We have VERY strong opinions on this week’s episode so buckle up, because we aren’t holding back as we compile and analyze this episode.
Let’s go in for the kill from the jump: Poppy makes me violent and angry. Don’t get me wrong, Felicia Day is amazing and it is a testament to her acting that she can make me feel so passionately about a brand new character [Show Poppy is a far cry from the roll-with-the-punches, fight for the cause research magician from Australia we meet in the books], but introducing a chaotic neutral character in the middle of an important quest has huge ramifications that I have a hard time stomaching.
A general overview of this storyline: Quentin, Elliot, and Margo return to Fillory. Q avoids the Fairy Queen by masquerading as a palace guard until he deciphers the clue to the next key and takes the Muntjac to find it, accompanied by Benedict [major book throwback that made my heart hurt at the thought of whats to come]. Nearing their destination they here cry for help and rescue a new character, Poppy (Felicia Day). Lo and behold, Poppy has the key they were looking for and readily volunteers the information that she has it and hands it over to Quentin when he says its what they are questing to find. She pretends to not know its secret ability, deemed a highly Slytherin [cunning] move but we argue Poppy is a Ravenclaw [the act was clever].
Surprise, the key’s ability is that it creates a depression monster to terrorize the last person that touched it [the explanation was reminiscent of the horror movie “It Follows”]. The key had varying results on Poppy’s crew (fellow students who had been with her when she poached the ring from some dragons), as some could withstand the key’s effects for long periods but others would be driven insane quickly and kill themselves. In Poppy’s defense, she didn’t know the extent of Quentin’s depression and “thought he’d be able to handle it”, but her selfishness caused carelessness and caused too much trouble. Luckily, her knowledge of dragons coupled with all of her unique traits positivity, quirkiness [individuality], and acceptance [Ravenclaw traits] that make her well equipped at withstanding the Key’s power, and she could be an asset in the long run.
At the end of the day, she showed no remorse and is nowhere near as resourceful or cunning as Quentin, who was smart enough to restrain himself and know that the key, swallowed by the dragon that ate Benedict when he jumped overboard, is probably in the Underworld. Maybe they will make a good team, but Benedict did his best Neville Longbottom impression by standing up to Herm-Poppy and half-failing, but being an unsung hero in his own way by stealing back the key and keeping her from escaping.
Before Quentin left on this quest, there was a strong Queliot scene confirming they were indeed life partners last episode and feelings are lingering, but Eliot needed to stay behind to help Margo deal with the Fairy Queen and Floating Islanders. The Queen of the Floating Islands proved a problem when she tried winning Margo’s trust by trash talking the Fairy Queen as a common enemy but then locked her in the dungeon to breed with her son.
Eliot then takes Margo and her new husband on a trip to a northern portion of Fillory the fairy’s have been occupying and terraforming to match their realm by planting excessive mushrooms. Margo notices a particularly odd patch of mushrooms (a fairy ring, ironically) and upon plucking one finds fairy eggs complete with translucency allowing visible, floating fairy embryos. Never to miss an opportunity, Margo plucks all the eggs she can carry and eggnaps them for leverage. On the ride back her and Eliot, having drugged her husband on the way, use a fanged toad to bite his penis and when he wakes they convince him Margos vagina has teeth and they totalllllly did it, using the episode title “do you like teeth” and geniusly establishing the concept of vaginal dentata earlier when she gives him sex-ed. We were happy to see Eliot and Margo reunited and the fairy developments are exciting and we are eagerly waiting for more next week.
Julia and Alice spend the episode together in a brand new pairing, working on transferring Julia’s magic to Alice through a “hedgewitch” spell Julia had heard in hedgewitch lore that Marina had used to steal magic from a faun. Penny acts as their astral guardian angel and saves them from finishing the spell and blowing themselves up by communicating through a singing bass that ironically plays Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”. Fitting. The magicians consult Dean Fogg, finally revealing Julia’s powers to him, and he chastises them until she re-enchants his glasses and wins his trust and creates a spark of hope.
Fogg reveals Marina stole the transfer spell from his private collection, and to do it properly they’ll need a magical creatures flesh to use as a conductor. He directs them to an incubus, who after hilarious misguided dialogue where they ask to use his magical penis he offers his (re-growable) tail. They finish the spell, succeeding, and Julia leaves for a little her time, while Alice gets to work flexing her spark of magic attempting to create a new body for Penny. Unfortunately, their playing god didn’t jive with the god powers and Alice seizes alone in the Cabin, while Julia is haunted by visions of Reynard.
If you were wondering where Fen was, her and Fray were left behind on Earth, and will team up with Julia in next weeks episode. Kady was mia this week as well, as Josh has been, so we expect them to come back next week as well.
We will say that while this wasn’t our favourite episode, “A Life in the Day” was a tough act to follow, it felt a little less emotional than it should have with all the action and drama in the last 15 minutes, but it was still a solid episode. Poppy, as much as we want to pop her in the nose and keep her away from Quentin, was a good addition, but we need her to get her head in the game.