The Ardent Eccentric – The Magicians S3 E5 – “A Life in the Day” – Recap and Review

Ah, traveling for work – makes it hard to do fun things like write summaries.  And this one is over a week behind.

On an up note, traveling for work makes it easier to write current summaries, so look for “Do You Like Teeth?,” episode 6, shortly.

As always, spoilers (of course, at this point, hopefully you are caught up).

There…look…a picture.


Girl Talk About Magic

Alice tells Q that her and Penny are on their way to see Kady in rehab. They have a super awkward, “we’re divorced parents” moment as Penny sits on the stairs like a lost child.  They are going to show Kady that Penny is still with them using the truth key, but this ends up being the worst decision ever.  Not only is Penny yelled at and rejected by his girlfriend, Kady looks totally crazy, given that no one else can see Penny except for her.  She tells him how trying to save him broke her, and she needs to fix herself before she can have any sort of relationship.  She also threatens to kill him if he says he loves her, which leads the doctors viewing the surveillance footage in the room to believe she’s a danger to herself and others.  Kady ends up getting sedated when she tries to escape from rehab.

Alice is really not happy about how their visit to Kady turned out, and is flustered and unfocused while helping Julia figure out things Penny shared with her about the astral plane.  But they are interrupted by Our Lady Underground speaking through Alice, and Julia and Alice take a break at a local bar to talk.

The two discuss the fact that Alice doesn’t know what to do with herself now without magic.  They both can’t figure out where Julia is getting magic from, and Alice suggests that she focus the key of truth’s power through a mirror to discover the magic’s source.  When Julia does, she is horrified to see Reynard’s eyes staring back at her.

Screaming, she closes her eyes, only to find that she is now sitting in a different part of the bar, with Our Lady Underground offering her a seat.  The goddess has given her the seed of magic from Reynard, which is kind of good, but kind of shitty – Julia worked so hard to get rid of Reynard’s seed, only to have it put back inside of her against her will.  But, then again…magic.

Julia absolutely doesn’t want it, and after arguing with Our Lady about it, she ends up back in the bar.  Sharing the conversation with Alice, the two muse on how it would be better if Alice had it, and they scheme as to how to make that happen.


A Shared Life

Back at Brakebills, Eliot and Q are trying to figure out the next part of the quest.  They find that need to solve a mosaic in Fillory, representing the beauty of all life, and when they do, they will receive the key to magic (like, literally).

They use the Chatwins’ clock to return; however, before they can enter, they get a bunny from Margo with a message about new alliances that the Fairy Queen is trying to set up against her will.  The guys figure that they can solve the mosaic and help Margo by returning to Fillory; however, they have entered well in the past, even before the Chatwins arrive.

They start working on the mosaic, with Q trying to calculate the “beauty of all life” using the number of tiles and combinations.  Apparently, there are a “shitload” of options. And magic doesn’t work on the mosaic, which means it’s going to take forever to complete, or a lifetime…perhaps? Thus, the title of this week’s episode becomes clear – “A Life in the Day.”

We then watch an absolutely beautiful series of Eliot and Q trying to solve the mosaic across the lifespan – they meet locals, Q marries Ariel the peach and plum vendor, they have a son, she dies, Eliot comforts his friend.  They raise Q’s son to adulthood, and grow old together as Q’s boy makes his way in the world.  All the while, they continue to try to solve the mosaic, even up to when Eliot dies of old age (thanks, The Magicians, because at this point, I am ugly crying).

When Q buries El, a single, gold tile appears in the dirt.  Q places it in the center of the white mosaic canvas space, and a key materializes (still super ugly crying at this point at this whole segment). But then a young Jane Chatwin appears to try to solve the mosaic, only to be disappointed to see that Q has beaten her to it.  She has received the watch from the dwarves of Fillory that allows her to turn back time (thus creating the time loops in season 1), but needs the key to power it.  Q realizes that she needs the key in order for them to stop the Beast, so with a heavy heart, he hands it over.


Getting Married…Need Help

Margo is plotting with Tick to grind down the bricks in the fairy-repellent hallway, and put them into the queen’s tub, but they are interrupted as the queen presents her with a wedding gift.  She’s forcing her to marry the head of the Tribe of the Floating Mountain (That Is No Longer Floating due to the loss of magic), and again, I’m not sure what the Fairy Queen is doing here.  She’s forcing Margo to marry into their royal family, so they will have access to their army, but their tribe is a matriarchy, which will give Margo all the power. So, forcing someone to marry into a tribe where she has all of the power is good, I guess?

Prince Ess of Loria is none too pleased that Margo is getting married after recently turning down his proposal, but Margo reminds him that Eliot and Ess’s father secured that alliance for their lands.  They have an innuendo filled discussion about alliances, so I think Ess will still be an option for Margo on the side.

The tribe’s royal family sets up camp in the hallway with the fairy killing powder, so Tick can’t continue his task of collecting poison for the Fairy Queen’s bath.  Before meeting her future husband and his family, Margo sends a bunny messenger to the boys asking for help (seriously, these bunnies, and the writer who does their voices -Mike Moore – are amazing).

Normally, the bride doesn’t meet the groom before the wedding, but the tribe’s queen offers to assuage Margo’s nervousness by letting her meet her future husband.  The first guy that enters, Prince Fomar, is young and nerdy and Margo is not at all happy.  But it turns out that Fomar is the younger brother of her intended, Prince Micah the Hotness (my words, not theirs) of the Tribe of the Floating Mountain (That Is No Longer Floating).  Margo is quite pleased by this development, so again, is the Fairy Queen really evil by setting up this alliance? She is literally forcing Margo to marry a handsome, loving man in a matriarchy.  How is this bad, really?

The bride and her fiancee prepare for their wedding in the same room, getting some glimpses at one another, only to be interrupted by an arrow through the window, attempting to kill Margo’s future husband.  Ess is REALLY not pleased, apparently, about Margo’s wedding, and Margo locks him away for attempted murder, and to prevent him from interrupting again.

However, it wasn’t Ess she really had to worry about -it was younger brother Fomar, who unexpectedly beheads his older brother during his nuptials.  Tribal tradition notes that the younger brother must fulfill his older sibling’s duties, thus forcing Margo to marry him instead of Michah.

Margo holds off consummation with her new shitty husband by insisting on opening all of their wedding presents first – if she doesn’t, his manhood will fall off, per Earth tradition.  She opens a letter from Q, that explains how he and Eliot are both dead in their pursuit of the quest, and that she needs to take the next step to get the key.

The next step involves visiting an adult Jane Chatwin in the Clock Barrens, where all times exist and on one plane.  Margo needs the key, but while Jane is alive there in Fillory, she’s dead on the linear plane.  So, she can’t give her the key, since it is needed to power the Clock Barrens, but the actual key is still on Jane’s corpse back home.  Jane sends her there to dig it up, and Margo reaches Eliot and Q with it, just as the two are about to embark on their quest in the first place.  Thus, creating a parallel timeline. Margo finally allows herself a moment of weakness, falling into El’s loving embrace (again, more ugly crying from me).

The three return to Fillory in their own timeline, and while Margo tries to fend off her new weird husband, El and Q eat some peaches and plums, and suddenly their whole other lives come back to them. While it was an alternate timeline, they can remember everything.


Q & A About Q & A and Everything Else

  • What the hell is with these powerful female creatures and gods growing Margo and Julia through their tough love approach? Our Lady Underground, the Fairy Queen…like, really? I love this parallel, but hate what it’s doing to our two powerful magicians.
  • I kind of think it would be fabulous to live out that alternate timeline and have it all come back to you in your present.  But then I wonder if it would be horribly sad, given that if the alternate timeline was the one you loved more, you couldn’t ever get back to it.


Next Week (or Last Night)

Episode 6, “Do You Like Teeth?” is the debut of Felicia Day as Poppy, a draconologist that had a significant role in the books. I love Felicia Day, and it will be interesting to see her take on this character. Recap and review coming soon!


Photo courtesy of Syfy

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