The looming question of whether or not magic would return to The Magicians was finally resolved during the season 3 finale, but that matters very little when our magicians can’t remember who they are.
The season 3 finale of The Magicians was packed full of outrageous twists and turns. Julia leveled up and became a full on Goddess, Alice betrayed literally everyone, Eliot shot a guy… So, you know, a pretty typical week for this show.
But the biggest twist of all came when we learned that Dean Fogg had made a deal with the library to ensure that magic would return to Brakebills one way or another. From a certain angle it seems like a good idea. But that being said, we’ve already seen suggestions of bureaucratic nonsense on the horizon. Also, how long has this whole arrangement been in place? Has Fogg been working with the library since day one? When did he sober up long enough to even make this decision?
Speaking of the library, what’s their deal anyway? Yes they’ve always been too egotistical for their own good. But can’t they see that it’s going to backfire eventually? Probably sooner rather than later now that they’ve slapped a giant bullseye onto the side of their organization. Do they think they can just loan out magic to whomever they approve? What gives them the right to store, ration, and delegate like that? Everyone under the sun is going to be clambering for a taste of that good good magical juice.
Who ‘The Magicians’ are without magic
From this point forward, things really go off the rails. Apparently Fogg – or maybe it’s the library – think that our central group of magicians need to have their memories wiped in order for them to surrender quietly. This way they can’t act as witness to the true crime that went down and the ‘meddling kids’ won’t get in the way.
Margo is going by the name Janet now, and Josh — AKA, Isaac — may or may not be her personal chauffeur. It’s hard to tell what her specific job is but of course she looks as fierce and fashionable as ever. In just a few seconds we can imagine her being the CEO of a fashion magazine or something equally as badass and chic. Meanwhile, ‘Julia’ is busy rolling out plans for a new art center in Tribeca, ‘Penny’ is working as a DJ, and ‘Kady’ continues to struggle with addiction.
Quentin’s life resembles his former life as well. He may be referring to himself as Brian but we see him leaving an old bookstore with a stack of books under his arm. Just as tame and awkward as ever. Clearly it’s Eliot that has undergone the most change… You know, seeing as he’s been possessed by the monster from the castle. The monster that is so fearsome it doesn’t even have a name yet.
A few questions regarding this memory wiping potion. Alice explained that it not only erases memories, it creates a new persona as well. But how far back does that go? Quentin and Julia have known each other since childhood. Is a person’s entire history wiped away? When making her case to Dean Fogg about why she wanted the potion in the first place Alice said she didn’t want to be what her parents, Brakebills, or Fogg made her. She wanted to her own person with a clean slate. Does that mean everyone’s past is completely obliterated? More questions for next season it seems.
There’s no telling how our magicians are going to be able to regain their memories, but luckily there are still people who remember The Magicians at all. Clearly Alice didn’t have her memories wiped and she’s already looking for a way to rectify her mistakes. And perhaps some of the unresolved questions we had from season 3 could find their way into the forefront of season 4. For instance, maybe it’s no coincidence that we never heard from Poppy or Marina.
Perhaps their absence is laying out a path for Quentin and the others to follow. Then there is Fen as well. She’s busy ruling Fillory (Do we think they have any magic rations?) but as soon as she gets word from the others she’ll be ready to do whatever she can. If the four of them team up to revive their friends, then that would almost guarantee full restoration for everyone right? It’s hard to imagine a more resilient team of women.
Another giant question looming over the series end is Penny. The last we saw him he was in episode 3×10 as he was submitting to the library ‘lifestyle’. Joining a book club and essentially resigning to his new life. News of magic’s return has to be everywhere by this point. Surely he knows something big has happened and that the library is behind it. The place was aflutter with action when Dean Fogg visited. It would be impossible for him to miss. But where exactly is he? Because he needs to figure out a way to free Alice. Which, speaking of, might be why Hades was encouraging him to stay in library in the first place.
By the episode’s end it doesn’t feel like all hope is lost. However, it’s going to take a lot of teamwork and cooperation to make it back to each other in the end.