Just as Quentin, Alice, Margo, and Penny return to Fillory to fill Eliot in on their plan, the Beast’s curse distracts them. Meanwhile, Julia and the Beast use Marina to lure out Reynard, but doing it puts her in grave danger in “divine elimination.”

The thrones of Fillory are cursed

Just as the Beast teased last week, he has laid traps in his former kingdom of Fillory. The first one we get to see in action is a curse placed on the thrones that causes the four royals to plot one another’s demise. They all want to be the lone ruler of Fillory. Lucky for them, they have one friend in their corner, Penny, who didn’t get a crown or a throne.

Penny’s plan is pretty genius as well since it involves combatting the magic with a little science. Instead of letting his friends kill one another, he devises a plan using potassium chloride to stop their hearts before reviving them. Of course, this leads to a hilarious sequence wherein Margo takes the initiative to kill all of her friends so she can be High Queen. Somehow, I’m not surprised that Margot was the one to wind up on top. She’s always been the most suited to rule, though maybe not in quite this way.

The Beast puts Marina at risk

Julia and the Beast have to use Marina as bait to draw Reynard out, making her seem like she’s calling to the same goddess Julia and her group of magicians did last season.

Unfortunately for both Julia and Marina, the Beast doesn’t tell them the full extent of the plan, that they have to leave Marina alone so that Reynard doesn’t sense Julia’s presence, and it leaves Marina vulnerable.

Alone in her apartment with her wards in place, it’s too late for Marina to get help once she locks Reynard in with her.

He takes full advantage of the situation, taking his time to taunt her, break one of her fingers, and skin her cat. If you weren’t aware of just how awful Reynard is after what he did to Julia, watching his torment of Marina seals the deal for you, right? That’s why it’s all the more frustrating when Julia’s moment to kill him is stolen away.

Everyone’s plans go wrong

Just as the Fillory royals use Penny to bring the Beast to them, Julia is using his abilities to freeze Reynard in place and save Marina. Right as she goes in for the kill, Penny shows up, and she hitches a ride to Fillory, hoping to have him bring her and the Beast back in time to kill Reynard and keep Marina out of harm’s way. Nothing is ever that easy though as Margo, Alice, and Eliot prioritize killing the Beast over helping Julia. She did betray them, after all.

This means that Alice and Quentin are left to take on the Beast on their own while Margo and Elliot look for a new solution. Julia, meanwhile, is returned to Earth by Penny, but not where Marina is, and she retaliates by removing the chains binding his hands in place, leaving him teleporting aimlessly.

It’s a mess that looks like no one is going to get what they want out of their various deals.

Alice goes all out

Not only does Julia return to find Marina dead in her apartment, but Alice decides to take on the Beast when she doesn’t have enough power left to do so, leading to a chain of events where she literally burns herself out in the fight, though she does seemingly kill the Beast as she does. In a world like Fillory though, there has to be a chance that there’s a way to bring Alice back, right? Poor Marina probably doesn’t have that same chance, but with Quentin, who knows the stories behind Fillory inside and out, Alice might still have one.

The verdict and what’s next

"Divine Elimination" was chock-full of action, intersecting plot lines, and heavy emotional drama with a touch of “The Magicians” signature style of humor.

In short, it was pretty near a perfect episode. All that was missing was Cady, who has been gone for three episodes now.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

In next week’s “The Flying Forest,” Quentin and Penny go on a quest, while Margo tries to help Eliot. Cady also finally returns to the picture.