Season 2 of the fantasy series picks up right after the previous season’s final episode. When it’s revealed that nobody was killed and everybody is just fine, Julia (Stella Maeve) strikes a deal with the Beast (Charles Mesure) in order to take down Reynard (Mackenzie Astin). As Quentin (Jason Ralph), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Penny (Arjun Gupta) and Margo (Summer Bishil) embark upon a quest to find a new weapon to kill the Beast and go back to their world, Eliot (Hale Appleman) struggles with being a king and Julia is forced to continue her descent into the dark side. Things take a turn for the worst when one of the young magicians is put in mortal peril and another loses her shade. And when they finally make it back to their world they realize the war is not over.
📚 Based on Lev Grossman – The Magicians (The Magicians #1) 🎧 – breaking out various plot points over two seasons, veering off course from the books when it serves the plot.
📺 https://www.netflix.com/title/80092801 (Not available in AUS)
✅ The Magicians 2×01 – Knight of Crowns
Quentin flees the Wellspring seeking help and comes across a witch in a gingerbread house, who agrees to help at the cost of a vial of his blood. Alice emerges from the Wellspring, explaining that she still has the power of a god, and has already patched up her companions. They discover the Beast has drained the Wellspring. Penny uses a magic river to restore his injured hands, but offends the keeper of the river who curses them. The companions meet the Knight of Crowns, Eliot and Quentin are crowned Kings and Alice and Margo Queens of Fillory, but they soon discover the kingdom is in a severe state of decline.
When you’re journeying through a land that was used in a series of moralistic children’s books, you can expect that the place is going to try and teach you a few lessons, which is just as well, since Quentin is clearly still in need of some maturity. 
✅ The Magicians 2×02 – Hotel Spa Potions
Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Margo return to Brakebills seeking magic to use against the Beast. With Dean Fogg’s help, their search leads them to Bigby, a former Brakebills professor, who teaches Alice a powerful battle magic spell. Dean Fogg implants Cacodemons into the foursome to give them an additional weapon against the Beast. Professor Sunderland lifts the curse on Penny’s hands. Learning Fillory is suffering from famine due to the Beast’s misuse of the Wellspring, Elliot is forced to teach the Fillorian people agriculture using only tools and fertilizer. Julia reveals to Quentin that the Beast has cursed the Fillorian monarchs. Reynard murders more witches, prompting Marina to team up with Julia and the Beast to kill him.
✅ The Magicians 2×03 – Divine Elimination
The Beast’s curse forces Quentin, Alice, Eliot, and Margo to all kill each other. Penny circumvents it by killing them with poison, then reviving them with adrenaline. Marina performs a ritual to summon Reynard. When Julia and the Beast arrive to trap him, Penny teleports them to Fillory so Alice can destroy the Beast. Julia’s interference causes Alice’s attack to miss and the Beast is only wounded. Quentin and Alice attempt to intercept the Beast before he can heal himself at the Wellspring. Ember confronts the Beast and tells him he has defecated in the Wellspring, rendering it useless. Penny teleports Julia back to Earth and she removes Professor Sunderland’s chains from his wrists, causing the curse to return. The Beast injures Quentin and battles Alice, who gains the upper hand until she begins to lose the godly power from Ember’s essence. She casts the battle magic spell anyway and transforms into a Niffin. The Niffin kills the Beast and turns on Eliot and Margo. Quentin releases his Cacodemon to kill the Niffin. Julia returns to find Marina’s lifeless corpse and Reynard gone.
Jesus, Alice is going full “Harry Potter” part seven slash eight over there. — – Eliot
✅ The Magicians 2×04 – The Flying Forest
Magic on Earth and Fillory begins to fail due to the polluted Wellspring. So that Eliot can return to Earth, Margo makes a golem into which he can project his mind. Eliot soon finds his consciousness split between the golem on Earth and his own body on Fillory. Dean Fogg tells him he must choose between life on Fillory and life on Earth. Centaur physicians heal Quentin’s wounds and tell Penny they cannot cure his cursed hands. Quentin amputates Penny’s hands, and together they enter the Flying Forest to hunt the White Lady, a magical creature who grants wishes, in order to ask her to heal Penny’s hands and resurrect Alice. Julia and Kady follow a message on Marina’s body to find a spell that temporarily revives Marina; she tells them to locate a girl who banished Reynard from Earth forty years ago. Quentin and Penny find the White Lady; she restores Penny’s hands but tells Quentin she cannot raise the dead. She asks him whether he wants her to erase his memories of Alice, but he refuses, wishing to be sent home.
“The befouling was substantial.”
✅ The Magicians 2×05 – Cheat Day
Quentin abandons magic for a corporate job in the non-magical world. Emily, a former Brakebills student who quit magic after a disastrous affair with a professor, befriends Quentin. Penny is unable to perform magic with his hands and returns to Mayakovsky for help. It is revealed Mayakovsky was Emily’s lover, and was banished to Antarctica as a result. Quentin and Emily get drunk and use illusion magic to disguise themselves as Mayakovsky and Alice respectively, and they have a one-night stand. Julia learns she is pregnant by Reynard and attempts to terminate the pregnancy; however, the fetus protects itself by magically compelling Julia’s doctor to commit suicide. Eliot learns Fen is pregnant and survives an assassination attempt by Baelor, a member of Fillorians United, an organization dedicated to driving out Earthlings from Fillory. Against Margo’s objections, Eliot spares Baelor’s life and asks his advice on how to govern Fillory. It is revealed Fen is a member of Fillorians United sent to infiltrate Eliot’s court.
✅ The Magicians 2×06 – The Cock Barrens
Quentin begins seeing apparitions of Alice. With her guidance, he persuades Alice’s parents to help him cast a spell to lay her soul to rest. Niffin Alice then appears in the flesh, revealing the Cacodemon did not kill her but imprisoned her in Quentin’s body; she appeared as an apparition to torment him and Alice’s parents, and maliciously promises that she and Quentin will have “so much fun” together. Prince Ess of the Kingdom of Loria, whose kingdom is failing, visits Eliot and Margo with a proposal to share the Wellspring’s magic and marry Margo. When Margo refuses, Ess teleports the Fillorian castle to Loria. Julia is imprisoned by Dana, the woman who banished Reynard. Dana tells her she must bear Reynard’s child, as he can only be banished using the magical energy generated by the child’s birth. Kady rescues Julia. Margo seduces Ess and ends up agreeing to marry him. Penny Travels throughout Loria searching for the castle. When he cannot find it, he realizes Ess actually disguised its original location magically and created the illusion that Loria was dying. Margo declares war on Loria in response to Ess’s deception.
✅ The Magicians 2×07 – Plan B
Quentin begins researching how to turn Niffin Alice back into a human. Julia requires a million dollars to hire exorcists to terminate her pregnancy, and Eliot and Margo realize that Fillory is bankrupt; in order to get the needed funds, the three of them team up with Quentin, Kady, and Penny to rob a magically protected bank. During the robbery, Penny is trapped inside the bank vault, and Quentin is forced to allow Niffin Alice to possess his body for one hour every day in exchange for her help freeing Penny. Julia’s exorcism is successful, but Kady tells her there were complications.
✅ The Magicians 2×08 – Word as Bond
Julia’s exorcism has removed her Shade (soul), leaving her amoral, reckless, and emotionally detached. Quentin tries to figure out what Niffin Alice is doing when in control of his body. Eventually she takes him to summon a Niffin priest who has the secret of escaping Niffin traps. The priest refuses to teach Niffin Alice the secret until she frees herself from Quentin, and she tells Quentin that his body cannot withstand the stress of containing her. Margo and Julia negotiate with a Dryad for the right to move Fillorian troops through a sentient forest. The Dryad refuses. Later Julia returns to the Dryad with a booby-trapped offer of tribute, which destroys the forest. This enrages all sentient plants on Fillory and Margo has Julia imprisoned. Quentin, Penny, and Kady attempt to identify Dana’s son by Reynard, hoping to use his power to banish Reynard; however his identity is kept secret by Dana’s spells. Penny signs a contract of permanent servitude with the Neitherlands Librarians in exchange for a book containing Dana’s son’s name. Penny reads Quentin’s mind and learns Niffin Alice is trapped within.
✅ The Magicians 2×09 – Lesser Evils
After the Fillorian army deserts due to Julia’s actions, Eliot fights Lorian King Idri in a one-on-one duel to end the war. Fen gives him an enchanted sword to improve his chances of victory. Penny and Kady break Julia free. Together they kidnap Reynard’s son, Senator John Gaines, and take him to Brakebills. Reynard enters Brakebills searching for Gaines. Julia sacrifices Quentin to Reynard, planning to coerce him into releasing Niffin Alice to kill Reynard; however the plan fails. Gaines surrenders himself to Reynard, and they leave together. During Eliot’s duel, the Wellspring fails, causing the enchanted sword to also fail. To save Eliot, Margo makes a deal with the fairies to restore the Wellspring in exchange for Eliot and Fen’s child, without Fen’s knowledge. Eliot returns, announcing he has ended the war by agreeing to marry Idri and share the Wellspring with Loria. Kady, appalled at Julia’s actions, has her imprisoned. Quentin frees Niffin Alice.
✅ The Magicians 2×10 – The Girl Who Told Time
Quentin encounters Julia’s Shade in a vision. Depressed by his low approval ratings among the populace, Eliot learns Fillorians United are plotting to assassinate him during his wedding. He sends Josh to Fillorians United headquarters to dose them with a potion that makes them adore him. Fen is kidnapped by the Fairies. To learn more about Shades, Dean Fogg and Julia cast a spell allowing Quentin to speak with an Alice from an alternate timeline who obsessively researched Shades. Alternate Alice tells Quentin that Shades reside in the Underworld, and that Ancient Ones control access to the Underworld. Julia discovers that the Ancient Ones are dragons. Kady unsuccessfully searches the Neitherlands Library for a spell to kill a god. Penny begins his job with the Librarians by recovering an overdue book from a Magician named Harriet. Harriet’s curse forces one of the Librarians to kill himself to protect the Poison Room, a storehouse for books with forbidden knowledge. Harriet leaves Kady a message that the Poison Room has a book with a god-killing spell.
✅ The Magicians 2×11 – The Rattening
Quentin and Julia give an Ancient One the key to Fillory to access the Underworld. Gaines is disgusted by his powers of mind control and allies with Kady against Reynard. Penny tries to read the book of the Head Librarian’s life to learn how to enter the Poison Room, but finds the book itself is stored in the Poison Room. Another Librarian, Sylvia, volunteers to help him break into the Poison Room. In Whitespire, people, including King Idri, are mysteriously transforming into rats. While trying to discover the cause, Eliot learns about the deal Margo made with the Fairies, and has her imprisoned. With the help of a potion, Margo teleports to the Fairy Realm to search for Fen. Eliot suddenly finds himself back on Earth and surmises Fillory has ejected him. Quentin and Julia meet the dead Richard, who helps them locate the area inhabited by the Shades. They are reunited with Julia’s Shade and, unexpectedly, Alice’s as well. They escape the Underworld, Julia deciding at the last minute to bring Alice’s Shade with them instead of her own.
I sit patiently, waiting for you to come back.
No, I eat you–I’m a fucking dragon, what do you expect?
✅ The Magicians 2×12 – Ramifications
Quentin, Julia, and Mayakovsky resurrect Alice using her Shade, however she feels imprisoned remembering the freedom of being a Niffin. In Eliot and Margo’s absence, Josh becomes High King of Fillory. Margo appears to him in a vision and demands that he find a way to bring her back from the Fairy Realm. Furious over his father’s disappearance, Ess attacks Josh; after subduing Ess and his men, Josh travels to the Fairy Realm himself. Quentin and Eliot search for a clock that is a permanent portal to Fillory. They discover the clock’s owner is Umber in disguise. Umber tells them Fillory cannot be saved, but gives them the clock. Penny and Sylvia retrieve the book with the god-killing spell from the Poison Room, at the cost of her life. Gaines compels Kady to sacrifice him and collect his magical energy so that they can destroy Reynard. Julia and Kady summon Reynard, but before Julia can kill him, Persephone appears and pleads with her not to harm her son–Reynard. Julia spares him and Persephone gives her her Shade in gratitude.
✅ The Magicians 2×13 – We Have Brought You Little Cakes
A crisis comes to a head when the true power behind the troubles comes to party. Battles are won and wars are lost, as Q and the others must protect their kingdom. Alice makes a startling revelation and things may never be the same.
SERIES VERDICT: ★★★★