REVIEW: The Magicians, S4E4 – Marry, F…, Kill

This week’s episode of The Magicians may reference a fun little game in its title, but “Marry, F…, Kill” was no child’s play. Instead the story centered on Josh’s (Trevor Einhorn) lycanthropy rearing its murderous head in a tri-centennial event known as the Quickening. While he and Margo (Summer Bishil) raced against the clock to stop prevent the impending rape and/or death, the rest of the ex-students had their own trials and tribulations to contend with.

You’d be lucky to have a friend like Margo.

It’s kind of hard to focus when a Herpes-like werewolf disease is demanding to spread, so let’s dive right into Josh’s tale of woe. “Marry, F…, Kill” kicked the hour off by helpfully reminding audiences that whatever the Quickening was, it has already happened to the other Josh and was a matter of time before it happened to ours. Now that the mysterious date with destiny was fast approaching, Josh found himself plagued with bloody dreams and haunted by a primal urge to infect another human or else kill them. With nowhere else to turn, he sought answers from the woman who first infected him and learned the horrible options that awaited him. If he didn’t pass on the deadly STD or give into his bloodlust, then the disease would end up forcing him to kill himself. Josh, still cut up about ending his friend Bacchus’ life, couldn’t have that.

Margo, on the other hand, couldn’t lose another friend to a supernatural force when there was something she could do about it. Though it couldn’t have been clearer that she was transferring her guilt and pain over Eliot (Hale Appleman) onto Josh, Bishil did an excellent job of ensuring that Margo’s new friendship felt just as powerful and worth fighting for. She was willing to drag an undeserving soul into Josh’s path in order to keep him alive – after an excursion to Kanye’s mansion to steal his lizard didn’t work, of course – whereas Josh was far more concerned with keeping everyone safe from him. Everyone, but especially Margo. That’s where things got a little dicey, because his crush on her was a bit random but easy to believe because who wouldn’t love Margo? But when she made the choice to sleep with him and contract lycanthropy… Let’s just say it’s a good thing the script voiced how she wished it was something she could have done for Eliot. The important thing, though, is that in this story The Magicians turned a plotline that’s usually about violence against women into a story where the woman holds the cards and makes the choices, and nobody has to die.

Meanwhile, Darth Eliot was busy following Quentin (Jason Ralph) to the aftermath of his father’s funeral. The fight he had with his mother was the most of his family dynamic that we’ve seen in awhile, and it was a clear reminder that Quentin sees himself as a destroyer. He blamed himself for Alice’s (Olivia Taylor Dudley) troubles, his father’s death, and much more – but wallowing seemed to be the only way he could hope. Until his new monster friend taught him a new way: break things on purpose. Thankfully, in this case he meant his father’s toy planes and not other people. Just as it seemed like the boys were getting another bonding moment, the demon dropped the bomb that real Eliot was dead and there was no way to get him back. The revelation left poor Quentin in a worse state than before, but in reality it was just a red herring that The Magicians dropped before letting the audience in on the real secret. Eliot was very much alive in there, calling for Margo and his friends to no avail.

Yes, worship her. Good.

Julia (Stella Maeve) and Penny-23 (Arjun Gupta) surprisingly wound up with the sweetest story of the night as they hunted for clues about Julia’s lack of powers in her post-goddess life. They saved a maynard from committing suicide in the wake of Bacchus’ death, and participated in an awkward yet adorable ritual that required Penny to worship Julia in body and soul. While anointing her naked body with oils, of course. But in all honesty, this storyline is great because it literally transfers worship of a male deity in Bacchus to worship of a female one in Julia, and once again it is Julia who is directing the process while the smitten Penny asks for consent at every turn. And in the end, Julia learned she still had goddess powers stored inside her and gained a maynard worshipper in the process.

The final story in “Marry, F…, Kill” was the most uncomfortable – which is saying something given the content of the others. Alice met with Christopher Plover, the author who molested Martin Chatwin as a child molester, and he offered her a deal that would get her into the revision room and out of the Library. That alone would have been fine if he didn’t seem to keep trying to absolve his own wrongdoings by forgiving Alice’s. While the advice he gave her was sound and I do hope Alice learns to let go of her mistakes and work towards the future, I don’t see why it wasn’t something she could’ve learned from Santa Claus. After all, he knows if you’re naughty or nice! Nevertheless, The Magicians ended her plot with a bang when she came upon the ending of Quentin’s book and learned that it’s next week. Can she get to him in time?

The Magicians airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on SYFY.