Season two of “The Magicians” comes to an end with fairies and gods and plenty of emotional trauma. Ember is determined to destroy Fillory now that he’s bored with it, but Eliot isn’t ready to let that happen, especially while fairies still capture his wife and his future husband is a rat. Margo and Josh try to rescue Fen while Eliot handles rallying the Brakebills troops and Julia to save Fillory and magic along with it.

Ember’s opening monolog

Just in case you missed anything over the last two seasons of the show, Ember has you covered in a voiceover that opens the episode and includes clips from all of the significant events that have gone down.

This isn’t just a recap though as it gives us Ember’s point of view and allows us to find out that he’s had his hand in quite a few of the catastrophes going on just to keep himself entertained. He is, to put it mildly, not a great guy, but he is entertaining.

Everyone’s trauma is on full display

What I love most about “The Magicians” is how dark it allows itself to get while still being entertaining and a satisfying story. The main characters are all deeply flawed and deeply screwed up. They all make mistakes, and they all suffer as a result. It should be depressing, disappointing, and all around tiring, but instead, the writers of the show manage to make it work.

Margo’s selfish nature led her to give up Fen’s baby to save her best friend, but her guilt over that decision has motivated her ever since.

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Julia’s PTSD as a result of her rape was never dealt with because it was pushed aside for revenge, and now it’s back in full force. Quentin believing he always has the answer brought him to a place where he could save Alice, but now, he has no idea how to handle it.

Too often fantasy shows don’t allow those characters on a hero’s journey to really experience their trauma; instead, moving them beyond it and onto the next adventure. “The Magicians” doesn’t shy away, allowing for a richer story and much more interesting characters.

Reunited and it’s not so good

Ember finally learns that Umber never actually died when Julia brings his pocket universe, encased in a snow globe, back to Fillory with Umber and Q inside. The family reunion doesn’t go as well as the Brakebills kids hoped. Instead of uniting to make Fillory a better place, the two brothers fight it out, with Ember killing Umber, and Julia and Q having to kill Ember. They might have saved the world, but it didn’t entirely go according to plan, though it’s nice to see Q get a win since he’s the least effective hero in the history of hero’s stories.

The plumber goes to work

The consequence of Q and Julia killing Ember means that the “plumber” cuts off any magic that came from Fillory’s wellspring. Margo and Eliot are trapped there, trying to run a kingdom as the fairies close in. Q and Alice are studying magic academically instead of practically, but Alice is going to be in danger thanks to her niffin counterpart. Kady seeks out help for getting magical knowledge out into the world, but Penny, last we saw, was in the Library when magic was being turned off.

Julia is the only one who, two months later, appears to be getting some magic back. Just as when the show began, she can make sparks with her fingertips. Is Julia on her way to becoming something stronger than the average magician? I can’t wait to see how that goes!

The verdict and what’s next

There wasn’t nearly enough of Kady or Penny in this episode, but with so much story to get through, it’s understandable that some plots got sidelined. Not as gripping as other episodes, “We Have Brought You Little Cakes” does provide an intriguing set up for season three.

3 out of 5 stars

Up next: other than a search for magic, who knows? “The Magicians” has been renewed for season three, but it won’t be back until 2018 on Syfy.