The Magicians” are all having a difficult time in “Ramifications.” Julia helps Quentin in his quest to get Alice back before returning to help Kady find a way to take on Reynard again. What Kady has to do isn’t something she’s prepared for. Eliot finds himself banished from Fillory and looking for a way back while Margo is stuck in the fairy realm looking for Fen. Penny finally gets into the Poison Room, but at a great cost.

Alice is back

Julia brought Alice’s shade back with her during last week’s trip to the underworld instead of her own. She and Q, with the help of Q’s least favorite teacher, of course, set out to use Alice’s shade to summon the niffin and bring Alice back to life.

It works, or at least, we’re led to believe it works. The Alice who comes back is short with her words, angry, and a little shaky, and the knowledge of the nephin is fading fast. There’s still something slightly off with her mannerisms, but that could just be the result of her being dead. Is this the real Alice? Or are we in store for yet another version of her?

Kady is Julia’s shade

One of my favorite moments in the episode was Julia’s moment of apology to Kady. Julia still knows she doesn’t have the best capacity for empathy with her shade missing, but she also knows now that she can still do good things without it. Though she apologizes to Kady for going to far, she also asks Kady to replace her shade for the time being. She wants Kady to be the one to tell her when she goes to far, which is almost sure to go badly, but I love that Kady is the one she asks.

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After all they’ve been through, Kady is the ones she trusts. These two are pretty codependent most of the time, but this is one area where Julia really cannot do it alone.

Being Julia’s shade is the least of Kady’s problems though as Reynard’s son realizes just how bad things are going to be for him if his father continues to try and play a part in his life. He hypnotizes Kady with his demigod powers, forcing her to kill him and perform the ritual, which allows Julia and Kady to attempt to take on Reynard one more time with a demigod-powered-bullet.

Kady and Julia don’t get justice though as Persephone shows up just when they lure Reynard into the open, asking Julia to spare his life since he’s her son. That’s one twist I didn’t see coming, but it feels like such a cop out. Julia and Kady’s story has been building to justice for all the hedge witches raped and murdered by Reynard, and instead, what Julia gets is her shade back from Persephone and Kady gets more trauma.

The Poison Room

Penny has been trying to figure out how to get in the Poison Room for Kady for two weeks now.

He and his new friend Sylvia finally find a way, showing off some of Sylvia’s skills, including magical lock breaking, along the way. Once inside though, the room and the books inside do appear to literally be poison, costing Sylvia her life when she instructs Penny to leave without her or he dies too.

It’s a shame that we lose Sylvia so quickly as she was quickly proving to be a fascinating addition to the show, but I’m glad Penny was finally able to get Kady’s book. Also an interesting twist? All the books of the currently living people have 20 blank pages at the end due to a coming “Cataclysmic Badness” that the Librarians aren’t sure about. What exactly are the Brakebills kids about to face next?

Q finds another fanboy

When Eliot and Q track down a clock they think holds a portal to Fillory, they think they’ve also found another fan who owns it. As it turns out, it’s Umber, one of the gods of Fillory, who has been collecting memorabilia since faking his death. Watching Q fawn over all of his things is cute until you realize that Umber basically just gave up on the world he created and left it to destroy itself. At least Eliot isn’t ready to give up. But how can he and Q save a world that doesn’t want them anymore?

The verdict and what’s next

Without Margo, and with very little of Kady and Julia’s storyline giving their usual banter, this episode felt darker, heavier, and a little less enjoyable than usual. It brings us that much closer to the finale, though.

3 out of 5 stars.

The Magicians” heads into the fairy realm in “We Have Brought You Little Cakes” next week for the season finale.