The Magicians Be the Hyman Review

We only have three weeks left of The Magicians, and the eleventh episode, “Be The Hyman,” is one of those connector episodes, responsible mostly for setting the stage for what will be the climatic finale to the series. This type of episode is often enjoyable but not too meaty; what makes this one better than average, however, are not only some good moments and some fun cameos, but also the exploration about the lengths the gang will go to do what they think is right. 

But first the good moments. The one that stands out in “Be The Hyman” is the heart-to-heart between Penny23 and Julia about their unborn child, including Penny’s fear that Julia will be psychologically impacted for life if she doesn’t get the magical treatment she needs. As for enjoyable cameos, there’s Hyman, of course, the Peeping Tom Traveler who is having trouble adjusting to corporeal form, as well as the now-dead Fillory gods Umber and Ember and a freakily nice Marina. 

The cameos drove most of the plot this episode as well. Let’s start with the dead Fillorian gods. In a show where mythical quests and fending off apocalypses is the status quo, it’s not surprising that the former High Kings of Fillory (Margo, Eliot, Josh and Fen) find themselves pulled into the magical equivalent of a pre-recorded vision Ember and Umber. This emergency vision of the two dead gods is activated when the world of Fillory is in mortal peril. The gang already knows this, of course—the Dark King opening the door to the Takers will ultimately destroy Fillory and other realms beyond it. The only way to stop it now, it seems, is to use a pocket world that Umber created to house all the living Fillorians and then destroy the land of Fillory. 

That’s right—the gang has to destroy Fillory in order to save it. And to turn the knife in the wound, Julia is revisited by the sexist pig Sir Effingham (last seen in episode 1 of the season), and realizes that she is the one who causes the Armaggedon that Effingham is so worked up about. Is blowing up the land of Fillory the only option the gang has to save its people? And if they do so, Effingham warns, those responsible will lose the ones they love. 

Alice and Kady are making ugly choices this episode as well. Alice thinks she can do better than the dead-god Umber and make her own world for Fillorians. All she needs is the World Seed to do so, but that evil entity, The Couple, has both the Seed and the instructions to activate it locked up tight. Kady and Alice find out that Marina, the go-to nemesis for various plots over the course of the show (including a major part in the harmonic convergence debacle earlier this season) is familiar with The Couple and the only one who can help them. Marina, however, has changed—she has put herself under a spell to suppress all her evil traits and is now disturbingly nice. Nice Marina tells Alice and Kady that she put together a group to rob The Couple during the harmonic convergence. There’s a heist book, even, that outlines how to break into the heavily warded hotel where The Couple is hiding out. 

When the harmonic convergence didn’t happen, howver, some in her group died and the rest, understandably, now hate her. Nice Marina tries to reconnect with her old group for Alice and Kady’s sake, but she’s limited by being, well, nice. And so Alice and Kady decide to be bad like the old Marina—they threaten one of the group members and then remove the spellwork that made Marina nice, so that the regular ol’ mean Marina could lie to another group member and former girlfriend. Alice and Kady’s efforts work—they get the heist book and have evil Marina bound to help them. One can help but expect that things will go wrong, however, as their plan to take on The Couple moves forward.    

We end “Be the Hyman” in the Physical House at Brakebills. There, evil Dean Fogg has escaped is stealing the convergence panel—the only thing that will keep magic from going wonky on Earth—in order to bring it to The Couple. With that panel, there’s nothing that will stop The Couple from being able to use the World Seed, which likely means that Alice and Kady’s plot to steal the Seed must happen sooner rather than later. Given next week’s episode is this season’s musical number, I’m especially curious to see how things turn out for them. Maybe Kady springs the good Dean Fogg out of the psychedelic realm to help and musical numbers come with him? Or maybe it’s a simple as everyone needing to spontaneously burst out into song. However it comes about, I’m looking forward to watching and dancing along to the music on my couch. 

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