The Magicians: Homecoming Review

Amidst all the sex, The Magicians manages to introduce some huge changes in store both for those at Brakebills and for Julia's group.

This The Magicians review contains spoilers.

The Magicians Season 1, Episode 10

Nothing wrong with a little sex humor, but how much is too much? Penny enters Quentin’s sex dream; Alice’s parents are hosting a sex party; Margo’s ex is having sex with a Magolem; and the spell to rescue Penny requires well-orchestrated sex? For an episode of The Magicians that introduced both the Neitherlands and Free Trader Beowulf, two of the hallmarks of the Lev Grossman novels, “Homecoming” sure did have a lot of overshadowing sexual hijinks! Nevertheless, the progress towards Fillory was much appreciated.

It was nice to see Kady again in the guise of Asmodeus, now an up-and-coming magician outside of the Brakebills community. She and Julia working together has a nice feel, and the intimacy of their spell practice together and possible burgeoning friendship was almost more enticing than Quentin’s dream of “Slave Leia” Julia making out with Alice (almost). The fact that the others from the Free Trader Beowulf chat room were working on summoning a god was communicated in a brilliantly understated way off-camera, especially with the unexpected time loop with the pizza guy.

Of course, it’s clear that the god-summoning will only lead to trouble – that’s how The Magicians works. The show has been telling viewers all along that magic has consequences, which is why Eliot’s drug-addled discomfort after having killed his possessed boyfriend does not bode well. The Margolem plot was a little disjointed, though, and seemed geared only to foreshadow some need for a Margo doppleganger in the future. Margo’s ex sprang from nowhere, and the theft of the golem felt shoehorned in.

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The new conflicts introduced by placing Penny in a world separate from Earth known as the Neitherlands brought the fantasy flavor of the show more to the forefront. The servants of the Beast trying to keep people from using the fountains to get to Fillory poses an interesting danger to Penny and whomever he will surely bring with him next time. Hopefully, the pages the librarian photocopied for him will pay off, but in the meantime, a stray thought: Why did Eliot Waugh have two books on the shelf, especially in an episode when there were two Margos? Curious.

The search for assistance in reaching out to Penny certainly led Quentin and Alice down a strange path, and it was a path that delved into their sometimes awkward relationship. For two characters that have such strong glimmers of real chemistry, they sure do know how to kill the mood with their insecurities. Alice’s eccentric magician parents are reminiscent of the contrast between the Weasleys and Harry Potter’s muggle family, but their open attitude towards sex, while amusing, made it difficult to take Quentin and Alice’s quest seriously.

Really – simultaneous orgasms just to shine a light through the Earth fountain for Penny to follow? Although “Joe” made it clear his magic was sexual in nature, it felt a little forced. At least it ended well with Alice turning up the kink; the “bite me” was deliciously naughty and made Quentin’s earlier lack of success more understandable. And Penny bringing his omnipresent eye-roll upon materializing during the couple’s post-coital glow was a perfect ending!

As with many other episodes of The Magicians, the flaws that occasionally appear are often counter-balanced by plenty to admire, and such was the case this week. The MVP’s were definitely Julia and Penny, and several new aspects of the story have left an intriguing trail to follow. How Penny will use his newfound knowledge to get himself and the others to Fillory to confront the beast remains to be seen, and Eliot’s troubles and Julia’s increased power are begging to be addressed as well. As the season nears its end, it will be interesting to see what plotlines receive resolution and which will carry over to next year.


3 out of 5