The quest for the seven keys is great, but the storyline that we’ve enjoyed far more this season is that of the fairies. We loved Julia and Fen’s quest to save the enslaved fairies of Earth, and the character development of the queen, but have loved watching Margo go head-to-head with the Fairy Queen. Then this episode comes along and we don’t get a fierce magic battle, interspecies war, or thievery and eggnapping, we are given the highest levels of character development and redemption for Margo (and even the animosity we still hold for Janet), all wrapped up in a bow of foreshadowing and traceable progression. We couldn’t have asked for more, so kudos to the writers.
This episode has been building since the “Fillory Clinton” line in season 2 episode 4’s “The Flying Forest”, if not earlier, but you can relive that iconic scene here!
Benevolent High King Margo brought us an end to the fairy oppression when she made a declaration that all of the fairies could move to Fillory with full citizenship and political representation, pretty bad ass, but not her first time being for the people. In case you missed, Margo won the Fillorian election as a write-in due to word of mouth from Humbledrum (a call back to book one!), who she treated like the respected citizen and entrepreneur he is, and even helped him get Elliot’s blessing for his relationship with Fray (he doesn’t fully grasp the two aren’t truly related, but respect for Humbledrum’s traditional values, and to Hale and the writer’s for that bear joke).
Margo’s growth from cold-hearted mean girl to passionate, respected leader was rewarded by the Fairy Queen with the 7th key (technically 6th, remember the time hop might affect things!) and also a new -fairy- eye! But nothing for Fen, kthxbye [she could easily get magical wood prosthetics from the centaurs like Quentin did or timeline 23 Alice, so she will be fine]. Fen’s moment was hilarious and almost stole the scene for us, but we are excited to see great things from High King Margo and hope this isn’t the end of her journey [and that she gets her ice axes next season!].
In other storylines, Quentin ties up loose ends before they complete the quest to restore magic and, subsequently, his dad’s cancer comes back. It was a little staggering for Quentin to reference his life spent at the mosaic and how he’s so matured and wise from it when we don’t get that feeling from Elliot, and it is almost a pitfall of telling and not showing for Quentin’s character. It was an understandably uncomfortable scene that we could’ve lived without, but upward and onward.
Alice is a little more exciting with the library tasking her with stealing Julia’s power (probably killing her) so they can access the information in the castle at the end of the world that they only know of, but not the secrets inside. They give her the neat, puzzle-box looking tool and send her on her mission, but she holds a lot of hesitation, and we know this because Penny 23 can read her thoughts and lets the group know because he is a little too hardcore #TeamJulia. We’d like to take a moment to point out how Alice potentially damning the quest objective of season 3 mirrors Julia’s actions in season 1, but it seems like the results could be more dire this time.
Kady is having trouble adjusting to Penny 23, who doesn’t even know who she is, and faces a hard truth when the key that links all their thoughts lets her hear Penny 23, and not her timeline’s Penny. He has been replaced, but we expect to see a reunion in season 4 where he more embodies his douchey book persona. She ends up tagging along with Julia and Penny 23 to confront Reynard and get any information about the castle at the end of the world they can. “Powerless” or not, he was and is still a lesser god with valuable insights, but Julia correctly identifies him as a trickster through and through, which is why she gets the jump on him and is able to freeze him when he attempts to shoot her with the god-killing bullet she herself made.
They take the gun to arm themselves for whatever unspeakable horror is locked in the castle, after Reynard says the oldest gods made whatever abomination is held inside before they made “us”, and it screams of Supernatural season 7 and is likely the plot base for the Magicians season 4. We are excited to see where everything goes, and our proud of how Julia and Kady handled their foe, a perfect example of how the writers can indeed show the characters growing within their actions.
Also, did everyone catch that Hades gave Reynard the gun and everything seems in line with our theory* that he is intervening in the Magicians’ storyline and may have more involvement than we know? *(In line with our theories of who enlisted the demon to influence the quest in the musical episode. But he’s only Reynard’s stepfather and is almost undermining his wife’s wishes. We’ve seen a god get killed, could we see one get divorced in season 4?)
The finale is upon us but we will keep an eye out for any convention appearances and news as we wait for season 4!