The Magicians Season 1 Episode 11 Review: Remedial Battle Magic

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There was a lot of emotional baggage unearthed on The Magicians Season 1 Episode 11, and for the most part, it worked.

I was a little disappointed that Quentin didn't have the opportunity to speak with Julia when he visited Kady. A conversation between the two has been long overdue.

They have both apologized for their actions through letters, and a reconciliation seems like it's on the horizon. Additionally, they are now both at a place in their lives where they can legitimately become friends again.

Quentin and a Book

Besides their friendship, Quentin and Julia both have a lot to learn from each other about magic and the magical world. 

Julia could become a powerful ally to Quentin, and vice versa. I hope these two crazy kids get together soon and work things out, because it could add a very interesting dynamic to the show. 

The whole premise of battle magic and needing to clear your emotions in order to perform it was very interesting. I would have guessed it was the opposite, where you'd need a surge of anger or passion to use battle magic, but I think this way made a lot more sense and provided better storytelling.

Magic missile? That's like straight up Dungeons and Dragons.


Although an increase of emotion in each character is somewhat of a contrived way to create drama, the results were interesting enough to excuse the plot device. 

First of all, we're seeing the continuous downfall of Eliot as he drinks through his emotional trauma over killing his lover.

I'm glad that the writers haven't simply brushed off Eliot's emotional arc, showing that trauma does have long-term effects. His desire to be healed by Chatwin's Torrent was genuinely affecting.

And as much as I've hated Margo, she proved that she can add to the ensemble once she stopped putting on airs and revealed some honesty. It's clear that she cares deeply for Eliot.

It's also made apparent that perhaps the reason she pretends to be "fabulous" all the time is because she is afraid of acknowledging the fact that she doesn't believe in anything, or anyone. I would love to see more of this troubled Margo and less of her annoying alter-ego.

That's the thing about you, Quentin. You actually believe in magic.


As for Quentin, his bottled emotions reveal that he still struggles with depression and feeling alone. It's a good thing that the writers have not in fact chalked up his depression to his belief in magic, and affirms that depression is mental condition that persists beyond logic or reason.

Besides his depression, Quentin also revealed feelings of inadequacy, especially when it comes to Alice. The fact that he feels insecure because his girlfriend is better at something than he is points to a pretty unfortunate character flaw in Quentin, and does not portray him in a good light.

Being an outcast throughout his life, Quentin's validation that magic was real probably led him to believe that he was special, and that he would naturally be good at it, so his disappointment that he's not makes sense.

However, if Quentin truly cared for Alice, he would respect and admire her for being talented, instead of petty and jealous.

That, coupled with the fact that he just slept with Eliot and Margo, will probably spell trouble for their relationship.

As for Julia, her storyline has unfortunately veered towards boring as she tries to petition a god. Although it's great that she is on a good and noble path, the drive and intensity in Julia are gone. Hopefully her story integrates with Quentin's somehow, so that she can have a purpose once more.

What did you all think of this episode? Were you surprised that Eliot, Margo, and Quentin had a threeway? What will happen to Quentin and Alice's relationship? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Don't forget, you can watch The Magicians online anytime here at TV Fanatic!

Remedial Battle Magic Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (21 Votes)
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The Magicians Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Great, let's go native. How good are you with a broadsword, Quentin?


I'm in too. I heard the word illegal.