The Magicians: The Rattening [Recap, Review, Rewatch]

TGON Ponders: The episode title (The Rattening) comes from the story line with the least screen time–which after multiple failed interrogations on the writers we’ve given up on understanding how they chose this name.

Nevertheless, Syfy came through wit ha great episode that didn’t bury the lead, as the episode opens with Quentin and Julia in a dark alley going straight for a manhole cover that will take them to “an ancient one” aka a motherf*cking dragon (teased all season).

The manhole cover is enchanted with an Ancient Greek riddle that requires baby teeth to unlock it.  Hilarious dialogue ensues as Shadeless Julia comments she could use a spell to find a child and steal their teeth (but she’d leave money of course), but in a convenient turn of events Q remembers he has a baby molar that never came in, whih Julia uickly uses an extraction spell on.

say it to my face
Courtesy of Syfy and NBCUniversal

Enter the layer of the dragon, a self proclaimed queen (she could be), and like most dragon’s she hoards, baby teeth being a fun part of her collection.  She continues to talk in riddles, and demands the button in exchange for their safe passage to The Underworld.  Julia argues, but the dragon says there are other ways back for them. as “the first door” is still open.

While in the Underworld we see how things are very clinical but definitely…shadey (pardon the pun).  While reception agrees to sort things out and reunite Julia and Quentin with their bodies in their current karmic circle

TGON Spoiler:  The first door is likely the Chatwin House in England the Chatwin children originally crossed over from.  This will likely be used in the next episode.

Penny has been working hard in the Library to learn a new way of casting–sphincter magic.  While less glamorous, the head librarian encourages him before giving him a new mundane library task while introducing him to his new supervisor–Sylvia, a teen with attitude.

kady and penny
Courtesy of SYFY and NBCUniversal

Penny still uses his psychic powers to jump to Kady so they can talk in her mind and have Avatar level brain-sex and talk strategy–their current plan is to read the head-librarian’s life-book to reveal the secrets of the Library’s poison room.  (He tries to accomplish this by flirting with the Head-Librarian to get her name, but crashes and burns which earns him snickering judgement from Sylvia).

In FIllory things are going haywire as usual.  Fen is missing and the King of Loria has arrived to marry Elliot, but not long after the pomp-and-circumstance te kings retire for a … private meeting that is interrupted by an unusual spell of unknown origins that turns a large majority of the population of Castle Whitespire into rats (including the kind of Loria).  The Rattening (still don’t know why they chose this as the episode title) isn’t the only problem–magic is running a muck all over Fillory.  Elliot ends up using truth serum to “truthie” the remaining members of the court that weren’t turned into rats which reveals some fun behind the scenes jokes about what is going on in Fillory, but also leads to MArgo revealing her dealings with the Fairies and the location of Fen.  This of course severs their friendship and he has her taken to the dungeon (we can’t see a dungeon holding Margo for long, unless she just decides to play along), but their is a glimmer of hope that their friendship is salvageable as he demands she get the finest dungeon amenities.  Our Fillory story line ends with a brainstorming session between Elliot and Josh where they invent democracy for Fillory and then Elliot is magically ejected from the magical land and finds himself back in the Cottage at Brakebills.

the tea is too hot
Courtesy of SYFY and NBCUniversal

TGON Summary:  This puts him, Quentin, and Julia all on Earth without the button–they will likely reunite and search for the way back together

The last scene in FIllory comes after his disappearance, where a royal attnednat visits Margo in the dungeon and presents her with apotion that will transport her to the fairy realm in an effort to save Fen and find out what is happening wit hall the weird magic.

bottoms up
Courtesy of Syfy and NBCUniversal

Our least favorite plot line following Reynard’s son is cringe-worthy and hard to watch as he realizes his father is literally evil and uses manipulative mind control powers of suggestions that he apparently inherited and has been controlling everyone and everything his whole life and his marriage and career are lies–even the steamy Christopher Gorham can’t redeem these characters or the discomfort they make us feel (though he seems to be turning against his father and may be assisting in his demise…but we will save all praise for AFTER)

While in the underworld Julia visits her hedge witch friends she lost to try and have them help her–and they do– but are still being lead by Richard. The real Richard.  Even a shadeless Julia is shaken by the sight of him, but luckily has enough objectivity to forgive him and be almost happy to see him.  They help provide intel and distraction while Q and Julia sneak into reception to find where the shades are–Elysium.  In The Magician’s mythos Hades rules the underworld with his wife Persophone and they usually reside in a large home in Elysium, but they have been M.I.A. for quite some time.

Upon infiltrating Elysium it looks more like an orphanage (since shades apparently take the forms of children), and we see the shades performing magic for an audience of what seems like no one, but they are actually performing mini-miracles for the living–how sweet.

Julia’s attentions turn to a portrait of Persophone, who she imediately recognizes as the Our-Lady-Underground.

TGON nerds OUT: In classic myth Perosphone was the Queen of the Underworld after being abducted and tricked by Hades, so making her the face behind Our-Lady-Underground is a genius play on myth.  It should also be noted that Homer described her as “Queen of the shades” in his writing.

The duo are helped by a little, boy shade who recounts tales of how the new girl shade is a little more mischievous than her counterparts and is always sneaking into Perephone’s room (the shades are apparently told they aren’t supposed to go in there, but who is telling them not to if Persephone herself has been missing?) 

Plot twists abound when Julia finds not her shade, but Alice’s.  Quentin finds Julia’s shade off camera and rushes to Persephone’s room and everyone has their reunions (Julia with her shade, and Q with Alice’s).

The heartbreaking final seen comes when Quentin says his final goodbye’s to Alice and Julia makes him leave first, but at the last minute pulls a switch (#NoNintendo) and smuggles Alice’s shade out of The Underworld, leaving hers behind.

young alice
Courtesy of Syfy and NBCUniversal

This has major implications for how the show may swerve back into the course of the books in the most unexpected way and we are fangirling so hard to see what the writers do next, and can’t wait to get the real Quentin/Alice reunion. Q&A Forever, amiright?  Or Qualice…that’s fine too, as long as Alice is back who cares what we call it!?

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Author: Michael

Game of Nerds writer, comedian, tumblr enthusiast, twitter user. @Bonersniper for all things.

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