storylines of Brakebills and Fillory might collide with them this season.
We've now seen what that connection is and the truth is pretty ugly. But so much of the season has focused on the fairies as a largely quiet, but violent threat against magicians that it was a bit startling to see them on other ends of the power spectrum during "The Art of the Deal."
Irene's family has enslaved generations of fairies like Sky and her friends, a group left behind after the Queen's mother, and the rest of her magical race fled to Fillory following the threat of extinction.
And not only has the family enslaved generations of these magical creatures, but bound them through magic in a way that their only out is death via decapitation.
It's easy to see why the Queen harbors such venomous feelings for the children of Earth. They nearly killed her kind once and then brutally enslaved those that remained.
But it was also interesting to see her turn a soft eye to Julia, and to some degree Fen, for helping free the fairies. The entire mission was quite messy and didn't work out as well as I'm sure Julia or the Fairy Queen would have liked.
It did, however, see all three women transcend their traumas to save others, and even to a certain degree, redeem each other. From the Fairy queen's violent deals to Fen's bigotry, goodness triumphed because they went against history and trusted each other.
I think that's particularly powerful when it comes to Julia's storyline, which has been so much about how she's had her sense of self and power stripped after being raped.
Her magic is giving her the power to save people, to stop violence, and to heal pain. For someone who will never entirely be healed from what happened to her, it's a pretty strong balm.
This episode also did justice to Fen, who has spent a lot of this season treated like a dainty child. Fen was pretty ignorant of the world and s, most of her experiences since shacking up with Eliot have been a bit crude and harsh.
Someone so full of kindness literally had it lopped off of her, and yet she chose to help people she previously feared and despised. She was the one who convinced the Fairy Queen to go to Earth after all.
Unfortunately, after breaking the slavery deal, the Queen reveals that there will be irreversible consequences to the decision and in the universe of The Magicians, that tends to spell really bad news.
There's also the fact that Irene's been quite close with the Brakebills' administration. While Fog was noticeably absent, I can't help to wonder how much he may have known or what he might do when he finds out.
Meanwhile, Josh, Alice, and Quentin set out on the next key quest but the entire thing is a pretty uncomfortable experience. It begins with the blow-up between Alice in Quentin back at Brakebills.
Quentin has had it with Alice's secrets and, feeling like they were closer than the way she is treating him, attempts to freeze her out, part out of bitterness, part in an attempt to get her to open up.
Alice's lies have illustrated to Q that someone he cared about cares very little about him. That lying also means that on a quest where trust is essential, sometimes to the point of survival, Alice is a serious liability.
But Quentin's new feelings don't include empathy for, as Alice points out, what she's actually gone through. It's been building all season, but this episode finally showed us what had been bugging Alice when it came to Quentin.
Alice isn't some fictional girlfriend character, we hear in less short terms. She's a person with feelings, who has experienced awful things, is attempting to process them and is not being given enough space to do so.
Quentin treats Alice like his love interest, built around his needs, instead of as her own person. And that isn't working for her.
Despite being vocal with each other about how they were feeling, it doesn't actually change much in their interactions on the quest, which leads me to believe it may actually take some serious time for them to get remotely back to the way they were.
As for Penny, he unsurprisingly attempts to hatch another escape plan from The Library after an extremely apologetic Silvia reveals she turned him in for 1 million years off her sentence (or contract, depending who you ask).
While he has no use for her sorry, he does manage to use her intel about an underworld "metro" to scare a soul into giving up their card. Penny isn't sure where the metro goes, but he knows it's not The Library and that seems to be good enough.
Well, until Hades shows up and explains how fascinating he finds Penny. Being recognized as his own person appeals to Penny, who has spent a lot of time on the margins of the Brakebills crew.
Hades plays to this, revealing that Penny has something great ahead if he chooses to stay and make the best of his time at The Library instead of running. And in a surprise twist, Penny does choose to stay and gives Silvia her ticket out of the Library.
Overall, I want to say that despite how little screen time some characters got this episode, the writers and actors did a really incredible job of showing how far many of this show's characters have come.
Where Margo and Eliot might have flaked because things were just "too hard" before, they've learned how to use their strengths, and what some might deem as more distasteful qualities, to help put an end to a war.
Julia began as someone so eager to get power she ignored people's pain. Now, attuned to her own, she's made it her sole purpose to help stop others from experiencing any variation of it.
Quentin is very subtly beginning to realize that Alice is not his manic pixie dream girl and that she's a person whose world doesn't revolve around him. He's also realizing he can't be so trusting of people.
Alice, on the other hand, is learning, if shakily, to let her voice and feelings be heard. She's spent a lot of time trying to be "good" or "good enough" for others and it has come at the cost of her identity, growth and mental health.
Penny, meanwhile, has learned to let people in and be a part of something. And though not around in season one, Fen has literally become her own woman.
It's awing that the development this year has been so clean and well executed. I'm beginning to wonder if The Magicians will be able to top its season three performance next year.
If you have thoughts about The Magicians' latest episode, "The Art of the Deal," comment below! And if you haven't caught up, you can watch The Magicians online.
Abbey White is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.