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Recap / The Magicians 2016 S 01 E 01

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Season 1, Episode 1

Unauthorized Magic

Quentin and Julia, two young college aspirants, find themselves in a test of their magical skills. Quentin passes and is accepted into Brakebills University, but Julia fails and has her memory erased. She manages to leave herself a clue to remember, and refuses to accept that she cannot learn magic. She is contacted by Pete, who offers to teach her.

In his dreams, Quentin meets Jane Chatwin, from the Fillory and Further novels. She warns him about the Beast and burns a sigil into his hand. Alice, Quentin's classmate, recognizes the opportunity to learn how her brother died. She and Quentin, recruit their classmates Penny and Kady to try and contact her dead brother, Charlie. Instead they accidentally summon the Beast, who appears in the school the next day, attacking a teacher and the Dean.

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Tropes Present In This Episode:

  • Artistic License – Geography: The Midtown Mental Health Clinic that Quentin's checking out of has a wonderful view of the Upper Bay and Statue of Liberty, neither of which are actually visible from Midtown.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Dean Fogg knocks The Beast back with a spell, but the Beast freezes him, breaks his fingers, and rips his eyes out.
  • Eye Scream: The Beast rips out the Dean's eyes, places them on a desk, and draws a smiley face under them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: There's a shot of the pill bottle with Quentin's new meds that reveals he's on fluoxetine, better known as Prozac.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Students who fail the exam get their memories of Brakebills erased. Julia is able to avoid this by cutting herself. Quentin is informed that students who get expelled also meet the same fate.
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  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Alice, Quentin, Penny, and Kady inadvertently summon "The Beast" in an attempt to contact Alice's dead brother through a forbidden spell.
  • Zero-G Spot: Penny and Kady levitate while having sex.


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