01x03 - Consequences of Advanced Spellcasting

Previously on The Magicians...

Have you ever heard of Brakebills?


It's, like, this secret Yale, and you have to be able to do magic to even get in.

Well, I can do magic.

Yeah, so can I.

Sorry, I just got your e-mail.

My fifth e-mail.

Just tell me what you meant by--

I mean not herself. I mean barely talks to me.

She looks like a goddamn ghost. She's not Julia.

I need you to tell them they were wrong about me.

Tell them to test me again.

I'm sorry, but they would know.

It's really okay if this is not your thing.

So you are--

Top bitch in New York.

I'm willing to teach the right people everything I know.

Who are we trying to contact?


And who's Charlie?

My brother. He died.

Jesus, we could not have screwed up that spell worse, and we can't take it back.

[ominous rippling]


[The xx's "Intro"]

♪ ♪

Now that you're in, it's time to learn some magic.

Just don't get too excited.

Start slow.


Yeah, I don't really do slow.


Being a magician has always been, in part, about accruing power.

Power over yourself, the elements.

Power over the future.

[whispers] He's back.

The very world that exists around you...

[whispers] He said he had an announcement.

But power, as you all know, does not come cheaply.

♪ ♪

There are reasons we teach this curriculum precisely the way that we do.

Skipping around, focusing on all the wrong things, lack of guidance... these are all extremely dangerous.

There are certain energies, certain spells, which are far too powerful for one magician alone.

If you lose control, they will turn against you.

They will kill you. They will consume you.

Change you... into something else.

♪ ♪

Now that I have your attention.

We test to discern your discipline.

Your area of concentration.

It is what you are, and with the right guidance, you may safely rise to unknowable heights.

You will find your scheduled times and invitations inside your bags.

Hey, babe, it's me.

Um, ahem, just got your message.

I'm so sorry, I got stuck. Be there as soon as I can.

Love you.

Never gets old, does it?

Having a secret.

You have magic.

They don't.

Better than money.

Better than s*x.

Well, I guess that one depends.

James is cool, really. He barely notices.

We've both been so busy with school.

Look... we all juggle.

You're kicking ass.

Just don't forget to manage your sh1t.

Don't want boyfriend getting worried, following you to the safe house door.

Got it covered, okay.

I know you do.

Just saying.

Yes, these are promising.

I get a strong sense of blues and...and pinks.

Is that Alice Quinn?

Alice, please sit, if there's a seat.

Bit of a transition.

I find that I prefer an office that I can reach without falling down three flights of steps that I cannot see.

This'll be quick, Alice.

Show Professor March what you can do.

[upbeat piano music]

♪ ♪

Like I said, I used to do a lot of coin and card tricks, and I guess sometimes I, like, actually used real magic.

Predictions could mean psychic.

Vanishing could mean illusions or physical magic.


What? What's curious?

Now, try holding these.

Think the alphabet in Greek.


Just lovely, Miss Quinn.

So clean. Very advanced.

Physical magic.



♪ ♪

Just stare at it. [sighs]

♪ ♪

Well, you're not an herbalist.

Undetermined? Can they do that?

Yeah, Sunderland said it happens, so I guess they'll try again next year.

[indie rock music] ♪ Yeah yeah yeah ♪
♪ You're time has come ♪

What's your discipline?


I bend light.

Holy sh1t!

There are much cooler areas.

Are you kidding me? You have light bending power.

I'm a nothing-mancer.

I'm a squat-mancer.

Well, if you're undetermined, then why are you assigned to the Cottage?

Literally, they have extra space.

Well, at least they have that allegedly mind-blowing signature cocktail.

Can't be all bad.

[LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk is Playing at My House"]

♪ Show you the ropes ♪
♪ ♪

Uh, is there a doorbell I missed or something?


"Let yourselves in" as in we have to figure out how.


What a bunch of dicks.

♪ ♪
♪ Daft Punk is playing at my house ♪
♪ My house ♪
♪ ♪

[electricity crackles]


♪ You got to set them up kid ♪

This might actually be hard.

[indistinct music and partying]

Hey, what about your light-bendy thing?

Like...yeah, we could use, like, a magnifying glass.

You know, like, you ever burn ants when you were a kid?

No, that's horrifying.

[indie rock music] ♪ Too hard to do nothing ♪
♪ Ooh ooh ♪

[tense music]

♪ ♪

[Cohasset's "Names"]

♪ ♪
♪ Take all your medicine ♪

Phosphoromancy, bitches.

All: Whoo!

What took you so long? I'm starving.

Welcome to our gracious abode.

♪ You're unable to tell ♪
♪ You know it's over ♪

[Voxhaul Broadcast's "Leaving on the Fifth"]

♪ ♪

[speaking Romanian]


♪ ♪

You and your first year boys.

What is your obsession with the flavor of the month?

Oh, come on.

He's a high-strung super nerd.

We love those.

[both laugh]

I'm not an experienced drinker, Quentin.

I couldn't tell.

You know, it should have worked.

That spell we did to reach my brother.

I mean, I went over it, like, a million times.

Should have? You saying that like you... wanna do it again.

Wait, you don't wanna try it again, do you?

I need to know the truth, that's all.

You know, the spell we did was, like...

I don't know, it was like a phone call.

We made contact, but he didn't pick up, so then The Beast picked up.

But that still leaves the question, "Where's Charlie?"

Well, the last time we asked that question, somebody died.

[sighs] Never mind.

What do you care?

[groans] No.

I do. I care. I wanna help.

I just--I don't--

[sighs, groans]

Ooh, oh. Yeah.

Um... have you read Teukolsky yet?

Uh, so apparently you can find deceased spirits with a simple locator spell.

If they wanna be found.

That's stupid. [chuckles]

You're stupid. You have a stupid face.

Uh, anyone have a match?

Uh, it's not working.

Just keep walking.

Okay. Finally.

[eerie music]

Guess it's Woof Fountain.

Ugh. I never liked this thing.

Eliot says it's enchanted as sh1t.

[clears throat]

Supposedly it's bottomless, so you know the psychics love it.

Suicide fountain.

You don't think your brother--


He wasn't that kinda guy.

He was the kinda guy who always wanted to fix things for everyone around him.

He was really, really good.

You know that spell I did on the first day of class?

The Glass Horse?

He taught me that.

♪ ♪


Come on, let's go. Nothing's happening.

♪ ♪

[ominous music]

♪ ♪

The whole thing is f*cking pointless.


I wanna punch Sunderland in the throat.

You know, as a psychic, you'd think you'd have seen all this coming.

Oh, woman, please.


Hold on.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa whoa.

Are we actually doing this again?

Do you know how to close your mind?

'Cause I will show you right now.

I thought I was. Eliot gave me a--

Seriously, man?

Taylor Swift?

I am not singing Taylor Swift in my head.


Okay, I'll work on it.


So, it's got lots of space. Lots of light.

It looks really great.

I'm sorry, I guess I thought you were still considering Yale for the fall with me.


Okay, can we just talk about this now?

Where is your head?

Why do I feel like I'm talking to myself?

I'm--I've just been busy with class--

Are you seeing someone else?

No! Why would you ask that?

Because you're different.

You stand me up. You don't answer your phone.

I'm just--I'm starting to feel like the asshole.

You're not.



I love you.

You know that.

Look, I know I've been moody lately, but...

I feel a lot better.

James, come on.

[tense music]


♪ ♪


♪ ♪

Okay, go on.

Someone killed themselves in the fountain?

Try 15 students and one dean.

Van Pelt. Fountain's named after him.

It does feel a little bit off here though, doesn't it?

Brief announcement.

The Van Pelt fountain is temporarily off limits.

There's been an incursion.

[water splashes]

We believe it's a garden variety haunting.

Redrawing the wards may have released it much like a mouse caught in the walls of a building.


No one was seriously hurt.

Both students involved are recuperating in the infirmary.

Regardless, stay away until we lock it down.

Ow. I mean, what if it was Charlie?

I don't know. Maybe.

If not, it's a pretty big coincidence.

But if it was Charlie, don't you think that he would have reached out to you directly...

♪ ♪

Maybe he just did.

It's definitely Charlie.


[suspenseful music]

So, why would he try and drown a bunch of psychics.

Uh, have you met them?

Are you two talking about what happened at Woof?

I--that was a private conversation.

You know.

Well, meow.

[footsteps retreating]

What was that?

I just--I don't trust her.

Okay, look. I just--

I think trying to drown people seems a little violent.

He may not have even known what he was doing.

I mean, spirits, they can get confused.

Okay, then how do we talk to him without him trying to drown us?

I don't know.

But first thing's first. I found a spell-- well, five actually, but they all have their own down side.

Like, we don't know how Charlie died exactly and the moon is in the wrong spot right now.

Look, I know you don't trust her, but maybe Margo could--

Or there's a Maori spell.

I'd have to cut off a finger, but they might be preferable.

To talking to Margo?

Quentin, I need your help. Highest priority.

Let's go.


I--hey, look, you said it yourself, you don't have all the facts, so maybe you don't need a spell.

Maybe you need information, and Margo's Discipline is gossip, so...

[box rattling]

We have a real problem.

Is it in the box?

[rattling continues]

Professor Sunderland came looking for a book from the Physical Cottage Library, and it's missing.

I diverted her attention, but--

What does that have to do with the box?

Books at Brakebills, Quentin, are not just books.

One goes missing, it's not just a library fine we're talking about here.

What're we talking about?

We're talking about-- we have... occasional parties.

During one, someone took a book, and if we don't find that book the faculty are going to take a harder look at our parties, and that cannot happen, Quentin.

So you gonna tell me what's in the box or...


What the hell is that?

The missing book is Volume One.

That...is Volume Two.

She's going to lead us to her mate.





Uh, let me-- let me try it again.

Should be easy. You're distracted.

I know I have a lot going on.

No, you don't. You have this spell.

That's it.

So how do you manage it all?

Juggling magic and your life?

I don't understand the question.

I'm not judging you.

I started out like you and you have a good life.


Probably think he keeps you centered.



Or, you know, you're keeping him around in case you fail here and need to fall back.

All I know... you have to mean it for magic to work.

Something clicks when you're all-in, and the real big stuff, you can't do it till you're doing it without a net.


I need your help.

That wasn't so hard, was it?

Look, I'm just trying to find out what happened to my brother.

He was a student here five years ago.


He was a physical kid.

His name was Charlie, and he died.

Know what? I did hear about that.

At Woof, right?

Five, six years back?

It's all making sense now.

What is?


The awkward thing.

The anger underneath the ineffable air of tragedy you wear like a perfume.

Look, can you just tell me what you know about Charlie?


Loathe as I am to admit it, I don't actually know anything.

Although, there was a girl from Charlie's year who might.

Emily Greenstreet.

Who was she?

Just a girl.

When he died, apparently she took it hard.

Dropped out. Gave up magic.

The Full Muggle.

It was a bit of a scandal.

Where is she now?

The city.

Fogg set her up with a job which is how you know they're hiding something big.

I know how to find her.

Come on, I'll show you.

I'd actually prefer to go alone.

Oh, I know you would, but... what choice do you really have?

[eerie music]

♪ ♪


Welcome. Knew you were coming.

I know you've been dreading this, but you're gonna like it.

The coves are for meditation while the enclosed "Consciousness Areas" are reserved as a place to cry, and process.


We call it "The Amplifier."

So basically, it's like turning your psychic powers up to 11.

Why would you wanna do that?

Oh, I get it.

You're one of those guys who's trying to shut it out.

You wanna get control of it or it will mess up your sh1t big time, and this is the best place to practice.


I do what?



Let your mind wander.

It's pretty simple.

But you gotta start by letting go, tough guy.


Less talking.

No touching.

[mellow music]

♪ ♪

[wind blowing] [voices whispering]


Please! Help me!


[car horns honking]


No, don't run.

These shoes are insane.

You're from Brakebills, aren't you?

That part of my life is behind me.

I'm sorry.

Charlie was my brother.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

I just wanna know what happened to him.

Your brother saved my life.

Well, he tried to at least.

So, I fell for this professor.

I know how it sounds, but I was young and... and he loved me.

But then, well, he was married.

You know how it is when you're that age.

You get...terrible ideas.


Like what?

I thought I could make him love me again.

Oh, some kind of love spell?



I thought if I could make myself prettier.


No one warned you how dangerous that was?

I knew, but I'd convinced myself that it was the only way.

It took me weeks to figure out how to do it, and...

when I did, well, you-- you can imagine how that went.

[magic blasts]

[grunting and panting]

[gasps] No...


[crying and groaning]

I was gonna--I was gonna kill myself.

[wailing] Emily!


What happened?

What did you do?

♪ ♪

[wailing intensifies]


I just wanna help.

♪ ♪

Don't tell anyone, please.

Course not.

Wait here. I'll be back.

I'm gonna fix this.


He mashed a... bunch of stuff together.

It was--

It was totally untested.


[sniffles] I really believed he might actually be able to undo what I did.

He was a good magician.

You know, he-- he woulda done anything for me.

It was a lot. It was--it was--

It was too much.

I begged him to stop, but he wouldn't, and that's when it went totally out of control.

[thunder crashes]

It burned... right through him... until he wasn't there anymore.

He was-- Do you know what a Niffin is?



It's when too much runs through you.

Consumes you.

Only the magic is left, but you're not you anymore.

You're... lost.

Where did Charlie go?

I don't know.

He was just gone.

I never saw him again.

Um, who did all this then?

My professor.

Well, I guess you got his attention after all.

I quit school.

Gave up magic, and never looked back.

I'm so sorry about Charlie.

[box rattling]

Hear that? She's getting excited.

I think we're close.

Hold this, will you?

This bodega is warded up the ass.

Hedge witches.

Amateurs. Magical D-leaguers.

Sad and desperate people.

Once one of 'em offered to blow me for a spell.

It was fairly worth it.

Let me do the talking.

[bell chimes]

[speaking Spanish]

These are witches?

Hm. Pathetic. No?

Ugh, this kid's trying Popper number four.

[whispers] It's painful.

Hear you're selling something.


Oh, hey.

What the hell are you doing here?

What the hell are you doing here?

You know these guys?

Yeah, they're from Brakebills.

We're friends.

That's right.

We're from Brakebills.

We're classically trained and we want our book.

We don't have your stupid book.

[book thumping]


[books banging]

Are they?


Love wins.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪


So, that's it?

That's all you're gonna say to me?

Don't talk to her. Keep going.

I don't know what you're doing here, Jules.

You're better than this.

You say that like I had a choice.

Of course you have a choice.

No, because guess what?

Magic wasn't just handed to me.

I told you to please tell them about me.

At first, you know, I thought maybe they'd actually test me again, and then I figured someone would at least come and try to take my memory again, and then... just waiting.

It took me weeks to realize you never even told them about me at all.

Look, Jules, I--

You were my best friend.

Yeah, and so I let it go.

What does that mean, "you let it go?"

No, that's crazy, I can actually do--

The people at Brakebills, Jules, they can bend light.

They can read minds. They can fly.

You can do a party trick.

♪ ♪

So this is it, huh?

The real you.

Do you ever stop to think about how maybe you treated me?


I was always there--

What? You were so nice and you were so sweet to poor little Q who couldn't get his sh1t together.

Don't put that on me.

Between you and James it was a two for one charity case.

That's your interpretation.

Why are you saying this?

Because that is true, Julia!

No, that's not true. I--

You know how I felt about you.

I don't know what--

Admit it. Just admit it.

Admit it.

So, you're gonna punish me for that?

I don't know what else to say.

You can't blame me.

Does James even know that you're here?

You're hanging out with a bunch of tweakers who are turning tricks for spells.

Are you kidding me? These people wanna--

Stop slumming because you're pissed that you lost for once in your life.

I'm sorry, but I mean it.

You could really get hurt doing this sh1t, and for what?

Grow up.

Do you love magic?

Is it in your soul?

Is it like the secret heart of what you always were?


So you know how I feel.

[sliding door closes]

[people speaking Chinese]

[car horn honks]

Get in.

♪ ♪

Penny, how's your head?

How you think?

So, what's wrong with me?

Nothing's wrong.

I made the mistake of thinking you were just psychic, but it... it's more complicated.

You are a Traveller.

A what now?

The rarest and most difficult Discipline.

Travellers can, with a little bit of training, go anywhere on Earth instantly just as you did.

But you can, with a great deal of training, actually move between worlds.

Go to other worlds?


If the gift does not kill you first.

Great. Just f*cking great.

Do you know why I'm here?

To say this.

You've been a thin layer of insouciance over an open pit of self-pity your entire life.

This is not a joke.

You do not have the luxury to mess around now that this is out of the bottle.

You will study this. You will master this.

Do you understand?

Ain't you a bucket of empathy, blind man.

Please say yes.

I cannot see you nod.



So, are we just gonna drive all the way back to Brakebills?

We're already there.

[soft orchestra music]

[bicycle bell rings]


I've learned a great deal about Travelling over the years.

We'll start one-on-one tutorials to help you get a handle on your ability.

Yes, before you accidentally transport yourself inside a volcano.


[Fogg laughs]

[pounding on door]

She's right.

We were best friends.

[pounding on door]

Should we help?


Let me in, you assholes!

I don't know what happened. I don't know how it got so bad.

You found out who you are and she found out who she's not.


[pounding on door]


Tell you what.

Let's not talk.

[explosion] [screams]


[exhales sharply]

How long were you to douchebags gonna leave me out there?

Oh, never mind that.

Now you're with your people.

Cheers to that.

Good God.



So, this Niffin box?

This have a lid?

There isn't one.

The Niffin becomes fused with the wood.

It's unable to escape.

How do you activate it?

There's a short chant.

You just basically repeat "I bind you" in Turkish and English.

That sounds a little easy.

Well, that and the month long incantation it took to enchant the thing in the first place.

So, this is the enchantment research?

We're not gonna use the box.


We're gonna bring Charlie back.

Okay, Alice this is the point where I look at you like you're nuts.

I--okay, look.

I've been doing some research, um, on Niffins.

Look, they're not even alive.

Th--they're... something else.

Look, I can't explain it, but I know that he's out there. He's somewhere.

Is there anything in the literature that says that going Niffin is reversible?

Nothing says that it isn't.


So I found this spell that can transmutate certain meta-quantum energies into matter...in theory.

And I combined it with an advanced transformation ritual--

Alice, this is Major Arcana--

What? Just because you couldn't do it?

Nobody could do it.

You're making it up as you go along.

Look, I--

You are an amazing magician--

Don't patronize me.

I'm not patronizing you. I'm telling you that this is not a good idea.

What do you know?


You only learned about magic, what?

Three months ago?

Okay, sure.

I--but even I can tell that this is crazy.

I don't understand why you can't see that.

Fine. Stay behind.

I'm here, and I'm only here, to find out what happened to Charlie, and now that I know I can help him I'm going to.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

[door opens]

Thanks for coming so quick.

I was kinda surprised you called.

Thought you disappeared again.

You okay?


You wanna talk about it?


Last call, Julia.


I don't know how to talk about it.

I got involved with something.

Made me wanna give up everything.

Life, school... all of it.

It got under my skin, and it--


Jules, just tell me.

It's Adderall.

I started taking it when I was applying to grad school, and then I was taking more and more.

I know I've been a bitch, but lately I've been going to meetings.


[dramatic music]

♪ ♪


Can I--

I don't know, can I hug you?

I wish you would.

[exhales deeply]

It's okay, Jules.

I really love you, you know.

I know. I'm amazing.


[cell phone vibrating]

Okay, so, we're here, and...

Arrive at the place of his transformation.

Present yourself.

There's a third step.

What's the third step?

I have to call in to him with something personal between us, um... so Charlie used to sing to me my favorite song when I was feeling bad which is kind of all the time.

[clears throat]

♪ Won't you come see about me ♪

Is that "The Breakfast Club"?

♪ I'll be alone dancing ♪
♪ You know it, baby ♪
♪ Tell me your troubles and doubts ♪
♪ Giving me everything inside and out ♪
♪ Don't you forget about me ♪
♪ Don't, don't, don't, don't ♪

Alice, look.

Charlie, Charlie?

[ominous tones]

♪ ♪

Charlie, is that you?


Oh, my God, Charlie, I can't believe it's you.

I missed you so much. I don't even know what to say.

Charlie, what are you doing?

Charlie, you're hurting me.

Charlie, that hurts.

[maniacal laughter]

You're just confused, Charlie, it's me.


Charlie--Charlie, why are you doing this?


Alice, I don't think-- I don't think that we should--

I know you're in there, Charlie.

I know it's you.


Hah! [gasping]

Charlie, stop! I can help you.

[chanting Turkish]


Alice, stop!


[sinister laughter]

Alice, he's gonna kill us. It's not gonna work.

You have to stop.

Shut up, I can do this.

Alice, it's not Charlie.

[chanting intensifies]

Oh, sh1t. sh1t.

[thunder rolling]


Alice, stop! You're gonna kill yourself.

You are bound and held fast.

Seni baglamak!

No! No!

I bind you! Seni baglamak.


I bind you!

Seni baglamak.

[mystical tones]

♪ ♪

You--you brought the box.


Alice, he was gonna kill you.

Why did you think you had to save me?

f*ck you, Quentin.

You had no idea what I was doing.

I was so close, and now he's gone.


[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

Where you going, kitty cat?

I'm done here. For good.

You should be happy. Less competition.


I like competition.