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Recap / The Magicians (2016) S03 E12 "The Fillorian Candidate"

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Season 3, Episode 12

The Fillorian Candidate

The political situation in Fillory comes to a head, Julia's powers continue to grow, and Alice's deal with the Library is revealed.

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: When the group finally gets all the keys, the Unity key connects them again, and Kady hears Penny's voice. She tells him they're going to rescue him and she loves him—unfortunately, the key has already replaced her Penny with Penny 23, meaning that not only did Penny 40 not hear her, they now have no way to contact him at all.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: Julia teleports herself, Kady, and Penny to near where Reynard is, which happens to be a gated mansion. Kady laments that he's living the high life, then a car drives up and Reynard steps out, delivering pizza to the place.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Eliot tells Fen that she had no choice about being betrothed to him, and now that he's no longer the High King, she doesn't have any obligation to stay. She says that if she hadn't been promised to the High King, she would still be in her provincial village, married to one of her annoying neighbors, who just threw Eliot off a waterfall. It seems like she's about to say she prefers being his queen, and that it's worth it—but actually she goes on to say that the Fillorians will probably do worse to her and she has to stay.
    Eliot: I expected that to go somewhere more heartwarming.
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  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Even though the animals in Fillory can talk and are at least as intelligent as humans, bestiality is still considered taboo. Margo wins the election because she sees nothing wrong with Fray dating Humbledrum, a bear running the bar she's found work at, and Humbledrum is appreciative enough that he gets all the animals to elect her as a write-in.
  • Boring, but Practical: Tick's economic policies are sound and well-thought-out, but not as exciting as Eliot's grandiose plans.
  • Brought Down to Normal: With his divine seed gone, Reynard is for the most part mortal. He's still incredibly hard to kill, but he can't use godly magic.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: The Fairy Queen is willing to give up the sixth key in exchange for land on Fillory. To give her that, Margo and Eliot would have to be in charge. To be in charge, they need magic. And to get magic, they need the key. Fortunately, Josh thinks of having an election and Margo comes up with a way to force Tick to hold one.
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  • Cruel Mercy: Reynard is still alive, but he's been reduced to delivering pizzas and living in a crappy apartment. Julia and Kady think it's a far more fitting punishment than killing him, especially after taking the god-killing bullet from him so he can't end his own life.
  • Darkhorse Victory: Margo wins the election as a write-in candidate, since she was kind to the bear, who in turn holds a lot of sway among the Talking Animals. It turns out they outnumber humans 20 to 1.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The election quickly devolves to mudslinging and pie-in-the-sky promises.
  • Double Entendre: Eliot tells Fray what he wishes his father told him:
    Eliot: I'm so happy you're dating a bear.
  • Dying Race: Before they started taking over Fillory to reproduce, the fairies had no means of propagating their species in the fairy realm. The prospect of a permanent home on Fillory is sufficient motivation for the Fairy Queen to be willing to destroy her entire realm by giving up the sixth key.
  • Election Day Episode: To determine the new ruler of Fillory, with Eliot and Tick running against each other.
  • False Flag Operation: In order to get Tick to hold an election, Margo, Eliot and Josh distribute fliers that claim he already plans to. Since the people now think there's going to be one, Tick has to either risk revolution by telling them otherwise or let them proceed. He chooses the latter.
    Margo: Giving people stuff is easy. Taking it away is hard. Like Obamacare. [beat] Or herpes.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: When talking to Penny 23, Kady says she's not mad at him for choosing to leave an awful timeline—she's mad at everyone else for acting like bringing him over counts as rescuing their Penny.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: One of Eliot's more outlandish promises to the people of Fillory is to build the first power plant there. Keep in mind this is a medieval society. Tick is appropriately baffled.
  • Green Thumb: Julia uses her powers to restore the forest she burned down last season, among other miracles.
  • Hope Spot: Once the Fairy Queen gives up the sixth key, the unity key once more connects the entire group. Kady is happy to finally get in contact with Penny... but it's Penny 23.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: When Margo is unexpectedly named High King, she apologizes to Eliot for accidentally stealing his thunder. Rather than be upset, he immediately kneels before her.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The "Previously On" segment is Josh giving a quick recap of Timeline 40 to Penny 23 while telling him to imagine a montage. He also comments about confusing plot twists and character relationships.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: Hades took Kady's god-killing bullet and gave it to Reynard in case being mortal proved intolerable to him.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Julia does this while trying to use her powers to answer the prayers of some boy with a fever in a hospital, while also levitating several objects around her.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Human/animal relations are looked down on in Fillory. Humbledrum the bear is very concerned about getting Eliot's approval, and Rafe (human translator) and Abigail (Her Flealessness the sloth) have been hiding their relationship.
  • Not So Different: Quentin cites the fact that the Library has killed people as a reason not to trust them, but Alice counters that their group has also killed people.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Josh tells Penny 23 that he had a threesome with some harpies. This is accompanied by a black screen reading "Footage Not Available". On the hookup chart, they're represented by two medieval drawings of harpies.
  • Oh, Crap!: Reynard when he sees Julia, Kady, and Penny.
    Reynard: Oh, shit.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Reynard is genuinely shocked that Julia knows of the Castle at the End of the World and is afraid of it, which says a lot about what must be inside there.
  • Pals with Jesus: This is given a lampshade when Zelda suggests to Alice that she and her friends should ask a god about what is being held in the Castle at the End of the World. To her knowledge, they've met several. Case in point: Quentin's first thought is to look up Bacchus on Instagram (his account was suspended, unfortunately).
  • Pet the Dog: Margo and Eliot decide to hire Tick rather than execute him for betraying them, as he's a good policy wonk and will prove useful. They still don't trust him, of course, and place him under 24/7 guard.
  • Properly Paranoid: Quentin and Julia have Penny 23 follow Alice to the Library via astral projection, not trusting her or the Library to act in their best interests.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: Being stuck on the Muntjac, Margo and Eliot have been forced to catch and cook pigeons for food. Josh brings supplies for tacos so they can have some decent food.
  • The Reveal:
    • The quest can restore magic, but it also runs the risk of releasing things so evil even the gods fear them.
    • Alice's deal with the Library was to give them control over who gets to use magic once it's restored, by using a siphon that would somehow attach to the source and reroute it to the Library. Quentin makes her give it up if she wants to be part of the quest, though it's shown they have several copies of the siphon.
    • The reason the fairies invaded Fillory is because they can't reproduce in the fairy realm.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Quentin gives Alice an ultimatum: give up the siphon or be excluded from the quest. She chooses the former.
    • After being forced to give up the siphon, Alice points out to Quentin that restoring magic will also restore his father's cancer. Though Quentin is conflicted, he ultimately decides to continue on the quest, since he won't accept that everything he did was for nothing.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Castle at the End of the World was built by the gods to seal away the things they made before the universe. Whatever's in there terrifies even Reynard.
  • She Is the King: Margo is named High King.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Eliot and Margo have been trying to negotiate with the Fairy Queen for the sixth key. She sent back a bunny that repeats "Eat my ass!" over and over.
  • Spanner in the Works: By freeing the fairies, Julia cut off the supply of fairy dust that the Library needed to power their siphon. As a backup, Alice is given a vial of their remaining supply so she'll have the strength to take Julia's magic as the power source, though she never gets to try since Quentin had her followed and learned of the plan.
  • Spotting the Thread: When Fray mentions that there are no children in the fairy realm other than the humans traded to the fairies, Margo realizes they can't reproduce in their realm and need Fillory to survive. This gives her some leverage in negotiating with them.
  • String Theory: Josh has whipped up a chart for Penny 23 of who had sex with whom and who murdered whom. Penny takes note that his counterpart had sex with Alice. Josh has featured himself rather prominently, showing ten different partners, including two harpies (represented by drawings) whom he had a three-way with.
  • Take That!: When Julia goes to ask Penny 23 to spy on Alice, she finds him reading political news on his laptop. He says his timeline had an apocalypse and wasn't this fucked up.
  • Talking Animal: Fray has found work at a bar staffed by talking animals. She's dating the bear owner, Humbledrum.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Julia now has the ability to teleport herself and others wherever she pleases.
  • True Sight: As thanks for giving the fairies land on Fillory, the Fairy Queen grants Margo a fairy eye to replace her lost one. It can see things beyond human sight.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Library wants control of magic to keep it out of the hands of those who might abuse it, according to Alice at least. Quentin isn't convinced their motives are as pure as advertised.


Example of: