As “The Magicians” returns for season two, it picks up right where season one left off, joining Quentin and company after Julia betrayed them on a quest for revenge. (If you’re joining the show without seeing the first season, I definitely recommend binging on Netflix before the next new episode.)

Crowns come before the mission

The entirety of season one led to Quentin, Penny, Alice, Elliot, and Margo taking on the Beast, someone they thought was the ultimate evil. Joining forces with Julia, they thought they’d finally have the advantage, but she betrayed them to align with said Beast in an effort to get revenge on the trickster god who raped her and murdered many of her friends.

That’s all well and good for Julia, but now, the Brakebills students are having to make their way through Fillory so that Elliot can become the High King before they can get help to take out the Beast -- whether Julia gets what she wants or not. Of course, this fantasy land has plenty of “assistance” at their disposal, but everything has a price, unless Elliot gets his crown.

The test for the High King

In a hilarious sequence of events, Elliot has to be tested to prove he’s a child of Earth. That test? It’s of his pop culture knowledge. Of course, the “Knight of Crowns” has been waiting over 20 years to test the future High King, so his pop culture questions, about Tim Daley, the Beach Boys, and Patrick Swayze are a little dated.

None of that matters when Elliot realizes it’s his chance to show off how much he knows about “Dirty Dancing” and give his own Patrick Swayze monologue.

Margo is most suited to be Queen

If anyone of the core group of characters could rule a fantasy land with ease, it’s Margo.

She takes problems head-on, she speaks her mind, and she knows when she makes a mistake. She’s also impulsive and (usually) unapologetic though, which could get her into some trouble in the future. Quentin might have the knowledge of Fillory, while Alice has the knowledge of magic, and Elliot is fated to rule, but Margo can get the job done.

Her snark and sarcasm, and her willingness to do anything to complete the task at hand, makes her my favorite.

Penny’s going to have some trouble

Unhappy that he can’t use a magical healing river without paying its guardian, Penny mouths off to him and suffers for it when he can’t properly wield magic.

Something tells me this is going to be a theme with Penny this season. He’s quick to judge (though he’s usually right), but he’s also worked very hard to be able to use his particular brand of magic. How will this affect him?

Can Julia handle Martin?

Given the option to remove the emotions that are leading her on her quest for revenge, Julia declines.

She needs the pain; it’s what drives her. Martin though thinks she would be stronger without it. Julia and Martin have a deal, for the time being, that means he can’t harm her or her friends until they get the trickster, but Martin has a lot more experience with magic than Julia does. Is he going to be able to find a loophole and weasel his way out of their deal? And can Julia get closure with Martin in her corner?

What's Kady going to think about this? The only other person to survive the trickster and have experience with the Beast at Brakebills, she's got to have an opinion.

The verdict and what’s next

What a great kickoff for season two! There’s that signature blend of emotion and humor, along with plenty of pop culture references, that “The Magicians” fans have come to love.

There’s also the added bonus that Fillory is gorgeously created and shot for the show. I can’t wait to see if Julia gets her guy and the Brakebills students get theirs -- and if those goals ever align.

4 out of 5 stars.

Next week, Quentin, Penny, Alice, and Margo return to Brakebills for help, while Elliot stays behind to rule Fillory.