The Magicians Season 3 Episode 8: “Six Short Stories About Magic” Recap

On this week’s episode of SYFY’s The Magicians, the writers told the story in a fun new way, but one that left some wanting more. The episode followed certain characters throughout the episode, showing how their different stories intersected, punctuated by title cards with the character’s name. This episode we followed Quentin, Poppy, Harriet, and Kady as they broke into the massive and mysterious Library, and Julia and Fen as they discovered a nefarious secret about Irene McAllister (spoiler: she’s cutting up fairies and snorting them). This episode we also got to see Alice try to barter with the library over her niffin knowledge, and possibly become an old lady who can see the future. It’s all very blurry as of now, but hopefully next week’s musical episode will clear everything up. It probably won’t, but it will definitely be fun.

This was the 8th episode of the 12 episode season, meaning things should start becoming more clear, yet with each episode, there seem to be more and more questions with more and more plot twists. Some of the major plot twists in this episode alone were the discovery that a dust made from fairies can give someone a small amount of magic, and Irene McAllister just so happens to have a fairy captive, there’s an old, seemingly crazy woman working in the library who looks exactly like Alice, and the Head Librarian is Harriet’s mother.

Unfortunately this episode we didn’t get to see everyone’s favorite sass king and queen, Eliot and Margo, except for a short scene at the very end of the episode, where Eliot seems to be trying to talk the people of Fillory out of chopping off his and Margo’s perfectly coiffed heads. Hopefully in next week’s’ musical episode Margo and Eliot get more screen-time.

The best part of Wednesday’s episode was undoubtedly the sequence from Harriet’s perspective. These scenes where almost entirely silent, except for some muffled sounds meant to illustrate the vibrations a deaf person feels. Because Harriet is a deaf woman, having an entire sequence from her point of view was incredibly refreshing and intriguing. Not only were the scenes set from Harriet’s point of view interesting, they also gave viewers a huge plot twist: The prim-and-proper head librarian was revealed to be her mother. Since time passes differently in The Library, we were able to see Harriet grow up during her jaunts to Earth while her mother stays the same age in The Library. This sequence was particularly heart-wrenching given the ending, in which one of The Library’s travelers smashes the mirror that Harriet escaped through, trapping her and the traveler Victoria in a sort of mirror realm/void.

The scenes with Harriet and the Head Librarian were the most emotional to be sure, but the freakiest/grossest scene in this episode was undoubtedly when Fen and Julia discover that Irene McAllister, who had helped Julia in the past, had somehow taken a fairy captive and convinced her that she was the last one of her kind (when we know for a fact there are thousands in Fillory). It turns out, a sort of magic powder can be made from fairies, and when snorted, this powder can give a magician a small amount of magic for a short time, but at a cost. In last night’s episode Fen saw Skye, a downtrodden fairy who seemed to be at the service of Irene. Julia couldn’t see her because Julia hasn’t yet made a deal with a fairy, but Fen has, meaning she could see Skye. When Fen confronted Skye about why she was on Earth, Skye said that she was under Irene’s protection, and that since she was the last fairy, she needed protecting from “bad magicians” (little did she know that Irene is one of the bad magicians she probably needed protecting from). This all led up to said gross scene, where Julia and Fen break into a shed on Irene’s property to find Skye on a table, sans left leg. The shock and pity felt in this scene was nicely juxtaposed with the shock and pity  felt from an earlier scene where Fen opens up about the loss of her child, partly due to the fairies. Fen had a deep hatred for fairies, but perhaps if she and Julia choose to help rescue Skye, we will be able to see some character growth from Fen.

As always, this episode ended with a cliffhanger. Penny was able to send one of the seven magic keys to Quentin and company, but when he was supposed to astral-project into the book that the key was hidden in, the book chute was shut by Sylvia, a girl who helped Penny in season two. Since Penny has a billion year contract with The Library, it looks like Sylvia trapped him in there to help The Librarians collect on his debt. But sadly we have to wait for next week’s episode to find out were Penny’s fate lies.

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