This is Season 2 Episode 11 of The Magicians: “The Rattening”
In this episode of The Magicians there are rats, Penny tries to seduce the head librarian, and Quentin and Julia search for her shade. Gross, to say the least.
Fillory is taken over by rats
Nobody knows where Fen is. Eliot cares a little bit, but also gets easily sidetracked thinking about his soon-to-be husband. Margo is trying her best to hide her worry, for she knows whatever is happening to Fen is 100% her fault. The search for (more like “wondering about”) Fen is interrupted when King Idris appears. Eliot immediately turns frantic, especially after his fire dancers don’t show up and the wine isn’t delivered on cue. I understand he hasn’t gotten laid in a while, but this is getting a little too petty (even for Eliot).
Anyhow, King Idris is all about cutting to the chase and tells Eliot to chill with all the unnecessary courting (thank you??!). Then, it ALMOST happens. Eliot ALMOST finally gets laid so we can all move on with our lives. Except, of course, half the court (including Idris) are turned into rats. Margo confronts the Faire envoy, but he claims they had nothing to do with it (though they do have Fen, but in human form, so no biggie).
As a last resort, Eliot tricks his advisors (and Margo) into drinking truth serum with their wine. He finds out one of his advisors is embezzling money, the other runs a brothel/is in love with a sloth, and Margo is responsible for Fen’s disappearance. In the end, Eliot locks Margo up in the dungeon while trying to revert the rats to human form one by one. The sloth-loving advisor fetches a Fairyland-transporting potion for the High Queen who is, we assume, currently in Fairyland. Or dead. Eliot, on the other hand, somehow transported himself to Brakebills. So, who’s ruling Fillory right now?
Penny tries to seduce a librarian
Penny is my favorite character, and I really wish he had someone better than Kady. But alas, as Selena Gomez would say, the heart wants what it wants. We find Penny and Kady having a good ol’ time before Penny returns to his library duties. This time, his ulterior motives mission (because he does always have one of those) is to find out the head librarian’s name so he can find her book. The hope is that the password for the Poison Room will be written somewhere in it. Now, I know I just said I wish Penny’s love interest wasn’t Kady, BUT I don’t mean “replace her with the head librarian who may or may not have tricked Penny into selling his soul to academia.”
I kind of liked that thing he had going on with the teacher? Also unhealthy, but way more chemistry than PennyxKady in my humblest opinion. Penny does make a new friend this episode, and her name is neither Willow nor Meadow, but that’s what we call her thanks to a failed Sopranos reference. Willow/Meadow catches Penny reading the names off of all the lunch bags in the Library fridge to figure out the head librarian’s name. It’s finally revealed, thanks to Willow/Meadow to be Zelda, but the book is also locked up in the Poison Room.
Back to square one, as always.
Julia and Quentin take a trip to the Underworld
Personally, my preferred mode of transportation is also dragon. Or anything that isn’t a plane. In any case, Quentin and Julia track down “an ancient one” aka dragon in order to gain free passage into the Underworld where Julia’s shade awaits. Of course, there is a toll to pay at the dragon booth: Quentin’s Fillory button. Is he going to make it in time for Eliot’s wedding??? I digress. The dragon grants Quentin and Julia 24 hours in Persephone’s realm (who btw is the “Our Lady of JK I Am Reynard”). So, should one trust the Underworld? Probably not.
I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve pondered what happens after death. In the world of Magicians, no rattening happens (fortunately). However, you do get sent to the Underworld’s reception area, where fake-friendly people will guide you through a long process of waiting. The idea is that they are helping you “transition” into the afterlife, and you get to enjoy your “journey” with a “close karmic circle,” aka your friends from back when you were breathing. Can you tell where this is going? You guessed it. Julia reunites with all her worshipping friends, Richard included. (Oh, btw: Shade-less Julia has an awful hole where her intestines should be that is v uncomfortable to look at):
In fact, Richard helps her and Quentin make a run for it to find where the shades are kept. Apparently, the shades (who are all little kids) hang out by Persephone’s room, except that no one has seen her in a long time. Yeah, duh. Because she’s busy pulling tricks on people, or something. Long story short, they find both Alice and Julia’s shade, and Julia ends up taking Alice’s shade and leaving hers behind. I wish they’d just let the Alice thing hurt at this point instead of prolonging her actual death.
We only have two episodes left of the season, and I’m really wondering where this whole thing is going. Last time around, we had a clear goal: defeating The Beast. Yes, Reynard was already a factor, but he’s also such an elusive villain. Does it really matter if the gang defeats him? Is it even possible? Isn’t the existence of Reynard the exact reason why the 40th time loop finally worked? My point is: Reynard does have a personal vendetta against Julia, but other than his usual (almost low-key) havoc, there’s nothing much going on with him.
Sure, he’s courting his soon-to-be president son, but John Gaines himself doesn’t seem too keen on siding with his father. In this episode, we do see Reynard teach John how to use his commanding powers and John isn’t too pleased with the results. His own powers freak him out, and sure, we could twist the drama that way. We could make this about Demigod vs. God. But seriously? Is this what Alice died for?
I don’t know. They are magicians after all, so maybe they’ve still got some tricks left under their sleeves to gracefully land this season within the next two episodes.
“The Rattening” Episode Vitals
MVP: John Gaines, for staying sane and not choosing the dark side
Biggest Annoyance: Having to see Julia’s shadelessness
Favorite Moment: Eliot being cockblocked by a rattening
Funniest Line: “Millennials.” – the elder one aka dragon