Two episodes into the new season and I find myself saying "well, that didn't last long."
The Magicians Season 4 Episode 2 doesn't waste any time getting to the heart of the matter and getting rid of the glamors that make it impossible for our main characters to interact like the ones we all know and love.
After The Magicians Season 4 Episode 1, it was evident that we were going to have to get rid of the glamors soon.
Season 4 is set up to be a two-part problem. First, there's a shapeshifting demon the loose, inhabiting the body of Eliot. Second, the Brakebills students don't know who they are they are thanks to Henry Fogg's spell casting.
The problem with this setup is that there are only so many ways to not talk about what they need to talk about to solve it.
The ringing and the objects falling from the sky is comical, but it was going to eventually run its course and get stale.
Having Marina attempt to force Henry's hand was an almost ingenious way to getting around that problem. Dosing Henry essentially puts him between a rock and a hard place. The scenes between the Marina from another timeline and Henry are a real treat.
The Marina from the twenty-third timeline had a relationship with Henry, and it's no surprise she knows precisely how to push his buttons. Kacey Rohl's delivery as she eggs him on about how in another timeline he owed her child support gave the scenes some levity.
I am hoping to see more of them in future episodes, especially now that the glamors have fallen, and Fogg will remember that the life Marina chose for him is that of her father.
The Magicians Season 4 Episode 2 also gives us a satisfying answer as to the book that Sam, aka Kady, found in the season premiere.
The glamors are just one part of the spell. The lives behind it had to be generated from something, and hearing Dean Fogg talk to Etta about how he based their lives off a comic book feels so simple.
In some ways, it also seems a little too simple. I don't know that we can count on this being the last we see of the comic book. Doubt me?
Just remember that Fillory is real. I wouldn't be surprised if some timey-whimey magic comes about and it turns out that somehow Fogg or another character had written that book knowing what would happen.
The episode has it's comedic points as well. Rick Worthy's performance in this episode has dark humor as he goes around making amends to his drinking buddy, his bookie, and punching the husband of someone he slept with.
It could have been a frenzied performance, but Worthy has such a deadpan delivery that even though you're shocked at his brutal honesty, you can't help but smile a little.
He faces everything, confesses his sins, and accepts his fate.
The truly heartbreaking part of Henry's story is his interaction with Kim, aka Julia. When Kim first arrives at Brakebills, Henry tells Kim Julia's story in broad impressionist stroke, and on this episode, we see that he's truly honored to have been her teacher.
It's the kind of discussion that feels reminiscent of a '90s drama when a longtime cast member leaves a place of business; the audience knows the character will be out there, but doing what? We won't know.
This episode really felt like a goodbye to Henry Fogg, which would have been a loss for the series, but fortunately, he lays the breadcrumbs so that Julia can undo the spell.
Back in The Magician Season 1, we learned that Julia was supposed to be at Brakebills with Quentin, but the only way they could stop the beast is if Julia was on her own cultivating her own magic. Since then, Julia has been on a Hermione Granger-like journey ultimately resulted in her having godlike powers.
The solution that Kim finds in The Magicians Season 4 Episode 2 after being told she might be able to help Fogg's millennial students is to attempt to touch a perpetual batter and have it hurl her against the wall until it overloads.
It's a little less impressive than horcruxing yourself into seven magic keys, but it does demonstrate Julia's resilience.
It's also poetic that Julia would be the one to restore everyone's identities. Her classmates have all been given lives far away from magic. Yet, Julia's magic is the one who can save them all, and in this life, she's not even good at magic. She went to Todd for a cheating spell.
Now that the perpetual battery has gone out and the glamors have fallen, it will be interesting to see what role Julia plays vanquishing the demon. She's the only one not in Marina's apartment at the end of the episode, and yet her memories must have come back like everyone else's.
In the middle of all of this, we have Janet, aka Margo, traipsing through Fillory. I have to be honest, Janet might be the personality that I am going to miss the most now the glamors are gone.
The funny thing is, she's not even that far from Margo. Margo's humor swings a little further into the absurd, but Janet's appreciates whimsy only proclaim she hates it in the next breath.
Definitely not qualities for the high king.
The Magicians Season 4 Episode 2 also delves a little further into the issue with Fillory this season with the return of Bacchus.
We don't know why Bacchus is there, but apparently, he's been filling the air with opium. His intentions aren't clear, and honestly, they don't have to be yet. With the absence of the glamors, the gang is going to need another problem to solve.
Bacchus' coup in Fillory is a good substitute, and it's complicated even more by how he immediately sends Margo away.
Speaking of problems, Alice is still in library prison having a conversation with Santa. There's very little Alice this episode, but the writers are moving this plot forward with Alice able to get a tiny bit of magic and use the cockroach as a proxy to get intelligence on her prison.
I couldn't tell where the story was going with the roach, but I think it served its purpose.
Having Santa as a prison buddy is going to come in handy. I am curious to see how Santa gets down all those chimneys. Somehow in the middle of all his talk about how the name of Santa is ruined on Earth, I forgot that his primary mode of egress to and from a house is a chimney.
How has he been contained in the library prison?
Finally, we also get to see what Quentin has been up to body-snatching demon Eliot. The ritual to summon Enyalius shows the dynamic between the two characters really well.
Hale Appleman does a great job playing this creepy demon Eliot, and I am very curious to see more of this as the season goes on.
Now that Quentin knows what's going on, it also allowed the demon to talk openly about what its goal is, and I get the feeling that it is probably going to come into contact with Baachus down the line.
What did you think of this episode of The Magicians? Are you glad that the glamors are gone? What do you think Bacchus' plan is Fillory? Are you hoping that Eliot comes back after the demon gets what the gods took from him?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to watch The Magicians online.
Lauren Busser is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.