The Magicians Review & Recap Episode 7 – The Mayakovsky Circumstance or The Joy of Magical Sex…Lots and Lots of Sex

This week’s episode of The Magicians, The Mayakovsky Circumstance, focused primarily only on two storylines; we only got a glimpse of the aftermath of Julia and Hannah’s disastrous results of their attempt to steal from Marina last week.  This greater focus on the two parallel storylines, one at Brakebills with Eliot and Margo, and the other with our first years at Brakebills South, allowed us to really see the consequences of moving into something more intimate and letting go. Which is what really doing magic is, and what Mayakovsky is trying to teach them.

There was also plenty of sex.  In fact, much of it made Kady and Penny seem like a Puritan couple.

But when our magicians do finally let go and give in to their desires, that’s when the consequences really hit them.

Let’s break it down by couple this week:

Quentin and Alice

After arriving at Brakebills South from their flight as geese, the two of them have a ton of sexual tension as Mayakovsky forces them to perform magic without their voices, and work together to perform mind control on insects. At one point, Mayakovsky tells Quentin and Alice to “just fuck already.”

q and a wih bug

When they finally complete the mind control lesson, Mayakovsky still sees that they’re simply trying to complete the task, rather than practice magic.  Soooo…he yells about them being fucking bland and having no joy and tosses them naked outside in the snow as the solution.

Which actually works.  The next time we see them, they are hurrying back in and wrapping themselves in fur coats, and it’s interspersed with shots of two arctic foxes prancing around in the snow, and then eventually two arctic foxes getting it on.  And then human Quentin and human Alice start moving towards getting it on.

“This isn’t going to be weird, right?” Quentin says.

“It doesn’t have to be,” replies Alice.

q and alice making out

Because the fox humping wasn’t weird at all for your first time together.  Nope, if I had that option, I would totally take it.  That, or octopus sex.  Because that also would not be at all weird.


Kady and Penny

Penny finally accepts that he’s a Traveler and lets Mayakovsky cut off the tattoo his mentor gave him previously to keep him tethered to the Earth.  He also insists that Kady explain why she used him.  Kady lets go by letting down her mental wards so that Penny now knows everything about Marina and her mother.

So, of course, they end up in bed.  Because that’s how the two of them deal with their issues.  Also because…Kady and Penny.

Kady and Penny

And then Penny gets the brilliant idea to steal some unique magic from Mayakovsky and flee in order to buy Kady out of her contract with Marina.

But the consequences of that turn out poorly, as expected.  Mayakovsky fits the trope of grouchy, but all knowing professor too well to steal anything from him.  When Penny gives the item to Kady to go get some other items for a spell, the teacher confronts her about the stolen item, and shares with her the fact that her mother is dead.  He also points out that because he heard about Hannah’s death from Brakebills, that the school now knows everything about Kady’s involvement with the thievery, even if it was extortion.  As we’ve seen already, Brakebills is not a super understanding university, and Mayakovsky knows the consequences of going back will mean that Kady will get kicked out, Penny will follow her out of love, and his gift as a Traveler will eventually kill him because he lacks training.  He encourages Kady to think about how the consequences of staying would affect Penny.

So, naturally, the next time we see Penny, he’s reading a note that simply says “Forgive me” and Kady is making her way in the snow.  Kind of wondering if she turned into a fox too, or something else.  And if she did, do you think Quentin would hump her too, or would he know that it was a Kady-fox?

No worries about that though, because by the end of the episode, Quentin and Alice are doing it again as humans – I feel like we are going to see a lot of that from now on. And why not, it’s cold in Antarctica, and Alice is probably good at everything in her life.  And you know, in the name of becoming better magicians.


Eliot and Margo

To my great surprise, Eliot and Margo have sex! No…I’m kidding.  They have sexy moments, but Eliot finally lets go with a new friend, Mike, who they meet in the library while preparing a gift for their spring break trip sponsor.  The trip promises to be a wild, Dionysus-esque, orgy in Ibiza, and this year’s gift is Magical Gin.  Not quite the follow up to last year’s Working Bag of Dicks, but Magical Gin might have more universal appeal.

The Magical Gin definitely turns out to be much more than they anticipated.  To make it, Mike helps them translate the spell from Arabic, but Eliot and Mike are more interested in making each other happy while Margo makes the gin.  Annoyed, she tells them to go bang already.

eliot and mike

And bang they do.  She tries to get their help, but decides not to interrupt their loud, violent sex in the upstairs loft that has an amazing 70’s beaded curtain at its entrance.

But there’s definitely consequences to that, because Margo’s thinking things she’s not saying, and she’s indulged an eager younger student Todd who desperately wants to be in the “cool kids club” by letting him tag along with them.  I don’t think this is really making Eliot jealous, so I think Todd is just there to indulge her own insecurities. They open the bottle of gin to taste test it, only to find that they have not made magical GIN, but magical DJINN as a genie rises out of the bottle.

mike margo and eliot

The Djinn seems friendly at first, but he only speaks Arabic, so Eliot just assumes that because he’s not killing them, that all is well.  But…no.  The Djinn rips through the room and whisks Mike away to Eliot, Margo, and Todd’s horror.


And those things Margo was thinking not only caused Mike to disappear but caused a rift between her and Eliot. Because she opened the bottle, she’s the Djinn’s mistress, and he can read her thoughts.  So anything she “wishes” in her head, he’ll do.  Hence Mike “going back to where he came from,” which they realize is the library.

But Eliot’s pissed, and she doesn’t understand what makes Mike more special than any other random cock, and that she didn’t want him to get between them.  Eliot says he wanted Mike to join them, which I’m not sure is entirely true.  As the season has gone on, I’m not sure how much Eliot means what he tells Margo, or if he’s just trying to appease her so that keeps adoring him and filling up his insecurities.  I think for as much of a confident facade Eliot puts out, he and Margo both have a lot of issues beneath the surface, and they are both holding each other up emotionally.  Mike threatens to break that delicate balance and make them experience real emotions, and I can’t wait.

Anyhoo, they find Mike in the library licking a doorknob because Margo wanted him to “suck on some other knob.” Heh…genies are so wonderfully literal.  Margo dismisses him back to his bottle and releases Mike from the spell.

Mike and knob

But something has changed – Eliot’s staying home from Ibiza because that type of vacation is not really Mike’s thing.  He assures Margo that he only has one Bambi, and Ibiza will still be there for them, and smacks her on the ass.  So again, the intimacy that isn’t truly intimate – it’s like they skirt around being real with one another.  Todd the Magical Groupie accompanies Margo instead, so I think we will be seeing more of him during the rest of this season.


And Eliot’s choice will have consequences that will probably end poorly for everyone in the gang, though not intentionally.  Mike leaves their bed to get a midnight snack, and a bright blue moth flutters gently on a nearby mirror.  When Eliot tells him to come back to bed, Mike’s eyes flash a bright blue as he says he will be right there.  So Eliot may literally soon be in bed with The Beast.

mike with blue eyes



OK, not really a couple, but she’s with her sister this week, who offers to get her into a rehab center after she’s released by the police.  The police believe Hannah died from a brain hemorrhage, so they send Julia home with her sister.  The rehab center her sister picked might be the best thing for Julia, since their mother is an image conscious socialite who will use her connections to have Julia committed rather than embarrass her.  No sex though, because that would be Eliot and Margo kind of weird. We leave Julia till next week to reflect on the consequences of her recent actions and whether or not to go to the rehab center.


Random Observations

  • This episode was directed by Guy Norman Bee, whose directed episodes from Supernatural.  The episodes he’s worked on all have been when the brothers in that series are having a particular tense time in their relationship, and I think he does as good of a job here with The Magicians in drawing out that tension as he did in Supernatural.
  • Where did Kady head off to? Penny said he doesn’t care where she is when asked, but I wonder how long that will last.


Next week

The Strangled Heart – This is supposed to be an intense Eliot episode, although the previews say the Penny is violently attacked by someone believed to be a friend.  Sooo…hopefully it’s not Eliot the one doing the attacking.  And maybe we’ll get to see Eliot finally take down some of those emotional walls he keeps up in the form of fabulous hair and Alexander McQueen scarves – I can only hope.

Photo credits: