REVIEW: The Magicians, S2E7 – Plan B

Quentin (Jason Ralph) starts this week’s The Magicians haunted by Alice’s (Olivia Taylor Dudley) niffin, but he has not given up hope on saving her despite their “garbage fire of a relationship.” He actually shows an impressive amount of poise and restraint while trying to solve the issue of her permanent entrapment, which is a nice change of pace for him.

‘Til death do you part, or ’til it doesn’t.

Julia (Stella Maeve) makes an exorcism visit amidst Kady’s (Jade Tailor) warnings not to do so, only to find out they have to pay $1 million in gold bars to perform the procedures. To make matters worse, Julia’s fetus is entangled in her and requires more than an abortion to get rid of. Their plan is to rob a bank with magic, which sounds and is delightful. The Magicians could be about only the two of them and still be just as good.

Before the girls can get very far in their bank plan, their newly acquired Haxon Paxon is attacked by a large invisible force and killed. Now they have to deal with the loss of their magical protection as well as the mystery of what is after them. At this point her only option for safety is Brakebills, so long as Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy) agrees to it. Her reunion scene with Quentin is charged and “maudlin,” as niffin Alice hilariously complains, but in a way that feels true and natural. Quentin especially is at his best as a character when he is with her, because we see the complicated and human side of him rather than just the reluctant ‘chosen one’ he tends to be.

Everyone’s favorite dysfunctional duo.

There’s another a reunion on The Magicians, and this one is much longer awaited, between Kady and Penny (Arjun Gupta). They stay true to their characters and relationship by commencing to make out with no discussion, but the actors absolutely make it work. The two of them fall back into step like they never left each other, and it’s a relief to have a romance not drenched in angst.

Margo (Summer Bishil) and Eliot (Hale Appleman) have a war on their hands, meanwhile, and still have to fix the wellspring. Unfortunately, Fillory does not have the money necessary for these endeavors. This means that for the first time in a long time, all the parallel stories converge on one point – a bank heist! Julia needs the money for her exorcism, Alice’s niffin is dying to help, and Fillory needs to fund their war as well. Kady even convinces the ever-reluctant Penny to join. The group scenes in this week’s The Magicians are electric, producing some of the most fun scenes since late season one.

With all the convoluted plots of the show, it’s easy to forget that Penny still doesn’t have his magic back. But he does have Kady‘s back, and helps her protect Julia from the invisible blood goblin following her. Turns out that if they can’t raise the million dollars, the demon baby will be destroyed by killing her. Kady giving Julia the BFF necklace so she can oversee the people who hate her as they try to save her life was incredibly touching. These two women have developed an unlikely yet beautiful friendship because of everything they’ve been through, and it’s a treat to watch.

What price will Julia pay for her freedom?

Penny steals gold bars while floating in midair due to magic that’s been done to him, and everything goes off almost flawlessly until he gets stuck because the buoyancy device messed up. When two guards engaging in a quickie intercept the rescue mission, Eliot comes up with a perfect distraction: a disco wrecking ball. The best part about this episode is the perfect mix of humor and horror, and Penny being in danger makes for just the right excuse to give Alice control of Quentin’s body for a time period.

Of course, things must go even more wrong, which means Julia has to come to their aid with a machine that rewinds time. Protecting her friends puts her and Margo in danger because of the goblin after them, but Kady saves her friend once more and the exorcism is successfully performed… with a complication. The Magicians leaves us hanging on what that complication might be, but I have a few guesses. Despite the ominous end, this may be the strongest episode yet this season thanks to the chemistry of the ensemble.