‘The Magicians’ Season Four, Episode Five Recap: “Escape from the Happy Place”
Peaches and plums, motherf*cker! Yeah, that’s what this recap is going to be about, but there is some other stuff we have to deal with first. So sit tight, this ship is about to set sail.
Spoilers ahead for this week’s episode of The Magicians. You have been warned.
This episode starts in a totally normal setting for The Magicians, the Physical Kids’ Cottage. Eliot is teaching Todd how to make a drink, dancing with Margo, smoking with Margo, the usual. Except someone keeps knocking on the door, and Eliot keeps ignoring it. When Margo finally answers it, she is dragged outside, screaming. Eliot runs after her and finds Margo headlocking a man who says he is trying to help, but they must get inside before “the monsters” can get them.
We zoom in on Eliot’s eye, and now we are back with The Monster and Q, who looks less devastated, more pissed and planning. The Monster goes off to find some ancient runes regarding the organs he keeps collecting, and Quentin goes to find Julia and hatch a plan.
Meanwhile, Alice is still up to… probably no good. She is going along with Plover through the Neitherlands but leads him to a different fountain than the one he was trying to find. She leads him to none other than the Poison Room fountain, and once he jumps in, she releases the rope he could use to pull himself out, effectively sending him to his death. This scene shows that, while Alice is so desperate for redemption, she will resort to murder. From there, she finds her way to the Earth fountain so she can get to Quentin, and hopefully prevent him from dying in the next two days.
Margo, Julia, Penny!23, and Shoshana find themselves in Fillory. Margo is on a quest to find her birthright box mentioned in episode two, while Penny takes Julia and Shoshana back to Earth. Then, she is stabbed with a syringe by a mystery man. This would seem to be a plotline that will develop in the next episode and will possibly lead to the return of our Penny… finally!
Margo is trying to get her affairs as High King in order before revealing the news that Eliot is gone. Except, then Fen shows up, and immediately asks where Eliot is. Cut to her crying for what was apparently two hours and carrying out various weird Fillorian rituals, such as lying in a heap of Eliot’s clothes and “bare-breasted lamenting.” Margo continues to run around and problem solve, and finally Fen asks her if she has cried yet. That is when Margo tells her that she refuses to cry, “…because I can’t cry out all the sadness ever. Because if I start, I’ll never stop, understand? I’ll be useless forever.” And if that did not break your heart, then what kind of heartless monster are you? (The Castle Blackspire kind, probably.) Margo gets her box open, and inside is a lizard. But it refuses to talk, just like all of the other animals in Fillory, so that is a story that will have to continue another day.
Okay, we’ve talked about everyone. Now it’s time to focus on Eliot, as this is definitely his episode. The guy from outside explains to him that he is in fact trapped inside his own head while his body is possessed by The Monster. This is his happy place, where The Monster and his mind-monsters cannot get to Eliot. So Charlton, as we learn his name to be, says Eliot must stay there. (Charlton is the guy we saw at Castle Blackspire originally possessed by The Monster, hence how he knows what to do.) But Eliot is determined to get out, so Charlton tells him he must find “the forgotten remembrance” — basically the memory most repressed due to being the most painful — and there he will find a door to reality.
From there, Eliot and Charlton take a long trip down memory lane – the time he killed his bully by using telekinetic magic for the first time, the time he participated in beating up his only school friend, the time he got so high he almost got everyone killed, the time he threw Margo in jail, the time he assisted many men in cheating, and so on. But each time, no door. He cannot figure out what he is not getting.
Meanwhile back in reality, Iris, the goddess who helped Julia at the end of last season, appears to Julia. She tells her she must help kill The Monster by “bleeding a stone” made from a substance that will keep him from traveling, and from there Iris will send him back to Castle Blackspire. Quentin gets to work literally bleeding the stone while Julia and Shoshana distract The Monster by “researching” the runes at the Brakebills library. Alice shows up to help Quentin, but Quentin is still utterly done with Alice, which honestly, is fine by me. But he lets her help him, for the sake of his life, and now it is time to kill The Monster.
These two sequences happen somewhat simultaneously. Happy Place!Eliot realizes what the memory he needs to return to is. Quentin and Alice meet Julia, Shoshana, and The Monster in a park. Eliot finds himself at Castle Whitespire, moments after Q and Eliot remember their life together from last season’s episode, “A Life in the Day.” In that episode, it cuts off after Eliot says, “we had a family.” Now, through Eliot’s memory, we see what happened after.
And what happened after, is Q asked Eliot to be in a relationship. (Yes, I can hear you screaming from here.)
But memory!Eliot, scared of being that vulnerable and intimate, says no. “Don’t be naive, it matters. Q, come on, I love you, but… you have to know that’s not me and that’s definitely not you, not when we have a choice,” to which our Eliot looks at him and says, “What the hell is wrong with you? And what the hell are you doing?”
Eliot realizes that he made a mistake. That this was him unable to face his fear, but he could now. He tells memory!Q, “I’m sorry. I was afraid, and when I’m afraid, I run away.” and then KISSES HIM. And it is slow and magical and everything we have waited a season for. Finally, he says, “If I ever get out of here, Q, know that if I’m braver it’s ‘cause I learned it from you.” And the door appears.
Cut back to reality, and Q is about to essentially poison the Monster. But then Eliot breaks through. At first Quentin does not believe him — I mean, why would he? But then he says the one thing he knows Quentin will know only he could know — “Peaches and Plums, motherf*cker! I’m alive in here.”
Eliot disappears, but Quentin knocks him out of the way before Alice can poison him, knowing there is still a chance to save Eliot. Iris appears, pissed, and attempts to kill Julia — but Shoshana jumps in the way, getting sliced through the chest. Before Iris can try again, The Monster rips out her organ, killing her, and disappears. The episode ends on Alice trying once again to make amends with Quentin, but he tells her it’s over, and she walks out.
How will Eliot escape? How will Quentin help? HOW WILL THEIR NEXT REUNION GO? I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the rest of this season.
“A Timeline and Place” premieres Wednesday, February 27 at 9/8c on SYFY.