Though last week’sKnight of Crowns” reminded us that Eliot had to stay behind to rule Fillory, this week’s “hotel spa potions” brings Quentin, Penny, Margo, and Alice back to Brakebills to find help with battle magic. While the four work out a temporary fix for Penny’s hand problem and search for hidden spells, Julia and Rupert recruit some help in their fight against Reynard.

Eliot and the others weren’t the first Brakebills royals

One of the most interesting parts of the episode to me, which was pretty much a throwaway line, was the reveal that other Brakebills students wore the crowns in Fillory over 100 years ago.

The book that Alice thumbed through in the castle wasn’t just missing the battle magic spells discussed within it, it was also a Brakebills workbook from the 1800s.

We know because of the existence of hedge witches that not everyone who learns magic is a Brakebills student, and we also know that all of the royals in Fillory have to be children of Earth, so it seems that it would be just as likely that a royal would be a Brakebills student as not, but I would like to know more about the students who ruled in the past.

Bonus: Eliot's big royal contribution is farming knowledge. Who knew he grew up on a farm? Amazing.

Rupert has some pipes

You might remember a few musical sequences from season one that involved Penny being driven crazy by a Taylor Swift song.

This time around, Julia has to deal with the Beast’s need to turn his life into a musical. He’s got some great pipes though, and if we’re in for more musical moments throughout season two, sign me up! Showrunner John McNamara loves a good musical sequence, so I have a feeling the little bit we see in this episode isn’t the end of it.

Professor Bigby

The teacher who assigned that Brakebills workbook? Professor Bigby, who happens to be a pixie and have a fondness for riddles. I probably enjoyed the word games way more than I should have considering they’re just roadblocks to getting the battle magic the group needs. I can’t fault a woman for making things difficult for anyone to get her help when she was fired and escorted from Brakebills when no one listened to her, though.

When Alice, Quentin, and Dean Fogg finally track her down, Bigby spends a lot of time literally sniffing out information about the three of them and embarrassing them to boot. She also gives Alice the spell she needs though and even warns Alice that her time is running out as her god-like powers are fading. She’s a fun character to have around, and I hope we get to see her again.

Could Marina be Julia’s secret weapon?

Rupert kidnaps Marina, hoping to use her to help Julia get revenge on Reynard, but Marina, not surprisingly, takes a hard pass on their plan. Instead, she seeks out another hedge witch with her own coven for help -- but she arrives too late as the other woman has already been slaughtered by Reynard.

It’s interesting to see Marina in such a vulnerable state. She’s so scared, she tries to seek out asylum at Brakebills, though she’s denied. It’s quite a turn from the woman who put up curses around her belongings that killed those who tried to steal from her. She showed she’s more than just a power hungry hedge witch when she helped Julia after her rape last season, though. She can’t ignore that her people are being targeted by Reynard, and though she has a strong sense of self-preservation, she doesn’t have anywhere else to go.

Given Julia’s desperation for revenge, Marina’s fear of death, and the Beast’s cavalier attitude, they are going to be one strange team- up. But they’re also going to be very fun to watch.

The verdict and what’s next

So far, season two is blowing season one out of the water. I can’t wait for more.

4 out of 5 stars.

While Quentin and his Brakebills friends prepare to go up against the Beast, Julia is ready to set a trap for Reynard with the Beast and a new ally in next week’s “Divine Elimination.”