While Quentin adjusts to life in the real world, Penny seeks out help for his hand problem and Margot and Eliot get down to ruling Fillory. Meanwhile, Kady and Julia find out a new consequence from Reynard’s attack in “Cheat Day.”

Julia’s got one more gift from Reynard

After repeatedly vomiting while she and Kady are researching a way to get to Reynard, the thought occurs to Julia that one more thing could be changing in her life as a result of Reynard’s assault. As it turns out, she’s pregnant, and fully intent on getting rid of that particular problem as soon as possible.

It probably shouldn’t be surprising that “The Magicians” decided to tackle women’s reproductive rights, but it is, and it does it wonderfully.

Julia, so used to relying on magic, wants to just spell her problem away. As Kady points out though, magic didn’t evolve with modern medicine and she could end up magic-ing away several of her internal organs. The two young women, who have already bonded over so many shared experiences and traumas, bond further when Kady reminds her that she doesn't have to go through this alone and that she’s even been in Julia’s shoes before, though in her case, she wasn’t assaulted by a trickster god.

Julia, unfortunately, finds herself magically thwarted at every turn when she tries to get an abortion.

Her doctor even ends up dead, sticking a piece of medical equipment through her own eye. The question is: is her fetus somehow protecting itself or does Reynard know that he’s got a child on the way?

Quentin is not made for a world without magic

Quentin is the most boring character on the show, but that’s by design. Quentin is the usual chosen one you find in fantasy stories, but instead of him being the best and filling in all the boxes on a trope bingo card, the writers subvert your expectations and everyone else on the show is more interesting and more capable than he is.

The one thing he has going for him is magic.

When the writers then stick him in the everyday world where he isn’t supposed to be using magic since he wanted to give it up, he becomes intensely boring (other than the creepy illusion spell in the shower). Yes, as an audience we know that he has to realize that he’s not meant to live this life, but it’s a shame that realization doesn’t come a little faster.

I would have rather watched more of anyone else than Quentin this week.

Margo and Eliot deal with Fillorian unrest

It’s another hard day to be king in Fillory. Not only is Fen pregnant, but a citizen attempts to kill Eliot. Luckily for Eliot, Margo is there to save the day since his crack security in the castle is all but useless. The duo then have to figure out exactly what to do with the man who wants all children of Earth dead. While they eventually decide he has to be executed, Eliot changes his mind, wanting to lead by example for his unborn child.

This decision doesn’t sit well with Margo, and there’s a moment where she’s a little hard to read: is she upset that Eliot is having a baby with another woman more than she’s upset that he can override her royal decisions?

Margo is used to having Eliot to herself, and having to share him with Fen and an entire kingdom is hard. I hope that the writers do more than simple jealousy with her in the future, but I am curious to see how Eliot making decisions without her affects her going forward.

Penny returns to Brakebills South

After a quick trip to see Fog in Brakebills, Penny gets sent to Brakebills South to visit his least favorite instructor. The only interesting thing to come out of this is that Mayakovsky is building a magical battery. He’s trying to store up magical energy just in case the wellspring in Fillory can’t be fixed. It’s a good plan, but otherwise, Penny’s scenes with him are wash-rinse-repeat of the first season.

The verdict and what’s next

Again, I’m much more interested in Julia and Kady taking on Reynard than I am Fillory, but I’m happy to see Fen got a few more layers to explore this week.

4 out of 5 stars.