There’s a lot of motherhood talk and misdirects on The Magicians Season 4 Episode 8.
From finding a charlatan in Fillory to Poppy pregnant in The Physical Kids cottage, the Brakebill students have their world turned upside down.
Let’s start with Fen’s quest for the green hooded woman from her dreams. Margo joined her and throughout the episode learns a few things about herself.
Fen’s development has mostly been tied to Eliot. The most we’ve seen her act outside of their marriage and her place in Fillory was in The Magicians Season 3 with her daughter Fray when she mourned her loss by going away to Earth.
She bonded with Julia there, and it gave her some dimension.
“Home Improvement” continues that trajectory, teaching Fen that she needs to put herself first.
Fen’s storyline can teach viewers a lot about themselves and who they value too.
Fen was determined to go on her quest alone, but when Margo shows up making the quest all about her and her birthright lizard, it puts her back in the shadows.
When she finally catches The Napster at the end of the episode, and she’s given a chance to ask for either her destiny or another one, she’s willing to give it up for Margo.
She does it so easily, without regard for herself.
The look on Fen’s face when she realizes that she will have to be the one to dethrone Margo is full of shock.
It’s a terrifying cliffhanger because we’ve had not only Eliot but now Margo in danger of dying this season.
Margo is not particularly warm and affectionate towards Fen, but Fen does seem to enjoy her company, and even appears grateful when Margo shows her that Green Hood is a trickster exploiting them for free labor.
Fen is very sheltered, and she isn’t aware of the dangers out there, and she needs people who are to guide her.
On another note, Fen surprised me with her references to pop culture.
It’s peeling back some of the layers that we haven’t seen. I am wondering how she would know about Napster and The Karate Kid.
However, it also doesn’t surprise me because Eliot consumed a lot of pop culture, so if we think about any time she may have spent with Eliot, it could have triggered her interest.
Another relationship under the microscope is Alice and her mother, Stephanie.
Alice is working with Zelda to help find Harriet in the mirror realm, and the mother-daughter spell that has to get enacted pushes her towards her father’s home.
There’s a lot of pent-up resentment and anger since the Manta Ray was inhabiting her father and ultimately led to his death.
Alice always seemed closer to her father, but these circumstances allow the show to explore new layers of a relationship.
Alice is a fugitive. She doesn’t trust her mother, and she’s convinced her mother may have turned her in, but Stephanie shows a side that she’s never seen before.
She cares for Alice and is willing to protect her at all costs even if that means selling out Carol.
It seems like Alice cracks her hard facade on this episode.
However, while she may have gained her mother’s trust, Shiela’s decision to join the order comes as a shock.
Working with Sheila to fix the pipes in Modesto was one of the first times that Alice didn’t see magic as the problem.
Since Sheila’s new to magic, and she says herself in The Magicians Season 4 Episode 6 that she didn’t know enough about the magical system to sign up for a library card, it feels like there might be more to the story here.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Sheila was playing at something.
It’s hard to judge out of that one scene.
This puts Alice in a strange position. She’s already said to Quentin that she would stay in Modesto.
She’s broken that promise, repaired things with her mother, but now seems to have lost her friend in the process.
It feels like the perfect impetus to push her towards what Zelda’s offer on The Magicians Season 4 Episode 1.
Take down the library on the inside?
Last but not least, Quentin is hunting down another stone organ for The Monster, which puts him in direct contact with Poppy Kline.
Poppy is a character who is very enjoyable to watch.
Felicia Day does great work bringing about the character’s bubbly and chaotic energy to life.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to use a CGI dragon in New York’s East River, but the juicy bit that comes from this storyline is about Julia.
The answer to Julia’s “god problems” have been hidden for most of the season.
With the death of Shoshana in The Magicians Season 4 Episode 5, it seemed like she was going to have to put her quest for answers onto the back burner.
Now, not only is there a more in-depth answer, but there’s a chance for Julia to get her goddess status back.
It always felt so fleeting that Julia spent all this time working towards harnessing a seed of magic and cultivating it, only to give it up.
There was an entire realm of magic that she could have explored, and while she did it to save her friends and help people, it still feels like she’s gotten shelved.
Getting that status back will open up a whole new realm of possibilities for her character.
What was your favorite part of The Magicians Season 4 Episode 8?
Were you surprised to see Poppy Kline come back?
What did you think of all the misdirects?
Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to watch The Magicians online.
Lauren Busser is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.