REVIEW: The Magicians, S4E11 – The 4-1-1

Everyone’s disparate quests started coming together in “The 4-1-1,” which is a great play on words considering both the sheer number of info dumps this week as well as the fact that it’s the eleventh episode of The Magicians‘ fourth season. Julia’s (Stella Maeve) magical binder contained important information about the Eliot Monster (Hale Appleman) that just so happened to tie back to Zelda and Kady’s (Jade Tailor) Library quest. And the Head Librarian was hoarding magic in a way that was most likely affecting Fen (Brittany Curran) and Josh’s (Trevor Einhorn) current rule of Fillory. And all of this took place as Quentin (Jason Ralph) and Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) took a trip down memory lane in order to find magic strong enough to keep the Monster contained once Margo’s (Summer Bishil) weapons were used on him. Who doesn’t love an interconnected plot?

Remember when this was cute?

Alice and Quentin’s adventure was brought on by the need to master incorporate bonds from the problematic professor Mayakovsky, who was not in his right state of mind in the present given that he was partly a bear and partly suffering from dementia. Not only did sending Quentin’s consciousness to the past bring up memories of how carefree he and Alice used to be together, it also allowed Quentin to learn his true magical discipline: the repair of small objects. While most would argue that nothing can be put back exactly as it was before, the mug he perfectly restores would beg to differ. Is this a sign for the future of Quentin and Alice’s relationship, or of Eliot’s fate?

At least “The 4-1-1” gave us the lowdown on the Monster’s backstory even if The Magicians is stretching out his rescue until the finale. With the combined efforts of Penny (Arjun Gupta), Julia, and Margo, a man came out of the binder to share his story in third person. As it turned out, Bacchus, Iris, Heka, and Angus were once Librarians who used the Monster and his sister to become Gods themselves – something Everett seemed to be in the process of doing, as well. Worse yet, the Monster came to the conclusion that Julia’s invulnerable near-goddess status would make her the perfect candidate to house his sister’s organs, which brought the Binder’s warnings full circle. I told you it was all connected, didn’t I?

Exposition come to life.

Speaking of Julia, her romance with Penny-23 finally blossomed with some helpful nudges from everyone’s favorite ghost Hyman, who reminded them that they’re both entirely self-sacrificing characters who don’t know how to be happy for themselves. Which is exactly why he ships them so much and why it was so satisfying to see them finally give in to the tension between them and kiss, even if it was immediately ripped away by Not Eliot appearing in a flash to steal Julia away. Looks like there will be two Magicians to save come finale time.

While Henry (Rick Worthy) didn’t do much in “The 4-1-1,” he did set Quentin and Alice as well as Kady and Zelda off on their respective paths this week. For the latter, it was a matter of pointing them in the direction of the Poison Room so that Zelda could get a hold of Everett’s book and read the end. They managed to get in easily enough, but by the end of the episode they found themselves trapped in a room with the bugs they had ingested overdosing on the poison and the book they had grabbed foretelling that Everett would succeed in his evil plan. Can things get any worse at this point?

The last and weirdest part of The Magicians this week revolved around Josh’s demented game of Fillorian Hopscotch (sorry, “bearskip”) alongside Fen and Flick, as they try to obtain information about the Thirsty Thirteenth King of Fillory from an angry Nayad locked in the jungle. His name was Broderick, and he hoarded magic beneath the castle in a manner very similar to Everett’s own magic gathering in the present. It didn’t end well for Broderick, Fillory or magic itself so we will have to see how things turn out for Everett and the Library. After all, it’s not like magic can be in any more danger than it is now.

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