So last week we discovered to (no-one’s shock) that Fillory is real! And has big monsters and kidnapped women and… maybe isn’t just that great. Quinn has realised, after much belated growing up, that actually wanting to live in your fantasy world (with monsters being real) is actually not all that fun. Which is actually pretty devastating to someone who has spent his life basically escaping reality by running to Fillory. Which is now not a shiny, happy safe space. It’s like retreating to your safe space and finding a bear in it. An angry bear. I actually like it, it’s a nice way of examining this character that I find interesting despite still wanting that aforementioned bear to eat him. Nomnomnom
Anyway, the main plot is the trials – which is a combination of exam, character life lesson and hazing. And is actually really well done – seriously, Elliot and Margo should take high tea and handle all exams. Elements I liked – the ruthless, outside-the-box practical lesson where you beat trial 1 by actually cheating. Trial 2 then teaching co-operation in a kind of fun way – and Trial 3 causing the characters to reveal some deep dark secret about themselves and, in the process, basically have them admit something to themselves. We also have an unnecessary method of threatening Penny with gay porn (because hey, they have a gay not-character doing his stereotypical best, why not throw in gay jokes?)
Back to Quinn (who is super duper awkward in his naked reveal ritual with Alice – and they don’t even get naked) who is finally dealing with his constant, avoidant habit of running and hiding all the time. Even when he’s moved to a magical school, literally his dream life, he is still running and hiding.
May this lead to character growth and my not wanting to feed Quinn to a bear. Much
Alice’s revelation is that she desperately tries not to be awesome and constantly holds back because she is afraid that being as amazing as she is would make her even more alienated than she already is. So she’s failing at being the best she can be AND being popular.
But there’s another plot that primarily develops Kady who desperately needed it. We knew Marina had something on Kady and was forcing her to steal for her (which is also why we see why Kady is so utterly desperate to stay in school – she needs it to bribe Marina)
So what does Marina have on Kady? Her mother, Hannah. Hannah is another hedge witch who falls in with Julia to try and get even with Marina (after showing off some nifty power). Of course Julia’s willing to go for this so MORE MAGIC MOAAAAAR MOOOOOOOOOOAR! And they form a brief alliance. It gets shaky when Julia learns their history – when Hannah was working with Marina and completely screwed up leading to people dying and Marina picking up the pieces. In return, Kady basically had to serve Marina: meaning Hannah kind of exploited her daughter AND was an unreliable partner in nefarious situations. I can’t blame Julia for not being all on side with this as her partner
While this is a good way to learn more of Kady’s past and watch Julia positively sprint towards the dark side, it didn’t actually help with bringing down Marina. The spell to steal Marina’s stash worked – but that stash has been replaced with an evil, eye-ball bleeding death case. Goodbye Hannah.