01x08 - The Strangled Heart

Previously on "The Magicians"...

Let's just net this all in the bud.

You were the paramedic.

Call me Eliza. I was there that day to make sure that you got here.

We flew here to Antarctica?

So what is this then?

We're here to study with Mayakovsky.

Remove your clothes. Do it!

[dramatic music]

A few minutes, we're flying again.

♪ ♪

They know everything at Brakebills, what you've done.

You cannot go back.

Hey, where's Kady?

Who gives a sh1t?

[sobbing] Run.


You can't keep going like this.

I called a place. They can take you tomorrow.

A "place"?



What's so special about him?

[moaning softly]

[rock music]

♪ ♪

It's a little something I invented.


I'd take a beer if you've got one.

A beer?

You are lucky you're pretty.



You're back.


Oh, thank God.

How do you always have drinks waiting for us?

Oh, just a good host, I guess.

Guys, this is my friend Mike.

He graduated a few years ago and lives in New York, and Margo tried to kill him with a Djinn, but we fixed it.

This is Alice, that's Quentin.

They are nerds.

I could kind of tell.

How was Brakebills South? Did anyone freeze to death?

Oh, I mean, it was-- [clearing his throat] it was eventful. I--

Why is your face making that face?

Oh, my God.

They totally had s*x.


No, nothing happened.

I mean, it just happened.

Let me guess.

You got drunk on Mayakovsky's lichen vodka and you seduced him.

Maybe I seduced her.

Please. And sweetie, getting drunk and porking a dungeon master is nothing to be a ashamed of.

Ah, porking?

I was looking at the pork butt.

I'm going to go take a nap and pretend that this entire conversation never happened.


Ah, ah, I--

Nice meeting you.


Eyes on the pork butt, mister.

He's pretty.

I know.

But I called dibs on him.


Hey, ignore Eliot. He's--

You know, just being Eliot.


I thought "nap" was code.

Can we just talk about this seriously for a second?

What we did was stress and circumstances, and pheromones.

The first time, but not the next four.

You were...counting?

Of course I was counting.

Maybe Eliot's right.

We might as well have been drunk or high, or--

I'm not under the influence right now.

Yes, we are, Q.

I can still smell you, but like, fox you, and I'm pretty sure you can still smell me.

That could have a lot to do with the fact that we haven't bathed in weeks.

Are you in love with me?

I, uh--I don't know.

Even if you fell down on your knees and proclaimed your, you know.

I know it wasn't really you.

I think that we need to... spend some time apart, so we can know what's real and what's fox.

When they were lost, ancient sailors used the stars to find their way, but, for you, they're an obstacle because they change Circumstances so they can really bone your casting.

When you're factoring the position of the Pleiades--

You want to keep in mind--


Whoa. [chuckles]

Sorry, I just, uh, I'll leave you-- in your little sewing circle.

There's a syllabus, Penny, and you're supposed to be studying--

Haven't you heard-- haven't you--

You're supposed to be studying Astral Projection.

Now, here is what I know.

I fell like less of a pussy if I don't cower in fear of my own ability.

I mean, if I supposed to ever be able to travel, like really Travel between worlds, I need--

I need to be able to master this Earth-bound small potato sh1t first.

Is something else going on?

I know that you were close with Kady.

Not as close as you'd think.

You know I-I have a great idea.

I mean, you're so worried about me, why don't you come Travel with me?

You teach me... and I know there's a few things I can teach you, too.

I don't think that would be appropriate.

Oh, I totally agree.

When do we leave?

You're going to be late for your next class.


Your first semester with Brakebills was dedicated to learning the fundamentals of magic.

We gave you the tools.

Now, it is time for you to use them.

Look inside your bags.

Starting today, your course load will double.

Alchemy, astronomy, botany, just to name a few.

Study groups are mandatory.


Hey, uh, so I heard that you sleep with Mister Spock body pillow.

No judgment. I just, um, I myself I have a full collection of Leonard Nimoy's spoken word albums on vinyl.

You interested?

Quentin, what are you--

Gretchen, well, basically begged me to switch groups with her and, uh, sorry.

I wore extra deodorant, though.

Yeah. It's strong.

So, are we the whole study group?

Hell is real... and it smells like Axe Body Spray.

[mysterious music]

♪ ♪

[bones cracking]

♪ ♪

"Dear Quentin.

"Thought you should know I gave up magic.

"You were right.

"Thanks for nothing and go f*ck yourself".

Who's your pen pal?

Leave before I start screaming.

Easy. I just came here to talk.

I'd say let's grab a drink and hash sh1t out, but...

[whispering] I feel like that's a no-no here.

Why don't you talk about what you did to Hannah.

I was protecting myself from a thief and I wish I hadn't been put in that position.

Is this an amends letter?

Yes. Some of us are capable of making them.


Try this.

I'm sorry, Julia.

I don't let in a lot of people.

And the ones I do... it's got to be some kind of kindred spirit thing happening.

I actually like you.

And this?

This is not what I wanted.

You mean what you wrote?

You're giving it up?


Well, let's short circuit this whole thing.

You stay out of my ass and there is no blood feud necessary on my end.

But come after me, and I will kill you and everyone that you care about.

Well, the ones that are left, anyway.


Such a bitch.

And you're weak.

Why apologize to him?

He's the one who should be in here, not you.

Take your time, Professor.

You're good to go.

Okay, Henry.

Go ahead and try something.

[inhales sharply]


Take it slow.



It might take a few tries, Henry.

There are physical therapy exercises --

When I was four years old, with no instruction or help from anyone, I taught myself magic.

I will do so again.

This is a disaster!

What's wrong?

I have nothing to wear.

You think that might be, I don't know, hyperbole?

I am not emotionally prepared for Mike to see me repeat outfits.

I think this might be a Margo problem.

Obviously, Quentin, but she shacked up with some artiste at Encanto Octulo, and, so, I'm stuck with you.

Honestly, all vests look the same to me.

I made a horrible mistake asking you to help.

Please, leave.

I was here first.

I've never really seen you care about something.

Things aren't usually worth caring about.

With some limited, but very important exceptions.

Very limited.

But seriously, leave.

And for those who don't know me way too well already, I'm Richard, I'm the chaplain here and I will try to make my thing today brief.

No matter why you started using, if you try hard enough, you can get clean.

You can change everything about your circumstances, but the one thing that won't have changed is you.

Same head, same heart, same mistakes.

Now, we don't like to hear it, but we need something or someone to lean on that is bigger than ourselves.

Just say it.


Well, that's one way to putting it.

You know, there is a word when you lean on something, a crutch.


Replacing drugs or booze or p0rn, or whatever with a "Higher Power", it's just swapping one crutch for another.

That is a bummer way of looking at things.

Why don't you just tell these people the truth?

Maybe we just need to accept the world for what actually is.

Oh, what about making the world what we want it to be?

You know, with a little effort, a little faith.

Give a man hope and a nickel, you got a nickel.

[chuckles] Who said that?

Some dick.


So, what do you believe in?

It doesn't have to be God or whatever, but something bigger than you.

I don't understand.

The idea is you look at the list of ingredients and try to figure out what the spell does.


Maybe, we should move on, if we wait for the simpleton, we'll be here all night.

Okay, if you understand, then explain it.

It's a healing spell. I've seen that welwitsch-whatever in the infirmary.

Actually, trick question.

It's a welwitschia mirabilis, the leaves are used for both, healing spells and for doing exotic curses.

I thought it was a fern.

Which is why I brought flash cards.

Of course you did.

Thank you, Alice.

Could you not-- Could you-- for one minute, could you not give her googly eye?

Oh, God.

I don't know what you're, uh, implying or, um, inferring.

Brakebills South didn't have a lot of things.

Livable weather, edible food, cable TV, but you know what it did have?

[whispering] Windows.

So if you don't know and saw your little-- little extracurricular activities, you'd be very mistaken foxes.

I was above average for a fox.

Okay, I've studied enough for one day.

Thank you for that.

It ain't my fault, or my problem.

For the record, you do see that you're doing wrong, though?

I don't need your help.

But if I hypothetically did--

Man, you act like a stalker and then go out of your way to deny that you're interested.

Either, grow a pair or she'll find someone who already did.


Not done.

[snaps fingers]

[chuckles] Only downside is, it burns off all the alcohol.

Looks amazing.

Yeah, you don't have to kill yourself for me.

It was no trouble.

I'm--I'm already deeply impressed, you know?

And, I mean, I feel like I should be doing stuff like this for you, but...

I don't really know how.

Don't be silly.

I guess I'm just waiting for the part in all of this where I start to bore you.

You don't bore me.

I don't think that you could bore me.

I don't know about music and wine, and frankly any country not named Texas.

Texas is a state.

Not when you're from Texas.


Come here.

Where do you think I come from?

[chuckles] I don't know.

Someplace with money?

Well, um, we did have money.

Until grandmama gambled it all away and now, all we have is titles.

Sorry. Um, that was a joke.

I was... born in Indiana... on a farm.

My parents are farmers.

Indiana? I--

I thought you--

Of course you did. [clears throat]

Becoming me was the greatest creative project of my life.


FYI, no one else here knows, except for Margo, and that's only because she was my secret partner in the Trials.

Everyone else, I... kind of let them go on thinking I grew up summering with Kennedys, etcetera.

Thank you.

For what?

Just you.

Um, well...

Here I am.


Here you are.




[mysterious music]

♪ ♪

[crickets chirping]

I checked the position of Cephus three times, I did the whole invocation, this stupid plant should be seven feet tall by now.


What happened to you and Kady?

You guys were inseparable.

She gets through the Trials, passes all of Mayakovsky's test and then she's just--

She didn't give me an itinerary.

Man, I don't get it.

You act like you're this panty-whisperer, and your girl disappears and you don't even know where she is.

You see her, tell her she owes me 20 bucks.

Can I help you?


Not you.

Ah, hey, Mike.

Sorry. I got--I got a little turned around.

Um, could you tell me which way the cottage is?

Yeah. It's like--

[dramatic music]

Oh, sh1t.

[all grunting]

♪ ♪

Oh, my God. Are you okay?


Help! Help! Somebody help!

Get a transfusion ready, get the Reidlinger Stones warmed up.

Can you mend the wound?

It's deep, but it's not impossible.

The weapon. We need the weapon.


Mike. Mike has it.

I need to see the knife to know.

Yes, yes, yes, I know.

To know what?

Find him. Now.

Mike is, uh, Eliot's boyfriend, I guess.

He was trying to kill me before Penny jumped in the way.

Could have anything to do with the Beast?

Why would it?

Because it makes more sense than somebody new try to kill me.

Well, right now there are far too many possibilities.

We will certainly ask Mr. McCormick when we find him.


Is Penny okay?

Uh, he's in surgery. I don't know.

I just heard. Everyone's really scared.

I would've told you, but Fogg wouldn't let us leave the building until...

Until they find Mike.

They did find him.

Professor Sunderland and March found him trying to open a portal near the Welters stadium.

Where are they taking him?

Have you ever been in this room before?

It was designed at the turn of the century for a sect of incredibly delicate experiments.

Mechanism within the walls, prevent any spell casting, it is, in fact, a clean room.

It was not intended for this--this purpose, but it will do.

Where is the weapon... that you used?

I don't know.

Were you specifically targeting Penny and Quentin?

I was in Brooklyn.

Then I was here. I don't know!



Henry, look I-- [groans]


Okay look.

Look, you know me, right?

I was your student for three years, you know that I couldn't.

I know you did!

No, you can't go in there.

What did he say?

Nothing useful.

You're just gonna leave him in there?

I'm not letting him go.

No, I mean, that's inhumane.

There is procedures for dealing with magical crimes.

A circuit court system.

They're sending in a representative.

What will they do with him?

They have facilities.

But the exact punishment, it depends.

On what?

On whether Penny lives.

This reeks of mind control.

Wait. There was something wrong with his eyes.

They weren't entirely human, that--that could be--

I looked in every scenario there is to think of.

Spell gone wrong, doppelganger, and yes, gentlemen, even mind control.

But there was always the chance that he did this, intentionally.

Good morning.

Pain killers.

Would be nice.

Your surgery was very successful.

Your wounds are closed.

Just one or two weeks of--

Hey! You're not ready to walk around yet.

I was stabbed, woman, I'm gonna find the m*therf*cker who--

Get Professor Lipson down here!




It's spreading too quickly to be an infection.

The wound is cursed.

Whatever it is, is growing under the skin.

He's lucky it's not near any vital organs.

The necrotizing tissue--


Cell death within the tissue.

If it touches something important--

How do you fix it?


Without seeing the knife I...

I have no idea.

I hate magic.

I mean, why us?

You, I get.

I think about stabbing you all the time.


That was a 100% not a joke.

You realized that knife was coming at me before you jump in the way of it, right?

I owe you, like, a Wookie Life Debt.

Get a knife. I'll stab you right now.


I keep thinking--

The Beast.

It makes sense.

And yet it doesn't.

This Mike prick isn't from Fillory.


Hey, do you want me to--

Is there anyone you want me to call?

Parents, siblings, parole officer?

I'm good.

No, Quentin.

She cared, she'd be here.

No visitors.

Two minutes.

What could he possibly say that would make you feel any better?

I'm not here to feel better.


I was supposed to have a date last night.

I got all dressed up.

I'm sorry.

All this stuff they're saying I did, I don't remember.

You were blacked out.

Were you blacked out when we met?

No, I don't want to buy a bible.


What safe house were you in?

I recognized your ink.

You see it more often than you'd think in a place like this.

You're a Hedge?

[sighs] No.

Classically trained, myself.

There's a special school, called Brakebills.

You heard of it?

Yeah. Well... I sort of checked myself in here to get away from magic, so...

Look, you think magic is some terrible vice, so bad that you need rehab to get clean, it's not.

Magic isn't heroin, Julia.

It's a gift.

Oh, God, please. Don't say from God.

I'm not the guy outside of YMCA yelling at people to repent.

Then what are you, Richard?

Okay, what we call magic is, a set of tools.

Leftover from Creation.

Think about it.


The power to bend reality to make and unmake.

Won't God be pissed we touched His tools without asking?

God-- gods, really, they don't do things by accident.

The tools were left for us to find.


[sighs] But... what I'm saying, you don't have to take my word for it.

See it for yourself.


[woman crying]



It's just a headache.

I brought you your homework.


Fair point.

But if you were me, I'd be glad to talk to somebody else who wasn't a Healing Student.

And since Kady's not here...

Oh, this is pity.


Well, kind of.

I mean, she had sh1t to do elsewhere.

It's-- I'm good.


I am.

I said great. I get it.

People are generally disappointing.

Yeah, be ready to pull a ripcord at a moment's notice.

Like if you're messing around with some loser who... too obsessed with kid's books to acknowledge he even sees you.



Are you okay?

Can I do anything to help?

You want to help me, go to my room and find the bag of pills that's stashed under my desk.

Pills for what?

For--I'm a Traveler freak who hears voices and I do a little or a lot of self-medicating to get them to shut their scream-holes.


Alice, I don't need any judgment.

No, Penny.

Oh, okay.

[dramatic music]

Hey, look.


That's--that's not great.

Can someone get Quentin?


This is not what I pictured.

It's from the fourth Fillory book.

I read them all for research.

Yeah, Jane, she was alone in Fillory for the first time when she was attacked by a Lorian assassin.

What's Lorian?

They're the bad guys.

Uh, from a neighboring kingdom.

It's actually really interesting, because Fillory is both, the name of the landmass and also the one of the sovereign states--

Quentin, focus, please.

Ah, yeah.

Ah, um, so the Lorian stabbed Jane with something called the Virgo Blade.

And, uh, Rose vines grew from the wounds--

This seems to be the way grosser, less whimsical version of that.

Um, this guy, Honeyclaw, he was taking care of Jane.


Yeah. A-a talking bear.

Oh, Jesus.

Honeyclaw said that the vines would keep growing and growing until they strangled her heart, um, but Jane survived.

Penny, I know how to fix this.

Is that a turban?

No, it's your hair.

Sewing is not really my thing.

How is a voodoo doll is supposed to help me?

Um, so, in the books, Jane carried this doll with her everywhere she goes, and it looks just like her.

And so they realized that the curse of the Virgo Blade would accept the doll as a substitute.

So, we burn a doll?

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪


Okay, what else did your dumb book says?


It is considered good form to announce oneself to blind people.

My glasses only show me your outline...vaguely.

In my defense, I was raised by wolves for a time.

The knife that Penny was stabbed with... is from Fillory.

Something called the-- the Virgo Blade.

And you're familiar?


This is a first.

You should've called for me much sooner.

Quentin's the most at risk, but if Penny dies...

This is your mess, Eliza.

Clean it up.

Then, get as far away from my university as possible.

Do you understand?

Mr. Coldwater, I don't have a lot of time at the moment.

It is the Beast, isn't it?

And he's from Fillory, which is real.

Of course Fillory is real.

You've known that since you were a child.

It's why you're here.

Okay, but there's no Beast in the books.

The books are a child's drawing of Fillory.

The real thing is stranger.

Yeah, it's full of psychopathic monsters who are trying to kill me.

You want to know what the Beast wants?

I'll tell you exactly.

He wants control of Fillory and all the doors that lead there.

Maybe, he thinks you'll find one of them.

I'm not a Traveler.

There are other ways.

I gave you a book about it.

"Fillory and Further, Book Six"?

I told you. I lost it.

And nothing lost was ever found?

Wait, there's, uh-- What about Penny?

There's got to be something we can do.

You need to read between the lines, Quentin.

Jane's doll wasn't special because it looked like Jane.

Was special because of where it came from.

Jane's mother gave it to her... before she died.

It was all she took with her to Fillory.

Her only reminder of her family and her life on Earth.

It was her most precious possession.

What we love can be as important to us as our lives.

So, the curse accepted the doll as a proper sacrifice in place of Jane's heart.

[mysterious music]

I know you have more questions after you save your friend.

I found a way to break the curse, I just need a-- Penny!

Hey, asshole, I need to know your most precious possession.

He's been out of it for like, 20 minutes.


Then, it's too late.

[soft music on the background]


I beseech and devote myself.

I plead and promise myself... to you, She of the Grain, that you would raise me up above the chaff.


♪ You can still be ♪
♪ What you want to

What you said you were ♪

What you know you are ♪

♪ When I met you ♪
♪ You ♪
♪ You ♪
♪ You ♪

How are we supposed to know what's important?

I don't know. Penny doesn't have that much stuff, we'll just go through it.

Pictures. Yeah, maybe it's something from his childhood, his family.

He doesn't ever talk about them.

Doesn't mean he doesn't care about them.

Penny's not the most sentimental type.

Well, maybe he carefully crafts that image, I don't know. Everyone is sentimental.

You're projecting.

You're projecting!


I'm getting a definite circus clown vibe here.

Q, this is it.

You think, Penny's most prized possession is his Adderall?

I have voices telling me, all day long, to do dark magic and I don't know, the pills were the one thing that make them stop, they'd be pretty precious.

You can always get more pills.

They're fungible.

You're fungible.

Okay, what's yours, hmm?

That's kind of a personal question for two people who aren't supposed to be in the same room?

What's yours?

A quilt that my grandmother made me when I was little.

It's covered in cats.

"Fillory and Further", book one, first edition.

I worked all summer before eight grade to get it.

It's predictable I know.

Predictable's not bad, Quentin.


What about this?

A candy bar wrapper?

It's from Brakebills South.

This is the last place that he saw Kady.

Quentin, I don't think Penny even cares that she's gone.

Believe me.

He does.

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

[mysterious music]

♪ ♪

What was that? That you gave me?

Did it work?

It didn't feel like I was doing a casting, it felt like a casting was being done on me.

It's because it's not a spell, it was a prayer.

To what?

Local harvest deity.

Friendly, but a little one-trick.

You're lucky she answered. She's pretty shy.

It's like touching a bare wire.

More energy than I've felt.

It felt good.

It felt...dangerous.

The reason you treat magic like a drug, is because the people that taught it to you act like drug dealers.

They buy it and they sell it, and they fight and they f*ck for it.

Well, that's not the only way to live.

That's the only way I've ever seen.

I'm a very good Magician and I do this.

There are good people out there, Julia.

People trying to learn about the world and make it a better place.

Now, you can be one of those people, you can be a dealer, you can stay here and be nothing.

You get to choose.

If I give you something, you think you can get it into Brakebills for me?

Don't bother with the performance.

Even with these wards, I can see right through you.

I wouldn't dream of fooling you.

I have far bigger dreams than that.

Very clever, targeting someone else outside the campus protections.

Graduate with an alumni key.

Attractive to a certain sort.

It won't work next time.

There won't be a next time.

You can't hide in Fillory forever.

Lock as many doors as you want, there's always a door to Fillory when you need one.

Nothing's changed.

Still the same determined little Jane Chatwin.

No, I never wanted this.

You forced my hand. I wish I could be any other way.

I picked the Virgo Blade, specially for you, Jane.

Little twinge of nostalgia.

Penny's going to live and this meat puppet of yours is going to a Salvadorian prison in the morning.

All that scheming, wasted.

I could walk out of here anytime I like.

If you can leave anytime, what are you waiting for?

Oh, I was waiting... for you.

Help me!




[dramatic music]


[exhales sharply]


[breathing deeply]

♪ ♪

Oh, my God. Wait, wait, wait.



[speaking in foreign language]


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


Dean Fogg.

What do we do?

What do we do?

I don't--I don't know.

f*ck that.

Eliza is dead. I--

When the Beast comes back, what are we su--

She is the only one who could actually give me answers.

There are no answers, Quentin.

Because we have no idea what's going to happen next.

Most likely outcome: The Beast comes back.

Specially now that he's gotten Eliza out of the way.

You die, your friends die, we all die very bloody.

And all of this, will have been for nothing.

[breathing heavily]

[door slams]

Are you okay?

[gentle music]

[sultry music]